Tuesday, February 8, 2011

When I was infertile.

A lot of people don't know about my struggles with infertility and recurrent miscarriage. They look at my husband and I and our five kids and think conceiving has always been easy for us. That is not the case.

I had m first child when I was 19. I was in a relationship when she was conceived, but he left shortly after we found out I was pregnant. He doesn't know she exists, and that's the way I want it.

The Hubs and I met when I was 20, and got married when I was 21. I was four months pregnant when we got married, but that's not the reason we wed. It just happened to happen when we were planning our wedding.

I lost that baby a month after our wedding. He was a little boy that we named Jean Kelle. He would be eight years old this June.

We conceived our second daughter right away, and my pregnancy was uneventful. She was born right on her due date.

We wanted kids pretty close in age so we started trying right away. I could not get pregnant. I had ovulation confirmed by ultrasound, charted my temperatures and cervical fluid, took Clomid and Femara ... and no baby.

After awhile, I started to conceive, only to lose the pregnancy a few weeks later. This happened many times, and even though I took progesterone and did all I could to hold on, those babies just wouldn't grow.

I found myself pregnant again in June 2006. I was ecstatic! Everything seemed fine, the weeks went on and there was no sign that anything could be wrong. Then one day I started having brown spotting. I went to the Urgent Care, they checked my cervix and it was closed, and they sent me for an ultrasound.

The ultrasound showed a mass of white stuff with black holes in it, kind of like that bologna with olives in it. No baby, but I thought for sure I saw the flickering of a heartbeat. The doctor said it was a molar pregnancy but I refused to believe it. I wouldn't schedule the D&C but did schedule a repeat ultrasound the following week.

The next ultrasound was exactly the same as the first, except the mass was markedly larger. I then decided to go ahead with the surgery. I was devastated. I felt like my life was a huge joke. No one was supportive. The worst thing anyone has ever said to me was said during this time in my life. I won't dwell on it, but it hurt. It hurt more than any words have ever hurt before.

I had the surgery. The baby I had wanted so badly was gone, literally and figuratively. Later we learned it was a complete molar pregnancy and there had never been a baby, just placental tissue.

I had to have my hcg tested weekly to make sure all aws well -- apparently, molar pregnancies can become cancerous, and this is indicated by rising hcg numbers. That was hell. The receptionist at the lab was pregnant and was always so cheerful when I came in, excited to see my numbers. She never realized why I was really there, that there wasn't a tiny embryo growing but a mass of potentially deadly tissue.

A few months later, my hcg numbers started going up, and the doctor wanted to do a D&C right away. I decided I wanted an ultrasound first, and I will never forget that ... there on the screen was a tiny flashing heartbeat. It wasn't the mole returning, it was my baby girl.

She was born in July 2007, and after her birth we did not use birth control because my past experience had taught me that a healthy pregnancy was not something I had to worry about. I figured I wouldn't get pregnant, or if I did, it wouldn't go to term.

The joke was on me ... when my daughter was four months old I found myself pregnant again. And it stuck. The baby grew and grew and then finally he was born in September 2008, when my daughter was just 13 months old.

Five months later, while using reliable birth control ... it happened again. I got pregnant. I was shocked. How could this happen? I was infertile! I couldn't keep a baby growing! And now not one, not two, but THREE unplanned pregnancies??

That baby became my second son, fifth child, born just 14 months after his brother and 27 months after his sister. Three babies in two years, after two prior years of infertility and repeat miscarriage.

There are days when being a mom of five, three under three, is really, really hard. But mostly, I savor the days and am thankful for the opportunity to be their mother. It really is a miracle.

1 comment:

  1. It amazes me how you are family and I never get to know these things about you. I am sorry you had to go through such trials. Joe and I have infertility issues, and I know it is one of the most heartbreaking things, but some of the most heart uplifting experiences can come from it too. No matter what Joe and I will be together, and have gotten closer than we ever would have.