The first time we got pregnant was four months after our wedding. We found out the week before Christmas 2013. We unfortunately lost that pregnancy at six weeks and two days. It was a huge shock to us. It was something that happened to other people, but not us. Over the next year we continued to try, but we did not get pregnant again until February 2015. That pregnancy also ended in a miscarriage around six weeks. Over the next two years, we went on to have another four miscarriages, all ending around five to seven weeks. After the second miscarriage, we decided to seek out a specialist, which is how we ended up patients of Dr. Barker at SRM.
From March of 2015 to December 2016, my husband and I went through many different tests, I was put on different medications, but nothing seemed to help our situation. Finally after our 6th miscarriage we decided that we were going to do IVF, as we felt like we were out of options. We started our IVF cycle in April and transferred one healthy embryo. We were very blessed with a successful cycle our first IVF, and I gave birth to a happy and healthy girl March 2018.
The highs and lows:
During the four years of trying, there were more low points than high ones, but we were hopeful with every pregnancy that it might be the one. For me the first miscarriage was the hardest, not saying they all were not hard, but the first one had so many emotions tied into it that it made it worse to go through than the other ones. I was in my fourth quarter of nursing school when it happened and it almost made me drop out from the stress and heart ache. Everyone around me was telling me that it happened for a reason, that if we relax it will just happen, that I should get drunk and then I will get pregnant – all of which was not helping.
I think a high point in our process was the IVF round. We were very lucky with our results. We got twelve eggs, eight of which fertilized, and then five of them made it to PGS testing, with four coming back normal. The highest point of all was seeing out little baby on an ultrasound around six weeks, we had never gotten to that point in any of the other pregnancies. I remember instantly crying and hugging Dr. Barker – it was something we worked towards together for 2.5 years!
Our support system:
We had a great support system through out entire process. Our family supported us 100% of the way. They were very involved in the process, always checking in on us. We were also very lucky to have coworkers and friends who were helpful. The first night of my stimulation shots, I was actually at work at the hospital and had my coworkers administer them for me. We could not have done any of the IVF process without family and friends, and I could not have done it without my husband. My husband went to every appointment with me, he was the one who learned how to administer my progesterone shots every night.
Getting through and coping:
I can honestly say I did not cope well after the first miscarriage. I put on weight, ate out almost every night for three weeks, and just laid around the house. What did eventually help me get through the tough times were friends. It was also talking to other people who have been through it. I joined two support groups for IVF online through Facebook, which was nice to ask questions and get advice through the process. I joined weight watchers to lose the weight prior to IVF. I would also talk about it to anyone that asked. I have found that a lot of people simply do not understand what all goes into any of the procedures or testing.
I do not shy away from telling complete strangers that my baby was an IVF baby! I love being someone that other people can come to talk to about their fertility struggles. I have had coworkers, friends and old high school acquaintances reach out to me to ask questions and get advice. As I went through this, I found my passion in fertility. I want to educate others and be someone that people can come to for help. I know what it feels like to feel like you are the only who has ever done it in your little circle.
What I would say to those who have miscarried:
I think the number one thing I would tell people is that it is okay to feel whatever you are feeling. I know I was told how to feel by a lot of people during my first miscarriage. I felt like I could not be angry because it was “God’s plan” and that “everything happens for a reason”. When I finally let go of that pressure and let out what I was feeling, I felt better and was truly able to move on.
It is hard, honestly one of the hardest things I have gone through, one of the hardest things my marriage has gone through, but I do believe I am stronger for it. My marriage is stronger because of it. Also people need to reach out. Join support groups, go to counseling sessions, and be open with family or partners about what you are going through. It is a hard road and I could not imagine doing it alone. I have met so many people through my support groups and social media. They are ones who know exactly what you are going through.