By Guest Blogger Michelle Griffith
I never wanted to be a mommy. I’ll wait while you reread that to make sure you read it correctly.
Good? Ok, here goes… As a young girl, when I envisioned my future, I never really thought about kids, or marriage. It just didn’t interest me. Then, at 21, I met my now husband and fell madly in love with him. Well, there went one part of the plan. I still didn’t want children though. We had a great life, living as DINKS (double income no kids). We’d look at parents of young children and feel pity for them. I couldn’t tell you how or why it happened (I dislike the term biological clock) but as I approached 30, the idea of a baby didn’t seem so bad. Once that idea took hold, and I finally admitted to myself and my husband that I did indeed WANT a child, I kind of wanted it right then. So, we started trying.
A year went by.
Without delving into the minutia of it all, we found out that we would most likely need to do IVF if we hoped to get pregnant. Was I scared? Kind of…but not really. More anxious. So, we did the tests, the shots, the blood draws, the worry. We did it all. And I got pregnant. Hooray!
About six weeks in, I was at the airport alone on my way to Florida when I started bleeding. I knew. I knew it wasn’t ok. The doctor reassured me that it could be normal, but I didn’t believe it (some may have accused me of being slightly cynical). A day later the nurse called to tell me that my blood work indicated I’d be miscarrying shortly. I cried, but not as much as you’d think. I felt numb. I just wanted to get back home to my husband. I had a new job to start, and my two doggies that I loved.
For the next several months we didn’t try and prevent pregnancy, but weren’t always actively trying. I had been having some funky symptoms, so my husband urged me to take a test. Can you guess what happened? I was pregnant! Naturally! No shots! No drugs! Oh, glorious day!
18 weeks passed.
I felt great, if not very cautious! Everyone knew I was pregnant even though I wasn’t showing. The morning of our anatomy scan came around. I’ll never forget laying on that table and the ultrasound tech going silent. I kept asking if everything was ok, and she just said she had to get the doctor. And deep down, I knew again. This baby wasn’t ok.
After being sent to specialists, we were told our baby had hydrops, and he or she wouldn’t live to be full term. So, we were given a choice. Carry the baby until it passed away, deliver the baby as is or terminate the pregnancy. We chose to terminate. I know that’s a controversial decision, but for my husband and myself it was the right choice. So, on Christmas Day my husband drove me to the hospital to have medicine inserted to open my cervix. Painful doesn’t begin to describe that process. The day after Christmas I had surgery.
I went to sleep 18 weeks pregnant, and woke up empty. We never did get to find out the sex of the baby, but we had always thought it was a boy. My body didn’t understand, so it made breast milk, which I had to suppress. It actually took me weeks to cry, I’m not even sure why. Again, I just felt numb, but I finally mourned. There were a lot of tears over the next year, and a lot of NOT talking about having babies. We needed a break.
Then a friend asked me straight out when I was going to try again. I think most people were scared to ask me, which I was ok with, because I had come to absolutely HATE talking about getting pregnant. Whether the conversation was about myself or someone else, it made my skin crawl. But she asked, and in no uncertain terms told me to get my head out of my (blank) and try again. So, we did. IFV round two. The shots, the drugs, the worry, the blood draws.
But we got pregnant.
I now have a very handsome, and very strong-willed 3-year-old boy who is the absolute love of my life (when he’s not moonlighting as Satan’s Little Helper).
While I still get sad sometimes when I talk about this, my intention is quite simple. I’ve told people for years now, if talking about this horrible stuff helps someone else feel less alone in their struggle, then it doesn’t all feel like it was for nothing. I have to believe that. There’s always a choice. To move forward, or to stay stuck. For those going through infertility or loss, I hope one day you’ll feel empowered to share your story.