Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Path to Motherhood

Before I tried to have a child, I never thought I would have any difficulties. My mother didn't have any problems having me, so why would I run into any trouble? Besides I was a healthy young woman who took good care of herself. My husband and I took our time before we started trying... we wanted to enjoy being married first, get a house, all that good stuff. When we decided to go for it, I got pregnant almost right away. I was overjoyed, picturing the little boy or girl who would join us and make us a family. I couldn't think of anything else! And then it happened... at the 8 week appointment, the doctor tried to listen to the heart and heard nothing. She said it could still be too early, but that I should go get a sonogram to check. I tried to stay positive until I was in the ultrasound room and saw the look on the lady's face... she couldn't find a heartbeat either. In an instant, all my dreams and joy were gone.

After you have a miscarriage, you find out that many others have had one too... all these women you know start telling you that they too, lived through the loss. I'm not quite sure why people don't talk about it more openly, because when it happens to you, you feel so alone in your pain, when really, many others know what you're going through and can help you. In fact, the doctors will tell you approximately one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage. It didn't make the loss any easier, but just knowing that so many women have had a miscarriage and have gone on to have perfectly normal pregnancies gave me the hope I needed to move forward.

When the second miscarriage happened though, a new doubt came over me... would I ever be able to have a child?  At that point, I needed to feel like I was doing something about it. So I went to see a fertility doctor. We did a bunch of tests.. there was nothing really conclusive except that maybe, my blood clots a bit too easily. We agreed that, since I had no problem conceiving, we would wait until I got pregnant, and we'd begin a "miscarriage prevention" treatment immediately after that. Two month later, I was back at the office with a tiny little embryo inside of me. They gave me shots to do every night. For the first twelve weeks I had to do two shots, one of a hormone and one of a blood thinner. After twelve weeks, I just had to do the blood thinner every night, until the third trimester. For the first 10 weeks, I went into the office once a week for an ultrasound to make sure the embryo was doing ok. I also did acupuncture once a week for the first twelve weeks. It may sound like a lot, but the way I saw it, I wanted to do everything possible to keep this pregnancy going. The weekly ultrasounds and accupuncture appointments really helped me keep my sanity, because after two miscarriages, your first twelve weeks are just nerve wracking; you worry about everything, and you can't let yourself be happy because you are too scared of the disappointment.
After the first twelve weeks, the only thing I still needed to do was the daily shot of blood thinner.
My belly was not a pretty thing, it was covered with huge bruises from the shots, but it was well worth it... the rest of my pregnancy went without a hitch and I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy!

Today, I hardly ever think of the tough times. My path to motherhood was not the easiest, but it certainly wasn't the hardest either. I know some people have it much worse and my heart goes out to them. I'll never know if I would have had a healthy pregnancy without all the treatments, I just didn't want to take a chance. Science can't solve everything, but the doctors and nurses that helped me along the way were truly amazing and I think we are lucky to live in a time where doctors can sometimes change your life, and give you what you might not have been able to have otherwise.
Even though this is a very personnal matter, I wrote this post because I don't think miscarriages should be taboo. I hope this can help other women who may be having a hard time getting or staying pregnant.


  1. I'm so proud of you posting this and I know it's going to be such a huge help to other families out there!

  2. Hi Katy and Jackie! thank you so much for your nice comments... you both inspire me.

  3. You rock! Thank you for sharing Marie... your story will help other couples I promise you!