Warning – I share my full infertility story here, including miscarriage details. This may be too emotional for some people and disturbing for others.
If you have not yet read Let’s Talk About Infertility – please read that first as an introduction to the subject. And then read Part 1 of My Infertility Story. The story continues and finishes here. Why am I sharing it? By speaking up and sharing about my own struggles, I hope to show you that you are not alone in your struggles and to encourage you to step forward and share. Infertility shouldn’t be a secret subject and we should feel comfortable telling others that we are struggling and that we are not okay! My story is actually about secondary infertility but I hope that you find value in it if you are experiencing infertility of any kind. Here is Part 2 of my own infertility story.
From Part 1:
And then, out of the blue, we were surprised by a pregnancy. My cycle was late and I took a test which turned out positive, much to my great surprise! We thought we would finally have another baby, since the pregnancy happened without us stressing or any help from medication. The baby checked out okay at our appointment as well, so we were cautiously optimistic. Everything changed just a few weeks later…
My Infertility Story – Part 2
We had an appointment scheduled near 12 weeks into the pregnancy. If everything checked out, we planned to start telling people that I was pregnant. We did end up telling close family only at this point. Sadly, at the appointment, the doctor and nurse discovered that the baby had already passed away – probably around 10 weeks. It was harder to cope with than in the past because this particular pregnancy had seemed like it was progressing better than any in the past.
At that point, I had a difficult decision to make – either to have a procedure done to remove the baby and scrape the uterus or to let the body miscarry the baby when ready. With either choice, there was risk of hemorrhaging. I decided that letting it happen naturally when my body was ready sounded like the better option. I now wish I had decided differently.
Over 2 weeks went by and I did not have any miscarriage. We had a vacation already scheduled and hoped everything would be okay until we got back from our trip. We left on our already-planned vacation to Montana. While there, we took a side trip through Glacier National Park and enjoyed ourselves. On the drive back from Glacier Park to my parents’ house, I started feeling miserable and realized that the actual process of miscarriage was beginning.
When we got back to my parents’ house, I went immediately to bed, bleeding and in pain. Later, I had to stay in the bathroom for a couple of hours because of the almost non-stop bleeding. We were very concerned about hemorrhaging but I wanted to hold off for a while since the hospital was only a 2-minute drive from the house if we needed to go. Finally, the bleeding seemed to slow just the smallest bit so we decided that I didn’t need to go to the hospital.
The whole process was not only very painful, but very scary, especially the fact that we had to go through it while not being at home. It was emotionally exhausting for both my husband and me. It really was horrible and I wouldn’t want to repeat that experience. Thankfully, at some point I was able to rest and then stayed in bed the next day. I felt sorry for my father and stepmother, though they were very sweet. It’s awkward going through a personal and painful experience in someone else’s home, even if they are family.
That miscarriage affected us more than the others. We had our hopes up that this pregnancy was going to be a successful one. This miscarriage was far more traumatic than the others had been. One of the after-effects, and I’m guessing it’s the same for many women who go through this, is that I developed a fear of getting pregnant. Though on the one hand I wanted to get pregnant and have another child, I also secretly hoped that I would not get pregnant again so that I wouldn’t have a chance of experiencing another miscarriage.
There are definitely psychological issues that go along with infertility – don’t beat yourself up thinking that you should be handling everything well. Don’t feel guilty when experiencing feelings of resentment, anger, heartbreak, fear, failure, low self-worth, and more. Having these feelings while struggling with infertility does not make you a bad person. It’s important to be honest about your feelings (they are normal and you are not the only one experiencing them) so that you can deal with them and ask for help, if needed.
One of the issues that comes up and catches you off guard when you are struggling is hearing a friend or family member announce their pregnancy. I still remember a couple of announcements happening while I was in the midst of infertility. Though my mind knew that I wanted to be happy for them, my heart could not catch up. I faked my smiles and hugs as my thoughts went to wondering why them and why not me and why would they be so bold as to announce a pregnancy so early, when a miscarriage could happen at any time. The things that helped me were prayer and time, but I think if I had opened up and discussed these feelings with somebody, that would have been very helpful as well.
After going through that hardest miscarriage, my medical provider had me listed for three “official” miscarriages (I know that I had more early ones but never officially documented them). This fact triggered genetic testing, which I went ahead and did. When the results were in, I got a phone call. The lab discovered that I had a Protein S deficiency. While not as serious as a protein C deficiency, this does mean that I have an increased risk of developing an abnormal blood clot.
The counselor went over behaviors I should change, medications I should avoid, and recommended that I take a baby aspirin every day as a preventative measure. She said that it may have been a contributing factor in the miscarriages though not the only explanation for not having another child as we also should have conceived more often. The protein deficiency is important to know about for any possible future surgeries I have. It actually was a blessing to have discovered this important health information.
I never had another miscarriage like that one. I had one or two very early miscarriages sometime after that, similar to my first ones and so early that I hadn’t tested for pregnancy yet. There have been no other pregnancies that I am aware of for the last few years. I assume that due to my age, there is not much chance of getting pregnant anymore, though technically it is still possible.
I can’t just say “The End” and leave the story there because you will think this is all so sad and feel sorry for me. You need to know that I’m not sad anymore. I did not pray for God to make me pregnant, but rather prayed for His will to be done – no matter what that was and to give me contentment either way.
I don’t know the reasons why we were only meant to have one child, but our son is certainly a fabulous child and would be hard to top! And we have been able to bless others in many ways over the years, with babysitting, giving rides, making meals, helping financially, etc. that we may not have been able to do as easily if we had a larger family. Over time, God did help me find contentment – it was gradual until I realized one day that I was perfectly happy with and thankful for my little family.
If you are in the midst of struggling with infertility right now or are still dealing with the pain of it from the past, I pray for peace and contentment for you. And I offer you a giant virtual hug! It is not easy and it is painful and often feels lonely. Do reach out and talk about it with family and friends, even if you feel like you’ll make them uncomfortable and they don’t know the right things to say. Ask for prayer and ask friends to just be there for you to listen to you and support you. I’d love to hear from you – I welcome your comments right here on the post as well as on my Facebook page.
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