In 1988, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. He had some very powerful words to say on the subject…
“When a child loses his parent, he is called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world. It is also meant to inform and provide resources for parents who have lost children due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirths, birth defects, SIDS, and other causes.”
I have kept pretty quiet about our story on starting a family, but I have read several stories of others that have suffered infant loss and it gave me courage and inspiration to share our story.
October 2015 started our journey of trying to have a baby. For those of you that know me, you know that I am a planner. Little did we know, this “plan” was out of our control. Surprisingly, January 3rd, 2016 I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. We were SO excited!! I wanted to tell everyone right away, and we did tell close friends and family. We immediately bought the go-to book, “What to Expect when Expecting”. Of course, I was reading about all the signs and symptoms, minus feeling fatigued, I felt great (which in my mind was a red flag). Unfortunately, a short couple of weeks later I had a miscarriage. I’ll never forget that feeling of confusion, pain, uncertainty, fear, and sadness that came over me. I was coaching the 5:30pm class on a Friday night at DRiV and it took everything I had to stay calm for an hour. Immediately after class, I ran into the yoga room and called my doctor. He advised me that I was having a miscarriage and with empathy said there was nothing he could do for me. He said we could go to the emergency room for an ultrasound, but reiterated again, my body was already going through the process. It took months before we felt “ready” to try again. In that timeframe, I researched everything under the sun. I kept quiet for the most part about our loss, minus the few friends and family members we had already told. By the way two things you should never say to someone going through a loss or infertility is: “When are you two going to start a family?” or “At least you can get pregnant!” You have no clue what’s going on in their lives. Fast forward to April 2016, we got a positive pregnancy test again. This time around was different. We wanted to be excited, but at the same time there was a lot of uncertainty and fear there. We made it to our first appointment at 6 weeks and again I was having little to no symptoms. My doctor could tell that I was extremely nervous, so he did an ultrasound to check on the baby. We got to hear the heartbeat this time and it was the biggest relief and sweetest thing we’ve ever heard. We instantly started crying tears of joy, fear, and sadness all in one. Fast forward, two weeks later my doctor wanted to do a repeat ultrasound and sadly there was no heartbeat, so there we were again. This go around things ended with a D&C. Now two miscarriages down, I started to reach out to friends that I knew went through similar situations to find hope and answers. As I always say “everyone’s journey is different”, but listening to their stories gave me the hope and guidance I needed at the time. Jared and I both went through all kinds of blood work, I got my tubes checked, the whole nine yards and yet everything came back normal and still no answer or baby. December 2016, the week of Christmas we got a positive result from a pregnancy test for the third time, but like before I had little to no symptoms and was more scared than happy. We made it to our first ultrasound and again got to hear the sweetest sound ever (besides hearing Saylor cry for the very first time, I don’t think there is a better sound in the world!) Our doctor sounded way more confident about this pregnancy, which gave us hope. The whole first trimester I was a nervous wreck and all I could think about was if he or she was going to make it…… and we did! I thought that I would calm down after the first trimester, but I didn’t. I was pretty much a ball of nerves the whole time. I wanted to make sure that I did everything I was supposed to do by the book, so that I couldn’t say “what if” or “I should have done that”. We now have a sweet one-year old baby girl named Saylor.
One in four pregnancies will end in a miscarriage, and to be honest the thought of having a miscarriage or having an issue trying to conceive never crossed my mind as I thought about life with a child. It is a very private life experience and something couples don’t like to talk about, but I think it is time we change that. I hope that sharing my story gives you hope, guidance, relief, or whatever it is that you are seeking and know that you are not alone in this!