I remember the first time like it was yesterday. It was 2009 and I was standing in the kitchen at Chop's, stuffing breads.
I had this weird feeling come over me and I felt a terrible pain in my pelvic area. I discover that I am bleeding, a lot. Since I'd always had menstrual issues, I just chalked it up to that and went to pick up Aidan from school. I get home and the pain has gotten worse. I set Aidan up on my bed watching TV and proceed to take a warm bath. I enter the bathtub and it immediately begins to fill with blood. I call my mom in a panic and she rushes over. Since I was trying to get pregnant she asks me if I could be pregnant to which I reply "No, I just had my period a few weeks ago". We proceed to call my doc who informs me to take a pregnancy test, I oblige insisting that there is no way I am pregnant. No even a full minute goes by and the lines are bright blue. I begin sobbing hysterically, this cannot be happening to me. We rush to the ER to meet Dr. Daigle (who hopped straight off his lawn mover and rushed to my side) after a few hours, blood tests and a ultrasound it is decided that I am suffering a miscarriage. I was so heart broken. Normal procedure is that you follow-up with your physician for blood work. So, the following day I give my samples and waited for the phone call telling me that my levels were dropping. That's not the phone call I received, my levels were going up. I get up the next day and head over for my second round of testing. When I answered the phone and Dr. Daigle was on the other end, I knew this wasn't good. He proceeded to tell me that my levels were still rising and that he suspected that I was suffering from a Ectopic pregnancy. A what?!? He explains as I sit dazed on the other end of the phone. He explains that it was also known as a tubal pregnancy. It's a complication of pregnancy in which the embryo attaches outside of the uterus. I am not sure how I even made it through that day. The following morning, I went to Dr. Bourque's office at the request of my doc so that he could preform a doppler ultrasound. The nurse didn't have the rod on my belly for more than 5 seconds when I pointed to a huge red dot on the screen and said is that it? Dr. Bourque's face dropped when he saw it and told me that I was being admitted into the hospital right now for emergency surgery. My fallopian tube was on the verge of rupturing. My husband is offshore, my son is at school and I have nothing with me but my purse and what is left of my heart.
Since I had eaten that morning, we would have to wait until the afternoon to do surgery. It was the longest day of my life. Finally, around 2pm, I was heading into surgery. I can't even begin to explain the fear that set in. I remember waking up in recovery and asking to see the pictures that were taken. I was 10 week so the fetus was very well formed. I felt like I lost a part of my heart that day and I didn't know how I was going to face reality. I wanted to forget that it happened but everyone knew. The next few weeks, I sorta just went through the motions of life. I not only had to deal with the loss of my unborn child, I also had to walk into an office filled with pregnant women every week for the next 8 weeks to make sure my levels were dropping. I sobbed in my car after every appointment. At one of my last appointments, Dr. Daigle told me that because of my situation he had purchased a doppler ultrasound, finally I had a little peace. I knew that the machine wouldn't prevent someone from experiencing a tubal pregnancy but they probably wouldn't have suffered the 18 weeks like I had.
Once I was cleared we started trying again, now with a 50% chance that this could happen again. I'm not one to gamble but I was going to take my chances. A couple of months later, you guessed it a positive pregnancy test. I was excited and terrified at the same time. Everything was great, until I was about 6 weeks. I started suffering a miscarriage. "This happens" is what I was told, "Keep trying" and so I did. After my third miscarriage, insurance allowed testing to be done. Thankfully, every test came back negative but I still didn't have any answers. Dr. Daigle told me that more than half of the women who suffer multiple miscarriages never really find out why. He also told me that it was a good sign that I tested negative and gave me the go ahead to keep trying. I suffered two more miscarriages after that.
At the end of 2011, we found out we were expecting. I honestly wasn't even excited. When we went for our appointment right before Christmas, we heard a heartbeat. A sense of relief rushed over me and we decided that we would tell everyone for Christmas. Aidan had a "I'm going to be a Big Brother" shirt under his flannel and he was ready to show it to the world. Everyone was SO excited and I finally felt like I could be happy. Because of my history, immediately after the holidays, I had another appointment. I remember telling my story while being prepped for my ultrasound and I also remember how as soon as it hit my belly, I didn't hear a heartbeat. I felt like I stopped breathing as I waited for Dr. Daigle to join us in the room. I could tell on his face when he walked in that he didn't want to have to tell me this yet again. I had two options; I could wait for the miscarriage to happen on it's own or I could schedule a DNC for the next day. I choose the later and the next morning my mom and I drove to Park Place for the procedure. This would be the last time that I was ever going to be pregnant. This would also turn out to be the worse day of my life in many other ways.
I was sitting in the living room that night unable to sleep and still trying to process what happened and what this meant for my family. My husbands phone goes off, a text. "Can you get away". I call the number and a female answers. Are you fucking kidding me? I have been living in hell for the last 2 years and you are messing around? I was sick to my stomach but in that moment, I thanked God. As much as I wanted another baby, he knew what he was doing.
I lived in agony the next four months as I prepared to leave my husband. He made me sick to look at. I hated him for what he did to me. Did he not even realize the pain I was going through? In April of 2012, I told him that I wanted a divorce. I figured I would have my 7th chance when I found love again.
I patiently waited and always wondered if I would ever be able to try again. The more time that went by, the more I thought about my experience. I decided that I couldn't go through another miscarriage and that I was done. I was blessed with one little boy and I didn't need to be greedy.
Over the next few years, I enjoyed my new life and a baby was the last thing on my mind. Don't get me wrong, every time someone close to me got pregnant, I couldn't help but be envious. I was single so I didn't have to deal with "it's time for another one" or "he needs a brother or sister" which in my opinion is like going through hell all over again. Please stop saying these things, it hurts way more than you could ever imagine.
When I met Shawn, I was ok with where I was. He had three kids and I had Aidan. Sweet, we'll have our little blended family and Aidan will have siblings. As our relationship developed and I started to fall in love with him, I couldn't help but want to have a child with him. All of those baby-fever feelings came rushing back. Shawn couldn't have kids though, he had gotten snipped years ago. I am not going to lie, this weighed heavy on me. Even if I wanted to try, we couldn't. I also resented him for the decision he had made so many years ago. I also questioned whether or not I should be with him. I was 30 years old, definitely not too old to have another child but I loved him enough to not want to risk the chance of losing a great guy because I might get pregnant one day. And that was if I even met another man that I would be willing to risk it for. My love overruled and I decided that I was content with where I was.
Once we were married, the questions started; "Are ya'll going to have a baby?" or if I had a stomach ache, "Are you pregnant?" I was being forced to relive my hell again and again. I tell my story but every time all I want to say "Mind your fucking business." You have absolutely no idea how hard it is to swallow those words and give you an answer. You have no idea that every time you ask me those questions, I relive those 2 years in vivid detail. Or that I feel the same pain in my stomach that I experienced during my tubal pregnancy. You have no idea how much I would love to be able to share a child with the man I love. You also have no idea how hurt I was when I realized that I would never give Aidan a sibling. I am happy and we have a wonderful life but your questions don't make the situation any easier. While I realize that you mean well, it's also a personal topic. I don't ask you the last time you had sex with your husband or for intimate details of your relationship so please have some respect and do the same. You have no idea the struggles that some couples face as they desperately try to start a new chapter of their lives.
While it's still hard to tell my story, I don't mind doing it when I know it's under my terms and not because of an insensitive question I was asked. I am more than happy to share my experience with anyone who I know is struggling. It's not something you will ever understand unless you go through it yourself. So the next time you want to ask the newlyweds "When they are going to start trying?" Remember, life isn't always happily ever after for all, sometimes there are struggles and tears.
To the couples having fertility issues, it's not your fault. Sometimes, God's plan doesn't follow the course you expected. Everyday is a new day and a chance to celebrate the love you have for each other. Eventually, you will find peace whether you get pregnant, find a surrogate, or adopt. The journey you are on will only allow you grow stronger and love each other harder until you find your course.
Peace, Love, Yoga
Crazy Cajun Yogi