Mom to Caden Ryann (April 11, 2011 @ 11w2d)
Brady Thomas (August 9, 2011 @ 10w3d)
My name is Christina and I have been married to my husband, Ty, for 4 years. Shortly after we were married we conceived our first son, Hayden, who is now 3 years old. Eight months later we conceived our second son, Connor, who is now 2 years old. Both of my pregnancies were uneventful and aside from Connor being born at 35 weeks I had no complications.
On January 26, 2011 we found out that we were unexpectedly expecting our third baby. I was ecstatic at the thought of another baby. My pregnancy started out just like my previous two, until I reached 8 weeks. At that point I began to experience bleeding. I immediately called my OB who assured me that I was fine since it wasn’t period like and to keep my ultrasound appointment for the following week. From that day until the day of my scheduled ultrasound the bleeding came and went. I was relieved at my ultrasound appointment to see my 9 week old baby with a strong heartbeat. However, I noticed that my baby wasn’t moving. I found it strange because I remember my early ultrasounds that I had with my boys and they were always moving. The ultrasound tech assured me that that was normal because the rapid movements tend to tire the baby out. After my appointment I met with my OB and was informed that I had what is called a subchorionic hematoma (SCH) which was most likely the cause of my bleeding. She told me that it was a small one and to just notify them if I experienced any more bleeding in the coming days and weeks. I left that appointment with mixed emotions.
A couple of weeks later when I was 11w1d I went to my monthly OB appointment. I will never forget that appointment because it took my doctor several attempts to find my baby’s heartbeat. When she finally did locate the heartbeat I could barely hear it, but again she reassured me that it was strong and everything was fine. Trusting my OB, I left my appointment and shoved my fears aside. Little did I know that my precious baby’s heart would stop beating the day following that appointment.
The next 4 weeks consisted of much of the same; bleeding that would come and go and horrible “morning” sickness that was far worse than I had experienced with my previous two pregnancies. As I entered the 2nd trimester I slowly began feeling better and believed that I simply had the 2nd trimester to thank. However, on the morning of April 11, 2011 (a Monday) I awoke to bleeding that was much heavier and darker than it had been. I forced myself not to panic and thought that I had simply done too much over the weekend and went about my day as usual. Later that morning as I was cleaning up lunch, I felt a gush and I remember stopping and briefly praying that it was only urine. I ran to the bathroom and as I urinated I filled the toilet with blood. I immediately called my OB and the nurse told me to put a pad on to monitor the bleeding and put my feet up and rest! I was in total shock! Here I was 15w1d pregnant and my doctor’s office was doing nothing to help me. I called my husband and he came right home from work. I put my two boys down for their nap and sat down. After 45 minutes and several trips to the bathroom I called my OB back and demanded to be seen. They agreed to do an ultrasound an hour later.
I will never forget the drive to my doctor’s office or the walk back to the ultrasound room. Deep down I knew my baby was gone, but still held out hope that we would see a healthy baby and maybe, just maybe, be able to see the gender. The first thing I noticed as the ultrasound tech scanned over my belly was that my baby looked small, much smaller than what I anticipated a 15 week old fetus to look like. But before I could get that part out, I blurted out the fact that I didn’t see a heartbeat in which the ultrasound tech agreed. She also said that our baby was only measuring 11w2d. That’s right, 11w2d. Just one day after my first OB appointment in which my doctor had a difficult time locating the heartbeat. From that moment on things are a blur. We met with my OB immediately after the ultrasound where she informed us that I had what was referred to as a “missed” miscarriage. My body failed to recognize the fact that the baby was gone and I continued to have my normal pregnancy symptoms. After going over our options with us we agreed to have a D&C performed the very next morning. We opted to not have any testing done on our baby believing that this was simply a “fluke” and would never happen again. Little did we know that 4 months from that day we would be there again having another D&C.
The 2 months following the loss of our baby was one of emotional ups and downs. I had never experienced a loss of such magnitude and I was struggling with the fact that my baby was gone. But on June 20, 2011 I saw a little light at the end of the tunnel in the form of another positive pregnancy test. I had only had one cycle since losing our baby and I was shocked, and scared, to learn that we were expecting again. I called my OB and they sent me in that day and again 48 hours later for some blood work to test my levels. My blood work came back perfect and we scheduled an ultrasound for 7 weeks. The day of my ultrasound I held my breath until I was able to see my tiny baby (measuring perfectly at 7w3d) with a big, beautiful heartbeat. Determined to not lose this baby as well, I ordered a Fetal Heart Doppler for home use. I’ll never forget the day that I heard my baby’s heartbeat for the first time. I was 9 weeks pregnant and was having my best pregnancy by far. That heartbeat was music to my worried ears and I listened to it several times a day. As I listened to that beautiful heartbeat each day, I would beg and plead with my little peanut to not leave me. I bonded so quickly with this baby, my rainbow baby. This was the baby that was going to make everything better. This was the baby that was going to take away the pain and longing that I was left with after our previous loss.
But again, our world was about to be shattered. On Monday, August 8th I listened to my baby’s heartbeat for what would be the last time. It was about 2:20pm and it was a strong 164 bpm. Later that evening at around 6:45pm I could no longer find my baby’s heartbeat. I was a wreck and called a girlfriend of mine who works in the medical field. After reassuring me that everything was probably ok, she had me come over the following morning so she could give it a try. When an hour passed and she was unable to find a heartbeat I called my OB and they had me come right in for fetal heart tone check. When two nurses were unable to locate a heartbeat I was sent across the room for an ultrasound. Alone and scared (my husband was en route from work) I learned that we had lost our precious rainbow baby at 10w3d (our baby was measuring right on date). I was beyond devastated. I was sent home and told to return the next day to meet with my OB to again discuss our options. After meeting with my OB the following day, we scheduled another D&C for that Friday (2 whole days after finding out our baby was gone and 4 months to the day after our previous D&C). We also opted to have chromosome/gender testing done on our baby. It was just too hard for me to accept the fact that both my losses were “flukes.” However, a month after losing our rainbow baby, all genetic/chromosome testing came back “normal” as did the pathology report. We will never know why our baby BOY (thanks to genetic testing) left us.
After receiving the test results, we decided to name both of our angels. We named our first angel Caden Ryann and our second angel Brady Thomas. They will forever live in my heart and I long for the day that I finally get to meet them. But in the meantime, I busy myself with their older brothers who keep me going and make life worth living.
Christina can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org