Every October we open our blog to those who have suffered through the unimaginable, pregnancy and infant loss. Approximately 1 in 4 will experience pregnancy loss and many of them will grieve silently. This is their time to now be heard, to honor their child and to bring awareness to miscarriage and loss.
We start our series with Amy. Amy has been an “electronic” friend, commenting, supporting, and sharing the jagged bits and pieces of her journey with us here and there. We have talked about stigmas surrounding secondary infertility, but it wasn’t until she submitted her story to our blog series that I was able to fully understand how much she has gone through. Although her faith was challenged and tested time after time, she held on to it with every bit of strength she had. Thank you Amy for sharing your scars and your hope with all of us.
There’s a song by the band Big Daddy Weave called, My Story. The opening lyrics go like this:
“If I told you my story,
You would hear hope,
That wouldn’t let go.
And if I told you my story,
You would hear love,
That never gave up.”
My story is a story of secondary infertility x2. While I have known about my PCOS diagnosis since I was 18, my other family members with PCOS never had trouble having babies. And my husband and I’s first viable pregnancy did indeed come easily. By the time I started having trouble with my cycles becoming irregular, all it took was a strict diet and I would conceive again, and again have a viable pregnancy
In fact, my first 3 losses would happen when I was on birth control, prompting my husband (who has always wanted a large family and has always said at least 5 but more if possible, also joking, “If we win the lottery I’m just keep you pregnant!”) to ask me not to use hormonal birth control anymore. For someone who had been charting cycles since I was 18, this wasn’t an issue.
Over time not preventing became less about my health, miscarriages, and trying to get pregnant and have a baby. It became more about a spiritual calling we weren’t in tune enough to understand when we first started. And it would change us in ways we never imagined.
My first loss of a child we had tried to conceive was different. Not really more devastating, just different. I’d tried to tell myself that if we planned and tried we wouldn’t lose any more. Well. 4 more losses, 3 rounds of fertility drugs, and 2 1/2 years of trying proved me wrong there.
The first time I lost a baby we’d seen alive on ultrasound first was a new kind of devastation I had never imagined. I was broken. Changed by the trauma.
I couldn’t even recognize the girl I was when we first decided to try for that 3rd viable pregnancy.
But the hope just wouldn’t let go. I cried out to God, why?! Just take this!! Take away my desire or give me a child! Just tell me what to do!
In July 2014 He did indeed respond. He told me as I woke from a dream about having a baby, to trust Him and He would give me a child. So, we stopped almost everything to do with trying to conceive. No more RE, no more meds, no more supplements, not even a multi vitamin. I kept charting, using OPKs, and of course doing the baby dance.
In September I ovulated, without a drug or high dose of supplement forcing it, for the first time in 16 months. I also found myself pregnant, for the 10th time after 7 losses, 6 of which had been in the 2 1/2 years prior. My pregnancy was a miracle in every sense of the word. So many things happened that should have caused a miscarriage, but they didn’t. First my progesterone levels were 5 and 6, where they should have been 30. They didn’t rise even on 400 mg of prometrium. Then a horrible stomach flu that landed me in the hospital for 5 days and required 20 bags of IV fluid for dehydration so serious and would likely cause a miscarriage. Next it was a subchorionic hemorrhage, and again I was warned I could miscarry. Then an infection near my uterus, preterm labor, severe hyper emesis gravidarum…
When we hit the second trimester it was the weirdest experience. Who knew there was a second trimester in pregnancy?! The third trimester was just as unbelievable. I was in awe but desperately trying to protect my heart. After all, my last loss had been a first for me, I no longer expected that I wouldn’t experience anything new or worse in my pregnancies.
Despite the RE telling me I would always miscarry a baby conceived naturally and wouldn’t be able to have a viable pregnancy without a lot of fertility drugs, meds, and a strict diet, we had a beautiful rainbow son in May 2015, by the grace of God alone.
Since having him we have kept with our decision to trust this all to God, and we’ve lost 3 more and have not prevented pregnancy 15 months now. Infertile still, despite my hope that God would have changed that. If you’ve lost count, that’s 3 viable pregnancies. 10 miscarriages. My last loss just this past July was the furthest I had gone before losing a baby, and just as heart wrenching as the others. But I know, my story isn’t done. And this isn’t a sad story. This is a story of triumph. Of babies who are here because we didn’t stop trying. Babies who are here because of the pain we had to endure.
This is my story.