Miscarriage is devastating. After the intense joy of learning that you are carrying life within you, the loss hits so hard. I was sad and really angry, if I'm honest. I remember scrolling through FB, seeing friend after friend announce pregnancies and births. I was happy for them, of course, but oh so envious. I'd study infertility/miscarriage forums and try to self-diagnose what was going on; blaming myself for our losses and wondering what I did to cause the loss. Was I too selfish? Did I workout too hard? Did I eat well enough? Sleep enough? Manage my stress well enough? Would my husband want to stay with me if I couldn't have a successful pregnancy?
My OB had told me that there was nothing we could do, if I continued to have miscarriages (4 to be exact), we'd be referred to a specialist. FOUR. I decided not to wait and pushed to be seen within a few weeks. After one of our first screenings, I was diagnosed with a Uterine Septum - our specialist was certain this was causing our infertility.
I had surgery shortly thereafter and was pregnant within two months. Our little Benjamin was born in May 2012 (and Nathan in March of 2014).
It's National Infertility Awareness Week and this is why I'm sharing my story. The theme of the social awareness campaign is #startasking, start asking the tough questions that bring awareness to infertility and bring support for those who need it.
I know there's a stigma and shame surrounding infertility but I hope you'll consider sharing your story, too. I'll be honest, I wasn't sure I wanted to share mine, after all, I know that there are others who have struggled to a much greater degree and those who have endured the heartbreak of knowing they will never have kids. But, there's shame in that thinking too, isn't there?
My experience with infertility, losing my two little angels, going through two D&C's, allowed me to step into my power in a new way; to notice the joy around me (even in the sorrow), to seek support, to exercise self-compassion even when I wanted to beat myself up, to move forward one day at a time and to be grateful for all the ways my life was full, even if I couldn't have what I wanted.