Recently my husband said to me, “Imagine if we knew when we started what infertility would really be like?” Never could we have anticipated our journey 8 years later. What follows are my reflections of our most recent fertility experiences.
In the past year of living with infertility my husband and I have found it has become much harder. Harder than we ever could have imagined. Our most recent miscarriage has been difficult for me to recover from. The whole experience has been gruelling and I have found the grief I have had extremely difficult to alleviate. It wasn’t that I couldn’t see the beauty that surrounds me and the light in my daughter, but rather, I was devastated about the little one that we thought would grow and was now gone. Physically this miscarriage was a long process and emotionally I felt crushed. I had recurring dreams where I would wake up panicked that I was once again having another miscarriage. My sleep was so disrupted and the continuous reminder of having a miscarriage was a lot to bare. I feared more losses. I felt broken.
I began to question why I had become pregnant at all. Why have 3 pregnancies that all resulted in miscarriages? It has taken me a long time to realise that although the pregnancies were short and did not end the way in which we had hoped; I have beautiful memories from each pregnancy that I cherish.
In each of those pregnancies I believed my pregnancy would equate to a live birth even when I know the rates of miscarriages. Now I find myself wondering what if I would have celebrated each pregnancy for the moment I was in and not what I thought would be. I wonder how I could have been more present in each of those pregnancies celebrating the growth that was happening in that moment.
During the last few months I have been deeply worried about how we will continue to proceed with fertility treatment. I am afraid of more loss and so I repeatedly ask my husband, “Everything is going to be okay, right?” I have had a desperate need for reassurance about our future. He always responds,
“Yes we will be,” and in that moment I feel relief but it isn’t long before I feel overwhelmed again.
One day I was driving to our fertility clinic and my husband wasn’t there to reassure me that we would be okay. It was then that I knew I had to believe I had the strength to continue and in turn that we would be able to endure further treatment whether it be fertility or if we pursue other avenues for our family to grow. It was in that moment that I knew my reassurance had to come from within me. I had to feel my own will to persevere and belief in my own wholeness as a woman and my ability to mother.
Right now we are still healing as we prepare for our next steps to try again, and I have had to completely change how I have thought about pursuing fertility treatment. I always thought about my fertility as if we do this then this will happen; but, that is not at all what is happening. Our story has taken a different path. One that has been filled with incredibly beautiful moments and very difficult ones.
We will continue to hope for our family to grow but I have let go of the ways in which I think it will happen. I have no idea how it will happen but I do know it will be a sweet ride.
In this moment our family is complete and any addition(s) would be welcomed into many open and loving arms. We have a daughter who amazes us each and every day. I have been fortunate to become pregnant 3 other times. Each time I think of those pregnancies I am warmed with love.
As the 2016 year comes to an end we are filled with gratitude for the #IVF4ON program. This program has changed our family’s lives and we still believe in tomorrow.
Our thoughts are with all of those who have had the opportunity with Ontario's Funded Fertiliity program and all of those who are receiving the call for the coming year. We wish you all of the best.
Woman with DIGITS