Recurrent pregnancy loss, ivf, first trimester miscarriage, chemical pregnancy

"You just need to relax, quit thinking about it so much!" or "It'll happen as soon as you quit trying." If I heard one of those two phrases from one more person I was gonna lose it!!! Fourteen years I had been preventing pregnancy! Fourteen WHOLE YEARS I used birth control to NOT GET PREGNANT! Then the the time had come. I was happily married, we had done our fair share of traveling, going out and partying, we were ready. In my mind it was going to be so easy.  I'd go off the pill and BAM I'm instantly pregnant in a month or two, just like all my friends! 

We started trying in February 2012 on our vacation to Hawaii because what better place to conceive! Then came March and so did my period. I didn't panic, I just assumed I miscalculated my fertility window. So I bought the ovulation sticks and got busy. Each month came and went and so did another period! By June I was devastated! Especially because all of my friends knew we had been trying and they knew it wasn't happening for us. And for some reason I was embarrassed by that. To top it off, I got news from a close friend who had just gone off the pill to "get ready to start trying in a few months," that she was pregnant within the same month of going off the pill. It was like being hit by a train!!! Then reality set in. I was going to be one of those people that struggled with fertility.

So while we were still trying for a baby, I started telling people we decided to wait one more summer to have fun. Then it happened. In July my period was weird, it wasn't a full period, only spotting. So I just thought for fun I'd take one of the 50 pregnancy tests under my sink. By then I was ordering the cheap ones in bulk from Amazon so I could take them several times a day, just in case the line was too faint to see the first time. And for the first time, I got to experience the insane excitement and equal fear when those 2 lines appeared! It had happened, I was pregnant!  Cautiously excited we started telling family and close friends. Around my 7th week of pregnancy I awoke to the feeling of starting a period. I was bleeding, and panicked! I went to the doctor that day for an ultrasound, but to my surprise there on the screen was my baby and a tiny flutter of a heart beat. Everything was gonna be ok! So as a routine, they have you come back a few days later for a second scan. I took my husband to that appointment so we could see the tiny little flutter of a heartbeat together. However, this time there was a long pause and silence from the ultrasound tech. She was sorry. There was no heartbeat. I was in such shock I couldn't even cry. Again, the feeling of embarrassment and rage set in. Why does my body suck so bad! I was doing everything right! Back to square one, but this time it happened much faster.
I was pregnant and found out right around Christmas. This pregnancy was going to last. It had to. God wouldn't possibly fail me twice. I deserved this! But as quick as the test turned positive it was negative while taking another several days later. With a trip to the doctor and a blood test she confirmed, it wasa chemical pregnancy. Again my body failed me.

That's when I decided to get serious and start at a fertility clinic. It had been a year of ovulation sticks, timed sex and 2 miscarriages. It was real, I had fertility issues. I beat myself up. Was I too old? Had we waited to long? Had I partied to much? Taken birth control for too many years? Where did I go wrong? After a year and a half of failed clomid cycles, 3 IUI's, lots of hormones, several different kinds of supplements for both my husband and myself, a couple small surgeries to look at my uterus and tubes, acupuncture, eastern medicine, and many many many tears, I had come to terms with the fact I wouldn't be able to get pregnant again. It's mind blowing that with Intrauterine insemination they can literally take your eggs and put the sperm right next to them and let them mingle and not one of the millions of sperm decide to connect! How is it even possible? Then there's the people with the story of "we only had sex one time" or "I got pregnant on birth control" or with a condom! WHAT! 

I was ready to look into adoption. It was God's plan for me, I just felt it. Besides, I wasn't getting any younger with each passing year, and how long can you put yourself through the devastation, stress, and the toll it takes on your marriage and sex life. Sex wasn't fun anymore. It had become a job. It was now timed to the exact hour and was for one purpose, to procreate. I had given up. Then I decided to do something I swore I'd never do...IVF. I had sworn it off in the very beginning. I was never going to pay that much to make a baby nor was I ever going to have a baby created in a test tube. But the doctors had talked me through it and told me I had a really good chance of it working. At that point I would have jumped off a bridge if they told me it would increase my chances of pregnancy. 

So I jumped. I started the process of IVF. I was prepared to become this scary monster on all these meds, but to my surprise it was incredibly easy and exciting! The doctors and nurses at Chicago IVF held my hand every step of the way. In one cycle of several shots, pills and patches, they removed 9 eggs from me. 7 fertilized, we implanted 2 and low and behold 1 stuck!! I was finally pregnant. Again, cautiously excited I went to the clinic every week for blood draws and the numbers looked good and continued to rise. This time it might actually be real. I was able to watch this baby grow at my ultrasounds I received every 2 weeks for the first 3 months. All the while, we hadn't told anyone, not even our parents that we were doing IVF let alone that I was pregnant, just to save myself from the embarrassment if it didn't work. We finally told our family at 10 weeks when the doctors had eased my fears and convinced me that the chances of this pregnancy failing was so slim. I began to except that I was going to have a baby right around 14 weeks. The fear and damage that miscarriage creates in your mind is hard to overcome.

I gave birth to a perfectly healthy baby girl exactly two and half years from deciding to start trying. If you have had a miscarriage or you are struggling with fertility, don't let it break you down. Don't ever give up!  I hope this story gives you hope. I know you have probably felt many of the same raw emotions that I told in my story. You will have a story with a happy ending too! Be strong, and be brave, your time is coming I promise!

-The stars can't shine without the darkness-