Opinion: After 9 miscarriages, we need to normalize talking about infertility

Mar 5 2021, 4:00 pm

Written for Daily Hive by Reisa Pollard, TEDxVancouver speaker, mom of three and owner of Beyond Beige Interior Design.

Having three babies from the age of 42 to 48, I have beaten the odds and most importantly the stigma of having children at a later age in life. Through my personal obstacles in fertility and the lack of discussion on this topic, my focus is to educate others through my struggles in conceiving children. 

International Women’s Day is monumental for me, as this is the day to celebrate women’s accomplishments while reflecting on our own personal journeys.

My biggest accomplishment has been my three children, London, Beckham and Presley.

The process to have three children at an older age is exhausting mentally, physically and financially (ha!) but the outcome is the most rewarding experience I could have imagined. 

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I would classify myself as a determined and career focus entrepreneurial woman. I joke and always say my first baby is my business, Beyond Beige Interior Design.

After finding fulfillment and inspiration through travelling in my 20s, I decided to get serious and think about a career. I have always been a creative from an early age (when I was in my early teens, I would save my allowance to buy wallpaper for my bedroom).

Evidently, at 32, I pursued my passion and created my own interior design firm. With hard work and drive, Beyond Beige Interior Design continues to be one of the top award-winning interior design firms for the last 18 years. 

Having been career focused in my 30s, children were not even a thought until my perspectives in life shifted. I was determined to have children even if I was older than the average mom (I mean 40s is the new 30s, right?).

Having experienced two miscarriages before 42, I realized that my journey in fertility was going to have many bumps, a few sharp turns and even some sudden stops. Within this realization, I wished I had been more educated in fertility earlier and had the knowledge to prepare myself for the future.

I began to question why I was never taught about infertility in sex education in my teens? 

I was determined to have a baby and eventually succeeded! My first baby was born naturally when I was 42 years old. The minute I held my sweet baby boy, I knew I had to have another one.

As much as I thought I was prepared to try and have another child, I was not. Unfortunately, for the two years after my first born, I went through four miscarriages. I still remember on my 44th birthday waking up to discover that I was having my 4th miscarriage. I was mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted, but I was not done trying. 

Reisa Pollard

Reisa Pollard

At this point, I realized making a baby is not going to be this romanticized vision, but a part time job going to and from labs and clinics. To top it all off, I had a paralyzing fear of needles. After many appointments with specialists and doctors, I got pregnant with In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF). Personally, I was thrilled but also prepared for the worse. Sadly, my expectations became a reality and I ended up having my 5th miscarriage. You would think that this would stop me, but I did not give up on trying to conceive baby number two! 

While I was waiting to receive a donor egg, I found out I was pregnant with Beckham naturally.  I was pregnant at 46 with my second son. After Beckham, I was not planning on having any more children, but experiencing two more miscarriages brought back the desire to have another child.

At this point in my life, I had been through a total of nine miscarriages. Miraculously, at 47, I became pregnant (on the first try) with my third child from IVF and an egg donor. My daughter, Presley was born in 2019.

Reisa Pollard

Reisa Pollard

Nine miscarriages in nine years while owning and operating a successful interior design business was challenging but made me a stronger woman. I have no regrets as this bumpy journey resulted in me having three beautiful and healthy children.

For this International Women’s Day, I want women to feel empowered within their fertility journey and continue to educate themselves on the process within infertility. I know, having open conversations creates less shame and more acceptance of miscarrying.

Most importantly, through my own journey, I hope to inspire women to reflect and not give up on having children after a miscarriage but to persevere! 

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