Mom to 3 angels
Loss #1: August 21, 2011 at 10.5 weeks
Loss #2: February 17, 2012 at 4.5 weeks
Loss #3: July 17, 2012 at 5 weeks
This month marks the one year anniversary of the worst day of my life, the day my husband and I became a statistic in a taboo tragedy. The events of the last year have been kept bottled up until now. I’m ready to share the secrets we have been burdened with following the losses of our first three children.
My husband and I were the fortunate ones who got pregnant our first month trying. We are private people, so we had planned to keep our news secret until we were safely out of the first trimester. At 9 weeks, we experienced our first ultrasound and were overjoyed with the sights and sounds of our little baby’s heartbeat. We shared our news with our parents and a few other close family members and friends, but decided to not go public for a few weeks still. One week later, we lost the baby. That event, which so significantly changed our lives, happened a year ago this month.
Getting pregnant again was not as simple as the first time. Hormones were wreaking havoc on my body. I was experiencing severe mood swings, including depression and anxiety, and was battling significant weight gain. It took us five months to get pregnant again. We were cautiously optimistic, but unfortunately lost this pregnancy early on, a loss diagnosed as a chemical pregnancy. We were devastated, and I wanted answers and wanted them immediately. I went through recurring loss tests prescribed by my OB/GYN and I also decided to start seeing a Reproductive Endocrinologist. All of the countless tests performed on both myself and my husband came back normal, we were diagnosed as having bad luck, and we were back to trying again. Four months later, we found out we were pregnant for a third time. I was able to get in with my doctors for monitoring the day after I got my first positive test, but unfortunately, it was too late, and a few days later we discovered that we had another chemical pregnancy. This was our third miscarriage in 11 months.
Miscarriage is death, yet there are no funerals, no sympathy cards, no bereavement time. Instead couples grieve in silence. You’ve just got to pick up the pieces, hold your head high, and go on with life as usual. In all three cases, I called in sick or worked from home for a day or two, then it was time for me to put on my brave face and act like nothing was wrong. Meanwhile, I have really struggled to understand why this is happening to us, and also have struggled with seeing other friends, acquaintances, and even strangers carry out uneventful pregnancies and have healthy babies.
I have come a long way in the past year, overcoming the lows of my life and learning to cope with three permanent scars on my heart. My husband has been my eternal rock, and I know that him seeing me as my real self, not as the brave face that everyone else sees, has been difficult for him. It hurts him to see me sad, so I am working very hard every day to overcome this. I have also relied heavily on online pregnancy loss support groups over the last year to cope with the grief of loss and the frustration with trying to move forward. I have grown especially close with a small group of women that I have met online, who I consider my “soul sisters”. To quote the words blogged by one of these women (because she put it into words better than I ever could): “And then there are the women who I have never met in real life, yet have been such an integral part in my recovery, not to mention my hope for the future. We cheer each other on daily, sharing in each others’ heartache and joy. (Some) of them are in the early stages of pregnancy, and we all take every blood draw, every ultrasound to heart, knowing how much we want their struggles to be worth it somehow.”
We haven’t lost hope yet and are going to continue trying for our baby. There’s not much you can do with a diagnosis of bad luck other than hope for the best. For now, the doctors are taking a trial and error approach with some aggressive medical plans in order to get us our baby. We just take everything a day at a time, with some days being better than others, and we know that one way or another, we will become parents some day.