I Hate My Birthday: A Fertility Story
Health Parenting

I Hate My Birthday: A Fertility Story

I Hate My Birthday: A Fertility Story

After I had my daughter, my fertility doctor asked me to write my success story. Here it is: I have a beautiful, healthy baby girl. That’s it. There is nothing more to say. Success.

Now, do you want to hear the story of my failure? The time is here to tell it. It goes something like this:

When I was 34, I decided that I wanted a 4th child. Why not? Even numbers are good. Everyone has someone to sit next to on the rides at Disney World. We had already exceeded 2 so the hotel situation was already a disaster. Why not add to the mayhem?

As with the 3 previous children, I got pregnant as soon as my husband looked my way. This one was different, though. The nausea stopped. It never stopped with the others. That’s right; I knew something was wrong when I wasn’t throwing up. Then I started bleeding. My husband drove me to the emergency room and I waited as the tech fumbled through the ultra sound and tried to find a heartbeat. Nothing. She tried to assure me, but I knew.

I celebrated my 35th birthday with a miscarriage. Happy birthday. Nobody was alarmed. Miscarriages are common, right?

Then why did I feel so alone?

The second miscarriage happened while I was at school. Fifth hour. My doctor wanted me to see the high risk specialist, so when I got pregnant the third time I scheduled an appointment immediately. They put me on progesterone and blood thinners and wanted frequent ultrasounds to measure the baby’s growth.

At the six week ultrasound the heart beat was too slow. The doctor politely informed me that while there was a remote possibility of survival, the prognosis was not good. I went back a week later and it had not improved. The doctor saw little to no chance of survival. I would need to wait for the heartbeat to stop so that I could have a D&C. I went back every 4 days for ultrasounds. It took 2 ½ weeks.

When the surgery came, the surgical nurse told me that she was sorry about my baby. I closed my eyes, turned my head, and pretended that I couldn’t hear her.

The story of the fourth miscarriage is pretty similar to the third. Progesterone and blood thinners to prevent another loss. Frequent ultrasounds to monitor the heartbeat. Another 2 ½ weeks to wait for that slow little heart beat to stop and a D&C. The only difference was that my doctor left the exam room and returned with a business card for a fertility doctor. He couldn’t do anything else to help me.

My third child, Kaylie, a sweet, compassionate little girl, had been praying for a baby sister. She prayed like it was her job. She prayed for a year. She didn’t know about the losses and it broke my heart because we know that our third and fourth angels were baby girls.

We saw the fertility doctor and loved her immediately. (We didn’t like the 2 ½ hour wait in her office, though). We told her our story and she got up and hugged me. I remember that day. She was wearing a black dress with leopard print tights.

She came up with a plan. It included 2 surgical procedures, hormones, regular blood work and daily shots for 9 months.

I had my first ultrasound on my 37th birthday. Happy birthday.

We took Kaylie with us to the 20 week ultrasound. I talked to her the night before, and I told her that there was no guarantee that it was a girl. She cried and told me that it wasn’t fair. Her brothers had each other and she wanted a sister.

When the tech told us that it was a girl, I cried. Kaylie busted out her incredulous look, though. We were all idiots. Of course it was a baby girl. That’s what she had prayed for. (Later, she wanted to pray for a baby brother and a dog. I forbade it.)

It was an incredible amount of heartbreak. I couldn’t handle it alone. I got a therapist and went on an anti-depressant. (Tom Cruise, you can kiss my ASS! That medication saved my spirit and my life.) But when I hear Lila (Kaylie got to name her!) ask me to sit “necka” her or “snack” her coat for her, my heart melts and I know that it was all worth it.