Hope: a four-letter word that means so much to some and so little to others. To my husband that word meant a lot as we stepped off onto a beaten path in order to begin to grow our little family. To me that word was important but then gradually rang empty promises as we began a march to a different beat because our path to become parents kept veering off course due to who knows what.
We had agreed at the end of 2011 that 2012 we wished to try for our own little bundle of joy but it seemed as if it wasn’t going to be as we struggled and my heart ached each month I began my period. I heard of others getting pregnant right away or after a couple of months and yet here I was unable to conceive. Then something had changed and to our despair, I miscarried. I wasn’t fully sad about the situation because to me it brought back hope since that meant that I could conceive it was just a matter as to why I couldn’t carry a child. I had so many questions as to why and what had gone wrong but I clung to that one word, hope, as did my husband since we saw that I had indeed gotten pregnant even though it had ended as quickly as it had started.
Then closer to the end of the year, we suffered from a second miscarriage and I began to let go of my life preserver- hope. Ryan wouldn’t let go and he clung to me, pulling me back, never giving up on our dream of having a family of our own and us becoming parents. He had seen me with children as I taught Preschool and he told me time and time again that I would make a wonderful mother to his children. But my heart ached and broke as we now had two angel babies.
A year ended in heart ache, an empty womb, and full of questions as to why it happened to us but we kept trudging forward, him working in the medical field in the Navy and myself working at one of the most wonderful preschools, Coast Kids in Carlsbad, CA. And though I kept a smile on my face and a kind word on my tongue, working with kids was also taking its toll on me, not because I was jealous but because I was sad at the thought of never being on the other side of the fence as a parent to a rambunctious ready to learn child or children. The teachers and directors of the preschool continued to pray for my husband and me and did their best to help my husband pull me back towards hope but it was a hard task. My family and friends also continued to fight to keep me afloat in the rocky waters of doubt but again it was a difficult task.
In 2013, we could finally see a military doctor about our problems of conceiving and carrying full term and a glimmer of hope once again poured into my heart. We were both tested and none of the results answered the questions as to why I couldn’t carry so they instantly marked me a mystery infertile woman, baffled themselves. They sent us to Infertility and the new doctor began to make a plan for us to follow to get me pregnant. I would have to take Clomid as well as give myself shots of another fertility drug into my stomach that would help my eggs develop quicker so that they can see if I can get pregnant by doing IUI (Intrauterine insemination) treatments along side the other method, sex. I did it even though the shots hurt and I felt like I was wasting my time as I kept thinking that I would never get pregnant with all of that. But once again Ryan, my rock, stepped up to push me forward and to help me with the shots when I felt like I couldn’t do it myself. He couldn’t always go to my appointments with me so my parents would sometimes go with me or one of my friends would go so that I was never alone when I entered that clinic because if I had gone alone, most likely I would have cancelled the appointments and had given up. Whenever he wasn’t able to go with me, I would always get calls or texts asking me how it went, asking what the doctor said, and just seeing if I was okay. That meant the most to me besides him always being by my side. He always thought of me first even though I knew he was hurting from this experience as well.
I ended up going through two IUI sessions and to our joy, the second session with the doctor and of course with us together ended in a pregnancy but before we could rejoice, it ended tragically in yet a third miscarriage. I cried then and I cried a lot because once again my womb had had a little baby in there but for some reason it refused to carry that baby. The doctor told us that we would have to wait for at least three months before we could begin with the shots, Clomid, and IUIs again. And once again, my heart dropped, and hope began to slip through my fingers like sand as my dreams of a family began to fade. I did start to talk about adopting but it still hurt because as every woman wishes to be able to do, I might not have been able to enjoy the strange wonders of carrying a baby full term and giving birth.
Ryan talked to me about adoption I believe to humor me but he still was holding on to hope that we would get pregnant and I would carry full term. And him keeping that hope alive even though I was losing mine had paid off in the end because two months after our last miscarriage, in April, we found out that I was again pregnant. Of course, I didn’t hold my breath since the last three had ended before they even had a chance to really live inside of me so I didn’t have much faith that this one would survive either. I waited week after week for the shoe to drop as they say and I miscarried for a fourth time but then a month went by and I went to the Infertility doctor who confirmed that I was indeed pregnant. I was then transferred over to OBGYN and had another ultrasound done to see that this baby was a fighter; we could even hear a strong heartbeat.
I finally allowed myself to feel hope in my heart again as the months began to slip by and my stomach began to grow larger as the baby inside grew. We did a 2D/3D ultrasound at A Baby Visit in Mira Mesa and found out that our little fighter was going to be a girl. I held Ryan’s hand as we saw our daughter’s face come up on the screen and my heart swelled with joy and happiness. Ryan had a grin on his face and I think went into shock because afterwards we went out to celebrate with my parents, godparents, and a friend that I worked with at Coast Kids and had became good friends with, he barely talked at first. But I knew that if it hadn’t been for my husband, I would have given up after the first two miscarriages and then we wouldn’t have been sitting there in the dark room, staring up at a huge screen that showed a small human wiggling around inside of me. We had our rainbow baby early as well. She decided to grace us with her presence on December 28, 2013 when her due date had been January 2, 2014. We were ecstatic when she decided to join our family and made us a family of three earlier than she was intended to come.
Then two and a half years after our first daughter, we decided that we were ready to try again for another child and so we began to try again, hoping that this time we wouldn’t have to deal with a lot of issues and heartaches. We found out in 2016 that I was pregnant again and we were super excited, not wanting to wait to tell everyone. But we should have waited because it wasn’t meant to be. I went to the ER for bleeding and was told that I was miscarrying another child. I hadn’t gone to the ER the first three times because it had happened so fast and so early on in the pregnancy where as this one I was at least a month or so. So once again we had another angel baby.
We were directed to an Infertility doctor who set up a plan for me to do the IUIs and Clomid but had decided against the shots this time around. I wasn’t looking forward to taking Clomid or giving myself shots in the stomach, and was a bit pleased when he told me that we wouldn’t be doing the shots, but I was willing to do anything to have another baby and this time I clung to hope right alongside Ryan. But we had found out too late because it was time for Ryan to pick out new orders, our three years out in Virginia having come to an end, so we decided that we would wait until we were settled at our new duty station before we once again talked to the infertility doctors and come up with a plan of action.
Our daughter is now 4 1/2 years old, we are settled back in California for Ryan’s new duty station, and we have been blessed in getting pregnant only a few months after getting back to California. We have welcomed another beautiful little girl into our family and she decided to out due her older sister by coming even earlier. She was due August 4, 2018 but decided that was too far away and joined us on July 23, 2018. And we didn’t have to talk to an infertility doctor nor did I have to take Clomid or give myself shots this time around and we couldn’t be any happier than we are now.
It had been Ryan who had kept me going forward in our long difficult journey to becoming parents to two beautiful rainbow babies and I am very grateful. If we had both given up, then we would not be parents today. I just have to remember that even though a situation seems hopeless, I cannot give up and I have to do my best to hold onto even the tiniest bit of hope and keep moving forward.
Now I am a mother to two rainbow babies and four angel babies and though my heart still hurts for the four babies I will never hold in my arms here on Earth, I am still grateful for having gone on this journey with my husband in order to see just how strong we can be together. I may not have been completely strong and Ryan may have had to be the one to pick me up to keep me going but it has opened my eyes to see that we can weather any obstacles this life throws at us. I dealt with being alone whenever Ryan had to be deployed, then I had dealt with the heartache of miscarriages and the birth of two amazing daughters, and now I have to face the challenges of raising these two girls to be independent, loving, caring, thoughtful and to make the right choices in their lives but thankfully I have such an amazing man by my side to help me raise these two as well as amazing family and friends since as the saying goes it takes a village to raise children.
I guess the moral to this story is to not give up hope and if you feel yourself letting go of that hope, make sure you lean on your significant other, your family, and your friends. Even sometimes a complete stranger can help instill that hope in your heart once again. So don’t give up on your dreams of becoming parents and I truly hope that one-day whether you decide to carry or to foster, or to adopt or to foster then adopt or even if you decide to have a surrogate mother, that you too can enjoy the wonderful mysteries of becoming a parent and raising your child/children. And don’t give up hope on any aspect in your life. Go for it! Make your dreams come true whatever they are and I hope you make your life worth living and are truly happy in the end.