Written by Lauren Hudson, Guest Blogger
I was diagnosed with Asherman’s Syndrome (Scarring inside the uterus) at 20 years of age a year after I had my first son. I had retained placenta, become infected and hemorrhaged during a D&C procedure and also when I woke in recovery, resulting in my diagnosis. This was the beginning.
Immediately my dreams of a big family were squashed but never in a million years would I have guessed that this would happen to me. That I would struggle to conceive and carry a baby to term. I didn’t even know anyone who had been through anything similar. At the time, this was something not spoken about in the circles I was a part of. I thought, I was young, healthy. Surely I’d be fine!
I had a 7 year battle with secondary infertility – 10 surgeries, 5 miscarriages and countless appointments with specialists that were based 2 hours away from where I live. Including 3 trips to Sydney which is interstate for me, for 3 separate surgeries. I also heartbreakingly lost my daughter half way through the pregnancy when I was 25 years old due to premature labour at the 5 year mark in my fertility fight. When I fell pregnant with her I thought it was all over. I thought I had done it and could do away with everything I’d been through once she was in my arms. But like most things when you’re dealing with infertility, that didn’t eventuate. I left the hospital after the most harrowing few days of my life, with my deflated belly; empty handed, planning a funeral for my daughter.
As I’ve grown older, I’ve seen the change in generations – with women opening up and sharing their stories and with the help of social media just how many women are fighting this same battle. Something that would have helped a much younger me as I felt extremely alone in this and like I couldn’t talk about it, particularly in the early days. I’ve since learnt infertility doesn’t discriminate.
As my journey went deeper and deeper over the years – so too, did the financial strain on my partner and I. And as my mental health declined, I was also hit with waves of grief. The miscarriages, the surgeries, my daughter and every single time I’d get another negative pregnancy test. Add in those damn hormones and you have a cocktail of depression and anxiety and a very mentally unhealthy girl, who would constantly be looking for ways to escape her reality (Thank you Netflix and chocolate!) while parenting her school aged son at this point.
I am now on the other side of things with 2 sons – my second son was born at the end of the 7 years and so was a new me. Let me tell you pregnancy and birth after loss is one of the hardest things I’ve been through. There is joy and hope but there is also incredible worry. The guilt was unbearable and also unwarranted, but it crept up on me anyway.
I am exceedingly grateful for the children I have and my heart has never been so full, even though parts of it will never fully recover and live with the children I’ve lost.
And while that chapter of my life has come to a close – I write this with such compassion and gentleness towards those who are still in the midst of the most heart breaking fight – I am still affected by it. I still have days where my heart hurts and things that have challenged me, like a deep sense of loss on Mother’s day. What would my daughter have been like? How would I have been as a Mother to a Daughter? What about the 5 before her? Who were they? It’s a tough thing to navigate and I’m still finding my footing.
To those wishing to become Mother’s, to the Mother’s with babies in their hearts or in their arms now too – Be kind to yourself, especially on Mother’s Day. Do whatever you need to do to get through the day. There is no right or wrong way to deal with what you’re going through and there is no time limit on grief. There is 1 in 8 of us that are in this battle. That means there is an army of fertility warriors just like you who feel the same. You are not alone, we are in this together.