I think one of the hardest stories of my life will be my journey to motherhood. As a child I always dreamed of becoming a mother, it was so easy, get married and have one. I never envisioned going through infertility, I never envisioned loosing child after child. Thats never talked about! Our mothers (at least mine) never told us that miscarriage was common. I’m the product of a 16 year old who got pregnant on accident, she’s a product of the same. I was adopted by my parents and they raised me but it was never truly talked about on why they adopted. I knew it was because they had tried and it didn’t happen but no details, truly were explained. They did go on to have my brothers after adopting me, and one is a short six months younger than me.
Andy and I met and married at the ages of 19 and 21. That story is an incredible story ill share closer to our anniversary! We got married in December of 2010 and January of 2011 was our first miscarriage. At 16 weeks we miscarried our first daughter, in a story thats long and painful, ill shorten it for you. Doctor error was made and the end product was us loosing her. We would go on to try for another 18 months with two more losses before we called an infertility doctor. That doctor gave me the diagnosis of PCOS. Which stands for Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, in short means I have cysts all over my ovaries that cause my body to not ovulate regularly like other woman.
It took me two months to accept my body was different, I remember thinking over and over again why does my body have to be different? Obviously my family had no problem having kids, I come from a line of teen mothers. When we finally decided that we wanted to start fertility treatments it was such a point of excitement. I began to picture being a mother again. I began to picture these little babies we would have, and the look on my husbands face when I told him.
If you have experienced infertility or are in the middle of it, you know that sickness every time a pregnancy test would be positive. That feeling, that you wanted to be so excited, but the fear that you may loose that child again. I firmly believe every pregnancy I had was one of my children. I grieved them equally, I grieved them and still do to this day grieve for the lives ill never meet or raise. I never will be able to truly explain the grief and pain of each loss, a piece of me was taken every time. A piece ill never get back and a piece I can’t share with anyone else because no-one truly understands.
My strong husband stood beside me after every appointment or loss and had my back. I remember at one point after about our fifth miscarriage I told Andy to go find someone who could give him the child he so desperately wanted. 1 in 6 woman going through infertility commit suicide. I HATE that number. I HATE that there is no support for woman going through miscarriage because to many its not a true loss. I remember screaming and crying asking why I couldn’t do the ONE thing we as woman are made to do. We are amazing at many things. But we are made to create babies, thats what god created us to do. I couldn’t do it.
If you are going through infertility please know you are not alone! You are not a failure, you are not inept, you are amazing! There is a strength in you that on some days even you won’t think you have, but you do! This fight is so incredibly hard! Its a battle every time you see another woman with a baby, its heartbreaking every time you get invited to a baby shower. I hated going to them, and would even at times skip them. My true friends would understand but I lost some during our four year struggle. I hated watching shows with woman having babies, I used to sob through movies that a character would get pregnant because I was so jealous, OF A TV CHARACTER!
I never could have made it through all of this without my husband. He relentlessly pursued me, he unfailingly loved me. Our pastor at our wedding used the word AGAPE love, which is christ love for us. It has no conditions or boundaries he just loves us. That perfectly describes my husbands love throughout all of this. Without question he just loved my crazy and loved my mood swings. He just loved me. I couldn’t have done this without him.
Through all our losses I would go on to have two of the most rare forms of pregnancies, that would lead to the IVF doctor who would tell us I had cancer. Which in fact was Hayden. So let me back up a little bit.
In may of 2013 through clomid and our infertility doctor we found out I was pregnant for the fifth time. We were cautiously optimistic that this would be the time I would get pregnant. This was it. About a week after I tested positive I started to experience extreme abdominal pain, so we went into my infertility doctor who after the ultrasound said we don’t see a viable pregnancy but it looks like it might be in your tube. I had never heard of an ectopic pregnancy before so I was at a loss as to what that meant.
Essentially an ectopic pregnancy is when the fertilized egg implants and grows outside the main cavity of the uterus. Most often they occur in the fallopian tube but can occur in other areas. The biggest signs are extreme abdominal pain ( which I have been through two c-sections and recovery now and I still say to this day that abdominal pain of my ectopic was way worse.) I went home that afternoon from my doctors and just sobbed in the truck, I couldn’t understand what was going on and I just was hurting. We weren’t home an hour before I started screaming in pain and Andy decided that was it, we needed to be in a hospital. I was rushed into emergency surgery and was told about a quarter of my blood was in my abdomen and if I had stayed home I probably wouldn’t have made it. I lost my left tube but was thankfully able to keep my ovary. It would take me a year to even consider trying again. First month we tried, I got pregnant again, this time with a molar pregnancy.
1 in 1000 pregnancies are molar pregnancies, why in the world would I have one! Molar pregnancies are when the cells that normally develop into the placenta abnormally grow. I had a complete molar pregnancy, the tissue was abnormal and swollen and forms fluid filled cysts with no formation of fetal tissue. Once you have a molar pregnancy it is 1 in 100 chance of it happening again. So it significantly increases, my Obgyn told me at that point that it was time to consider other options. Ivf where they could ensure that this didn’t happen again or adoption.
I remember walking away from that meeting thinking, well thats the door and it just shut. Time to consider other options. We went to our initial appointment with a doctor that specializes in IVF and he saw a “cyst” on my uterus. Super tiny spot that they barely could see. He prepared us for a cancer diagnosis. He explained if that was the case at my age he would strongly urge me to do a complete hysterectomy.
Eight weeks later I would start to experience extreme hip pain and exhaustion (sound familiar), I freaked out! I called my Obgyn and they offered to bring me in that day and check me out! I will never as long as I live forget those fifteen minutes in the ultrasound. The technician started looking trying to get a measurement on the cyst, and she jerks. How often do they see crazy things?? SHE JERKS YALL! I felt my heart sink and my head just went to horrible places.
She looks at me and goes “when was the last time you did a pregnancy test?”
“uh I have no idea” with everything going on I had no clue when my last test was. It was January of 2015 at this point and I just had no want to test anymore.
She looks straight at me and goes “ honey I see a baby and a heart beat.”
Y’all if that isn’t God I have no idea what is.
I will never forget that moment. My mother in law (who is an absolutely amazing woman who took me in at 18 and has raised me as her own ever since) had driven me and she just grabs my hand and goes “oh my gosh Sarah” I love that woman because in that moment she was everything I needed. She held my hand through the rest of the appointment and than drove me home while I called my husband and my mom and told them the news.
Hayden Renee has been dramatic ever since. From my pregnancy to my delivery to every aspect of who she is has been dramatic and she is everything good and amazing I waited for in those five years we cried and screamed and begged god for her. I will forever be grateful for her. Ill forever be in awe of the true miracle she is.