Being that it is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, and it’s been almost a year since I last posted, I thought I’d give an update on our infertility journey. Spoiler alert: I’m not pregnant. But I have been pregnant since my last post.
The last update I made was last November, before our second IUI with trigger. The IUI did not result in pregnancy. But as a quick side note: HCG triggers are painless.
After our second IUI did not work, my husband and I decided it was time for a break. A break from the emotional toll of wanting a child with every fiber of our beings and seeing those negative tests month after month. We’d invested a lot of time and money into our rainbow baby and our efforts were in vain.
So we stopped the fertility meds. I stopped temping and testing and worrying and it took some time to heal, but life was honestly and genuinely good for the first time in a long time.
I took a step back and realized that I had married the man of my dreams. This re-realization made me breathless and I enjoyed months of feeling dizzily in love with him and with life.
Then one day in late February, I stopped and realized that I felt pregnant. I was dizzy and nauseous and bloated. So I took a test. Negative. Then, some corner of my brain screamed at me to take an ovulation test and I listened.
Without meds, I had ovulated on my own. I was happy, and my husband and I did make sure to cover our bases, but I honestly didn’t think it would result in anything.
At this point, I suspected a progesterone deficiency even though we’d already tested for this and “eliminated” it as a possibility. I briefly considered refilling my prescription of progesterone suppositories for the TWW (I had used these after my last IUI), but I didn’t. I didn’t because I was on a break from it all. And I didn’t want to stress myself out over nothing.
Two weeks later and, miracle of miracles, I’m pregnant.
My first beta at 12dpo showed a blood HCG of 2, my second at 14dpo jumped up to 6 (at which point my doctor refused to believe I was pregnant), then it shot up into the hundreds almost overnight. I watched my digital tests go from “Pregnant 1-2” to “Pregnant 2-3” and I thought, “Maybe this is it. Isn’t this what they said would happen? As soon as I stop trying… that’s when I’ll get my miracle.”
Except that I was bleeding. Heavily. Throughout the entire first week and into the second, when my levels fell to 54 and then to 13 and I said goodbye to my third angel baby.
My husband was on a choir trip the entire week that I miscarried and I am not exaggerating when I say it was the hardest week of my life. I was on Spring Break and therefore not working, so I sat home in physical, emotional, and spiritual pain for 7 days and wept bitterly over my empty womb and my broken heart. I cursed God, I didn’t eat, I wanted to die. Later, I was diagnosed with post-partum depression and prescribed antidepressants. At the time, I didn’t realize how far gone I was, wrapped in the grief of another loss and blaming myself for not getting progesterone when it had first crossed my mind, because surely if I had gotten the prescription filled, I would still be pregnant.
I reached my lowest of lows and realized then that I was done.
Being “done” lasted 5 months–5 hard months of soul-searching and brokenness and, somewhere in the middle of it all, healing. It wasn’t until August that I walked back into my RE’s office and sat down with him and my husband to make a plan.
In September (last month), I started back on Femara. And today, somehow, I have finally found the courage to put this story up on my blog.
My pregnancy in March was the farthest along of all my losses. According to my doctor, I was almost 6 weeks. I was so close to hearing a heartbeat. So close to seeing my baby growing on the ultrasound. I will only know my child through those few weeks I had with him or her, feeling a presence inside of my womb and loving it–loving it more than I thought I had the capacity to love a thing I’d never seen.
As of right now, I am on my second month of Femara (this time around). Counting last year, I believe this is my 7th round… maybe 8th. I’ve lost track.
I am currently 2 or 3 dpo. I don’t know for sure because I’m not temping anymore. This time around, I am not going to let this consume me. I am, however, taking progesterone suppositories. Because my last miscarriage did prove that I have a progesterone deficiency.
I have plenty of stories from my “in-between” time, as I now call it, and I will post them as the time is right. They are stories of strength bestowed by friends and strangers who were there for me, who let me borrow their courage and surprised me with their wisdom. They are also stories of hurt and of ignorance, of people that hurt me deeply by not even trying to understand.
In the journey of infertility, there will always be both. Good and bad. Light and darkness.
I know that infertility is a fight that is difficult to understand if you haven’t been through it. And that is no one’s fault. But please, on behalf of not only the grieving parents but also the children who are lost, please be kind. The world needs more kindness.
Tonight, I light a candle for my three angel babies. And I pray for the happy day when I take a healthy baby home.