“Being diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome) at a young age, I always knew that trying to conceive could potentially be a harder journey for me than most. I remember sitting in the doctor’s office at age 17 wondering if having my own kids was ever going to be a possibility for me. My doctor assured me – after some bloodwork and an ultrasound, I had plenty of eggs, my body just wasn’t maturing them to release. I would most likely be able to have kids, I just may need a little extra help to get there. And from there, he put me on birth control and it hardly affected my life.
Until I started seriously dating. I felt like dating me came with a warning label – like a precursor: watch out, no guarantee I can have kids. And what if someone didn’t want to marry me because of it?
I remember having a conversation with my boyfriend (now husband) at the time and this fear bubbling up when I went to tell him about the real possibility of the struggle. To which he responded so kindly and was unconcerned.
‘This isn’t a deal breaker. However it happens, we can still be parents if we desire one way or another,’ he assured me.
We decided to wait a few years before trying for kids. We were in our early twenties, and wanted to enjoy this time together just the two of us, travel, pay off debt, and enjoy the ‘Dual income, no kids’ (DINKs) lifestyle. Because even though I knew our journey to a baby could take longer, you never really think it’s going to be you.
When we decided to try for a baby, I tried EVERYTHING – changing my diet, working out more, all the ‘natural’ remedies to cure my body of PCOS. And after 11 months off birth control, hoping and waiting for my body to kick into gear, to fall pregnant naturally, we finally decided to start fertility treatments. We both knew a baby was on our hearts and I could no longer put myself through the emotional stress month after month, cycle after cycle with constant negative tests in my face. It was agonizing, frustrating, and so discouraging.
With our first round of treatments, I remember crying to my husband believing it didn’t work only to find out two weeks later we were pregnant. I took a test as I always do on our calendar day thirty, placed it on the counter to wait it out, and was SO shocked when I saw the faintest second line. I remember just bawling in disbelief. My first positive. Was this the manifestation of everything we had been hoping and praying for? My dear husband knew I was taking a test this morning, woke up, asked where it was, and we had a sweet moment together, just the two of us that Saturday morning in our bathroom.
Because I already had an appointment on the calendar, we were lucky in that we got in early for our first OB appointment. At 6.5 weeks we had our first ultrasound. It was easily the best moment of my life. I laid in that small room, crying on the table as we got to see the heartbeat of our little one on the way. The tech informed us that the heartbeat was a little slow, but there was nothing to be concerned about as the heart had literally just started beating, but they wanted us to come in for a follow up the following week.
Our 7.5 week appointment was so different. The tech was quiet. She didn’t say much. She did the ultrasound, printed a photo, and left the room for a minute. I felt my heart start racing and fear was bubbling up. I hadn’t been able to see the screen. Frantically, I was trying to read all the acronyms on her screen looking for any indication that my baby was okay.
I asked my husband.
‘Steven, did you see the baby? Did everything look okay?’
He responded, ‘I don’t know babe, I’m not a doctor, but it looked like a baby to me.’
Our doctor was out of the office for an emergency delivery so we left the office knowing that we would be receiving a follow-up call.
I tried so hard to keep a brave face and silence the new-mom worry. We went to Olive Garden for dinner to take our minds off it and as we were walking out, the doctor called. Easily the hardest call of my life. ‘I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat.’
My whole world fell apart in that moment. The doctor went from ‘there is no heartbeat’ to ‘here are your options,’ and I couldn’t even focus. I felt so numb. Why was this happening? I didn’t understand. I felt so broken. I just wanted to get off the phone. I remember crying so hard my husband was rubbing my back saying, ‘breathe Amanda, breathe.’
I just felt dumb. I felt guilty. There were no signs or symptoms that anything was wrong. I was diagnosed with a missed miscarriage, as in, my body was holding onto that baby so tight and didn’t want to let go even though baby had passed.
I opted to have a D&C because I didn’t feel I could emotionally handle a natural miscarriage. That whole week leading up to surgery I cried a LOT. I felt so alone and sad. I found myself processing through writing. It gave me the space to feel what I was feeling. The rawness of where I was at in that moment.
In talking with my nurse, she said, ‘Amanda, there was nothing you could have done. It wasn’t your fault.’ I started sobbing on the phone. It’s hard not to feel like my body failed me. I thought we had passed our biggest obstacle. Living with PCOS I felt, if we can just GET pregnant, that’ll be our biggest hurdle. I never imagined or believed we would be grieving today.
Post surgery, you just feel so empty. Pregnant one minute, gone the next. It’s a hard thing to work through. To me, it doesn’t matter how far along you are, once you know your baby exists, your whole world changes. You start dreaming, you start planning. You imagine what that little life growing inside you will bring to the world.
It’s been eight months since our loss and it hasn’t been easy. A lot of milestones have come and gone, including our due date, but between my faith in God, my husband, family, friends, and dear counselor, I have been able to make peace with our story to be able to move forward and bring the memory of our baby with us.
Grief is a hard thing, it’s a process. And healing doesn’t happen overnight. But I promise you, there is LIFE after loss. There is wholeness after loss. My miscarriage has been the hardest thing I have gone through in my life, but it has connected me in the most beautiful way to women I would have never imagined. It is a human experience that transcends any race, political background, education, social status, etc. It’s something that unites us together in a unique experience filled with such deep emotions that can only be understood by someone that can say, I’ve been there. I hope that my willingness to share my story helps even just one woman to know she’s not alone and inspires others to share their own journeys as well.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Amanda Beckham of Chicago, Illinois. You can follow her journey on Instagram and Facebook. 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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‘In a Waffle House bathroom, I wiped. Bright red blood. Stunned, ‘Oh my God, this can’t be happening again.’: Couple suffers 5 miscarriages to finally welcome surprise rainbow baby, ‘All 9 of my children are and were a gift from God’
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