Being a mom is… a dream come true

Guest blogger: Debbie Lether

Online, I read many stories about mothers with fertility problems. In these cases, it’s actually always about the fact that getting pregnant is an issue. Therefore, I felt that my fertility problems didn’t matter for a long time. After all, I get pregnant with ease. Every attempt is successful, and I felt I could not talk about this. Until the end of August, after my 3rd miscarriage, when I took the step to write about it on my Instagram page (@theletherfamily), the DMs kept coming in with similar stories.

So I am happy that I can share my story at The Wonder Weeks.

We did not know any fear of losing

In November 2016, I became pregnant with our daughter in England. I lived there with my husband (then boyfriend), since November 2015 for work. Full of enthusiasm, we immersed ourselves in all the beautiful aspects of pregnancy. We did not know any fear of losing. In September 2019, while living in the Netherlands again, we decided that a 2nd child was very welcome and I got pregnant immediately. Suddenly there it was: fear. I had a beautiful daughter walking around and now I was afraid to lose our little baby. When I was over 5 weeks pregnant, I was at work and had a spontaneous miscarriage. I didn’t know what was happening. Suddenly there was blood everywhere. My husband and I were devastated by grief.

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The pregnancy tests 

Everyone processes a miscarriage in his or her own way. Our way was to be sad, but also to look to the future. For us, this meant that we went straight for another pregnancy. 2 weeks after the miscarriage I ovulated. A week later, it was already clear I was pregnant. I was hanging over the toilet puking and my test was as positive as it could be. Around 4 weeks, my test suddenly started fading. And I suspected the worst. Yet nothing happened and 2 days later my test ran up again. I had hope. After the first miscarriage, I (as you may have read) kept using pregnancy tests. I wanted to see the line get thicker so I would be reassured. Unfortunately, after a few days, the test faded again and I had another spontaneous miscarriage at just under 5 weeks. My gut feeling has always said that this was a twin pregnancy, given the crazy course of the tests. But we will never know for sure.

Since I got pregnant immediately from both my daughter and the 2 miscarriages at one attempt, we decided to take it easy for a month. We had realized that I was very fertile and had calculated that the next baby could be born on the eldest’s birthday. It still feels like a luxury that we can make such a consideration, unlike people who don’t get pregnant so easily.

After our month of rest, I became pregnant with our son.

“Being a mom is … a dream come true. I would redo all the miscarriages, and double it, to be allowed to end up with the children we have now.”

A third baby

1.5 years after the birth of our youngest, it started itching again. Is there room in our family and wallet to welcome a 3rd child? The answer was “yes. We decided to take a shot last July and I got pregnant. I felt incredibly sick. Would it go right this time? It had to if I was that sick? Unfortunately, we ended up in another nightmare when I miscarried again at 5 weeks and 6 days. This time while my tests were still positive and I had all the symptoms of pregnancy. I didn’t understand a thing.

An ectopic pregnancy?

After a week I seemed to have recovered, even though my test was still positive. According to the midwife, it is not crazy at all to still have a positive test, and after a week I had to test again. My intuition told me 2 days later to repeat the test already. It had gotten darker and my alarm bells went off. I was no longer flowing blood but my tests were getting more positive. This was not right. I was referred to the hospital for an ultrasound and my blood was taken. Nothing to see…. But my HCG was still high. I had to come back 48 hours later to check if my HCG was indeed rising. Unfortunately, this was the case. In the meantime, I had started flowing again and the gynecologist took a step back because I had no pain symptoms. Still, he was clear; “this is not good. We suspect an ectopic pregnancy. It is extremely rare, and also impossible to confirm, but it may have been 2 fetuses. 1 in the uterus and 1 in an unknown location. We can only see an ectopic pregnancy very difficult on ultrasounds. We have to wait and see what your body does. If the fetus stops growing it may also come out on its own.”

48 hours later we did another blood test and my HCG dropped. What a relief. Because the pregnancy was not found on ultrasound, they changed the diagnosis from ectopic pregnancy to pregnancy unknown location.

Two extremes you cannot compare

Recovery from this miscarriage was physically and mentally the hardest of all. The intense anxiety I felt is indescribable. Yet I imposed on myself that I cannot complain about the story  I just told you. I get pregnant quickly so then there is no problem right? At least I have children. But by now I know these thoughts are the biggest nonsense. The pain of our miscarriages is allowed to be there as well. I genuinely resent being so fertile. In fact, I’d rather skip the miscarriages, I’m sure you get that, dear reader. On the other hand, I haven’t given up hope for a third child because that fertility also offers opportunities. Someone with reduced fertility has much fewer opportunities.

They are two extremes you cannot compare. Difficult to get pregnant or easy to get pregnant and lose them. We should not compare these two extremes but support each other. Because there is a similarity in these stories: grief.

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