Mom to Dominic McDylan, Feb 2, 2007 (EDD: Oct 10, 2007)
Gwendolyn Elizabeth, Jan 30, 2008 (EDD: July 8, 2008)
Aiden Alexander, Nov 10, 2008 (EDD: July 20, 2009)
Jillian Evelyn, Jan 19, 2010 (EDD: Sept 28, 2010)
Katherine Anne and Samuel Kenneth, Dec 31, 2011 (EDD: Aug 19, 2012)
Our journey started unexpectedly in January 2007 when we conceived our first son. We hadn’t been trying and in fact had just started birth control. We lost our little boy before we even knew of his existence. For the longest time, I didn’t even tell Chris (or anyone else for that matter). I just dealt with it on my own and reminded myself that we were nowhere near ready to have a child together.
After some long discussions we decided that we were going to start trying to conceive in October 2007. Amazingly, we got pregnant that very cycle. We were elated. We(like so many others) assumed that we had used all our bad luck and that of course we were going to have a healthy pregnancy. We didn’t tell anyone right away, choosing to sit on the news for a little while. We enjoyed every minute of the pregnancy. Around 9 weeks I even started to show. On January 30th I began cramping and passing clots. I immediately knew what was happening. We were devastated. I made it all the way to 11 weeks.
After losing our second pregnancy, I couldn’t let Chris so much as touch me. Even a simple hug would start the tears. Just a couple of months after the loss, I found justmommies.com. The ladies there are amazing. They encouraged me to name the babies we had lost and give it time. We named our first angel Dominic McDylan. Our second angel was given the name Gwendolyn Elizabeth.
Not long after joining JM we started officially trying to conceive again. To our surprise we didn’t conceive right away this time. (I had assumed we would because of the first two pregnancies).But we still didn’t have to wait long. In October 2008 we conceived again. This time we were scared, but still hopeful. After all, I blamed Dominic’s loss on the birth control pills and figured Gwen’s to be a fluke. Sadly, through, at a mere 5 weeks 4 days, I began the now-all-too-familiar process of miscarrying yet again.
With the loss of my third baby came anger. Chris wouldn’t admit that I was ever pregnant. I think it was his way of coping. I named our third little one Aiden Alexander. I lost all confidence that I would ever carry full term. I am no longer sure about the causes of my first two babies.
By this time we were nearing our wedding date, September 27, 2009. We decided (for insurance purposes) to put trying to conceive on hold until after the wedding. After the wedding, I started fertility testing. After many vials of blood and other tests it was determined I had a clotting disorder known as MTHFR.
In January 2010, I was delighted to get a positive pregnancy test. Sadly, that very afternoon I started spotting. A few days later, it was confirmed with a super low progesterone level at the OB. Her name is Jillian Evelyn. Jillian would have been due one day after our one year wedding anniversary.
The doctor decided to put me on Clomid. Three cycles later we still hadn’t conceived and the OB decided I was beyond his help. He transferred me to the local RE. In waiting for an appointment with the RE, my husband had a semen analysis done. It came back showing morphology was a little low but the doctors weren’t at all concerned.(Counts were great.) The RE ordered more tests and more blood work for both of us (all of which came back normal).
We went for our follow-up visit that June. Dr. I told us that he believes the cause of our losses is genetic (but something that didn’t show up on the karyotyping). He also thinks I have anovulatory issue. (He has a very thick accent so I didn’t catch what he was saying but I don’t typically ovulate before cycle day 21–a full week later than most women.) He wants to put me on injectibles to help induce ovulation, but made us wait until October when we hit a year for that round. Due to money concerns, we agreed to try Clomid with the hCG trigger first. The first month of this plan we added hostile cervical mucus to our list of fertility problems. (For those that have lost track we have: unexplained recurrent pregnancy loss, borderline low testosterone, poor morphology, occasional anovulatory cycles, and hostile cervical mucus.) At that point, we added IUI to the plan. After two failed IUI’s the RE decided Clomid just wasn’t going to work. Chris and I could not afford the next step of treatments so we decided to just let whatever was going to happen, happen.
After many months of not trying, not prevent we were blessed with a big surprise when we least expected it. On December 19, 2011 we were shocked to learn that we were pregnant again. Things appeared to be going better than all of my prior pregnancies and my hormone levels looked good so on Christmas day we told our families. For my family, I made a t-shirt with my niece for her to wear that said, “I’m gonna be a big cousin.” It took them a second to read it, but, once they did there were lots of screams and happy tears. I finally got to have that moment of joy with my family. It was fantastic.
After telling my family we went to his parents’ house and used sugar cookies to spell out “C + A = 3” followed by our due date 8-19-2012. We were due just twelve days after his brother’s wife. There was no screaming, and no tears of joy, but there was lots of excitement and happiness. It was the perfect Christmas Day.
After Christmas we had another hormone draw that looked good. We spent that afternoon browsing stores and bought a few baby outfits. That night I had a little pain on the left side but it was suggested I was dehydrated. This seemed likely as I hadn’t really drank much when shopping so I decided to just take it easy and drink water.
The very next day was our first ultrasound. For the first time, we weren’t worried for an appointment. After all, the betas the day before had been good. As soon as Isaw the screen, I knew it wasn’t right. There was no baby showing in the uterus. I mentioned the pain on my side and she made sure to check the tube for me. I saw with my own eyes, there was nothing in the tube, either. Chris and I were sent to wait on the doctor. When we sat down with my OB, he informed us in appeared as though there had been as sac in the uterus that was now deflated. He offered a D & C, but also offered to let us wait a week, just to be sure. We chose to wait and try to hope that we just weren’t as far as I’d thought.
The next night (Thursday), the pain in my side came back. It was pretty bad, and I thought about calling the on-call OB but remembered back to my ultrasound. There was nothing in the tube. I had nothing to worry about. Instead of calling, I went to bed early, hoping to feel better in the morning.
At 3:30am I awoke with severe pain. My side was now sensitive to the touch. Just getting up and going to the bathroom had me in tears and nauseated from the pain. I knew I needed the ER but didn’t want to wake my husband. I decided to try to wait until he was up for the day. By4:10 I had realized I couldn’t wait and woke him up. We checked into the ER at 4:50.
The ER staff was great. They got me back immediately and began testing. This time the ultrasound showed there was definitely something in my left tube. It also showed the sac in the uterus was even more deflated. The blood work told us that my hormone level had fallen to half of what it had been less than 48 hours prior.
My OB was paged and came to see me. He talked to us about the spot in my tube and our options. He couldn’t be sure that what he was seeing was definitely a baby because it did not have the blood flow you would expect with a baby. He informed us he thought there was a good chance it was just a cyst. Dr. L. offered to admit me for observation but made it known that he really didn’t think it was necessary. After discussion, it was decided that I would go home, but return the next day (Saturday, New Years Eve) for a repeat lab draw and ultrasound. I was also instructed to come back to the ER if the pain didn’t let up or got worse.
The pain improved so much that by the time of my follow-up testing we weren’t at all concerned. We even made plans to go out to lunch with my mother-in-law when we finished up at the hospital. After the ultrasound, we were told that Dr. L. was on his way over to see us. I knew then for sure that this wasn’t good.
Dr. L. arrived and was rather surprised that my pain was so much better. My condition had actually worsened and I was bleeding internally. I was immediately admitted to the hospital and had surgery for a heterotopic pregnancy that night. Because of the location of Baby B (the one in the tube), they were unable to do the surgery laparoscopically. I ended up with ac-section style cut and 16 staples.
My recovery started out difficult when I reacted very badly to the first pain medication and my night nurse ignored it. (Luckily the day nurse had it fixed within minutes of her shift starting.) I remained in the hospital until Monday. That Monday before being released, my husband and I named our twins: Katherine Anne and Samuel Kenneth.
The first week home was very difficult, but I’m finally starting to improve physically. Emotionally, there’s a long road ahead, but I’ll get there.
I never thought I’d have five failed pregnancies and six babies in Heaven, but I do. Chris and I will keep on trying for a while still (as soon as we’re allowed of course). Maybe pregnancy #6will be the lucky one. We have decided that if we are able to bring our next baby home, that’s it. We will only ever have one living biological child (except, of course, in the case of multiples).
Augie blogs at http://www.augiesjourney.blogspot.com.
You can reach her at email@example.com.