Last Mother’s Day we asked our followers to share inspiring stories about their own journeys to motherhood. Thank you to all who participated! We were touched by every story. We’ve chosen three stories of hope, empowerment, and persistence to be a mother, and as promised, each author will receive their own Mira eGift card.
Story from Shanice
Hello! My name is Shanice and I just turned 32 in March. My fiancé and I have been trying to conceive for about 2 years now. I was referred to a fertility specialist late last year. I was extremely upset because I knew there was no way I could afford fertility treatments so I held off calling and setting up an appointment. A few weeks later I found out I was pregnant for the first time ever! I was ecstatic and over the moon! I was proving my doctor wrong, I, in fact, could get pregnant naturally! Unfortunately, on December 6th, 2019 I miscarried at 10 weeks.
Ever since then, I have been in a funky depression. The only thing I want from this life is to be a mother and I felt my world come crashing down on that day. I prayed so hard for that baby and prayed even harder for the baby to be healthy and to have a viable pregnancy. We still have had no success with getting pregnant again even though my doctor was hopeful. Every month that goes by and I get my period I get so incredibly down and upset. I thought I had been tracking pretty accurately but I have never used anything to track my fertile period or ovulation besides apps. This may just be the thing I need to be successful in my motherhood journey. I will never give up on my dream to become a mother!
Story from Kate W
Early in 2015 I purchased my first baby carrier. It was the prettiest thing I’d even seen and I was 6 weeks pregnant. Perfect timing for a perfect purchase for my perfect baby-in-making.
As it turns out, it wasn’t a perfect anything. My baby passed shortly thereafter and the baby carrier, when it arrived, was hidden at the back of the wardrobe in a dust bag. An embarrassing reminder of a heart aching experience.
My next foray into planning for a baby was in 2016. We were married now, and I had found an amazing gynaecologist who was investigating my endometriosis. David was deploying imminently, and we had lots going on. My four year old stepson loved me as his own, as I did him, but in the background both my husband and I admitted that we very much couldn’t wait to bring a baby back into the family.
My stepson Lucas and I have always had an amazing relationship. I first met him only a couple of months after his 1st birthday. By the time he was my stepson, he was my little buddy and we got into a lot of mischievous fun together. By no means was I looking to replace my gorgeous stepson. Yet, I ached for my own baby everyday.
As luck would have it, Lucas and I saw David off on his first Middle Eastern Region Air Force deployment in 2016. We left the airport in tears, me and Lucas heading home, and David heading off on his adventure. We were all heavily emotional and uncertain of what this new chapter meant. I continued to see my gynecologist.
A few months later, 2017 arrived, and we were determined: David would be home from his deployment by May, we had purchased our first home, and we had a lot of answers from the fertility specialist about my egg count (not great). We were better positioned to understand the impact of my endometriosis and what we wanted to do about it.
While David adjusted to life back home, and we found our rhythm again, I obsessively tracked everything. Base body temperature, cervical mucus, days between periods. We did the deed every second day once my ovulation kits gave us the flashing smiley face, and frankly sex soon lost its fun. It didn’t matter though. We knew we were ready and we knew we would have to work hard for this. So we did. We smiled tightly through the “So, when are you having one of your own?” questions, until the cracks began to show and we started answering cynically with “well… we are trying…”. Then, we were told “at least that’s the fun part!”
It become gradually more and more difficult to smile along.
Christmas 2017, we finally got it. The positive test. The best, most amazing, Christmas present we could have asked for. The baby carrier was retrieved from the back of the wardrobe, the spare room was measured for furniture and our beaming smiles lit up the room wherever we went. Until they lost their glow the day we were sadly informed that we’d once again lost our baby.
I don’t remember much after the fertility specialist sadly advised that there was no longer a heartbeat. I was too busy filling the sick bag he’d handed me, and somehow blindly signing the forms for the necessary surgery.
By now we were entering the second quarter of 2018. I was back to tracking everything again, obsessively, and Lucas was excitedly chatting about his preparations to welcome a new baby brother at his mother’s house (ironically, that baby arrived two weeks before the due date of the baby we’d lost, after Lucas’ mum was induced early for uncontrolled GDM).
A week before my 30th birthday (June 2018), I received the best birthday present in the world. A positive pregnancy test. I watched the line appear before my eyes and took a hundred photos to get the perfect one with our dogs in the background, before sending it to David and calling him. We both shared giggles with tears of joy. He came home with a huge bunch of flowers and a smile filled with both wonder and relief. We stared at that positive test and ignored the fact that I’d peed on it. This was finally happening. I called my GP and we went that Saturday to see her, a bunch of positive pregnancy tests in hand.
At that appointment, we learned about chemical pregnancies. Sometimes called false positives, or implantation failures. That night, David listened to my heart break in the shower, where I curled up on the floor and wept out all the joy I’d felt only hours before. I didn’t notice he couldn’t come in to comfort me. I was numb to his absence, and barely recognised that he was going through his own private agony sitting in the dark on the couch.
My birthday arrived on June 30, 2018, and just like that I was 30 years old. David ruefully bought me the biggest and most potent cocktail on the menu. I think we had a good night.
For my birthday, my husband gifted me… an appointment with our fertility specialist and a signed consent form to begin IVF at his clinic in the amazing(-ly expensive) private hospital at which we’d always wanted to have our baby.
In return, the FS booked my husband for an onslaught of blood tests, testicular ultrasounds and examinations, where we learned that on top of my low AMH and endo, David’s years of full time service with the Air Force in a combat unit and as a weapons systems specialist, rifle range instructor, and hand to hand combat instructor had all but destroyed his reproductive health.
David was constantly going away for exercises with the Air Force. This year was no different, and so he made sure to supply the clinic with a frozen sample of what we jokingly called his “little mutants”.
So I wasn’t particularly surprised – though not thrilled, either – to be unexpectedly alone the night I had to begin injecting myself with hormones for our IVF cycle. David has been unexpectedly deployed two days earlier, but my cycle wasn’t waiting. I was surprised, however, when I opened the fridge to pull out the needles, and found that David had stashed a box of Wonder Woman themed band aids in there before he’d left. With a note reminding me that I could totally do this, because I was already Wonder Woman.
I was scared, I was alone, I was too cautious now to be hopeful. I remember figuring out that first hormone injection. I clutched that Wonder Woman bandaid box like it was my husband’s hand.
The day of my egg retrieval, my mum and my stepson were my support crew. We dropped Lucas to school. And made our way to the hospital. I woke up to find my surgeon had retrieved 7 eggs. 7 was my lucky number. I was dopey from the drugs, but that wasn’t why I couldn’t wipe the smile from my face.
The next day, I received a call from the lab. Of the seven eggs retrieved, only 3 were mature and able to be fertilised. 3 embryos. We were down to less than half in just 24 hours: it didn’t seem fair.
“It only takes one”, they kept assuring me.
The embryo transfer was mildly uncomfortable but nothing could break through the excitement of what we were doing. Once the embryo was in, I called David and excitedly told him, “I’m carrying our embryo. I’m carrying our baby. No matter what happens next, for today at least, I am pregnant.”
That little spark did a wonderful job with what it had been given. The clinic was ecstatic to inform us the blood results were undeniable: we were pregnant! I called David with the news and together we spoke about the future. We calculated the months and worked out I was due in June 2019. David felt immediately guilty that he would not be home for most of the pregnancy, but no matter. I was Wonder Woman. I could do this.
Until the 4th October, when the bleeding began. The next day, my kind FS gently confirmed what was causing the bleeding: I’d lost the baby. Alone, and now absolutely convinced I’d never be a mother, I rang David.
I cannot imagine how it felt for David, on deployment in a harsh country, far from friends and family, to be told that news.
The next month my Fertility Specialist was optimistic. Always optimistic. Two more embryos left, statistically this meant one, maybe even two, ought to be successful. I’d lost all hope and constantly struggled to keep depression at bay. I wasn’t sure it was worth the effort but, as he persuaded me, what did I have to lose?
The embryo transfer this time was, again, mildly uncomfortable. This time I had barely any excitement at all. Once the embryo was in, I called David and let him know everything seemed to have gone well. We spoke more about how David was and what had been going on for him than we did the transfer. We acknowledged that we’d have to wait for the blood results then wait to see if we’d even get to see a heartbeat. We found that neither of us seemed to have any hope left.
Imagine our surprise, therefore, when on Christmas Eve, at 6 weeks and 4 days pregnant, I was informed that our baby has a strong little heartbeat of 120bpm. Then, a month later, or NIPT results indicated a healthy little girl. Then, a month after that, were could see her ten little fingers and ten little toes. I was nearly finished with the second trimester when David finally returned home. He still says that my glowing pendant figure in the crowd took his breath away at the airport. What a homecoming. Six years, five pregnancies, four losses… one perfect baby.
A year later and our daughter is nine months old. She pulled herself up to stand yesterday. Everything she does blows our minds. We cannot believe what a gift she continues to be. Oh and, wouldn’t you know it, being held in the baby carrier I bought all those years ago is her absolute favourite way to comfort herself into sleep when she’s having a hard day ❤️
I have wanted to be a mom every since I can remember. I was diagnosed with PCOS in 2008, and met the love of my life in 2010. We were married in 2016, and were eager to add to our family (he has a son from a previous marriage.
We started our fertility journey in March of 2017 – bloodwork, testing, monitoring…and my husband underwent reversal surgery in April. A majority of 2017 and 2018 were spent monitoring the success of his surgery, and using only Letrozole, with no success. In August of 2018, I underwent my first IUI cycle with Ovidrel, and I was so optimistic. Unfortunately, the cycle was unsuccessful. I went through four more IUI cycles before the disappointment and cost became unbearable and we decided to take a break. 2019 was spent focusing on our health, and in November 2019 I underwent one more IUI with no success.
In early 2020 I decided to do more research on my own, and started using the Pregnitude supplement. To my surprise, it shocked my cycles into 28 day cycles (I normally have 4-6 cycles a year with no medical intervention). I decided to add MIRA to gain even more incite into my body and what our future options may be! Here’s to hoping for a successful 2020!