Infertility Warrior: Kiersten

 


Today on the blog I want to introduce you our infertility warrior Kiersten. Kiersten is a pregnancy loss survivor and a mom to a beautiful baby girl named Parker via adoption. We are thrilled to have her here today to tell her story.

Q: Tell us a little about your infertility journey.

We were blessed to become pregnant quickly and found out in January of 2017 that we were pregnant. Everything was going great with the pregnancy and we got to see our little baby and hear their beautiful heartbeat twice before, on April 4th at exactly 14 weeks, we found out we had lost our sweet babe. I delivered him at the hospital, and upon finding out he was a he, a perfect little boy who looked exactly as a 14 week baby should, we named him Ellis Ford. All the testing came back normal and no one could tell us why we lost him. The doctors deemed it an 'IUFD" or intrauterine fetal demise... I still cannot hear the word "demise" without cringing. After taking some time to heal, we got pregnant again quickly. This time, at our first appointment around 7 weeks, our baby was measuring behind and their heartbeat was slow and faint. We prayed for a miracle, but when we went back to the doctor a few days later, we found out we had lost another baby. Baby Pea, as we affectionately nicknamed this baby, left my body about a month later. Because we had only lost two babies at this point, they would not do any further testing on us. So, we kept trying, hoping for a better outcome. But our third pregnancy ended much the same as our second... we went in for our first appointment at about 7 weeks, found out our baby was measuring about a week behind and did not have a heartbeat. Despite taking medication to induce the miscarriage to try to avoid a month of being pregnant with a baby who is no longer living like the last time, it took about three weeks for Little Bean, again what we called our baby while I was pregnant, to leave my body. Now that we had lost three babies, we were able to do all the testing for recurrent pregnancy loss - a hysterosalpingogram (or HSG) and testing for antiphospholipid syndrome and balanced translocation. Everything came back normal. I was put on baby aspirin when we started trying again, and progesterone suppositories once I got pregnant. We were so convinced this fourth baby would be our rainbow baby. But on October 2, 2018, at our first appointment, instead of a living 11.5-week baby, we had a just shy of 8-week little baby with no heartbeat. We decided to go with the D&C this time in part because of the long, grueling process of miscarrying naturally we'd been through the previous two times, and in part because my doctor wanted to be able to test the baby's chromosomes. When the karyotype testing came back, it revealed that we had a perfectly chromosomally healthy little girl. We named her Faith. We have no answers as to what caused us to lose four babies, but after losing Faith, we felt like we were being led to grow our family through adoption. We now have a 15-month-old baby girl named Parker and her amazing, brave birth mom as part of our family.

 

Q: What has been the hardest part?

Beyond the actual death of our four biological children and the loss of dreams that came along with that, I would say the hardest part was the loneliness that comes along with miscarriage and infertility. While it is so common, people rarely talk about it, and people who haven’t been through it often pretend that it didn’t happen, dismissing your pain or avoid you altogether.

 

 Q: What has been the best part?

 This kind of goes against what I just shared but finding an amazing community of fellow pregnancy loss mamas. When I started to share my story, I had tons of other women, some I knew personally and had no idea they’d suffered loss, and some I didn’t know personally reach out to me and share their stories with me. I’m a big believer in the power of sharing our stories and hearing so many other women’s stories, and sharing my own, was a huge part of my healing journey, and also my growth as a human and a mom.

 Q: Where are you now on this journey?

 As I said before, we have a 15-month-old daughter via adoption. Up until very recently we were not pursuing any additional answers as to the cause of our previously unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss, choosing instead to focus solely on our beautiful baby girl. However, a few months ago I started tracking my cycle using the Creighton Model FertilityCare System and seeing a NaPro Technology doctor in the hopes of optimizing my hormonal (and overall) health, and potentially revealing some answers as to our issues maintaining a pregnancy.

 Q: What is one question you wish people would stop asking?

 It's not a question about pregnancy loss or infertility specifically, but I really hate the question "do you have any kids?" I know this is a very common, seemingly harmless, "getting to know you" type of question. But for someone who wants kids and does not have them yet for whatever reason (or even someone who just doesn't want kids) this question can bring up a lot of feelings. Prior to having Parker, I’d sometimes simply say "no" or sometimes I'd answer very honestly and say "yes, we have four babies in heaven." It is easier now that we have Parker because people don’t ask this question anymore, but they do sometimes ask if she’s our first and that’s not the easiest question to answer either.

 Q: Anything you have learned that you would like to pass along?

 You are worthy, with or without children on this earth. You are not broken. You are not alone, and you do not have to go through this alone. Don't be afraid to reach out to others and ask for help. And don't be afraid to cry out to God in your pain. It's okay to be angry with Him, to feel hurt and let down. Bring that all to Him. He wants to meet you in your pain. It is there that He can start to mend your broken heart.

 

Q: Anyone or anything that has inspired you along your journey?

 I’ve been inspired by the strength and power that we as women carry. We can make a huge difference by sharing our stories and supporting one another.

 

Q: Any resources or other accounts you would like to share that you found helpful during or after your journey?

 Honestly, I’ve distanced myself a bit from the world of miscarriage and fertility as far as who I follow and what resources I consume because it was taking over my whole life, so I don’t remember specific names. However, I recommend scrolling through the ihadamiscarriage hashtag and you can find many brave and vulnerable stories there.

 

Q: Where can people find out more about you? (Instagram, Facebook)

 You can find me on Instagram @vibrantlifearmywife and on my website www.vibrantlifearmywife.com

 

This story was submitted to The Infertility Chronicles.

Submit your own story, by emailing us at infertilitychronicles@yahoo.com 

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