Here is Jamie's story. Jamie lives in Virginia, so we weren't able to get together for a photo shoot. However, she was generous enough to share her story.
After my husband and I had been married just over 2 years, our priorities in life shifted a little bit. It seemed like just overnight we felt ready to start a family. We were in a good place in our life, with school close to being completed and a bright future ahead of us. It just seemed like it was the natural and right thing to do.
After over a year of trying, every month was a discouragement when things did not work out. We were uncertain what the problem was. We went from doctor to doctor to figure out what the issue was. We found little things that perhaps were contributing, but we all received the same consensus—there was no reason why we shouldn’t be able to get pregnant on our own.
After almost 3 years of trying—of not stressing about it and hoping it would just happen, of seeing various doctors, we decided to go see a fertility specialist about an hour away from our small town on the central coast of California. It was amazing how proactive they were about getting things started. We had total faith in them. We tried one round of Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), and later that month, we found out we were pregnant!
I couldn’t begin to describe how ecstatic we were! We found out that my husband’s job would be relocating us to Virginia, and we were thrilled that soon we would be starting a new life in a new place, with a new baby. How blessed we were!
After a whirlwind trip to visit our families over Easter (and telling them of our good news!), we were driving home and stopped at the doctor’s office for our first ultrasound. We were going to see our baby!! However, there was nothing to be found. No baby. Our drive home was silent.
Our specialists were concerned that it could be an ectopic pregnancy, and so they transferred my care to my OB/GYN to diagnose the issue. After a thorough ultrasound, the doctor could not find anything in my fallopian tubes and determined that I was simply having a miscarriage. He scheduled me for a D&C, since our move across the country was just a couple weeks away.
I remember the Sunday after my D&C was Mother’s Day. I simply could not go to church that day—it just would have been too hard. So instead we went to our favorite beach. I remember lying on the steps that led out to the sand, and although we were full of sadness, I distinctly remember being comforted and feeling like life would move on, that someday we would be parents. It was a great realization—with the ocean breeze and the warm sun and sand, and my husband by my side.
Just a few days later, I went to my OG/GYN’s office for a post-op visit. He explained to me that there was no evidence of any pregnancy related tissue in my pathology results and that something could still be wrong. He sent me off to get some labs drawn and set me up for an ultrasound for the next morning.
Later that night, I all of a sudden had the most excruciating pain I have ever felt. I was bleeding an excessive amount. Something was very wrong. We headed to the emergency room, and it was discovered that I did, after all, have an ectopic pregnancy that went unnoticed, and it had ruptured. At 2 in the morning I was wheeled into the operating room, where they removed over a cup and a half of blood in my abdomen, my ectopic pregnancy, and my right fallopian tube.
Though this was such a frightening and devastating experience, I instantly felt surrounded by love. My co-workers visited me at the hospital and showered me with gifts. I came home from the hospital to several bouquets of flowers. Members of our church jumped at the chance to help out and bring meals. My mother and mother-in-law flew in to take care of me and to pack up our whole house. I could have not handled everything without the love and support of others.
And although it was crazy, a few days later, my husband and I traveled across the country to our new home in Virginia. We needed that time together to talk and to think, and to just be together.
It has now been almost a year later, and our infertility journey has now been close to 4 years. We took some time to heal, and now we have found some specialists here that we love and have been helping us. After several attempts of IUI’s that were unsuccessful, our next step is IVF. It feels good to be proactive and to put trust in the hands of our doctors and nurses who are fighting for us to become parents.
Although our memories from our past pregnancy are clear and I have a scar that reminds me every day what we’ve been through, it is so important for us to press on with a cautious optimism that someday we will become parents. I have a musical snow globe (given from a friend) that says, “Never Lose Hope,” and that is a great reminder.
One thing I’ve learned through this experience is the importance on relying on people for help. Infertility is such a personal and sensitive subject, but talking about it and having others pray for you is such a powerful, powerful thing. And, not just relying on others, but relying on the Lord too. He loves you more than you’ll know, and I am certain He would not give us a challenge that we cannot handle.
Although we are not parents yet, we have the faith that someday we will be, whether through our upcoming IVF procedure or by other means. When that happens, we will be the most appreciative, grateful parents in the world.
if you are interested in participating in this project, please email me at jackienorrisphoto @ gmail.com
To see more of the infertility and pregnancy loss project, click here.