A Fertility story: The road to our baby
Updated: May 4
With my due date fast approaching I'm feeling a bit brave and think its finally time to share with all you lovely people the full story of Juniper Grace Garcia. I have hesitated to reveal everything due to the graphic content, but I know that there is someone out there that needs to hear this journey just as much as I needed to go through it.
First, I would like everyone to know that I married my high school sweetheart. No this isn't a humble brag or anything I just wanted to give some perspective on how long we have been together by the time we decided to get married. After falling in love over our English homework in 2009 we quickly became those mooshy teenagers that talk about marriage and families and how we would never leave one anothers side, yadda yadda. Again this isn't a brag, we had just always wanted to be together in this way which is why what happens down the road is extraordinarily painful & tough to talk about.
Fast forward and five years later we found ourselves standing at the alter at the age on 22. We would of married each other all those years ago if we could of but college was a priority to both us and our families. With this, we both felt that the next natural step into this great marriag-ey adventure was to finally actualize the family that we had been dreaming about for years. So, just a couple of months after we settled into our newly wed apartment we decided to waste no time. We knew that with my Thyroid condition ( Hashimotos disease) that it may take us a bit longer and that would be alright.
before you read:
My hope for this story is that I can relate this to just one persons struggle and lend hope. With that said, I will be sharing some brutal details to come and the last thing I would want is anyone to feel offended or uncomfortable so read on with care.
Honestly The first year of trying was the easiest. I didn't think too much about the sea of negative pregnancy tests, or the ovulation trackers. It didn't even cross my mind to go see a doctor, again I blamed it primarily on my over abundance of antibodies and thought my time was definitely around the corner.
I would say it was when I turned 24 that the lack of results truly began to frighten me. You read on the internet all the time about how when you're young and healthy it shouldn't take you over a year to achieve a pregnancy. This is about the time that I started to let anxiety and depression into my life, thinking that there must be something wrong with me. That I was broken in some way. The worst part about this was I felt too embarrassed to truly reach out to anyone. It seemed like everyday my friends were having these beautiful babies and I couldn't even get my journey started. Taking a trip to my OBGYN at the time was all I could think to do. Needless to say the office visit did not go as planned. When I expressed what had been happening over the last two years her response simply was 'you're young you'll be fine'. It was a dagger.
It was at this point that I decided to reach out and let my mother know what was going on. Ya know, just in case we had a history of this in our family and this all could be explained away. I was looking for anything really to give me hope that I wasn't the only one. No family history of any sort of infertility and I felt more alone than ever before. Another dagger. Year three was not my finest hour. I got a second opinion from a doctor who said I was too over weight, but honestly with my depression over this issue growing stronger by the day over eating was the only thing I felt would comfort me. I attempted the diets to no avail, and to no positive tests.
My fertility journey was becoming an all encompassing nightmare by this point. I felt lost, and crippled by my own fears.
In December of 2017, three and a half years after starting my journey, much to my surprise we got a positive pregnancy test! It was a miracle I thought, I wasn't broken, I could do this and I will be a mother. After several trips to the doctor and ten weeks into this pregnancy we did end up suffering a loss on Valentines day. The bleeding began two days earlier and our baby slipped out of our hands that quickly.
A year of still trying every month was ahead of me. I couldn't take this miscarriage for what it was and was determined to have my baby back. It had never been in my nature to lay down and die. Exactly one year from when we conceived the first time in December of 2018 we got another positive pregnancy test. I cried when I saw the words 'pregnant' pop up on the strip fearfully hoping that I could maintain this one. Nine weeks in, literally a day after hearing our baby's heart beat I began to bleed again. This time suffering a much more painful and abrupt natural miscarriage. As I lay in the emergency room bed I couldn't help but think of how unfair all of this was. I could hardly hold it together when the doctor asked how many pregnancies I had had and how many children I had. The answer was a tearful two and none.
This snow globe was one of the first things I bought for at the beginning of my fertility treatments for my baby that I knew would someday come.
I'm not going to lie. This was the hardest part of my journey. I didn't want to live, let alone try again. I berried what was left of my baby under my favorite tree in front of our home. I mourned for a year, but never stopped trying to bring my baby back to me.
After another year of failed fertility attempts, my husband and I decided to begin saving for what we saw as a last resort, Fertility treatments. Which at the time felt like an impossible financial task after everything I had read via the internet & mommy chats. After about a year of scrimping and doing without we had finally reached our goal & were ready to venture into this new chapter of our story.
Aspire Fertility in San Antonio Texas was our first choice. We had read all the reviews and seen the results and this now 27 year old was eager to test the waters. The first thing that the doctor did with us was do a genetic panel as well as a medical work up. This is when we found out that not only did I have Hashimotos Disease but I also had PCOS (polytheistic ovarian syndrome) as well as Lupus anti coagulation. In combination these issues meant it was borderline impossible for me to be able to have and maintain a pregnancy without extra help. And the anti-coagulation issue was actually to blame for the miscarriages, there was not enough blood pumping to the babies in order to make them viable.
Just knowing this information was a game changer for me. My original OBGYN didn't even bother doing further testing for any other genetic disorders. She was complacent with blaming the infertility entirely on a thyroid issue I was already maintaining. Shortly after this discovery I was out on a new medical regiment which caused nausea night and day, but if it was getting me closer to my baby I was going to fight through it.
Side note: to anyone transitioning onto the medication metphormine for their PCOS and it causes vomiting and nausea, it gets better. Do not stop your medication, after about two to three you will begin to feel normal again!
Junipers sonogram pictures from 21 weeks
Three months of body balancing later and we were finally ready to start the fertility process. The method that was suggested for us since we were just starting out was timed intercourse. It was a relatively painless, each month we were expected to take what the doctors called a 'trigger shot' and then in a follow up appointment we would have an ultrasound to make sure that there was at least one egg ready for fertilization and the rest was up to us! I would take a pregnancy test per their instructions on the day they suggested it would be correctly positive or negative and that was it.
Our first month went smoothly, we went through the motions but had no success. In that instance it honestly felt like another failure & was a huge blow. Treatments weren't cheap and I was afraid of how many months we could afford to get this done. Our next month we had a dosage change on the trigger shot, and when we went in for our preview ultra sound we saw one (BIG) egg. What we didn't know at the moment was that we were actually having our first look at our soon to be baby. I still every once in a while mention how special that is to me, to my husband.
So, you guessed it, much to my surprise our second month was a success! I nearly fainted when I saw the stick light up 'pregnant'. I immediately called all the people my husband first and then my mom. Both were hesitant to be too excited given my past, but this time felt so different to me. I had gone through all the right channels, I was on all the right medications and I had all the right Doctors looking after her.
Though my pregnancy hasn't been the easiest : we suffered bleeding early on, I have been sick and had chronic vomiting all eight months(so far), I've had to take a handful of pills in the morning and afternoon as well as a shot at night, along with maintaining twice the doctor visits and blood draws because I have to have a specialist as well. I can honestly say I wouldn't of changed it for the world. Though I have not had a chance to meet my baby girl yet I now have a new found appreciation for her that wouldn't of come any other way.
Five years of infertility and two miscarriages later I am now on track to have my baby girl in June of 2020, and words cannot describe how she makes my heart glow with excitement.
Though Covid 19 has caused some major hurdles for me and Juniper, like not having a baby shower, or be able to see family of friends, or even shop for her normally, our hope is that her birth will go smoothly. We will have an planned induction so that the doctors can keep a close eye on both of us during delivery.
My advice to anyone who was in position is don't hesitate to ask for help! There is nothing to be ashamed of and treatments are more affordable & obtainable than ever before. You have every right to set yourself up for success and there is no shame in achieving a pregnancy with a little bit of science along with a whole lot of love!
My hope is that as you read this you don't feel pity but instead hope. Even if you haven't embarked on a fertility journey of your own, knowing that it's possible given the worst circumstances and educating family and friends on their options is my ultimate dream. As a human, I felt like it was my responsibility to put mine & my husbands story out there. We now have the world at our feet and cannot wait to meet our baby girl soon. We will continue to be monitored by the specialist up until the day we are induced for labor but this journey has taught me to take everything in stride. process everything one moment at a time, and don't ever give up!
Juniper Grace Garcia, our dream, our everything.