I know it’s been a while. I’m humbled to see that my fertility posts are still getting new readers. I shared my story so others could find encouragement, and I’m encouraged right back that I might be able to help someone just a little bit.
At the end of this last Clomid cycle (which was #6) we went through a rollercoaster of emotions. That sounds cliché, but it’s totally true. I’ve been wanting to share about it here, but at first I didn’t have the energy, and then with an end-of-summer vacation and the start of preschool approaching, I didn’t have the time. And then I realized I had written about it: briefly, in pieces, on Facebook, as we went through it all. So I’m going to share my last few status updates and give you a little peek behind the curtain in case you’re in the same position or are wanting to understand this experience a little more.
July 1, 2017:
We are delighted to announce something that, on many days over a number of years, we were not sure would happen… but Baby H is on the way! 9+ weeks along, 31-ish to go! This new arrival is expected early in February 2018.
We want to thank you, our friends and family, for your love, prayers, and support, and ask you to keep it coming. Things are going great, and most of the time we feel hopeful and excited… but because of the path we’ve walked to get here, fears still surface, and it’s already become clear that our pregnancy journey will feel a little different than what we expected. We’re sharing this news “early” because a) it’s hard to keep such exciting news under wraps, and b) we need your support no matter what happens. Through everything, God has proven himself good. We are so thankful for this miraculous new life that has come about after a LOT of prayer… and a dash of science. 😉
July 8, 2017:
Mike and I are having a very hard weekend as yesterday we learned that we lost our baby. We are thankful for all the people around us who celebrated with us, and now we ask for your continued prayer and support as we grieve and figure out how to move forward. Yesterday was such a hard day but we saw the light shine through many times. We know we are being held up by a loving God and loving friends and family.
P.s. I am doing fine- was sent home with meds to speed the process along, and while it’s unpleasant, everything seems to be happening normally. I would still appreciate prayers for full recovery.
P.p.s we will probably not be very active here on fb right now, but we do want to get the word out and the prayers going. This news is okay to share.
God brought this verse to mind on our way home from the doctor’s office yesterday and I have been feeling its truth so I thought I’d share. He is good.
July 21, 2017:
How am I doing? I’ve been asked this question quite a bit recently, and I don’t mind at all, I’m just not always sure how to answer.
I’m okay, but I’m not great. I’m mostly able to function, but sometimes normal functioning is overwhelming to take on. I can get out and about, but I might cry on the way there or back. I’m usually tired when I get home from simple errands or outings. I haven’t straightened my hair in two weeks and have put on mascara maybe three times- to some of you that will speak volumes! 😉
I am so thankful for the visits, texts/messages, cards, flowers, and gifts from friends and family. They say grief comes in waves, and it’s true. Thankfully, support from others is helping to buoy me along, always coming right when I need it. Thank you, Lord; thank you, friends. Please keep praying.
You all are great, but I am MOST thankful for my sweet husband Mike. I was so happy to get him home after his week in Chicago (although I made it through the week at home with help from friends)! We are trying our best to hold each other up and are being blessed by the love God has grown in us over the years.
I can see plenty of silver linings, but I’m still under a cloud. My joy is a little out of focus- taking a back seat to God’s quiet peace that tells me I will be alright even though it’s not all right, right now.
July 31, 2017:
Yesterday marked our 12th anniversary. Over the years, in a variety of situations, we often ask each other, “is this what you thought being married would be like?” Super funny in the middle of some ridiculous repair, or cleaning up a surprising mess, or doing something really basic/boring. But we also use this line for comic relief in more serious times– disagreements, disappointments… heartbreaks.
When we make our little joke, Mike usually says, “It’s better.” (Awwwwww) And it’s true.
A few weeks ago, in the midst of heartbreak over our miscarriage, our rumpled bed caught my eye. I took a picture so I could remember the bittersweet time we spent sitting there together, sharing the sorrow. It was NOT what I thought being married would be like. I didn’t envision that much sadness or that many tears coming our way. But even when life brings heartbreak, sharing it with Mike is still better than I ever could have imagined– and I imagined it would be pretty great! I’m thankful that we have so many good people around us for encouragement and support, and for God’s exponential grace and faithfulness to us. Cheers to the next several dozen years!
p.s. here’s a happy bonus picture from last weekend when we had a great idea to take our picture on top of a parking garage with a nice city view behind us… and found that the top level was closed off for construction. Womp-womp.
So what actually happened, to fill in the gaps of those posts, was that I had a missed miscarriage. The baby’s development had stopped but my body didn’t know it yet. It was discovered during my first ultrasound at almost 10 weeks along. One of the most painful moments I’ve ever lived through was being told there was no heartbeat. We were then given the options: have a D & C, wait for my body to catch up and miscarry naturally, or take medicine to start the miscarriage process right away. This was a Friday morning, and Mike had to leave town on Sunday morning, so I chose the medicine in order to have my husband with me while I miscarried. The medicine (cytotec) worked as described, and while obviously it wasn’t pleasant, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It was very similar to my first miscarriage, which was a little earlier (6 weeks along) and totally spontaneous. I was happy to have my husband with me for support and for us to grieve together. It was a sweet time, although obviously bitter, too.
Once Mike left I had to really push myself out of my introverted comfort zone and allow people to visit and help me. It was the best thing to do, and not actually that hard once I started. During those six days I was so blessed by friends bringing meals/snacks/coffee/gifts, or just their company. One of my sweet friends went with me to my follow-up ultrasound appointment. There were also many messages lighting up my phone, which I enjoyed reading as I was able, and ignored when it felt like too much (I actually turned off Facebook notifications for a while so I wouldn’t feel nagged by the little red numbers). Managing my busy social schedule and keeping the house tidy for guests was a good way to keep myself busy when I needed to be. Part of managing my schedule, though, also included time for grieving however I needed to. Maybe it was reading Scripture or something relevant to my situation, or prayer in whatever form it took (often tears), or watching TV or taking a nap. It ended up being… I hesitate to say a “good” week… but it was a healthy week that brought many blessings, even in the middle of a lot of sadness.
When Mike came home I thought things would be easier, but my emotions came out in different ways with my safest/favorite person by my side again. We grieved together and it was difficult but okay. Things have gotten a little easier, but we are still working on how to carry this grief as we move forward. I have had some physical symptoms that seem to be related to stress or anxiety, so I’m getting help for those things.
As painful as it is sometimes to look back at our excited announcement, I’m ultimately glad we did it. I’m glad we celebrated that little life as much as we could, and that we made a public announcement “early.” Yes, it meant our hearts were out there. We were nervous. But we got so much more support because we shared, and we’ve needed it all.
Speaking of moving forward… we are. We’ve seen a specialist (a reproductive endocrinologist, or RE) who had a pretty hopeful interpretation of my/our history, and the plan is to begin letrozole/Femara cycles as soon as possible. This drug is similar to Clomid in that it encourages ovulation, although it does so in a different way, but the timing of the cycles should look similar to when I took Clomid. The main difference will be the addition of ultrasound monitoring to measure follicle growth, and a “trigger shot” to release an egg at the right time. I hope to share about my letrozole experience here for anyone looking for that information, so stay tuned.
If you have had to go through anything similar to our experience, I am so, so sorry for your loss and for the pain you’re feeling. It’s not right or fair, and it’s a heavy thing to carry. I would encourage you to consider sharing with others in a way that makes sense for you. Maybe it’s with a counselor, or a few close friends, or trusted family members. Maybe it’s on social media or a blog. After I opened up on my blog and shared the post with my broader circle of friends and even acquaintances, I was surprised by how free I felt to post on social media– almost like a “normal” person again. So I would encourage anyone to share with safe people, because you will need their support. Also, it seems that sharing can knock down walls you may have put up in other places that you didn’t even realize, and you may feel more free in your everyday life in those areas after you share. But of course, do you. 🙂
I’m saying a prayer now for anyone who will read this post and is in the same boat I’ve been in for the past few months. I pray you will find the peace, healing, and strength you need to keep going. I pray you will find the people who can care for you. I pray you will find the balance of grieving what was lost and hoping for what is to come. I pray that you will receive your miracle. That’s what I pray for myself, too. ❤