When our beautiful daughter was 2 years old, we decided we were ready to try and get pregnant again. It was very important to me for our daughter to have a sibling. Getting pregnant with our first wasn’t as easy as we expected, it took a few rounds of Clomid, but it definitely could have been more difficult.
After six months of trying, and inconsistent menstruating, I went to my OB/GYN for Clomid. A couple of rounds of it (and another drug I can’t for the life of me remember) and my doctor seemed perplexed. So he sent me to a fertility specialist.
The Fertility Specialist
I ended up having to take my now 3-year-old with me to the fertility specialist which I quickly realized was a huge mistake. Not because she was ill-behaved, she was an angel, but because of the other patients. Sitting in the waiting room while other women stare lovingly at your beautiful, healthy girl, their eyes filled with so much hope while some women come out of the back rooms sobbing, felt like a gut punch. It also felt like false advertising because these women were hoping this doctor could help them and likely believed my little girl was a result of his work.
Twenty-four hours following a battery of tests, someone from the fertility office called to say I needed further testing. That’s never a good sign. I could either come in on Saturday morning or I’d have to wait two weeks. I was supposed to walk in Race for the Cure that morning. My friend had died from breast cancer and the race had become very important to me, but I knew I couldn’t wait to find out the answer.
My husband and I showed up for the appointment and sat in the crowded waiting room filled with women receiving their every three day IVF treatments and I wondered if I might be one of those women someday soon. The nurse said she would call later in the afternoon with the results of my tests and a plan.
I’ve been fortunate in my life. Nothing has ever really been wrong with me. I’ve either had surgery or had to take a pill and I’d be back on track. So when the nurse called to give me the news I never expected to receive: I would not be able to get pregnant again on my own.
Shaken, I stood there gripping the phone, trying to process what I was hearing. I felt hollow inside. As I stood there silently, the nurse kept trying to reassure me. “Don’t worry, we have a plan. We’re going to get you where you want to be. I know this is not the news you were expecting, but we’re going to help you,” she said.
The more she tried to build me up, the harder this news kept hitting me. It felt like a bomb that wouldn’t stop exploding. She explained the medicines I would need to take and the cost ($800 a month just for the meds!) and asked if I knew what I wanted to do. I didn’t. She would send me the information to review. I asked what would happen if I got pregnant on my own. “Given how thin and unstable your uterine lining, we would not expect this to be a successful pregnancy.”
It was the final straw. I fell down onto the chair I had been standing in front. I sort of landed uncomfortably on the arm of the chair. My hand and arm were shaking so visibly now, I was struggling to hold the phone to my ear. My husband was outside with our daughter. He had no idea what I was enduring. I realized I needed to hang up and figure out how to tell him this before he came in with her for a potty break or a drink or snack.
Hurriedly, I asked her to send the information and I would review it and get back with them. Like out of a movie, as soon as I ended the call, my husband walked in. He could see all the color had drained from my face and I was trembling. I was so embarrassed. How could this be? I already had one baby. What did you mean I couldn’t have another?
“So what did they say,” he asked in earnest.
I don’t even really remember what I said. I just remember whispering as I struggled to get the words out. I kept telling him how sorry I was. He hugged me tightly and told me I had no reason to be sorry. Everything would be okay and we’d figure out a way to have another baby.
Moving Forward After Diagnosis
The days and weeks that followed were sort of a blur. I focused on my perfect little girl. I never let myself cry. And anytime I felt my heart become too sad, I reminded myself how blessed we were to have one child and so many of those women in the waiting room at the fertility specialist would likely never get what we had. We were going to be okay.
I began going through my daughter’s clothes and baby things and selling them. No reason to hold on to an idea that would never come to fruition, I thought.
About a month later, I called a Catholic adoption agency and made an appointment to learn about the process and what we could expect. My husband was surprised how quickly I was ready to move on to the next option. I watch enough TV to know these things take time and I didn’t know how much time would pass before we would get a baby, so I wanted to keep moving forward.
Surprise! We’re Pregnant!
Then one night after we got home from dinner, I ran to the bathroom to throw up. I thought it was weird, but I didn’t think much of it. The next two days, I was so nauseous. My husband said, “You need to take a pregnancy test!” Quick to dismiss (and because I always believed everything a doctor told me), I said, “Oh, honey. The doctor’s said I can’t get pregnant! I just have a bug or something.” He persisted and the following day I was holding a positive pregnancy test.
I stood there in disbelief. What the hell!? Then the next realization: I would likely miscarry this baby. I sobbed and sobbed. Miscarriage has always been one of my deepest fears. I take things so personally and despite knowing so many women go through this and it’s not their fault, I knew I would never be able to separate and I wouldn’t survive it.
Fortunately, my OB/GYN is amazing and when I was nervously chattering like a monkey at the appointment to confirm the pregnancy, he stopped me and offered to do an ultrasound to ensure the baby’s health and safety. Everything was exactly as it should be! He promised to monitor me carefully throughout and told me not to worry and enjoy this happy news.
Then I got sick. I mean, really sick. Morning sickness I had only read about sick. I was nauseated from time to time with my first, but nothing like this. I was on medication to help with the vomiting, but typically once a week, I had to call for an additional medication so I could stop puking. Despite how awful it was, I was also really grateful. It felt like God’s way of telling me this baby was going to be okay. Morning sickness is a sign of a healthy pregnancy.
I am so grateful for my baby girl. I often tell her the story of how doctor’s said I couldn’t have her, but her stubbornness kept that from happening and I’ve never been happier. She’s my mini-me which presents it’s own set of challenges 🙂 But she’s everything I’ve ever hoped for.
This just goes to show medicine only goes so far, then there’s God.