Friday, September 24, 2010

Pumpkin lost December 17th, 2009
Little Longhorn lost June 23rd, 2010
Fort Hood, Texas

My husband Justin and I got married in August of 2008, and we were so happy to start our life together! In January of 2009, Justin decided to join the Army, and I couldn't have been more proud of him. He went off to Basic Training, followed by 4 months of technical schooling. During his time at school, I spent my weekends making the 4 hour drive to visit and to try to start our family. We did the best we were able to with having no control of our schedule! In September of 2010 we moved to our first duty station - Fort Hood, Texas. It was the start of a new chapter for us, and we were so ready for whatever came our way.

At the end of October, we took a weekend trip to Dallas for a hockey game. I threw a pack of HPTs in my suitcase, hoping that AF wouldn't make an appearance. I woke up at the hotel on Halloween morning, and decided to take a chance and test. I just had this feeling that I was pregnant, but I still couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that second line pop up! I ran out to tell Justin, and we hugged and cried together. We were both so thrilled at the thought of our baby, and even went out and bought an adorable Halloween onesie that said "Daddy's Little Pumpkin." The name stuck, and we were immediately in love with our Pumpkin!

When we got back home, we set up all our appointments, and waited anxiously for our first ultrasound. Our life seemed perfect, and we felt so blessed. On November 5, 2009, that perfect world was rocked. I was out with a friend and fellow Army wife when I got a panicked call from Justin. Fort Hood had been locked down, and an armed gunmen was on the loose. He told us to go home, lock the doors, and wait on further information. I had never been so scared in all my life, and we sat glued to the TV crying for hours before our husbands were released to come home. 13 innocent people needlessly lost their lives that day, and this base and town were irrevocably changed. Our bubble of security had burst. We were heartbroken for those lost and their families, and we also couldn't shake wondering if the stress could have affected anything.

Our first appointment came along, but Justin was in the field and couldn't come. I was nervous, but anxious to see that everything was okay, so I went anyhow. Everything looked good, but Pumpkin measured a few days behind at 5w3d. The Dr. wasn't worried, so I tried not to be, and we made another appointment for a few weeks later. The Sunday before my next appointment  I woke up to some bleeding, and we headed to the hospital. I should have been 8 weeks, but baby was measuring at 6 weeks 2 days. So she had grown, and we had a heartbeat, but it was very low, only 50 bpm.

I knew things weren't looking good. We went to our scheduled appointment that week hoping for a miracle, and a stronger heartbeat. We didn't get one. At almost 9 weeks, Pumpkin was still measuring just over 6. I broke down crying, and I knew this wasn't going to end well, but Dr. insisted on another u/s a week later. At nearly 10 weeks, Pumpkin still hadn't grown. It was over. Worse, I was diagnosed with a partial molar pregnancy. I couldn't believe this was happening, and after melanoma scares when I was younger, I was terrified at the possibility of cancer.

The Dr. scheduled a D&C for the following week, with a check up the day before the surgery. I was a zombie walking into that check up a week later, knowing how naive it was to hope for a miracle that I knew wasn't coming. I didn't trust my ears when the ultrasound tech told me that they could no longer find any traces of the growths that lead them to the partial molar diagnosis. It was my tiny silver lining in the midst of a nightmare. Unfortunately, there was still no heartbeat or growth, and the surgery went through as scheduled. On December 17th, we officially said goodbye to our sweet Pumpkin. That night, I was in bed, and Justin put his head on my stomach. He started crying and said "it's so strange to know that she's not in there anymore." We were completely heartbroken, and we spent the holidays in a dark place, trying to pick up the pieces and figure out what to do next.

In February, we got the news that Justin's deployment was being moved up 9 months. With military life, TTC is a different kind of monster.  There is always a chance that things like deployments or reassignment will come up or change, and all you can do is roll with it. We wanted so badly for me to get pregnant again before he left, and in April, we were referred to a specialist on base. We had a general work up done on both myself and Justin, and all came back normal. My cycles hadn't changed in length since my D&C, but I was ovulating 4 days later than I did before, making my LP much shorter. In May I was put on Clomid, which I didn't respond to. My RE bumped up the dose for June, which was our last chance to get pregnant for the next year.

On June 15 I took another HPT. I fully expected a BFN, but was shocked and thrilled by a BFP! I was so blown away that we got our "last chance before deployment" miracle. Even better, the time that Justin had requested off for his mid-tour break was around the same time I was due! We were so happy that things seemed to be working out for us, and I was excited to share pregnancy updates with Justin while he was overseas. The pregnancy also added a little bit of joy to a sad goodbye, because we knew that when we saw each other again it would be to welcome our Little Longhorn into the world.

8 days. 8 amazing days of planning, and happiness with our baby before our world crashed down once again. I got in the shower, and there was the blood again. I was numb as I walked out and told Justin we needed to go to the hospital to check things out. After hours of waiting, insensitive nurses, and even having security called on Justin for him standing up for me when I was told I was stupid for bothering to be seen - we got the news. This pregnancy was over, and Justin was leaving in a handful of days. I had no idea how I was going to get through everything. I just couldn't. I wasn't strong enough.

We were incredibly lucky to have some great people on our side.  Justin's commanders made arrangements for him to stay a bit longer, which we didn't expect but certainly appreciated. I don't know what I'd have done if he'd left so soon after another loss. We used that extra time to heal, build each other back up, and make decisions about our TTC future. We decided that after what we'd been through, we didn't want to wait a year or more to get proactive with the next steps in this process. We made arrangements for me to do IUIs while Justin is in Afghanistan, and I'm currently going through all the testing and preparations for my first cycle attempt. It's hard to go through what we have, and even harder to be separated for so long.

Military life is tough, as is TTC after losses, but the two together can be quite overwhelming. I'm just lucky I have a wonderful husband and partner in Justin, and I really hope that my hero will be coming home from deployment to a healthy baby.


BBH said...

((HUGS)) Kelly!

butterfly843 said...

Sending (hugs) Kelly

M said...

Beautifully written Kelly.

MV said...

Much love to you hon.

Anonymous said...

My heart goes out to you! My husband and I were also married August (23) 2008. We found out we were expecting after 10 months of trying in Dec 2009 and then lost February 2011. We tried again as soon as we were able to and fell pregnant once again June 2010 and lost before we even had a chance to absorb that we were expecting again. Now it is March 2011 and we have been through more then enough IUI's and fertility drugs and we still are not pregnant.

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