Monday, 27 May 2013

The truth about baby making.

This post maybe the hardest thing I will ever write but if  this post helps one woman or couple not feel so alone I will be happy & this will be worth it. To that one person this may help, this is for you. 
**Parts of this maybe slightly too much information, too detailed or even the way I describe how I felt, you may not agree with, if you don't like it don't read it. 

Baby making. It's something you think of as such a straight forward procedure. 
You fall in love, get married & have sex & hey presto there is a baby. 
Well, that's how I pictured it in my head. And that theory is such a crock of shit, I want to be the person to put a big "MYTH" stamp on that theory. 
Baby making would have to be the most least fun thing & possibly the most heartbreaking & difficult task I have ever been through. Yes, I am aware that there are those people who have sex once & magically fall pregnant in the world. But surprisingly some women don't fall pregnant after one quick night of passion. I am writing this post, not for your pity but to make other women know that they aren't alone. 
There are certain aspects of my life I don't mind 'sugar coating' or keeping sweet on social media, but this isn't one of them. I don't want me falling pregnant to make another woman feel less than she is, or give off the notion that it happened so easily for me - this is one thing I need and want to be very open & truthful about. 
So this is my story.
Before our wedding we knew we wanted kids, gosh we knew we wanted a family when we were dating. But we had our goals in place; get engaged, have a solid income, buy a house, get a responsible car, get married and then we could try for a baby. And that is exactly what we did & in those steps. Everything was going quite smoothly with our check list. We were that naive to think that the final step would happen easily. I was somewhat realistic & had done my research knowing that it can take a few months to fall pregnant & that's all I expected, a few months. 
But still I wanted it to happen NOW. Not in a few months. Then a few months suddenly went a bit past a few. And honestly after a few months of 'trying', sex gets a bit overrated. Because the reason you do it is in hope of having a baby & you have your doubts that this month 'could be it', because every other month 'wasn't it'. 
It's not that our relationship got bad, we remained together & still so in love. But there was that pain, that feeling of "what if I'm the problem" "what if the other persons the problem" "what if we can't have kids". "What ifs" are the worst type of thoughts. They get in your head they make you question everything & they cause tension. 
Honestly, the whole process of trying so hard & getting nothing every single month was killing me, I hated it. I got mad at myself, at the world & at God. 
I was mad at myself because obviously this is what women are designed for & I felt to be the only one who couldn't have a baby, why me?
I was mad at the world every time I saw some welfare dependant Mother sucking on a cigarette neglecting her tiny poorly dressed baby crying its eyes out at the local shopping centre.
I was mad at God because why the hell did that girl who sponges off the government get a baby, why did the girl who drinks & smokes all through her pregnancy get a baby, why was everyone but me getting a baby?! Why did horrible parents have babies, but not me? Why not one of my friends who I knew desperately wanted a baby? Give one of us a baby! 
Trent and I did struggle a bit, we have completely different styles of dealing with hard times & strong emotions. He is a lot more reserved, where as I am much more emotional & have a bad temper. But we pulled through, because that is what strong couples do. You have an obstacle and instead of throwing your hands in the air and running you decide it's worth fighting for & keep going. 
After a year of trying with no success, we made an appointment with our GP. We did the standard fertility testing and it all came back perfect. 
So we were young, healthy, fit, fertile - so why the fuck didn't we have a baby? Honestly the results made me mad. Having a problem would at least explain why I wasn't a Mum, but instead it felt like a slap in the face.
Then I had the thoughts that I shouldn't feel this way, there were women out there who did have problems or who were going through IVF & they were the stories I always heard & read. I rarely heard of couples like us who were fertile & that were having a hard time falling pregnant, because to me it seems this is the story no one talks about. IVF & fertility problems are often talked about, but not 'just having trouble for no good reason'.
It was heartbreaking to me, I was almost 24, I had a goal since I was a teenager to be a Mum by the time I was 23, just like my Mum was. That goal was seeming more & more unrealistic. I felt like such a failure, so useless. I felt like I was letting my husband, my parents & myself down. Not that it was necessarily my fault, but that is just the way I felt. I also felt really alone. I had one friend who was going through a similar struggle as me, and that's it, I was so lucky to have her to lean on - she got it. 
I could also talk to my Mum about it, but honestly she was one of those magical women that fell pregnant by just thinking of a baby. I call her the 'pregnancy unicorn', she fell pregnant easily 4 times, had 4 perfect pregnancies & had 4 natural births with 4 perfectly healthy babies. So it was hard for her to relate, but I knew she was there 110% for me. 
So I turned 24, I wasn't pregnant. This sucked. I think this is the only time I've only ever really dreaded 'getting older'. 
But towards the end of October 2012 something wonderful happened. I just had a feeling that I could be pregnant, so I took a pregnancy test. And there was that magical second line, it was faint but it was there. So I took another & another. Then I went out to the chemist & bought more pregnancy tests & took them all! I was pregnant! This was it, I couldn't believe it. I told Trent that night & then we went straight over to tell my Mum & Dad. I was so excited but there was something in the pit of my stomach, something that tried to mask that excitement, almost like my body telling me not to get too happy. 
I went to my GP, I took the normal HCG level blood tests over a course of 3 days and those tests came back good. That Wednesday I had my first ever obstetrician appointment, he couldn't see anything on the scan but he said that could be because it was so early (at this point I was about 4 weeks). 
That following day my Mum had a serious neck & spine operation in Brisbane, she ended up in the ICU because she lost a lot of blood. My Dad & I stayed in Brisbane and cared for her that night. She was so funny when she woke up because all she would talk about was the baby, I had told her she wasn't allowed to tell anyone until 12 weeks but considering she was on some pretty decent pain killers she couldn't stop saying things. It was sweet to see her so excited, I also think having something good & positive to look forward to really helped her recover. 
3 weeks later I was at my parents house for dinner, I went to the bathroom and noticed I was losing a very light brown discharge. Which can be totally normal for some women during pregnancy. I had a doctors appointment with my OB the following day. 
That morning when I woke up, the brown had turned to red. I felt sick, I knew what was happening, I just knew it. Trent & I went to the OB appointment, the doctor tried to reassure me saying that some women bleed regularly throughout their pregnancies and have healthy babies, but something inside told me this wasn't the case for me. I laid down on the table & he tried to do an abdominal scan that didn't work, so he did an internal ultrasound (and for the record I am a fairly private person with my body, having one of those scans while bleeding is fairly humiliating - well for me it was) and just like I had thought, there was no heart beat. What should've been there at 6 1/2 weeks wasn't. 
Our doctor sat us down & explained that these things happen, there is nothing that could be done and it was natures way of perhaps removing something that wasn't quite right. He gave me one of those specimen jars where I was meant to "collect any tissue that came away". All I could think of was "what the hell am I looking for, how will I know what is what"? I was sent for blood tests to check if my HCG levels were decreasing, they were. 
I was so worried, I had read all these horror stories on miscarriage where ladies wake up in a pool of their own blood, of women bleeding through maxi pads or extreme stomach cramps. Nothing I was experiencing or experienced was like that, it was just like a period. 
2 days later on the 9th of November in the morning I felt this strange urge just like I wanted to go to the bathroom, I just felt weird, I wiped and I felt something 'come away' from me. Looking down I saw something on the toilet paper that was unlike any clot I had ever seen, it was like a small firm marble with a teeny tiny tail. It had happened, I had officially miscarried our first baby. 
Trent was asleep because he had night shift the night before, I went and woke him and we just cried together. Why us? Why after trying for so long would this happen to us? Why didn't we deserve a baby? What was so bad about us?
I called my Mum and we also cried together over the phone & then Trent and I had the painful & humiliating task of taking our tiny little baby (I know it was in the very early stages, but to us it was still a baby) to the doctors and handing it over. 
Our doctor once again did an ultrasound & said everything seemed to have come away naturally but the 'tissue' that I had bought in still needed to be sent away to be assessed to make sure that it was complete. If not I would have to have a curette (I didn't need one). The thing that struck me as odd was my doctor told us not to have sex until the bleeding had stop, I instantly thought "who the hell would want to have sex after this?" 
Trent & I went home and just felt numb. I couldn't believe this had happened to us, I thought we would fall pregnant so easy - that didn't happen. When we finally did, I didn't think our luck could be that bad that I would lose something we so badly wanted, something we prayed so hard for. 
To make the day a tiny bit harder, we had Trent's Christmas party that night. We weren't going to go, but we ended up going because I thought it would be better than sitting at home being sad. I just couldn't be alone over thinking everything. 
Before the party I went to my parents house & I spoke to my brothers, I wanted to tell them, I wanted to be honest with them. They didn't know I was pregnant, I was actually planning on telling them on their birthdays at the end of November. They were really supportive for teenage boys & so kind to me. I honestly felt better after telling them & I'm glad we have that sort of sibling relationship where we are there for each other through the tough times. I don't think they will ever know how much there support meant to me, I am so grateful to have such wonderful young men as brothers.
I would've loved to have been able to speak to my sister about this, but we didn't have that sort of close relationship then. So my family knew & I knew they were there for Trent & I, they are all I needed.
After we lost our baby I felt like my whole world was mocking me, it seemed every girl I knew on my Facebook was announcing they were pregnant as I was dealing with losing my baby. I was still happy for them, but I couldn't help but feel envious of them & there healthy pregnancies. If I had remained pregnant I would be due around the end of June 2013. 
I didn't tell anyone about losing our baby apart from a few close friends & my family. I just couldn't. I realise maybe a few friends suspected something had happened thanks to a few sad quote pictures on instagram that I posted, but when I was asked about them I just said I was a bit sad. 
I eventually opened up & told a few more friends after a month or so had passed. It is such an awkward & hard thing to tell people. I know my friends love me, but some of them have a hard time understanding because they haven't dealt with this before, but I was glad they knew & I did feel better after telling them. There are still some friends I haven't told, because honestly it is so hard to tell some people, especially those who are at very different stages in life than I am, it's not that I didn't want to tell them it is just so hard. 
I am very grateful though for those friends who were there for me & knew what I was going through & were understanding even when it was hard for them. (I am especially grateful for one friend who has been with me from almost the beginning - thank you) 
Trent and I spent the rest of the year healing & just being together. We really learnt how strong we are & how much we also need each other. The positive from such a sad occurrence I guess was we became even closer, it was a test & we didn't fall apart we stayed strong.
For Christmas Trent gave me a turquoise Thomas Sabo charm bracelet. He also gave me a tiny little angel wing charm that had a little diamond star attached, that would have to be the most special & meaningful gift he has ever given me. 
We were told not to try for a baby for 2-3 months, so we didn't. After New Years we figured we would, we thought that it had taken us well over a year to finally fall pregnant & then lose our baby so we were expecting another long process, we did not expect at all to fall pregnant in the first month back trying. We actually were just having sex just because, not with a purpose. 
I did suspect again I was pregnant & this time I didn't take 12 pregnancy tests, I didn't want to get to overly excited but this time I felt different. I felt slightly more confident. (If you want to read more about my first few months of pregnancy, please click HERE).
But still I was so scared, I had the 12 week scan & I wanted to tell the world but reading up on pregnancy is a dangerous hobby. So I was worried about everything. We waited until 13 weeks until we told 'our world' & made it Facebook official. Even up until recently I was still worried if my baby was ok, I was scared that I wasn't feeling any movement. I read about tons of women feeling movement at around 15 weeks and I hadn't, I now do feel some movement, but it feels like my brain is so programmed to be worried. But I am trying to teach myself to relax, if I do my best & stay healthy that is all I can do. Everything else is out of my control.
I know I didn't struggle with infertility like some women do, I am thankful for that. I know that I did eventually fall pregnant & at this point it seems I am having a perfectly healthy baby & I am so grateful that our prayers have finally been answered. 
But not everyone who struggles to fall pregnant is infertile, some couples for no reason at all have trouble. I understand how frustrating it is to be told nothing is wrong, to try & do everything right but still not be getting the result you want. You put your heart & soul into trying so hard and when it doesn't happen it is devastating - I get it.
When I was looking for a blog post or a similar story to mine I couldn't find it, so that is what inspired me to write this. Not for pity, but just to say to someone who was like me "yeah, I get it - this really sucks" to briefly write honestly on how a miscarriage happens & what it feels like, because a lot of my friends have asked what it felt like, what happened etc and mainly because I didn't want someone like me to feel so alone. 
We struggled for no good reason, God only knows why, maybe it was because our timing wasn't right (like I was repeatedly told a million times by every well meaning friend, at the times when I was told this I wanted to scream, but now it does make sense) but really there was no reason, it just didn't happen & then it did. I am so grateful we finally got what we prayed for, but I just wish our path to this point had been a lot smoother. 
If you are going down the same road as us, I pray for you. I pray that you remain strong, that you know it's ok to be mad at the world sometimes & that everything eventually gets easier for you. 
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12 comments:

  1. Thank you for posting this. I understand your sadness, your pain but I am yet to feel your elation. Gavin and I have been together for 6 years. We have always wanted a big family, it's something we talked about from the very start. We wanted to wait until we got married but to be honest, once I got a job with an awesome maternity plan we decided to start trying. I have never been on birth control with Gavin and we started the "not trying to try" approach. If it happened it happened but after 2 years, nothing happened and I started ovulation tracking. After another 12 months I freaked myself into thinking something was wrong. We did all the fertility tests. Gavin's count was a little low but all my levels were perfect and there is no reason for us to not conceive. It was the most frustrating thing...heartbreaking really. We just didn't understand what we had done to not be able to have a baby, why were we being punished? I finally figured my weight must have something to do with it,
    So I lost 15 kg. 4 years after we first started trying I was late...I did a test and there was a full line and a half line. Unconvinced I went to the doctor for a blood test. Had to wait a week for the results...I swear it was the LONGEST week of my life!

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  2. (Made me start another one -___-)
    We finally got the results. It was positive!! I have never in my life been so excited for anything. I ran home and told Gavin and we just cried with happiness. The doctor estimated around 7 weeks along. We told our parents, siblings and best friends but no one else. I went straight onto a course of vitamins (suggested by my doctor) to help with folate levels and other things that weren't quite high enough. 5 days after the appointment I woke up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet. I was bleeding. I knew what was happening. We went straight up to the hospital and they informed me that my cervix was opening and when It was this early there was nothing they could do. Bed rest for a week and I was sent home. I was so empty. Inconsolable. I lay in bed and cried for 3 days. 1 day after the bleeding started I passed what was to be baby #1 for us and devastated doesn't explain the feeling. Nothing can. There is no reason for what happens or fairness in it. This was two years ago and we have unsuccessfully conceived 3 more times, all resulting in first trimester miscarriage. It all comes down to my body not being ready for pregnancy. It just hurts. We are now the last couple in our group of friends to have a baby and we have been together the longest. I am so glad your story had a happy ending and that you were brave enough to share it. I have never been. The reality of the pain...it just hurts way too much. Thanks Miss B...knowing I'm not alone gives me strength 💜

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    1. Thank you for sharing your story & being honest. I wrote this in hope of helping someone else like me, I'm glad I could help you. Your comment means the world to me - thank you! I hope you get your happy ending soon! xo

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    2. F.orgotten, I have a question for you. Have you seen your doctor about going on progesterone tablets during pregnancy?

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  3. no matter how far along you are the worrying does not stop. I have hit the 30 week mark (and it took us a good 6 months to fall pregnant) and still worry when I don't feel movement. I only felt the initial 'popping' feeling at about 22 weeks so there is nothing to worry about. Everyone is different. All the bst on your journey and thanks for sharing your story. I don't know if I could be so honest.

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    1. The worrying I think is a part of being a Mum, I guess we have many years of worrying to go!
      Thank you for your comment & well wishes. xo

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  4. Aw Bindy, my heart breaks for you! I went through 9 miscarriages before being able to carry full term. Then, at 26 weeks, I fell, I was terrified that I was gonna lose that one too, but they sent me by air evac to a big teaching hospital in Little Rock, and after going thru hours of 4 shots every 4 hours, I was a major pin cushion, to stop my labor, They did get it stopped, and I went home to complete bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. He was born at 38 weeks. 2 years later I got pregnant again, and at 16 weeks was put on full bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. It really sucks to be in bed day in and day out, but it was worth it! I had another 2 miscarriages then had #3 & then #4 but, again, had to spend a lot of time on bed rest. You never forget the ones you lost, but you are, I think, even more appreciative of the children you are able to carry to term. <3

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  5. I'm sorry you had to go through that. I know the feeling of seeing a negative test when you desperately want to be pregnant and I fell pregnant after 2 months of trying so I can't imagine going through that for so long, then to finally have a positive one and have that happiness ripped away :( I'm really sorry again for your loss xoxo I'm very happy you have your baby now, it's a magical journey! Jodi.

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  6. Thank you for sharing this on my facebook wall. It was so touching to read your journey. Sharing our stories, letting people know that they are not alone, is a blogger's most powerful gift.

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  7. Thank you for writing this. It made me cry. This is VERY similar to what happened with my husband and I. We waited til we were married to have sex, and then waited 5 years for the good jobs, house etc to start trying. We got pregnant on our 2nd month trying, only to lose it at 7.5 weeks. Just like you I kind of knew from the beginning that something didn't feel right. I had never been pregnant before, so I didn't know what it was supposed to be like, but nonetheless, it didn't feel right. My wait and string of negative pregnancy tests came AFTER the miscarriage. It took us 6 mos to conceive again, which may not seem long, but when it happened so quickly the first time, I kind of expected it to happen again. During that time, facebook and news of others expecting created fresh wounds constantly. Happily I am now 15.5 weeks pregnant and everything has been great. I even got an at home doppler which has been a great comfort. Prayers for you and your family. Once again, thank you. I know lots of people miscarry, but your story just hit home.

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing I believe your story will be some comfort to others that have to endure a loss. I am so sorry you had to go through this. I have never had this horrific experience, and I can't imagine how difficult this was to go through. I have had friends and family loose a baby. It is hard to know the right thing to say to them, you just love them through it. I'm glad you had family to love you through this. God bless.

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