Miscarriage & Beyond

I’m Gabbi and I’m mum to 3 boys – 19, 6 and 4. I had my 19 year old when I was much younger, pretty easily and somewhat naively.

Fast forward to years later when I met and married my husband, we discovered it wasn’t going to be as easy to have a child of our own.

The short version of the story is that we ended up doing 10 full IVF cycles and 2 frozen cycles without so much as a hint of a pink line on a pregnancy test. When it came time for us to ‘consider our options’, I saw a Chinese herbalist as I felt my body needed some rebalancing after 2 years of hormones. Imagine our surprise when I fell pregnant, naturally, after 2 months (and NO, it wasn’t because we relaxed!!). This pregnancy wasn’t without its hiccups and I had sporadic bleeding up until about 17 weeks, which of course made me VERY anxious.

But our son was born perfectly healthy and all was well. (except for the severe PND I developed, but that’s another story for another time). We had 3 frozen embryos which we were talking about using – even though, having already transferred 19 with no luck, we really didn’t hold out much hope of any of these frozens actually working. However….imagine our surprise to learn that we were pregnant again, naturally, when our son was 8 months old. We were thrilled! A little worried about the close age gap but so so happy! I was convinced it was meant to be! After all the IVF and all the wondering if we’d ever have a child of our own together, finally, it was all as we’d dreamed. Until at 9 weeks, when I saw a teeny tiny spot of red blood on the toilet paper. I called the clinic and the nurse said it was likely nothing and to just take it easy. But I needed reassurance so asked her to refer me for a scan.

I went within the hour, and as soon as the image came up on the screen I knew. And for the first time I heard those words, ‘I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat.’ I was completely and utterly devastated. I called my husband and could hardly get the words out. He came home and we cried and cried. It literally floored me, I just couldn’t believe it. I actually think my heart broke 🙁 Not long after the D&C, we decided to use our frozen embryos. We transferred one, and it didn’t work – no surprises there. We transferred another and – to our amazement, it worked! Our next son was born 8 months later. Imagine that – one embryo from 21, worked! We had one more embryo left and we both knew that we had to give it a chance, no matter how slim. It didn’t work. And we were done. We had our beautiful boys and we were extremely blessed. Except that I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I wasn’t done, that our family wasn’t complete. (and no, it had nothing to do with wanting a girl!). But I was 41. History had shown my eggs didn’t have a great track record, and at 41 they weren’t going to be any better. However we decided to try. Ironically, we’d spent 2 years without so much as a hint of a pregnancy, and now it seemed I could get pregnant no trouble at all.

Go figure. I had 5 pregnancies in 2 years and sadly lost them all between 6-8 weeks. And at the end of last year, after my final D&C and at age 43, it was time to face reality that it was time to let go. It’s been a nearly a year now, and while it’s getting easier, it still hurts.

Pregnancy announcements are still hard. Ovulating each month is a constant reminder. Don’t get me wrong, I know how lucky and how blessed I am. I just wish that the decision to not have any more children had not been taken out of my hands. And particularly with that very first miscarriage, on the 5th November each year, I remember the little boy (yes, another boy) who was meant to have been with us. This has turned into an epic essay! But I thought it was important for you to know my motivation behind setting up Pink Elephants and why I want so much to help as many people as I can both through miscarriage and beyond. xxx