Missed Miscarriage January 25th, 2010
Face of loss: From the moment I got married, my husband and I had started picking out baby names and had talked frequently about starting a family. I felt like we needed to wait a couple years and have some “couple” time, and he wanted to start right away. Fortunately for me, I won that argument and managed to hold off on trying for a baby for just over 2 years after our wedding in October of 2007. When our 2 year anniversary came, we really sat down and discussed what our “plan” was going to be. We agreed to start trying in January of 2010, but also decided that for the remainder of 2009 (it was only November and December left, after all), we would take the course of “not trying, not preventing”.
In mid-December, on a Tuesday, a few days before I expected my period, I had an episode of random nausea at work. I had never experienced anything like it before – I was sitting at my desk working, and then out of nowhere, I was convinced I was going to throw up on my desk. For the next two hours, I battled the feeling of “about to throw up any second”. I thought that was particularly strange, and the first thing that popped into my mind was “Am I pregnant?”. I decided to stop by the drug store on the way home and grab a box of pregnancy tests. I was so anxious that I took one as soon as I got home. It was negative. I shrugged it off and decided that maybe I just had a bad lunch. Plus, I had bought a box with 2 tests, so I knew I could take another one later if I still felt like something was different.
The next day, I noticed that my breasts were very tender. That seemed odd to me, because it’s not a typical PMS symptom that I have. I had no nausea, but definitely noticed that something was going on. I somehow managed to avoid taking another test that day, still convincing myself that I was just being weird and overthinking it. That Thursday, two days after my nausea episode, I just couldn’t shake the feeling that I was pregnant. I had literally gone from not being sure to 100% convinced. I took my second pregnancy test that morning before work, and it was still negative. Since I anticipated my period arriving the very next day, I managed to tell myself that since the test was still negative, I was just imagining things. I had to leave work early that Thursday to drive down to Tampa for a very dear friend’s wedding where I was going to be a bridesmaid, so I pushed it to the back of my mind and focused on the trip.
Once I was in Florida, I consumed myself with all the wedding activities – we had a bachelorette dinner, the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, and I was so exhausted from driving the whole way by myself that I didn’t think of much else. I actually forgot that I was supposed to start my period on that Friday. I went to pick up my husband at the airport later that Friday evening so he could attend the wedding with me, and we were both passed out within minutes of getting back to the hotel.
Saturday morning, December 19th, I woke up and I just had a FEELING. I remembered all of a sudden that I hadn’t started my period and I thought I should have – I was so regular with my cycles, that even one day late was an indicator. I had someone coming to my hotel room to do my hair and makeup for the wedding pretty early that morning, so I sent my husband out to grab us breakfast and to pick up a box of pregnancy tests. He thought I was crazy for wanting to take more tests b/c he knew about the other two that had been negative. He somewhat fought me on buying more, but I managed to convince him that I NEEDED them. He showed up right as the lady was finishing everything, and I decided to take the test once she left the room.
I sat and watched that stick like a hawk, waiting to see if 2 lines showed up. The first line popped up very quickly, and then slowly, I could see a second line starting to form. Even though I was expecting it to show up, I was absolutely shocked! I ran out of the bathroom and started frantically asking my husband if he saw the second line, and he did. His reaction was, “Does that mean you’re pregnant?” – I had to explain to him how the tests worked, but once I did, he was in total shock as well. I immediately ran up to my parents’ hotel room (that joined with my brother and sister’s room), and showed my mom the test, and we screamed and cried together. My whole family came in and we told them the happy news and all got so giddy together. It was such an awesome moment. I even got to tell my wonderful friend Amy who was getting married that day that I was pregnant and had found out on her wedding day – she was so thrilled for us.
Once the wedding weekend was over and we were back to “real life”, Christmas was fast-approaching. My husband and I decided to tell our close friends and our family at Christmas, thinking it would be the *perfect* Christmas present. My husband also excitedly shared the news on facebook, and I didn’t think anything of it. For about three weeks, we were just on cloud nine, and I had every pregnancy symptom in the book, and was loving every minute of it.
We scheduled our first ultrasound for January 12th, 2010. I was dying to see this baby and to see a heartbeat. I anticipated that I was somewhere around 7 weeks when I first went in, so I knew we would be able to see the heartbeat, although probably not much else. The ultrasound tech started the ultrasound, and we were able to see the gestational sac and something in it, right away. She even said “there’s the baby”, but when she measured the size, it was only measuring at 6 weeks, 1 day. I thought that was a little strange because I was very aware of my dates, but I tried to trust the judgment of a medical professional. I asked about the heartbeat but was told it was probably “too early”, and it just hadn’t started beating yet. I scheduled a follow up ultrasound for January 18th so that we could verify there was a heartbeat.
After that first ultrasound, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. I went over and over the dates of my last period in my head, and the date I had gotten the positive pregnancy test. Things just weren’t adding up. Even though it was only a 6 day difference, it seemed significant enough to me. My doctor’s office had run some blood tests to see if my levels were increasing, so I anxiously awaited those results. In the meantime, I was still experiencing those full-blown pregnancy symptoms, all the while wondering how things could be so off. I got the phone call before my 2nd ultrasound that my levels were rising, but they didn’t seem to be rising “enough”. I wasn’t sure what that meant, but waited for my next appointment to see if there was progress.
At the second ultrasound, the “baby” had only grown to 6 weeks, 3 days. There was the faintest flicker of a heartbeat – that I wasn’t even sure I personally saw, but my doctor and husband said they did – and I was almost bitter for what I considered to be false hope. I knew in my heart it was over at that appointment. My doctor kept trying to sound optimistic and even schedule me for a 3rd ultrasound on January 25th. My husband kept trying to give me pep talks and reassured me that we had seen a heartbeat. I wasn’t convinced, and I had the horrible feeling that something really was wrong that I couldn’t shake.
Over that next week, before my 3rd attempt at seeing the baby, my pregnancy symptoms completely disappeared. Of course I knew in my heart why they were disappearing, but figured I would wait again until my appointment. At that 3rd and last ultrasound, I was told that I had a missed miscarriage. Funny, because to me, it wasn’t “missed”, we were just all in denial about it. In my gut, I had know for 2 weeks already that the baby wasn’t growing, but had to sit through all 3 agonizing appointments to officially confirm it. Obviously, I should have been about 9 weeks at that last ultrasound, and the baby still measured in the 6 week range. I scheduled my D&C for that coming Friday and went home and cried the rest of the day. I was devastated. Later that evening, I started bleeding, almost as if my period were starting, so I had to call and reschedule my D&C for the very next day. They didn’t want me to miscarry naturally because I had a lot of “pregnancy matter” in my uterus and they were fearful of hemorrhaging.
On January 26, 2010, I had my D&C – it was relatively painless and uneventful on the physical aspect, but all I did was cry whenever I was awake. For the next two weeks, I did nothing but mope around my house and cry. I took the time off work to grieve and heal from my D&C, which I ended up having complications from. I got an infection and had to take antibiotics, battled a fever, and some of the worst pain and cramping I’ve ever had in my life over those two weeks.
It was one of the worst times in my life. I was depressed for months. I avoided my friends, my family, I turned down all social invitations, and I threw myself into work. My boss was on maternity leave ironically, so I was extremely busy doing my job and some of hers, and I’m actually glad it worked out that way. My husband and I were told that we didn’t even have to wait until my next cycle to start trying again, but we decided to wait at least one.
We started trying again towards the end of February of this year, and I decided to really learn about trying to conceive during this time. It consumed my every waking thought. I cried every single time I started my period or got a negative on a pregnancy test, and I cried every single time I found out anyone else was pregnant. I was so bitter and angry, and just so sad. From January until the beginning of May, I was a zombie.
Face of hope: Right after my 26th birthday at the end of April, something in me snapped. I was tired of being depressed, tired of hating every day, and tired of trying to have a baby running my life. My birthday was the worst one I’ve ever had because I let it be. All I could think about was how I was supposed to be pregnant. I finally reached my breaking point after that, and I decided to stop focusing so much on things I couldn’t control. I went to church the weekend after my birthday (I had been going all along, but had been pretty numb to the messages), and it was a message on how God is in control. I don’t know why, but it really hit home with me that day. Literally, sitting in church, I prayed to give everything over to Him and to stop letting myself wallow in my misery. I felt like a brand new person when I left that service. I’m not going to pretend that everything was perfect after that, but I just felt a sense of relief that was overwhelming. I wanted a baby, and that didn’t change. I decided to change my prayer for a child, and I asked that God wouldn’t let me get pregnant again until I got to KEEP my baby. I was fully prepared for it to take 5 years if that was the plan…I didn’t even care anymore. I had a new-found patience about it.
I am happy to say that on June 5, 2010, I found out I was pregnant again. I can’t sit here and say that things have been easy – I had a scare early on with my progesterone levels dropping dramatically and had to start supplements – and I worry every single day that something will go wrong with this pregnancy, but I know that the faith and the hope I carried with me after that day in May are what’s getting me through every single day. I am currently 21 weeks pregnant with a little boy, that we plan to name Noah Thomas. I still struggle with the baby I lost, I struggle with the sadness as well as the excitement over the new life growing right now, I struggle on days that should have been milestones. My due date with the angel baby was August 27, 2010, and it was a rough day for me where I cried numerous times. I sometimes wonder how I will feel in January, because I now associate the month with bad news.
The pain never goes away, but neither does the hope.
You can contact Regina at email@example.com