Our next guest post is from Jennifer. She shares her story of infertility, loss and finding hope after tragedy. It is stories like hers, that allow others who are experiencing such pain, know that they are not alone in their grief. Thank you Jennifer, for bravely sharing your story, this is never an easy one to tell.
You were meant to be a wonderful, joyful gift. A bouncing baby boy. Everything had been planned out, as it always is in surrogacy. Nothing happens by accident, there is so much effort. Pills, shots, embryo transfer, the home pregnancy tests, the weekly blood work to check hormone levels, the ultrasounds at 6 weeks to find the heartbeat and 8 weeks to see the baby has grown. Only two days after that last ultrasound your heartbeat just stopped. But how, with the the hopes and dreams of so many people, how was that possible? This was all “meant to be”. One embryo on the first try and you made it. Weeks went by after your heartbeat stopped but no one knew it had even happened. Seven weeks later, I had my first appointment at my regular, non high risk, OB’s office. I was supposed to be 14 weeks, 6 days along.
A woman I had never met was looking for a heartbeat that she couldn’t find. I knew what that meant but the reality of it was so overwhelming that I was in shock. All of the hope, all of the dreams were broken into unrecognizable pieces. My husband had had to leave for work while I was still in the waiting room before the appointment began because it started much later than it should have. I was alone with my four year old daughter in a small room and I had to temporarily shut off and become numb to my emotions. This positive little girl told me not to worry because the doctor was going to fix my belly. Another room with another machine, silence, another room waiting for explanation. On the way home, when my daughter couldn’t see my face, I bawled. I found looking in the mirror seemed like most horrible thing. Notifying everyone that need to be told right away while bawling. Being told that a therapist would be available to talk to but being so inside of my feelings, not knowing how or what to process first, I declined.
Everything was ruined. Everyone’s world was flipped upside down. The busted veins and large bruises from the 3 IV attempts for the D&C. Those bruises were all I had to remind me that it was real. I cut my own hair because when I looked in the mirror, I knew I wasn’t the same person. Nothing was right, everything was wrong. Throwing away all of the medicine bottles and syringe box I had saved in hopes of taking one of those, “look at all of the effort and it was all worth it”, type pictures. Life was so devastatingly unfair. I didn’t want anyone to see me, my pain. I cried the first time I left the house, we went to the park to let my daughter play. I felt like a gray ghost unable to feel happiness. Seeing pregnant women made me cry, seeing babies made me cry, seeing small children running and playing made me cry. I cried at the lyrics of songs in Disney movies. Cinderella sang, “No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dream that you wish will come true”. Jimmy cricket sang, “If your heart is in your dream, no request is too extreme”.
Going from being joyously pregnant with enormous feeling of purpose, to not, made me feel suddenly useless. I remember thinking, and asking my husband, “what is the point of me??” There is a lot of healing in finding a goal. I once again focused on my dream of helping a family and that forward thinking momentum and hope of what could be, brought me out of those trenches. When September 21st rolled around, what was supposed to be my due date but wasn’t, it was depressing. It’s impossible not to think of what should have, would have, could have been. Slowly letting go of what didn’t happen was aided by reaching for what could become a reality in the future.
Your mind and heart are like hands and you have to let go and reach for something else. HOPE. Otherwise you will remain gripping, white knuckled, onto the fear and pain of it all.
Whether it’s a new goal or the same goal you aren’t giving up on, just keep reaching. Hope can overcome the pain. Hope is bigger, better and stronger than the pain of loss.
You like-y? For those who want to keep insta-tabs on our regular shenanigans check out @Ourmisconception on Instagram. If you have comments, witty quips to share or need some encouragement feels, drop by our Facebook page