Erica gives us a privileged view into her walk through PCOS, pregnancy loss, and how she came to know peace in the midst of her pain. I know that you will be encouraged as your read her story. Photographs generously provided by Anya Albonetti.
Three empty bedrooms.
When we bought our first home two years ago I imagined that it wouldn’t be long before we’d fill them with books and stuffed animals and precious little babies. But things didn’t go according to plan.
The months began to drag on without a positive pregnancy test.
After a year we talked to my OBGYN about it. After some tests, he predicted that I have PCOS. I expected that much. But when he told me that it would be very difficult to conceive because of my hormone levels, I was physically sick.
I got this news the day before Christmas Eve.
There were gifts and happy Christmas songs playing all around me. I was surrounded by family, but had never felt more alone. Only my mother and husband knew the battles I was facing.
Depression, stress, worry – a feeling of inadequacy and failure.
I felt completely lost and 100 percent drained. I blamed myself for packing on the extra pounds. If I had just stayed skinny none of this would have happened. I blamed myself for worrying too much.
I blamed myself for being broken. I was scared and wanted to give up.
But after the New Year I called the doctor to arrange for more tests. An HSG, ultrasounds, bloodwork – the works. My mantra was “strong, brave, capable.” I repeated those words over and over.
Strong, brave, capable.
Through it all my husband sang me goofy songs in waiting rooms. He made me dinner when I couldn’t make myself eat. He held me in bed every night when I cried. In March we tried Clomid for the first time. It was successful. I experienced so much joy in such a tragically short amount of time.
We lost the pregnancy early.
The lines never got darker. On Mother’s Day all of my friends celebrated their beautiful new families. I walked the rooms of my house and imagined what they would look like if I had children. But with no furniture or finger-paint drawings on the walls, my house reflected how I felt on the inside: empty.
After that weekend we finally made the move to see a fertility specialist, and I decided to tell all of my family and friends what we were experiencing.
I hit a point where I knew I needed more support, more encouragement, more prayers. And while I know that infertility is a very private experience, I needed it to be public. I needed my boss to know why I had so many doctors appointments. I needed help. I wanted other women in my life, who may be silently fighting a similar battle, to know they are not alone.
Throughout this whole experience my faith was tested.
I prayed and prayed and prayed. When I lost the baby, I quit praying for a while. Surely the Lord knows my heart by now, I thought. Surely there is nothing else to say. But I learned that in those dark moments of complete remorse, God is still there. He still loves me. He still wants good for me. He is still my cornerstone.
When I reflect about who I am now compared to two years ago, I realize that I am so much stronger.
I am a warrior. I can handle pain. I can experience heartbreak. And I can finally talk about it.
I’m finally free to fight infertility openly.
If this post was encouraging to you, if you would like to speak an encouraging word to Alayna, or if you would just like to connect, please do not hesitate to contact us!