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Challenge: Infertility

I’ll always love the ones that I lost

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“‘You will not be able to conceive children without infertility treatments.’

I received this news in my early 20s. No doctor seemed to be able to figure out the irregular bleeding, the pain, or why I was unable to ovulate like other women could. I was given birth control to help with the bleeding and told I should see a specialist and have my future husband’s sperm tested when I was ready to have children. I felt heartbroken, confused, and overwhelmed. I had just spent hundreds of dollars on tests and ultrasounds and was still left with an unclear answer. I had very little hope, but knew God was in control of my future.

At the time, I was still single and nowhere near marriage. My mother and closest friends were always my biggest supporters. But even with the support, I had a hard time letting go of my unknown future.

One night, God spoke to me about a storm and a sail. I was told that no matter how fierce the storm, a sail would guide the boat through the storm and continue sailing. It was clear to me from that moment on that if I could ever have a daughter, I would name her Saylor.

Two years later, I decided to come off birth control and let my body start to detox. I hated the way it made me feel. Not long after, the strange and irregular bleeding started again. For almost a year I dealt with bleeding, pain, and sickness, none of which my doctors could explain. Then came one week where my bleeding began to get lighter. It became less and less each day for a week. With an unusual surge of hope, I decided to take a pregnancy test. But it came back negative, not to my surprise. After all, I was told it was almost impossible to conceive. The very next day, I tested myself again and put it to the side not thinking anything of it. I did it just to get rid of the last test. To my surprise, I came back into the room to see the word POSITIVE. I was frozen in place. I tried to remember how to breathe and put simple thoughts together. I was in complete shock.

I had just recently moved to a new city and had no family or friends around. I was unmarried and terrified. I did a quick google search online for a doctor and scheduled an appointment the very next day. This practice was my saving grace. Alone and intimidated, I met with a sweet, soft-spoken woman named Kim who guided me through the process of filling out mounds of papers. She always had an infectious smile on her face and never failed to ask me how I was. From day one, I felt safe and unjudged there. Over the course of two years, the staff became like family to me. Little did I know that just nine months later, after marrying my high school sweetheart, I would give birth there to a miracle baby boy named Liam.

However, during those nine months, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). Everything I had experienced up until that point finally made sense. The bleeding, the pain, the sickness. Nonetheless, the following year I gave birth to another healthy miracle baby, a sweet girl who I could finally call Saylor. By then, I was sure the doctors had it wrong. Maybe I was completely fine, I thought. Do I actually have fertility issues? Do I have PCOS or is it all a fluke?

Later that same year, we were surprised with yet another pregnancy. Although I was thrilled, something felt different this time. But I brushed it off and blamed it on the hormones. After all, I felt healthy this time around, unlike the first two pregnancies where I had experienced severe nausea and vomiting known as Hyperemesis gravidarum. Yet, I couldn’t seem to daydream about the baby. I tried, but I couldn’t imagine a future.

Just six weeks later was when the spotting began. When I went to the doctor to have an ultrasound done, we were informed of an abnormal gestational sac. Our fears were trumped, however, when we learned there was still a healthy heartbeat. Me and my husband continued to celebrate the baby-to-be. I was advised to take progesterone injections for 34 weeks to ensure I would carry to full term.

When the bleeding continued, I was given a higher dosage of progesterone. When the bleeding didn’t stop, I rushed to the ER expecting the worst. I knew what was coming. I was ready for it. But nothing could prepare me for what it would feel like to officially hear the words ‘there is no heartbeat’ spoken aloud. Shortly after, I was given medicine to help my body miscarry naturally.

We went home that night and waited. I wanted to be alone. I put on some Kristene Dimarco and Chris Quilala and with a glass of wine in my hand, I cried. I prayed that God would let me see this baby. I remembered His promises. I felt one big cramp come and knew it was almost done. It was like a small labor. A few moments later, my tiny little baby was in my hand. I sat there for several moments in shock but felt such love for this little soul. On Mother’s Day weekend, I had officially miscarried at just eight weeks. His name was, and still is, Haven.

My kids were too little to fully understand this. My oldest would point to my tummy and say the word ‘baby.’ I would have to explain that the ‘baby’ was in heaven now, a sad but sweet moment that I shared with my son. At my own mother’s forever home, we will gather this coming Mother’s Day to plant a tree for Haven. I want my children to see him grow, remember him. Remember what he will always mean to us.

Just four months after my first miscarriage, I was pregnant again. I felt unready, excited, and nervous, but I had hope. My HCG levels were good and I was on a high dose of progesterone. But again, I woke up one morning to find spotting. I started to cry and felt that I was going to lose another child. My husband and I went out that night, hand-in-hand, to let go.

We went to our favorite local Mexican restaurant. It was a quiet dinner; not many words were exchanged. We just sat together and acknowledged what was coming. He held my hand and made sure that I drank and ate whatever I wanted. When we were done, I went home to feelings of intense physical pain. The pain was nothing like the pain of my miscarriage…it was so much worse. Almost worse than labor. I didn’t want to go to the ER though. I felt sure of what was happening and what to do. I just had to wait.

I woke up the next morning with no pain and no bleeding, but I sensed bad news. I hadn’t miscarried, but I was told by my doctors that it was an ectopic pregnancy and that emergency surgery would be my best option. I sat in the office googling information, crying, texting friends and asked my husband to come as quickly as possible. My husband was by my side in less than 20 minutes, though it felt like hours. I felt like I needed to assure those around me that I was okay, but I was not. I was scared. I felt panicked. What was happening? What could I do? I had a million questions.

My husband continued to remind me that we were in this together and that everything would be okay no matter what. I hoped and hoped, but I ultimately couldn’t save my baby. My womb was supposed to be a safe place, a home for these babies, and I couldn’t keep them safe. In these hard times, it was the people around me that kept me strong and continued to remind me that I was loved. I was blessed with amazing nurses who brought me warm blankets and offered the sweetest smiles.

Several hours later, I was being prepared for surgery. Panic had taken over. I counted the tiles on the floor to keep from having a major panic attack. I prayed that God wouldn’t let anything happen to me. All I could think about were my two sweet babies at home. 3. 2. 1….and I was asleep.

I woke up drowsy, but so thankful the procedure was over. I was told that the baby did indeed implant in the Fallopian tube and would rupture. Later I was told they found endometriosis and that could be a reason as to why this was happening. In May, I will be having another surgery to remove the endometriosis in hopes to try again for another baby later this year. I have three scars from surgery that will always remind me of Grace.

Several months later I experienced another miscarriage. Losing 3 babies within six months became draining. At times I was angry and others I felt a deep sadness. I accepted that this was my season. This was not a fluke and there was a real possibility that I would never have another child. During this time I felt God closer. Easter Sunday I was reminded that God also lost a child and that He knew my pain better than anyone else could. I do not know what is next for me-but I can trust Him as I walk through this process.

I am so thankful for the love and support I have received and continue to receive. This is not an easy season, but I have so much hope for the future. My son and daughter, Liam and Saylor, remind me every day that miracles can and DO happen. For now I will continue to love the babies that I have and look forward to the ones that I will meet one day in Heaven.

This story first appeared on Love What Matters

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