Bear with me; this post is a little long, incredibly personal, and one of the most difficult things I’ve ever written. In fact, I’m pretty nervous about sharing something so personal in such a public way. Up till this point, only close friends and family have known our struggle with infertility. But I wanted to share our story. I’ve received comfort from reading stories of other women in similar situations, and feel sad that people rarely talk about miscarriage and pregnancy loss. Besides, the initial reason I started this blog as well as why my husband and I began a transition to a lifestyle with less chemicals and more natural goodness is because of our struggles in infertility. Here is our story.
We’ve been married over 5 years. For three years, we’ve been trying to start a family, but sadly, it has not happened. While I can get pregnant quite easily, I always miscarry. So far, we’ve had six miscarriages. The first one was incredibly sad… while sitting in the ultrasound room, we were told there was no heartbeat. It completely took us by surprise; we were over 10 weeks along and had just started telling a few people. We mourned the loss of our baby, but set out to try again. We kept hearing that it was completely normal to have a miscarriage and that, statistically, the second pregnancy would likely be healthy. Only… that second one was a miscarriage too. So was the next one. And next one. And next one. After that, I was pretty miserable and couldn’t even begin to describe the emotions that I was dealing with at that point. I needed some time off, so we waited a full year before trying again. Just this fall, we gave it another shot, and that ended in miscarriage too. This last one was especially sad because I was due on my 31st birthday, and because I miscarried on Christmas day. Let me tell you, having a much-anticipated pregnancy end on Christmas can make someone feel that they’ve hit the bottom. I mourned the loss of all my pregnancies, but this last one was the worst. I felt like a dream was totally out of reach. All the testing we had done showed completely normal results and doctors could find no reason why we’d lose each pregnancy.
It’s terribly sad to think that you may never have children when you’ve wanted them so badly for your entire life. It’s hard to be excited for friends who are expecting babies of their own. It’s downright traumatic to think about going to a baby shower and being excited for the momma-to-be, when you know that you may never get to experience that joy. And it’s awful trying to explain to a friend why you simply can’t attend a baby shower without crying. That is a quick way to ruin a happy occasion. Of course, deep down I was happy for my friends and their babies, but I’d be lying if I said I never once wondered why something so wonderful couldn’t happen to me… just once. Hearing about women getting pregnant then leaving their babies at hospitals, teenagers getting pregnant with no desire to raise their children… things like that made me cry. They made me angry. I KNEW we’d be good parents, and honestly, I questioned why God would let this happen to us. It’s weird to think that I am a mother of six… yet I have no living children. Even though I never held them or comforted them, their loss is deeply felt and I will grieve for a lifetime.
Franchesca Fox said: “A mother is not defined by the number of children you can see, but by the number she holds in her heart”.
I love that. In our society where no one talks about pregnancy loss or grief for babies we never get to hold, it was reassuring to hear that my unborn babies counted for something more than a medical chart note. I’ve had so many people tell me that I’m “so strong”, but you know what? I am sad. I feel this deeply. Sometimes I fall apart. It wasn’t just the loss of another baby… it was the loss of my dream for my life.
So the last few weeks I’ve been trying to find inspiration and comfort wherever I can. We purchased six little crystal angel ornaments in memory of our unborn babies for our Christmas tree. I’ve gotten a lot of comfort from a few things I found through Pinterest, of all places. This was my favorite:
I can tell you that six miscarriages both weakened my faith, then strengthened it. I’m thankful. So very thankful that my faith has gotten stronger. And I’m thankful that my marriage has gotten stronger, too. Something like infertility can easily tear a couple apart, but I have a good man. Though he processes this experience differently than I do, I know it’s something he feels strongly about.
This post isn’t meant to be so sad. I do have positive things ahead… please keep reading. 🙂
One interesting thing about my miscarriages is that they are a “missed miscarriage”, meaning that the baby’s heartbeat and growth stop but my body continues to recognize the pregnancy for several weeks. So for these last pregnancies, I always knew in advance that I’d lost the pregnancy before I actually miscarried. Especially for this last pregnancy, I spent a lot of time in prayer, asking God to either take away this intense desire to become a mother, or to help us find a path to parenthood. My husband had talked about adoption years ago, but now that it was quickly becoming a reality rather than something in the distant future, he wasn’t comfortable talking about it. For the sake of my marriage, I decided that I would not ask him about it any more. If we were meant to adopt, I wanted the path to be clear without badgering my way to it.
Then I received the best Christmas gift, ever. My husband secretly did some research on adoption, and on Christmas Eve, he told me that he made us an appointment at an adoption agency for the following week. I knew I would likely be miscarrying the next day, and honestly, this one little act of kindness that he did made such a huge difference. Knowing that there was still hope for a family someday was a game-changer. A few days ago, we met with the agency and have decided to move forward with the adoption process. For us, this means getting put on the waiting list at the agency, as well as trying to locate a birth mother ourselves. We realize this process could still take years and that there are no guarantees. But, we’re hoping that our friends, family, and those we know through our businesses and this blog might be able to help. It doesn’t really require much on your part, but if you happen to know someone who is considering adoption for their baby or young child, could you possibly remember us and pass us along?
I created a website to introduce us to birthparents who might be looking for adoptive parents. You can see it here and read a little more of our story:
We also started a Facebook page to make it easy to follow our journey: www.facebook.com/beckyandbenadopt. We’re hoping you’ll share it with your friends and family so we can extend our reach. All it takes is one person to share, then the right person reading it. 10 seconds on your part could change our lives, a birth mother’s life, and especially a baby that needs a loving, stable home. Thanks for reading our story, and more thanks for keeping us in your mind and prayers as we move forward.