Being a mother was something I had always dreamed about; I loved children and could not wait to start a family of my own. Unfortunately, it didn’t come as easily for us as it does for some. After much loss and years of heartache, on our fifth round of IVF we conceived our twins! This is also where my love for serving mothers started to really bloom. Here’s my story!
I have always had extremely irregular cycles. However, my doctor was very optimistic this would not have any impact on getting pregnant on my own. After a year of trying without success, we sought out the help of a fertility specialist. Funny enough, he was also just as optimistic. Unfortunately after months of testing and multiple failed medicated/IUI cycles, he suggested we try IVF.
Our first IVF cycle was pretty uneventful. We decided to transfer two embryos, and were ecstatic when we found out it worked! Our first ultrasound was at 6 weeks gestation, and we were shocked to find three little heartbeats. I couldn’t believe it really, it took a little while to set in! Our next ultrasound showed only a very faint heartbeat in the fraternal triplet and we were cautioned that the baby was measuring on the “smaller” side. Sure enough, at our next appointment it was confirmed that there were only two heartbeats & the fraternal triplet was vanishing. I had prepared myself for this loss ahead of time but was still very thankful for two healthy babies. What I wasn’t at all prepared for was what happened at our next appointment. I was completely blindsided. We had spent years trying to get pregnant, and now that we were I was certain these were the babies we had been praying for all along.
Our next ultrasound appointment would be our last appointment at our fertility clinic, or so we thought. I was almost 12 weeks along by this point. My husband worked out of town and was so excited to hear the heartbeats for the first time. It was the day or so before Thanksgiving, so we were planning to announce our pregnancy to the family that Thursday. Our doctor came in and started the ultrasound. Having so many ultrasounds up to this point, I know immediately something was wrong when she kept going back and forth, sac to sac. No noise. Nothing. She kept looking, and even apologized it was taking so long. We had built such a great relationship with our doctors at the fertility clinic, but I still to this day cannot believe how she took the news. She looked up, and apologized once again. “I am terribly sorry, I wish I was better prepared for this. I was not expecting this at all, but I am not finding either heartbeat.” She gave me a hug, with tears in her eyes, told me how sorry she was, and stepped out of the room. I’ll never forget the compassion she showed me that day.
Being nearly 12 weeks along, I opted to have a D&C which couldn’t be scheduled until the week after Thanksgiving. That weekend was brutal. Thanksgiving was brutal. I knew the three babies I had longed for were no longer alive, and yet I had to wait for almost an entire week to have surgery to remove their tiny bodies from mine.
I had always heard of friends miscarrying, but I figured an “I’m so sorry” would suffice. I never really could imagine what that would feel like. I thought the same things most people do, I suppose. “Well maybe you could just try again. You’re young. You already have the perfect family, a boy and a girl, what more could you want?” It never really occurred to me that it could be ‘that’ painful.
After I recovered from my D&C we were back in the doctor’s office hoping he could answer my “WHY”. Why did this happen to me? What could we do to prevent this from happening again? All of the questions, we really didn’t get any answers to. I was hopeful that since it worked the first time, maybe we’d just try one more time and it would stick.
Our second cycle was uneventful. I was really optimistic it would work, and my only worry was staying pregnant. Unfortunately, when it came time to take my pregnancy test, it was negative. This really threw me for a loop. I wasn’t worried about it working; I was worried about staying pregnant.
Between cycles 2 and 3, we did a lot of preventative testing. We even went as far as seeing an immunologist out of Chicago doing a study on natural killer cells, and how having high levels, your body can attack the normal/healthy fetus. I did IV infusions at home, several procedures in-office to check the lining for optimal implantation period, you name it…we did it. Looking back now, I was only doing what I thought at the time would increase my chances of it working.
Cycle 3 and cycle 4 did not work. I started to have a lot of self doubt, thinking my body was not capable of carrying a child that I had desperately longed for. What if I wasn’t ever going to be a mother? What if this never worked? We even started the process to have a surrogate carry our last two embryos, but yet again, came to another road block with her & my husband’s blood types not being compatible.
We decided it would be best to take a break. This journey can get so overwhelming, we had become somewhat obsessive, and it had just taken over our lives. Over the next year we just decided to not think about anything fertility related & just take this much needed break.
A year later, we decided to get a different opinion from another doctor in our area. He too didn’t see anything out of the ordinary that we could do differently, but assured us he would be upfront and honest the entire process. These were our last two embryos.
This last and final cycle, our fifth, worked! I delivered McKenzie and Jaxon at 30 weeks, 5 days due to some complications, but after a 6 week NICU stay, we had our babies home and in our arms! Our family was complete (or so I thought)!
I had always heard of others naturally getting pregnant after suffering infertility and loss, but always thought that would never happen to me. Surprisingly, and shockingly, when the twins were 11 months old, we found out we were expecting AGAIN! I couldn’t believe it, really. After all of those years, and here we were, about to have three babies under 18 months old. Scared was an understatement. After hiring Sleep Wise Consulting with the twins, I knew having a predictable schedule would be a lifeline for me. Once Madelyn was born, I hired them for a second time to help me set a great foundation from the very beginning. It was life changing for me to have this predictability, so when the opportunity to join the team at Sleep Wise came up, I couldn’t say no! It’s been such a blessing to me to help other mamas through the depths of exhaustion, and came at just the right time because shortly after I joined the team, I received even more shocking news. Although I was on birth control, and tracking my cycles to avoid becoming pregnant, I found out in March of 2020 (maybe it’s a 2020 thing) that I was expecting our fourth and FINAL baby. I’m currently 32 weeks pregnant with our second baby boy, and cannot wait to watch our little ones become big siblings again!
Melina Moses is a member of FWMOM and a certified pediatric sleep consultant with Sleep Wise Consulting. She is married & has 3 children, twins McKenzie & Jaxon (4), Madelyn (2). They are also expecting their second little boy in the next coming weeks.