Call For Submissions for the Rainbows and Unicorns Coloring Book The ladies behind the Rainbows and Unicorns blog are putting together an infertility-based coloring book and would like to feature your artwork! Submissions can include, but are not limited to infertility, loss, A.R.T., and more. The coloring book will start out as one that can […]
from our blog
It didn’t really hit me until I lost my wedding band. I was getting ready to take a shower one night and I went to remove my wedding ring. It wasn’t there. I quickly scanned through the events of the day in my mind. I had no memory of taking it off and no moment […]
A member of our community posed the question, “How does infertility and/or loss affect people’s reproductive choices?” This initial survey may assist in answering this question. It might also inspire a more in-depth survey based on the results. Please take just a few minutes to fill out the survey. No names will be attached to […]
Meet the Editors
Holly has lived smack dab in the the middle of the US her entire life. She had an inkling that conceiving may be a struggle when statistically, she should have had at least ONE pregnancy scare by her 25th birthday. It wasn’t until she was married and no longer taking birth control that it was determined that she rarely ovulated on her own. The cause of Holly’s infertility has never been officially diagnosed because she managed to become “that girl” and get pregnant the cycle before starting medicated cycles.
Holly found solace in the IF community on Twitter, even though she found them just before successfully becoming pregnant. She was very worried that she might become ostracized because she hadn’t suffered “enough.” It was quickly realized that this community isn’t one for participating in the suffering Olympics and all are welcome, from those that are newly discovering they may have some issues all the way to those who have decided to discontinue pursuing treatments or other venues to become parents.
When she’s not taking massive amounts of photos of her son in all different angles for Instagram and dreaming of winning the lottery, she works with small businesses building their marketing programs.
Rebecca spent most of her twenties and early thirties being a science and math middle school teacher and dating everyone in Northern California. By the time her soon-to-be husband arrived in the area, she was in her mid-thirties and her eggs weren’t getting any younger. When she was 36, she and her husband suffered a miscarriage on Christmas Eve, 2011. After five failed intrauterine inseminations, 3 surgeries to remove fibroids (2 hysteroscopies, 1 abdominal myomectomy), and one failed in vitro fertilization (IVF), they successfully had twin girls in November 2014 by a frozen embryo transfer from their second IVF.
During the series of intrauterine inseminations, she turned to blogging to write out her fears, anxieties, and hopes in the absence of people in her real life that understood what she was going through. She never expected to find a community of women and men facing the same issues. This would become her most empathetic source of support during the heartbreaking times of this journey—finding her kindred spirits.
When she wasn’t spending all of her sick and vacation days on fertility treatment appointments, she was a pharmacist at a military treatment facility. Rebecca now gives all her time and sanity to her two girls. One day, she hopes to go back to work so that both of her girls may attend college at the same time.
She wishes more than anything that her own mother was around to give unsolicited advice on childrearing. Rebecca lost her mother to ovarian cancer after a six-year battle and was privileged to care for her through many surgeries and during her final days. Not being able to ask her questions about her own childhood or share the beauty of her girls with their grandmother is a daily, quiet ache.
She appreciates that this journey allowed her to look over the peak of her bitterness and find peace on the other side. She started sewing baby blankets for friends in lieu of attending baby showers, and for every three she made for someone else, she made one for her “one day” baby. Her girls now have six blankets to share and while she still doesn’t attend baby showers, the thought of them no longer hurt quite so much anymore.
Sarah was born in North London in the early Eighties but after an easy conception and pregnancy, her mother had recurrent pregnancy loss. This was found to be a result of a balanced translocation in both her mother and father. Sarah inherited one pair of translocations.
After five miscarriages, Sarah and her husband were at the point of starting PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis) at a South London hospital, but a few days after receiving a date for their initial consultation, she was found to be pregnant for the sixth time and this time, the baby had a heartbeat. After managing to reach the twelve week scan despite a bleed at nine weeks, a CVS (chorionic villus sampling) was undertaken to check the genetic structure of her developing baby. Two days later, she found out that this pregnancy was deemed genetically normal.
Six months later, after Sarah quit her much loved job as a Primary School art teacher, her daughter arrived. Much loved by her family and spoilt with more clothes and toys than Harper Beckham, her baby girl charms everyone she meets with her laughs and giggles. Truly that rainbow that Sarah had been searching for!
Sarah struggles still with the idea that someone isn’t going to take away her rainbow and still finds scan photos and early announcements hard to cope with. However, she has recently discovered a strange talent for guessing the sex of babies from scans, so she does this to try and normalise something that should be a joyous occasion!
Sarah now lives in South London with a menagerie of animals, all of whom have their own voices, her daughter, and her husband, P. Her favourite things are singing made up songs, dancing stupidly, and drinking a lot of gin. Despite sounding like Mary Poppins, she swears a lot and in different languages but don’t let that put you off.
Aislinn is a Northern-born, Midwest-raised, 20-something currently living in the south. In April 2012, after going off birth control, her cycles went mysteriously missing. After a few months of no cycles and multiple negative pregnancy tests, she went to her OB/GYN and was diagnosed with PCOS and insulin resistance in September of 2012.
Aislinn and her husband, K, originally decided to wait a year before trying to conceive, but at the urging of her OB, they officially started trying in January 2013. Aislinn eventually conceived on her 3rd round of Clomid in November 2013, just a few weeks before starting IUIs with injectables with their new RE. Little K was born in August of 2014 at 40 weeks, 3 days, at a healthy 9 pounds, 1 ounce.
Aislinn is proud to say she’s “doing something” with her art degree as the gallery director of a small nonprofit art gallery.
As the daughter of a woman with endometriosis, Samantha always suspected she’d have trouble getting pregnant. After being put on birth control following a burst ovarian cyst at age 13 in order to regulate her cycles and make them a little more manageable, she once said as a teenager, “I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t have kids.”
The trouble turned out to be not with getting pregnant, but staying that way. In January of 2013—almost a year after marrying her husband John—she went off the pill, and got her first positive pregnancy test that April. By the end of May, she had to have a D&E to remove a blighted ovum. Her OB told her 25% of pregnancies ended in miscarriage and to start trying again in July. On Halloween, she got another positive test—followed this time by an ultrasound of a baby with a heartbeat. “Baby Bean” kept on and was still alive at the 9-week ultrasound on Black Friday. But the NT scan on Christmas Eve showed BB’s heart wasn’t beating, and growth had halted sometime shortly after that November ultrasound. BB was taken by D&E two days after Christmas, and a devastated Samantha was referred to an RE the following month.
The RE devised a fertility treatment protocol: Clomid, Ovidrel, and timed intercourse for conception; and aspirin and progesterone supplementation for the 1st trimester. Based on her mother’s diagnosis and her own history of heavy and painful cycles, he said it was possible that Samantha could have endo, but a laparoscopy was the only way to confirm—which Samantha opted out of for the time being, hopeful that she could get and stay pregnant on the protocol her doctor prescribed.
After a dud “too mature single follicle” cycle in April and a cancelled “too many follicles” cycle in May, June’s lower Clomid dosage produced a “just-right” cycle with a few mature follicles. The morning after she ovulated, Samantha and John were in a car accident—their car was totaled, and Samantha fractured her tibial plateau. Despite physical, mental, and emotional trauma from the car accident—including a high risk for clots that required Lovenox injections for weeks and a TSH spike that made everyone nervous—there was a little speck with a heartbeat waiting for Samantha at the 6-week ultrasound, as well as the one at 8 weeks, 10 weeks, and nearly 12 weeks. With exception to a difficult 1st trimester spent on crutches and in constant pain, and the remainder of the pregnancy spent in endless fear and anxiety, she had an uneventful pregnancy with a big baby boy delivered via an uneventful scheduled c-section.
Samantha’s little family lives in a recently-purchased house in a tiny suburban town south of Boston. Though she went on leave for the birth of her son, she is midway through earning her Master’s degree in Publishing and Writing at Emerson College and plans to return in 2016. She is a working mama with one year under her belt in her position as project editor at a nonprofit organization. While she loves her job (and loves that it pays the bills) and editing in general, Samantha hopes to find a home for her creativity and passion for writing, as well. This infertility journey has permanently changed every aspect of her life, and it’s a struggle to make friends and family see that even though she’s got her take-home baby, she still lost two babies before that and the scars from those losses will probably never completely fade. Perhaps the greatest thing Samantha could do, and hopes to do, is turn the pain and anger on its head and make it worth her while—use her writing to share, advocate, and educate on what it’s like to be a parent after loss and/or infertility. In addition to this collaborative blog, Samantha writes on her own blog about life after miscarriage.
what you’ll read
we publish blogs from those who have struggled with: