Early Miscarriage at 5 weeks, 5 days
Missed Miscarriage at 12 weeks, 4 days
On May 1st, 2010 my husband (Erik) and I found out we were expecting for the second time. Immediately, we told our 2 year old he was going to be a big brother. He knew Mommy had a baby in her tummy. The pregnancy was very different than my first. I didn’t have morning sickness right away and I felt like I was going to have my period at any moment. I wasn’t concerned because I had heard this was a symptom many women feel early in their pregnancies. One night, after we had put our son to bed, Erik and I cuddled up to watch ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’. I’d never seen it before and didn’t know what to expect. I went to bed that night very emotional. Being newly pregnant, the multiple miscarriages she’d had filled me with worry. I had a sick feeling in my stomach all night.
The next morning I woke up to spotting. Because I had only been pregnant once before (and it was very healthy), I called the doctor right away. It was a Saturday so the on-call service directed me to go to the emergency room. When we arrived I could feel the cramps setting in. I had my blood taken, and while we were waiting for the ultrasound tech to come in I felt something come out. I asked if I could go to the restroom, but they said my bladder had to be full. After what seemed like we had been waiting an eternity, the tech arrived. He was very quiet the entire time and the ultrasound probe was covered entirely in blood. I asked if I could finally go to the bathroom. It was as if I was having my worst period ever. There was a lot of blood and horrible cramping. I cried on my way back to the room. When Erik saw me he knew we had lost our baby. We were both crying when the doctor came in. She said my HCG levels were far lower than what they should have been, and they believed the baby had already passed.
The next day was Mother’s Day.
We wanted to wait to try again so I ended up having much needed surgery on my foot at the beginning of June. In August we decided we could try again.
We found out on September 12th that we were expecting. Because of our first loss, I was guarded about getting excited. I even asked Erik to wait to tell our son. I didn’t have the cramping I did from my loss in May so I was relieved, but still worried. We both just didn’t talk about it much. I started to feel sick around 7 weeks. I never had morning sickness, it always came at night. It started to become an all day event, and I couldn’t get any liquids in. The day before my scheduled 8 week appointment I called in and they prescribed me Reglan. I took it that night and ended up having horrible side effects. I was still very sick, and I couldn’t lay down. I was jittery and very panicked. I decided to not take medicine anymore because of the side effects. The next day was my 8 week prenatal exam. I was so dehydrated they gave me two bags of IV fluids. When they finally came in to do the ultrasound, I was so scared, I couldn’t look at the screen. Then I heard the heart beat! I beamed at Erik and we looked at the very healthy baby that was moving in my tummy. We fell in love! Everything was on schedule.
That week I had to go in twice for fluids because I couldn’t get any liquids down. They diagnosed me with Hyperemesis gravidarum and decided I needed to have home IV treatment. I had a PICC line inserted into my left arm so that I could take two bags of fluids along with my vitamins each day. A nurse came to visit me 2 times a week to check my vitals and clean my dressings. My nose could smell things a mile away. Nothing but brownies and raisin bran sounded appealing to me. The nurses kept telling me the sickness was a good sign. I took them for their word. The week of Halloween I finally started to get really, really excited. I kept thinking about the nursery! Erik swore it was a girl. Because I was so sick he’d say, “Only the women in your family could cause this much drama!”
I announced my pregnancy on Facebook when I was 11 1/2 weeks along. We wanted to wait till 12 weeks to share the big news, but excitement got the best of us. By my 12th week I was starting to feel a little better. I was less anxious and getting closer to my 2nd trimester.
On November 9th, I had my 12 week check up. Erik was very busy with work so I told him not to worry about coming. After all, it was just routine. At the appointment we talked about my Hyperemesis gravidarum and how well I was doing with keeping up with my IV fluids. The doctor and I were laughing about the “drama queen” and why my husband thought it was a girl. Because we discovered my son’s gender at 11 weeks, the doctor was curious if she could make an early guess so she decided to do an ultrasound. I carried my son so low with my first pregnancy so it didn’t surprise me when she said she was going to do a trans vaginal ultrasound. The doctor was explaining my ovaries to me and making sure I had no cysts on them. I get them often and had one when I was pregnant with my son. Then she became very quiet. I saw the baby, but it wasn’t moving. I also didn’t see any flutters… The doctor told me she needed to get a colleague to come check something. I knew immediately what that meant. The baby was gone. I couldn’t see, my eyes were so flooded with tears. The other doctor came in and confirmed that the baby’s heart had stopped beating. My doctor asked me if I had anyone with me or if there was anyone I could call. I called Erik at work and asked if he could come pick me up. I didn’t want to tell him over the phone, but he could tell by my voice there was something wrong. We cried on the phone together.
The doctor set up an appointment the next day to discus our options. She sent me home with some papers to look over that had three options on them. One, I could pass the baby naturally. Because my body showed no signs of miscarrying she warned it could be 4-8 weeks before it happened. Two, I could have a D&C or what they called a surgical abortion. This option made me sick to my stomach. It made it sound like I was choosing to terminate the pregnancy. Option three was to be induced by medications. I chose option three.
They inserted the medicine vaginally at around 4 p.m. By 7 o’clock that night I was having contractions. I felt the urge to push, so I went to the bathroom. I’d push for about 5 minutes, but nothing would happen so I’d go lay down for 3. This went on for about an hour. Finally, I went to the bathroom and passed the baby in the toilet. I called for Erik and we cried in each other’s arms while we looked at the tiny baby. It was about 1 1/2 inches long and curled up in a ball. I could barely make out the head through my tears. Suddenly I got very, very sick to my stomach. I told Erik I was about to have diarrhea, and without thinking we flushed the toilet. I continued to have diarrhea and vomit through the night, but that’s not what kept me up. All I could think was, “I flushed my baby down the toilet…” I cried all night. The next 2 days I had to have two more doses of medication to help me pass all the tissue. It was very painful, both physically and emotionally. They told me they wouldn’t do any genetic testing because it was only my second loss. I will never know what gender the baby was or why I lost him/her.
I continued to have cramps, bleeding and even occasionally passed tissue. I finally stopped bleeding after three weeks. The aftermath was unbearable emotionally. Turns out my husband was written up at work for missing two days. They said it was because he gave them no notice… How do you give notice about something like that?
The holidays were especially difficult to get through. Besides my Mom, everyone else avoided us like the plague. No one called to see how I was doing. When I did see people, no one ever brought it up. No one seemed to care, but to me it was like a huge silent elephant in the room. I was devastated and felt completely alone. It may have not been a big deal to everyone else, but to me, I had lost a child. I used every ounce of my energy to focus on my son and make sure he had an amazing 3rd birthday and a Merry Christmas. Every other day I find out someone else I know is expecting and though I am so thrilled for them, I yearn for the babies I’ve lost.
I still wonder why.
The Monday before Christmas I lost my Grandmother. Though she was 86 years old and ready to be with Jesus, the loss was still very hard. My Mother told me one of her last conversations she’d had with my Grandma: she told my Mom that she was ready to go to heaven so she could take care of the babies I’ve lost. I cried and cried and cried after that. Both tears of sorrow and tears of joy. I know my babies are being well looked after!