“The words my husband shouted as my first son was born were, ‘It’s a boy!’ We had waited to find out the gender until birth. His name is Cain Sidney Wirth. He was a surprise pregnancy, but everything we ever dreamed of. I felt so fortunate to have no worries when it came to getting pregnant and pregnancy itself. I figured the same would hold true when we tried for a second. I assumed we would try for a month or two and then BAM, pregnant. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
May 2018 is when we decided it was time to try and expand our family. I was excited and couldn’t wait to start testing because I figured it had to work within the first few months. May, June, July, August, September, and October all passed us by and I was still not pregnant. I couldn’t understand what was happening, I timed everything! I was ovulating and my cycle seemed normal. What in the world was going on?! 6 months and still nothing. On Thanksgiving Day of 2018, we were on our annual family cruise and I decided to take a test that morning. There it was — POSITIVE! I couldn’t believe it. I ran out and told my husband, ‘I’m pregnant!’ He looked surprised I even brought a test with me on this trip but we were both happy. I had a shirt that said, ‘Shhh, I have a secret, I’m going to be a big brother’ for my son to wear once I found out I was pregnant, but I forgot it. I am a very superstitious person and this was the first bad omen I felt for this pregnancy. We shared the news with our parents and my mom asked me, ‘I thought you’d be more excited.’ For some reason, I had a pit in my stomach about it and couldn’t shake the feeling.
We returned from our trip and I went to the OB a week later for my first prenatal visit. I knew for a fact I was 8 weeks pregnant based on my dates, but he told me the sac and baby were measuring smaller. They took my blood and asked me to come back a week later. This was the second bad feeling I had about this pregnancy. On my way home later that day, I received a call from the nurse. ‘Claire, your HCG is not very high. We need you to come back again ASAP for another blood draw.’ My heart sank. I knew something wasn’t right, I just knew it. My husband kept assuring me to not panic until we had actual facts, so I tried to stay calm.
I went back for another blood draw. My levels are not going up as they should and they wanted me to come the next day for an ultrasound. The doctor looked at me during the ultrasound and said, ‘I am so sorry, I can’t find a heartbeat.’ I could feel all the blood rush out of my head. That was it, the end. Back to square one in regards to trying for another baby. I went back to my car and sat in the front seat, crying hysterically with my husband. I had to get it together, paint a smile on my face, and head into work. Thankfully I had a few co-workers who knew what was going on and I am so grateful they were there for me that day. It was one of the most emotional moments of my life and to this day, I wonder who it was that we lost.
January, February, and March all passed by and I was still not pregnant following our miscarriage. My OB finally referred me to a reproductive endocrinologist and we got the ball rolling with fertility testing. Everything came back as unexplained infertility. He recommended we move forward with medicated IUI… I was ecstatic. I felt a huge weight come off my shoulders as all the monitoring was in their hands and I could ‘relax!’ I felt hopeful for my first cycle but knew it isn’t typical to get pregnant with your first IUI.
Cycle 1, not pregnant. I reminded myself, ‘It is okay.’ The doctor told me he had a better idea of what my body does and does not respond to medication wise. We started my second IUI cycle on my 29th birthday. I felt like this was a good sign! I had my baseline ultrasound and started the process for our second round. Fast-forward 4 weeks and on June 12th, CLEAR AS DAY, I finally saw a POSITIVE PREGNANCY TEST! I couldn’t wait for my husband to get home and surprise him with the news!
A few weeks later, we went to my first ultrasound and I was cautiously optimistic, as my HCG levels were rising perfectly. There is always that thought in the back of my mind something could go wrong at any time. I sat down on the ultrasound table and the doctor looked for the sac and baby. ‘I see a beautiful sac here, but are you sure you are 6 weeks and 2 days pregnant? I can’t find the baby just yet – it could be too early.’ I could feel all the blood leaving my head and felt like I was about to faint. He then said, ‘Let me move you to a different machine, one that is more hi-def.’ I waited for him to return and then we saw our beautiful little ‘dot’ inside the sac. I was measuring 2 days behind, which is why he had a hard time finding the baby. Overall, I felt relieved he found our baby hiding in there and that I was finally pregnant again.
The weeks seemed to fly by during this pregnancy as I was working full time and chasing a toddler. There was definitely no time to relax! Before I knew it, we were halfway to meeting our rainbow baby! We traveled to San Diego, went to Disney twice, a cruise, and before I knew it, it was January 2020! My due date was February 21st, but when I went in for a routine ultrasound it was noted my baby is measuring behind in size. I knew this likely meant I would be induced early. All I cared about was meeting my rainbow baby, ALIVE and HEALTHY.
At 36 weeks and 4 days pregnant, I went in for my routine prenatal appointment. My doctor looked at my chart and saw the baby is measuring in the 2nd percentile. He scheduled me for induction in 3 days when I would be 37 weeks. I called my husband as I was leaving and told him the news! He said, ‘I wonder if the baby will come 3 days before induction like the first one!’ We both laughed thinking… lightening doesn’t strike twice! I went on about my day as if it was like any other, no contractions or indication of labor.
Around 9:30 p.m. that night, I went to get ready for bed and there were still no signs of labor. My husband came up to say goodnight and then took the dog for a walk. When he came back, he could hear something coming from upstairs. It was me, hunched over the bed in immense pain with contractions 30 seconds apart. I couldn’t even look at my phone to time them as it was making me nauseous to do so. We called my mom to tell her it was go-time and she had my dad come over (my son was sleeping). We called the doctor to tell him we are going to the hospital. As soon as I got a break in contractions, I ran down the steps into the car before another began. I kept thinking to myself with every contraction, ‘I can’t believe I am about to have a baby in the car.’ I was terrified something was going to happen to him if we did not make it to the hospital and I could not bear the loss of another child.
We pulled up to the hospital at 10:45 p.m. and a team of nurses and a midwife came to the side of my car to get me out and into a wheelchair. Moaning down the hallway as I was wheeled to my room, I couldn’t believe my water had yet to break. They got me on the table at 11:00 p.m. and said I was 9 cm with a bulging bag. My doctor walked in, broke my water, and said, ‘Okay, Claire, it is time to push!’ At the start of this pregnancy, I said I wanted to try for a natural birth but I did not think this was how I was going to get it! After the first push, I saw my husband go sit down, white as a ghost with a towel on his head. The adrenaline caught up to him – he finally got me to the hospital to deliver our rainbow baby. Two pushes later, I then heard the sound I waited 22 LONG months to hear, the cry from my little boy. My rainbow baby. He was alive and breathing and I could hardly believe my eyes. Carter Hawk Wirth was born at 11:17 p.m. on what is now known as the craziest night of our lives.
Nothing can prepare you for the emotions that come with infertility struggles, the loss of a child, and then the joy of welcoming your rainbow baby into the world. Countless months of waiting, hoping, shots, appointments, needles, ultrasounds… all leading up to one moment: the birth of our baby. I will never forget looking into Carter’s eyes and thinking, ‘I have waited for you and now you are finally here, safe in my arms.'”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Claire Wirth from Delray Beach, FL. You can follow their journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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