Amber is someone I have never corresponded with until she emailed me wanting to guest post. My first thought after checking out her blog was, Um scuzzy me, Gorgeous, can I borrow like ALL your clothes?? What I admire most about Amber is that she is a first grade teacher, selflessly providing the best care she can to other people’s children… all the while suffering through multiple miscarriages. She is a stronger person than I could ever be. She has not told her story to many, and I am honored beyond words to share her story here. She has requested to keep her blog private, but please send her some love on here. My name is Amber. I am a first grade teacher and wife to my high school sweetheart, Michael. We have been together 15 years (married 7) and this is our story about our struggle to have a baby.
I tried relaxing.
I’m taking it easy at the gym.
I’ve tried just letting it happen when it happens.
I’ve read this and read that.
I’ve tried this and tried that.
I’ve tried not thinking about it, but honestly it’s something that never leaves my mind. I can’t run from it, I can’t hide from it; it’s everywhere.
Infertility and miscarriage are not topics that everyone wants to talk about, or for that matter, knows how to talk about. They are things that I didn’t understand myself until I was thrown right into it. I mean, you can’t blame other people for not understanding and often not knowing what to say, because they can’t possibly share or feel the loss. I mean, how do you grieve for someone you didn’t know?
I am not a lucky person and I don’t ever win things, but I somehow managed to be included in the 1% of women who will have 3 consecutive miscarriages or more. That’s right, according to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, only about 1% of women will have 3 or more miscarriages.
I got my first BFP (Big Fat Positive) on July, 2, 2011. I was so excited. Little did I know that this was just the start of our battle to have a baby. Pregnancy number one ended with a trip to the ER the day before my 7-week appointment when some spotting turned into heavy bleeding. In one devastating moment, my pregnancy suddenly went away. I was told that there was no heartbeat and I needed to just go home and let my body miscarry naturally. My heart was broken. My doctor told me that sometimes this happens and it’s my body’s way of telling me that something was wrong. Okay, I understand that 25% of women will miscarry, maybe it was just a fluke. I tried to remain optimistic and was eager to get another BFP.
Little did I know that it was going to be nine long months before I saw another BFP. I spent so much money on ovulation kits and pregnancy tests. Oh those dang pregnancy tests. Those things are like M&M;’s. They call my name from under the cabinet telling me “DO IT, DO IT, DO IT!” Month after month of seeing those BFN’s (Big Fat Negatives) really sucks the life out of you. Each month you are scrutinizing every little thing that is going on with your body. You tell yourself that this is the month. I would get on babycenter.com and start nosing around the month in which I would be due (if in fact I was actually pregnant). Every time I saw that negative, I can’t help but be upset, because in my mind this was the month.
All the time I was getting my BFN’s people all around me were getting their BFP’s. I am so happy for those people, I truly am, and this is something that I think people need to understand. I would never wish this on anyone. If I ever act weird or seem sad, it’s not because I’m mad, jealous, or want something bad to happen. I am happy for you, but I am sad for us too. People shouldn’t be scared to talk baby with me. I love kids – that’s why I am a teacher.
So after nine long months I got that second BFP on April 9, 2012. Since I had already had one miscarriage my doctor got me in for some early blood work which all came back great. On May 1, Mike and I got to hear the heartbeat for the first time (best sound ever!). I felt like this was it. But, the next day I started to have some cramping. At 4 pm that day, it happened. That thing you never want to see if you are pregnant – blood. I called my doctor’s office right away and they told me to rest and come in first thing tomorrow. Sitting in that waiting room was awful. After what seemed like forever, there I was again laying on that table hoping that I would leave the doctor’s office that day still pregnant. Then, there it was again – that wonderful sound of a beating heart.
Sadly, a few days later things took a turn for the worse, and on May 7, I went back to the doctor where they confirmed that I had lost the pregnancy. Since I had two consecutive miscarriages, my doctor decided to run some tests where she found that I had a blood clotting disorder (Protein C Deficiency). This is good right? We had a problem and now we had a solution. I was going to be on blood thinners as soon as I got my next BFP.
Four months later on August 11, 2012 I got my third BFP. Unfortunately for us, this pregnancy ended yet again in a miscarriage. My doctor decided to send us to a specialist. Little did I know that now we were going to be encountering another problem – actually getting pregnant. So not only do we have to worry about keeping a pregnancy, but we have to, in fact, get pregnant in order to even worry about that. After months and months of trying with no luck (even with the help of fertility medicine) my doctor decided to do a laparoscopy. After the procedure, my doctor felt confident that he had fixed the problem of not being able to conceive and he wanted us to try without the help of fertility drugs.
Well, he was right. The month after my surgery on July 19, 2013, we got our fourth BFP. I went in for my first HCG draw and then again forty-eight hours later to see if my numbers doubled and they did. Unfortunately, I went back a few days later for another HCG draw and my numbers dropped. Four miscarriages! I never thought it would be this hard. And to think, I spent all those years worrying about not getting pregnant.
I never would have thought that this would be something I would be sharing with the world, but this is our story. It’s not the story we wished for or ever wanted, but.. it is what it is. I have come to realize that having a miscarriage is not something I can control. Mike and I do the only thing we can at this point which is picking ourselves up for the fourth time and having to accept that it is what it is. Who knows what is in store for us, but the one thing I am sure of is that I am so thankful to have Mike. He is my rock and sometimes I feel like our husbands get forgotten when it comes to miscarriages, because it’s not their body. But the truth is, they feel the same grief that we do.
Thank you for allowing me to share my story.