Disclaimer: This post is going to be a long one! Probably the longest post I have ever written!
I know that I haven’t written much since making the big announcement about our pregnancy last month. Don’t get me wrong, we are very excited but it’s been quite the journey….
Now, it’s time for me to real and open up about our fertility struggles and journey.
There are many bloggers who are open and honest and so brave about their fertility struggles but I was never one of them. I was always in awe of so many of you but I couldn’t open up that way… until now.
Let’s go back about 6 years ago…
The Hubs and I got married in August of 2008. After our honeymoon I went off the pill because I had been on it since I was 14. I had a fair share of ovarian cysts and some minor stuff but nothing major. In any event we started “trying” right away because who knew how long it would take. Well, it took no time at all and we were pregnant immediately. Married in August and pregnant in October!
My pregnancy with Sara was pretty normal. Around the 26th week my OB mentioned that she was measuring a bit small and it could be because the Hubs and I were just small people. I had extra ultrasounds and at my 37 week appointment I was told that it was time for her to come out! It was slightly stressful because we weren’t prepared for the baby but with the help of family it all worked out!
Sara was born on June, 11 2009 at 37 weeks weighting 4 pounds 2 oz and 17 inches. She was tiny but totally fine! Despite some lactation consultants telling me she would never nurse normally because of her size she was an eating champ. Sara came home after 2 nights in the hospital at 3 lbs 13oz! She packed on the weight fast like the doctors said she would. At her first birthday she was over 21lbs. To this day she remains “tall” and very healthy!
The doctors mentioned the term IUGR which means Interuterine Growth Restriction. Basically they found a tiny little blood clot in my placenta which caused her to be small. They said that for future children I would simply take a baby aspirin and be fine.
Fast forward to when Sara was about 18 months we began thinking and planning for #2. We didn’t have to think long because in January of 2011 I had a SURPRISE positive pregnancy test. I didn’t make it past 5 1/2 weeks and had what the doctors called a chemical pregnancy. We were sad but were told it happens. A couple of months later we tried again and no surprise we got pregnant that month. When we went in for our 8 week check up things were not right. We had a very slow heart beat and a baby measuring a week behind. Two days later I was re-checked and the heartbeat was gone. We had a D and C that day.
Several weeks after my D and C my body felt off and sure enough we learned that there was retained tissue from the D and C we needed another one.
In effort to move this story along the back to back D and C’s left me with scar tissue and a need for another surgery! This all took place during the summer of 2011.
We started with a fertility doctor that summer as well who did a full workup and really found nothing remarkable. Of course my cycles were all messed up now from all the surgeries.
In the summer of 2011 we began a nearly 15 month journey of meds, IUI and IVF. Drug after drug and treatment after treatment left me with negative pregnancy tests. It was a whole NEW problem. I started with the doctor because I couldn’t stay pregnant and now I couldn’t get pregnant.
After a second failed IVF treatment in August of 2012 we decided to stop all drugs and get “clean.” I let my body detox from the drugs and return to a normal state. During the last week of 2012 we got pregnant. It was somewhat natural. I was on some supportive meds. I was monitored closely and things were “great.” We heard the heartbeat right on schedule around 6 1/2 weeks and all was good! Then one week later at a routine scan it was gone.
We were crushed and heartbroken. This time around I opted to take pills to get things out on my own and that worked fine until 2 months later when they found some retained tissue and I needed yet another surgery to clean things up.
Doctors at this point were saying it was a uterine defect issue. We couldn’t get my lining thick and it was causing implantation issues. We took a long break in 2013 from January until the fall when we got pregnant again. This time again somewhat naturally but I was on baby aspirin, lovenox and some random meds. While I had no diagnosed clotting disorder, the doctors believed it was a blood flow to the uterus issue because even the highest dose of hormones couldn’t thicken up my lining.
Last September we got pregnant again. We stopped celebrating because I was always living in fear. I had my fertility doctor and a high risk doctor watching me and things were fine in the early weeks. However, once again around 6 1/2 weeks things went sour. The heart beat was slow it never got up to where it needed to be and ultimately we needed to wait a painful week and a half for it to stop beating so could move on.
I opted for a D and C because we were done! I couldn’t take it anymore. We were ready to close the book and be thankful and grateful for our one miracle. So in October of 2013 I had what I knew had to be my final and last D and C!
We started giving our baby stuff away and donating what we could. We made peace with the process and knew that we tried everything. Doctors always told me I would be an ideal candidate for surrogacy but the fees were outrageous!
Last spring the Hubs and I started talking about adoption. We began the research process and found a private attorney. We started filling out the paperwork and had some phone interviews. We didn’t get too far into the process because right around Sara’s 5th birthday we found out we were pregnant.
I was scared… I was terrified, frustrated and shocked. I thought this would ruin our summer and be another disaster and heartbreak. I consider myself to be somewhat positive but given our history I wasn’t feeling it! We began monitoring which included lots of blood work to check for rising levels and eventually the ultrasounds started. I practically held my breath between weeks 6 and 8. I kept waiting for things to go wrong. My high risk doctor was amazing and understood my anxieties. He even let me come in for a scan on a Saturday morning before we left to go out of town for a week because it was right around the time something always goes wrong. I lived in fear for a few weeks this summer just waiting for things to go wrong…. except they never did. Everything was right. The baby was growing and the heartbeat was rising. Things were looking good.
Once I got to 9 weeks my doctor assured me my risk for miscarriage was down. Each week that past I became a little less anxious and a little more excited.
I should probably add that I had all the normal pregnancy symptoms starting at week 6. Exhausting, nausea, and an overall feeling like total garbage!
At our 12 week scan we did all the first trimester screenings and things looked great. We waited until the blood test results came back to tell Sara! Boy was she thrilled!
My doctor understood my fears so he allowed me come in weekly if I want to check on the heartbeat which makes me feel better!
For the last 6 weeks or so I have managed to go 2 to 2 1/2 weeks without a visit!
Since week 18 I have been feeling daily flutters which makes the wait in between scans a little easier.
Truth be told I probably won’t feel 100% until there is a baby in arms in February!
However, at nearly 20 weeks I can say that miracles do happen!
So that’s our story in a nutshell– long and crazy but quite the story!