Monday, September 27, 2010

Mom to Baby Autumn and Baby Spring

My husband and I got married in September of 2003. We didn’t have any immediate plans to start a family. A few months before our 5th wedding anniversary we talked about it and agreed that I would stop taking birth control that December.

I found out I was pregnant on February 15, 2009. I was shocked that it happened so quickly. When I was around 6 ½ weeks I had bright red spotting. I called the clinic and the on call doctor told me to drink lots of water and keep my feet elevated. He explained it could be nothing or it could be the sign of a miscarriage. I didn’t have any other spotting after that.
On March 20, 2009 I went to my first prenatal appointment. I met with my OB and she rolled in the mobile ultrasound machine. She said she was having trouble seeing and said she wanted to "take a closer look" with the larger ultrasound machine in the other room down the hall. I was so naive and really believed her.
I watched the big screen and waited. I didn't know that I should have seen a tiny heart flickering on the screen. Instead, the technician looked over at me and said, "I'm so sorry. There is no heartbeat." It was the first time I understood what it felt to be on the outside watching my life happen. I was alone because I didn't realize my husband should come to the appointment. I didn't even know I was going to have an ultrasound. I had no reaction - I just laid there frozen and wondered what just happened.

My OB explained that the baby only measured 6 weeks 2 days and it should have measured around 8 weeks. She gave me the line about how common this is. Then she explained that I could wait it out, have a D&C, or take some medicine to induce the miscarriage. Again, I just sat there. Finally I broke and cried. The technician gave me the ultrasound picture, my OB gave me a hug, and I headed out the door.

When I got home I tried to explain to my husband what my OB said. He was even more confused than I was. We hadn't told anyone yet. He called his mom to tell her and the next day I called my mom.

A week later, I went back for another ultrasound just to make sure (I told you I was naive) and then had the cytotec administered. That week in between the first prenatal appointment and follow up was so long. It was almost as bad as the initial heartbreaking news. I felt helpless, just walking around with a dead baby inside me. It was awful.

Just four months later I found out I was pregnant again. I had an early ultrasound around 6 weeks. My due date was March 23, 2010. After seeing the tiny heartbeat flickering on the screen at 126 beats per minute, I was convinced I would hold this baby. March had redeemed itself. March would be a happy time now, instead of a reminder of the day I found out my first baby died. We told my in-laws and my mom. I went in for my 10 week prenatal exam, alone. I was confident and positive. As I was in the exam room and I saw my OB's nurse look down at me with the most pitiful eyes ever. I knew it wasn't good. She gave me that same face back in March. My OB gave me the same line she did back in March too, "I want to have a better look on the higher powered ultrasound machine."
Of course there was a wait for the ultrasound technician, so she had me sit in the waiting room. A few minutes later she came out and explained the wait was going to be longer than she thought and asked if I wanted to sit in her office instead. I was barely able to ask, "It’s not good, is it?" She scrunched up her face and replied, "It's not what we should see at 10 weeks."

Tears, shaking, throat lump.

I sat in her office and asked to call my husband. He came to the office and we went in for the ultrasound. The technician said something about how she saw where I ovulated blah blah blah. Then she said she didn't see any cardiac activity, but it could still be early. I explained to her that we had already seen the heartbeat at our last appointment 3 weeks earlier.

More tears and the start of sobbing.

My OB came in, gave me some tissue and a hug. Through my blubbering, I asked her if I had to go through this one more time before she did any testing (everything I had previously read at that time said most doctors don't do any testing unless you've had three losses). She said no, and that she would be as aggressive as I wanted with the testing. Then it was back to the exam room for what was the beginning of a long heartbreaking miscarriage that started with cytotec, then a D&C, went on to not one, but two doses of methotrexate, and finally ended with a second D&C in December of 2009.

The testing revealed I was positive for Lupus anticoagulants and I’ve since been diagnosed with Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome. My treatment plan was to take a prenatal vitamin and low dose aspirin. On April 25, 2010 I found out I was pregnant for the third time. I was on Heparin for the first trimester, and now I’m on Lovenox up until around 36 weeks, when I’ll switch back to heparin until delivery. I continue to take the prenatal vitamins and low dose aspirin.

Sometimes I can't believe that I actually lived and survived through all of that. Other times I feel like it's nothing compared to what others I know have gone through. Being pregnant after a loss is a roller coaster of joy and pure terror. Today I’m 25 ½ weeks and praying our baby girl continues to grow.


Anonymous said...


Gabriel's Mommy said...

Praying for you and your miracle. I know your heartbreak.

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