I’ve talked about this a time or two before but never in this depth. I have major fertility struggles.
Everyone who knows me, knows I love kids. I have volunteered my entire life to help kids in whatever capacity I can. My whole life I just knew I was going to be a mom. It’s just who I am.
Throughout my college years, I had a few miscarriages but thought nothing of it really. I wasn’t ready to be a mom then and just assumed that because of my party girl lifestyle I was causing it. Never once did I consider that I had fertility problems.
After I got married the first time in my early 20’s, we reached a point about a year in where we thought we’d like to have a baby. Knowing I had miscarried before, I became obsessive over ovulation.
Well, I was 25 and so naturally I got pregnant right away. The positive test came on a Friday and by Tuesday I was miscarrying again. I was devastated. That’s when I decided I needed help.
I took two very different approaches to solve the mystery.
The Science Route
First, I called a doctor. I went to see a top Reproductive Endocrinologist and Infertility Specialist. Dr. Barnhart was amazing. He got me in right away and spent hours with me. He ran blood tests, genetic tests, the freaking works. We waited until my next cycle came to town to do a Sonohysterogram. I won’t lie, it’s awful. When a male doctor says it’s going to feel like your worst menstrual cramps, know he has no clue and it’s worse.
So what did Br. Barnhart find? Nothing. Minus a few 1 in a billion chance of my child having a genetic abnormality, there is nothing wrong with me. My uterus, and forgive the TMI, is textbook. His words, not mine.
The Faith Route
At the time, I was a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As an LDS member, we had a few things coming up that I knew would offer some guidance.
First, I could go get my patriarchal blessing. This is a once in a lifetime blessing you get and it offers some major life advice for you. They are deeply personal and private. Well each region has one patriarch so the wait time can be long. I called ours and he said “for some reason I need to see you this week,” and the appointment was set.
Well my Patriarch said a lot of things that brought me comfort. Even now, as a non-member, I still find truth in that blessing. There was a lot in there.
The Faith Route Continued
During that week, we also had our semi-annual General Conference where Church leaders share wisdom. I swear, if you go with a question, it will be answered.
Well, my questions were naturally around fertility.
That whole conference there were countless talks about being a parent and more specifically a mother.
Women spoke about how much they struggled with fertility, how they had to adopt, resort to medical professionals,
I can honestly say I thank God for the miscarriages during that marriage.
With this knowledge that there was nothing medically wrong with me and hearing from inspired leaders that fertility issues are okay and that God is still on your side, I pressed forward.
Flash forward and it did not work out with my now ex-husband and I am forever thankful that we did not have a child in that marriage. I can honestly say I thank God for the miscarriages during that marriage.
Well, here we are in 2019 and I’m now married to a man I know is capable of fathering children. He, of course, knew about my fertility struggles before we tied the knot. When we had two faint positive tests this past month, I was elated. Maybe this time we would be okay. Maybe this time it would hold.
For the first time in my life, my partner was excited. He was grinning ear to ear. He was talking to our baby and telling them to be strong. We picked names.
I thought, “maybe I can get excited this time. Maybe this is the time I don’t struggle.”
But a part of me knew to keep my guard up. Not get too excited. Wait another 5 ish weeks to get excited. Keep it from the kids. Keep it from the people in our lives. Just five more weeks and we can tell the world.
This past Sunday, we were at Church together and a series was wrapping up. Sam, our Pastor, was speaking about Joseph from Genesis and how he lived his life knowing God was on his side. Through all of the struggles, he lived knowing God has his six. I thought to myself, “what a beautiful message. Am I living like God is on my side?”
We left Church and I was feeling good about that sermon. We stopped by the store because the hubs wanted some soup and I needed a few more ingredients to make the soup he wanted. While there, I got this pain. A pain I knew too well. I looked at him and said, “I’m bleeding.”
We got home and my worst fears were confirmed. Just four weeks away from being able to share with the world. Four weeks from peace.
Crushed is an understatement.
When you’ve miscarried as many times as I have, it’s hard to have faith. But my ever faithful husband reminded me that God is on our side.
Sometimes I get resentful. I won’t lie. Sometimes it’s hard to be excited when your friend is having a baby shower. Even harder when a friend tells you about their abortion. I want to be supportive but it’s hard.
But we still have two beautiful little boys who call us Mama and Daddy.
While miscarrying again is heartbreaking, I have to live knowing God is on my side through it all and that’s what keeps me sane. That’s what keeps me going.
If you’re struggling with fertility, know you aren’t alone. Know that God has your back. It’s all part of a bigger plan we can’t see. While it may not make sense now, it may make sense later. Maybe we’ll never know why but He does. He knows why and that’s good enough for me.