This week, I had my third miscarriage. According to the numbers, 1-2% of women will experience 3 or more miscarriages. Not really something I would have chosen to be an overachiever on, if I’d been the one making the decision.
It’s a truly humbling experience, and the grieving is exhausting. I go back and forth between being numb, then jealous of others who seem to get pregnant at the drop of a hat, then angry, then feeling more than a little sorry for myself, then numbness again. Not pretty emotions to contend with. It’s embarrassing.
I’ve always said that fertility treatments are not for the faint of heart. Fertility treatments when you’re 40 bring that up another notch. It takes a resolve of steel, a willingness to be on a roller coaster of emotions, a willingness to not be in control, flexibility, and great big buckets of hope.
But, our story is not a sad one. After our 3 year journey to get pregnant, we won the baby jackpot last year with our twins, Liam and August. Their birth story is here. Honestly, given my repeated miscarriages, they are my little miracles. I am beyond grateful for them, and get an immense amount of joy being their momma!
But, as my friend Lindsay said, “Grieving what you’ve lost does not make you less grateful for what you have. They are two separate things.” She is a wise woman. And so I go about the messy business of being grateful one moment and being devastated the next.
You’d think I would stop the roller coaster, but here’s the thing. I have this vision for my family of a house filled with children. Whether it’s right or wrong, it’s the vision I have. Messy, bustling, loud, filled with cute little beings working hard to grow up into big, kind, beautiful beings. I know the path is not always a rosy one- I’m not oblivious to the trials that come along with teenagers. Please. I’ve raised two children already. They excelled at being rebellious teenagers. We did not slide by on that one in any stretch of the imagination.
And yet, it’s still my dream.
My blogger friend Ashley, of Baddest Mother Ever, told me that things changed for her the day that she realized she was meant to be someone’s mother, not necessarily have a baby. A gentle but profound shift in thinking. That’s a good reminder to me. If these rounds with my last little frosties (what we in the fertility world call our frozen little embryos) don’t work, then I will gratefully accept the embryos from some very young chick who was so fertile she only needed a small portion of the eggs she produced and is selflessly donating them to chicks like me.
We also are starting the path to becoming foster parents, and plan on pursuing adoption through that path. I am cracked wide open with fear and excitement going down this path, but it feels right. We have so much love to give.
The thing is, I will get my brood of children, but I must be open to how. That’s always been my mantra, through the first two miscarriages. This will happen for me, I just have to be open to when and how.
I’m a fairly private person, especially when it comes to sharing things that are still painful, but I wanted to share this with others who may be struggling to make their dream a reality – whether that’s having a baby, or getting a degree, or making a move.
My best advice to myself and others is to get crystal clear about what you want, and then go for it 110%. In the times when it seems impossible, or you have no control, lug out your heavy, sloshing buckets of hope. They’ll get you through. They’re getting me through right now.
Onward to the next step. Healing, standing up, dusting off, and trying again.