As you may know October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. It’s a topic I know firsthand and something I don’t talk about a lot. It has been a very painful journey for me and my husband and one we’re still on. And though it’s hard to talk about sad things, I do think it is something however we should talk about more. Why? Because I am not alone. Did you know 1 in 8 couples struggle with getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term? In addition, approximately 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Those numbers are staggering. Chances are that even if you haven’t experienced any of this yourself, people you know, and love have.
My experience is so extensive that I am basically going to give you the cliff notes version even though it may seem long. I have been married since 2003, to my high school sweetheart. We got married at 18 and decided to wait a while to grow our family because we had “plenty of time”. Fast forward to the end of 2012 and we decided we were “ready” (when is anyone ever ready for kids lol?). It took me a year and a half to get pregnant the first time. At 6 weeks, after announcing my pregnancy on Mother’s Day, I had a miscarriage. It was an ectopic pregnancy in my left tube. Thankfully I was able to keep my tube, but damn, was the whole thing painful. And so began our journey…
After that I experienced a 2nd miscarriage at 6 weeks and then finally, I got pregnant and made it past the 6-week mark. Everything looked good! Unfortunately, just shy of the 16-week mark, I began having contractions and lost our baby girl in the most traumatic experience you could possibly imagine. I will spare you those details. After that I went to see a specialist where we found out I had benign polyps lining my uterus. They were only detectable via a camera and not by ultrasound, hence why they hadn’t been noticed before. This was why we lost our baby. She just couldn’t hang on. I went on to have those polyps removed and we thought we were good to go.
I have lost 5 more babies, 4 more pregnancies since that procedure, one of which ended up being in an ectopic in the OTHER tube. This one did rupture my fallopian tube and I bled out internally and almost died. Guys, do you know how uncommon it is to have one ectopic, let alone one in each tube? I had a 50% chance of it happening again in the left tube where I had one before, but no I had one in the other side. Absolute craziness.
My husband and I have gone through every test under the sun. Our genetics looks good, my egg count is a little on the low side, but otherwise we’re good. We shouldn’t be having such a hard time getting and staying pregnant.
Last year we even went through one round of IVF. After spending $12,000, we did not have a successful pairing, and the doctor proceeded to tell us it was just a numbers game. We know I can get pregnant. Now we have to pair a healthy egg and sperm, sounds like it shouldn’t be such a hard thing right? Especially considering we are both healthy. Who knows how many rounds or pregnancies we’ll have to go through to get there? And financially if we do that via IVF, that’s a huge undertaking.
So where does that leave us?
We aren’t sure what’s next for us. We just turned 36 a couple of weeks ago and we’re doing our best to not let it get us down. We’re keeping our chins up and staying optimistic that our time is coming. We’re ignoring the comments about “running out of time” or “maybe you should just adopt or foster”. While we are considering those options, we aren’t giving up hope. We are on a journey of healing and hope and love. One way or another we are going to add to our family. I am a mom. My husband is a dad. We will have our family, even if it looks differently than we originally imagined. And no matter what, we have each other, we have our amazing friends and family, and we are choosing to thrive even in the face of pain and trauma.
Thank you for taking the time to read about our journey. I hope it helps in some way, whether by raising awareness or inspiring you somehow. Do you have your own story of struggle or loss that you would like to share? Do you have any questions you would like to ask? Do you need to talk with someone who knows personally about this topic? Please feel free to email me at Jesse@jelleybeans.com or share below. I will respond. You are not alone.