What one woman thought was an ultrasound appointment turned out to be one of the worst days of her life.
For Pauline Ann van der Meijs, one of her greatest fears in life was being infertile, but she had no idea her phobia would one day become a reality. She shares her story with Love What Matters.
Pauline met her husband, Maas in The Netherlands, where they were both born and raised, and for years, the couple lived a happy, childless life, choosing to focus on their growing careers.
It took her father’s sudden death to get Pauline thinking about having kids of her own. By this time, she and Maas had moved to the United States where she had a successful company in Atlanta.
Pauline and her husband started trying for a baby, but after nine months with no success, they went to see a fertility doctor in Atlanta. After multiple examinations, the doctor found nothing, except the endometriosis that Pauline had since she was young.
Pauline, 35, and her husband soon realized they would have to go for IVF. She said of the tough decision:
“I was going to be that woman like all those other women I secretly followed on Instagram that were battling infertility by doing IVF. I always felt for them because it looked like such a heavy road to follow and now I became one of them. Don’t get me wrong, I was strong and ready to kick infertility’s ass but the realization that IVF was my last chance of having a baby was incredibly scary!”
And a scary road it turned out to be. After a failed IVF procedure in The Netherlands, the couple decided to come back and have it done in the US. This time, she got pregnant but lost the baby in less than a week.
Their next option was a Frozen Embryo Transfer which turned out successful. Sadly, she started bleeding at ten weeks and lost the baby again. Some weeks later, Pauline noticed unusual bleeding again and went in for an ultrasound.
“‘Something wrong with the machine?’ I asked after 20 minutes of silently looking at the ultrasounds. ‘No dear, I think there is something very wrong with you.’”
Before leaving, Pauline bled heavily again and could have lost her life had she not been in the hospital. The next day, the doctor broke the bad news:
“I would never be able to get pregnant and deliver safely.”
Not one to give up, Pauline and her husband decided to try surrogacy, and eventually welcomed their daughter via surrogate on August 7, 2018.
The new mom said she was sharing the story to encourage other women going through similar situations. "Never give up on believing in yourself," she advised. Pauline also emphasized the need for support from one’s partner:
“You two need to stay a team and when you two believe in each other’s strength and love, you can conquer the world, even the world of infertility.”
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