I Still Can't Say This Out Loud, and That Memory Is Burned In My Mind For Life
I've told people bits and pieces of my story; the loss, treatments, healing, and everything in between. Even though I've been able to share bits and pieces, I've never sat down and told the whole story, and it's time to break my silence.
My husband and I got married in December 2014, our plan was to start trying to have a baby in January after we got back from our honeymoon. After the wedding, we decided that we didn't want to wait until after the honeymoon, we wanted to try and start our family as soon as possible, so December 2014 was our first month trying to conceive our first child.
A week after our first try, we left for our honeymoon. At this point, I had no idea how early I could take a home pregnancy test, I took the test right before we left for our honeymoon, and of course it was negative. I took a couple of home pregnancy tests with me just in case. A few days into our honeymoon I was feeling pretty funky, so I decided to take a pregnancy test, I couldn't sleep at all that night, I was so excited to wake up and find out if I was pregnant. I got out of bed at around 5:30 in the morning, and took a first response test, I immediately saw a second line forming and I started shaking like a leaf.
I couldn't believe what I was seeing, I was so overwhelmed with happiness I went running into the room where my husband was sleeping and woke him up. He asked if I was pregnant and I just stood there not saying anything, then I ran back into the bathroom got the test, jumped on the bed and shoved it in his face. He was half asleep, no contacts in, and had no idea what he was looking at. Later that day I took a digital test and showed him that it did in fact say that I was pregnant. We spend our entire honeymoon buying the baby gifts in Spain and Portugal, talking to our baby every day.
My husband would always kiss me and my belly every morning and every night. Our baby was the biggest and greatest blessing of our lives, there's nothing we wanted more. We came home and created a little video of our honeymoon pictures to show our parents, at the end the last picture was of the beach in Portugal where we wrote that we were expecting our first bundle of joy in September of 2015. Our parents were so excited.
A few days later I noticed that I was having some brown spotting and cramping, I immediately called my doctor. They said this can be normal, but had me go in for blood work and an ultrasound that day. We went to the doctors and we got to see our little bean, heart beat and all. It was very emotional, I was so scared that they wouldn't be able to find the baby or a heartbeat. We sent pictures to our parents, and decided to tell our siblings about our baby.
My doctor wanted me to come back a week later just to check in. I went back, and our little bean had grown so much, we are so in love with our little growing bundle of joy! They told us that the baby’s heart rate was on the lower side of normal, but that everything looked ok. Later on that day I had some spotting, I called the doctor back and once again, they said it can be normal for a woman to bleed during pregnancy. That night, I had some more bleeding, I ended up going to the emergency room. I gave lots of blood that night, got the rhogam shot since my blood type is negative, and had another ultrasound. The doctors said that the baby was ok and that everything looked ok, but they were surprised that my HCG levels weren't as high as they expected. They sent me home with a diagnosis of threatened miscarriage.
The following week I went in for my 8 week scan. The ultrasound tech came in with two doctors and started measuring our baby. They were taking quite a while and not saying much, the doctor took the wand from the ultrasound tech and started looking.
After what felt like eternity, the ultrasound tech left, and the doctors said the most horrible sentence I have ever heard: "I'm sorry, but we can't find a heartbeat". I still can’t say this out loud and that memory is burned into my mind for life.
I just dropped my head and sobbed as my husband stood over me clutching my head and sobbing along with me. I remember screaming why, why me, why my baby. I remember opening my eyes and the doctors were still standing there. They told me my doctor wasn't working today, but that they called her and she was on her way in. They sat us in the waiting room, where I had to sit with all of the pregnant mom's showing with their healthy babies, it was torturous. Finally, they put us into a private room.
My doctor showed up and she was the kindest most considerate doctor I have ever met. She didn't just spit out statistics, she sat there and told me how this wasn't my fault, how this happens and it wasn't something I did. After I calmed down, she explained my options. She told me at this point she would be comfortable with me either waiting up to 10 weeks to see if my body would follow through and miscarry on its own, I could take misoprostol pills that would speed up the process and allow me to miscarry at home, or I could come into the hospital for a D&C.
I went home to think about it. I called into work for the next few days, my husband stayed with me and we had to get through it together. I spend a lot of time crying in bed, yelling at god, asking him why he had to take my baby, how I would have done anything to save my baby. There was a lot of sadness and anger. At the end of the week, I decided to go with the misoprostol pills so that I could miscarry my baby at home surrounded by those who I love that I trust most.
I went into the doctor just before 9 weeks and she inserted the misoprostol pills vaginally. I could feel the cramping within ours and by 6pm the contractions were in full force. My doctor proscribed me some pain medications which I ended up needing along with a warm bath, although the physical pain was nothing compared to the pain I felt in my heart. About a week later, I was at work and checked in with my doctor because I was still bleeding, she was very concerned and wanted me taken to the emergency room right away.
I went to the emergency room and it turns out a blood clot had gotten stuck causing the cramping and bleeding. The doctor was able to get the clot out and the physical portion of the miscarriage started to improve from that moment on. Fast forward a couple of weeks and it was time for my check up with my OB. She said my HCG levels were down in the 200 area and that within another few weeks or so, it should be close to 0. She told me to wait 1 cycle before trying to conceive again.
We waited 1 cycle, and tried again in April 2015. I waited 9 days after ovulation and took a test, to my surprise, two pink lines appeared, but they were light. I waited another day and the lines got a little darker. I called my OB and she had me come in for blood work. My HCG levels came back at 10. She said the levels were low, but since it was so early, it could be normal. I went back 2 days later for more blood work, my HCG levels came back at 7.2. My doctor told me that this was a chemical pregnancy, and that I should start bleeding within the next week.
My reaction to this loss was much different, with this loss I was completely numb. My husband pulled me into his chest and I cried quickly and then pulled myself together because we had company coming over. I stayed pretty numb for a while after that, I stayed away from family parties, just stayed home and kept to myself. My husband and I wanted to try right away again, but the next month my ovulation tests weren’t showing ovulation, and the next month my cycle was very long and something just wasn’t right.
It is now July 2015, I am staring to see a counselor to talk about my anxiety surrounding my losses. We are actively trying to conceive, but we have toned it down, and are not putting as much stress on ourselves. The grief of the losses doesn't go away, but it becomes easier each day. Not a day goes by where I don’t think about my babies, but I am more at peace. I find comfort now in helping other woman who are struggling.
This is not a battle anyone should have to fight on their own and by breaking my silence, I hope to help other woman.