Tuesday, September 21, 2010

First Miscarriage April, 2008
Second Miscarriage December 2008
Third Miscarriage April 2010
Fourth Miscarriage, Tyrion Caelith Pearson, August 5th, 2010
Cedar City, UT

First Miscarriage – April 2008

I was weaning my daughter, who at the time was nine months old. Right after we started, I started bleeding really heavily. I figured it was just my period coming back and didn't worry too much. I hadn't had one yet, and so I knew that it would be heavier than it was pre-baby, and I knew what to look for that could cause problems.

I bled for three weeks. With cramps that make it so I didn't even want to get out of bed. It would be very heavy red blood, and then slow down into brown spotting, and then start again. The cramps would come and go, and since I didn't think I could be pregnant since I was on the mini-pill, I didn't even think that it could be a miscarriage.

After three weeks and I was still bleeding, I knew something wasn't right. I took a home pregnancy test and it came up positive. It was very very light, and I was going to test again the next day to see if it was going darker or lighter. But at this point I was fairly sure it was a miscarriage.
The next day I tested again, and it was a complete negative.

My daughter was only nine months old, and I wasn't ready to be pregnant yet. And yet, I was completely devastated. I knew that there was a chance I would miscarry, because my mother, her mother, and her mother all lost babies inbetween their children. I was hoping it wasn't genetic or an issue with that, but once it hit me that I had lost a baby I didn't know I was carrying, the grief fell on me like a lead weight.
About a week after the loss, we decided that this was meant to open our eyes to trying to have another baby. So, we started trying to get pregnant in May of 2008.

Second Miscarriage – December 2008

We had been trying to get pregnant since May. And every month had been a failure.
In October, I was turned toward Cycle Charting (read the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility, it is amazing!) and I decided to chart my next cycle to see when/if I ovulated and all that. It was so much easier than I had anticipated.

It turned out that I didn't ovulate that month until cycle day 28, and if I had gone by the old rules of ovulation on day 14, I would have completely missed the egg. Everything else looked good.
Three weeks later, my period hadn't shown up. I decided to wait until the weekend to take a test.
Friday came, and I started bleeding. Very very heavily. I was at work, and when I went to the bathroom, there were three clots that were grayish and about the size of quarters.

I called my midwife since I hadn't had this before, and they told me to rest and take a pregnancy test when I could.

I got home and took one.


The elation I would have felt was crushed by the cramps that came every five minutes and the heavy bleeding with more clots.

I chose not to go to my midwife and just wait it out at home like I had done my first miscarriage.
The next morning I decided to test again, and the line was a lot lighter, and I knew it was all leaving my body along with the baby.

The cramps and bleeding got worse as the day went on, and I basically just moped around and cried.
I bled and cramped for only a week with this baby, and then spotted for a week, and then it was over.
I did still have pregnancy symptoms for the next few weeks, and I thought for sure I was pregnant again, but it was just the hormones leaving my body and until they were completely gone, my body was going on as it was.
After this loss, I was depressed for a very long time. I stopped completely charting, even though I knew myself enough that I knew when I ovulated and such. I hated everything and everyone, and just couldn't get out of my slump.

It didn't help that we were unable to get pregnant for a long time after this loss. It felt like my body had completely failed me and my baby, and now it was rebelling against us so it wouldn't happen again.
The depression got bad enough that I joined support groups, and asked for help a few months later.
No one understood why I was so angry and sad except those that had been there. Most thought that I would be over my early loss by now, or at least be pregnant again.

It isn't that easy.

Third Miscarriage – April 2010

We had been trying to get pregnant for 22 months. We were tired, and worried, and I knew I would never turn to medication if I could use herbs or homeopathics instead.

I decided to buy herbs and vitamins and see if they helped my cycle. I had a short luteal phase, which was 10 days from ovulation to when my period showed up, and no one would really take my seriously that that could be a problem.

So I got on B6 and Progesterone cream to lengthen it.

My cycle was going great, we hit ovulation on time, and 17 days later my period still hadn't shown up. I knew I was pregnant, but I just hadn't gotten the positive test yet.

Two days later, I got my positive. I was elated!

This was my first pregnancy test I had gotten since my daughter where I wasn't bleeding. It felt like magic.
I had always imagined that the pregnancy I would carry to term would be one where I got a positive test without bleeding, and I was imagining that this would be that time.

I didn't bother taking tests the next few days because things were going so great. I wasn't sick or tired, the only symptom I had was that I couldn't get enough water and I was hungry all the time.
Six days after I got my positive test, I started bleeding. I was completely devastated.

My husband got home and we cried together.

Even though it was still early, I knew that this was us losing the baby. This was my third miscarriage in a row, which put me under the label of “recurrent aborter” which still makes me shudder.

I tested the morning after I started bleeding and still got a positive test. The bleeding had slowed down a bit so I held onto a little bit of hope that things were okay and this was just a fluke. The cramps slowed down with the bleeding which was wonderful since the cramps with my other losses made me feel like I wanted to just roll over and be done.

The next week, my bleeding had all but stopped and I decided to take another pregnancy test to see where I was at. I was hoping and praying it was still positive.

I took the test and looked down and there was nothing but that one line.

We were crushed. Our odds of now having a successful pregnancy had dropped below 15%. Which isn't terrible so we still had a chance, but after trying to get pregnant for 23 months, getting pregnant and losing the baby just made it that much harder to imagine trying again.

So, we decided to stop.

I didn't go on birth control since I am a huge fan of charting my cycle, and I was just going to let what happens happen, and I didn't think past those first few weeks where I would ovulate again or when my period would come.

Fourth Miscarriage – August 5, 2010

Exactly a month after I lost the baby in April, I was 3 days late for my period. I took a test thinking I just hadn't regulated yet, and was shocked it came out positive. I was terrified of this test, and didn't want to lose the baby.

We hadn't been trying, so I really was not prepared. I wasn't taking any of my vitamins or herbs, and I was actually really excited that my body knew how to get pregnant, but at the same time worried that my body didn't know how to keep the pregnancy.

For a week I was so happy. I decided that instead of worrying all the time, that I would enjoy every moment, as long as it lasted. We called our families, and it became more and more real.

When I was 5 weeks pregnant, I started bleeding. I vented and cried, and when I went back to check it twenty minutes later, all bleeding had stopped. I had no idea what was going on. I work with a homebirth midwife so I called her to see what I should do, and she told me to start my topical progesterone cream for the next few days to see if it helped, and to get in for some labs.

I got in with the midwife at the hospital the next morning so she could order some labs for me. I sat in the room waiting half naked for her for an hour and a half. Not a very good way to help someone that possibly is miscarrying. She finally came in and every few sayings out of her mouth were, “You might still lose the baby.” 

As if I didn't already know that.

The appointment was awful. She gave me a vaginal check and told me my uterus felt pregnant, which I already knew, but kept saying that I will probably miscarry. I left the appointment in tears.
I had labs taken and they came back great, but my progesterone level was a little bit low so I had to go back in for more labs in two days.

I didn't have any more heavy bleeding like the first day, so I wondered if the progesterone cream helped it. I went back in and my hCG level had more than doubled which was perfect, but my progesterone had dropped a point. They told me to come back in two more days for more labs.  They ordered an ultrasound for me to check for an ectopic pregnancy. I was 5 ½ weeks, so I was hoping we would be able to see something besides a gestational sac.

I went in and the doctor was so nice, and all we did see was the sac, but it looked great. He told me he wasn't worried at all as long as in the next couple weeks we could find a heartbeat. It was a little bit of the load off my mind.

I upped the dosage of the progesterone I was on, which ended up being stupid since I was going through it twice as fast now and the midwife didn't believe that it could up my progesterone numbers like it did.
I went back and my progesterone had gone up so they told me not to worry and just come in for a checkup the next week.

Before I could get back to the appointment, I started bleeding very bright red, and I went with my friend to the ER since it was after hours.

They did some blood work and ordered an ultrasound. I was 6 weeks 3 days pregnant and I was lucky enough that it was my cousin that was the ultrasound tech on call. She was wonderful. We were able to see the baby and the heartbeat, and things looked great. The bleeding had again slowed, so they sent me home on complete bedrest and to follow up with my midwife in the morning.

I went to see her and she was a little better than the last appointment, but she did keep saying I could possibly be miscarrying, regardless of whether the baby had a heartbeat or not. She did order me a prescription for progesterone, and I would be taking 400 mg a day to up my progesterone. She also ordered more labs to see where my progesterone level stood, which would be repeated in two days.

I decided then to change to the family practice that had covered my ultrasound the week before, that way I wouldn't have to change later since the midwife couldn't cover me anymore because I had had a previous cesarean section.

I got the results from my progesterone level back and it had dropped dramatically. They want you to have a minimum of 12 in the first trimester, and my was at a 9. When I went back in two days later to check it, the prescription had helped it go from 9 to 16, so that was a huge plus.

I was still bleeding sporatically, and I was just waiting for the appointment with my new doctor.
I met him and it was wonderful. He did an ultrasound in his office, and the baby was growing and things were looking great. Because I was still bleeding, I was on bedrest until it let up or stopped, so we hoped it would happen soon.

I was put on monthly appointments unless something else happened.

I went back at 10 weeks and things were still looking great. The baby was growing, my bleeding was slowing, so I was put on modified bedrest where I could walk around more, but I still needed to rest whenever I could. It still sucked, but it was better than the complete bedrest it was.

At 12 weeks I started feeling a little bit off. I had more discharge than what I had been having, and I just felt crampy. I didn't think anything of it, and just tried to rest.

Sunday, I woke up at 4:30 am and felt something gush out of me. I ran to the bathroom, and blood just ran out of me for about thirty seconds and then stopped. I figured I had done too much so my bleeding was back.
I went back to bed and tried to get some sleep, but about twenty minutes later I felt a similar gush, and as I ran to the bathroom, blood just ran down my legs. I had a pad in, and just when I was running to the bathroom, I filled the heavy pad. I sat on the toilet, and blood gushed out of me for about five minutes. I was absolutely terrified.

It finally slowed down and I asked a couple of my friends if I should be worrying or should go to the ER. It took about ten minutes for me to decide the ER was where I needed to be, and in that time I had passed two weird looking clots. They looked like the roots from a tree, and even now I don't know what they were.

I get to the ER and of course the bleeding had slowed down. I went alone since my husband needed to stay home with our daughter since she isn't allowed in our ER as a visitor. They took blood and urine and did an ultrasound and things still looked great. I hadn't had an ultrasound in about two weeks and I was amazed how big the baby had gotten! Everything looked really great, so they told me I was back on complete bedrest and to go back to my doctor later that day for him to check on me and figure out a game plan.

I went into my appointment, and my doctor let me know that what I had is called a “subchorionic hematoma”. Basically, where the baby attaches and the placenta grows into has a blood clot. In 99% of pregnancies, things are fine. He was going to keep a closer eye on me, but since the baby was growing great, and had a great heartbeat, he wasn't worried at all. This definitely helped me not worry so much.

He did tell me I would need to be on bedrest for the next few weeks, but the thought that so few people with this actually lose their babies, I wasn't completely terrified anymore.

That week, I also started feeling the baby kick more and more. Yes, I was only twelve weeks, but I am really tiny, and you could even see it if you just looked at my belly. My daughter and husband were able to feel the kicks, and it was a wonderful reassurance that things were okay.

Things were progressing well, and I could tell the baby was getting bigger by where the kicks were.
At 13 weeks 4 days, I started having contractions that were painful in my back at their peak. I had been having braxton hicks, but those didn't hurt. I tried to rest, eat, and drink water, but nothing was making them better.

I called my doctor, but he was out of town so I got his partner. He told me to go to the ER for fluids and we would go from there.  I went in and received two bags of saline, but there was no change. They told me to come back if they got worse or if I started bleeding again, but right now, there was nothing they could do. I was put back on bedrest, again.

I got home and hung out with my husband and daughter. I was even able to get a little sleep.

At 4 am the next morning, the contractions were so hard they woke me up. I was able to rest inbetween them, but even that wasn't helping. They were getting stronger and stronger. I was trying to pretend it wasn't happening.

Every couple contractions I would run to the bathroom and would be throwing up and having really bad diahrea. I ended up not even going back to bed between contractions.

Finally at seven I got my husband out of bed to help me. About that time I passed four clots the size of marbles, and I knew something wasn't right. That is about when it hit me that I was in labor and I needed to get to the hospital if I had any chance of stopping it.

I was having contractions that were lasting a minute and were one minutes apart (meaning when one was ending the next was beginning). I was in so much pain because I kept fighting them since I didn't want to lose my baby.

We got to the hospital, and they got me an IV and were able to give me morphine, zofran, and a saline bag. Either the bag helped or the morphine but I was able to relax enough during the contractions I wasn't in constant pain any longer and could breathe through them.

This went on for a few more hours, and they told me they were going to send me home with a prescription for Lortab for my pain and an antibiotic in case it was an infection. They never once did a vaginal exam to see where things were.

Every time they would try to get me discharged, my contractions would pick up again. I think my body knew I needed to be there just for my own peace of mind.

The last time they tried, the nurse was able to get me up and dressed and on the toilet to pee.

Within seconds of sitting down, I passed three clots the size of my hand. I instantly freaked.  The nurse told me that was normal and I still needed to go home.

About three minutes after the clots passed, I was hit with worse contractions than before. I couldn't even stand up I was in so much constant pain.

My husband had to go to work, so I was left alone in the ER.

I went back to the bed, where I felt okay for a minute, and then I had to run back to the toilet.  Four more clots passed out of me. Same size as before.

I got back into bed on my own, and started bleeding out. I could feel it just running out of me. I called the nurse in, and they looked at it, and then left. The doctor came in and told me they were ordering an ultrasound, but at this point with how much blood I was losing, he told me there was less than a 1% chance the baby was still alive.

I was so lucky that that day, my cousin was the ultrasound tech. She brought a machine to me so I didn't have to get up, and she was so kind.

She was able to pull up the baby really well, and surprisingly the baby still had a heartbeat. It was a lot lower than normal (normally it was 150-160, and this time it was 120 and falling). She didn't show me the baby, and I didn't want to see it on the screen. She did say that the baby had moved down and was right over my cervix. I asked her if there was any chance I wasn't losing the baby, and she just shook her head and gave me a huge hug.

I asked my friend to come to the hospital because I knew what happened next wasn't going to be easy.

The ER doctor came in and told me they had called the on call OB/GYN and he would be coming down as soon as he was available to talk me through my options since I was losing the baby.

I had my friend tell the midwife I work with, another amazing friend of mine, that I would love if she came to the hospital to be with me too since I knew that the doctor would try to get me to consent to a D&C, which I absolutely did not want if I didn't need it.

The OB came to see me to talk me through my options and only one of my friends was allowed in the room with me, which I still say is bogus, so I asked my midwife friend to stay since she could talk me through my options if I needed it.

The OB gave me three options. 1 – Wait and see. He also said I would possibly hemhorhage at home if I did leave, which is just crap. 2 – Get me on cytotec right now to empty my uterus. 3 – Get me in for a D&C.
I knew I didn't want to do anything, and so I told him that after he did the exam to see if a miscarriage was really happening I would decide based on what information I had.

He got everything ready for the exam. I was holding on to hope that this was just clots that needed to come out and things were okay.

He put the speculum in, and said over the drape, “Your baby has passed. It has been sitting in your vagina.”
The tears flowed. I remember him pulling out the baby, and they didn't have an umbilical cord clamp or scissors in the room, so he held the baby hear my vaginal opening while the nurse ran to get them. She came back, he cut the cord, placed the baby on some gauze pads and told me that it looked like the baby was a boy.

I couldn't stop the tears.

He pulled out the placenta, did a manual exam of my uterus (which I never consented to and didn't realize he was doing until I was in complete agonizing pain) and then told me it appeared I passed everything on my own and didn't need surgery or anything. He did give me a prescription for Methergine which would help my uterus stay contracted and get out anything we might have missed, which I only had to take for a day.

He said he was sorry, and left.

The nurse left me alone with my son and my friends. I couldn't stop crying. And my friends were amazing and cried and talked with me.

We talked about how perfect he was. He was long and lean, with ten fingers and ten toes. He even had the start of the fontanelles that would mold during birth if he had made it that far. He was absolutely beautiful.

I sent a picture of him to my husband since he couldn't be there. After about an hour I was able to stop crying, and my friends helped me have the few laughs I needed.

The nurse came back about two hours after she had left, and I told her I wanted to take my son home with me, and they could keep the placenta for pathology. I knew there wasn't anything wrong with him, and I wanted to be able to bury him and have a little memorial for him instead of him being cut open and juts put in the furnace at the hospital when they were done.

I had to sign papers saying he was a biohazard and I had to inform the health department if we buried him anywhere. I knew he was too young to be buried in a cemetary so we had to decide what we were going to do, but if he was at home, we would have time to do it.

I was also given a prescription for Ambien in case I was having a hard time sleeping that night, which I knew I would.

I was discharged about 12 hours after I was admitted, and left feeling completely empty. I carried my son out with me, not in my uterus but in a container close to my chest. It all felt so hazy.

I took him home, and my daughter was still at my friend's house, so my husband and I were able to have a good cry before she came back.

My daughter came home, and we all sat down on the couch, and opened the container my son was in. We told her about her brother, we let her look at him and talk to him, and we all cried. We placed him in a blanket I had made for him when I was very first pregnant, and put him in our freezer until we could decide where we wanted to bury him and what we wanted to do.

Since I was only 13 weeks 5 days, I never once thought that my milk would come in. Sunday, three days after he was born, I woke up very engorged and the bed was completely soaked. I lost it.

I cried, I yelled, I said a lot of things that I wish I could take back. I thought long and hard about letting it dry up and asked my friends what I could do to aid that process. One of my great friends actually asked me if I thought about pumping and donating the milk, kind of like a last gift.

I am a midwifery apprentice, so I do know the vast benefits of breastmilk, and I knew that people could donate, but I never thought that I would have the option when I didn't have a living child. Especially since my son is still considered a miscarriage and not technically a baby.

Once I heard that I could donate, I felt a peace. I don't know how to describe it besides a light bulb going off in my head, and a clearing of the haze that surrounded my brain and thoughts. I went to find my pump, and then to buy storage bags and a new bigger bottle.

Pumping in the very beginning was all I could concentrate on. Every few times I would have the hardest time doing it and would get so angry I was pumping instead of nourishing my son, but overall, I felt peace. My son was helping other babies, even after his very short life.

My bleeding tapered off, and by about two weeks after he was born, it was nothing but spotting. I only had about three days of heavy flow, and then the rest was very light, like it was just clearing the tiny bit of lining that was left. About a week after it stopped I started bleeding again, but that was only a few days, and I like to think it was just clearing out any extra that might have still been in my uterus. I have had bleeding off and on the last six weeks, but overall, everything passed within the first two weeks.

Because I had labor with him, the cramps after that shrunk my uterus back down, and also to clean out the remnants, didn't hurt. I never felt anything, and I never took any pain killers. Aside from the day he was born and the labor then, it was by far my easiest miscarriage on the pain and bleeding front.

On the one month anniversary of his birth I was able to donate over 400 ounces of breastmilk to a mother that needed it for her baby, including almost 30 ounces of colostrum which is the very best milk for babies in their early days since it contains so many antibodies and nutrients. I felt him stronger that day than I had the entire month.

The fog that has engulfed me the last month is started to lift slowly, and I remember more of what happened, and sometimes the sadness is so thick that I cover it in anger so I don't have to feel it. I know I will have to feel it eventually, but right now, I just don't want to.

This miscarriage taught me more about my body than I knew before. I was able to carry my son more than double what the other losses were. I was able to see him grow and feel him kick, and I was able to hold his body after he passed. I was able to nourish other babies because of his short and very precious life.

This miscarriage has empowered me in more ways than I could ever imagine. Yes, the grief is still very thick, but through this, I can see what his purpose might have been. From being able to donate breastmilk, starting a support group for women that have lost children and help support others through this miscarriages or stillbirths. He has shown me that great miracles can come from great tragedy.

From his birth, I was able to reaffirm that my body, though it has trouble carrying children, is able to pass everything on its own without medication or surgery. It is a small thing to hold faith to, but to me that is a very big thing.

He showed me that miscarriage doesn't have to be completely filled with pain and that sometimes, even at the worst, it makes life more easy to live.

I will always love all my babies, but he holds a very very special place in my heart.

Through him, I truly became empowered.

Kayce blogs at http://longing4more.blogspot.com/


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