It’s been a while since I’ve done a fertility post and I figured it’s time for an update. If you missed my first one you can read it here.
In mid February we had a miscarriage. For weeks after it happened we didn’t tell anyone, aside from a few family members who we had told we were pregnant. It was such a painful thing for me that I couldn’t even say it out loud. I just wasn’t ready to tell people. Then, a couple weeks after the miscarriage, we had a bbq and someone made an April fools joke about being pregnant. I knew it wasn’t true but hearing someone in person saying they were pregnant broke my heart. We had planned on announcing our pregnancy to our close friends at the bbq so to hear someone else make that announcement as a joke was really hard for me. That’s when I realized we needed to start telling people about the miscarriage. This way it would just be out in the open and it wouldn’t feel like this awful secret we were keeping.
In December Alec and I went to Cancun to do IVF. We had to be down there for 20 days and it lined up perfectly with a wedding we were attending in Mexico and with my husband’s Christmas break from work. I’ll do a more in depth post on our IVF experience because it’s a long story and I want to be thorough but it ended with us going home empty handed. I developed severe OHSS (it’s a less common side effect of doing IVF) after the egg retrieval and nearly had to be hospitalized so I was in no condition to do the transfer. It was very disheartening but I was in so much physical pain that it was almost a relief. I couldn’t focus on anything but getting better.
In late January I returned to Cancun by myself to do a frozen transfer. We didn’t tell anyone I was going, not even our family. I was so nervous and I didn’t want the added pressure of other people knowing. The transfer was easy. I had a checkup on my first day and on the sixth day they transferred one frozen embryo and I flew home later that same night. Two weeks later we found out we were pregnant!
It took us two and a half years to get pregnant so we did not want to wait till the second trimester to share the news! We decided we’d wait till 8 weeks to announce it but at my seven week ultrasound my doctor told me there was no heartbeat. A week earlier I had stopped feeling pregnant. The nausea was gone and my boobs were back to their normal size so I tried to brace myself for the fact that something might be wrong but you’re never prepared to hear it. At the end of the appointment my doctor asked where my husband was. ‘I didn’t think this was an important one for him to come to’ was my response. That’s when it started to sink in and I found myself crying. Alec works long hours and it just wasn’t possible for him to attend every visit (many more appointments are necessary when doing IVF than with a natural pregnancy) and we both decided this one wouldn’t be worth him attending. He took a long lunch and we cried and talked and ate sushi and drank sake. In a weird way it was a really nice afternoon. On that day my feelings of love for him were overshadowed by the heartbreak of our miscarriage. I looked at this man who’s done so much for me and I felt so lucky.
What I had was a missed miscarriage. I hadn’t bled so I was confused. I didn’t know you could miscarry without bleeding. My doctor told me that my body hadn’t recognized what had happened yet and that I would probably pass the ’tissue’ on my own. A day later the bleeding began and I passed it. I bled heavily for nine full days and had the worst pain I have ever felt in my life on the second day. Some women say a miscarriage feels like contractions and if you think about it in both birth and miscarriage your baby is leaving your body. I’ve never had contractions but I have a pretty good feeling that this is what they feel like. It was different than even my most severe period cramps. I was on the floor shaking and sweating from the pain and I have a pretty high pain tolerance. Alec tried to take me to the hospital but I wouldn’t let him. I knew what was happening and I knew all the hospital could do is sooth my pain but I was in too much pain to even stand, let alone get to the car. I had a feeling that by the time a doctor actually saw me the pain would be gone anyways. I used to be scared of childbirth but over the past few years I have endured so much physical pain that I am so not scared anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still get an epidural and ALL the drugs they can give me though.
We still have 16 frozen embryos so we still have hope.
[I bought the little light box (from the intro photo) to take baby bump pictures with. I originally put ‘7 weeks’ on it and I was going to start taking weekly belly shots. When we miscarried looking at this box made me so sad but I decided to turn it into a positive message and this is totally cheesy but every time I look at it now I smile. It’s not only a reminder to be happy but a reminder of everything we’ve gone through. I can look back on the last two and a half years and be thankful for all of it because every single step gets us closer to bringing our son or daughter into the world.]
If anyone else has gone or is going through a miscarriage or fertility struggles you are not alone. It wasn’t until I started talking about it that I realized both of these things are very common. It helps to talk and to hear other stories.
If you have any questions or just need someone to talk to please feel free to comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.