Editor's note: TODAY's Dylan Dreyer is sharing her very personal story about miscarriage, secondary infertility and trying to have another baby. She'll continue to blog about her journey on TODAY Parents. Please follow us on Facebook and subscribe to our newsletter to get her latest updates.
By now you’ve heard my story about secondary infertility. The trying for baby #2 unsuccessfully, finding out that my 37-year-old body has about the same (on average) number of eggs left as someone in their mid-40s, my surgery to remove significant scarring from my emergency C-section, the excitement of being pregnant again, and the heartbreak of my miscarriage. That sums up the past year of my life.
Brian and I have been going through all this without anyone knowing because these are all private things... aren’t they? Why do women (and their partners) have to go through all these ups and downs in the dark? Smiling on TV when I want to burst out in tears, playing it cool on TV when I want to jump up and down in excitement... I have been dealing with so many intense emotions and it’s time to just put them all out there.
So many women are going through their own fertility issues, and I want to open up the conversation to get us all talking instead of sneaking onto that baby chat room and scrolling endlessly through the comments hoping to stumble upon someone going through a similar situation as us. Well, here I am, putting myself out there, and maybe it will give just one other woman the motivation to keep plugging along.
I need to preface this with a disclaimer so as not to offend anyone. I’m so very grateful for the beautiful family I have. God has blessed me with an amazing little boy and I know there are women who struggle to have one baby and here I am wanting more. I do not take for granted what God has given me. That being said, we want to give Calvin a sibling. The way Cal loves on other babies and asks to hold them and gently touches their arms shows me that he would be an amazing older brother. Brian and I are the youngest of three and the relationships we have with our siblings is so special. We have so much love to give and we want to grow our family. We thought it would be easy to do that, and it’s not. And with my low egg count, time is running out and as the doctor says, once I’m out, I’m out and then it’s up to us to decide what steps to take.
In the meantime, I have two options:
1. Keep trying and hope for a natural pregnancy. We could very well get pregnant easily and go on to have our second child. However, since I’m 37, the risk of a miscarriage increases. Having another miscarriage means time keeps ticking away and because of my low egg count, I don’t have the luxury of time to keep trying.
2. Go right to IVF. This would greatly reduce my risk of a miscarriage and, barring any other issues I’m not aware of, be the fastest way to have another baby.
So as I process these two decisions, this is what’s going through my brain: I really want to keep the bond between Brian and me strong. There’s something so clinical about IVF, not to mention my work schedule, and traveling doesn’t make it any easier, and the thought of scheduling a baby on my calendar weirds me out. At the same time, I have absolutely amazing nieces and nephews born via IVF so clearly there’s an obvious upside! At the end of the day, what we really want is to grow our family and if IVF is the best means for a healthy child, then we should do that.
So after many discussions with Brian, we decided to pull the trigger. I double checked with Brian before my doctor's appointment and he’s all in.
I don’t know how I really feel right this second. I guess I’m excited to start the IVF process, albeit a little disappointed that my body couldn’t do this naturally. I’m scared about what’s ahead... the timing, the shots, the medications, whether or not it’ll even work. I feel like on one hand I’m going against what God has in the cards for me, but at the same time he helped me to make this decision so it could very well be part of the plan.
If there’s one thing I’ve realized during my short time as a mom, we have very little control of what happens. The only things we can hang our hats on are love, faith, and support. If we are strong in those three things then it helps to accept the things we can’t control. I’ll continue to do my best with what I’m lucky enough to have and appreciate whatever comes my way.