My Miscarriage Story
Clichés exist because sometimes they are bang on. One cliché has been my guiding missive for the last 15 months: Everything happens for a reason.
Rewind to May 2008: My marriage was on the rocks. In fact, if I had been a betting woman I would have wagered it was over. I thought we were set to become a statistic, another couple that couldn’t make it through infertility. Also, I had decided a few months before not to take fertility drugs. My husband couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t take the drugs, and I believed he didn’t understand what I was going through. We agreed to take time apart and the night before he left for an “extended business trip” we had a beautiful evening and I got pregnant. It was a fluke, certainly not planned.
I was sure I’d lose the baby and that would sound the death knell of our marriage. My fertility specialist had said I’d need to take drugs before we tried to get pregnant; there was nothing they could now that I was pregnant. My GP prescribed natural progesterone to help the fetus along (low progesterone is a common cause of miscarriage). But I’d used progesterone with two pregnancies and still lost the baby. I was terrified, but a small part of me had hope.
Holding On Hope
Early scans showed a strong heartbeat; I passed the scary first trimester mark, but still I didn’t breathe. Truthfully, I never fully relaxed throughout the pregnancy. My husband ordered a home Doppler, a machine where you can listen to the baby’s heartbeat and we checked the heartbeat daily (he doesn’t know this, but I was addicted and listened to it constantly). At the 20-week scan, we discovered we were having a little girl and I cried. My belly expanded and I finally put on maternity clothes I’d prematurely purchased years before. I remember the first kick, the first time my daughter got hiccups, the way she seemed to elbow me to say hi. As each month passed, the reality sunk in: I was finally going to be a mother.
Everything happens for a reason. The baby brought me and my husband back together: with a marriage counsellor, we discussed the toll the miscarriages had taken and she made us see that a baby would not fix a fractured marriage. But we both recognized there was enough love between us that we would work on it. Besides, all marriages need work.
Then Came Lily
On February 18, 2009, Lily Faelyn Morris came into the world, named for my grandmother, and a homophone of my last name (Faelyn means ‘beautiful fairy’). It was an eventful birth and she emerged with the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck, which was quickly untangled. Lily’s first cry was the best sound I’ve ever heard. She was placed on my chest and looked up at me. I thought, “you, darling Lily, were meant to be.”
Lily is now 7 months old, playing at my feet as I write this, and the apple of everyone’s eye. She is beautiful and engaging and sometimes I have to remind myself she is here and she is mine.
When my editor asked me to write a follow-up, I cringed a little. I have read too many stories of women who have gone through miscarriage or fertility treatments, who then say ‘Look at me! I’ve had a baby!’ I didn’t want this to be my message. I have met enough women throughout this journey who have shared their stories with me to know that it doesn’t always work out.
I know how lucky I am. And I am truly grateful.