Yep, you read that right. This baby I am carrying is the result of an IUD pregnancy.

In November 2019, we lost a baby at 9-weeks, a missed miscarriage. It turned our world upside down. We struggled with the grief for months before we finally sat down and decided to call off trying again. Our focus shifted to our then 2-year-old daughter. We were a happy family of three and that was okay. So, we gave all our baby stuff away and planned our future for the three of us.

We didn’t want to totally finalize the decision to be one-and-done. So, I got the Paragard IUD, and I loved it. Ten whole years of not worrying about birth control.

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My periods have always been irregular, ranging from 20 days to 38 days, and after the loss of our baby, it was even worse. I had no idea when Aunt Flo would arrive at any point in my life. In June 2020, I realized it had been about 37 days without that lovely monthly gift.

I did a quick Google search on Paragard pregnancies and only found that getting pregnant with copper IUDs like Paragard or Mirena is rare, so why should I worry about my symptoms? But my anxiety got ahold of me, and I decided to take the only home pregnancy test I had.

Pregnant. So pregnant that the test line had pulled the dye from the control line.

Holy cow! To say I was shocked is an understatement. I cried pretty hard—I was terrified. This also was happening three days before our miscarried child’s due date.

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I was terrified of ectopic pregnancy or other complications and terrified of losing another child. I wasn’t sure I could handle all the stress and trauma again or if it would put me at higher risk. I called my best friend and cried over the phone with her. I got a surprised congratulations out of her, and she urged me to call the doctor. First though, I had to call my unsuspecting husband.

“Hey . . . so . . . you need to come home. I’m pregnant!” He threw out a ton of questions at me, mostly “How?” They all had zero answers until I could get to the doctor. I called the office immediately after telling my husband and was scheduled for an emergency ultrasound the following day. A sweet and wonderful girlfriend took me to my appointment at the clinic.

At the ultrasound, it was confirmed I was indeed pregnant, and about five weeks along. To my dismay, there was no heartbeat to hear. That only meant more worry and anxiety. The IUD was located far down in my cervix, on its way out of my body. My doctor and tech are still unsure if that is what caused the pregnancy or not, and we will never know.

My OB-GYN was amazing and gently explained that the IUD had to come out immediately, but that it was so far from the baby that the chances of it causing any harm were slim. Through a lot of tears and hugs from my friend, the IUD was extracted from my body. The form of birth control that should have prevented me from getting pregnant was now out as the result of failing to do its job.

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You know what though? We are so incredibly grateful it failed! I won’t lie and say it didn’t take us a few days or weeks to come to terms with our new life path. We had many discussions and decisions to make about our lives. We needed a bigger house, to somehow get all new baby items again, and our jobs.

Our sweet baby sure did turn our lives completely upside down. But never for a moment will I regret him. This unexpected pregnancy has helped me find new ways to cope with my anxiety, develop more patience, see the humor in life, and realize what a truly amazing support system I have.

I want to share my IUD pregnancy story because I struggled then, and still do, to find women in similar situations.

Coming off the loneliness of a miscarriage to enter the loneliness of an IUD pregnancy has been an interesting experience. Throw that on top of the loneliness of 2020 and it is icing on the cake.

Those first weeks I wanted to have another IUD user to talk with and share our stories about getting pregnant. I furiously Googled “IUD pregnancies” or “pregnant with an IUD stories” and kept finding results about how rare they are. The birth boards had women in similar situations, but they also came with terrifying stories of ectopic pregnancies, miscarriage, and preterm labor or infant loss. 

So, this is for women who, like me, are feeling lonely and scared right now looking at a positive pregnancy test even though you have an intrauterine device. I know what you’re going through, and I am here to listen and to share my experiences with you.

Originally published on the author’s blog

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Katie Allen

Hi! I'm Katie, a preschool director with a passion in all things parenting and early childhood education. I live in NC with my daughter and son. I have a Master's degree in Early Childhood Education from The University of North Dakota.

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