Where to start? Shortly after, I remember crying and telling Adam “I can’t do it again”. He said I didn’t have to….while crying, himself. It was interesting, though because within days I started thinking how can I not. I was so conflicted.
I’ve mentioned before that I was diagnosed with depression in 2003 and had actually done really well. Well enough to make the purposeful decision with my Husband to stop the medication that made me feel the best. The medication that put my depression in remission. With each pregnancy, however I got a little worse. As I would feel the grips of depression taking hold, Adam would remind me that it was “just the depression”. He has always been wonderful reminding me that this too will pass. Anyone that has ever been depressed knows that at times you cannot remember a single time when you didn’t feel depressed, which leads to a sense of hopelessness and a feeling of weakness. I would need reminded that this wasn’t me. This was depression, the disease that was bringing me down. Naturally, hormones and losing babies increases EVERYthing!
I felt alone, even though I fell asleep in Adam’s arms at night and he loved on me and I on him more than ever. I actually thought it wasn’t affecting him like me and I didn’t understand why I couldn’t cope as well as him. I told him once that I wish I wasn’t sad and could be more like him. He responded by telling me that he was sad and that he was being strong for me—that before he would come home from work he would scream in the car to let it out. I didn’t feel alone anymore. But, the guilt was back. I would do anything to give this man a baby.
Work was difficult. A patient delivered her sweet baby in a near-by community but brought the babe to me for her care. At the end of her newborn visit she offered for me to hold the baby. I almost let out a sob and literally had to leave the exam room. God knew about Noelle and amazingly blessed me with a break from deliveries for four months! Imagine that! I had 14 OB patients and none with due dates during that time! That, my friends was God protecting me.
We would talk about Noelle at night while lying in bed. The sound of her name being said out loud was beautiful to us. It made her real. I made a playlist on my Pandora filled with different versions of Noel and would put it on repeat and play it in bed at night. I would sing along and more than once, fell asleep to her sweet name being sung.
We went through the motions of life. We went to church on Christmas Eve and lit the candles while singing silent night with tears streaming down our faces. We “pretended” around my family and nieces and nephews-it was like it didn’t happen. She didn’t exist. I was never pregnant. It was just awful.
Our OB/GYN recommended that the next time we conceive we consider Pergonal (or Clomid at the very least) stating that this would help my body recruit a “better egg”. Pergonal is typically used in situations where the woman does not ovulate, of which I do just fine. I was terrified of multiples, well not completely. Twins sounded just fine but more than two frightened me and my biggest worry was that they may not be well. I obviously didn’t have the best track record of making healthy babies! They scheduled us to meet with a Genetics specialist and a High-risk OB at the Med Center in Omaha and we made the journey there hoping for answers.
We learned that trisomy 23 is probably the most common cause of early pregnancy loss and that if Noelle had survived the pregnancy she would have likely only lived days. It was like I was back in school again, only the DNA photographs they were showing us were of us….from us.
We learned that my suspicion about Pergonal was accurate. It wasn’t for someone like me. Heck, we were having a hard time having a single healthy baby-the last thing we needed was multiple sick babies. Other than that, unfortunately the high-risk OB was of no benefit to us. We learned that a woman at my age had a 1% risk of having a child with a genetic anomaly and that with our history of Noelle, our risk was increased to 2% but they recommend we try to deliver before age 39 or it would increase to 3%. We left Omaha telling ourselves that we had a 98% chance of having a healthy child! We had just a smidgeon of hope back. Not much, but it was there.
We still wanted ideas, of course. We were looking for something tangible we could try to help me stay pregnant. Our OB/GYN recommended we meet with a fertility specialist and gave us two options. Omaha or Denver. We researched and discovered that Omaha was known to be successful with multiples and then tended to recommend selective reduction to women. This was not for us. We chose to go to Conceptions in Denver. Their statistics were exciting and we were off!
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