our family/friends - and to the NaProTechnology doctors/nurses. And I want to suggest that people who are having trouble getting pregnant and staying pregnant should explore this option. And, thank you to you for letting me share my personal experience! I am not doing it for pity, but in the hope that this can benefit others who face similar obstacles.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I am 21 weeks pregnant!!! A new baby will be joining our family in September. This means a new sibling for Luke (whether he likes it or not)! Our dream has come true.
Like any story, this one has thousands of details I could tell. And I debated sharing these on my blog. But it was this story that actually led me to blogging as an outlet – so it only seems right that I share it here. I have been intentionally holding off to announce the “news” for fear of jinxing myself. But at the end of the day when faced with trials, one needs to trust in Him. Fear is unproductive; trust and faith are what you need.
I share our story in the hope that it may help others in a similar situation to not feel so alone or lost. Bear with me; this will be a long post. Kevin and I got married in June 2006 and within months found out we were pregnant. It was a textbook pregnancy and birth. We were so excited to have our little Lukie. But, we were also naive. And our unbridled happiness was challenged when, two weeks later, my mother passed away from cancer and lung complications. I knew her day was coming, but a daughter is never ready for her mother to leave. In fact, we scheduled Luke's baptism just before he was born - and, with this turn of events - his baptism ended up being the same weekend as my mother's funeral. I was dealing with motherhood, the loss of my own mother, while not really having a support network (I had only lived in CT for 10 months and our families lived in remote states). Looking back, I was in survival mode.
Kevin and I had always planned to have several children so it was no surprise that nearly 9 months later, we were pregnant again. Having had no complications during Luke's pregnancy, I was unprepared for the road that lay ahead. I was 12 weeks pregnant and we were full of anticipation as we went to our first trimester screening. I remember laying there, holding Kevin's hand as the technician started the ultrasound. After an awkward moment of silence, the technician looked over at us and said, "I'm sorry." I was bewildered and confused. Could this really be happening? The doctor came in and confirmed there was no heartbeat. We cried. Our doctor assured us that miscarriages were 'common' and that we shouldn't worry.
But I didn't feel common. But, I thought, we'll try again. And we did. The results were 3 more miscarriages. There were no genetic abnormalities and we had no trouble getting pregnant; I just couldn't sustain it. And our doctors provided no answers. I'll spare you all of the details. But after our fourth miscarriage, I was done. I felt horrible and had nothing more to give. I hit rock bottom and was completely empty. I felt like a failure.
I looked for support; other women who silently suffer the pains of loss, but they were hard to find.
We've all had burdens. But, for me, this one seemed impossible to bear. It was so heavy and filled with so much sadness. I knew, that with any ordeal, God has a plan for us. I didn't understand it. And, in fact, at times, I resented it. But this is what He gave us. I prayed and told Him I didn't think I could handle another loss.
We took time off. We did a lot of reflecting and praying. I slowly started to research other women's success stories. How did they overcome their recurrent miscarriages? I slowly made some changes in my life. I started with nutrition and made changes. I started to see an acupuncturist. We looked into the adoption process. I started to see a counselor to discuss my mother's passing. Taking some control over my situation (when I felt so out of control) felt re-assuring. I started to wake up with a new sense of peace, reminding myself daily that God does love me and that He is giving me the strength to deal with this.
Remember how I said that our doctors (my OB/GYN and fertility specialists) were not providing the answers. Well, through a priest friend of ours, I found about about NaProTechnology (Natural Procreative Technology). This is a scientific approach to monitoring and solving women's health issues - especially infertility and recurrent miscarriages. I contacted them and they told me they wanted to find out the underlying causes of my recurrent miscarriages. This was music to my ears.
I was introduced to a registered nurse, who taught me their Creighton Model Fertility Care system, which would monitor my biomarkers during my cycles. This experience was eye-opening. The nurse met with me monthly and was so incredibly supportive and helpful. I was blessed to have been introduced to this woman; she supported me and helped me immensely through our entire ordeal. After 6 months of charting my system and obtaining 'data' for what was going on with my reproductive system, we were ready to move forward. I met with my NaProTechnology doctors in NYC and I went through a series of tests to rule out any medical issues. I had a laparoscopy conducted to rule out endometriosis. I had tons of blood tests done to monitor my hormonal levels. They found out I was hypothyroid and lacked adequate B6 and B12. We found out some critical information concerning my hormone levels, which gave us more information. With all of the pieces of the puzzle in place, we were prepared to try again.
Last September (2010) we started trying again. In January 2011, we found out I was pregnant. I am now 21 weeks. We are insanely blessed and hopeful. We are so thankful to
PS - Over the last few months I've had a number of posts related to baby items (yes, Rene, you guessed it months ago). I guess this was subliminal. You may also remember how sick I was back in January/February - it was all due to mind blowing morning sickness!!