Mom to Jack
Lost February 26, 2011 at 6 weeks
Discovered no heartbeat May 2, 2011 at 9 weeks 2 days
D&C May 5, 2011
In February I had run out of birth control. After a period didn’t start I took several pregnancy tests before starting a new pack. I kept getting negatives. Well, once my period was over a week late I went and saw my doctor to have her test. I didn’t want to start a new pack of birth control without making sure I wasn’t pregnant. After doing a blood draw and waiting for what felt like forever, my doctor called me in. She showed me the screen, and sure enough I was pregnant. My hCG numbers were extremely low, so she asked me to come back in 2 days for a redraw to make sure they were going up. While it wasn’t a planned pregnancy, I was so excited! Two days later I went back in and my numbers had tripled. I drove home that day feeling so blessed and an overwhelming amount of love for my husband and 9-month old son. We took no time announcing our pregnancy to family.
It was just a week later, on Friday night, that I started spotting. I immediately freaked out! My sister tried to reassure me. My friends tried to reassure me that bleeding can be normal during pregnancy. But I knew for me it was not normal. My heart was in my throat all night. I kept using the restroom and tearing up when I would see the pink spotting. I went to bed that night and barely slept. I just knew in my heart something was wrong despite what everyone was saying. At 6 am on Saturday morning, I woke up and felt wet. I got up and went to the restroom. I looked down as I could feel blood just running out. I remember thinking that my toilet looked like a murder scene. I was passing clots and the bleeding was so heavy and just wouldn’t stop. I got up and jumped in the shower. I just watched and cried as blood gushed out. Once it slowed down a little bit I got out, put on some clothes and woke my husband. All I could say was, “Our baby’s gone,” as I cried. After he held me for a few I let him go back to sleep and I came into the living room. I heard my son stirring in his room. He was 9 months old. I went in and got him out of his crib and he hugged me so tight! I sat down in his rocking chair and just held him while he slept and I cried. I knew it was over, so I didn’t bother going to the hospital. Monday morning I went into my doctor’s office and had blood drawn and a check up. There was no trace I was ever even pregnant to begin with. It was gut wrenching! But my doctor gave me the go ahead to start trying if we wanted to. I left that day with a hope that I would be pregnant before we ever reached the due date for Jack. (Side note: I named him Jack because I just felt like he was boy and we were due October 22nd. I had been referring to him as my pumpkin, so Jack just seemed to fit.)
After losing Jack, my husband and I decided we would not use any prevention methods, and just let God be in control. Well, March 26th I just couldn’t wait any longer. I was out with a friend and bought a pregnancy test at Wal-Mart. By the time we got to Target she had convinced me to take it in the bathroom there. So I tested in Target’s bathroom, and before I had even come out it was positive. I was expecting again. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to tell my husband. During my previous pregnancy (the one whole week I knew) I had bought a Christmas onesie on clearance. So, I planned on setting it out with the positive test for him to find when he got home from work. Well, I ended up seeing him at dinner and I couldn’t hold it in. He had the biggest smile on his face. I went to the doctor soon after and my numbers were off the charts high. I was told that 2 miscarriages in a row only happen 10% of the time and that everything should be fine. At about 6 weeks I was so sick that I wasn’t holding down food. I went in to get help and was prescribed Zofran and told by the doctor I had to see that day that he thought I was either carrying twins or having a molar pregnancy. I left there scared for my baby.
I went back at 9 weeks 2 days to have an ultrasound done to date the pregnancy and see my doctor. The midwife started with an abdominal u/s. After a while she said it would be better to try transvaginal. So we did. There was this beautifully formed little baby on the screen, 2 arms, 2 legs, a head. I knew before even looking at the doctor’s face that something was off as my baby was not moving. I remembered being in that same bed and seeing my son on that same machine at 9 weeks 4 days and he was moving all around. I looked over at my midwife and she was trying desperately not to show her emotion. My husband asked what was wrong, and she finally spoke and said she couldn’t find a heartbeat and our baby was measuring only 8 weeks 4 days. She sent me over the main ultrasound tech at the hospital to see if the higher grade equipment could find it. After waiting in a room full of people barely able to breathe, it was finally my turn. As they started another ultrasound I felt like I was living in a nightmare. This couldn’t be happening to me. Not again. I had already lost a baby. It was my turn to carry one to term. I had a hard time looking at the screen, not that I could see through the tears. But as he was looking we could see her beautiful little lifeless body, her perfect face already perfectly formed. I asked for a picture but he refused to give me one. After that was over we sat in the doctor’s office as we discussed our options. She offered to perform a D&C that day, or told me we could schedule one or go home and ride it out. I wasn’t ready to face it all that moment, and not with my son there. I knew I couldn’t ride it out, either. Here it was May 2nd and my first Mother’s Day was just 6 days away. What if it started that day? My son’s first birthday was 10 days away, what if it started then? I couldn’t be in pain and losing a child while trying to celebrate the one I had in my arms. We scheduled the D&C for May 5th. It gave me a few days to come to terms. Coming home and telling everyone yet again that we had lost another baby was devastating! I requested another u/s before the D&C just so I could be sure the baby wasn’t still growing and she was really gone. She was. They put me under for the D&C and it was the hardest thing I have ever been through. Going to the hospital pregnant and leaving empty was so difficult.
Now, here is my story of hope. For a long while we prevented pregnancy. I was scared of being hurt again! I was afraid of never carrying another baby. I was afraid of losing another baby. On my birthday, my husband told me it was time to try again. It was November and our original plan was to wait ‘til January. Despite the fear, I was clinging to hope that one day I would get my rainbow.
On November 26th I found out I was pregnant again. I was overwhelmed with fear and excitement. I was afraid to tell anyone my good news and then have to tell them of yet another loss. So I told my husband and kept it in. After a few days I had to tell my mom because I needed the prayers and support. I felt like I was holding my breath ‘til we passed the 6 week mark and everything was still going ok. But I had another milestone to overcome before I could really breathe easy. I shared with my family at Christmas for support. Then, on January 11th, I had my first ultrasound. I cried in the waiting room, just knowing what could happen and remembering my sweet Holly. After a long wait, I got in and was surprised and overjoyed to see my little rainbow moving around and growing so well. Her heartbeat was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and heard! Everything little thing scared me. The whole pregnancy was a scary ride! I never stopped thinking about all the bad that could happen. But on August 6th I gave birth to my beautiful rainbow. Lillian Joy came into this world weighing a whopping 9lbs 2oz.
As I sat here writing the story of my angels I cried again. The pain never really leaves. It just gets masked by life. I have passed my due dates and 1 year of loss mark. My advice is to make those days special. The thing that got me through my losses (and the natural birth I had with my rainbow) is the song “Before the Morning” by Josh Wilson. “Would you dare, would you dare to believe that you still have a reason to sing? ‘Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling can’t compare to the joy that coming. Hold on, you gotta wait for the light. Press on and just fight the good fight. ‘Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling is just the dark before the morning.” It’s hard to see in the moment, but, as he says in the song ,”Life is not a snapshot, it might take a little time but you’ll see the bigger picture.” There is hope for healing! I know that my angels are up in Heaven waiting for me and one day I will get to hold them in my arms. And until then, when the pain is here I just hold onto my hope. And now that she’s here, snuggle Lily, my beautiful rainbow!
You can contact Tabitha at firstname.lastname@example.org.