Accepting Loss and Finding Courage to Try Again

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Lynn holding her baby at last.

After multiple miscarriages including an ectopic pregnancy, Lynn had a tough physical and emotional recovery. But with help from others, she found the confidence to trust her body again- and ultimately found her happy ending.

A warning for readers who aren’t in a place to hear about miscarriage right now: Lynn’s description of her losses are somewhat graphic and might be difficult to read. 

This is Lynn’s story:

After lots of careful planning, my husband and I decided to start trying to conceive after our second anniversary. We both took care of ourselves – we were active, ate healthy, didn’t smoke and drank in moderation. We got pregnant pretty much right away.

Then around 11 weeks I started spotting, and at 12 weeks my spotting turned red. The ultrasound showed the baby had passed around 8.5 weeks. I was in a lot of pain but wasn’t dilating so I requested a D&C.

A year went by and we never got pregnant again. I got a referral to a fertility clinic. I was shocked to learn that nothing could be found wrong with me. My husband had varicoceles and a high percentage of abnormal sperm. The DNA within his sperm was normal, but their motility was very low. The doctor suggested intrauterine insemination for us.

We did one IUI with clomid but did not get pregnant. I found the entire experience with the fertility clinic incredibly overwhelming and stressful. I decided instead to pursue more natural approaches and met with a naturopath. We made dietary changes, took daily fistfuls of supplements, I received acupuncture and started monitoring my basal body temperature.

After several months, it became clear that if I wanted a child, we needed the help of a fertility clinic. We went back to our fertility clinic and did another clomid cycle with IUI. Two years after our first pregnancy, we learned we were pregnant. My HCG levels were incredibly high and so we suspected twins.

At 7 weeks’ gestation, I began spotting, then bleeding. The fertility clinic did an emergency ultrasound – I had an ectopic pregnancy with no heartbeat. I was sent home with instructions to call or page after hours if I experienced any pain in my right side. A follow up ultrasound and examination was booked for two days later. When I got home, I passed tissue into the toilet.

Two days later I was surprised to hear the ectopic mass was still there. The doctor stated I likely passed a baby that had been intrauterine but a second baby was in my right fallopian tube. Bloodwork showed that my body was doing as it should and the baby would either be passed or be reabsorbed by my body. However, if it kept growing it would need to be removed either surgically or by receiving chemotherapy drugs. The doctor felt that since my bloodwork was looking promising, my body seemed to be taking care of the problem.

7 weeks later nothing had changed. I had returned to work and was having ultrasounds and bloodwork twice a week. My doctor and I decided it was finally time to have laparoscopic surgery to remove the mass. In surgery the mass burst when the surgeon touched it and I lost my right fallopian tube.

My physical recovery was difficult. I was exhausted. Emotionally I was numb. I made the mistake of returning to work quickly. The problem is that my job was to provide support to new moms.

A month later I had a breakdown. I could not stop crying. I had once loved my job and had such a passion for supporting new moms. I felt my infertility and losses had robbed me of so much. I took a three month stress leave from work.

During my stress leave I started seeing a therapist who specialized in infertility (and had experienced infertility herself). My mother-in-law recommended a hypnotist, and as skeptical as I was, I made an appointment. The hypnotist had gone through infertility as well and helped me grieve, accept my losses, and find confidence in my body’s ability to carry a baby to term.

I went back to work refreshed and feeling supported. I was reassigned so I no longer had to support new moms. I started attending a local infertility and loss support group and found a local circle of friends to meet for coffee and exchange emails with. I also found support on Twitter from other women struggling with infertility and loss.

6 months after my surgery, we did a clomid/IUI cycle at New Life Fertility but we did not get pregnant.

We moved on to injections of follitism and completed another IUI. This time we got pregnant.  I am so happy to report that all went well and in December 2011, three and a half years after we began our journey, our daugther was born.

If you have any questions for Lynn, you can contact her via her Twitter account: @MCinfJourney

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2 thoughts on “Accepting Loss and Finding Courage to Try Again

  1. iwantbaby June 3, 2013 at 10:11 pm Reply

    You are so brave! Is a hard story to read but as your journey through IUI, it is worth it! Congratulations on your little angel!

    • Jess June 4, 2013 at 8:34 am Reply

      Thank you for reading. Miscarriage is heartbreaking and difficult to talk about. I’m grateful that Lynn was willing to share her story and hopefully help others who are going through this too.

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