When my husband and I found out I was pregnant with our daughter, now three years old, we were shocked.
I had always been told I’d probably never conceive due to my endometriosis and after nine years of zero protection, we thought the doctors were right. Then our daughter was born and a candle of hope was ignited. We created a family! We had had a taste of parenthood and decided we liked those flavours. So began our journey to continue growing our family.
When our daughter was nine months old, I found out I was pregnant again. It was like a miracle; we were that couple that struggled for so long and somehow had two back to back pregnancies. We thought we’d be the story everyone shared because wow, how amazing was that? Unfortunately, I began spotting at our daughter’s first birthday party and by the time we had finished cleaning up the streamers and icing, I was full on bleeding. I was miscarrying.
After that, life was on pause.
We didn’t want to make any big decisions because the ‘what if’s’ hung too low from the ceiling. Every time we needed to make a decision, we’d bump into one:
“What if I get pregnant again?”
“What if I miscarry again?”
“What if I am as sick as I was last time?”
“What if I never have another baby?”
“What if I go back to school and get pregnant then?”
“What if I am so sick I have to drop out of classes again?”
“What if we buy the car and we get pregnant and then can’t fit everyone and everything in it?”
“What if we buy the single Chariot Cruzer and we get pregnant?”
“What if Claire never has a sibling? What if she’s weird and self-centred?”
“What if we have a baby and they grow up hating each other?”
So many what if’s swirled around us that we were paralyzed when it came to making decisions.
We were stagnant. We were living in limbo. The simplest purchases (like the Cruzer) became huge decisions that needed to be considered carefully. The bigger purchases (like our new vehicle) became arguments because I wanted another baby so badly (and therefore needed a larger vehicle). My husband, the ever realist, knew we couldn’t put off the purchase because of a baby that wasn’t.
But we got pregnant again and thus, Life hit play.
We started planning and getting cautiously excited. We bought the car and we moved homes to accommodate a growing family. I put university on the back burner so I could commit to being a stay at home mom. We bought the double Chariot Cruzer. I spent those first few weeks tip-toeing around in caution and fear and praying fervently that this baby would stick.
But then, I miscarried at eight weeks. Sitting in our new home, crying on the bathroom floor, I wept until my eyes were almost swollen shut. Life had suddenly hit rewind and I was reliving the same experience and all its grief all over again. We were devastated. I was healthy, strong and my husband was virile. We know, he did a semen analysis. Twice.
“Why did this happen again?” I thought over and over. I was so distraught that the loss sent me into a depression so dark I wasn’t sure I’d survive. Life was on pause again. Only this time the questions became darker:
“Could I survive another loss?”
“What am I doing wrong?”
“Why me? Why us?”
“Is my husband doing something wrong?”
“Should we resign ourselves to being parents to one and only ever one?”
“Should we start fertility treatments?”
“Where will we find the money for help?”
And after each musing I would be no closer to answers. The indecision was heavy and draining.
Eventually, with professional help, Eastern medicine modalities and a lot of soul searching, we were able to hit play on Life again. We bought a house and I started a small business. We were happy with our seemingly miracle daughter and found ourselves appreciating her even more. Every sneeze, giggle and hug were adored and loved upon immensely. We still hadn’t made a decision as to what to do about my inability to carry a pregnancy to term but we were moving forward.
January 2017 came with a peaceful resignation that we would stop actively trying to conceive, wouldn’t pursue treatment and we’d try our best to be present and fully enjoy the moments with our daughter. Then I realized I was late. I took a pregnancy test and it was positive. We were shocked. There was no excitement because we were leery of what could happen.
Two back to back miscarriages really takes the fun out of being pregnant.
I was petrified but my OB assured us that the chance of a third consecutive miscarriage was slim and to relax and enjoy the process. I tried my best to enjoy it but it was short lived because I miscarried again, only this time at eight weeks. Life rewound again and we were back at square one.
This time, my grief was overshadowed by my confusion. I had had tests done that showed no reasoning for these early miscarriages. I was floored. How was I apart of the 15% of people this happens to? It made no sense. However, either thankfully or unfortunately, I was numb to this situation. I had been there twice before so it was a game I knew well.
I had learned some truly valuable lessons from my other miscarriages and had found a hidden pocket of Strength that had been lingering untouched in my soul. It emerged slowly throughout each loss, each time growing more resilient and more understanding. By the third miscarriage, I had a strong faith that I would survive this one too and that in the end, I would be a better person from having these tragic experiences. I didn’t want Life to pause again. I made the conscious choice to have a day of immense grieving and wallowing and that the following day, I would rise up from the ashes like the Phoenix mama I was. I wasn’t letting Life pause for this one. I wanted to hit play and keep going.
Six months have passed since my third miscarriage and we’ve made the decision to try again at conceiving.
I feel strong enough to handle whatever may come and that if Life throws another rewind at us, we have the strength, resiliency and emotional stability to rise again. There’s no more living in limbo for us. We are moving forward and have come to understand that if a baby chooses us as its parents, he/she will fit right in, somehow, some way.
For now, we will keep hitting play.