Updated: Jan 4
Driving through Utah on our way to Zion National Park, I keep checking my phone, looking for some bars. I can’t believe that our fate is dependent upon these wavering towers. We have an appointment with Dr. Soules, our new fertility doctor in Seattle. He will share the results from our latest testing. We have been told that we may not be able to have children, and I fear this is what he, too, will share.
Finally, we find some bars outside of the visitor’s center in Bryce Canyon. I sit on hold. As I wait for our fate to be determined, I think about our fertility journey so far. One, two, three,four, five. Five miscarriages. Three years of scared elation and then heartache. Guilt and questions creep in, I have had two abortions, both with their own hard stories, but I still wonder if I deserve this. Am I too old at 37?
The list runs through my mind: Progesterone, Clomid, Saline Histogram, Estrogen, Femera, HCG trigger shots, D & C, surgery for my heart shaped uterus, genetic testing, sperm tests,hormone tests, and more tests. Diagnosis: RPL (Recurrent Pregnancy Loss) with no known reason.
“You might want to stop doing this to yourself and your body,” my doctor told me.
“It could be impossible with you and your husband’s genetics,” another doctor said.
I am traumatized. I am tired, tired of ovulation sex, tired of the grief and the dissapointment,tired of losing my babies.
I quickly snap back to reality when Dr. Soules comes on the line. He says that there is nothing wrong with us, with me, and that we should continue to try. He sounds confident and tells us that there is no reason that we can’t have a baby. He tells me I do have RPL. He says many women with this diagnosis are able to conceive with the TLC protocol, Tender Loving Care. I hang up the phone and cry. Cry with possibility and with hope.
Over dinner that night, my husband and I decide we will have no more interventions. As we drive across the country, our van rocks and rolls in rest stops and parking lots and everywhere in between. Arriving at our destination, my family home in New Hampshire, our pregnancy test has two pink lines.
For the entire pregnancy, we do the TLC protocol. Our son arrives safely. He is amazing.
Two years later, we decided to try for another child. I have another miscarriage. Again, we try. Again, pregnant. Again, scared.
Three months into the pregnancy, I am on a rare date with my husband. I feel something between my legs, use the restroom, look down and see a considerable amount of blood on my underwear. My heart drops, I feel sick. I think about a previous miscarriage I had at a concert. Same scenario, lots of people around, same sinking feeling. I walk to my husband and he drives me to the hospital. It’s late and there is no one there to give me an ultrasound.
I am sobbing, I feel like I might die from another loss. They see and understand my trauma and call in an ultrasound tech.
By now I know many of the techs. They have all seen me collapse into myself with pain that has nowhere to go. Some pray for me, one gives me an angel amulet, one barely looks or talks to me as I beg her to tell me what is wrong. Fortunately, on this particular night the tech that walks in is the tech I had for my last miscarriage. She was kind and honest about what she was seeing. This time she sees me crying and gives me a loving smile. She turns on the ultrasound machine and guides me through everything. There on the monitor appears my son, heart beating. My whole body lets out a sob of relief. Everyone gathers around me and the tech hugs me tightly as I cry in relief.
Six months later he is on my chest, searching for me with his beautiful blue eyes. I am so in love. As I think back on our journey and I look at these two incredible humans that we have created, I am in complete awe. It truly is a miracle to have a child.