“Waiting on a Rainbow”
For as long as I can remember, I have always dreamt of being a mom. I knew I wanted to marry a man who wanted a family as well, which I was lucky enough to have found him 9 years ago.
2015 was one of the best years of my life. I married the man of my dreams.
April 2017 my husband and I decided we were ready to start a family. We were so excited once I went off birth control hoping I’d get pregnant very soon or a few months later, which was fine with us. After months of not having a menstrual cycle and several negative pregnancy tests, I decided to go see my OB. I was then diagnosed with PCOS. Women with PCOS have a hormonal imbalance and metabolism problems that may affect their overall health. PCOS is also a common and treatable cause of infertility. I then developed terrible acne and gained weight. I was so frustrated and felt defeated. There was no one in my family who had gone through infertility so I was beyond frustrated with my body. After working with my OB a few more months with oral medications for ovulation and no progress, we then decided in April 2018 to see a fertility doctor. We went to fertility clinic in Des Moines. We completed all the tests there were before starting any medications. Ethan (my husband) had to complete a semen analysis to make sure there was nothing wrong there and I was to get my tubes checked to see if there was blockage. We were both good on both, which was exciting! We did two months of oral medications and when we had ultrasounds showing I was not ovulating, we then decided to move onto injectables. Injections worked great for us! My only issue was I was not ovulating so I needed a little boost. With the injections we decided to do IUI as well. Intrauterine insemination (IUI) is a fertility treatment that involves placing sperm inside a woman's uterus to facilitate fertilization. The goal of IUI is to increase the number of sperm that reach the fallopian tubes and subsequently increase the chance of fertilization. When going every other day to the doctor to check on follicle growth (where the egg develops), we had three great follicles, with a few following close behind. We were so ecstatic! The doctor decided for us to do our trigger shot (makes you ovulate) and do IUI 36 hours later.
After our two week wait (which is torture in the infertility world, feels like years), we got our first ever positive pregnancy test! I cried happy tears! We called the doctor so they could confirm with a blood test and my numbers were so high that I was definitely pregnant! Two weeks later we went in for our first ultrasound. Our ultrasound tech didn’t say much until she said, “I see four sacs, there are four sacs!” I about died. “How in the world can we have four babies?!” I was so happy to be pregnant, but was terrified of the thought of having quads! Ethan was so calm. He is seriously the best. The doctor then came in and explained that with shots this can happen and that they would probably trickle down to one or two. We went in a week later and still had three sacs. Then another week goes by and we just have one little peanut!
My pregnancy was super easy and hard all in one. I was never sick, besides the normal nausea in the morning and sore boobs. When I was 10 weeks, I woke up to blood. I thought I had miscarried. I was heartbroken. We went to our fertility doctor because we weren’t set up with an OB yet due to being so early. Ultrasound turned out fine. The bleeding was from a subchorionic hematoma. A subchorionic hematoma is the pooling of blood between the chorion, a membrane surrounding the embryo, and the uterine wall. It occurs in about 3.1% of all pregnancies, it is the most common sonographic abnormality and the most common cause of first trimester bleeding. Due to it being semi normal, no one seemed too concerned.
When I was 16 weeks, I started leaking fluid. I was somewhat confused. I thought I was peeing my pants every time I would stand up. I called my OB and they wanted to see me immediately. We went in for an ultrasound thinking nothing of it, and was told bad news right away. Our amniotic sac had broke and that there was no survival for baby. I have never been so heartbroken in my entire life. I was unable to save my baby. We were then sent to the high risk OB where they told us even worse news. I could go into labor at any moment and develop an infection where I could die. I didn’t even know what to do. They told me if I decided to go on with this pregnancy, I would have to go on bed rest in the hospital at 23 weeks until I gave birth. The doctors gave us little hope. They were more concerned for my health. They told me it was basically 100% unlikely that the baby would be healthy. On this day, we were told baby was a girl.
With telling my story, I am opening up about something very sensitive in my life and hope there is no judgement or comments in the decisions my husband and I made. I’m sharing this story because no one talks about this.
Baby girl had a heartbeat. She had no amniotic fluid to develop her lungs and we were at such a pivotal stage in pregnancy where she needed that fluid. We had the choice of giving birth to our baby or surgery. Ethan and I chose surgery because we did not want our first time giving birth to be to a baby we couldn’t save nor take home. The week of Thanksgiving, November 20th, we had surgery to remove baby. That was the hardest day of my life. Knowing I couldn’t save my baby and knowing that in April, we wouldn’t be bringing our baby home, was torture. We grieved and grieved and cried every day for a couple of weeks. With several pregnancy announcements popping up on social media, it was extremely hard. The OB who did my surgery was amazing. I am now sticking with her for future pregnancies. Ethan and I are not giving up on becoming parents. We continue to see our fertility doctor so we can have our rainbow baby.
We are truly blessed with our doctor and my overall health as well. We are happy with trying for our rainbow baby and what our future holds. Infertility, miscarriages, stillbirths, etc is a topic people just don’t talk about and we need to talk more about it. There are 1 in 8 couples who struggle with infertility. One of those couples may be someone you know.
"Accept today, let go of yesterday, and have faith in tomorrow."
10% of every waiting on a rainbow product sold will be donated to No Foot Too Small.
No Foot Too Small's mission is to celebrate angels and unite families while partnering with hospitals across the United States to build Birthing + Bereavement Suites for families experiencing infant loss. Learn more about No Foot Too Small on their website https://www.nofoottoosmall.org