I’ve struggled with Depression since I was 13. I kept writing suicide notes to my parents and sitting alone with a knife wishing I didn’t have to have courage to push it into my wrist. I’ve been on antidepressants for 20 years now, since my mom found one of my notes.
I married my husband May 9, 2009. He is the rock in my life. He is infinitely patient, continually wonderful, and the love of my life.
I found out I was pregnant with Josh on July 2, 2010, I was on birth control, but so happy to be pregnant, and not surprised because of the symptoms I’d been having. I lost him the next day. I had wanted to name my son Joshua since I was nine, and I had a dream that he was a boy, so there it was.
We started trying to get pregnant again in October 2010, and it happened right away. I started bleeding December 7, confirmed the miscarriage at the doctor on December 10 and took something to help it along. It was so surreal, I don’t even remember what I took. I named her Caroline, but call her Linny for short.
About two months later, I spent three days in the psych ward to prevent me from acting on my suicidal thoughts. An intense therapy program followed, and many therapists after that.
We started trying again in April 2011, and I got pregnant again in October. I started bleeding the night before Thanksgiving, which was also my mom’s birthday, Nov 24, and was certain by Thanksgiving morning. I spent 6 hours in the ER on black Friday getting confirmation. First they gave me a pregnancy test and told me I wasn’t pregnant. I had to push for a quantitative hCG and an ultrasound. The uncaring doctor said, as he leaned against the counter in my room, that “fetal demise must have occurred a week ago.” If I had any idea what his name was I would find him and tell him all about how hurtful that was. I gave her the other name I had been planning since childhood, Anastasia.
Luckily, or unluckily, we knew why all these miscarriages happened. Due to family history my husband did a genetic screening in March 2010 and they found two chromosomes stuck together, giving us a 49% chance of miscarriage, a 3% chance of the baby living with defects, and only a 48% chance of a healthy baby. We looked into IVF with pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD), but that only gave us a 33% chance of taking home a healthy baby, so we didn’t do that. In January, 2014 I got checked out for anything else that might be causing miscarriages, and all the tests came back normal.
After three miscarriages and not a good outlook from the RE, we took 18 months off from trying despite the fact that I was already 30. We moved to Ireland so we could live somewhere interesting while I got my Master’s. I finished in August and graduated in October 2013, but my visa expired more than a month before the graduation ceremony, so I wasn’t there.
We moved back to Minnesota in September 2013, bought the second house we toured, and started trying again in October.
After 6 negatives, I got a positive pregnancy test on January 21st, 2014, 32 days after the first day of my last period. So my hormone levels started out low. Five days later, slight bleeding that my OB/GYN assured me was implantation bleeding got heavier. But she had put the high risk in my chart and told me to go to the ER if the bleeding got heavier, so maybe they could retrieve some tissue to test. The ER doctor was wonderful. She took some samples though she didn’t believe they would do any good, and it turns out they didn’t. She automatically did a quantitative hCG, not trying to tell me I wasn’t really pregnant like the other ER doctor. When the results came back at 5, and there was nothing on the ultrasound, she held my hands as she said that she was so sorry my baby had died. We named him Gregory, my maiden name.
We had another RE consult and the IVF-PGD chances had gone up above 40%, so it seemed like that was our best choice. We started IVF injections July 2nd, 2014. The egg retrieval was July 24th, we had 8 eggs retrieved, 7 were mature, 4 fertilized. My right ovary hemorrhaged, and became 3 times its normal size filled with blood. It was very painful for 6 weeks. None of our embryos made it to the biopsy for PGD.
I did another intensive therapy stint, and then I completed 12 months of an incredibly helpful program called DBT, dialectical behavior therapy. I had 30-60 minutes of individual therapy and 2 hours of group learning/therapy every week. It has made a huge difference in my ability to handle things.
In the summer of 2015, we started the process of trying to conceive with donated sperm via IUI, timed by ovulation predictor urine testing. It worked on the first try despite the 15% chance of that happening, and the implantation bleeding being heavier than the period before it. Our son is due March 14th, 2016, five years and 1 day after his oldest sibling’s due date.
TL;DR Four miscarriages, chromosome abnormality, one failed IVF, major depression, donor sperm pregnancy.