Nora Anne

Mom to three angel babies:

Mackenzie Lynn, miscarried at 15 weeks 2 days, June 2005

“Angel Baby”, miscarried at 5 weeks, June 2011

and

“Cucumber”, miscarried at 9.5 weeks, February 2012

Tuckerton, New Jersey

My story begins in March 2005 when my husband (then boyfriend) surprised me by proposing while on vacation in Palm Springs, California. Upon returning home to New Jersey, we quickly began planning our wedding for November 2005. We wanted to marry soon since my mother’s health was not good and it was so important to her and to me that she be there to see us get married.

Exactly one week later, I was blessed with another (very shocking) surprise-a positive pregnancy test! We shared the news with our families right away. After a lot of back and forth, we decided to move the wedding date up and with the help of my mom making several phone calls, we had the church and the reception booked for June 10th, right around the corner.

We planned our wedding in under 3 months and were so happy for all the unexpected exciting changes we were going through! Fast forward to the first week of June, we were busy, busy, busy getting ready to say “I DO”. I was so relaxed, we really just kept everything simple with the wedding plans and I didn’t feel stressed at all, just excited for the wedding and then the baby!

I woke up one morning with my head in the clouds and went to the bathroom. When I wiped myself, I saw a shock of bright red blood. I was immediately terrified and so worried about my baby. I called my sister in law and sisters and mom. They all said it was normal to have some spotting/bleeding during pregnancy. My husband and I had been intimate, so everyone chalked it up to that. It was a Sunday, so I didn’t call my doctor until the next day. They scheduled me to come in the next day, the bleeding had stopped and I didn’t have any cramping or other symptoms so I was pretty much at ease. I was 15 weeks 2 days pregnant and since I was out of my first trimester, I was naïve enough to believe that nothing could possibly be wrong.

I went to the doctor the next day, with barely a care in the world. He asked me some questions and proceeded to try to hear the baby’s heartbeat. When he couldn’t find it with the Doppler, I immediately went into panic mode.  His office doesn’t do ultrasounds, so he sent me across town to the radiology office. I called my husband who was at work an hour away. He left work and called my sister to meet me. The technician brought me back and started the ultrasound. After a few minutes she excused herself to get the doctor. I lay in the dark room by myself trying to brace myself for whatever was next. The doctor came in, looked at my chart, looked at the monitor, then looked at me and said with a heavy accent “Your baby is not alive”. I will never forget the sound of his voice or those 5 words he said to me that seemed to rip my heart right out of my chest.

Everything after that was a blur, my husband coming in, my sister, her husband…leaving and going to my mom’s house, all of them hugging us while my husband and I just cried and cried. My doctor scheduled me for a D&E the very next day. I didn’t want to go, all I could think of was that I didn’t want them to take my baby. We found out later that she had stopped growing at 10 weeks and she was a little baby girl.

The next week flew by and after a lot of back and forth, we decided to go ahead with our wedding. We knew we still wanted to be married, nothing had changed there and all the plans were made, family was flying in from Ireland, so we got married a little over a week after losing our baby.  Looking back, I realize now that I didn’t give myself time to properly grieve due to the wedding. It felt “odd” to be happy on my wedding day and laugh and have a good time, then go “backwards” to grieving again. So instead I buried my pain and moved on.

Four months later, we were ecstatic to learn that I was pregnant again. My doctor started me right away on low dose baby aspirin and progesterone.  I had one scare at about 10 weeks where I had some bleeding. I went to the ER and after bloodwork was told I had miscarried. After an hour of grieving, the nurse wheeled me down to ultrasound and after 20 agonizing minutes showed us our baby’s heartbeat. Apparently there was a mistake in the lab and the bloodwork was wrong!!!! A year and six days after our wedding, our son was born.

My mom’s illness had progressed and she passed away just after my son turned one. For a long time after I was very depressed and although I knew my husband wanted more children, it was something I didn’t feel ready for. Our house was too small, jobs too stressful and unstable, etc.

After I turned 40 in February 2011, I realized that my biological clock was ticking and I just KNEW that I was not ready to give up on the idea of getting pregnant again. I was nervous due to my age and my previous loss but I started tracking my cycles on my phone. I didn’t really pay much attention to it though and we weren’t actively “trying” but we knew if it happened we would be very happy.

In June of 2011, I had a positive pregnancy test. I wasn’t even due for my period yet, but I was anxious and took an early test. I called my doctor immediately to schedule an appointment so I could get started right away on progesterone again. A few days later, right before going to the doctor I took another test, it came up negative. The doctor confirmed that I had an early miscarriage and sent me over to the hospital for my Rhogam shot (I’m RH negative).  I felt so empty and sad even though I had only known for a short time that I was pregnant. If I hadn’t taken the early test I probably wouldn’t have even known and just thought my cycle was late. A few days later, I had what seemed to be a heavier than normal period.

On Christmas Eve 2011, we conceived for the 4th time. I had a positive pregnancy test on January 10th. Again, I made an appointment with my doctor right away. I was nervous, but feeling optimistic, it couldn’t happen again, could it?

Because I found out so early again, the doctor did an ultrasound but warned me it was too soon to see much. We did see the embryonic sac but again, it was early to see the fetus. He sent me home with progesterone and pre-natal vitamins and scheduled me for another visit the following week.

When I went back, he explained what he expected to see and proceeded with the transvaginal ultrasound. After a few minutes, he apologized and said he still saw the sac but did not see the fetal pole, which should be visible at this point. He sent me over to the lab for bloodwork to confirm, but prepared me for the fact that the pregnancy was not viable. I was devastated and went through the motions. I called my husband, he said he didn’t believe the doctor, that it was still just too early. The following night at 8pm, the nurse called with the bloodwork results…my numbers were multiplying, the bloodwork looked good and indicated the pregnancy was progressing. My husband hugged me and said “I told you so, doctors aren’t always right”. Despite this reassurance, I still felt uneasy and couldn’t wait for my next ultrasound they scheduled me for the following week.

I went through the next week like a zombie. My husband and I went to the ultrasound appointment and I didn’t think I would make it through in the waiting room, then waiting for the doctor to come in the exam room. Finally after what seemed like forever, he came in. He discussed the blood work results and how he was puzzled by the numbers because he really didn’t think the pregnancy was progressing based on the last ultrasound. At this point, I was in my 8th week and he proceeded with the transvaginal ultrasound. After a short time, he looked at me, pointed to the screen and said “do you know what this is?” It was my baby’s heartbeat!!!  After 3 weeks of riding a rollercoaster, I was seeing the most amazing sight I could imagine, my baby was going to be okay! And so was I! It was worth all of the emotional turmoil just knowing that my little one was alive and well.

We went home and celebrated by sharing with our family and close friends. We shared with our son who is lovingly known as “my pickle” and he promptly named his baby brother or sister “cucumber”.  I lived in my own bliss for the next week and a half. Again, I was naïve and thought everything must be fine now. After all, I had been on progesterone since I found out I was pregnant, prenatal vitamins and baby aspirin. I told my husband not to worry about taking off work to come for my ultrasound appt. since I was so confident (or tricking myself into believing I was) that everything was going to be okay.

I arrived at the doctor’s office for my next ultrasound and immediately felt so incredibly nervous and uneasy. I couldn’t wait for my ultrasound to have that reassurance that I needed. Unfortunately, rather than reassurance I received pain and heartbreak instead. After a few moments, the doctor apologized to me and advised the baby did not have a heartbeat. I didn’t know that a week and a half ago would be the one and only time I would see my baby’s heart beating on that monitor. I didn’t know that the happiness I felt would be cut short just shy of 10 weeks.  According to the measurements, it appeared the baby stopped growing right after we’d seen the heartbeat.

More bloodwork, followed by almost 3 weeks of waiting for my body to actively miscarry. During that time there was a lot of back and forth about a D&C versus waiting. I had 1 day of light bleeding and one night of intense pain and cramping, but nothing more was happening so I finally had a D&C.

In the meantime, the bloodwork came back indicating I have a gene mutation known as MTHFR which may or may NOT have caused my miscarriages. Apparently it’s very controversial and some doctors believe it’s irrelevant. I have been told that if I want to try to get pregnant again, they will treat me with extra folic acid along with progesterone and baby aspirin again. So, now I am 41 and trying to decide if I should give up on my dreams of another baby or take my chances at another heartbreaking loss.

You can contact Nora Anne at noraanne219@gmail.com.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Show Your Support

*

© 2011 Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope | PO Box 26131 | Minneapolis, MN 55426 | Contact Us