It took us an eternity to become pregnant again—or at least, that’s how it felt. Years of tests, treatments, specialists, and disappointment seemed to bog down my soul as we waited. I wrestled with God constantly, wanting to trust him and yet aching for another child.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Survey of Family Growth, 1 million married women in the United States struggle with infertility (defined as the inability to become pregnant after 12 consecutive months of unprotected sex) and 7.5 million women experience an impaired difficulty to conceive and carry a baby to term. My husband and I struggled to conceive our first child, so this journey wasn’t new to us, but we had hoped it wouldn’t be so painful the second time around. As we wrestled for over two years with secondary infertility, it profoundly affected both my mental health and our marriage.
When we finally found out I was pregnant last winter, I was overcome with joy. But as I prepared for the first ultrasound at seven weeks, something felt off. I prayed it was just my own doubts, but with approximately ten percent of known pregnancies ending in miscarriage and our history of infertility, I knew these early weeks of gestation were particularly vulnerable.
Even now, when I think about the darkened room, waiting for the ultrasound tech to say something, my body seeming to sense an impending loss, I feel grief. “Where’s the heartbeat?” I asked. But it couldn’t be found.
The baby seemed to have stopped developing, but the tech didn’t want to misspeak. We were hastily taken to a sterile room to be debriefed by a specialist. She explained there was a high chance our baby ...1
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