Couple’s raw Instagram post reveals the agony of fertility struggles

Jen and Al

As the internet enables more and more people to share their very personal journeys, this couple is shedding some light on how difficult conceiving a baby can be.

Content warning: This post discusses miscarriage.

Seven miscarriages

Al and Jen are parents to two kiddos. They share the Instagram account It’s The Fergusons and have been tracking their efforts to grow their family on the social media platform.

It’s been an acutely painful experience for the couple, with the pair facing ongoing fertility challenges, in their efforts to have a third child. 

Their latest share marks twelve months since they endured the seventh – and final – miscarriage.


  Read more about miscarriage:


“12 months of heartache”

As a new month unfolded, this family were reminded of the babies they have lost to a series of miscarriage.

“October. 12 months since our seventh and last miscarriage,” Jen posted. “12 months of hoping. 12 months of dreaming. 12 months of bitter disappointment and heartache. 12 months of recording dates, taking supplements and using fertility tests. 12 months of planning, without spontaneity. 12 months of unspoken words and withheld emotions. 12 months of building walls around us. 12 months of frustration, jealousy and guilt. 12 months of hiding away, anxiety growing, mental health deteriorating.”

As Jen and Al endured the trauma of losing baby after baby, the distressed mum says people’s responses made things even harder.

“12 months of being shocked and upset at the responses, or lack of, those around us,” she wrote. “12 months of hearing people tell us how lucky we are to be able to get pregnant the last seven times in the first place. 12 months of fake smiling and nodding in agreement.”

“I didn’t feel lucky to have been pregnant and then to have miscarried seven times. I didn’t feel lucky to miscarry every six months for three years. I didn’t feel lucky to have 6 operations to complete a miscarriage that my body wasn’t able to complete alone.”

View this post on Instagram

OCTOBER. 12 months since our seventh and last miscarriage. 12 months of hoping. 12 months of dreaming. 12 months of bitter disappointment and heartache. 12 months of recording dates, taking supplements and using fertility tests. 12 months of planning, without spontaneity. 12 months of unspoken words and withheld emotions. 12 months of building walls around us. 12 months of frustration, jealousy and guilt. 12 months of hiding away, anxiety growing, mental health deteriorating. OCTOBER. 12 months of wondering why people say the things they do. 12 months of being shocked and upset at the responses, or lack of, those around us. 12 months of hearing people tell us how lucky we are to be able to get pregnant the last seven times in the first place. 12 months of fake smiling and nodding in agreement. 12 months of wishing they understood but at the same time feeling so thankful that they don’t understand. It means they haven’t experienced it. But suddenly it's hit me. Like a physical blow to my stomach. They were right. I didn't feel lucky to have been pregnant and then to have miscarried seven times. I didn't feel lucky to miscarry every six months for three years. I didn't feel lucky to have 6 operations to complete a miscarriage that my body wasn't able to complete alone. I didn't feel lucky to have miscarried in public. To have continued pregnancy symptoms without the pregnancy. I didn't feel lucky to have scan after scan after scan with nothing but silence in the room. I didn't feel lucky to watch my husband break down in my arms. To see the hopelessness and hurt on his face and the sadness in his eyes. But 12 months later and I have changed my mind. They were right. Because 12 months of nothingness is deeper and darker than the 6 years of miscarriages. It hangs lower and weighs heavier. At least beforehand there was hope. A tiny glimmer of hope. Now I fear there is no hope. 12 months of nothingness. INFERTILITY.

A post shared by Al & Jen (@itsthefergusons) on

“I fear there is no hope”

But Jen says that she’s further down the track now and that she feels that some things are worse than a miscarriage.

“12 months later and I have changed my mind. They were right. Because 12 months of nothingness is deeper and darker than the 6 years of miscarriages. It hangs lower and weighs heavier. At least beforehand there was hope. A tiny glimmer of hope. Now I fear there is no hope. 12 months of nothingness. INFERTILITY.”

It’s a harrowing view of miscarriage, one shared in the hope that it will raise awareness of how traumatic losing a baby is – and one that other mums might see themselves in.

In the comments under the post, other parents shared their own stories of baby loss. They’re as heartbreaking as they are candid – and offer a raw glimpse into a painful experience that is suffered through by so many, but simply not talked about enough.

View this post on Instagram

Out for a celebratory dinner ❤️Today was the first day that Teddy should have officially been at his wonderful new school for a full day. But thankfully due to his August birthday and CSA (compulsory school age) in the UK being the term after the child reaches 5 years of age, today was also the official day that Teddy started flexi-schooling/part time hours. Whilst his classmates now stay at school for the full 6.5 hours Teddy will be collected every day after lunch. As teachers we have so many reasons for making this choice but rather than leading the discussion we thought we’d open it up to you. What are your thoughts on part time hours prior to CSA? Do you have any questions about the process? About our decision? Ask away….

A post shared by Al & Jen (@itsthefergusons) on

If you’re struggling with the loss of a baby, please don’t go it alone. SANDS counsellors are there to support you and provide helpful advice about living with loss.

 

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