Guest Post for National Infertility Awareness Week

Today we have a guest post from a woman in Denver, Colorado with infertility. Here is her story:

Guest Post: Barrett Lucero

My first miscarriage in July 2011 was shocking. My partner and I had tried for over a year to get pregnant and we’d had several positive pregnancy tests that quickly turned negative after a couple of days. We finally had a positive that stuck and we were days away from our first midwife appointment. I was only 6 weeks pregnant, but when it ended, I fell apart. Talking to our midwife helped; she said most women have an average two miscarriages in their lifetime. I was amazed. I thought I hadn’t met anyone who’d had a miscarriage. I whispered about mine to my mom (who’d had a miscarriage that I’d never known about), I whispered about it to my friends (most of whom had had miscarriages that I’d never known about). So we started again, with the knowledge that our next pregnancy would likely be just fine.

And it wasn’t. Eight weeks into the pregnancy, one week after we’d seen the embryo’s strong, beating heart on an ultrasound, I lost it. I bled so much that we ended up in the emergency room. I was shattered. In those eight short weeks, I had fallen so in love with this little hope growing inside me, making me sick, making me plan, making me joyous. When it was gone, I felt my hope for the future was gone.

I knew there would be doctors we could see and treatments we could seek for whatever was making me lose my pregnancies. I knew that other women and their families suffered miscarriages often. I knew many women who had more miscarriages than I had. It didn’t change my loneliness and profound sense of loss. I couldn’t understand how some people brushed it off as just something that happens. I couldn’t understand how people seemed to think that I just needed to move on.

We weren’t supposed to get pregnant again until we’d seen our reproductive specialist, but we did. I was terrified. I was resigned to losing the pregnancy. I took no joy in the positive pregnancy tests. We finally got in to see the doctor during my fifth week of pregnancy and it was determined that I had a progesterone deficiency. An easy enough fix (with daily progesterone treatment till week 12), but something that would have been an impassable roadblock to successful pregnancy just years earlier. That was our first successful pregnancy, and with the help of more treatment, we had a second successful pregnancy a couple of years later.

I am constantly reminded that my infertility journey was relatively easy compared to others’ journeys with infertility. If mine was on the easy side, I have so much compassion and love for those who go through much more. My heart breaks when I hear of it.

I used to be so quiet about my infertility. I thought people would think I needed to move on, that I was “lucky” to have only had two miscarriages, that it didn’t matter in the greater scheme of things. But talking about my infertility to anyone who wants to listen has healed some of the old wounds of losing those pregnancies, and given others reassurance that infertility is suffered by many. Talking about it validates my experience and lets other people validate their own experiences. I’d like to tell everyone who deals with infertility in whatever form and from whatever distance: You are not alone. Your loss and loneliness are real. You deserve love and compassion and bounteous rewards for your struggle. You are courageous.