About a year into our marriage, my husband and I decided to stop preventing pregnancy. By this point my periods had become more manageable, the pain wasn’t as intense (probably because I got better at managing it) and my periods were still 7 days long, but they weren’t as heavy as they used to. Based on this alone, I figured maybe there was a chance I didn’t have endometriosis and that maybe it wouldn’t be too difficult for me to get pregnant. Even though we weren’t officially trying yet, in the entire 9 months that we stopped preventing, I didn’t get pregnant once.
When Endometriosis is present, the endometrial cells in the abdominal cavity are acting just as they would if they were in the uterus. So basically, when Aunt Flo comes to visit, people with Endo are having bleeding within their abdominal cavity too. This cascades into an inflammatory process that causes extreme pain. The body will then create adhesions to repair the tissue that has been damaged; eventually leading to spreading of the endometriosis.
The loss of a pregnancy, the loss of a baby, the loss of a child - they’re all losses that are painful beyond all imagination. From my experience the longing never leaves you. The grief you feel cannot be worked through or removed somehow; it’s a pain in the core of your being that you just live around. I carry the pain of our losses in my heart and sometimes, when I least expect it, it overflows and I cannot contain it. But grief is love and the love I have for our sons is one of the greatest things I will ever have.
That was when I saw it. Blood. Not a lot, but enough that I knew it was over. We had lost our baby. My mom rushed me to the ER where my dad met us. The Dr. there was ‘matter-of-fact’ (no sympathy whatsoever). “You’re going to miscarry,” he said.
I felt sick to my stomach and frozen to the bed. She explained that it looked as though our little one had only just stopped growing the previous day- that it was showing as just under 10 weeks. I went into auto mode- I knew exactly what needed to be done, but I felt numb. The sonographer was really good and made sure we knew our options before she sent us home. As it was bank holiday, we couldn’t speak to the hospital until Tuesday morning, however I remember making the phone calls and trying to find a hospital that could fit us in asap. I didn’t want to wait, I wanted the ERPC procedure asap so that I could start processing what had happened. That New Years Eve we went home, ordered Chinese and I had a prosecco.
My husband and I went through genetic testing and additional testing for him to ensure everything was in line before starting a treatment plan. That’s when we felt our whole world crumble around us. I remember the call like it was yesterday. The nurse called with his semen analysis results and she said “there’s no sperm in the sample” What do you mean there is no sperm?! She continued saying there was maybe 300 when your count should be in the millions.
This part of the journey was so difficult, and what made it even more difficult was that I felt like I could not share my miscarriage with anyone. I have no idea why I felt that I had to keep it private, but I did. I almost felt ashamed, as if I couldn’t do or fulfill what I was suppose to as a mom. I also didn’t want to make other people feel uncomfortable when I told them I was pregnant, but “oh by the way it was twins, and I lost one of the babies”. So I just carried my burden silently. It hurt, physically, to tell people my news and have them be so excited for me when my heart was still aching. I also felt incredibly selfish and ungrateful because some women would KILL to just get pregnant!
I’d like to preface this by saying that above anything else, in the process of grieving it’s important to let yourself be where you’re at and allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling. Don’t push yourself to feel a certain way because other people have shared their story and they’ve felt a certain way. Your story is your story. Feel what you feel. Give yourself time. Ask for help if you need it. Choose someone you trust and check in with them (or ask them to check in with you), if you aren’t getting better or your grief feels too overwhelming seek professional help and suggest that your partner do the same. If you have other children who need care pour into them (and again ask for help if you need it). Love yourself, take care of yourself. It WILL get better, give it time.
I asked Megan to share her story on Hello Warrior because what she is doing for the pregnancy loss community is truly incredible. I feel so lucky to have stumbled across her page, talked with her, and received one of Rowan’s Bears from her. She is a hardworking mama who doesn’t want anyone to go through a loss feeling alone with empty arms. I feel emotional just writing about her and what she’s doing.
On our 4th wedding anniversary, my husband and I decided we were ready to start growing our family. Six months later and no baby, I was diagnosed with PCOS, which meant additional hurdles to pregnancy. I spent the next year trying to understand my diagnosis and ended up going on Metformin in an effort to jumpstart things. I lost 15 lbs, got my cycle back on track, and a few months later had my very first BFP!