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The Connection Corner

Welcome! This website was created as a memorial to my daughter, Claire Sandra, who passed away on October 28, 2010. Today, it is also a connection place for those who are living with or who are interested in learning more about Infertility and Infant Loss. All of the resources included here can help you learn more about Infertility and Infant loss. If you have a personal connection to either of these experiences, remember: You are not alone. Find support, stay connected and you will persevere.

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A Broken Body

Because of my PCOS my body needs help to conceive a child. Because of my incompetent cervix, my body needs help to carry a baby to term. My body is broken in terms of baby-making and baby-carrying.

When I was diagnosed with PCOS, I was devastated. I hadn’t considered the possibility that I would have difficulty conceiving a child, that the process would be anything other than a natural, enjoyable experience for me. I remember asking my doctor point-blank: Will I ever be able to experience trying to have a child without medical intervention? Her answer was no. We developed a conception plan during that visit, even though it would be years before my husband and I would reach a point in our lives where we wanted to start a family. It was comforting for me to know every step in the “try-to-have-a-baby-process.” I knew our best case and worst case scenario and every possible scenario in between.

When I was diagnosed with an incompetent cervix, I was again devastated. I was already reeling from the loss of Claire and the knowledge that all of my future pregnancies would be affected by the same condition was difficult. Again, the question had to be asked: Will I ever be able to experience pregnancy without medical intervention? And again, the answer was no.

Without the help of medications like Metformin or Ovulation Predictor Kits I would not be able to have a baby. The former helps to regulate the androgens in my body so I can ovulate and the latter helps ensure I know when. Without the help of surgical procedures like a cerclage, I would not be able to keep that baby inside of me.

I feel broken because I am. I’ve lost elements of my femininity that are engrained inside the experience of being able to conceive a child and be pregnant with that child. I’ve lost pieces of my heart. I believe that when we conceive a child, parts of our heart literally give life to the tiny embryo that begins to form inside of us. It is impossible to separate our children’s lives from ours- even in death, Claire belongs to the deepest parts of me.

I am thankful for the fact that with medical intervention, I should be able to conceive another child. I am grateful for the fact that with more medical intervention, I should be able to carry that baby to term so Claire can be a big sister someday. But there is no medical intervention that can heal the broken parts of me that miss my daughter and the life she should have had if I did not have a broken body.

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9 comments to A Broken Body

  • Eh, it’s not necessarily true that you can’t conceive without metformin/opk’s/meds even with PCOS, that’s kind of crappy for that doctor to tell you as much. My mom has PCOS and conceived both of my brothers as accidents/surprises (she did use clomid to conceive both me and later my sister.) I also have PCOS and conceived Olivia with no interventions whatsoever (granted it took a year and a half), though this time around I wasn’t willing to deal with the super long crazy/irregular cycles while TTC so we jumped to interventions pretty quickly. But anyway, my point is, there actually are plenty of people with PCOS who get pregnant without medical intervention. Honestly, metformin hindered TTC for me more than helped, although it’s obviously not that way for everyone.

    I do understand all too well the feeling that your body is broken, though. Every failed cycle of TTC after we lost Olivia (8 of them), reinforced how broken I was and sent me reeling in grief all over again. I guess nothing after losing your first baby is easy, TTC again definitely isn’t, and being pregnant again certainly isn’t.

    • Sydney

      I like to hope that one day I won’t need any medication to regulate the PCOS and so far I’ve been lucky to avoid having to take anything like Clomid or Femara (although I did have a prescription for it but got pregnant Claire early enough that we didn’t end up using it). Without the Metformin my hormone levels were so low I was menopausal- I wasn’t capable of ovulating at all. With the Metformin, my estrogen is actually a bit higher than the average and my testosterone is a bit lower which my doctor explained is actually an added benefit while trying to conceive. I’ve actually looked at some more holistic treatments for PCOS which I think I will look at after my next pregnancy and I feel less in a hurry to try for another child. Until then, I figure I’ll stick with what works and I’m grateful that it has, even though I wish it wasn’t needed.

  • *many gentle hugs* You are in my thoughts and prayers love. Your package should get there this week and I sent you a few other items that I hope you like. I hope it makes your heart smile

  • Belinda

    I have PCOS also, and I feel broken and useless and un-feminine too.

    xoxo

  • Ok..your doctors are wrong..You CAN conceive without all of the drugs. It took me two and a half years to get pregnant with Carley due to PCOS. I was on Metformin, Femara, Gonal-F, another injection, and had to do an IUI to get her..It took us 8-9 IUI’s..low and behold when Carley was nine months I found out I was pregnant with Parker. I was nursing so I thought I was safe and never in a million years did I think I would get pregnant on my own. I got pregnant with Aubree on my own too..sure, my cycles have been crazy since having my kids, but after Aubree they have been consistent. I remember feeling like a failure as a woman because I couldn’t just get pregnant the normal way like everyone else I knew..It just didn’t seem fair. As for the incompetent cervix..I hate that it even exists because you don’t know until it is too late. Just so unfair…I am just so glad that they can help the next time. It is so frustrating to have to deal with all of this..one thing after another when it is so easy for others. Many hugs to you..Keep your chin up..Your rainbow is coming!!

    • Sydney

      Thank you :) My original OB (the one who diagnosed me with PCOS) said there was a possibility that everything would regulate after I had a child. That would be amazing but for now I’m sticking with the Metformin since it helped my hormonal imbalances so much. I’m actually taking less medication trying to conceive than I was before I started, so that’s a plus :)

  • Rhiannon

    I also wish there was some type of medical intervention that could heal our broken hearts. I know how it feels to feel so broken and feel like my body failed Harper. It is a terrible feeling. I am glad that your doctor has a plan for your next pregnancy and I hope that your rainbow is near. Wishing for peace and comfort for you. <3

  • I have been talking to Edward about feeling broken, both before in conceiving a child, and now in not being able to carry one to term. He told me I should write about it on the blog to see if it will help it make sense to me. Then today I saw that you had posted about it. I think it is a way that we all must feel, unfortunately.

    I wish there was a way for all of us to heal our broken hearts. And a way to make us feel un-broken as women. But, for me at least, I don’t know that I will ever not feel broken.

    Here’s hoping for spring, and many rainbows. Hugs to you and Joe.

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