Monday, November 8, 2010

Mom to
Sweat Pea, Lost September, 2009 at 8 weeks
Baby Girl: Lost February, 2010 at 10 weeks
Baby Girl: Lost September, 2010 at 9 1/2 weeks
Purcellville, Virginia
We were elated to find out we were pregnant after our first try in August of 2009. Our first ultrasound was scheduled when we should have been 6.5 weeks. Or, so we thought. The baby only measured 5 weeks, but all looked good. We were told our dates were probably off, even though I knew that wasn't possible. But, what did I know? I'd never had an ultrasound that early and maybe babies grew at different rates. We were told things were fine and to come back in 10 days.

The second scan showed the baby had grown, but the tech wouldn't tell us anything else. She told us my doctor would tell me the details. When I went in for my second routine pregnancy exam, my OB casually told me the baby died and we needed to schedule a D&C. I was shocked. I demanded another ultrasound. It confirmed our diagnosis. It was awful. I had my D&C when the baby should have been 8.5 weeks. I was told it would not happen again and that my body just wasn't ready to be pregnant again. We did not have the "products of conception" tested as it was "just a fluke.

We waited two cycles to start trying again. We got pregnant in December, again with our first try. I was elated. I had no fear. All the stats showed that only one percent of couples go on to have another miscarriage. I couldn't possibly be in "that" group, right? I had all the symptoms - morning sickness, irritability, etc. I was so happy. I loved that little baby so much and couldn't wait to bring him/her into the world in September.

I had an appointment to see my doctor when I would have been eight weeks along. However, due to the monster snow storm that hit the D.C. area, we had to reschedule. I went in at 9 weeks, by my dates. My doctor told me my risk of miscarriage would not increase and that things should be fine this time around. I asked for an ultrasound just to put my mind at ease. I was so excited to see my baby bouncing around on the screen. I went in for the scan when I should have been almost 10 weeks along. As soon as the image appeared on the screen, my heart sank. There was no heartbeat and the baby looked much smaller than it should have. I was shocked. Words can't explain how I felt. My baby had died three weeks earlier, and I had absolutely no idea. We had to wait at the ultrasound center for over an hour to hear back from my doctor to confirm next steps. As we were waiting, a woman came out of the office smiling from ear to ear, holding a photo of the tiny living baby inside of her. I felt like someone stuck their hand into my chest, tore my heart out and threw it on the floor. That should have been me holding those photos of my baby. I was the one supposed to leave that office happier than ever. Instead, my baby was dead. I wanted to get the hell out of there.

After we left, I cried the entire way home, and for days afterward. It was hell. I went through the whole grief process - denial, shock, anger, fear, sadness, bargaining, self-blame... I felt like I did something wrong. That it was my fault. I had my D&C. This time, we did genetic testing. Our baby girl had Trisomy 16 which is incompatible with life. It was hard to hear the news, but it gave me some peace.
After our second loss, we decided to undergo recurrent pregnancy loss (RPL) testing. We went to a top reproductive endocrinologist and had all of testing done. He told me everything looked perfect. I had just turned 35. He told me he thought it was just bad luck with a couple of bad eggs and to try again ASAP. He promised me I would carry another baby to term - he had no doubt based on my test results. This is now my mantra.
We moved to London two months after our second loss (six months for my husband's job). So, we decided to wait until after we moved. We tried in late July of 2010 and, once again, it worked on our first try! I was excited and happy for about five minutes. Then, I got scared. Really, really, really scared. The anxiety was unbearable. Would we lose this baby too? I was in a different country with new doctors and an entirely different medical system. I had no idea what to expect. I got in to see a new OB right away. She referred me to an early pregnancy specialist. I had weekly scans. Though it was amazing to see growth week over week, I knew it wasn't good. Once again, the growth was 1-2 weeks behind. I knew we would lose this little baby and I was devastated long before we had final confirmation. After we saw the yolk sac, we had to go in for two additional "viability" scans. I hate that word...viability. Finally, when I should have been 7.5 weeks, we saw a beautiful heartbeat. It was slightly lower than normal, and the baby was only measuring six weeks. The doctor told us to be cautiously optimistic. But, I knew what it meant. My fear was confirmed at our next scan two weeks later. Our baby had died.

I went in for another D&C because I had to know what happened. I wanted answers. Why does this keep happening to us? We went to a private hospital and I had the procedure - my third D&C in one year. In recovery, I vaguely recall crying hysterically because they placed me next to women who had just delivered their babies via c-section. It was horrible. They had to sedate me. We finally received the genetic results five weeks later. Another baby girl with Trisomy 16. The odds of that happening twice are 1 in 10,000. Bad luck, really? After the procedure, I contracted a UTI and uterine infection. It just cleared up a few days ago - six weeks post surgery.
It has now been seven weeks since the D&C. I moved back to Virginia a week ago. I felt the need to be closer to good friends and family. And, my doctors. I will see my RE tomorrow and hope he can provide some answers, or at least a new plan of attack. I also found a wonderful therapist who specializes in pregnancy loss/infertility via the RESOLVE site. I see her next week as well. I hope and pray we can bring another child into this world.


Carolyn said...

I am so sorry for your losses. I have had 2 stillbirths (one cord accident and one due to Trisomy 13). I will be 42 next month and we have no living children. Have yall thought about doing genetic testing on you and your husband to make sure it's not a genetic translocation of the chromosome that has caused it to happen TWICE? I don't believe for a minute that something that rare can be blamed on "bad luck". I just haven't bothered to call the geneticist. We were told it was "bad luck" but I don't believe it.

Anonymous said...

Amy, our stories are very similar. I am so sorry for your losses. It is a grief that so few people understand. If you ever want to compare "notes" on testing, doctor visits, etc. you can reach me at

Adi said...

Hi - I have also had 3 early miscarriages. The most recent one (December last year) was also Trisomy 16. I'm 33. Feel free to email me at

Cindy said...

I am so sorry for your losses Amy. I have experienced 4 miscarriages myself. 1 in 2004 and the last 3 were in a row starting in April of 2010. We had genetic testing done 3 of the 4 times. Once we had a reason, once they said baby was fine and we are awaiting results of the last miscarriage. I go to my follow-up appointment next week and my husband and I were trying to decide if we should do genetic counseling. I am just not sure I can handle it. I would love to hear your opinion of the genetic counseling if it doesn't cause more pain for you. Again I am so sorry for your losses. I will be praying for you. You can email me at Cindy

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails