Friday, October 8, 2010

Missed Miscarriage at 6 weeks in June 2008
Atlanta, Georgia

I think I always knew that I wanted to be a mom. As an only child I was always older than my years I suppose. I vividly recall babysitting for various neighbors at the young age of 12 and imagining – hoping – dreaming that my life would someday revolve children and preparing lunches, getting the little ones down for naps, etc. It was a nice dream. 

Fast forward to my 20’s and life would no longer be what I had always known which, if I’m honest, was charmed. My father battled an illness and passed away when I was 25. My last remaining grandparent passed away two years later. My best friend died from cancer three years later and the straw, so to speak, was the unexpected death of my mom at the age of 59 in 2002. Suddenly I found myself spiraling out of control and into a deep depression  - a battle I finally won in 2006. I emerged with a renewed sense of hope and zest for life. I knew that it was time to get back to my childhood dreams and start my own family. Depression had stolen valuable years from me so I was 36 when I made this decision. 

With a lot of effort, money and assistance from a Reproductive Endocrinologist my dreams appeared to be coming true in May 2008 when I finally got that positive HPT. It was perfect timing because I think everyone in my life of childbearing age was pregnant and I was elated to join in. Also, my baby’s due date was on the 7 year anniversary of my mom’s passing. I just knew this was meant to be! Finally, a reason to celebrate the month of January and not dread it with all that I am! Despite all that you hear, I never stressed about a miscarriage etc. I was having some nausea so that was reassuring. If I’m honest, I just felt that this was God’s plan and that all would be ok. Even my betas were a little low in the beginning but were doubling appropriately so I graduated from my RE’s office. 

I had started a new job so I actually decided to forego the 6 week ultrasound and decided to have my local OBGYN do one at 8 weeks. Looking back, I’m not sure if that was a good idea or a bad one because on the much anticipated day of that 8 week ultrasound it was determined that I had what they called a missed miscarriage. The baby had apparently stopped growing 2 weeks prior. Of course I question if I had proceeded with the 6 week ultrasound if this would have been detected then or if I would have heard a heartbeat and been even more destroyed on this particular day. I will never know. What I do know is that I got the shock of my life on that ultrasound table. You know when someone is telling you something but in your mind you don’t realize the severity of it? That was me. The baby had passed and yet I was trying to figure out why it wasn’t measuring 8 weeks. I had an IUI so everything was precisely timed. I was absolutely 8 weeks so there was only one explanation for the lack of growth and the lack of a heartbeat…my baby had died and I didn’t even know it!!!!???? What kind of mother does that make me???? I didn’t know anything was wrong???? I remember the ultrasound tech being so sweet trying to reassure me until she could get the doctor. I was placed in a waiting area in a very quiet hallway that was adorned with so many absolutely breathtakingly beautiful pictures of newborns. Then I was moved into an office where I spoke with a midwife and then finally I was moved to my doctor’s office. 

I remember hearing that the baby had passed at approximately 6 weeks and that there was no reason I shouldn’t try again and yet I couldn’t stop looking at all of the hundreds and hundreds of pictures of newborns that adorned every wall in my doctor’s office. All I could think about was that I would never know the pleasure of holding my newborn. Would I ever know it? I was desperately fighting back tears just trying to get out of there but we had to discuss the lack of a physical miscarriage and the need for a DNC since it had already been two weeks. The DNC was scheduled for one week later. I was then taken to an administrative office to settle the bill, again looking at more and more pictures of precious newborns, only to have some ignorant woman tell me it was for the best as my baby was probably grossly deformed etc. I finally fought my way out of there and finally gave into the gut wrenching sobs that consumed my body just as I was getting into my car. I just remember frantically trying to find my way home where I could cry privately over yet another loss and contemplate how to tell those that I had shared my news with. I ultimately decided an email would be best and I asked for people to allow me to grieve privately. I didn’t want calls, visits, etc. I was grateful that people cared but I just wanted their prayers. I just needed to grieve yet again and I was pissed that I even had too. 

Throughout the following week I was very aware that the remains of my baby remained inside of me and I waited for my body to purge itself of the life that no longer was. It didn’t. The DNC went as well as could be expected and my doctor was so very kind. I could not have asked for more. While I will forever miss and love the baby that I never got to hold, I have healed for the most part. I still occasionally find myself on various forums and blogs of the very women who went onto deliver their babies in January of 2009. It’s probably not the healthiest thing to do but I do get some enjoyment from it. It definitely makes me question what could have been but it also inspires hope and hope is good. As for a baby, we resume trying to conceive this month after an unfortunate and unwanted hiatus. We continue to pray for our miracle.  

Cheryl blogs at
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