Dani's Diary: Pregnancy after child loss - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Dani's Diary: Pregnancy after child loss

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MADISON (WKOW) -- I feel like I've been forming this post in my head for months, yet I'm still not quite sure what to say.

I've been emotional. I've been nervous. I've been waiting until I can't hide it anymore because I wanted to make sure he was O.K. Really, really O.K. 

I'm pregnant. Again. And, as you heard, he's a HE. 

Close family members have known since we found out. It seemed silly to keep this from them, when they had gone through everything we had on this 10-year-long journey of pain and joy. If something bad happened early on, we would have told them. But surprisingly, this pregnancy has been completely normal. Which is very abnormal for me. 

Even after it was safe to announce it to the world, I was hesitant. Sometimes I still refer to the baby as "them." As many of you know, I lost triplets when I went into pre-term labor at 22 weeks. That was just about two years ago. This is actually my 12th pregnancy. Most were miscarriages; one an ectopic pregnancy that burst and caused internal bleeding. 

We, of course, were lucky a doctor figured out a way around my significant infertility. I gave birth to a completely healthy daughter in 2011. She's now five. Even though he couldn't tell me what was causing my problems, he could fix it. 

But now, I think I have the answer why. 

Shortly after our sons were born in April of 2015, I started getting sick. A lot. I'm not kidding when I say... I thought I was dying. My body started to shut down. After about a year of various illnesses, pain, fatigue and what I thought had to be a life-threatening disease, my doctors diagnosed me with Celiac disease. I wasn't dying, but my body was in bad shape. 

That diagnosis changed my life. And it explained so much of it. I had spent my life having panic attacks, headaches, minor seizures and extreme fatigue. In recent years, I had migraines, gastrointestinal problems.... and of course, infertility. I cut out gluten and had finally started to feel better. My small intestine isn't quite healed yet, but I am absorbing the nutrients I was missing for so long.

Then this pregnancy, number 12, happened. It came out of nowhere. My husband and I hadn't even had a conversation yet about whether we wanted to try again after losing the boys. I wasn't ready. But, I had decided to bring it up to him. Soon, I told myself.

Two days before Christmas, I felt "off" and took a pregnancy test. I don't even know why I did. As soon as I saw the two lines indicating "pregnant" I dropped to my knees and began crying. I knew this one was different. We obviously hadn't been through fertility treatments and weren't even trying to have a baby.

To me, undiagnosed Celiac disease caused my infertility problems. It's an auto-immune disease which has been shown to be associated with reproductive disorders. All through our pregnancy problems, I told my husband I felt my own body was attacking the embryo. Even though my doctors won't tell me absolutely this was the cause, I know it in my bones.

My pregnancy has been completely normal. I took the MAT 21 test to check for any chromosomal abnormalities (since I'm "advanced maternal age") and everything came back fine. I'm now 17 weeks along, feeling little man kick every day and absolutely "showing."

Which is why it's finally time to tell my worst-kept secret. Some of you have already asked and of course, I've told you the truth.

However, there's one person we haven't told and with good reason. My daughter Rylan has said to me twice now, "Your belly looks big like there's a baby in there." I talked around it, but I think she knows. We just don't want her to go through losing a brother again if I should happen to go into pre-term labor. She's still very much affected by the losses of McKay, Asher and Kenji,

I know many of you have been on this journey with me and I want to thank you for that. You've told me your own stories of infertility, child loss or frustrations with just attempting to have children. It helped me cope, and I'm still right there with you. I'll be nervous this entire pregnancy. But I have hope. And my hope for you is you find what you're looking for; whether it's a child you carry, a child you adopt or peace after a loss. 

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