Love, Pomegranate House

14

Getting Personal {Part 2} – The Hard Times Keep Coming…

Okay. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I hit that publish button, but I should have known how wonderful all of you amazing people would be. I cried as each and every one of your comments came in. I truly can’t thank you enough. But today, I need to ask for even more grace from you guys. Unfortunately, there are a few more “parts” to our infertility story. And things get worse before they get better.

Infertility

I ended part 1 of our story of struggling with infertility by sharing about the loss of our “little bug” to an early miscarriage. Remembering and reliving that experience has been incredibly hard. Harder than I expected. Losing Little Bug was unbelievably painful. I didn’t know how life could continue on. But just like after losing my dad, somehow each and every day I woke up and life kept happening. I spent hours each and every day pleading, begging, mourning, crying before my big, all powerful, very real God. And eventually, and slowly, that mourning turned into back into living life. I can truly look back and say that the only way I made it through that horrible time was with the grace of God and the strength of my amazing husband.

You would think I was too traumatized to keep trying to conceive. But my desire for a child was only intensified. Six weeks after losing Little Bug we started actively trying to conceive again. But this time without the basal body temperatures, ovulation kits, and centering our lives around trying to conceive. God had shown me that those were my ways of trying to control the situation. Being the control freak that I am, I had to let go of this and give it to God. His timing is perfect. I will trust in His great plans for us. Even today.

Another 13 months went by as we continued to try to get pregnant. In that time we tried 4 rounds of Clomid, several weeks of topical progesterone, and a few other meds. We had discovered shortly after losing Little Bug that one of my bodies biggest problems is that I don’t produce enough progesterone. Oh, and FYI, progesterone is the hormone your body produces to maintain a pregnancy. Way to fail, body. Fully explains our loss of Little Bug. We tried topical progesterone for a couple of weeks then had my blood work checked again. My doctor asked me if I was even taking the progesterone as my levels did not increase. At. All. Since it wasn’t working, they decided to cut it from my ever growing regimen. Clomid, on the other hand, is supposed to force your body to ovulate. Guess what. While on 4 increasing dosages of Clomid I did NOT ovulate. I guess I really am my father’s daughter. Wait. Hold the phone. That sounds weird. My father did not have problems getting pregnant. I mean, he did in the sense that he was a man and therefore could not get pregnant. Let me clarify.  Medications that are supposed to make your body respond/react one way, would often have the opposite response for my father. Hence me=father’s daughter. As for the other meds, suffice it to say that they are now on my “drug allergies” list. My periods were still super irregular. I was only ovulating about every 2 months.

That brings us to September 2013… only 10 short months ago. I was been feeling super tired and emotional. Both of which are signs of my thyroid levels being off. On a whim, David recommended that I take another pregnancy test. So the next morning, I did just that. I am a ninja expert at peeing on sticks, guys. After 3 minutes, I was shocked and surprised to see a positive test. David wasn’t quite so surprised. He said he had been expecting it. We were thrilled, but a strange kind of thrilled. A very reserved kind of excitement. As much as we wanted to dive headfirst in to the excitement, we were terrified of having our hearts broken again. We decided not to tell our families yet. It had been so hard to tell them of our last miscarriage, we didn’t want to have to go through the swinging emotions again.

Right as we found out about our second pregnancy we were preparing to leave for a vacation to DisneyWorld with my sister, brother-in-law, nieces, and my mom. In fact, we were due to leave 1.5 weeks later. After a second pregnancy test the next day, with a darker line (unlike our previous miscarriage), I scheduled an appointment to get my blood drawn to confirm the pregnancy. I went in the following day and asked if they would check my progesterone levels as well, since, you know, we knew I had a problem with low progesterone. They fought me on it a little, but finally agreed. I had to wait another 2 days to get the results back. I was dying to tell someone. David and I really wanted to wait to tell my sister and mom until we saw them in person in just a week. So I decided to call my other sister, Crystal. I told her the news and she was overjoyed. She prayed with me on the phone, knowing how nervous I was. Her prayers were soothing to my jittery soul. Phones are a remarkable thing, people. It makes living 1,000 miles apart not as hard.

The 2 days passed, pretty uneventfully. I finally got the call from the doctor. They were confused. Here is how that awful call went:

Doctor: “You’ve had 3 positive pregnancy tests, right?”
Me: “Yes…. why?”
Doctor: “Well, your HCG is elevated to a range which means that you are definitely pregnant. But your progesterone levels are so low that I don’t know how that can be possible.”
Me: “Well, we know I have a problem with low progesterone. Can you prescribe me some progesterone so we can maintain this pregnancy?!?!”
Doctor: “No. Your progesterone levels are so low that I don’t believe the HGC levels.”
Me: “Why would my HCG levels be elevated so high if I wasn’t pregnant!? HCG is only elevated when you are pregnant!”
Doctor: “That is a good question. I don’t have an answer for that. HCG is only elevated when pregnant. But because your progesterone levels are so low, I refuse to acknowledge that you are pregnant.”
Me: “So you won’t give me any progesterone, which my body should have more of even if I’m not pregnant, just in case you are wrong and I am pregnant.”
Doctor: “Right. Come back in 2 days and we will recheck your HCG levels.”

I was furious. Livid. I am a medical professional! I know what HCG is! HCG is elevated when a woman is pregnant! JUST GIVE ME THE FREAKING PROGESTERONE! But I decided to trust my doctor who was HIGHLY recommended by many many people.

The 2 days I was waiting to go back to the doctor, we prayed like crazy that God would work a miracle in our little one’s life. We knew God could make my body produce progesterone. We knew He could increase my HCG levels! We needed prayer like you wouldn’t believe. So we spilled the beans early and told the rest of our family. They all fell to their knees and prayed for us.

I went back to the doctor 2 days later. Later that day I got the call:
Doctor: “Your HCG levels have begun to drop.”
Me: “So your saying I’m having a miscarriage.”
Doctor: “Well, I won’t say you were pregnant. But come back in 1 week and we will check to make sure your HGC levels are back to normal.”

AKA come back in a week and we will confirm that you had another miscarriage. (Needless to say, I have not been back to this doctor since.)

I immediately drove to the closest GNC and bought topical progesterone, the kind they sell for menopausal women. I began applying it as religiously. Praying and hoping that my lowering HCG levels would miraculously elevate. “Please, God, PLEASE! Not again! Save our child!”

We left for DisneyWorld with those prayers being said constantly. Two days into our trip, I started to bleed. By the end of our trip, 7 weeks into the pregnancy, we had lost our baby. It wasn’t any easier to lose our second child. But it was a familiar pain. A pain we knew all too well. This time, tears didn’t come as heavily. They definitely came, but they weren’t as sharp or stinging. This was a pain we embraced. David and I clung to each other as we faced another devastating loss of a child… a future. We tried to not to show our hurt to our family and our nieces, we were in DisneyWorld after all. We smiled through the heartache, trying to push it to the back of our minds. Despite the gaping hole in our hearts, we knew that life continues. Even when we thought it shouldn’t.

God comforted us and saw us through those dark days. Somehow, even when things seemed so bleak, we had hope. And that is a hope that He still gives to us. Yes, a hope that we will have children someday, whether biological or adopted. But more importantly, we have hope in our great, wonderful , awesome Savior. We have hope in His plans for us, whatever they may be. Some days it is easier to have hope than others. And we praise Him for the brief time we had with our little ones, no matter how hard those weeks were. We give praise to God, knowing that our two little ones are playing in heaven with their Opu. And we praise Him knowing that one day we will be reunited with them. Oh Lord! What a joyous thought! Remind me to keep my eyes fixed on heaven!

The loss of two children is something we have to bear everyday. It doesn’t get easier. But the gaping, open wounds become scars. Scars that are a constant reminder to us of the ever so brief time we had with them. Those are scars that we normally hide from everyone. Both out of fear of stinging words but also out of protection of something we hold so precious. But not anymore. Because our little ones deserve to be remembered. And not just by us. For some reason, our children were born into heaven instead of into our arms. And while we may never know the reason, we know that our God has a great and wonderful plan. And while that plan can sometimes bring us pain, it is always better than the plans we have for ourselves.

Part 3 coming later this week…

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14 thoughts on “Getting Personal {Part 2} – The Hard Times Keep Coming…

  1. T…I’m sitting here crying, wishing that I could be with you to hug you because I have no words of comfort. Love you. Your continued dependence on God in the midst of so much pain, loss and heartbreak is both encouraging to me and challenging.

  2. Tears Talitha.
    The loss is so real and I have so much respect for you being willing to share it with us. And it is clearly evident that God is your rock and refuge. He will continue to provide and guide you and David. I am trusting that His plan is perfect and He has INCREDIBLE reasons for taking you through this trial and process. Your faith encourages my own dear sister.
    Love you.

  3. I’m so sorry for your losses. I don’t know if this is helpful to your specific case, but might you ask a doctor about the potential to take Megace (megestrol)? It is a synthetic form of progesterone that I take because I had unbalanced estrogen (low progesterone) and had endometrial cancer at 33. Just a thought. Best wishes for your journey to parenthood!

  4. Talitha,

    I can’t tell you how brave and wonderful I think it is that you are sharing this with us. God is working in your life in ways you cannot imagine and He is already using your story to help others. You story shows how important it is to trust and hope in Christ in a very real way – you aren’t just telling others to do it. You are living it out. Which, to me, means so much more. I am adding you to my prayer list. 🙂

    A friend of mine is going through a similar loss. Is there a way I can be there for her without smothering her or making it worse?
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  5. I can’t imagine the pain of losing 2 babies. I’m so sorry for your loss. My heart goes out to you on this and your current path. I have not experienced loss. We are at the point where we know it’s not happening and are hesitant to pursue further testing, but we know if we want kids we have to so we can start exploring other options if we are not physically capable. We just moved to a new family oriented neighborhood. All I *see* is that everyone has a stroller, a babe strapped on, and/or a current bump. EVERYWHERE! Last time I went to IKEA I saw 14 baby bumps. AAAAAACK! I am currently hating life… and people. I don’t even want to leave the house anymore. It’s somehow therapeutic to know someone else is forging this path ahead of me. Thank you for sharing your journey. You are a beacon of hope. <3

  6. Weeping. All I can offer. Silence. No platitudes. Presence. I’m here. Love. I’m behind you. Miss you girl.

  7. Oh man, my heart is aching for you! That doctor is an IDIOT!! You should be taking progesterone pills, and probably should have been for quite some time now!!! I’m hoping you found a good doctor and that part three will be a bit happier, but, just in case, my friend (Courtney from Sweet C’s Designs) has an amazing fertility doc/OBGYN here in the Littleton area who has gotten several of our friends pregnant who were told they could never conceive. Let me know if you want his info. Thinking of you!!!! (Also, I didn’t know you had lost a parent. I lost my mom 11 years ago. I really do think we are meant to be friends!) xo

    • Amen and amen, Sarah! SERIOUSLY! That’s what I’ve been saying! But I’ve been taking a doctor break since our last miscarriage. I’m on the search for a good one now. I definitely want that doctor’s info! Thanks so much, lady! Lets plan that grown-up play date!

  8. Talitha,

    We don’t know each other but I love your blog. After reading this, I just wanted to tell you that you are such an inspiring and brave person for writing this. I am so sorry for the pain you and your husband have gone through and I really hope things work out. The third time is the charm, right?

  9. As much as it must be painful for you to write all this I look forward to reading part 3. Will pray for you and your husband. How hard this must be for both of you.

  10. I didn’t get to comment on part #1 but tears reading both. I am so sorry you have been going through this struggle and so proud of you for being so brave to tell your story since so many others are surely going through the same thing and can find some comfort here. Prayers for you and your Hubs. We know God has a plan. Sometimes it’s just hard to wait for that to unfold. xoxo
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  11. I’m sorry.

    Have you been diagnosed with anything? I can share my experience, maybe it will help?

    I have PCOS (or PCOD). I do not menstruate without birth control. I have high estrogen/testosterone and very low progesterone. I went to a reproductive endocrinologist. Tried Clomid/Provera…NADA, progesterone stayed in the dumps….tried Follistim and my eggs finally matured, we did IUI (insemination) and I got pregnant. They gave me an estrogen shot (holy moly did that thing hurt) and Endometrin (progesterone suppository). The Endometrin I “took” for about 10 weeks to ensure my levels would stay up. I went weekly for ultrasounds until 12 weeks and each time I sweated and feared the worst, but in the end my little man was born.
    We struggled for over a year before I went to see a specialist. I’m not sure what type of doctor you went to in your posts, but a repro endo is the reason I have my son and I will always recommend one.
    After he was born, my cycles became somewhat more normal and I was able to get pregnant naturally and carry without issue.
    I am very lucky to not have had a M/C and my heart aches for your pain. I hope that your journey becomes easier and that you remain strong.
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