Infertility, Miscarriage, Our Infertility story

This is the end.

July 20, 2011

Here’s the post that I wish I had never written. This is the end of this pregnancy.  And, it’s the end of the road for us.  It’s finally over.

We went to the doctor today for our third ultrasound.  Today we hit the 7 weeks and 6 days mark, which is the farthest we have ever made it with IVF.  But, the fledgling heartbeat from last week was gone.  My doctor was pointing out the yolk sac and different things, but said, “Well, I can’t find the heartbeat.” and then turned the monitor around to look closer.  I knew immediately.  It wasn’t that he couldn’t find it; it was no longer there.  I lay there staring at the ceiling with tears streaming down my cheeks as he tried desperately and wordlessly for what seemed like forever to find it.  Also the fetus was smaller this week.  Not just no growth…smaller.  Most people cry tears of joy in the ultrasound room, but for us there’s only tears of gut-wrenching despair.

I am not surprised with this outcome, but I am completely devastated.  This was our most promising pregnancy ever.  My beta was huge and I didn’t have the spotting like before.  But, then, there was no heartbeat on the first ultrasound and then we measured behind on the second one.  Both could be explained away, but as someone who has only known loss, you just know it’s not good.  I was terrified about this pregnancy from day one.  It doesn’t matter how good things looked at times.  If you haven’t been through this, then you just can’t even possibly imagine the sheer terror of every moment being pregnant, knowing it could be ripped away in a heartbeat, quite literally.  Because it has happened before, repeatedly.  You don’t get to have a happy moment.  Every time you go the bathroom, you say a prayer.  You are afraid to do anything.  You feel like you are made of glass. You are afraid to eat anything other than bread and water, for fear of indigestion that might be confused with cramps.  You are afraid to walk.  You are afraid to lift anything heavier than a tissue.  You are just afraid.   And, you’re afraid because you have reason to be.

And, it’s weird, these last few weeks being pregnant (I can hardly write that), I felt like a poser. Feeling sick, not eating certain foods, resting more, not lifting anything, etc .  Going through all of these motions like real pregnant women made me feel like an imposter.  Because in my heart, I’m never really, truly pregnant.  Or I’m always too afraid to feel that I am.  A part of me, would think, “Whitney, who are you kidding?”

I came home from the doctor and sadly took down the photo of our embryos and the last ultrasound photo from my bulletin board.  They will get packed away into a file with all of the others.

My heart bleeds for this baby that we will never meet.   It absolutely does not get any easier…only worse.

Also, the awful truth is that we are pretty sure that there is nothing wrong with our babies — it’s me.  I somehow feel guilty for creating these little beings and repeatedly setting them up for failure with my body.   There’s no way to know for sure…but I just know.  There is something wrong with me that modern medicine isn’t even aware of.

How can this be happening?  I am stunned.  Why should any one person have to bear the awful devastation of FIVE miscarriages?  Why me?  Am I really this person?  I feel like I just woke up in a twisted alternate universe.

I also just realized today’s date has the awful numbers “7” and “2” that have been haunting me.  I can’t even believe it.  My second miscarriage was on 2/7/10, my third miscarriage on 7/2/10, my fourth on 2/7/11 and now my fifth on 7/20/11.  I don’t even know what to make of that or how it’s possible.  Just another way the universe is mocking me I guess.

This time, there is no question of “Where do we go from here?  What can we be tested for? When can we start again?”.  It’s. just. over.   There’s something extra-devastatingly heartbreaking about that, but also some relief that I won’t have to go through this again.  Even though I won’t have to endure another difficult IVF or yet another miscarriage, I know that I will deal with infertility every day for the rest of my life.  I feel like I’m locked inside of an emotional prison that I can’t escape from.  But, I do know that we fought this bitch that is infertility with every ounce of our being. We fell down over and over, but we kept getting back up.  We went to extremes and endured physical pain and emotional torture.  We can at least be proud that we went toe to toe in this battle, even though we ultimately lost.

I know absolutely in my heart right now that discontinuing treatment is the right decision. We have tried everything and I mean everything.  It’s just not going to happen for us and we have faced the cold, hard facts. Continuing on would just be pointless.  Before this cycle, we had given up and were dealing with our grief and were seriously thinking about adoption.  Now, it’s like none of that took place and I’m thrown right back into the heartache of grieving this baby we just lost and the biological child that will never be.  I hope that we will be able to cross that bridge again and be open and excited about adoption, but that time is not now.

I have been through hell and I’m pretty damn angry that I have nothing to show for it.  My hips are so sore, swollen, bruised and knotted that at times it’s been hard to sit, walk and sleep.  Since the beginning of May starting this cycle, I have done 97 injections total. My stomach is bruised an my heart is broken.   And, I have NOTHING to show for it.

I just spoke to my primary RE and he wants us to repeat the ultrasound on Monday or Tuesday just to be sure.  Even though he said, it’s not likely at all that things would change, he said we need to be 100% sure. I wanted to disagreee with him, but didn’t.  This is an awful predicament for me because I just want to be done with all us.  To have to get up tomorrow and the next day and so on and keep doing these shots for nothing at this point just adds insult to injury.  I want a stiff drink, to go for a jog, to take Advil and eat what I want.  Oh, and a vacation.  That’s on the top of my to do list…to plan an immediate vacation so Erick and I can get away and clear our heads.

It’s sad and relieving that this awful journey is finally over.  What a crazy trip it’s been.  While I’m glad this part is over, I do realize that it will never truly be over.

Thanks to all of you out there, whether friends in real life or online, for taking this journey with us.

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  • Oh, Whitney. I am sobbing right now. My heart is broken. This is not fair. I am so so sorry. I wish I could hug you right now. Good thoughts, prayers, love, support…all going out to you.

  • (((Hugs))) Words are just not enough to express how my heart is aching for you right now. Life can be so very cruel.

  • christina

    I am so very very sorry for you, Erick to have to be going through this again. My heart breaks for you both. I know nothing I say will make it any better, but just know people are thinking of you and care for you.

  • Krista

    Your post made my cry, Whitney. I so wanted this for you, I so wanted this miracle for you….you’ve been through so much! I’m so sorry for your loss ….

  • Cory

    i’m.just.sad….no words..just sad..i’m sorry.

  • Amy

    I’m so sorry, Whitney. I hate that there is nothing at all that can be said or done to make it any better or make it hurt any less – and I know there is not. I’m just so sorry.

  • Nikki

    So very sorry. No words.

  • Nic

    I am so so sorry for your loss. The world is so cruel

  • I beyond sorry for your loss. My heart is breaking for you and erick, I am saying my prayers for you. (((HUGS)))

  • Cameron

    I know this is devastating for you but you have a ton of friends and family here for you!! It’s extra hard in sad times but that’s when it’s most important to realize what we do have. You and Erick are both healthy and in love. You have a great family. You have great friends. You have a nice home,etc.

    I know all that doesn’t help right now but you have a lot going for you and a lot of people that love you very much!!

  • Oh Whitney, I’m so very sorry. Along with everyone else, I was really hoping that this one would be different. This isn’t fair – at all. Thinking of you and Erick.

  • Jess

    It’s true, infertility will always be with you. I can promise it will get easier, and you will laugh and feel joy again and even feel some relief… but it won’t be an easy trip there. Adoption will be there… but for now just take the time you need to mourn. A vacation sounds perfect. Time heals all wounds- doesn’t mean the wound still isn’t there- the scar is forever. But, it can heal and it will heal and we will be here with you through it all. You are stronger than you know.

  • Jay

    I’m so sorry, I’m so angry at the fucking evil universe for you.
    I don’t know what to say.

    Once you heal, just a little, I would recommend you check out ‘coming to term’ If you have not already. That book contains the stories of the entire spectrum of recurrent pregnancy loss.. How the women coped, what happened to each of them.. It helped me get some idea of what I am up against after my second loss.

    I don’t know how your story will end Whitney, but I’ll be here to listen every step of the way. I’m so, so sorry for what you are feeling now.

  • I’m incredibly sorry to see this. It seems especially cruel for you to have gotten further than before this time… I’m just so so sorry. I really know what you mean about pregnancy being terrifying and feeling relief that this part of the journey is done while still being so sad and devastated. I hope adoption will be exciting to you again in time. It has been for me. <3 to you both.

  • Dad

    Our Sweet Daughter,

    I am so sorry that this has happened to you. You need to grieve this tragic event and try to relax as you have mentioned but please know this, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU. You are incredibly smart, beautiful, loved by your family and give love back to your family. You have an incredible husband and you are healthy and have so much going for you. You do not have to give up on being a mother. You can still love a child and be loved as much as you would with a birth child. You have this imperfection like we all have in some fashion, some more glaring than others. But, please do not give up being a parent and experiencing what your Mother and I have with you and Cameron. It is a “high” every day just thinking about you both and your spouses. DO NOT GIVE THAT UP, if you do, you will lose. You still have a great chance of winning in this situation and will win in the end. You have to give yourself permission to win. I wish I could be home to help you in some small way instead of half way around the world but please know that Mom and I and Cam, Jes, and Erick are there in your heart for every beat, We love you!

  • I’m so very sorry. You’re in my thoughts. *hugs*

  • Dad

    Whitney,

    Just one more thing and it is important. This is NOT the end! It is the beginning! Hugs and Kisses from afar!

  • Kim

    I’m so very sorry!! This is so cruel and I am so angry for you. Although I have gotten pregnant relatively easily, we have had 4 losses, no living children and no answers. Reading your post at times made me feel like I was reading my own thoughts. I am crying for you right now. I understand what it is like to feel like you’re fooling yourself into thinking it could actually work out this time. My heart breaks for you. You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

  • Vicki

    Reading this just breaks my heart. I can’t begin to imagine all the pain, both physical and mental, that you have been through. We are so proud of you for the battle you have fought. No one can ever say you didn’t give it your all – just as you do in every facet of your life. I know you and Erick will be great parents some day. Take the time you need to heal and then start your next journey. We love you both.

  • Whitney,

    Words cannot express my deep sorrow for you and Erik. you have so many friends that love you. We are here for you.

  • Whitney,
    I am so so sorry. This is heartbreaking. Yall are in my thoughts and prayers!

  • Lauren

    Hi Whitney,
    I’m sorry to hear about your loss. It’s heartbreaking. If and when you’re ready, we have been down the adoption path and can share some information with you anytime.

  • I’m so, so sorry to hear about your loss. Your words brought tears to my eyes but the comment from your Dad brought on the “ugly cry”! How lucky are you to have a Dad and a husband and a family to love and help carry you through your pain.

    I wish you lots of love and peace in the coming days.

  • Mia

    Whitney-It’s Mia from the RPL forum. Whitney, i could barely read your post because i couldn’t see through my tears. Please know how much my heart goes out to you and your husband. Please know that you DID fight the bitch tooth and nail-and please know that that strength that you fought with, you will find again and point it in a different direction. Please know that while no one can understand truly how you feel right now…you are not alone. Please take care of yourself, Whitney.

    PLease also know that today someone in Los Angeles is thinking of you.

    Peace.

    Mia

  • Oh Whitney I’m so terribly sorry. I wish I could take away your pain. We are all here for you…<3 you. *huge squishy hugs*

  • nadia

    There are no words to express how very sorry I am for your loss. May you somehow find the strength to overcome these difficult times.

  • S

    I’m so sorry. It’s terribly unfair.

  • Oh Whitney I am so sorry. I am just devastated for you. I was really hoping this little one was going to last.
    And I was just tearing up reading that message from your dad. And I want to second what he is saying: There is NOTHING wrong with you. You are just perfect the way you are. This is not your fault. When one door closes, another opens.
    Sending lots of love and hugs.

  • I only just found your blog a week or so ago, and despite only “knowing” you for a short time, you’re such a good writer I feel like I know you for real. I’m utterly heartbroken to read this post. I’m so, so sorry.

    And I can relate SO TOTALLY to everything you said here. I’m in a similar situation myself. It’s all just so unfair and frustrating.

    Hugs to you and Erick.

  • De Silvana, a mi nuera querida

    Cuando le en el asunto de tu mensaje ¨Bad New¨, solo pude leer eso y nada más. No hay palabra para expresar lo que lamento que esto les esté sucediendo de nuevo.
    Eres una mujer extraordinaria y sé que vas a seguir la lucha. No te desanimes, toma tu tiempo. No hay nada malo en ti, son lss circunstancias del proceso las que fallan.
    LOS AMO.

  • Oh Whitney, I’m so sorry. Sometimes life is so terrible. The courage and strength you’ve shown, as long as I’ve been reading your blog, tells volumes about your character. Be gentle with yourself. Like you said, you did every possible thing for your babies. You fought for them every minute of their existences. You will undoubtedly be a wonderful mother, no matter how or when your children come to you. Lots of hugs and prayers.

  • artchickadee

    You inspire me to forge on in this infertility battle by fighting the good fight with class and dignity. You are one strong woman, one solid couple and one bad-ass advocate for yourself and the infertility world. I admire your strength, even though I know you are sick and tired of being strong. Keep your head up and know that someone in Chicago is cheering you on.

  • Hilda Tartaret

    I understand when you’re going through so bitter, but continues to fight droop fullfill some output of value to find that dream as beautiful as it is being a mother. I see you are a person of integrity and I’m sure you’re also very healthy I’m not going to say no because he was not the only time that everything happens when it should be. Have faith in Erick and you are going to do with sacrifice, but they will achieve, if the translation is not good I ask for apologies. From here I send all good vibes.
    My name is Hilda I am a friend of your mother Silvana

  • Silvana, Erick’s mother

    Whitney,,.talking about numbers…
    remember, great things are about to happens again …
    do not FORGET,
    7/22/1971…Erick’s birthhday,,,
    so, those numbers I think are positive to your life and something BIG is going to happen again!

  • Nat

    Mr. S is right. Nothing is wrong with you Whitney. You know this though. You are a true fighter, been through the ringer and it’s made you a better person. Every bruise, every moment spent in waiting rooms, all the tears and even the joys you felt have made you so strong that bullets would probably bounce off you right now. In poker 7,2 is a bum hand. Statistically the worst hand you can have. Ask Cameron, millions have been made with that hand, it’s all how you play it. The players that get delt the bum cards and win the pot are always the most respected too. There’s no question that you will come out of all this a better person and a better mother one day. You know this and so does everyone else. In the meantime keep writing. I just now discovered your blog and it’s pretty damn good.

  • Oh, Whitney, I’m just seeing this news and am so devastated for you. I was so excited for you and hopeful about this pregnancy…I absolutely can’t believe it’s ending like this. I’m so incredibly sorry. A million hugs to you…you’re in my thoughts and prayers…

  • ebc

    just wanted to say, i’m so sorry. i’m devastated for you. you absolutely fought this till the end. you have so many encouraging comments already, worded better than anything you’d want to read from me, so i’ll just say that i’m here, still cheering you on, still reading and sending you loads of peace for whatever your future holds.

  • What a heartbreaking post to read, even more so because I can relate to every single thing you said. I always feel like such a freaking impostor too whenever I get pregnant. I never consider myself “really” pregnant and always feel like an ass for acting differently during it. It’s….embarrassing.

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this again. You’re right, it doesn’t get any easier.

  • Greg

    Whitney and Erick,

    You’re courageous for what you’ve been through and even more so for making the agonizing decision to stop. Reading your blog is like reliving what Cindy and I went through. I feel your pain with you when you question what’s wrong with you and feeling emabarrassed. There’s no good or bad to that; it’s just how you feel. You know everyone here is right about everything that’s great about you. We share their sentiments. Still, we all need to hear you; your feelings; your pain; both of you. You’re right to give yourself time to grieve. You’ve been through so much. I’m so glad you share everything with Cindy. It helps her too, and me, even after all these years. We love both of you very much. If and when the time is right, you may decide to adopt and you’ll make wonderful parents; that’s for another day. Please just know that both of you are in our prayers more than you can imagine.

  • I just want to say I’m sorry. I’ve been through it 4 times, and I know the pain. No words can take it away. But sometimes it just helps to know that someone is thinking of you and is so sorry for the hurt you’re experiencing.

  • Kristel

    Whitney, you just said everything I feel. It’s very surreal to be at the end of this journey and have nothing to show for it. The sad part is that the battle of emotions is never over. I, like you, can be fine one day then horrible the next and I fear that will never end. Just know that you are not alone in all of this!!!! Call me if you need anything!!!

  • I’m so sorry, Whitney. I can’t even imagine… But like you said — you fought and fought as best you could. So sorry for you…

  • I know I’m seeing this two weeks later, but I also know from experience that two weeks is nothing in this world when dealing with kind of lost…..but I am so incredibly sorry. My heart is aching for you. I hope you find even more relief as time goes on, and the pain lessons.

  • Amy

    I just stumbled upon your blog. I want to thank you for showing me your perspective. I have not had fertilitiy issues, but I also have never looked in the face, like I feel I have from reading this post. How can I ever complain? Thank you for your honesty. I pray that God will bless you through your surrogate. Blessings.

    • WhitneyErick

      Amy, thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a sweet note. Thank you also for your prayers.

  • Chrissy

    We’ve been trying for 3 years. The last 7 months I’ve done 2 rounds of
    follitropin beta (unsuccessful). Magically, we conceived on our own in
    April, just after our doctor suggested we look at IVF. At 8weeks 5 days,
    there was no heartbeat, and I was rushed for a D&C. Now we are
    waiting for the karyotyping results of the contents. I am scared. Your
    post is right on target with what I’m feeling right now.

  • Jaime

    Hi Whitney, I have been dipping my toe into surrogacy research after my 3rd IVF miscarriage in March and found your blog. This post really hits home with me – I feel like I could have written the parts about how afraid you felt. My pregnancy PTSD got worse each time. I get so much hope from reading your story and seeing your beautiful children. Thank you for being so open and discussing surrogacy – there are so few blogs out there from the perspective of the IPs.

    • Whitney Anderson

      Jaime,

      Thank you for your sweet note. Best of luck to you. Keep in touch. xo

  • Sonny

    As a practitioner of Western Medicine I was initially unsure of what to expect from my acupuncture treatments. I was receiving acupuncture for fertility treatment along with IVF. I found that the Biotexcom clinic is leading in reproductive sphere so I decided to check it. We looked for different clinics in the internet. Most of them offer so expensive services. Finally he showed me the advertisement of one Ukrainian clinic. It`s called biotexcom. They offer 5 attempts and guarantee success. Also they will return money in case of failure. We tried. And I was really shocked to hear that the first attempt was successful. Now I have two wonderful children. There is always the opportunity to find a suitable variant.