This is an incredible story of a strong woman who went through difficult pregnancies, nearly 10 years of IVF, had 12 miscarriages and suffered the agony of endometriosis and postnatal depression. This is how she overcame it all through persistence and refusing to listen to any negativity.
When Meghan fell pregnant with Baby #1 (now Mr 13), she had a very bad time throughout her whole pregnancy. She had to be in hospital for the whole 9 months. At 6 months, she was able to leave the hospital but unfortunately, she was in her parent’s car and a lady hit the back of their car, which caused Meghan to bleed. And as a result, she was right back in hospital again for the next 3 months.
Meghan had Hyperemesis Gravidarum, a complication in pregnancy that is more severe than morning sickness, where she experienced severe nausea, vomiting and weight loss. Within the first 3 months of her pregnancy, she went from 50 kg, down to 40 kg. The birth was very traumatic, she lost so much blood, that there was a blood clot the size of half her placenta. Her obstetrician had to “rip him out” because the baby’s heartbeat stopped several times as he was arriving into the world. This resulted in Meghan getting 68 stitches. Yep, you read that right, folks. 68 stitches. No drugs.
Between Baby #1 and Baby #2
When Baby #1 turned a year old, Meghan and her husband decided to try for Baby #2. However, Meghan’s periods were very painful, and her doctors suggested that it was her appendix that was causing the pain. She saw 8 different doctors and it was only the 8th doctor (who happened to be the only female doctor out of them all) that sent Meghan to see a pediatrician. It was then, when she discovered she suffered from endometriosis. It was the third worst case the specialist doctor had ever seen in his whole entire career! She had it surgically removed, and while she was told that it would take at least 6 years for it to potentially grow back again, it ended up coming back 6 months later. She had no choice but to get it surgically removed a second time.
They then started AIH (Artificial Insemination by Husband) for a few years. Meghan’s endometriosis had damaged her tubes, therefore also damaging her eggs as they moved down her tubes. Furthermore, she had a blood disorder, where she had to have injections on her stomach everyday to thin her blood.
Between Baby #1 and Baby #2, Meghan suffered 12 miscarriages, went through AIH, FET (Frozen Embryo Transfers) and IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) before finally falling pregnant to Baby #2, 6 long and hard years later. And it had cost them nearly $40,000.
Baby #3 was conceived using Meghan’s 4 frozen embryos. The first two didn’t take, so she requested to put the next 2 in together, and to hope for the best. 1 didn’t take, and 1 survived – Hello, Baby #3! Meghan suffered Hyperemesis Gravidarum again but because it was detected early, she was given the appropriate drugs to help her through it. She again had to have 2 injections a day on her stomach (blood thinners) throughout the whole pregnancy. She said she was so bruised from the injections, that she looked just like a druggie!
The 12 Miscarriages
At the time, Meghan said couldn’t tell her husband about some of the miscarriages as he didn’t know how to show much emotion. When she was hurt, he would hurt too… but… he didn’t know how to express that.
“Those pregnancies never got past 6 weeks. It was hard…. (pause) it was hard.”
“People used to say stupid things like ‘Oh, it must get easier because you’re used to it.’ IT DOESN’T. Your anxiety grows. Your stress increases and stress can also cause miscarriages….. Every tinge, every non-movement, with everything, I was thinking… oh my god, oh my god, oh my god… I was always in and out of hospital getting tested to see if everything’s alright.”
My Postnatal Depression
“I had postnatal depression after I had (Baby #1). I had friends that fell pregnant and didn’t want to tell me and that would hurt, because they knew how hard I was trying to have a baby. That hurt because I’m not that sort of person that would think negative of you for a good situation. My best friend couldn’t tell me she was pregnant until she was 6 months pregnant…. It was really hurtful, I would’ve wanted to be there for her.”
When asked what she didn’t like people to say to her – “I didn’t want to hear ‘You’ll be right.’, ‘Just give it another go.’, ‘It’ll happen.’, ‘You’ve got one, don’t worry!’. I knew them, I didn’t want to hear that every time.”
What I noticed when talking to Meghan, was the love and respect she had for her husband. She talked in such a manner where many women, would not have had the same resoluteness when talking about their significant others.
When Meghan was pregnant with Baby #2, her husband could not acknowledge the pregnancy for the first three months because he saw her in pain all the time. “When I was in pain, HE was in pain.”
“10 years of IVF, he never once told me to stop. Never told me it cost too much. Never told me it was causing problems. He was by my side through everything. Out of everybody, he was MY ROCK. He let me do, what I needed to do.”
My Worst Day
Meghan recalled having to pick Child #1 up early from school to get her IVF done. His teacher saw them leaving and asked “Oh where are you off to?”
And he answered, “We’re going to the hospital so my Mummy can have a baby put in, because I broke her tummy.”
She told me she had never said anything like that to him before but, “his little brain and his little perspective was that he broke my tummy. THAT broke my heart. My little boy thinking it was HIS fault.”
“That was hard… Trying to get my brain around the fact that I could never have children again… If I lost my husband or we broke up, he can go and have children with someone else. I can’t. If I lost a child, I cant’ have another one. Getting my brain around it was very hard.”
She was petrified about the surgery. But as soon as she healed, she no longer had the desire to have another baby. “Done, dusted. Best decision I ever made.”
“Keep trying. You’ll get there in the end. It took me 10 years to get what I wanted, but I didn’t give up. And I didn’t listen to negativity. And I pushed and pushed and I got what I wanted. Don’t give up.”
It was amazing and inspiring to talk to Meghan. To have been through so much physical and emotional pain, and still kept on trying, it is such an inspiration to us all. She’s taught me that irregardless of what the universe throws at you, you must do your best to overcome all obstacles.
This also shows us the importance of having a husband or partner that can stand by you through all of this. This couple should be an example to all couples going through the fertility treatment process. Stand by your woman. Be her rock.
Thank you Meghan, for allowing me to interview you. I hope this article will help those who are going through IVF and had miscarriages, to know… they’re not alone.