I have been following Mandy's blog, Hakuna Matata since I started my own blog, back in December. When I read through Mandy's post, I felt this flood of emotions rush over me. I remember vividly, how it felt to tell my husband he was going to be a Daddy. I also remember vividly how it felt to feel that dream flow out of me, literally and figuratively. I had to shut my eyes when Mandy spoke about her US. She describes the grief so beautifully. I'm so glad she shared her story on here, because it's tough. It's hard to talk about something like losing your baby. So leave her some love on here, and then pop on over to her blog and Facebook page to check her out.
When I saw that Risa was looking for guest bloggers I jumped at the
chance for two reasons. The first reason is that, though she already
knows, I wanted to remind Risa that she is not alone in this. The
second reason is that I am passionate about infertility. It's more enjoyable to talk to others who
will listen than it is to talk to myself.
Let me share with you my story. My husband and I met on a
float trip back in 2007. As I got to know him I knew this was someone
special. I'm lucky he felt the same way, and in June 2011 we were
married. In August of that year we decided to try having a baby. I had
a feeling the job might not be too easy. What I didn't know was how
immensely hard the job would be. I have PCOS, which is an endocrine
disorder that interferes with insulin and hormone levels causing all
kinds of fun issues in a woman's body, including being overweight, acne,
unwanted hair, and infertility due to anovulation.
I started off with my OBGYN, who prescribed Clomid
and timed intercourse. When after two months on Clomid 50mg I did not
ovulate, my doctor referred me to a reproductive endocrinologist, who is a
doctor specializing in infertility. It took going to an RE to get the
PCOS diagnosed officially, even though the signs were obvious. I was
referred to one RE, but was not satisfied with that office, so
eventually we switched to the clinic I am at now. So far we have tried a
total of 7 cycles of Clomid. I do ovulate on 150mg. I also found out
in December that not only can I ovulate, I can get pregnant. We had our
first BFP (big fat positive in infertility language).
Sitting here typing this, I'm feeling this flood of
emotions. Seven months later and, though I am past the tough grieving
stages, I'm still deeply affected. I was supposed to wait until 14DPO
to take a pregnancy test but I knew something was different. I can't
totally place why, but I just knew, so on 13DPO I took a test and sure
enough I saw my first ever positive pregnancy test. I was in shock. I
happened to be off work that week so the first thing I did was go to the
store and buy something to use to tell my husband our news. I had
thought about this before, how I would tell him he was going to be a
daddy. But, suddenly nothing seemed good enough. It had to be special.
It had to be just right. Walking down the aisles of Target, it
came to me.
You see, something about me that you wouldn't know if you
don't know me is that I love shoes. And I have a lot. And my husband
picks on me for this. So when I passed the women's shoes I saw a pair
of cute leopard print flats. I bought those, a pair of newborn boots,
and pink and blue tissue paper. I came home and took the women's shoes
out of the box and put the tissue paper in first, then the two little
bitty boots that our sweet little one would wear. I was so anxious for
him to get home and when he did I casually gave him the box to show him
the new shoes I bought. When he rolled his eyes I promised him he would
like them and that they were worth the purchase. He opened the box
while I was anxiously smiling and giddy standing next to him. It took
him a minute to catch on to the message, but I'll never forget the look
on his face when he did. He had the biggest eyes, a giant smile, and he
said, 'We did it?!" Yes, my love, we did it. We sat on the couch
curled up in each other and we talked about everything husbands and
wives talk about when the are expecting. Yes, we even talked about
names. We had our little piece of heaven.
That was a Monday. I called the RE's office the
next day and we scheduled my first beta for Wednesday. When we got
those results back, we were told the number was low (15), but that it
could just be a "late implanter." They had me go back in 48 hours
wanting to see that number double, which it did, but barely. The
next beta stayed the same. That's when we were told
it was over. I had started bleeding around that time so I wasn't
surprised. I had to do about 7-8 betas because my hcg was not going
down. Eventually I had to go for an ultrasound. At this point I would
have been about 7 weeks pregnant. At the ultrasound they found a small
empty sac measuring about 4 weeks. Since there was still a sac I had to
take a medication that the doctor inserted to complete the miscarriage.
The whole process from start to finish
took about a month for the beta to come back down to zero.
What I've learned is that all women experience
different feelings about miscarriage and different ways to deal with it.
Our loss was very early. We didn't even get to the first ultrasound.
We didn't get to hear the heartbeat. We never gave that baby a name.
Heck we didn't even get to tell our families before it was over. I
never felt attached to our baby. I guess I was still in
shock and went straight from that to sadness. Sometimes I feel guilty
that I was detached from the pregnancy itself. Like I was never pregnant
at all. But that's the funny thing about grief. When I think about
that time in our lives I think less about the pregnancy and more about
the process I had to go through to completely miscarry. In all honesty,
I just wanted it to be over so we could start trying again. At that
point we had been trying to have a baby for a year and a half and I
didn't want to waste anymore time. It took us three months for my body
to recover so we could try again. If I'm not reliving that process,
I'm reliving the moment that I told my husband about the pregnancy and
yet again about the miscarriage.
For myself to be in this emotional
pain is one thing, but to see the tears in my husband's eyes is gut
wrenching. Sometimes I feel like I did something wrong. How could I
build him up and then tear him back down like that?? Yes, I know it's
not my fault, but the mind makes us think irrationally sometimes. But
my husband, you see, he is the best person I know. Our infertility is
because of me, but it's ours to deal with together. Yet on the days
that I am weak, he stands tall and strong. One day I just want to switch
places with him so I can stand tall and strong for him. Husbands hurt
though this too and I want everyone to know this.
I wonder at times if I did something to cause the
miscarriage. Do I need to lose more weight? Did I inhale too many
fumes when I painted the living room? Should I have stopped running?
Did the day I forgot take my medication make this happen? When I have
these thoughts I have to remind myself that I am not to blame. I
believe in God. I have faith in His plan for us. This was not our
I have been thinking the last
two years of what God's purpose for all of this is. I know now that
there is at least one reason why this is our story. Infertility has
enlightened me and answered what I have been trying to answer for some
time. What am I destined to do as a career? As I said before, I'm
passionate about infertility. I understand the emotions behind it and
what it can do to a marriage (ours has been strengthened but others are
not so lucky). I'm also passionate about mental health. I'm halfway
done with supervision to become a licensed clinical social worker.
Currently, I do crisis counseling but my goal is to move towards having a
practice for infertility therapy. I have a ways to go to achieve
this, but I am excited because for the first time in my life I know what I
am going to do. And I owe that to this story.
So fast forward to where we are now. It has been
two years since we started trying to have a baby. I have done a total
of 7 cycles of Clomid with timed intercourse. The miscarriage was our
only pregnancy. This month we switched to Femara with timed
intercourse. However, I recently had surgery on a finger that I broke
and we've been told by our RE that we should not try this month (due to
the anesthesia and pain meds). Our plan as of right now is to do four
months of Femara (two with timed intercourse and two with IUI). As of
right now if those don't bring us our baby, we will be looking at IVF.
There are other options to consider, including adoption, foster
parenting, and child free living. We have a plan to do IVF, but plans
could change when we are ready to make that decision. For now we do our
best to stay focused on the present. It's not healthy to worry too
much about the what if's.
If you are still with me, thank you for connecting
with me through my story. If you, yourself, are in the trenches of
infertility or loss, please know you are not alone. Remember that you
are more than just infertility/loss. Don't let that one thing define
you. You are strong. You got this.
Labels: guest bloggers, Miscarriage