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Melanie’s Story

Our journey began almost 5 years ago when we decided we were ready to have children. I was 39 and Ty was 34. We’d been together for 3 years and knew it was forever. I had my IUD removed and thought everything would fall into place and be super easy.

My first pregnancy was at 41. It took 2 years of “trying”. At the time I didn’t see too much for concern. I also at that time had very little information to work with.

When I found out I was pregnant I was over the moon, scared and nervous, but incredibly happy. I didn’t have one negative thought about pregnancy, and zero thoughts of loss. I had a positive test and I was having a baby. At 7 weeks I went to my first ultrasound. I was excited to see the baby. Ty didn’t come because he was working but we figured he would be at the next ones. The ultrasound confirmed my pregnancy. I saw a heartbeat. They just wanted me to come back in a couple weeks time to do a dating ultrasound. I was sent home with a photo of my baby. 2 weeks later we both went back for a follow up ultrasound. I remember laughing in the waiting room and thinking about how much I had to pee. I was so excited for Ty to get to see what I saw a couple weeks before. This time was different. The technician was really quiet and then she instructed me to empty my bladder and she was going to do an internal exam to get a better look. It was then we heard the words no one ever wants to hear. “I am sorry, there is no heartbeat”. I was shocked, devastated, and completely torn apart. That wasn’t supposed to happen. We were having a baby. Instead I ended up having a d&c.

It took us a year and 4 months to conceive again. In that time my GP had started ordering day 3 bloodwork and we were on the referral list for the local fertility clinic. It was after our first consult that we ended up falling pregnant on our own. I was quite a bit more cautious this time around. Every little thing scared me. I took a test every single day. My regular Dr was away on holidays so I had to go to a walk in clinic to do my beta. I asked the dr for a prescription for progesterone. I felt mine was low and perhaps contributed to my loss. She said no. I then went to a prenatal clinic and also asked them for progesterone. They also said no. Weeks 5,6 and 7 I had terrible symptoms. Nausea, exhaustion. When those symptoms disappeared I got even more nervous. I was googling everything. Week 8 we went for our first US. We were terrified. The worst had happened again. “I am sorry, there is no heartbeat”. Baby measured 6.5 weeks. I had another d&c. I begged for anyone to do some testing on the baby to see why the heck we were having losses. We were just told no, you have to have 3 losses before they will test for any sort of cause. That just breaks my heart that couples and women in particular have to go through that 3 times before anyone will even investigate. No one should have to experience that once, let alone multiple times.

We had another follow up with our fertility clinic and he ordered some bloodwork for Ty and I. Did either of us carry a genetic disposition that could be passed down and cause a miscarriage? The answer was no. Our bloodwork all came back “normal”.

I asked him if he would put us on a medicated “natural’ cycle. He agreed and prescribed me Letrozole. The first month came and went. No success. The 2nd month worked! We were pregnant again. This time I was prescribed progesterone to help with the pregnancy. Once again I tested every single day. Watching my line progression. Feeling every single bit of the symptoms. As shitty as they were I was loving that they were there. We had our 8 week US. By this time we walked in with so much anxiety. This was never a good experience for us. We were fully prepared to leave destroyed all over again. To our shock and surprise the tech began right away with “there is your baby’s heartbeat!!” I couldn’t believe it. I immediately started to sob. We actually had a chance. I wish I could bottle the feeling of leaving the clinic that day. Finally hearing some good news.

At 10 weeks we did the NIPT testing, which unfortunately came back as 97% positive for trisomy 21. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear at all, but I still had a baby and that was all that mattered. At 12 weeks we went for a follow up US to check the fluid on the back of the baby’s neck to confirm if the blood test was accurate. We didn’t get that far. Our baby had passed. What got me though was how the Dr reviewing the ultrasound approached it with me. He said, nature made the decision for you, now you don’t have to. In my mind there never was a decision. Nature took my baby away.

Because this was our 3rd loss we were able to have the baby’s remains tested. It did confirm trisomy 21. We’ll never know about the first 2, but my Dr at the fertility clinic says “bad luck”. If that’s even a reason.

I asked for more testing to be done on us. He said no. To be honest, I didn’t feel like he wanted to treat us. He brought up my age a lot and made me feel bad about myself. I switched clinics.

From January to June 2023 we have done 4 rounds of IVF.  Well, 4 egg retrievals.  Searching for at least 1 euploid embryo.  Out of 41 total eggs retrieved, round after round, we just couldn’t produce that one normal embryo.  

The Dr says it is most likely due to egg quality issues as neither of us are carriers for any genetic abnormalities.  We’ve decided not to proceed with any more egg retrievals. 

We are now in the process of searching for an egg donor to help us complete our journey.  

This journey has been the hardest thing I have ever gone through and we have ever gone through as a couple.  Our strength has been challenged beyond belief.  I was hoping to wear this skirt not only to honour my angel babies but to also celebrate our rainbow baby.  Sadly we are not there yet, so I also wear it in hopes to one day hold our angel baby in our arms. 

Melanie wears the rainbow skirt.  There is water and large trees in the background.

Melanie wears the rainbow skirt.  She stands on a large rock. There is water and large trees in the background.

Melanie wears the rainbow skirt.  There is water and large trees in the background.

Melanie wears the rainbow skirt.  She faces the water as she holds the skirt out behind her.

Melanie wears the rainbow skirt.  She stands with mountains in the background.

Melanie wears the rainbow skirt.  She faces mountains and holds out the skirt behind her.

Melanie wears the rainbow skirt.  There skirt flows out behind her.

Melanie wears the rainbow skirt.  She stands in front of a large tree.

Melanie wears the rainbow skirt. She stands in front of a large tree.

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