Our story is that of secondary infertility. We were blessed with our first daughter without much trouble, worry or thought of infertility struggles. While I always had it in the back of my mind, especially because I have a lot of family history of infertility, miscarriages and stillbirths, our first pregnancy was truly uneventful, easy and exciting.
When we decided it was time for our daughter to become a big sister I had even less worry of fertility struggles, and I had never really heard much about secondary infertility. We did get pregnant fairly quickly again, but at the first ultrasound around 7 weeks they found a sac but no heartbeat. We were devastated. In addition to being told we had a miscarriage, the other devastating piece was my body did not naturally miscarriage the baby.
We waited weeks knowing there was no heartbeat or growth, going to work each day anxiously anticipating “it” to happen, but it never did. We then had to make the difficult decision of medication-induced or a DNC. At the time I could not imagine electively taking pills to induce a miscarriage so chose the DNC. That was probably the worst day of my life and the angriest I’ve ever been at God. I could not, and still cannot, wrap my head around why my body could get pregnant and seem to want to hold on to the baby but not naturally miscarriage. I felt violated and fully out of control.
After that we did some testing and I went on a low dose daily aspirin as well as thyroid medication as it was determined I was borderline for a clotting disorder as well as slightly hypothyroid, both of which can cause miscarriage. Once it was safe to try and we were ready again, it seemed to take a lot longer and was a much more conscious effort to get pregnant again.
Of course that next time we were walking on eggshells. The first ultrasound went ok, but the baby was measuring a bit small. BUT, we did see a heartbeat. It wasn’t until the 11-week ultrasound that we were told we had yet another miscarriage. Again my body did not naturally miscarriage, and this time we chose the medication-induced path. Again, a horrible day and such a hard decision to make.
The next several months were very difficult as I felt like I became a crazy person tracking and focusing on how/when to get pregnant. It took even longer this time even though I was being so diligent to the calendar. Once the next pregnancy came all I remember was feeling guilty thinking how I should be excited and journaling like I did for each of the 3 prior pregnancies, but I couldn’t bring myself to do anything of the such as I was so worried it would end like the last 2. We waited the longest yet to tell friends and family, and it felt like we held our breath for 9 months at each and every doctor’s appointment. But, in the end this was the one, our miracle rainbow baby!
My spiritual struggle was that of not being in control. I came to peace fairly quickly with the miscarriages, trusting God that He knew those babies were better in His hands, but I was still so confused why He wasn’t allowing me and my body to get and stay pregnant. My greatest desire was for our daughter to have a sibling. It just didn’t make sense. I also really struggled with losing control of the timeline in my head. With each pregnancy I had calculated the age difference between the siblings and imagined what that would look like. Each miscarriage or month with a negative pregnancy test just pushed that timeline out longer, not to mention me getting older and more high risk.
Where I found peace and comfort was when I shared our story. I did not have any close friends that had gone through a miscarriage or struggles like we did, but once I was in that situation and paying attention, I did find others who could relate. Extended friends, co-workers and church friends. That’s where I found this group. I was so grateful to have a place to come and listen, share, and be vulnerable.
Unless you are going through fertility struggles it’s hard to relate or know what to say. I also really appreciated the opportunity to share my experience with others. It’s tough-all of it. But, we know there are bigger and better plans that will likely never make sense, and for that I am grateful for my COR support in helping me to understand and accept what our family went through.