Wednesday, October 13, 2010

First baby went to heaven January 7th, 2010
Second baby went to heaven May 18th, 2010

On January 5th, 2010, at 10 weeks 2 days pregnant I went to the doctor for my first appointment. First we went over everything that would happen throughout the pregnancy such as when ultrasounds and blood work would be. After going over all of this, and my medical history, they led me to the ultrasound room. Everything was so exciting. I couldn’t wait to finally see my little nugget growing inside of me.  Part of me became concerned when the doctor got quiet, but I tried to dismiss it. When she told me that she couldn’t find a heart beat I was shocked and confused. “What does this mean?” I asked, tears welling in my eyes. She explained that I had had a miscarriage. For the first time I learned what a missed miscarriage was. I didn’t understand how that could happen. I thought that having a miscarriage meant you bled and lost the baby. I had no idea something could go wrong and the baby could die with little or no signs. “Her” heart had stopped beating and she had stopped growing at 9 weeks 1 day.

The doctor hugged me and held me for a minute as I sobbed. She told me that I could have the other doctor come in and confirm it, so I would have peace of mind. She left the room to find him and left me laying alone in the tiny ultrasound room with a box of Kleenex. I grabbed my phone and called my husband, who had the day off but was home doing farm work. It killed me to have to tell him that our baby had died. He rushed to the office to be with me. We live so far from town, that by the time he got up there, the other doctor had already done the second ultrasound to confirm the loss. They sent us home with an appointment for a d&c in 2 days.

We went home devastated. He called his parents and I called my mom, sister, and best friend. We had told so many people, which ended up adding to our pain later. It was nice, though, to have their support.  I spent 2 more days with my baby inside of me waiting for the surgery.  The night before the surgery my mom came to stay with us, and drove us to the hospital the next morning.

I distinctly remember waking up in horrible pain. My legs felt as if I had been doing the splits for an hour.  When I woke up I started sobbing, knowing that my little nugget was no longer with me. As bad as it was knowing “she” was dead inside of me, it was far worse knowing "she" wasn’t there at all. We came home, and started on our long journey of grieving. A journey that, to this day, is ongoing.

We conceived again on the second cycle post d&c, and were nervous but excited. Before I even got my positive test, I had cramping. When I called to make my first appointment and told them what was going on, they sent me for blood work that afternoon. I got my levels back the next day. The HCG level was 494. I went back on Friday and my numbers jumped up to 967. My first appointment was on Monday 4/12, and the doctor said she needed to do an u/s to check things out because of the pain I was having. She warned us there wouldn't be much to see, but expected to see the ges sac. She found nothing, and sent us for more blood work. She let us know that she was concerned the pregnancy might be tubal, because of where my levels were and the fact that my uterus was empty. My numbers came back at 2839 on Monday.

Tuesday morning I woke up with intense shoulder pain that kept me awake from 3:30am forward. We went to the OB when they opened. She told us we needed to come back later in the afternoon when the u/s tech could do the u/s with her. My OB feels that u/s tech is better able to read them than she is. At 2:30pm we got to the doctor's office, and went in for the u/s around 3pm. They still couldn't find anything in my uterus. They did find a large cyst on my left ovary (same side as the cramping). Below the ovary they could see what looked to be a tubular structure. She sat me down and explained that it could be a number of things ranging from ectopic pregnancy, to fluid leaking from the cyst, to blood from an already ruptured tube. I asked to be given the methotrexate shot then and there, but she talked me into going in for exploratory laparoscopic surgery that evening. By 7:30pm they had me hooked up and were wheeling me into the OR. It was terrifying, but she promised that if everything was ok, she would get out so as not to disturb the pregnancy. She told me she has another patient who is now 34 weeks along that the same thing happened with and it was just her cyst leaking.

When I woke up in recovery I was stunned to hear them say that I was still pregnant, and that my tubes were perfectly clear. What they had seen was fluid from the cyst leaking. Because of the surgery, anesthesia, and pain meds, she said it could very likely end in miscarriage. We were still in the waiting game, and not out of the woods. A week after the surgery we went back for a follow-up u/s. We were able to see our little one on the screen with a faint heart beat. It measured 110 beats per minute, which I didn't realize at the time was a good indication that the pregnancy was not viable. We left feeling elated, and for the first time we had actual u/s photos to take home with us of our growing baby. We started to finally get excited about our baby, because we had heard our chances of miscarriage went down after seeing the heartbeat.

We went back a week after that to find the heart beat was now so slow it was not measurable. The gestational sac was misshapen, and we were basically waiting for our baby's heart to stop beating. We were scheduled to go back in a week. The day before our scheduled appointment, I started having bad cramping. I went to the bathroom and had my worst fears confirmed. I had started bleeding. The doctor had us come in right away. The ultrasound now showed no fetal heartbeat, and she gave me some pills to speed up the natural miscarriage process.

The night was spent in agony. I alternated between sleeping for an hour on the couch and getting up to change my pads and take pain pills. It was a nightmare. The next day, about 24 hours after starting the pills, I felt something slippery come out of me. I hurried to the bathroom, prepared with the bag the doctor had given me to collect the tissue. It was so hard for me to put my baby in that bag. We took it to the doctor the next day at our followup appointment. They didn't end up finding anything out from the testing, and to this day I regret that we didn't just bury our baby here on the farm somewhere. I was 10 weeks 4 days along when the baby passed, and it kills me to think of my child who grew inside me for that time being disposed as medical waste. It is something I try to avoid thinking about, as there is no going back.

After the second miscarriage, my doctor followed my levels to zero, which took a month and a half. Once the levels reached zero, we had karyotyping done on my husband and myself. They also did a thromobophilia workup on me to check for clotting disorders. It turns out that I do have Compound Heterozygous MTHFR. A blood mutation that makes it difficult to absorb folic acid. I'm now taking 4 mg a day of folic acid and a prenatal with L-Methylfolate. We are trying again to conceive, and hoping and praying that next time around we will finally get the child we so desperately want.


Jennifer said...

Wishing you a healthy baby! I'm so sorry for your losses. I also had a missed miscarriage at 10 weeks; I felt just like you, I had no idea that type of miscarriage was even possible. The heartbreaking grief does get better.

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