My journey in Pregnancy & Infant Loss began in 2016 with the death of my first child, Noelle. I had naively thought that, because my husband and I had endured previous heartbreak, our parenting future would be immune to more loss. We had been through enough, or so I thought.
After our first round of IVF, we were blessed with four healthy embryos and I thought this would result in four healthy children with us in this world.
Our first rainbow, Lily, was a healthy “normal” pregnancy. When she was just 8 months old, we decided we were ready to try again and transfer another embryo. I had already began dreaming about these little embryos and who they were and how I just couldn’t wait to meet them. My heart was set on all four babies.
The transfer of the second embryo went smoothly. At around 6 weeks, just prior to my first ultrasound appointment, I began having pain on my left side. "Maybe it’s twins!" I thought. I went in for my appointment, anxious to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time. They took me back and I could just tell by the technician's face that something was amiss.
The embryo had implanted in my fallopian tube instead of in my uterus, also known as an ectopic pregnancy. There is not enough room in the Fallopian tube to house a growing fetus. The Fallopian tube can then rupture, causing serious complications for the Mother.
I was there alone because I wasn’t anticipating having any tough news. And now, I was abruptly faced with the decision to take a medication then and there to end the pregnancy that had just begun.
The baby was healthy, “normal”, just not in the right spot… WHYYYYY!???? My heart and my head were racing. I was again shattered and broken. I also had to wait another 3 months before trying again to ensure that the medication was out of my system as it’s toxic to a fetus.
Those three months were emotional torture and just brought me right back to the waiting I endured after Noelle died. (Waiting after loss is a trigger that deserves a separate post!)
Three months later, we transferred our third embryo and were blessed 9 months later with our son, Alexander.
When he was a year old, I knew I was ready to meet our final embryo.
In January of this year, we transferred the last embryo and I was so excited. I had my positive test when I was just 3 weeks along and heard the heartbeat a little after 5 weeks. I did have some bleeding but was continually reassured by my doctor that all was well and the baby’s heartbeat was “strong”.
Then, a little after 7 weeks, I had more bleeding and clots. My gut told me this was NOT normal.
As I arrived to my doctor’s office - alone (due to covid restrictions) - I sat on the table as the technician shook her head and told me the baby was no longer with me.
I felt robbed.
Robbed of this life. Robbed of the trust I had for my doctor. Robbed of the addition to our family that I longed for so badly.
Complicating my emotions was the fact that this baby was the last of our embryos and I never thought I would go through an IVF cycle again. But I also never thought I would have to go through the pain of loss again. I braced myself then and there for another round of IVF (and more waiting!!) because I knew I couldn’t give up the hope of more children.
Yes, my ectopic and miscarriage were different than my loss with Noelle - but the pain was so sharp and so real. The pain is still there. The ultrasound from the baby we miscarried is still on my fridge. The baby’s due date was just two weeks ago. My heart still hurts.
You see, no loss is insignificant or “less than”. Every loss changes you. Every loss stays with you. Every loss has a way of crushing your hope a little bit more - if you let it.
Thank God I didn’t give up hope. If I had, I wouldn’t have my children here with me and I wouldn’t be getting ready to welcome my third rainbow in January.
I know not everyone is blessed with a rainbow baby. I’d like to imagine that if I hadn’t been blessed with my children here on earth that I would still be hopeful, but I can understand how hard that must be.
To all those grasping on to your last hope and don’t know what the future holds, my wish for you is that you find a path in life that fulfills you. That you know there are others who understand your pain. That you know your pain is valid. Let that pain spark a fire in your soul that brings good and light into this world. That’s what our babies would want. 💗