This is Our Life -Our Infertility Journey
Although, we were able to get “home” and be with my family for a short time, it was not enough. I was stressed out with the distance from family, my work atmosphere and the Bar Admission Course. I have never gone into detail how I was feeling for those few months after Logan’s death but it was not pretty. Craig was such a rock for me but nothing he did helped. I was depressed and did not know how to get out. I was treading water like crazy and barely keeping my head above it. I saw my family doctor about it and went on medication for a short period of time but it was exactly what I needed. It helped me to cope with my final few months at the horrendous firm where I was working. It helped me to cope with Logan’s death, my sister’s grief and my worry about it all.
And then we miscarried… and we cried. We were devastated and broken. We wrapped ourselves up in each other and spent two days in bed. We watched television and we talked. We cried. It was the first time in all of this that Craig cried. We found comfort in each other and after we spent that time grieving the pregnancy that ended and the baby that would not be… we found a renewed hope. Up until then, getting pregnant had been our problem and now we knew that we could.
Despite the grief that the miscarriage caused me, it restored me. It gave me some strength and the knowledge that we could conceive and I began to feel that it was going to happen for us. I just did not know when and this continued to be a very difficult thing for me to accept.
Early in 2005, The Rumour Mill came to be. At first, I was just writing for me. I just put my fingers to the keyboard and did not give it much thought. Then I realized how much I enjoyed it. How therapeutic it was. How often I would go back and read some of my own posts (and I still do) and how all of the emotions are still so real and so raw.
Four months after our miscarriage, we had our first appointment at the fertility clinic. Leading up to this appointment, I was excited. The anticipation. The hope. The worry. Our first appointment swept us off our feet. We went in not knowing what to expect but having expectations all the same. My RE wanted me to take a break from clomid, increase my metformin intake and lose some more weight. To say that I felt like we were back at square one is an understatement. Since seeing my OB/GYN, I had already lost 30 lbs. I was still carrying more weight then I should have been but I only had about 20 or 30 more lbs to lose. So we walked out of that appointment in a bit of a haze and not overly hopeful that we would be pregnant by our next appointment two months later.
Much to my surprise, the next two months were regular cycles for me. It could have been the effects from the clomid or it could have been the metformin. I didn’t know but I was cycling and that was all that mattered to me. My OB/GYN was still watching my progress and checking my progesterone levels and confirming that I was, in fact, ovulating.
Then in July of 2005, we took a week long camping trip together. We soaked up that week like we had never had a vacation. It was just Craig and I and our beautiful black lab, Molson. It was the best camping trip we had ever taken together even though we did not travel far. We did not pack much. We did not do much. It was bliss.
Shortly after that trip we saw our RE for the second time. This time, we went loaded with questions. Armed with information and focus on what we wanted to do. So we talked about procedures and success rates and cost. We set up a time line and gave ourselves an end date. We decided that if 2005 came to a close and we were not pregnant, we would move ahead with invitro fertilization. I left that appointment on cloud 9. I felt certain that things would be okay and our dream to be parents was going to come true. I felt like it is was within my grasp. I was comforted.
So, it was no surprise to Craig when the first thing I said to him was, “Can we go buy a pregnancy test?” I was at the tail end of my cycle and being the stick addict that I was, I wanted one. I wanted one bad. I fully expected Craig to reign me in and tell me to wait until we got home (which was a three hour drive) but he didn’t. He said yes. So we went to Costco and bought two packages of two (to give me four), stopped at a Tim Horton’s where I peed on a stick in the bathroom. I didn’t look at it. I put it in my purse and went out to the car. Craig was waiting for me to tell him the news and I suspect that, when I didn’t blurt it out right away, he thought it was negative. So we looked at it together and were absolutely shocked and awed when it was positive. I could not stop looking at it. I held onto that stick for days (despite how gross that might seem to some of you). We were pregnant.
That pregnancy went on and my belly became swollen with the wonder of the first miracle that Craig and I would be a part of together. I felt good. Proud. I had very few complications aside from a few episodes of spotting and then the gestational diabetes that found me around 32 weeks. I had been eating well, resting whenever I could and taking good care of myself and our Sweet Pea. So it was quite surprising when my waters broke and I went into labour at exactly 36 weeks and our Piper was born.
I went into my labour experience with a fairly open mind about how I wanted things to happen. I had wanted to labour naturally for as long as I could. I did not rule out the possibility of an epidural, and in fact, I fully expected that I would probably have one. I was open to the possibility of a Cesarean section. After all, my mother had three and my sister had one. Even though I thought that I was prepared or open minded about how I would bring my baby into the world, it hardly played out the way I wish it would have.
My first experience with a cesarean section, was much less than ideal (and you are welcome to read more about that here ) and I have never really gotten past that. I wanted more out of my experience of having my first baby. I wanted to hold her when she was first born, see her face and listen to her cry. I wanted to kiss my husband and cry tears of joy at the wonder of it all. I didn’t get to do that. Then Piper spent the first two weeks of her life in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), another unexpected bump in our road.
Our NICU experience was positive. Despite the long days, the exhaustion that came with our desire to spend as much time with our baby that we could and the reality that we left the hospital without our baby. For twelve days, we went home while she rested at the hospital. I know now that our stay in the NICU was brief and uneventful compared to those families who babies are born much, much earlier.
The summer after Piper was born, Craig and I made one more move. It was a hard move to make and it was difficult to leave our little city behind. The home that we had struggled to start our family in. A home we created many memories in. Laughter, talking, and crying. We opened that home to a hockey billet from Finland and his teammates. It was hard to say goodbye.
In the first six months after Piper’s birth, I stopped cycling and started worrying that conceiving again would be just as hard for us… or that it might not happen at all. So I went back to my RE who put me on birth control pills so that I would start cycling. When we were ready to get serious about trying again, I would stop taking them and start seeing my RE again. I really did not want to get back on that roller coaster, but I knew I would do whatever I could to have another baby.
We got serious about trying to have another baby when Piper turned one. I was on the same doses of metformin that I had been on when I conceived Piper. We conceived within four months (much to our excitement and surprise). We suffered our second miscarriage in our 9th week. Again, devastated and broken. I did not want to believe that this could be happening to us again. With a one year old at home, my mind was mostly preoccupied and I was thankful for that. Thankful for her. Craig was my rock.
Then to my amazement, I found myself so in tune with my body. For the first time, ever. I knew that my body was fertile and we conceived our Bugaboo in October 2007. Even though we were cautiously optimistic, we celebrated and again my belly became swollen with the wonder of the second miracle that Craig and I would be part of together. My pregnancy with Davilyn was not without it’s complications. I had spotting and then bleeding in my second trimester. Gestational diabetes also found me around 32 weeks. I was a nervous wreck about it but the ultrasounds that we had always showed a healthy baby. It was no surprise when, at 33 weeks, I started having contractions. Davilyn arrived six weeks early. My delivery experience this time was much more to my liking. I was able to enjoy the process, see Davilyn when she was born and hear her cry.
We were also much more prepared for the NICU experience. Even though it was a different hospital, we were ready for the experience and eight days later our Davilyn came home. We were a family of four. Life was good.
After Davilyn’s birth, and how quickly I adjusted to having two children, I knew that I wanted at least one more. I was not ready to give up on my childbearing years and I did not feel that our family was complete. So, when Davilyn turned one, we got serious about having number three and three became our new four. Life never ceases to amaze me and we conceived our Squirt immediately upon trying. For the third time in my life (and most likely my last), my belly again became swollen with the wonder of the third miracle that Craig and I would be a part of together.
I knew my pregnancy with Squirt would my most difficult. After Davilyn’s birth, I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes, so I knew that I would be monitored very closely by my Endocrinologist. I was also on insulin by 14 weeks. I struggled off and on with keeping my blood sugar within the appropriate range. They spiked too high and they fell too low. I was very careful about what I was eating and, in fact, lost weight in the first trimester. In my third trimester I started having lows in the middle of the night and visited obstetrical triage three times. I started having contractions at 30 weeks and spent a few nights in the hospital when I was 34 weeks. I hoped to make it to 36 weeks and I was so close. I prayed that my last baby would come home from the hospital with me, when I did.
Our third, and final, baby ( another daughter, named Quinn ) arrived at 35 + weeks. For the first time, Craig actually held one of our babies in the delivery room. Although another NICU stay was not avoided, I was elated and over the moon when Quinn was discharged 5 days later when I was. This was a dream come true. I was on cloud 9 the whole ride home. I sat in the backseat with Quinn, while Craig drove, and I just stared at her. Thankful that I did not have to leave the hospital without her. We were now a family of five. Life is good as we raise our 3 Divas.