So here I am almost a year and a half into a journey I never saw coming. It’s a journey I don’t talk about much, except with a handful of very close friends, and of course my husband. And really no one talks about it. It’s deeply personal. It’s also mostly private. But maybe talking about it will help someone else on a similar journey find some comfort.
I remember the day I found out I was pregnant with Marloes. I never saw that journey coming either. I could barely form a sentence for a good half hour after reading ‘pregnant’ on the test. I couldn’t even get the words out properly to tell Mr Content. He knew i was taking a test – neither of us thought for a second it could be positive. But i was 5 days late and at that time i was insanely regular, so i was just ruling it out to get it out of my head. We were about 5 weeks away from our wedding, I had moved back from Montreal and in with him (for the first time officially) about 4 weeks beforehand (you do the math). We did our usual Saturday morning thing – weights at the gym, jog to Shoppers to pick up eggs & bacon, and i grabbed a test ‘just to rule it out’. So while he was downstairs cooking up the eggs i was peeing on a stick. Then i walked away to put some things away and when i walked back in to the bathroom and read ‘pregnant’ all i could say was ‘Uhhhh….’ Thankfully the Mister heard me from downstairs and came running up – beyond exuberant, lifted me up and spun me around ‘Are we Pregnant????!!! Are we having a baby???!!!” – all I could get out was ‘Uhhhhhhh!!!!’. Just total shock. Happy, but shocked. Just wasn’t on my radar. It took me a while to really truly grasp that I was expecting, that it was all really happening. And by ‘a while’ i mean about 6 months. by the time I grasped it, it was time to start thinking about the birthing process and doing my research, knowing my options, setting a ‘plan’. (you can’t really plan it, but you can know what you want, what you really really want, and be ready to be an advocate for yourself).
So with that being so easy, as in I didn’t even try to get pregnant, imagine my surprise to find myself 6 months in to trying for a second and not having any luck. And then 6 months after that still nothing, and then here I am another 6 months(ish) after that and still nothing. So the funny thing about having a baby is that it totally changes your body. Not just the softer tummy and boobs, but the hormones and everything that sort of goes with it. My period never regulated, my cycles are anywhere from 30-40 days. Thankfully a friend of mine had used a fertility monitor for both her pregnancies and she passed it along my way after her second in case i needed it for round two. (Thank you Cat!!!) So I started using that after about 3 months in to the journey – over the last year I’ve ovulated anywhere between day 13 – 17. Kind of a big window to guess at, thanks ClearBlue for helping me out!
Last summer I started with weekly acupuncture as well, through that and our conversations I realized some of the other ways my body is not ‘working’ in the same way that it did before my first pregnancy. I won’t go into the details – because that’s getting into the TMI territory – but it’s good to identify these things. My first month with acupuncture I also switched to using PreSeed, and as it turned out I got a positive test that month. Almost immediately I had intense pregnancy symptoms – nausea and hot flushes, really extreme hot flushes – those lasted for about 3 days then quietly subsided and in a couple more days I experienced what is called Early Pregnancy Loss. So that was tough. At that point it had been almost a year of ‘trying’. But it wasn’t meant to be. In my head I know it’s not my fault but i can’t help but wonder if I hadn’t of gone for that spontaneous run that monday, or if I hadn’t of done this… would it have stuck? Probably not. But the question is always there.
We decided to stay positive – the fact that we finally conceived – that was a good thing. And as we found out fertility actually goes up after a loss (same with after a birth!) so we decided to keep trying and not wait. I felt emotionally like i couldn’t waste even one month. But here we are 5 months after that loss and still waiting on another positive test.
I realize this is a very common occurrence, on average it takes a year to get pregnant – at least for the first time. And i also now realize it was very naive of me to think getting pregnant again would be as simple as it was the first time. I’ve moved past the ‘WTF’ stage, the ‘Why Me’ stage, and even the ‘What if it doesn’t happen?’ stage. I had a roller coaster of a time with my family Dr. It’s a long and frustrating story that I will skip and just say it ends with me walking in to a walk in clinic 2 blocks from my house and getting an immediate referral to a fertility clinic, 4 months after initially calling my Dr. with the name & contact information of the clinic i wanted to go to that was most convenient for me (that referral never happened for reasons unknown).
So next week is my first appointment. And I’m going into it in a place of being OK with ‘only having one’. I have an incredible daughter, the most beautiful soul. She’s kind and sensitive, full of empathy. Very independent with a wild imagination. She is enough. I am more than happy with her. If I didn’t have this very strong urge to carry another human inside my body again – every ache, every sleepless night included – I would walk away. But affter all this time I think what I’m really hoping for is answers. And i realize I may not get them. But i need to know one way or the other, I’m not ready to walk away just yet. I have no idea how far I’m willing to take this, I barely know all my options. There’s a part of me that will just be happy to have had a very thorough physical work up and have a bit of science on my side.
I also think my daughter would be a phenomenal big sister. I truly think she’d enjoy having another little friend to join forces with in our house.
I have a number of friends who have greatly benefited from having the extra bit of science on their side, so I do carry hope. And through all this I will continue to work towards feeling balanced again. I am more aware of nutrition and health than every before – there’s nothing like knowing it takes 3 months to grow an egg to keep you on top of your good eating habits!
My journey carries on. It does not define me, but it does make me stronger.