my story

It was a cold January evening. We were driving through Sardine Canyon. I gazed out the window at the night sky, seeing the stars blink down at me. We had been silent for a few minutes. The comfortable silence between two people that know each other, that love each other.

"I think I'm ready to have a baby," I said.

The sentence hung out there for minute. Like a balloon, floating around for a minute, looking for a place to land.

"OK. Yeah, that sounds good," he responded.

"Really?" Surprised at his nonchalance.

"Yeah, really. I think we're ready."

I sunk back into my seat with a smile creeping across my face and let out a breath I didn't know I was holding in.


It was a chilly October morning. My period had started, again. I cried this time.

My period, or what I thought was my period, didn't stop. For some reason, unknown even to me, I took a pregnancy test. Positive.

I was excited. The excitement temporarily drowned out the fear for a few minutes. I knew something wasn't right. I shouldn't be bleeding.


It was a drizzly November afternoon. After multiple blood tests we knew something was wrong. My hormone levels weren't increasing like they should. I was driving to the hospital for an ultrasound. I was alone. It was silent in the room. It was sterile. I sit awhile, waiting for the technician. She comes. She is kind, but quiet. We begin the ultrasound. There is no sound other than the periodic clicking of the keys, taking photos. She leaves the room as quietly as she came.

After getting dressed, I wandered up to the doctors office. There was a mass in my right fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancy.


The next few months were filled with more doctor appointments, making sure everything settled normally. They were filled with random bouts of crying (including when my parents bought a new Christmas tree. I thought it was ugly so I cried) and random bouts of anger. I was hurt. I was alone.

It didn't help that close friends and family were reproducing like rabbits.


9 months later, I was pregnant again. This time I got to carry my baby for 9 months and I'm getting ready to celebrate his one year birthday. Looking back on that time I can see the growth that occurred. I realized that I didn't have to suffer or wait like others have had to. I didn't have to go through numerous tests or do IVF. But when you are in middle of infertility every month seems monumental. Every month is heavy. You feel fragile, ready to crack at any moment. It is isolating and terrifying.


That is my story.

if you are interested in participating in this project, please email me at jackienorrisphoto @ gmail.com
I am currently located in the Bay Area of California, but travel to Utah frequently. 


Bo said...

This is so beautifully written, Jackie. I'm looking forward to this series.

Mary said...

Thank you for posting. Beautiful is just the right word, and so honest. I went through infertility for {what I can see now was} a short period of time, but it's so true -- when it's happening to you it feels like anything but short. Thanks again; I loved reading this.

Andrea said...
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Andrea said...

Ditto what Mary said.

Many people have it so much worse than I did. I think what added to my pain of a miscarriage and the following infertility was that there was a time I could swear on my life I was pregnant (I was about a week late and having promising symptoms) so I drove to the lab for a blood test. The day I got the results I thought they were calling to tell me I was pregnant but it was negative. I thought the test was wrong because there were so many reasons why it seemed I was pregnant. Later that day I started my period. The other hard thing for me was that my cycles were so long and messed up that I would wait a couple months to ovulate (analyzing cervical fluid, taking endless OPKs, charting my temperature), then I would end up not pregnant. It felt like I was waiting 2 months to ovulate, then enduring 2 short weeks just to find out the ugly cycle was repeating. I was jealous that other people at least had a shot at pregnancy every month while I had to wait 2 or more, just to be disappointed again and again. And yes, I did cry every time my period showed. By the time I actually found out I was pregnant again I was more in a state of shock than excitement at first because it didn't seem real. Then I worried I would lose it again so I think it took me awhile to let go of fear and have faith (meanwhile trying to be excited and enjoy the pregnancy).

Andrea said...

Since I basically posted my story here I'll add that during that time I was trying to conceive, I was doing a lot of tests and seeing the doctor often. I eventually got diagnosed with PCOS and started on Metformin. It was terrible; made me so sick I would vomit several times daily. My hair started falling out. I lost weight (something that actually had potential to hinder my chances of conception). While the medication was miserable, it eventually worked and helped me get pregnant. Since I stayed on it my first trimester there's also a good chance it helped prevent another miscarriage. Despite the awful side effects I'm grateful for my "miracle drug." I'd go in it again in a heartbeat. It was worth getting my son!

Jodi said...

It seems I have an endless number of friends and family who are going through this. Why so many? It's crazy isn't it. I'm so happy for you and the beautiful baby you have- he is so cute. I always worried, what if it happens to me? Everyday I take a huge sigh of relief that even if I can never have another child again, I have him forever and nothing can undo that.

Andrea said...

Jodi (and Jackie)-I don't want to be a post hog but I wanted to respond to your comment. My mom had a horrible time trying to have children over the years (10 miscarriages, one premature baby born at 32 weeks who only lived a few hours, one adoption that fell through the day they went to pick up the baby, and a number of health problems and bedrest). I always worried, "What if it happens to me? What if I have a hard time, too? I just couldn't deal with that." I can't compare my trials to my mom's because hers seem far worse (although I'm only beginning this journey!). However, it was hard. Terribly hard. Painful. And as I only have one baby right now there a lot of potential ahead of me for more loss and struggle. However, despite me thinking I could never handle something like this, I've found that I can! It's hard, but somehow I made it through. It brought me and Brandon closer together, and us closer to God. I wouldn't wish these experiences on anyone but I've already begun to learn a great lesson that we can do hard things; things we could never imagine dealing with. To be frank, we don't really have a choice but to deal with trials (especially because the situation is often out of our control). I agree with what you said; even if I never had any more children, at least I have my sweet boy. I'm so grateful to have been pregnant and had a wonderful birth that gave me a perfect, healthy son. Many women don't even have that much. Of course I hope to have more children but I have to count my blessings. Anyway, sorry again to post so much. I am obviously very passionate about this subject and it's hard sometimes to not pipe up. :)

Jackie Norris said...


Thanks for your posts! Don't apologize. I hope we can get together sometime and talk. I'd love to have you be part of the project.

Kati said...

Very well said, Jackie. I can't wait to get with you and tell you my story.

The Turvilles said...

Jackie, I think this is a wonderful thing you are doing. It is good for people to know they are not alone. I would love to be apart of your project.