Ann’s Story

 

I am a wife, a mother, a friend, a teacher. A lover of all things penguin. I love to write and to read.  If I was to have a second career, it would most likely be in some form of writing.  Writing has always been my go-to when I am struggling with life issues. I journaled through my entire infertility/fertility process…my 2 1/2  year journey to get pregnant with my daughter.  After I had her, THE LIGHT and JOY of my life, I began a blog to post pictures and update family on my life.  Quickly this blog has become my outlet.  It’s been a way to educate others about miscarriage and a candid take on how I am handling my grief with infertility and miscarriage.

 

So here’s my story…

 

Three years ago I started the journey of IVF to conceive my 2nd child, a sibling for my daughter. We transferred one beautiful baby girl in January of 2012. I was naive. I thought I would get pregnant right away and that would bethat. Well I DID get pregnant and “that was that”- or so it seemed.  My first blood test indicated that I was pregnant.  An ultrasound at 6 weeks
confirmed my pregnancy. I felt such joy seeing the heartbeat of this tiny little miracle inside of me.  I wouldn’t have taken that moment for granted if I knew it would be taken from me, but I didn’t. It’s so easy to take every day moments for granted. Despite some bleeding, my 8 week ultrasound showed that my little bean was growing and we could start to see what looked like a baby forming inside of me.  At 9 weeks I had a horrible gallbladder attack. I was in so much pain.  My husband rushed me to
the ER, and long story short, I was going to be ok (I just had to watch my dairy and fatty food intake).  Even better, we saw on the ultrasound our little girl  was absolutely fine too! At our 10 week appointment/ultrasound we felt like we were starting to be
out of the woods despite a bit more spotting.   I was told that I had pools of blood in my uterus, but that my baby was completely fine.  We started to share our good news.  We even had a name picked out, Lauren Elizabeth.  We told our 3 year old daughter that there was a baby growing in my tummy. She was elated to be a big sister! Between weeks 10 and 12 I had a picture perfect pregnancy. I felt great. I didn’t have any more spotting.  We started setting up the nursery and started thinking ahead to the little miracle growing in my tummy.
At 12 weeks, 4 days, I went in for my “2nd trimester” appointment.  This part is so hard to write about because I feel as though I am reliving the horridness of that day.  I went in to the doctor without a worry in the world.  The doctor was not able to hear the heartbeat by doppler, so we went in to the ultra sound room.  I undressed and sat up on the exam table waiting for the doctor.  Suddenly, fear over came me and I started praying–begging to God to allow my baby to be ok.  As the doctor squeeze cool gel on my belly and began the ultrasound I knew right away. I could see the perfect outline of my precious little Lauren, her head, her skull, her arms, her legs, her abdomen…where no heart was fluttering like it had before.  I asked “Is my baby ok?”.  The doctor shook his head and said she had stopped growing at 11 weeks 5 days.  8 days before, my sweet little Lauren’s heart stopped beating. And there she lied motionless in my womb. I didn’t believe the doctor. I started begging him to check again, that he must have missed something.  I begged him to do another ultrasound.  He did another ultrasound and then turned on the bloodflow to indicate that there was no bloodflow in her heart, and then he showed me her brain, there was no blood flow and no brain activity. The doctor and nurse left the exam room where I collapsed to the floor and heaved hard heavy sobs for about 10 minutes.  I picked myself up, dressed, and walked out to my car.  What came next was equally excruciating…
The phone call to my husband.  With shaking hands I dialed his number and as soon as I heard him answer I screamed/sobbed “she’s dead. Lauren is dead!!” After sobbing for several minutes I was able to choke out what had happened.  I drove home sobbing, yet so numb.  The pain of my broken heart was overwhelming. I had never experienced pain like this. The doctor said
that the placenta had detached which suffocated Lauren. We called the necessary people to share the news and scheduled a D&C
for the following day.  I didn’t hardly sleep at all that night.  The next day I was numb.  My eyes were swollen, my face puffy and red.   Every new tear on my checks stung from the gallons of tears I cried the hours before.  We got to the outpatient desk and I just started bawling.  I got checked in and was escorted back to out patient surgery.  The nurse went through the double doors and I just stopped, dead in my tracks. I couldn’t move. I literally could not move.  I started sobbing horrific sobs.  Walking
through those doors meant that I was allowing someone to suck my baby out of me.  I didn’t want this. Never in my life had I wished that something hadn’t happened. I wanted someone to make it better, but no one could. Eventually, God gave me the strength to put one foot in front of the other. Right before I went under, I started sobbing, fighting the anesthesia as much as I possibly could. I was sobbing into my mask. I didn’t want to fall asleep because that meant when I awoke, my baby would have been ripped from my being. I didn’t want that. I awoke and went home a few hours later. I thought this would all be put behind me.  But the aftermath was almost worse. I kept bleeding profusely and despite a followup with my doctor, the massive bleed outs and blood clots I was passing was almost frightening. After ending up in the ER in my hometown my hemoglobin was down to 9 and the following morning down to 8. I received a blood transfusion and then was transported by ambulance to a larger neighboring town, where I doctored.  I was admitted to the hospital. After another blood transfusion, a platelet transfusion, another D&C, surgery to remove my gallbladder and exploratory surgery, they found that I had retrograde bleeding and  almost a pint of blood was removed from my abdomen.  I still had placenta in my uterus which caused me to bleed out and nearly lose my life. After we lost Lauren I felt like my house looked like a mortuary.  People sent flowers, brought food, sent cards, emails, texts.  My parents came and we planted a pink rose bush in the front of our house in remembrance of Lauren.   Picking up my life and putting the pieces of my broken heart back together was hard.  But, in my mind I thought if I hurried up and tried again, that a new baby would fill the void.
In July 2012 we transfered twins, a boy and a girl. I was nervous, but pretty optimistic  I thought I had my “one” miscarriage out of the way, and there was no way it was going to happen again. My blood test came back with high strong numbers, indicating possible twins.  Two weeks later at 5 weeks, I began bleeding, hemorrhaging.  My husband rushed me to the ER.  An
ultrasound confirmed that there was no pregnancy. So whether I was pregnant with one or two, both were lost.  I was shocked. How could this be?  So fast? I didn’t even feel like I had bonded with this baby yet.  A few days later we followed up with another Beta (blood test) which indicated that I had miscarried because my levels were starting to decline from 3,300 to 1700.  The doctor wanted to continue doing Betas until my number was down to 0.  48 hours later my beta went back up to 3500.  I was shocked and in disbelief. The very next day we went to the doctor and found our one little survivor. A baby! With a heartbeat! The doctor was worried about the placement of the baby (low lying, right above my cervix), he said time would tell.  Four days later I went in for a beta and another ultra sound. My beta went up to over 12,000 and there was a strong little heart
beat! We had a fighter! What the doctor thinks happened is that I miscarried one twin, but the other one survived. Unfortunately a few days later I miscarried that baby.  I was devastated. Again the doctor wanted to follow my pregnancy hormone down to zero. A month later my beta was still around 3,000 so I endured yet another D&C. We took a break and then in January 2013, we tried again. We started back up on injections…my stomach and butt looked like a total battlefield. After weeks and weeks of injections, my uterine lining would not thicken to optimal thickness to support a pregnancy, so my cycle was canceled. I was yet again, devastated. But, like I always do, I pulled myself together, and moved on with my life.

In July 2013, we decided, with 4 embryos left, we would take another stab at it, so we geared up for our 4th IVF.  Again, back to the self-inflicted-shots, medicine, strict fertility diet, and lots of praying that this would work. We transferred two more beautiful embryos, one boy and one girl.  Everything seemed perfect. My lining was great. My hormone levels were outstanding. Unfortunately, after 10 days, we received the devastating news that neither baby “took” and I was not pregnant. I am so thankful and grateful that I have my daughter Ava.  However my heart is broken.  Some days are better than others.  By the grace of God we hope to try again. We have 2 babies left in the freezer ready for transfer.  We are FINALLY to the point of trying again. However, we have exhausted, every single financial resource. We’ve borrowed money from the bank, borrowed money from family, maxed our credit cards….we have literally exhausted every resource. So while I’m ready to try again, we can’t afford it, which brings on a new sense of grief all over again. What kills me the most is that insurance companies treat infertility as “elective”.  Most insurance companies don’t treat infertility as a disease, and therefore do not pay a CENT for infertility treatments.  There are so many great foundations out there who raise money for different illnesses and diseases, but there are none, to my knowledge, that raise money to helpgood people, fulfill their dreams of parenthood. Those who want
desperately to have a child, or more children have to fund their own way. Some easily say “well just adopt, there are lots of children who need a good home”. This is true, but did you know it costs $25,000 to adopt!?! So “just” adopting isn’t an option for many. I will always carry all  of my children in my heart, but as for now, just one I carry in my arms as well.  She truly is ablessing, and I do believe that one day I will meet my 2 little girls and one baby boy in Heaven. But for now, they are safely in Jesus’ loving arms.

                                          Sincerely,  Ann Foster

 

I have a blog in which I journal about our battle with infertility. THANK YOU for helping those of us who need financial resources.  THANK YOU for spreading the word. THANK YOU from the very bottom of my heart.
My blog is: “A Day in the Life of the Foster’s”
http://markandannfoster.blogspot.com/


Ann Foster
3-6 Title Teacher
Certified Instructor for PSI
Gothenburg Public Schools

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