Friday, February 19, 2010

Battle with Secondary Infertility

Nine years ago at this time I was pregnant with my son who is 8 years old now. I remember getting on pregnancy bulletin boards on the internet and reading about people going through infertility or secondary infertility and wondering how in the world people could be so "unlucky". I remember thinking, "How do you go through that?" Little did I know that my own future would lead me down the road of secondary infertility that would last almost six long years.

My oldest son was born on July 11, 2001. At the time, I was working full-time. I was lucky enough to have a boss that allowed me to work part-time until he was almost a year old. Unfortunately, I had to apply for a full-time job at that time, and right before his first birthday I went back to work full-time. It was a very sad time because I wanted nothing more than to be a stay-at-home mom. But I had to wait. I think God was preparing my heart for the wait that was to come. At this time, I stopped taking birth control pills again anticipating getting pregnant very soon, and that my kids would be two years apart. Looking back at that now, I laugh at how silly that seems. To be so CONVINCED that something is going to automatically work out that way. For many it does, but for me it DID NOT.

It took a little while for it to sink it that something was going on. It took four months for us to conceive our first son, so I thought, "give it a few more will happen". My husband was always working out of town except for on the weekends, so my doctor dismissed it as that. But I had a feeling that it was more than that.

I had blood work done, my husband had a semen analysis done, and I had an HSG done to test my fallopian tubes. Everything was perfect. So, now what? I finally was able to quit my job. I went to my doctor one more time to talk about the infertility before I stopped working. She once again dismissed it and said she did not want to put me on Clomid. So, that was my last visit with her. I quit my job in May 2004. I thought maybe the stress of working was affecting my fertility. I prayed that I would get pregnant once I stopped working. I finally saw an infertility doctor in early 2005. He put me on Clomid, and we had an IUI performed. I did not conceive. I was devastated, but I also did not want to pursue any further infertility treatments. The infertility doctor at our local hospital is at the same building where all of the OB/GYNs practice. So, when you go to the infertility doctor, you pass by MANY, MANY pregnant women. It was more than I could bear emotionally. Amazingly, in August of 2005 I found out that I was pregnant. We were beyond ecstatic, but we also were bracing for Hurricane Katrina. There was another hurricane brewing as well. At my first doctor's appointment, my doctor saw the baby's heartbeat immediately. A couple of weeks later, he had trouble finding it but eventually did. A few weeks later I started bleeding. The unthinkable had happened. I was miscarrying. Devastation is NOT the word. It was the most emotionally draining thing that I had ever gone through. I had a D&C on November 2, 2005. My doctor and I agreed that we would just try on our own for a while since I had conceived naturally.

Months passed with no luck, and I decided that maybe I should try to take Clomid again with my new OB/GYN. She is beyond an angel on this earth. She encouraged me along the way to never give up. I took Clomid for a few months, and then I stopped again. It was TOO much. I was sick of looking at the calendar and thinking about it constantly. I needed a break emotionally and physically. May 2007 rolled around, and I took a pregnancy test like a did most months. However, this test was positive unlike all of the other ones. I couldn't believe it! We had conceived naturally again. It had only been 1 1/2 years since my miscarriage. For me that was FAST! It's amazing how your mind changes when you are going through infertility. All of my initial bloodwork looked great. I scheduled my first OB appointment for 9 weeks into my pregnancy. The appointment was going to be on my son's 6th birthday, July 11, 2007. I wondered when I made the appointment if that was a good idea or not. My doctor came into the room, and she was as ecstatic as we were. She had the doppler to try and listen for the heartbeat. She told me that it was probably too early, but we would do an ultrasound if she couldn't find it with the doppler. She couldn't find it, so I walked into the next room for an ultrasound. My husband was with me this time. He wasn't with me when I found out about the first miscarriage, so I was very thankful he was by my side. My nerves were out of control. The ultrasound started, and I was looking at the screen. I knew immediately that the baby was gone. The baby was formed perfectly for us to see on the screen, but there was no heartbeat. I said it first and broke the silence. My doctor could barely talk. I didn't even cry. I was FURIOUS!!! I couldn't believe that God had allowed this to happen again! WHY??? That is all that I could think of. AND it was my son's birthday. We were supposed to go to Chuck E. Cheese with his friends after this appointment. My doctor took us back into the other room. I immediately said, "I can't ever do this again." She said, "I don't think that I am ready for you to say that." I was 35 years old, and I had always prayed that I would have a baby by 35. I was so fearful of Down's and other chromosomal abnormalities that arise more frequently after 35. I had my second D&C a few days second in 20 months. My life seemed like a bad nightmare at this point. How would I walk forward???

The next few months were filled with my son starting Kindergarten which was a good distraction. I was also working part-time, so that filled up my days. In December of 2007, my husband and I talked to a different infertility doctor. He recommended that I take Femara which is more effective in some patients than Clomid. He conferred with my doctor, and she followed his protocol. Like I said, she is an angel here on earth. I took Femara for two months, and on the second month of taking it I said NO MORE! It made me CRAZY!!!! It's not supposed to have those side-effects, but for me it did. I finally resolved in my mind that if God wanted us to have another baby, then He was BIG ENOUGH to do it. Despite the fact that I had been told I had a less than 1% chance of getting pregnant. Despite the fact that I had 2 miscarriages. AND despite the fact that I had JUST turned 36 in February. My doctor asked me if I was sure, and I said, "Yes, I'm done with this!" I really was DONE with any type of infertility treatment. I felt like God was testing me to see if I really would just GIVE IT UP! I was determined that I had to be content even if I never had another baby.

My son's 7th birthday rolled around on July 11, 2008. I am fairly certain that my second son was conceived almost one year to the date of the miscarriage the year before. On July 23, 2008 I found out that I was pregnant AGAIN!!! Naturally again!!! From the moment I saw two lines on the test, I had a feeling in my bones that this was it. This baby was the "promised" baby. I felt all along in my years of secondary infertility that God was going to give us another child. I somehow "felt" that this was it! Nerves and anxiety set in like you would not believe. I prayed for an uneventful pregnancy and for everything to be perfect throughout. I prayed for NO SPOTTING which I had had with all three previous pregnancies. Do you know that I never ONE DAY had any spotting. I felt that was my sign from God that everything was going to be okay. All of my bloodwork was great! At 7 weeks I went for my first ultrasound. The baby's heart was beating away. First hurdle was jumped:) Two weeks later I went for my first OB appointment. We heard the baby's heartbeat right away. Second hurdle jumped:) At each hurdle we crossed, the anxiety lifted little by little. I still had great ultrasound fears. In October 2008, I went to Maternal Fetal Medicine for an ultrasound because I was 36 and because of my history of infertility and miscarriages. We found out that we were having a PERFECT baby BOY! I cried tears of JOY! I couldn't believe that FINALLY the nightmare was OVER!!! The rest of my pregnancy was uneventful, and I delivered my miracle boy on March 23, 2009. He weighed a hefty 8 lbs, and 2 oz. And he took his sweet time making his entrance. As if we hadn't waited long enough, he did not want to come out!!!

I am linking this to Kelly's Korner blog. She too went through infertility. If you read this, and you are going through it right now, my words to you are NEVER GIVE UP! You never know when your miracle is coming. This is a very condensed version of my six long years of trying. The years were filled with much, much sadness. Many tears were shed, and many questions were asked of God. It was, by far, the hardest, darkest time of my life. But I walked through it with many prayers and many people lifting me up. Keep praying and hoping. Never, NEVER give up. And follow your heart. If your heart tells you to stop pursuing infertility treatments, STOP. If your heart tells you to push forward, keep going. If you feel led to adopt, do it if you can! God will make a way where there seems to be no way....

"Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS." Lamentations 3:22-23


Lesli Westfall said...

Hi, I'm over from Kelly's Korner, so glad you are sharing your story of secondary infertility. It is greatly needed! I lead a christian infertility support group and have had several women struggling with secondary infertility. I will pass your blog on to them. There just isn't a lot of info out there! So thanks for sharing!

Lesli Westfall

Jamie said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. It is always so helpful to read about other women who have gone down similar paths. Your two boys are adorable and it is too cool that you have a Wyatt as well. Thanks so much for sharing your story it was very touching to read and I can relate all too well to that feeling of such a dark time in your life. I really feel a lot better going into this round of IVF because I know it has worked for me before but I'm sure it will still make me crazy...ha! Thanks again for your sweet words of encouragement. Have a great weekend!

ottszoo said...

such a beautiful story after so many tears. i have always been amazed by you and your unwavering belief. you knew God would be faithful and now you've got that special gift to show the world. love and hugs!

The Pifer's said...

What an amazing story!

Infertility is such a hard journey, it has it's up and it's's a path that God only trust with certain people...

My husband and I have also been TTC (4 years next month), infertility is a huge part of our lives, it does not define us, but it's def. changed us for the better!

Amanda said...

Awww...what a beautiful story!!

Wendy said...

Here from Kelly/Amy's blogs. You have a great story! My youngest son was born on 3/31/09 so our little guys are really close in age! Cute family!