Mom to Joshua, miscarried in 2007,
Bryn, ectopic pregnancy in 2010,
Anais, miscarried in 2011
Wellington, New Zealand
I have lost 3 longed for babies, 2 (2007 and 2011) to early miscarriage and one as an ectopic pregnancy (2010) (2 were IVF babies and one was a natural pregnancy) who I have named Joshua, Bryn and Anais in order to help me grieve.
My first baby, Josh, an IVF baby with my first husband, was much longed for. He was a miracle. I had spent 8 long years losing weight to qualify for IVF. I lost 30 kgs! When I found out I was pregnant we had had 5 failures and when the nurse rang, I said, “Oh, we are not pregnant.” She asked, “What makes you say that?” I thought because I do not feel pregnant. I say, “I don’t know.” She said, “Well, you are, but the hCG is slightly lower than what we like.” So, I went from blood test to blood test. I had a little bit of bleeding but then it stopped. It was up and down. Then we had the scan, right size, healthy heartbeat, and so I relaxed. Then the day after my 35 birthday a massive haemorage. The next day another scan. There was a blood clot by Josh and his heartbeat had slowed. I was just on 9 weeks. They said to rest up and I would have another scan in 2 days. My ex (who was a jerk) refused to come to the scan and so his mum came. I remember the radiographer bringing in the doc and their heads were going side to side. They looked again. Then the doctor said, “Was there a heartbeat on Friday?” I said, “Yes, a strong one.” He said, “Are you sure?” I said, “There was one on Monday, too,” (it was Wednesday). He said, “Well, there is not one and there really should be, sorry.” My ex-mother-in-law and I cried and held each other. Then they took me to the Women’s Health Unit and explained that they could not get me in for a D&C and that I would probably miscarry naturally. They told me I would see a chord and there would be a grey mass which would be the placenta. They said it would start with light bleeding, followed by huge blood clots and cramping. I was very sad and scared. I walked around for 4 days going mad, thinking they had gotten it wrong. But then, just as they said, the miscarriage started. I was out with the IVF girls when the big clots came. Then the cramping and pain did not stop. I ended up in hospital on misoprostal in a room with a woman who’d had a stillbirth, a young girl with ovarian cancer and one who was having an abortion in the morning. To make matters worse, there were women who had had caesarians with crying babies across the hall. I curled in a ball and put my hands over my ears. The next morning they scanned me and said, “The products of conception have passed.” I thought this is rubbish…IT WAS MY BABY. I had taken my “products of conception into the hospital” , and they lost them. I never got to bury Josh under a rose or even bring him back home with me. The grief was immense. It changed me. It showed how bad my marriage was and the lack of care and support I had. I left my ex 4 months after I lost Josh.
Roll on to 2010, 5 weeks after my honeymoon, 1 week after my grandfather had died, I walked into work felt a tearing sensation and then a whoosh. I went to the bathroom and there was so much blood. But I worked on. Then I called my husband and he took me to the hospital. My fallopian tube had burst. Ectopic pregnancy, they said. We were in shock. I called this baby Bryn, as I needed to acknowledge his existence. I do not know whether he was a boy or girl, I liked the name, and so Bryn he was. I had the operation to remove my tube and then found out my uterus was attached to my bowel and my ovary was attached to my uterus. I had to do IVF again.
In 2011, we did our first cycle, my second cycle of IVF. We were scared and worried. We put our sole embryo back and waited the 2 week wait out. I felt pregnant. I felt nauseous. I noticed my blood sugars dropped (I am a diabetic). The nurse called said my numbers were great and that we were pregnant. I relaxed, the numbers were great. But the pregnancy was short-lived. Four days later we were told the hCG had dropped and that we would lose the baby. This time, the grief was worse. I had a husband who could not stop crying and was so very sad with me. He cared. He wanted the baby just much as I did. This baby I called Anais. And though we were only pregnant for a short time, I was so very gutted. It hurt to watch my husband hurting, too. We did not want to see anyone. My husband was scared that if we did more IVF we would lose another baby. He had convinced himself until the doctor told him otherwise.
In late 2011, we did another IVF cycle. We did not put embryos back as I suffered from severe Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome (OHSS) and was very, very sick. We have 2 blastocysts which are perfect, and we are hoping once I am well that they will be our family.
Even though there is hope, the sadness still overwhelms me. I worry sometimes that the only babies I will have are the ones who were taken too soon.
You can contact Dee at firstname.lastname@example.org.