Our journey with infertility starts in the summer of 2013. We just came back from our European Honeymoon and found out we were pregnant. I immediately bought our fur babies little t-shirts to announce our pregnancy to the world. Four nights before our 12week ultrasound, I started spotting. It turned to cramping and red spotting and we headed to the Hospital. After hours of tests they sent us home and said to return the next morning for a “better” ultrasound. The morning of my 29th Birthday will forever be remembered as our first loss together. After a horrendous wait, a doctor walked in and told us that our baby was developed to about 9 weeks but did not have a heartbeat. My husband called both our families and answered my phone whenever it rang as I refused to speak. I’ve never cried so much or so hard in all my life. I was expected to miscarry on my own and was to follow up on the Monday. I remember calling the OB for an appointment and the receptionist telling me they were fully booked for the week. I broke down and cried, “but the hospital told me to see her, my baby died, why won’t anyone help me”. The receptionist quickly asked if I could come in an hour. I was pretty sure I hadn’t miscarried yet as my bleeding and cramps were much lighter than my normal cycle. After being examined the OB told me that she could give me pills to help me miscarry or could refer me to someone else as she had no time to do my surgery. I insisted on surgery and met with another doctor the next day who booked me in for that Friday. I couldn’t stop thinking about how I wanted this nightmare to be over. I was so mad at my body for failing our baby, and then failing me by forcing me to continue to carry the baby around even though they were already gone. It was so surreal. Surgery came and went and at our follow up appointment we were told that during surgery there was a lot of extra tissue, cysts, and tumours. This along with the fact that my HCG pregnancy levels were not coming down they were suspecting that I had a Molar Pregnancy. I went for blood work every few days to track my levels, a few more ultrasounds, and prepared for what my treatment would be, one of which was chemotherapy. Finally, after a month of tests they decided that it was a missed miscarriage and that I didn’t need any treatment as my numbers had finally dropped. Now to grieve, heal, and start trying for our family. This was our first loss together, but I had had a loss 10 year before, making this loss number 2.
In the summer of 2014, I decided to join some TTC/Pregnancy after a loss (trying to conceive) support groups to see if we were “normal” and hoped to hear some success stories. I started thinking we might need fertility treatment, even though secretly I hoped that just making an appointment would be enough. Two weeks before our first appointment I decided to make my first post on my personal Facebook page for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
November 4th, 2014 was our first official fertility appointment. Sonohysterography booked for 5th, Bloodwork 15th, Lining sample 19th, Dan tests 27th and 3rd, and cycle monitoring next cycle (period). Overwhelmed, but excited! A short 6 weeks later we met with our fertility doctor to get all our results and a game plan. My partner Dan is medically cleared. Yay! My results are not as positive. They found a 7mm polyp in my uterus which may or may not be interfering with implantation, and suspect endometriosis so they are sending me to an OB to do a 2 in 1 surgery. TSH - 1.7 - normal range of thyroid stimulating hormone. AMH -47.8 which means I have a lot of ovarian follicles which is good but also indicates I could have PCOS and/or other fertility/health issues. CA125 - 86 which is above the recommended 46 and therefore could be cancer, Endometriosis, liver disease, or a few other conditions. All in all, our fertility journey is now on hold until I can meet with the OB who will be doing further testing and surgery. Always waiting.
April 4th, 2015 was my second surgery of this journey. They removed my polyp, found and removed stage 3 endometriosis from my uterus, tubes, detached my appendix from my tubes. And my bowel. In 6 weeks, we can begin TTC! We start with a monitored cycle which they use bloodwork and ultrasounds to determine best days to have sex. We use an HCG hormone injection to ensure I ovulate and cross our fingers. Beginning of July, I get my first, of many, calls from the clinic telling me that we are not pregnant. Next cycle we are successful! Our first beta is 11, which is low, they ideally want 50 or higher but anything above 5 is technically pregnant. Two days later it is still 11, it should have doubled. They call it a chemical pregnancy. Loss number 3. We start our next cycle using 100mg of clomid, HCG injection, add in progesterone suppositories to help with implantation and my lining. This cycle fails but I do not get my period. On cycle day 40 the clinic induces a period. Next cycle I become more involved in the process and start recording more information such as follicle numbers and sizes at each appointment.
January 15th, 2016 is the beginning of success. First day of Gonal F injections starting on CD 3 and going forward until ovulation using an HCG injection. We will also be having our first IUI. This cycle fails but the next one takes! I am pregnant but reserved as we have been here before. My beta number is 29. Not great but higher than I have had. Follicles were 2.1,1.8,1.7,1.4 and 1.9,1.7,1.6,1.0 (anything over 2.0 is mature) on day of IUI CD11 and they told me If I get pregnant with multiples, I may need to have a selective reduction. Two days later beta 48. Two days later beta is 55. Now I am nervous. Two days later it is 62. Somehow, I know this is going to end, but love this baby every day that I can. For my own sanity we go out and get another fur baby. Zoey was born on January 4th, 2016 and is 1.4lbs of love and fluff. Two weeks later we confirm the pregnancy is a blighted ovum and induce a miscarriage with pills. This is our 4th angel baby. We redo all our fertility testing with some additional DNA testing and get ready to try again. I start seeing an acupuncturist, add in low dose aspirin daily and prepare for our 7th IUI.
June 14th, 2016 CD12 with follicles at 1.9 1.5 & 2.4. We use an extra 200ml injection of Gonal F and my HCG injection and have the IUI the following day with acupuncture right before and after. It is the only IUI my husband misses and two weeks later we find out we are pregnant. Beta 22, then 69, then 209. I have some spotting, but the beta keeps rising. We go for an ultrasound at 7wks+4days and see a little baby and its heart beating. We get the harmony testing results and find out our baby BOY is completely healthy. A few ultrasounds later and my subchorionic hematoma which was causing my spotting has healed. At our 20week ultrasound they notice a shadow on the heart, but no further testing is issued as with harmony test results our OB is confident our baby is fine. At about 6 months pregnant I am in a minor car accident and again everything is fine. I can’t help but worry that somehow this baby will still be taken from us. Few weeks later there is fifths disease at my workplace, and I am not immune. Again, we are both okay.
March 2nd, 2017. The day we have all been waiting for. The arrival of our rainbow baby after $15000, 4 losses, 2 surgeries, and almost 4 years of waiting. He is born at 39+1wks after being induced when they realized he had stopped growing two weeks prior. He is a healthy 6lbs 2oz. I did not bond initially but my partner Dan did thankfully. Took me a day or so to start bonding with this amazing human I never thought would be possible. Our nurse picked him name off our list before we left the hospital. So thankful to have our rainbow boy here safe and sound!
6 weeks later we decide against birth control as we are pretty sure we would love to have another child one day, and based on our history we can only assume it will take us years to conceive. I get my monthly cycle back right away. We do not use protection. My son is 4.5 months old and I randomly decide to take a home pregnancy test and find out I am pregnant! My first beta is 211 and two days later it is 644. We go in for an ultrasound two weeks later only to find out the baby is only measuring about 4.5weeks. My heart sinks. I instantly know in my heart that this is another blighted ovum. We go back a couple weeks later and confirm there is no change. I thankfully miscarry naturally this time but mentally and emotionally this loss hits us the hardest. We thought we were “cured”, and that we couldn’t have another loss.
September 9th, 2017 a short 29 days since our 5th angel left us, I find out I am pregnant again. I am not excited. I am terrified. I immediately see my family doctor and get started on low dose aspirin, progesterone suppositories, and get an appointment for acupuncture. My first beta is 319. Two days later it is 684 and I should be about 4weeks pregnant. We have an ultrasound booked for 5weeks and 5days and I can not stop thinking about it. I cry and am sick daily with worry. Appointment day and my partner and 7 months old come with me into the ultrasound room. I hold my breath until the moment the ultrasound technician finds the heartbeat! Baby is measuring 2.5mm and heartbeat is flickering away. We are all shocked and relieved. We want to make sure this baby is loved by all and share the news on social media. We have another few ultrasounds to make sure everything is okay due to my history of losses and these last 4 pregnancies being so close together. Aside from daily all-day sickness until 20weeks, sub chorionic hematoma at 15weeks, one of my feet swelling up with concern of blood clots, and my pelvic wall separating slightly, this was a pretty good pregnancy!
May 24th,2018 we welcome our second rainbow baby. She was born at 40+4days at 9lbs 4oz. We now are parents to two amazing rainbow babies. The best feeling was getting to go home to my rainbow boy who was only 14months at the time and introducing him to his little sister.
Ever since I had my second rainbow, I have wondered how most families knew they were complete. I don’t know if either of us feel like we are done, but we are definitely unsure if we could go through another loss or fertility treatments again. I guess only time will tell if a “Pot of Gold” (the last baby after a loss) is in the cards for us or not.
Even though we do have a happy ending, it doesn’t take away all the lives that could’ve been. And because we had some losses so close together it means that it would be impossible for all 7 of our children to exist at the same time. I hope that my post can help even just one person who is going through infertility and/or miscarriage to know that you are not alone. Only people who are in it or have been through it can have an idea of how it feels, and even then, each journey is unique.
Thank you for allowing us to share our journey with you.