1) What is your personal experience with infertility/miscarriage?
I was diagnosed with PCOS at the age of 21. I’d never had a period that wasn’t induced by birth control or other hormones, and when there was no other explanation, I received the blanket diagnosis. I was told I would never conceive children without the assistance of doctors. At the time, children were not even on my radar so it didn’t affect me too much. At 24, I found out I was pregnant at 8 weeks with my son. It was a total shock as we were actively preventing pregnancy and I had still never had a period. After he was born, my husband and I knew we wanted another so we didn’t try to prevent a pregnancy from occurring. After a year, I had not fallen pregnant and we started fertility treatment. A year later, we conceived our second pregnancy which unfortunately ended in miscarriage. Our beautiful rainbow was conceived the following cycle.
2) How has it made your life worse? How has it made your life better?
Infertility and miscarriage have really given me a new outlook on life. It has shown me just how tough I can be but equally how dark life can get. I’ve learned that wading through the dark clouds is the only way to learn to appreciate the sunny days.
3) When & how did you realize that you were going to be able to carry on after infertility/miscarriage?
I knew I had to. My husband and I knew we wanted a second baby and I was the “broken” one. It was up to me to keep fighting to complete our family. My son wanted a baby brother or sister. My husband and son were the driving forces on the days it got hard.
4) What have you learned through this experience?
I learned a lot about my body. You don’t realize how much goes into making a baby until you can’t do what we “should” be biologically programmed to do. You spend all of this time as a teenager learning how NOT to get pregnant but suddenly you end up in this world where you are trying to make it happen and you don’t know how. I am now a big fan of cycle tracking, not only to get pregnant, but to understand what is happening (or not happening in my case) with my body.
5) What do you hold on to for hope/courage/strength on your bad days?
When I was in the thick of it, the vision of my son holding his baby brother or sister was what kept me going. He started asking for a baby while we were trying and I knew he wanted to be a big brother.
6) How do you feel about your experience with infertility on your good days?
I always feel like it was something I had to go through. I’m not ashamed. This was the path I was given and it’s made me who I am today. I am proud of the resilience I had when I was in the middle of infertility, when I started to bleed and knew I was losing our baby. I was able to get up and try again. Overall, I know it has made me a better person and I’m glad that I am able to speak openly about it to hopefully help others in their darkest moments.
7) In three words describe yourself before/during/after miscarriage (in miscarriage specific situations)?
8) In what ways has your experience with infertility/miscarriage changed you as a person?
My infertility, and more specifically my miscarriage, really gave me the gift of knowing just how resilient I am. I’ve always struggled with my self-confidence and self-worth but having waded through some of the darkest weeds of my life, I’ve emerged on the other side knowing that I am much stronger than I once would have thought possible.
9) How have others responded to your infertility situations? Has it impacted your relationships? What are some things you’ve been told that have been helpful/harmful?
I think some people are taken back by my willingness to discuss our fertility struggles but the reality is I really don’t feel like it’s something to hide. I’ve had many people approach me after being open on social media to thank me for my stories and to share their stories with me as well. It’s nice to have people reach out for support because there were a lot of times I wish I’d had a bigger village to go to when things got hard.
10) Tell us about you. What are your hobbies/passions/pursuits?
I’m a food lover, dog person, and wannabe musician.
11) What is your favourite quote?
“Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight.” Benjamin Franklin