Wherever you are, whenever it’s right.
You’ll come out of nowhere and into my life.
And I know that we can be so amazing.
And baby, your love is gonna change me.
And now I can see every possibility.
And promise you, kid, I’ll give so much more than I get.
I just haven’t met you yet
— From Michael Bublé’s “Haven’t Met You Yet”
A few weeks ago Michael Buble’s “Haven’t Met You Yet” was playing in the car as I drove my daughter to carpool. I hadn’t heard the song in years and had forgotten about it really. But driving with my now almost 13 year-old, I was overcome with emotion and moved to tears. Of course my daughter, immediately concerned, asked what was wrong. All I could muster up because I was feeling it in every bone of my body was, “Everything is so right.”
This was the song I used to listen to when driving alone in my car, between doctor appointments, blood tests, ovulation checks, ultrasounds, Rx pickups, and countless other fertility treatments and procedures I have long blocked from memory. It was the song that helped me keep the faith that after 2+ years of TTC, IUI’s, injections, fertility hormones, three miscarriages, and a lot of tears, I would at the end of it all, have a healthy little baby in my arms.
I, like many women in their 30’s, had been achieving everything on my to-do life list. Graduate from a good college, check. Get a good job that I love, check. Find a good guy and have a beautiful wedding, check. Buy a house in a good neighborhood, check. I had done it all in order, and now it was time to check the baby off the list. We had an empty nursery in our new home ready and waiting.
We were blessed with my first pregnancy pretty quickly. I felt like it was a boy. We had already seen the heartbeat at six weeks, and were told, “There’s only a 2% chance it won’t take.” So by 11 weeks we decided to tell our families, as this would be the first grandchild and great-grandchild on both sides and we couldn’t wait to share that happiness with them. I went into my 12-week appointment alone, telling my husband it’ll be quick since we already saw the heartbeat and not to bother taking time off work. It was a Tuesday. On Thursday, I was on an OR table having a D&C because the baby “just wasn’t there anymore.”
Looking back, I was definitely in shock, for a long time. I cried every day, for a long time. I tried to hide it from my husband (mistake) to “spare him.” People who knew that I was pregnant didn’t know what to say, so they didn’t say anything. It felt like a big dark non-secret that I had to carry alone. Meanwhile life goes on, friends and cousins are having babies and baby showers. You send the gifts, share in the good news, are genuinely really happy for everyone and all the blessings. During one baby shower I was physically going through my second miscarriage (naturally), bleeding, cramping, smiling. And like a good guest, no one knew.
Isn’t it all so ridiculous? We have been taught to carry the weight of the pain, the fear, the helplessness alone. When you have a death in the family, you have ceremonies and condolences — an acknowledgment of what the family is experiencing. I don’t know why we as good daughters and wives have decided to take this silent oath to go it alone so as to not “worry” anyone else.
If you are doing that right now, I want to tell you: you are not alone. The saving grace for me was when a friend suggested that we go to a specialist, an Reproductive Endocrinologist that he and his wife had seen after a horrendous stillbirth at 20 weeks. (And that’s also the thing, isn’t it? Someone else out there is experiencing much worse…and you wouldn’t even know.) I was lucky. Without this referral, I wouldn’t know where to go or what to do. To be able to put the process in an expert’s hands alleviated the pressure I was putting on myself. To learn that there are several, SEVERAL steps you can take provided incredible relief. To have this friend act as my advocate in the big scary, unknown world of medical procedures and options was like a light being turned on in the dark.
When Holly was referred to me through a mutual contact about her new fertility coaching business, I felt called to help. Because I am her audience. I am you. I had friends and family who had had miscarriages, but none who had had three. There’s only so much that friends and family can say or do because they don’t know what to say or do. How could they? There’s only so much that we can do on our own. How could we?
This is totally new territory and you do not need to do this alone. I’ll repeat that for those in the back: YOU DO NOT NEED TO DO THIS ALONE. To have a trusted ally who understands what you’re going through and who will be with you and direct you through the various paths and stages you can take on your fertility journey is what got me through one of the darkest times in my life. I wish I had had a Holly. I so admire and am grateful to her for answering the call to help others going through the same pain.
That friend who had the stillbirth — he and his wife now have five kids. Myself, who had two IUI’s and naturally unknowingly got pregnant after the third miscarriage — I now have a beautiful almost 13 year-old who is the light of my life. I just hadn’t met her yet.
I remember a girlfriend once told me that the sting never really goes away, but it’s all worth it. Keep the faith, know your options, keep going (and don’t hide it from your partner). You just haven’t met your little lights yet.
Contributed by Erika Brechtel. Erika is an LA-based brand strategist, designer, and speaker supporting women leaders and female founders for over 19 years, featured in SELF magazine, HuffPost, PopSugar, and Today.com. Wellhatched was fortunate enough to work with Erika for our branding and web design and we are so grateful that she shared her story here.