Sunday, April 7, 2013

The "Failed" Attempt

I know this is only my second post.  But get ready for a DOOZY.  (I know no one reads this.  I am going to act like people do.  Mmkay?)

So a little while ago, someone asked us (in a Sunday school class) when our baby was due.
First of all, I don't look pregnant.  That I'm sure of.  I think he just knew we had been married for about 2 1/2 years, and therefore, we must be having a baby sometime soon.

A little before that, I was told that I really wasn't focusing on the spiritual things I should be focusing on, because we do not have any kids yet.  (This from a very good man in our ward who I serve with in my calling as a ward missionary, and who I love.  He was a member of the Temple Presidency in Nova Scotia, and once he knew about our past experience, he was very sweet and understanding).

Before THAT, another sweet lady in my ward asked where my daughters were.  I told her we did not have any children.  She gave me a knowing look and told me I was smart.

No, not smart. Just unlucky.

So, I do NOT want this post to be a woe-is-me downer.  But I have decided that infertility and miscarriage are things that need to be more publicly acknowledged and understood.  Many times I have wished that there was somewhere I could go to just know that we are not alone, and not the only ones going through this, especially when it seems that most people I know don't struggle with infertility or miscarriage (I am aware that probably is not the case). Also, I will be honest--sometimes I just want to talk about this stuff with other people.  It would be nice to just get it off my chest a little.

So here is our story. 

We tried for eleven months to get pregnant.  And we were actively trying.  Contrary to what a few women who lived around me assumed, it was not for lack of trying that nothing was happening.  Trying to get pregnant is terrible.  It wears on you.  It brings up a lot of emotional things that are difficult for a woman to deal with, and a couple to deal with.  I realized how close Greg and I really were when we went through this.

We eventually did find out we were pregnant.  I bought gender-neutral clothes.  I sewed a blanket.  I cried and cried because I was so happy that the exhausting experience of trying to conceive was finally over, and I wanted my baby so much.

At the first appointment, Greg had to work, so I went in alone to see my baby on the ultrasound screen.  And there were two sacs!  The next thing I knew the obgyn was asking me if twins ran in my family.

And then, the next thing I knew, she was explaining how one sac did not show the fetal pole, and she couldn't pick up a heartbeat, and etc and etc.  I was told to start taking progesterone and come back a week later. On the drive home I called Greg and bawled into the phone.

We did lose those two babies.  I won't write about how I felt, what I prayed for. I'll just say I never miscarried on my own.  I had to have a D and C in a surgery center on the day I would have been 11 weeks.  I did gain a lot of comfort at this time.  I know my Heavenly Father was holding my hand through all of it. The only way I can describe it is that I felt like I was being shielded from the worst of it.

I was told that because I had naturally conceived twins, I was SUPER FERTILE.  Um.  Are you sure? I said.  Oh, yes.  We are sure. That was 10 months ago.  That being said, I know there are many women who have waited longer than I have.  Much longer.  Let me say that my heart truly breaks for you.  My husband and I keep you in our prayers.  I am sorry.  I think that one of the things I have gained from this experience is the ability to be more compassionate.  And I know it might not help, but I really am sorry.

Anyway....this post keeps getting longer.....just read a little more. 

So in January we went to a place called Brown Fertility here in Florida.  We did a bunch of awkward tests (one of which was the most painful thing I have ever experienced IN MY LIFE.  Totally worth it though).  I was diagnosed with a mild form of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. (It actually affects as many as 6-10% of women of child-bearing age). I had realized a while before that I didn't ovulate consistently, and now I knew why.

So last month, we went ALL OUT on fertility treatment options.  I took a low dose of femara, an ovulation drug.  When the low dose didn't work, we doubled it.  I personally injected an Ovidrel hcg trigger shot into my stomach to ensure I released an egg.  We did an IUI. (Yeah, I didn't know what it was either.  It's pretty awesome though.  Check the link to read about the awesomeness.)  Because I've had a miscarriage before, I took progesterone again.  The progesterone had side effects...pretty much, I felt pregnant. It was like last time.  And I knew.  I just KNEW that this would be the month.  We would be successful.  I loved the people at Brown Fertility, and Greg and I both felt that God had led us to Jacksonville, Florida, so we could have this chance.

And yesterday, our results came back.

Not pregnant.

Failed attempt.

Oh.  It hurt. But we picked ourselves up.  We are good at that now.  We watched General Conference for our church.  I may or may not have bawled through parts of it.  But we are Okay.  We will try again (as soon as I can get the excess progesterone out of my system).

Again, I know no one is reading this.  Maybe I have written out our saga as a means of coping.  Maybe I just feel driven to let someone else know that everything will be Okay.  It doesn't feel like it now.  I know it is the hardest thing you have ever gone through.  I know you are angry and absolutely broken.  At least, I was.  But things do get a little easier in some ways.  It is never totally alright, and it's perfectly fine to be sad, but I have realized I am a stronger person and truly capable of doing whatever it is that Heavenly Father asks me to do.  There is power in that.  It is not the power I asked for at the beginning of this.  No, I wanted the power to conceive naturally and quickly and keep my babies.  But I am happy I have become better.  And that's all.  I hope maybe someone who needs it will stumble across this and know they are not alone.  There are people with "failed attempts." But we will get through it together, and with God.


  1. *loves* thanks for having the courage I still don't have to write your story. You are wonderful.

  2. I love you and you are in my prayers! A lady in our ward that doesnt ovulate, through the help of different medicines and treatments, now has 7 healthy children! Lots and lots of love,
    Aunt Cindy
    PS. You are a wonderful writer and will touch many peoples hearts!

  3. I love you.... That is all....
    Ok, so you know me well enough to know I always say more :)
    You are amazing. I know this time is hard for you and Greg, you are always in our prayers.
    I know your experiences will mean that when the time comes to have those babies in your home that you will treasure every moment, and I am sure that no baby will be more loved!
    I am still so appreciative of the love you have shown my children, so patient and loving.
    We miss you,
    Ellie saw your picture and asked where you were, we need to visit Florida I guess ;)
    You are in our prayers, always,
    We love you

  4. Hi Greg and Heather, this is Kellen. We're reading and we love and support you. You're in our prayers.

  5. Hey Heather and Greg, Matt here. Thanks for sharing and I do think that talking about these things does help. Our door (well really phone line)is always open. Much love.

  6. Heather: Yeah someone is reading your blog--me. My heart breaks for you (and your hubbie & mom & dad). I wish I could give you a big hug and let you know that you're strong enough to deal with the trials you're given. I had been told I wouldn't be able to have kids (endometriosis) but Blair's patriarchal blessing said "he'd be the father of his children" so we had faith to try. I miscarried as age 29 and was lost for several months (depression). As you know, I was able to have Drew (at age 30), then 17 months later Derek and 18 months after him the twins, Joshua & Tanner. You will be blessed and helped through each of your trials. You will be able to be a great Aunt to Cammie's baby (it will hurt though too) but you will make it because you have a husband that loves you and faith in a father in heaven who knows you and loves you. If you ever need to talk call me 480-844-8382. You will be in my prayers. Be happy and enjoy the journey of each day of this trial. Love ya, Sheron Bradshaw

    1. Thank you for letting me know and for reaching out. That means a lot to me!

  7. Hey Heather, thank you for sharing. Just recently i have gone through a miscarriage myself, from small rumors around the ward I had also heard you had had a miscarriage. my heart goes out to you having been through this trial. You probably had a ward in Idaho similar to the one we are in now. people talk about what's in the water now as so many women have recently announced a pregnancy. in circumstances like these it is hard to see how common miscarriages are. i am ironically really grateful for my miscarriage. hearing your story and having two other friends struggle to get pregnant makes me feel so blessed. I was able to conceive more quickly than I originally had hoped so I had to completely change my mind frame when i did find out I was pregnant. My excitement grew and i didn't care how poor i'd be but just pictured my wonderful life with a little one. the hardest part for me was going into my first appointment with high expectations and receiving no clarity. but in my heart just knowing that this one hadn't worked. I find myself so blessed because my specific miscarriage is nothing compared to what I know you and others are going through with month after month of trials. again our prayers are with you!

    Melissa Walter

    1. Thanks Melissa, it is good to hear from you. I'm sorry for your miscarriage. Those first appointments can be so hard, I still remember what mine felt like. I'm glad you let me know your experience. I hope everything goes well for you :)

  8. Oh Heather, I'm so sorry. We have been and will certainly continue to pray for both of you. We love you!

  9. Hi. I know that you don't know me. A mutual friend pointed me to your blog (Jeremy Huppe). I just want to let you know that you are absolutely not alone. Everything that you are feeling is totally normal and can make you feel lonely. I am LDS and sometimes thing people say at church is awful. Testimonies about how Heavenly Father gives babies to those He loves and trusts most, glances in your direction during a lesson about families, and comments from almost-strangers about how you are sinning if you don't have children. I've been there. Unfortunately, a lot of infertile LDS people have been there.

    Thank you for opening up and sharing your story. Educating and being open is the first step to helping others to know how to support the infertile people around them. I'm so sorry for your struggle, and for the loss of your twin babies. I'm so sorry that this is a trial for you. Keep praying, stay hopeful, keep trudging on with the IUIs, and don't give up.

    If you want a fellow LDS infertile sister to talk to, look me up. I'd love another friend who "gets" what's going on.

    -Allison Jeppson
    PS The terrible, horrible, painful test was an HSG, right?

    1. Yes, it was an HSG. Good thing it doesn't last very long because I thought they were trying to kill me.

      Thanks for reaching out, that really means a lot to me. I completely agree that education and openness are the first steps to take. Sometimes I have wondered if my husband and I were asked to go through this so that we could learn to help others, so the fact that you are willing to do that for me means so much. I would love to keep updated with you, I think your blog is such a great idea. Thanks again.

  10. Heather, I read your blog also!! Yay!!! You are not alone..... and my heart aches for all of you! Its never easy! Not sure I ever shared this with you but I had a miscarriage and a stillbirth at 7 months (girl), on my birthday. We had 4 healthy children after that! And I am grateful for experiences and trials which bring me closer to my Heavenly Father and my husband! It will either tear you apart or bring you closer, and we make that choice! Keep the faith that I know you have!! I love you so much and miss that smiling face of yours!!! Enjoy the journey....Motherhood will happen! Love, Jerolyn Hicken

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  12. Thanks for posting this. <3

  13. My third of five miscarriages was twins. The first one died--no more morning sickness, but I was still pregnant. At 3 months along I started into labor and delivered a little teeny boy. (We just have girls.) Two years later I had miscarried again and lost a lot of blood. We went to the temple with our ward. My very spiritual friend was sitting by me. During the session she asked how I felt. I said, "Not very good." In the Celestial room afterward she said that my son had come to her and wanted her tell me thanks for all I had done for him. I know that is true. My valiant son is waiting. Same with you. Love forever, Susan Andersen (Stephanie Z's mom)