A journey through fertility and loss…….
To begin our story, it is important to know that our children were conceived with fertility assistance.Â Each time I got pregnant we saw 2-3 eggs on an ultrasound prior to fertilization and were so very hopeful that each egg would become a child.Â The first time we got pregnant it was after our 3rd round of Clomid and IUI (intrauterine insemination).Â We told everyone between 6-8 weeks into the pregnancy, enthusiastically looked forward to each doctorâ€™s appointment and gave birth to our first daughter, Alexis, in August 2012.
We were unsure how difficult it would be to have our second child so we started trying to get pregnant when our daughter was just 6 months old.Â Three months later we received a positive pregnancy test and didnâ€™t hesitate to tell a couple family members the good news right away.Â When I had a blood draw around 5.5 weeks we received confirmation we were no longer pregnant.
After a couple months we got pregnant again. We saw the baby at both 6 weeks and 8 weeks on the ultrasound and there were no concerns.Â I went in at 10 weeks and the doctor had been just planning to listen for a heartbeat during the checkup.Â She couldn’t get a heartbeat but said the baby was still little so it would just give us another chance to look at the baby.Â I looked at the tiny baby on the ultrasound machine and my doctor confirmed the baby had died shortly after our last ultrasound (around 8.5 weeks old).Â Since the baby was so young the doctor thought administration of the pill misoprostol would be easier than a D&C (Dilation and curettage surgery).Â I was told to take the pill in the evening and to take the next day off of work.Â The pill only worked partially.Â I went in for an ultra sound a week or two later and my doctor confirmed I needed a second round of misoprostol. I took another day off work and went through the experience again. I think I spent roughly 3 weeks of passing remains of my pregnancy. It was awful.
By the time I was pregnant with my fourth baby my husband and I were terrified at every appointment.Â We had been to the doctorâ€™s office at least 5 times during the first trimester to confirm the baby was alive and growing as expected.Â At the 13-week appointment my husband and I received the somber news that our baby had recently died.Â Due to the age of the fetus our doctor also had to have a 2nd person confirm the death of the baby so we were escorted through the back hallways and staircases within the Womenâ€™s Center facility to the main ultrasound area crying so that an ultrasound technician could verify the news our doctor had given us minutes earlier.Â I had a D&C done the next day.Â Our doctor suggested genetic testing of the baby and we found out this child had been a Tripolidy (69 chromosomes – a full “extra” set).
When we got pregnant for the fifth time I had a positive pregnancy test the day before my best friendâ€™s wedding.Â The day of the wedding I had blood work done to validate the pregnancy and the doctor prescribed additional medicine to help prevent a miscarriage.Â During the reception I started bleeding and assumed I was miscarrying the baby.Â I kept my composure through the day and to my surprise I did not miscarry the baby that weekend and made it through the first trimester.Â When my blood was drawn at our 13-week appointment the results came back with an elevated chance that we could have a baby with a chromosomal abnormality.Â We were given the option of an amniocentesis (which increased the chance of miscarriage) or a new blood draw available called MaterniT21 from Sequenom Laboratories.Â We decided on the MaterniT21 and around 16 weeks along we received confirmation that we were pregnant with a little girl and she had no chromosomal abnormalities.Â We finally started to admit we were pregnant.Â
Nicole was born in March 2015.Â I truly did not believe we would ever meet her until I heard her cry for the first time in the delivery room.Â Our rainbow baby continued to be a bit of a scary child with a few hospital stays, viral meningitis at 6 weeks old, and a lot of random illness her first year.Â She is now 1 Â½ years old and thriving.Â Not a day goes by that I do not thank God for Nicole.Â I still think about the 3 babies I lost regularly, but I feel extremely lucky for the two daughters I have.
A couple months ago my husband and I took steps to prevent any further pregnancies.Â It was such a huge relief for both of us to know we would never have to go through another pregnancy. Neither of us could mentally handle another 9 months of fear and anxiety. Â Â
I hate that any mother has to lose a baby. I appreciate the opportunity to meet other mothers that have gone through the horrible experience of miscarriage or infant loss.
For those reading this story that havenâ€™t experienced miscarriage or infant loss my only word of advice when talking to married couples is to not to make any assumptions on their family status.Â No children may be a choice OR it could mean they havenâ€™t been able to get pregnant OR that they have lost their babies.Â Asking someone about giving their child a sibling isnâ€™t an easy one for someone to brush off when they have given their child a sibling but the baby didnâ€™t survive. If the couple doesnâ€™t offer up information, please respect their privacy.Â I know for my husband and I it was the innocent questions that often caused the most pain.