Meet today’s guest blogger, Natalie!
I lost my second baby this week. I’ve been pregnant three times, two ended in loss and the other is my almost one year old Rainbow baby named Lyla James.
Our infertility journey has been one of heartache and hope and back to heartache. I’m not quite sure how to explain it, since I find myself back in the trenches. After my first loss I went numb. I was desperate for answers and at the six month mark of not being able to get pregnant again I immediately went to the Fertility Specialist since they will take you then. We got conflicting answers on my husband (who by the way was also undergoing his own tests to diagnose a 10cm tumor in his chest that turned out to be Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma), but for me the answer was that I was no longer ovulating. I had chalked it up to my body wasn’t quite back on track after the first loss. (Let me also say, that HSG test hurts worse than LABOR! Well, a medicated labor!)
My OB Gyn prescribed me 50mg of Clomid, and just like that I was pregnant with my rainbow baby. About three months later, my husband was finally properly diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Almost a year after Lyla was born, we got pregnant naturally again and it was such a wonderful surprise. Since my husband underwent six brutal months of chemotherapy and then a month of radiation we weren’t sure if he would be able to reproduce after that. Turns out, he can! Problem is, I lost that one too. This is where we are at this point. Confused. Broken. And yet filled with so much joy as we celebrate the first birthday of our little miracle.
What things helped you cope with infertility? To be honest, I did not take the diagnosis well. I lost friends over it because it was so brutal to watch them get pregnant when I couldn’t. I know that is so wrong. But it’s true. The one and only thing that got me through it was the word of God. I had to hold onto His promises, even when I didn’t feel like it. Today, all I have listened to was Pastor Joseph Prince’s sermons on what God’s promises are for you. It’s very hard not to be angry with God but I’m learning that He can handle it. And He will also bless you regardless. My husband is also my rock. He has been so supportive in this journey and I think after this most recent loss, it just makes my daughter Lyla that much more of a miracle. She is the reason that I breathe.
Was giving up on adding children to your family ever considered? The first time around, no. This time around, the thought has been plaguing me for days. The intense heartache is none like I’ve ever felt after losing a pregnancy. And I’ve gone through my husband being diagnosed with cancer. But there is something so intense and so out of your control when you lose a baby. The heartache is indescribable. And so yes, right now, it is very easy to say that I never want to go through this again. But I know that I will. Because I have now seen the other side of it. When I look at Lyla I don’t remember all the hurt and pain that led me to her. I just look at her and am filled with more joy and love that overtakes any other heartache. And that is why we will keep trying.
Who offered you support during this process that really stood out to you? What did they do? The Moms In The Making Group and other women who have experienced loss and infertility helped more than anything. It’s very hard for someone to understand the hurt and pain unless you’ve been through it. The ones who know and have lived it are the ones that know exactly what to say and what not to say. They were and continue to be the biggest support. Knowing you are not alone. And of course my husband and my family. They have been there every step of the way.
Do you think your infertility journey is going to or has shaped the way you parent? Absolutely. Especially now after a second loss. I look at my daughter as such a miracle gift from God. Even more than she was before! But that can also make me a bit of a helicopter mom. I know it’s something that I need to work on and eventually will get better. I’m learning how to trust God to take care of her and protect her. It helps that we are out of the newborn phase! That was my most anxious state ever. Now that she is able to do more things, it helps easy my anxiety a bit! It’s also given me so much more appreciation for life. For the little things. It’s helped me embrace every moment and every day with my family. Going through infertility and cancer at the same time has given me so much love and joy for my family. We do not take things for granted. This has changed us forever.
What would you like couples or women who don’t struggle with infertility to know about infertility? Be thankful. Be so very thankful that you can get pregnant and stay pregnant on the first try. I cannot tell you enough how lucky you are. I would give just about anything for that to be our case. So if you have that accidental pregnancy, know that you are BLESSED!
What is the most valuable piece of advice you’d like to share with our readers? If you are going through infertility you are not alone. No one family’s journey is the same. You do you. If you need to switch doctors, do it. If you need to get fourth and fifth opinions, do it. If you need to go the natural route or take a break, do it. Know that it is okay to not be okay. This journey is not easy. I’m so sorry. It should be. I wish it was. It absolutely is not fair. But let me tell you as someone who has also experience the beauty of being a mother, it is worth it. You will forget all the hurt and all the pain and everything that led to your child will be so very worth it. With God all things are possible. Don’t give up. I’m preaching to the choir on this one.
How can readers contact you? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Instagram: @nataliegorecasey Website: www.NatalieGoreCasey.com