When Kevin and I sat in the doctor’s office waiting to hear what my treatment options were for my recent diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis, I had not told Kevin I had a positive pregnancy test that same morning.
Conceiving is not as easy as it seems. For some, it only takes a drink from the work water fountain, for others a sexy look from their partner. For me and Kevin, it took a series of tests, needles and lots of doctor appointments.
All Kevin’s swimmies were off the charts high after a bath. Normal sperm count after a fertility bath are 10-30 million, Kevin had counts above 50 million. As for me, I had low hormone levels. It seemed I was the culprit of the fertility issues. This was easily rectified with expensive drugs.
We were lucky enough to be able to afford several rounds of fertility treatments. We were able to conceive our daughter without the even more expensive IVF treatments. Those at the time were about $13,000 a piece.
The thrill of being pregnant was a very happy time. The pregnancy was uneventful. My worst symptom was acid reflux. I didn’t like sweets and for anyone that lives in Ohio, I couldn’t stand Skyline Chili. To this day I will not eat Skyline Chili. My due date was December 30th, labor started 6am New Years day and we had our daughter the following morning beating out another birth by 2 minutes. Our daughter was the first child born in that hospital.
A couple weeks after having our daughter a nurse came by and educated me on the injections I needed to do daily to help slow the progression of my Multiple Sclerosis. During my third trimester of pregnancy I was on cloud nine. I felt so good. I wasn’t having any MS symptoms. No pain and thankfully my need to sleep disappeared. One of the unexplainable decrease in MS symptoms is pregnancy. Experts are very aware of this phenomenon but are unable to explain it. However, only about 3 weeks after giving birth, my symptoms were back to normal and I was starting a life of injections.
Fertility treatments, MS symptoms, none of this mattered anymore. I received the greatest blessing I could have asked for. I had our daughter. I relished in her every smile. I enjoyed every bath. I embraced every sleepless night. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
Although heading back to work after 12 weeks off was hard. I had the best shift. Ok, not everyone would think so, but that is ok. I worked 3rd shift. I worked Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. I was off Saturday and I went back Sunday night and worked until Wednesday morning. I know this sounds like a lot. But what is amazing is that I got to spend 7 days with my daughter at a time. By the time I was tired of dealing with people at work, I was ready to be home. By the time I was tired of being home, I went back to work. This was also several years that Kevin got to bond with her as Kevin was the evening parent.
By the time our daughter was about 18 months we went back to the doctor to see what our options were to conceive again. We tried a couple rounds of insemination, but those were not working. The doctor suggested based on our history and labs that IVF would be a better choice. The doctor provided all the pricing up front and Kevin and I worked out how we were going to pay for something this expensive. I suggested to Kevin I wanted to try at least twice. Well, it took 2 rounds. The second round of IVF was a success. We were excited an scared all at the same time.
This happened during the summer so we were headed to the east coast for vacation. We had a blast and were so excited for the prospect of another child. Interestingly enough two of our friends were pregnant at the same time. Our second child would have a playmate. Everything was going great.
Upon return we were due for our second ultrasound I believe we were at 11 weeks weeks. We even took our daughter with us this time. Everything was typical up until the perplexed look on the doctor’s face. He wasn’t finding a heartbeat. We no longer had a viable pregnancy. To say we were crushed is an understatement. All Kevin could do is hand our daughter to me. I couldn’t have been more crushed.
It was several weeks before I could have the D&C done. I thought I had grieved and was over the loss. But two things happened the day I was to have the D&C that made me realize I was not over the loss. First, a close friend came with me instead of Kevin and second, I had to sign paperwork that said, “Mother’s Signature.” The pain of that loss was felt all over again as if it had just happened.
Several years later while I was cleaning out our master closet, the feelings of loss came up again. I found an ultrasound or our second pregnancy. The tears welled up and the loss was felt all over again for a third time. I am not sure that as a parent you will ever get over a loss so great. It doesn’t matter if it is due to miscarriage or the death of your living child, neither scenario is something we get over as parents.