Missed miscarriage at 12 weeks in December 2010,
Blighted ovum at 7 weeks in April 2011,
and missed miscarriage at 17 weeks in September 2011
Near Albany, New York
The story of my first missed miscarriage is here: http://facesofloss.com/2011/01/652.html. Since that time, I’ve had two additional losses.
I found myself pregnant again at the end of March 2011. I had betas drawn, and it didn’t look good. It was a 133 hour doubling time, when it should have been 24-48 hours. I went in for my first ultrasound at 6.5 weeks and only saw an empty sac. They tried to reassure me that it was in the right place, to give it time, but I started bleeding a few days later. Follow-up ultrasound and betas confirmed a completed natural miscarriage. It had been a blighted ovum.
At this point, we consulted with a fertility clinic. I took my testing results from my OB with me. They also did a hysteroscopy to check for scar tissue which was all clear. The RE felt that there was no “pattern” and probably no underlying cause for my losses. He urged us to try again after one normal cycle, and we would now add progesterone supplementation and baby aspirin. He felt we would be successful with this supportive regimen, especially considering my 2-year old son.
I got pregnant the next cycle. I took the progesterone and baby aspirin. My betas and progesterone levels were fantastic…even so high as to make everyone wonder if it might be twins. But ultrasound showed one healthy singleton, right on target for growth with a strong heartbeat. I graduated from the RE at 8 weeks. We had a great NT scan, all looked normal. My chances for Downs or Trisomy were one in many thousands. I stopped the progesterone at just over 12 weeks as instructed by the RE. We still had a good heartbeat at my OB appt after the NT scan.
While waiting for my 16 week appt(which had somehow been scheduled at 17.5 weeks), I started having mild cramping and thought I was getting a UTI. I called my OB, and they called in antibiotics for me. I started the antibiotics, the cramping subsided. The following night, I had a small amount of bright red blood. I freaked out, but when all was said and done, there was only about a tablespoon of blood and then it stopped. Called my OB, he said I could either go in that night or wait ‘til the morning for an ultrasound. I knew I wouldn’t sleep, so I went in to L&D that night.
Got there around 11(yay, change of shift). The nurse-midwife and nurse did a pelvic on me and said my cervix was closed, there was a small amount of blood, but no active bleeding. Good news, right? Wrong. They then tried FOREVER to find the heartbeat with the Doppler. The nurse thought she found it, but I didn’t think so. Now, I had a home Doppler and hadn’t been able to find the heartbeat in several weeks, but thought it was just due to my anterior placenta. Guess not. They pulled out the portable ultrasound machine. Baby was still, and no heartbeat seen, but the Nurse-Midwife says ultrasonography is “not her specialty” and calls in a smiling Asian doc, who zooms in on the motionless chest of baby and says that he sees no cardiac activity, that baby is measuring more like 13-14 weeks (rather than my 17 weeks), but that ultrasonography is not his specialty and an official ultrasound should be done.
They wheeled me into the maze of the basement of the hospital and into a creepy room. The ultrasound tech asks if I want to see the screen, which I at first appreciate and then regret. I wanted to just see the lack of cardiac activity and movement so I’d have no doubts about the impending D&C, but instead she keeps showing us close-ups of tiny perfect feet and tiny perfect hands and tiny face. It was weird and disturbing. I don’t know. Death is assuredly confirmed, and I get rolled back to my room.
Blood is drawn, IV is started, fluids are started. It’s almost 2 a.m. now and I can can barely stay awake. He heads home, where Grandma is watching Dan (while he sleeps.) I get some sleep meds and a little oblivion, when I’m not being startled awake by weird crashes, bangs, or my favorite, someone paging to the rooms at 5am. Really?
I called my parents. I called into both shifts at work. I will get a “talking to” and a warning about hitting my absence limit. Whatever. They wanted me to have the surgery and then call them. No, just take me off both shifts.
My first nurse was pretty awesome…she’d had four miscarriages herself (three living children) and pretty much cried along with me (once I finally cried…I was just stone cold shocked for several hours).
They’d filled up during the night, and I get to hear a couple of newborns, some fetal heart rates and other awesome sounds in my agony. They tell me my D&C will be at 11am. The only “good” thing is that the baby was measuring as small as it was…otherwise I would’ve had to have a spinal or epidural and might have had to go through an actual delivery. As it was, I just got IV sedation.
The procedure went fine, but I was full of pain and anger wondering why I’d had three losses in a year, and two of the supposedly rare missed miscarriages, near the end of the first trimester. I had a follow-up with the RE, and we did some additional testing. Then I consulted with a Reproductive Immunologist in Long Island. We currently have an immune diagnosis and just started trying again with a new protocol. But I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified of another horrific loss.
You can contact Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org.