Last February, Danielle reached out to me and wrote: “I would love to work on writing about what it is like to be pregnant with a rainbow baby after miscarriage. I think there is a big misconception that once you’re pregnant and have made it farther than you ever have in pregnancy, that your life is just joyous and your fears are gone…I’m 21 weeks pregnant and still navigating the emotions behind this!”
Her emotions are so accurate to what many women feel after struggling with infertility and I love her willingness to share her story (and joy!) with us in today’s What It’s Like series. Danielle, thank you for your desire to share … and congratulations!
Five years of trying. Three surgeries. Three rounds of IVF. One miscarriage of two babies. One rainbow baby!
I should have been over the moon when we found out we were pregnant with our rainbow baby on our third round of IVF, but I had more anxiety and fear than happiness. This is me, being real honest!
The miscarriage I suffered wrecked me. It wrecked my world. It put me deeper into depression. Because let’s be real, I had been in different stages of depression since our first full unsuccessful year of trying to get pregnant. Throw in a failed IVF, and I was struggling. I lost interest in almost everything I normally loved to do, even run my small business. And my smile was empty and filled with frustration, loneliness and pain.
Going into our third round of IVF, I was completely, emotionally disconnected. I just went through the motions. Appointment, injection, ultrasound…repeat. We had 3 embryos remaining, 1 boy and 2 girls. One of the girl embryos is such a poor quality that our doctor told us to not even consider transferring her. We knew we wanted to transfer our boy and freeze the good quality girl for baby number 2 in a few years.
The morning of our FET in October, I was on edge and hormonal. My husband and I argued, and I told him lets just cancel it. After getting over myself, we got in the car and drove to our fertility center.
We checked in and were waiting in the procedure room when our doctor came in to discuss our embryos. (This is normal protocol after they unfreeze the one we chose ahead of time.)
The doctor proceeded to tell us that our good quality boy embryo, that we planned on transferring, did not survive being unthawed. I could immediately see the disappointment on my husbands face. The son he so desperately longed for, was gone. Our son we had a name for was no more. Our hearts sank and the tone changed. And I immediately started to think that this FET was just not meant to be. We had to quickly mourn the loss of him, and move on to the next embryo. It was such a strange feeling.
We were there, we had a girl embryo that was perfect quality, we went through with the transfer. Our doctor was always optimistic with our transfers, always reminding us to have hope and always blessed us with the symbol of the cross over us and declared us pregnant before we left. He is pretty special.
We went home, did the bed rest thing, and went on with life. I didn’t pay attention to any potential symptoms, and I was actually not a very nice person because I was prepared to hear bad news, or guard my heart from another miscarriage.
Friday the 13th, my nurse called and gave me the news, “You’re pregnant, yay congrats!!”
All I could do is laugh. In fact, I laughed for a good couple of days. I felt nothing. No symptoms, no moments of “oh I feel different”. NOTHING.
My HCG level was much better than last time, but I still did not want to get my hopes up until my next blood draw. I prayed for my HCG to get to a specific number for our 2nd blood draw, and God far surpassed that; my numbers tripled.
We went to our first ultrasound and saw the flicker of a heartbeat…she was really there! A baby. Our baby girl. She was the one meant to be all along. God knew exactly what He was doing.
My whole pregnancy, I was afraid to connect with my daughter. I was so afraid of a loss happening at any moment. I got anxiety and held my breath on my way to every ultrasound appointment. I even had fear of having a still birth. People would ask me how excited I was, and how amazing it must feel to have this miracle baby growing inside of me. Don’t get me wrong, it was absolutely AMAZING, and I miss the heck out of being pregnant; but all of a sudden having this new identity of being a mother-to-be, and no longer a 30-something infertile girl was a struggle for me to transition to. The assumption that a pregnancy after loss means pure joy, was not true for me.
Ava Marie was born on June 21 and the moment I heard her cry, I completely lost it. Tears of joy, relief, amazement and finally the feeling a pure joy! She was here. She is healthy. She is our rainbow after the storm. The most beautiful perfect rainbow.
Maybe we went through all of the pain to getting her, so I would feel the way I feel right now. She is what my heart needed. She saved my soul and brought me back to life. Hope never lost.
Danielle is a wife, mom, and business owner who runs Faithful Scents. God gave her a passion to spread His word and she doesn’t take the responsibility lightly and gives Him all of the glory. You can connect with her on Instagram at @faithfulscents.
PPS – If you’re ever looking for a devotional on living life while in a waiting season, check out the devotional I co-authored called ‘In the Wait’!
PPPS – Check out the other contributions from this series, including What It’s Like: to experience multiple IVF cycles, raise a child with special needs, use an egg donor, be a DIY-er and home style blogger , be a NICU nurse, Live fully in singleness while still hoping for marriage, suffer with endometriosis. experience depression, start a company, have a micro preemie, lose a parent, be childless not by choice, have a spouse with a chronic illness, fund raise for fertility treatments, have a traumatic birthing experience, take a natural route with infertility, be on a reality show, go through the adoption process, have male factor infertility,be a stay at home mom, be an entertainer, be given a Down syndrome diagnosis for your child , experience multiple miscarriages, have a surrogate, experience a late pregnancy stillbirth, be a police officers wife, be a working mom , be a breastfeeding mother, have weight loss surgery, donate and adopt an embryo, be on a reality show, go through the fostering process, throw a themed dinner party , have PCOS, have had a cancer diagnosis,be a high school teacher,love someone who’s experiencing infertility, be a step-parent, be the husband in a couple experiencing infertility , experience secondary infertility, experience postpartum anxiety, experience a traumatic loss, be a single mom, and have a child born with cancer. Stay tuned for many other amazing topics to come every Tuesday and Friday here!