The infertility community is full of incredible and supportive women with so many different stories. Whether trying for a first, second, third, etc. child, there is someone who everyone can relate to. However, it gets tricky when you’re in a position like me…
Throughout the last decade of my journey with PCOS and infertility, I’ve had more dreams than I can count that are related to pregnancy and childbirth. While going through fertility treatments, I can remember dreaming about getting two pink lines on a pregnancy test. I remember dreaming about those sweet little kicks and what they would feel like. Each pregnancy dream gave me so much hope and I felt like each one was a sign… a gift… a glimpse of what was to come. I would wake up from those dreams feeling so happy.
Read more: Pregnancy Dreams Are My Worst Nightmare
After spending a lot of time in various infertility support groups over the last decade of my adulthood, I’ve learned just how deep the roots of social media anxiety goes when it comes to the holidays and pregnancy announcements. Everyone who struggles knows they are coming. It’s like a ticking time bomb we’re all just waiting to go off.
The quintessential pregnancy announcement: piggybacking on a holiday as a way to announce a pregnancy.
Last summer, after 5.5 years of waiting, we caught a glimmer of hope that the blue room was going to become a nursery. I couldn’t believe it! Finally, after all these years of waiting and my daughter begging for a sibling, I was pregnant. All of those Pinterest nursery ideas I had saved on “what to do with a bedroom with two closets” were finally going to be put to use. It was finally going to happen!
But then, it didn’t…
Read More > The Room That Was Supposed To Be A Nursery
I knew that the anniversary of becoming pregnant and miscarrying would be hard, but it’s almost like I forgot it was coming.
Suddenly, this deep ache within the pit of my soul has resurfaced. I’m feeling this agony that I haven’t felt in months, and I’m angry for it. I’m bitter. Summer is no longer my friend.
Read More > Déjà Vu: One Year After Miscarriage
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Why are you so far from my deliverance
and from my words of groaning?
My God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,
by night, yet I have no rest.
But you are holy,
enthroned on the praises of Israel.
~Psalm 22:1-3 (CSB)
We were in church when Zoey came up to me, glassy-eyed and lip quivering. Glenn leaned over to me and said: “she held the baby and got emotional…”
Zoey turned to me and buried her face into my chest during the remainder of worship, and she cried. And cried. And cried some more.
I was angry. I’m talking mama bear angry.
I was angry with God.
I stood there holding her, stroking her hair, and I prayed. But I didn’t pray to God, I prayed AT him. You know what I mean? There’s a distinct difference. It went down a little like this:
When I found out I was going to miscarry, I was 7.5 weeks pregnant and had already seen the heartbeat twice. The baby was looking strong, and even after experiencing a subchorionic hemorrhage that led to an ER visit, everything looked how it should. When it went from “how it should” to “how it shouldn’t” during my post-ER follow-up, I was devastated. While the baby did lose its heartbeat at 7.5 weeks, my body waited until 10.5 weeks to miscarry, and it was the most agonizing 3-week wait of my entire life.
Read More > My Miscarriage Wasn’t Just A Heavy Period
It’s been exactly one year since my last pregnancy began. May marks the same exact cycle that resulted in a shocking miracle pregnancy that I never expected after five years of waiting, and it ultimately ended in miscarriage. Now here we are, in year six of waiting, exactly one year later, and I felt compelled to give a quick update on what’s happening, what the last year has looked like in terms of fertility, and my hopes for the future.
Fertility After Miscarriage
It’s no surprise that my state of fertility after the miscarriage went right back to its old ways. I had very sporadic cycles with a lot of intermittent bleeding (in fact, I had 11 “cycles” in 9 months) but finally regained control once I started using essential oils for my cycles. Sometimes my cycles are textbook perfect and sometimes they’re very similar to the cycle I last got pregnant on, but either way, I’m functioning like a woman should. Sure, ovulation feels like a grenade went off in my abdomen, and it follows with 2 lbs of excess fluid and bruising, but hey, I’m ovulating. Beggars can’t be choosers, right?
I should have a 9-week-old curled up next to my 8-year-old this Mother’s Day. That’s really hard to acknowledge. Last year at Mother’s Day, I had no idea that the cycle I was starting would lead to pregnancy and then miscarriage. After 5 years of waiting for that pregnancy to come, I had given up and accepted that it just wasn’t meant to be. We’d be a family of 3, I was grateful for that, and I moved on.
This year, Mother’s Day is different.
I’m so incredibly grateful for the beautiful daughter I have, but I do mourn the baby we’ve lost. It doesn’t make me ungrateful… it makes me a mother. Child at home or not – miscarriage still means motherhood on this side of heaven – it means a baby is part of the family… we just don’t get to raise that baby.
Or in some of your cases: babies.
I don’t know why this bothers me so much, but I never thought I’d be in the position to have to think this through. I’ve always been very public with my story, so talking to people has become very easy. But I had no idea how to properly respond to that question when someone who didn’t know my story asked it.
How many children do you have?
…on this side of heaven.
And one we’re missing deeply.