Christmas Miracles: Two Stories of Long-awaited Pregnancies
The holidays can be a difficult time of year for everyone but especially for those wanting to get pregnant. Whether it’s picture perfect family holiday cards arriving in the mail or the flood of TV specials depicting happy children and families, it can be overwhelming. Maybe you’ve been trying for ages and are experiencing infertility, or maybe you’ve just started TTC and those big family occasions can be full of enthusiastic (and sometimes invasive) questions from family.
Wherever you fall on the spectrum of TTC, It can be triggering and painful, but also inspiring and strength-giving. Read on to see how some women have had success with those long-awaited baby-moments during the holiday season and how Mira helped them to make it happen.
Mira Christmas Miracles
When you’re struggling with infertility, the Christmas season can be fraught with loud messages of merriment highlighting happy children. It’s hardly the season to be jolly if you’ve had any sort of issues or are trying to conceive and still not pregnant. The holidays can remind us that things have not gone as planned, but they can also provide a sense of hope and renewed optimism for the year ahead. For Gwen and Suzanna, their journeys looked very different but both made it through the holiday season with strength and determination, and even a bit of joy! Yes, joy is still possible even when you’re faced with difficult times.
Gwen had been on hormonal birth control for ages, so she wasn’t sure what to expect when she had her IUD taken out in 2021 and wanted to start trying. As luck would have it, she was working with a researcher about hormones so she knew a little about the predictable path your hormones follow every month, but wanted to learn more about her cycle and see what was really happening. With Mira she was able to get quantitative data about her hormones at home, rather than the costly and timely lab tests it would’ve required to get the same information any other way. Because she had that data, she knew her cycle like the back of her hand and her and her husband started trying right away.
In November Gwen had an HSG test scheduled to see if there were any fertility issues. This test looks at the shape of the uterus and determines if there are any issues with your fallopian tubes. But thanks to Mira, Gwen knew she was having an LH surge that day and she was able to take advantage of that timing. She thought it was going to take a long time to get pregnant but to her surprise, she got pregnant that month.
With the busyness of the season and life plans, Gwen was able to keep her mind of the two week wait so many struggle through. And then she was able to give her family one of the best gifts of all, telling them she was expecting! They told her parents first with a cute take on the “bun in the oven” expression by presenting them with a miniature chinese dumpling, complete with a bun inside. Another one was mailed to grandparents and the family opened it over a zoom call. Celebrating the announcement with family is why they refer to their little one as their Christmas baby and put a special spin on the holidays for them.
Suzanna got pregnant with her first fairly easily so she didn’t expect any issues the next time around. But secondary infertility is more common than many people think, and even less talked about. Some people don’t want a Christmas baby, but after multiple miscarriages and a host of tests and procedures, Suzanna didn’t care when her baby was born! Luckily her efforts have paid off and she’s due with her very own Christmas Miracle this holiday season.
Struggling to get pregnant after successfully giving birth is rarely talked about, but secondary infertility can be just as devastating and difficult as any infertility diagnosis. Suzanna went through three miscarriages before seeking infertilty treatment but specialist appointments had long lines and even longer wait times. Unwilling to sit back and wait, Suzanna reached out to her Mum’s group on Facebook to see if anyone could help. One doctor’s name kept coming up so she made an appointment while she was waiting to get in with the nationally funded fertility specialist.
Both her and her husband went through a series of tests and unfortunately issues were found on both sides. But they didn’t let that defeat them and tackled the issues together. Suzanna was found to have high cytokine levels. These cells play a role in the immune system, but some researchers believe they can also be responsible for miscarriages if you have high levels. The belief is that your immune system rejects the developing fetus due to the high cytokine levels. Suzanna opted for injection treatments in the hopes it would prevent further miscarriages.
One of the biggest factors in male fertility is sperm health, and her husband’s wasn’t great. Lifestyle changes like cleaning up their diet and introducing a host of antioxidants helped improve quality and they continued to try every month.
Suzanna had another internal scan and one of her ovaries was found to be polycystic. Polycystic ovaries (PCO) affect 1 in 4 women of reproductive age and is considered a common variant of normal ovaries. Not to be confused with PCOS, a metabolic condition characterized by abnormal hormone levels, women with PCO do not quite have “normal” hormone levels. Suzanna was trying everything from acupuncture to supplements but was looking for more when she heard about Mira online.
“Mira was my comfort blanket”
Mira provided Suzanna with the reassurance she needed after the rocky road she was experiencing. Not only did she get pregnant within 3 cycles, but she felt that having the data helped her relax because she knew exactly what was going on. Not to mention the support of others in the Mira Fertility Facebook group and being able to meet and share with others facing similar struggles.
The relationship between stress and fertility is well known, but Mira was like a comfort blanket that not only reassured her that everything was working, it gave her a sense of control by being able to see hard numbers and hormone data. Suzanna was understandably worried about miscarrying again so she continued to monitor with Mira for more than 6 weeks after she found out she was pregnant. Ultimately the scans and tests all came back fine and she’s ready to deliver her own Christmas Miracle this holiday season.
How to survive the holidays if you’re struggling with Infertility
Infertility can be a tough road at any time of year, but around the holidays the pain can be even more intense. Everyone will cope differently, but many have found strength in support groups where you can be with others facing the same struggle. Realizing you’re not alone, making new friends, and even learning about different resources can all help you get emotional support during the holidays. For some, you can ease the pain by developing a plan and claim some control over your journey.
Whether that’s deciding which parties you’ll go to or what you’ll share to developing a strategy for opening holiday cards, these strategies can all give you a sense of control over your situation.
The holiday season is one of the most popular times of the year to conceive, but it can also be a particularly tough time for many couples. Whatever path you’re on, managing your mental well being during the festive season can have a big impact. Although Suzanna and Gwen have had very different journey’s, they both found success by not only emphasizing their physical health, but their mental health as well.
There’s no one right way to navigate the holiday season, but whatever you do, be compassionate with yourself to survive this challenging time. You’re not alone in your struggle and it can help to be prepared, but doing whatever it takes for you to get through the season is your prerogative.