Mom to Baby Murphey
August 26th 2010
University Heights, Ohio
In June of 2010, my husband and I decided that we were ready to start trying for baby number two. My cycle was never very regular and I became super anxious the closer I came to the start of my period. I bought a pack of tests and gave it a shot. The first one came up negative but I had convinced myself that it was probably too early to tell at that point anyhow. About a week later, with no period symptoms to speak of, I took another test. This one came back POSITIVE!!! I ran to tell my husband and we were both so excited and shocked that we had gotten pregnant on our first month trying. I immediately called my best friend and share with her the news. I remember talking to her about coming up with a way to tell the rest of my family and friends. I had decided I was going to get my 18 month old son a shirt that said big brother. I was going to have him wear it to my parents house for a visit and wear it one night while we skyped with my in laws. I planned on waiting a few weeks to tell people but I was going to start searching for the shirt the next day. The following morning, I decided to take another test just to be sure...this one came back negative. I burst into tears and immediately went to one of my pregnancy books. I found something called a false pregnancy and was convinced that must have been what I had. I cried a lot that day but later in the evening I went back to look at the test. This time, about 6 hours later, there was a faint second line. Now I knew you weren't supposed to read it after that much time had passed but I also knew that the only way a second line could show up was if there was HCG in your body so needless to say I was confused. The next day I took another test and this one came back positive but barely. I had had enough at this point and the roller coaster ride of emotions was really getting to me. Little did I know, that was all just the start to a VERY long ride.
I called my OB office and explained what was going on. They brought my in to have my levels tested and they came back very low. The doctor called me the next day and said either I was going to miscarry or my dates were a bit off and I was just very early on. Being that my cycle was so crazy, and I didn't want to believe the former, I put all my hope into my dates being off. He brought me back a week later to have my numbers tested again. Another full day of waiting for the doctor to call with the results. It was pure torture, trying to remain together enough to take care of my 18 month old at home while my husband was working. The doctor reported that numbers had gone up a lot bit were still a little on the low side. At this point, I shared with my parents the news, not happily with a cute shirt on my son but sobbing over the phone begging them to come be with me for a few days while I went through everything. So, another week, another blood test, another horrific day waiting for the call. This time, the doctor called and said my numbers had gone up and they looked great. He scheduled me for my regular check-up at around 8 weeks. Joy filled our house!
Later that day, I experienced the worst thing any pregnant woman can experience. I started spotting. Just the smallest amount but I couldn't deny it. I called the doctors office and they offered to have me come in the next day for an ultrasound. My husband and I nervously attended the appointment, not having any idea what to expect. The doctor did the ultrasound and said nothing the entire time. Finally he turned the machine off and said, "It's not good. There is a gestational sac but it is empty, there are no fetal parts." He called it a blighted ovum, something I had never heard of before and told me that my doctor would probably bring me back in a week to confirm this diagnosis. I remember asking him if they ever found anything on women with this during the second ultrasound and if there was any chance at all. He responded, "It's possible but I wouldn't put much stock in it." Then left the room. I had no idea what to say or think, I just cried. I will never forget leaving the u/s office sobbing while passing by all of the other happily waiting pregnant women. My doc scheduled me for the next u/s sound in a week and also scheduled a d & c for the day following because he was so certain that I had a blighted ovum.
So home we went to wait, again. I spent the entire week researching blighted ovum to find that many women are misdiagnosed with them. Of course this gave me some hope but I was very cautious not to get too excited. We hoped and prayed each day that I might be one of those instances and the day we went back in I was praying for a miracle but expecting the worst. I had a different u/s doctor (which made me very happy) and she promised to tell me everything that she was seeing on the screen. So the procedure began and right before my eyes I saw what I thought was my tiny little baby. I wasn't positive and I didn't want to get to excited but the doctor quickly confirmed that there was the gestational sac and right inside was our perfect little baby. Oh my did I cry. Out of control. The doctor had to keep reminding me to try and be still as she wanted to confirm a heartbeat. Sure enough, there it was, the most beautiful little flashing light on the screen. Our baby's very own heartbeat. I couldn't believe my very own miracle had come true. It was like a movie. The doctor was hugging me, the nurse and my husband hugged me, even the office assistant came back into the room to hug me and congratulate me. This time my walk from the u/s office was phenomenal!
Of course my OB had to ruin my moment by telling me that we "were not out of the woods yet" and that he would bring me back in two weeks to make sure that the baby still had a heartbeat and had grown as it should. If that happened, he said, we could finally relax. So only two weeks until I could relax...well, we had been at this for over a month already so what was two more weeks. So we waited some more but with much happier hearts. We even got a few pics of our new addition and displayed them proudly. But we never made it two weeks. A little over a week later, the spotting started to majorly increase. I called the doctor a few days early and they brought me back in. Another u/s...horrible news. There was our baby but with no heartbeat this time. There was no more hope to hold on to. The doctor confirmed that the pregnancy had ended but that my body hadn't recognized it, a missed miscarriage it was called. Another D & C was scheduled for August 26th, this time however, it was going to happen. To make matters even worse, the only time my OB could squeeze me in for the procedure was first thing the next morning in labor and delivery before he began his c-sections for the day. I had to walk into the labor and delivery wing where I had walked less than two years prior when I was in labor with my son. This time I would leave without my baby. The nurses and doctors were great and the procedure was quick and basically pain free. The emotional pain however, far outweighed anything else about the day. My worst memory of the procedure was being wheeled out of labor and delivery just as I had with my son. I remember carrying him on my lap as they took me to my car to go home. That day, my arms were empty. I had nothing to hold on to as they took me past the nursery and down what seemed like endless halls of baby equipment. It seemed so cruel to make any woman make that trip without her baby. I will never forget it.
I grieved quite a bit for the first few days after the procedure. I finally told myself that while I had lost a baby and that was so terrible, I still had my baby boy and he needed a mommy that had it together. I decided that I would look at this period of waiting to try again as special "alone" time with my first baby and that I was going to fill our days with lots of joy. I did just that and we moved on as a family. Six weeks and one cycle later, I am cleared to start trying again. Now that we have, I realize that I have a lot of unresolved emotions. I cry almost daily now, so angry that we even have to "try" again when we already did and were pregnant. Then my emotions turn to complete terror, thinking what if I do get pregnant and this all happens again. Then to sadness as I think about the baby that will never know how much we loved him or her. I know that we desperately want another child in our family and therefore working through all of this is not only necessary but totally worth it. I read on someone else's story that they now pray to God, not to let them get pregnant again, but to only let them get pregnant again when it is with a baby they are going to get to keep. Part of me finds some comfort in that statement as I have had so much trouble knowing what to say to God as I pray. I also pray that all other women who have to endure such sadness have support and love to help them through it like I did.
Laura can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org