Monthly Feature Story - November - Darrien Minnie - Loss, Infertility, High Risk Pregnancy and Motherhood

Another unexpected journey, like really unexpected! I have been with my now husband for almost 12 years, and we talked about kids all the time and when we were ready to go for it we got some obstacles along the way. The fertility journey is a tough one, a swirl and whirl of emotions and thoughts and ups and downs. While I was really in the storms I did not think I would look back and be so grateful for this journey. And here I stand, and I say I am grateful for that time in my life as it changed the course forever! This is my journey.

Over two years of trying to conceive a beautiful and healthy baby, this journey started off with the dream and for a moment it was a reality. After coming back home to Canada, after our destination wedding in Thailand, we fell pregnant with our first baby. I was so thrilled! I didn't think it would happen our first cycle but it did. I found out on Mother’s Day with the faintest line ever! I went to my Dr. and I had the most interesting experience, he asked if “I wanted to keep it” I said yes absolutely! And I went in for blood work. To this day I still wonder if he knew something I didn’t. But I just skipped out of the office so excited, on my lunch break I raced to the pet store. Yes the pet store to get a dog tag for our 14 week old puppy “Big Brother” on the one side and “Baby Minnie Coming Soon” on the back, I surprised my hubby and we were so thrilled! We told our parents. I knew about the 12 week rule, but I wanted to tell those close to us. Honestly, I never thought we would not have our baby 9 months later. We took photos and carried on. Our internal ultrasound in early June showed that the baby was 6 weeks and 1 day with no cardiac activity. The ultrasound tech informed me that sometimes it is too early to see and that we will need to come back in a few weeks. Due to my last cycle and not having a period when I got pregnant dating the baby was a challenge. So I didn't think anything of it.
I was supposed to go on a girls weekend and on my last bathroom trip before we hit the road I saw blood. I had slight spotting prior but this was fresh blood, again since I was reassured it was common I tried not to worry. I texted my midwife and went on the trip. The trip though I was so excited I was secretly trying to see where the nearest hospital is and how can I go without ruining the weekend for the other ladies. On the way home I began cramping large, painful contractions and I breathed through it. Went I got home I called the midwife and she encouraged me to rest and told me when to phone her back. I laid on the couch and had a full knowing to run to the washroom. I went to the bathroom and quickly I lost my baby. My dog was in the bathroom trying to comfort me and I waved him away and called my husband. We looked into the toilet bowl and I swooped up our baby and laid it on the toilet paper. On June 14, 2015 I would have a natural miscarriage. I cried. I failed. I miscarried. even as I write this 3.5 years later my heart still hurts. It was so scary for me.
I took a few days off work. I was in complete denial. “I was pregnant with twins, I only lost one! If I am careful and good I will keep the other twin!” I told myself this for two days until I got the blood work that my HcG level was zero. I tried to go back to work but I was so heartbroken, I took the rest of the week off and I was so overwhelmed. We were also hosting our “At home wedding party” that weekend as well. Not to mention my father in law was healing from his own accident two weeks prior. All these situations left me in a very undesirable state of physical, mental, emotional wellbeing, though I did not want to admit it. Smile and keep moving forward... right?

Two months later I would take some time off from my responsibilities and focus on self-care or as I call it #selfcaredarebear as I anxiously waited for my cycle to return so we could begin trying again. No one told me what to except, I did not think about the hormone imbalances, emotional imbalances and all the chaos around me and the chaos within me. Though, the self care dare was a start of my healing, this would serendipitously lead to yoga and my yoga teacher training that would set me on a path of Fertility Yoga. A hard year of negative home pregnancy tests, ovulation kits and so many damn big fat negatives and a suspected chemical pregnancy. my anxiety would come in hard and then gently pass and then come back again. I would search for natural ways to conceive. desperately looking through long scrolls of Pinterest anything to help me become pregnant. I stumbled onto acupuncture. I had no idea how much of a blessing that was. I finally felt listened to, understood and deeply supported. All of which I was craving. Prior I just began to feel more and more like an alien, as the friends around me fell pregnant and I didn't know what was going on with me.
Over a year and a half after my first miscarriage, I would be referred to an OBGYN and begin tests and procedures to further investigate our recurrent pregnancy loss and fertility troubles. Blood work, day 3 and 21, ultrasounds (which during that ultrasound I imaged the tech with a shocked look on her face! “Umm Mrs. Minnie” she would say....”You are pregnant! There is a baby in there!” but that did not happen. And I looked on the screen to my empty womb feeling so sad.) I had the HSG procedure completed which was fairly uncomfortable and spent the rest of the weekend resting. And then we proceeded with Clomid fertility medication. This was literally a tough pill to swallow, I wanted to try the natural fertility route, but I accepted that I was where I am and I made the commitment that if I was to take this medication I would not fight it mentally and allow my body to except it and work in harmony. We decided to go to Montreal and I meet my first Instagram fertility sister in person! It was so nice to chat with someone who understood where I was and how I was feeling.
When we got home I read affirmation cards and thought hmm maybe I will test after a long two week wait! And conceived another beautiful baby. We spent the Christmas holidays glowing and beaming brighter than any of the Christmas lights displays! Unfortunately, fate would claim that baby as well as we entered into this New Year. Even as we waited in the hospital and the doctor in emergency pulled us into a private room I thought it would be ok, but he informed us that the HcG levels had dropped significantly. I would pass the baby again in my home. That was the most painful one, physically and emotionally. I believed that it was a new year and I can heal from this devastation. I challenged myself to find different ways to help heal from this tragic loss. Physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I call this challenge #darriens100daysofhealing
I was sent for a Recurrent Pregnancy Loss blood work and more tests. I’m still waiting for all the results but they seem to have found something to look at: my blood clotting factors. It was a rough start to 2017 but two words kept coming up all around me: New Beginnings.
We continued onto two more rounds of Clomid. I thought for certain we would be referred to the fertility clinic next. I didn't know that I would conceive our miracle baby during my #100daysofhealing but I am so entirely grateful we did. Our first ultrasound we were so nervous! But we also, would have bet money that we were having twins! I am so serious! We just had the biggest feeling and so many beautiful signs from the Universe! During the ultrasound I was so nervous but right away the tech said she saw the heartbeat! THE MAGICAL LITTLE HEARTBEAT! It was surreal this little gummy bear looking thing on the screen is our baby! She said we are not allow to get or take any photos so I remember sketching it from memory in my journal. The pregnancy was comfortable, I took my medication and in the second trimester I would start injection medications every day. Until delivery. Not only would I experience a high risk pregnancy, I would learn that my father has lung cancer. Stage 4. But I kept moving forward, with my support system and the tools that I have learned during my journey I stayed strong and resilient. At 37 weeks we would learn that our baby boy has a growth restriction and we would need to deliver him before the weekend was over. I gave birth to my son Atlas.

November 26th 2017, 38 weeks and 6 days, at 1: 46 pm weighing 4 pounds 10 ounces we welcomed our son. Our world, a las, Atlas Oliver Minnie, here and in my arms and staring at me. Love filled me and the whole room. Atlas, had a growth restriction and was born at 4 pounds and 10 ounces and so we had a short stay in the NICU. It was so wonderful to bring our boy home and grow as a family together.

I am now navigating the postpartum journey. Still growing and still being resilient. Though my path to becoming a mother had been a heartbreaking time I have experienced greatness blossom from the darkness. I have learned so much about myself and where I want to go. I have become a certified Yoga instructor and focuses heavily on Yoga for Fertility. Created a local Fertility Support Group on Facebook and have many big dreams to bring that community together. With my thirst for more learning I have been studying and reading as much as I can about fertility and now I am a fertility coach! I believe that you deserve a shot at motherhood, I believe that you deserve the self care and self love you would wish for your miracle baby.

I see the opportunities and the hope that New Beginnings bring and I look forward to sharing with you and hearing about your personal journey with fertility.

Remember you are not alone you are the lotus in the mud and you can grow so beautifully,

sending love and light Darrien Minnie
Instagram: darrien_minnie_fertiltiy (fertility coaching and yoga) (my personal fertility journey)