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.
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…