My husband and I got married last year and since I am 36 (35 at the time) we knew we wanted to start trying right away (even if he is 7 years younger than me ... ). I remember the excitement and I remember all of my friends who had kids seemed so blissful, and never once mentioned anything about struggles or hardships in conceiving, so everything I knew was this would be an easy journey.
We actually got pregnant the first try. I was shocked! I told my husband in the sweetest way and even my OB was shocked how quick it was and we scheduled our 8 week ultrasound. I didn't know any better so I just kept testing and realized a week and half later the tests started getting lighter. That's when I first learned what a chemical pregnancy was.
Our OB said "this unfortunately happens all the time. when you are ready you can try again." So we waited a month and tried again. BAM! Pregnant again! This time I was a paranoid wreck, so I made sure I was in the office every other day testing my HCG levels which were amazing and rising as they should. But I still had some bleeding so we did an ultrasound, and another doctor who was brash said to me "I'm going to be honest, I don't think this pregnancy will last. Do you see how it looks squished, that tells me your body is actually trying to get rid of it. I would expect to miscarry. We will re-run your blood but it will need to be 18,000 for this pregnancy to be viable"
At that time I thought THAT was the hardest part of my life. We got the call the next day ... 22,000, viable preganany and that doctor is an ass hole. So we waited another week in which our doctor told us we would need to see a heartbeat. Waiting in the waiting room 2 days before christmas knowing we had to see a heartbeat or we would have to call this, it was the most nervous I've ever been in my life. I remember my sweet doctor trying to get my mind off my nerves, asking how my symptoms were, small talk. I knew the moment it was over as I saw her face react and become somber. "I'm so so sorry Emily, but there isn't a heartbeat. In fact the baby is measuring smaller than it was last week. This is unfortunately a missed miscarriage." Walking out of the office was a blur. No words could describe the shock of hearing that.
Since this was during the Holidays the office was closed the following few days, so we had to wait for a DNC the day after Christmas. We were told a DNC was 99% successful. Luck have it, turns out I'm that 1%. Our DNC failed and not just failed to remove everything but failed to even reach our baby. It was called "failure due to false cavity". As the instruments were trying to access my cervix, instead of following the path of least resistance it created it's own path into my uterine muscle ... And it took the doctor a moment to realize what he was pumping out of my body was not our baby. I also remember the panic of the doctors faces as well as my husband, that was officially the worst day of my life. The doctor sent me home with cytotex pills. 6 should do the job but I took 40 ... over the next 7 days. Which I have been told my other doctors in retrospect is dangerous and borderline reckless of that doctor.
My body did nothing. It wasn't responding to the medicine. So we scheduled a second DNC hoping the false passage had closed up. It hadn't. That DNC also failed to reach my cervix. 4 days later my body finally released the baby.
This lead us to our RE but before we could test it took my body 11 weeks to release the HCG. But a whole host of tests later I was diagnosed with a uterine septum and it was removed. Next to the septum the found the implantation site of our pregnancy. They were able to confirm that this was the reason for the miscarriage and the reason the baby looked "squished" because as it grew the septum was restricting its growth and blood supply. NOT because my body was rejecting it. This also explains why my body refused to let go. It was going exactly what it was supposed to be doing, but the septum prevented our baby from growing.
We tried again after the septum removal and had another chemical, so decided that since this had taken a year, and that we want more than one kid (and my AMH and age) it was best to pause before "Getting pregnant naturally" again, because the doctors feel confident we can. But not confident that a year or two from now we will be able to conceive again. So we pressed pause and pause to do IVF in hopes of being able to freeze our eggs for baby two.
In all honesty, I thought that would be easy, we would get some eggs frozen and move on. But unfortunately our first round of IVF completely failed. We actually only got 1 mature egg and it didn't make it to blast. The doctor let us know we gained valuable information that he believes it's an LH issue and that we can overcome that by adding another drug to the mix.
We just started round two and are anxiously hoping it works. If it does it signals that this was probably the issue and reason for miscarriages and the 0 eggs from our first round. IF it doesn't work it will most likely signal an egg quality issue which ... as we know there really isn't a fix for.
So that's where we are as of now :)
What helped us the most through this time : Being proactive. Having something next to focus on doesn't give me enough time to sit and wallow over what hasn't worked. But also in the same regard ... acknowledging this is just absolutely shitty and letting that be okay.
Advice : I wish someone had told me that this will NOT go as you plan. And everything is so much more complicated than the generalizations we assume to be true. This is YOUR journey and no matter how similar it is to someone else's it won't define your outcome ... good or bad.
Additional Advice : Miscarriage is common, we have to stop pretending it's not. And just because it's common doesn't make it any easier to get through. A chemical pregnancy is still a loss, a failed transfer is still a loss. Infertility is also more common that we know. And IVF is not a solution for all things. This journey will be hard, but it will not last forever, this is only a season.