Fox Infertility Journey
Written by: Rachel Fox
Before I got married in 2003, I had been told it would be difficult for me to ever get pregnant, due to some previous health issues. But lo and behold, I thrillingly became pregnant in 2004. Three of my sisters-in-law also became pregnant soon after, and we had giddy conversations about being pregnant together and creating a generation of same-aged cousins.
So, when my water broke at 19 weeks, panic clouded reason. I never went into labor, but my white blood count skyrocketed, and they had to induce labor to save me. I didn’t know if she’d be born alive or dead, but I never heard a sound. We held her, did handprints and footprints and mourned the loss of this cherished, unique life that we could never replace.
As the due dates of my SILs approached, I decided I couldn’t be here. I was incapable of being happy for them. I would not knit them booties, or make a lasagna. I could not pretend that I was not completely destroyed.
Hubs and I bought a one-way plane ticket to Rome. It was good for us to get away, to have that time as a couple again, but we woke up in Amsterdam some time later and knew it was time to return.
For the next two years, I tried everything to get pregnant again… basal temperatures, Geratol, Aunt Betty’s magical cookie recipe, Clomid. Nothing worked.
We took 2007 off to travel and drink and pout. In 2008 we did 3 IUIs that all failed. We took 2009 off to travel and drink and pout.
In 2010, we did 3 more IUIs. Two failed and one was successful. I carried her to 14 weeks until my water broke, again.
Having this happen all over again was soul crushing. Another unexplained second trimester loss, without the luxury of private grief. What was wrong with me?!?
We booked the 2011 plane tickets. In 2012, our fertility clinic pointed us to IVF. My egg retrieval went well, and 22 eggs yielded 4 viable embryos. We transferred the first one fresh and froze the other 3.
Our oldest daughter was born when my water broke at 29 weeks. When she was a year old, we went back for a frostie and our second daughter was born at 31 weeks in 2014. When she was a year old, we went back for another, and our son was born at 34 weeks in 2016. We went back for the final frostie, but it didn’t take, and that’s ok, because 3 out of 4 for my age group is pretty remarkable. Afterall, I was out of bedrooms. I had to buy a minivan. I was content. Finally.
Nearly a decade of my life was spent in that agony. That agony where I questioned my worth as a woman. Where I got really angry at God. Where I estranged myself from family and friends that were effortlessly having babies, some two at a time. I did not handle it with poise and grace. I growled at people who kept trying to pull me out into the sunshine, because all I wanted was someone to crawl in my dark cave and cry with me and tell me my feelings were justified. Hope was not my friend. I did not make lemonade out of my lemons. How envious I was of those strong women who could turn their grief into something beautiful and positive.
In the end, you can’t predict how you’ll handle this. You just have to endure. You must get through to the other side… however this journey ends for you. And my hope is that you’ll give yourself some grace, and someday reunite with family, friends, God and the woman within.