Our Story, as told by Danielle:
Kyle and I met in the fall of 2004. My now brother-in-law introduced us because he thought we would hit it off. We were so different, yet somehow we were perfect for each other from the start. We fell in love and he became my best friend.
In 2009 we decided to take the next step and move in together. On a cold February night in 2012, I was folding laundry, I finally got to the bottom of the basket and there was a small box. I turned around to find Kyle standing right behind me. He asked me to marry him and I said yes! We married and bought his late grandparent’s house in April of 2013. We decided it was finally time to start a family and we were so excited about our journey to become parents. We had no idea that our journey to be a mom and dad would be so long and heartbreaking.
We tried for a year with no success. We decided to see my doctor to get some help. She ran some blood tests and everything came back normal. She prescribed Metformin and Clomid for possible PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). We tried three rounds of Clomid and no luck. She then referred us to a fertility specialist.
The fertility specialist ran tests to see if everything was normal (blood work, ultrasound, HSG X-Ray, and a semen analysis). We were told that my uterus had a slight heart shape to it but that it shouldn’t cause any problems in the future with a pregnancy (the official report said it was normal). This news was a relief and restored our hope of the chance of having a baby.
Although our insurance does not cover any fertility treatments, we decided to do our first IUI (Intrauterine Insemination) with our fertility doctor in January of 2015. I picked up my prescriptions and ovulation kit and we were excited for this next step. However, my period never came to start the IUI cycle and I found out that we were pregnant. The joy that we felt cannot be described in words. I was so relieved that it happened naturally and the timing seemed perfect. We went to the doctor and heard the heartbeat of our little miracle at 8 weeks. Not even thinking about a possible miscarriage, we shared our wonderful news with family and close friends.
At our 10 week appointment, all I can remember are the words “there is no heartbeat”. Everything after that is hard to remember. To say that we were devastated is an understatement. It’s crazy how fast you fall in love with your baby that you’ve never even met. This was the first real loss that I have ever felt in my life.
After months of recovering emotionally and physically, we decided to finally have that IUI in August of 2015. We were hopeful and ready to start the process and focused on the end goal of being parents. We got pregnant with twins! We knew that this was such a blessing. We thought that this was our rainbow after a difficult storm. We heard both heartbeats at 6 weeks and were so happy. However, we didn’t tell anyone for the fear of bringing pain to our family and friends if it happened again.
At our next appointment, there was only one heartbeat. We left with mixed emotions because we were so upset for the loss of one of our angels but still felt grateful for the one we still had. A week later, we checked on the baby and there was no heartbeat. The word devastation is used a lot with miscarriages, but there is no other word that come close to explain how you feel. The worst part is most people didn’t even know that we were hurting. We of course shared with family and friends because they knew something was wrong.
The fertility specialist ordered more tests to try and find a reason because chromosome abnormalities was ruled out. We had him check for anything and everything even if it was rare. Although, we had to pay out of our pocket, we knew it would be worth it if we could find an answer.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t an answer and were told that if we keep trying that one pregnancy should statistically work. After some time and gathering enough strength and courage, we decided to try another IUI in December of 2015.
On New Year’s Eve, we were ecstatic at the positive result on the pregnancy test. We thought 2016 was going to be a brand new beginning and the end of our “bad luck” but once again, we were afraid to tell anyone. This pregnancy didn’t last long, only a few weeks, we were told it was a chemical pregnancy. Kyle has been my rock and best friend, he has constantly reminded me through this process that in the end we would be parents which is what we both desperately wanted.
At this point, after three miscarriages we both wanted more testing done. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much more to test for at this point, as we found out, most infertility ends up being unexplained. We did however, decide to pay for a hysteroscopy hoping for answers. Our fertility specialist found a small septum in my uterus that he said he cut and corrected. He told us that the septum may or may not have caused the miscarriages but that it could help for future pregnancies.
We decided to be positive and hopeful that this small correction could make all of the difference. We took some time off from trying to conceive so we could heal.
We then decided to do another IUI in May of 2016 to see if the septum being gone fixed our problem. We thought for sure that my uterus was fixed and this was going to be the one, at the time, it was the only thing we could focus on to hold on to hope.
I surprised Kyle with the positive pregnancy test and then we held our breath and kept our secret. We heard the heartbeat at 6 weeks and it was music to our ears. At this point, we said we wouldn’t get our hopes up when we hear a heartbeat but there’s something so magical about it. I could listen to it all day. We went to the doctor again to check on the baby at 8 weeks. There wasn’t a heartbeat and it felt like the same nightmare that we have had to relive over and over again.
At this point, I was ready to move on to the next step whatever that may be IVF, surrogacy, or adoption. Everything has taken such a toll on us emotionally, physically, and financially so we decided to stop actively trying. My sister graciously offered to be a surrogate for us and we were so thankful. We weren’t expecting such a generous offer and we only want to take her up on it if necessary. The problem is, medically I haven’t been told that I can’t carry our baby, but our experience has told us otherwise.
To our surprise, while thinking about our next step, we got pregnant on our own in August of 2016. We decided we didn’t want to go in for an early ultrasound because we didn’t want to get our hopes up. We waited and went to our normal 8 week appointment and heard the heartbeat. This was the furthest we had been so we were just celebrating the small victories one week at a time. I miscarried yet again in our 9th week.
After five miscarriages, we can say that they all come with their own separate heartbreaks, disappointments, and struggles. They all equally hurt just as bad as the previous one, and it is something you never get over or forget. We have been very private about our experience to save family and close friends from pain. However, we have learned throughout this process that doing so leaves us feeling alone. Opening up and sharing our journey with others, especially family and friends has helped us understand that we have a huge support system. We are hoping that sharing our experience with even more people will help us feel like we aren’t alone.
We are so grateful and thrilled that we were selected as a featured couple for the 2017 Race to Parenthood. We are hoping with the funds we receive from Race to Parenthood that we will be able to do an IVF cycle. We still need to make a decision with our fertility specialist if our chances will be greater with me or my sister. We can say that we know in our hearts that we will be great parents and our rainbow baby will come home with us one day.
Learn more about surrogacy as a path to parenthood – click here.