My husband and I struggled with unexplained infertility. We treated with a fertility doctor and conceived our first pregnancy on a combined cycle of Clomid, injectables, and IUI. That pregnancy didn’t make it past nine weeks. At each appointment, there was always something that wasn’t right and we knew it wasn’t going to be viable. After my miscarriage and subsequent D&C, we conceived our son naturally on my first cycle.
It seemed like things were FINALLY going right for us. We didn’t have to dive back into the infertility pool and struggle for another pregnancy after our loss. It happened for us naturally after a year and a half of struggling. It was like we were being given a break. It made me buy into that idea that “everything happens for a reason”. If we didn’t miscarry, we wouldn’t have gotten pregnant naturally with Asher. It was all coming together. However, all of that rationale went out the window the moment our “rainbow” baby was stillborn. There literally is no medical reason as to why that happened and there is nothing that could ever make losing him okay.
After Asher was born still, we didn’t waste time trying again. We knew another child wouldn’t replace Asher, but we knew we needed to be parents to a living child. Getting pregnant for us was never easy so we figured that we wouldn’t do anything to prevent a pregnancy. Before having my son, my cycles were every 28 days like clock-work. After delivering Asher, my cycles were all over the place. There was no consistency. It seemed like a cruel joke, not only did I lose my son, but now it seemed like the possibility of trying for another child on our own was taken away from us. I was ovulating but my luteal phase was too short for any pregnancy to implant. After several months on our own, we had to decide to go back to the fertility doctor for help. It was just another blow. Not only did we lose our son while others have gone on to have healthy pregnancies and deliver living babies, but we also were forced to go back to the fertility doctor to try for a second child and a fighting chance at a living baby.
As each month of my first year passed, it not only marked another month without my son, but it also marked another month without the hope of a pregnancy. The feelings I had when I was struggling to get pregnant two years ago resurfaced only now they were wrapped in a layer of grief. The bitterness I felt at other’s pregnancy announcements was now ten times worse than it was before either of my losses. Those thoughts of “why does she get to be pregnant, and I don’t” were always there. Also, I now also thought, “I hope their baby lives” because I know that announcing a pregnancy after 12 weeks doesn’t mean you are “safe”. There is no point in a pregnancy that is safe.
I remember being at my absolute lowest when we were knee deep in the infertility struggle two years ago and hating the person I was. I hated being bitter towards people who had the one thing I wanted. They did nothing to warrant my anger other than being lucky. Now after losing Asher that feeling is even worse.
Related: When Anger Is A Part Of Your Grief
People were not just getting the one thing I wanted, they were getting the thing I SHOULD have.
I should have a baby boy at home. While I hate having such bitterness and anger towards others for having healthy children, I am only human. Their happiness is a reminder of the huge piece that is missing from my life and of my pain at having to struggle to conceive again. My anger is not at them but at the unfairness that is this life. Losing a child and struggling with infertility quite frankly sucks.
And you know what, it’s ok to be angry about it.
Amy Lied is a wife and a mother to her son, Asher, who was inexplicably born still on February 19th, 2017 and twin daughters. Before losing Asher, she suffered a miscarriage and struggled with unexplained infertility. She has documented her journey from the beginning of her infertility struggles on her blog, Doggie Bags Not Diaper Bags. She is also a co-founder of The Lucky Anchor Project , an online resource for loss families that houses an Etsy store whose profits are donated to loss family non-profit organizations. She hopes to help others by sharing her journey as she continues to navigate the bumpy road that is life after loss.