Sunday, March 4, 2012

Brittany's Story: Struggles after loss, infertility and a miracle baby.

 Your blog about infertility brought up a lot of emotions in me. I wanted to share my experience and feelings, but they don’t stop at infertility and so I didn’t think it prudent to share in the comments section.

I feel like when we talk or hear about infertility or pregnancy loss, it stops there. However, my experience seems to have continued into how to handle my child. The pain, agony and guilt haven’t gone away from having my miracle baby girl or even from getting pregnant again.

I didn’t know about my fertility before, but I knew that I never had regular periods. It didn’t matter, though, because I was young!

When it took Michael and me 3 years to conceive Madelyn, my whole perspective changed. I charted my cycle, used fertility monitors, had tons of blood work done, had ultrasounds, saw several different doctors, and was finally diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome. Not the worst diagnosis, but certainly not a good one!

This whole time all my friends, family and acquaintances kept announcing their pregnancies. EVERY single thing you mentioned about infertility in your blog was my experience. We finally decided to try a round of Clomid, but if it didn’t work, we were going to take a break. The stress and emotions for both of us were all-consuming and we didn’t enjoy each other, the process or life in general. I was a wreck!

Well, the Clomid didn’t work, so we threw in the towel. I started to feel better, put my energy into dance, school and work. Lo and behold, when I finally stopped thinking about it, I became pregnant! This was our miracle baby!

Then, like you, Rachel, it seemed like my body tried to get rid of the baby the whole time and I was terrified something awful would happen. I was incredibly sick, on bed rest, in pain, started to develop pre-eclampsia, and was induced . . . TWICE! I had a horrible labor, but then had my perfect baby girl!

But that wasn’t the happy ending I thought it would be. She had jaundice the first 2 weeks of her life. I had to take her in for bloodwork every day, she had the bili lights at home.

Then we had feeding trouble. For almost the first year of her life, she screamed 24/7, wouldn’t eat and wouldn’t sleep. I was the only one who could hold her. We finally found out she had silent reflux. We got her on meds and it helped, but I think her path was paved at that point.

Now she has screaming fits, completely unprovoked, sleeping and eating are still major problems. Her system doesn’t work properly. She has teeth problems from her reflux and prolonged medication usage.

There have been so many times where I have wondered what we did to deserve this? No one else has even the slightest clue what we are going through. People offer well-meaning advice, but it isn’t helpful. We’ve felt like God is punishing us in some way. All I ever wanted was to be a mother, but not like this.

I have shed so many tears and felt so defeated. We have no answers and have so much guilt over being at our wits' end with our dear child! We love her so much and it breaks our hearts to watch her struggle and be in pain and not know how to help her. We struggle with guilt and shame over our responses to her when we just can’t stand the screaming any longer! This is not how things should work out!

I had a miscarriage about a year and a half ago. It wasn’t medically confirmed, but I know for a fact what it was! I couldn’t even allow myself to truly admit what happened or grieve over it. We were trying to avoid pregnancy at the time!

Now, I am pregnant again and things are going much better than with Maddy, but it has been a long, hard 24 weeks so far. The first 15 weeks I wasn’t truly happy about it and then I felt so guilty over feeling that way!

Anyway, all this to say that I feel like the journey, the pain, the frustration never stops! I’m not really sure what to do with all of it. It feels better to be honest with someone about it all. I appreciate you reading.

A note from Rachel: Madelyn's doctors have just discovered what could be a serious medical issue causing some of Madelyn's behavior. Please pray for Brittany, Michael and Madelyn -- pray for wisdom, peace and for Madelyn's health!

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