When I sat down to write our story, I didn’t know quite where to begin. The feelings and emotions are still very raw.
In July of 2016, my husband and I were blessed with a beautiful, healthy, and incredible baby boy. As our son grew, we knew this was a life that we had been blessed to have. We couldn’t imagine our life without our son. When our son turned two years old, we wanted nothing more than to add to our family and give our son the sibling he deserved to have.
This journey to another baby was not like our first. After two years of trying on our own, we decided to seek the advice and the help of a fertility doctor. We fell in love with our fertility doctor from the moment we met with her, and we knew we would be in good hands. We decided to start with a less invasive approach and tried Intrauterine insemination (IUI). Well, after two failed IUI attempts, we were left with that same feeling of being discouraged that we knew all too well. What was next for us?
Well, COVID-19 hit, and that was when our fertility journey was put on hold for a little bit. It wasn’t until the summertime that we decided to go through In vitro fertilization (IVF) after speaking with our fertility doctor. I was scared and upset that we needed to get to this point to conceive a baby. This reaffirmed to me more than ever that our son was a miracle. With all of that, I put on my big girl pants and didn’t look back. My poor husband was injecting me with shots every night while my son stood by and held my hand. He didn’t know what was happening but wanted to be supportive and with his mommy. It was in November that I had my first embryo retrieval. When I was leaving the surgical center, the doctor was hopeful and told me that she was able to get seven follicles. I was elated! Seven follicles meant that there could be seven embryos. Which would mean we had seven chances at having a baby.
That evening, the nurse called to let me know that only 1 of those follicles had made it. I couldn’t help but cry. All of those nights of injections for one follicle just made me start to lose hope. The nurse informed me that the doctor would be in touch in a few weeks to ensure that this embryo had passed all genetic testing.
I was so anxious waiting for that phone call. Then one afternoon in November, that call finally came. Our fertility doctor called to let me know that we had one embryo, and it passed all the genetic testing. She asked me if I wanted to know the gender of the embryo, and of course, I couldn’t wait. It was a girl! I immediately hung up and called my husband to tell him the news. We were set for our embryo transfer on December 23rd. This was the Christmas miracle I had dreamed about. I went for early morning monitoring on January 1, 2021, and it was that morning, I found out that I was pregnant. My husband and I were beyond excited and couldn’t believe that we would be parents to our beautiful son and now a baby girl. We talked about all of the fun experiences we would have as parents to both a boy and a girl. We felt like our dream was coming true…until it wasn’t.
At the next appointment, my husband had to wait in the waiting room due to the COVID-19 protocols. I asked if they could use the doppler to hear the heartbeat. She obliged, but when she struggled to hear the heartbeat, she ushered me into the ultrasound room. Naively I thought, at least I will get to go home with some pictures of our baby girl to share with our family and friends. At this point, I was 15 weeks and four days. As I looked up on the screen during the ultrasound, I realized something wasn’t right. The ultrasound technician told me she was going to get the doctor.
In that instant, I texted my husband that something was wrong. The doctor came in to tell me that they couldn’t find the heartbeat. I insisted they needed to do an internal exam to get a better view. How could that be? The doctor assured me that it wasn’t necessary and that the baby was measuring two weeks smaller than predicted. At that moment, I, too, felt lifeless. The doctor brought my husband back to me, where we both just sobbed. We had worked so hard to get to this point and now our dreams of our little family of four were shattered. Our two-hour drive home felt like 10 hours. I just cried as my husband held my hand and assured me that everything would be alright. We drove right to my parents’ house to pick up our son, who immediately knew something wasn’t right. We explained to him that there wasn’t a baby in mommy’s belly anymore. He immediately hugged me and told me, “It’s alright, mommy, the baby is in heaven now. She will be our angel to protect us!” What a smart little boy.
Somehow the wise words of a 5-year-old and his bear-hugging hug were all I needed to help comfort me through our loss. I don’t know what is next for our family, if we try again or if we continue to be blessed with our beautiful family of three. This loss has made me even more grateful for my husband, my son, and our family and friends who have been there for us. I am now part of 1 in every 4 women who suffer from a miscarriage. We are strong. We are brave. We survived the unimaginable.