Ashley Q’s Story

1. Describe the process of getting pregnant.  Was it easy for you?  Was it hard?  Did you have to go through fertility treatment? 

Starting our family has been a long, difficult road. We tried naturally for over a year and never saw a bfp. I got a diagnosis of PCOS and we went on to try femara, three IUIs, IVF, and then my first FET I miscarried at 9 weeks. I did two additional FETs, which were unsuccessful. We took a break and I fell pregnant naturally with my miracle girl, who is now 4 years old. We started trying naturally again a year after she was born and when she turned 2 we went to a new reproductive endocrinologist to do some more FETs with our remaining embryos. The first transfer resulted in yet another miscarriage at 7 weeks. My second transfer was a chemical pregnancy. I decided I didn’t want to do all the shots and pills anymore, so we opted for a “natural” transfer (cycle tracking and progesterone suppositories). It worked! I’m finally pregnant with my first IVF baby 6 years after starting the IVF process.

2. What was the pregnancy like?  Was it easy and smooth?  Hard with a lot of pregnancy symptoms?

My first pregnancy I was constantly nauseous. I could hardly eat anything and felt constantly sick.

3. Did you have a reason why your losses occurred?

My first loss was due to chromosome abnormalities. I never was given a reason for the second loss. It was a suspected molar pregnancy, but after running some tests they determined something just went wrong. They aren’t sure what happened.

4. How far along were you?

My first miscarriage was at 9 weeks and my second was at 7 weeks.

5. What are your babies names?

The babies we lost are Gabriel and Nathaniel.

6. What was the birthing/loss experience like?

It was very painful. Neither of the pregnancies passed naturally, so I had D&Cs for both of them. It was a difficult recovery both physically and emotionally.

7. Did you get to spend time with your baby or get any keepsakes?

No, they had to send the babies off for testing. I do wish I had asked if we could have their remains after the tests were performed.

8. How was the medical treatment/support during your loss?

The first D&C I was treated the same as an elective abortion patient. The doctor was very cold and uncaring. I was thankful for the nurse who held my hand while I cried through the procedure. The second D&C I was blissfully unaware of what was happening because they put me under general anesthesia. 

9. Did you receive support from family and friends after your loss?

I have some of the most amazing, supportive friends and family.

10. How were your emotions after loss? (Angry, sad, scared, confused, etc)

I was really sad after the first loss. It tore me up. I found out the hard way that trying to bottle up my emotions just made it worse. I spent a lot of time crying and asking God why I couldn’t keep my baby.

11. How did you know you were ready to try again?

I actually decided to take a 6 month break from treatment when I fell pregnant with Maddie. It was so scary seeing those two pink lines. I didn’t feel ready. After my most recent miscarriage, I tried again as soon as I could. My new reproductive endocrinologist had a great approach to the situation and just said the more times I gave it a try the higher my chances. 

12. What has the pregnancy with your rainbow baby been like?

This pregnancy has been harder than the first I carried to term. I was very sick in the first trimester and I’ve been struggling with heartburn, bloody noses, and severe pelvic pain.

13. Is there anything special you do to remember your angel baby/babies?

I light a candle for them on their birthday every year. My first had the exact same due date as the day my miracle girl was born, which holds very special significance for me. I like to say her brother sent her to me.

14. Is there anything you want others to know about going through loss?

You aren’t alone. Miscarriage is such a common thing, but you won’t find out until you open up to people and start sharing. I encourage you to share. Your story could be exactly what someone else needs to hear. When people ask how many kids you have, include the babies you lost. They are important too.

Ashley wears the rainbow skirt.  Her daughter stands next to her.  There is snow in the background.

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