Updated: Oct 2, 2021
Baby Leaf coming January 4th, 2022!
Most of you know that we had a 12-week loss last July. If you haven’t read about it, you can here.
Hearing that my baby no longer had a heartbeat was more devastating to me than hearing that I had stage III melanoma, where the melanoma metastasized into my lymph nodes.
It’s hard to explain in words the complexities of that situation and I promise to eventually publish my story on it. Suffice to say, I thought I deserved my cancer. I thought it was my fault for coping through my divorce reckless and irresponsibly. I thought that cancer was a logical consequence of my actions.
I didn’t deserve to lose my baby. I was doing everything “right”. I was heartbroken.
We continued with fertility treatments to try and get pregnant as soon as possible, but ended up taking a break for 3 months at the end of 2020. Our reproductive endocrinologist was about to start up a new clinical trial for IVF treatments and wanted us to join since the drug company testing their product would cover all costs of participants. He said we had minor fertility issues that would make us fantastic candidates (in other words, we both look good on paper). It was an amazing opportunity, but required no fertility drugs be used for 3 months prior to entry (which would be in February).
And I made it in! I passed the screening process and found out in January that I could enter the clinical trial in February. It was an incredible feeling… IVF with our stats is successful 90% of the time… and then I found out I was pregnant, naturally fucking pregnant, and we could no longer do the clinical trial.
Of course, I wasn’t too upset considering the circumstances. But then we lost that baby in March; my second miscarriage, this time around 7 weeks. Honestly, this one wasn’t too hard on me because I was more detached from the baby after the first miscarriage (my inborn defense mechansims have saved my sanity more times than I can count). I just started focusing on what to do next.
So, we began a medicated cycle as soon as possible. The first cycle following my miscarriage I took Femara (letrozole), injectable hFSH, had an IUI, and started progesterone. And it worked! I was immediately started on a recurrent miscarrige protocol of oral low-dose prednisone, baby aspirin, and Lovenox (enoxaparin) injections to be continued throughout the first trimester. I’ve stopped using all but the aspirin and the baby is doing just fine.
I’ll never know if I needed any of these anti-misscarriage medications. My doctor simply had success using them in women with 2+ miscarriages and potential adverse effects were rare, so we gave it a shot. I’ll also never know if I needed to go through with an IUI to have a successful pregnancy either, but we didn’t want to waste time trying naturally and both times we did conceive naturally ended in a miscarrige.
To be blunt, I wanted a baby as soon as possible. I’m 36 years old, have PCOS, and need to get back to monitoring my melanoma (something I put on hold so that I could have a baby). My situation (PCOS) sets me up to have poor-quality eggs and issues with ovulation (LH / FSH imbalance), and the medications for doing IUI correct these issues (particularly the Femara) and facilitate quality egg growth and development.
Anyway, we are just entering into the second trimester and the first one was filled with stress and anxiety. I’ve been quiet on social media for a reason. I know stress is not ideal for the baby, so please just don’t remind me. We can’t control our thoughts or emotions, only how we respond to them, and I bossed that shit.
At this point, there’s a very real possibility that this baby will not make it. I’ve second-guessed my choice to announce more times than I can count, but I’m starting to look like a pork chop and figure you all would notice eventually. Isolating myself and holding onto this “secret” would only serve to make the loss even more devastating, since I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to share its life with all of you.
Thankfully, I’ve had numerous ultrasounds, hear its heartbeat daily, and know it is genetically healthy via NIPT (noninvasive prenatal testing). The odds are in favor of baby Leaf making it earth side.
Please send me lots of good thoughts — energy is everything — and I’m going to try my best to lean into this experience with joy and gratitude.
Comment over here.