Mom to 1st miscarriage, June 2011 at 6 weeks
Madilyn Jo, miscarried in 2012 at 10 weeks
In June 2011, we found out I was pregnant. I had an array of mixed emotions. We had a full apartment with my 2 kids, ages 12 and 14 at the time, we had just had a baby in December 2010, and my fiancé’s daughter was living with us, who was pregnant and due in October. Being I just had a baby in December and was still breastfeeding, I hadn’t had a menstrual cycle yet, so my doctor wanted an ultrasound to see how far along I was and to find my due date. We had our first ultrasound and all those mixed emotions went away…there was our baby-to-be, right there on the screen. At that point, I knew we’d be ok; everything would work out. The technician put me about 4 weeks gestation, and really too soon to confirm a due date, so my doctor ordered another ultrasound for two weeks out to look for growth and an approximate due date then. We left and became so excited about our news, and immedately started telling family and friends.
About 4 days later, I started spotting. I started crying and called my doctor, who did her best to calm me down and assure me that this was common, especially after just having a pelvic exam and a vaginal ultrasound. To make sure everything thing was ok, she had me go ahead and come in for another ultrasound. This time, after a few measurements, the technician wasn’t as talkative. I asked her if everything was ok. She began to tell me that everything looked fine, except the measurements hadn’t really changed since the last ultrasound. Tears ran down my cheek; at that moment I knew this wasn’t good news. She had me meet with my doctor afterwards, who once again tried to reassure me, saying it was only 4 days, let’s go ahead and do the other ultrasound as scheduled and go from there. I had hope…
Time came for our next ultra sound. The technician began the ultrasound…she didn’t even have to say anything. I could see that the image was smaller. Instead of measuring at what should have around 6 weeks, I was barely measuring 4 weeks. “NO!,” I screamed to myself as the tears flowed from my face. This can’t be happening! We met with my doctor, who began to talk to me about my options…what? Options? Yeah, I’ll take the option of this is not happening to me! I’ll take the option of I’m having this baby and everything will be fine…that’s the OPTION I want! The words D&C came out of her mouth and all my thoughts went blank…I just sat there, still not convinced I had lost this baby. How can I have a D&C when I knew in my heart this was not for real? Maybe the technician wasn’t measuring right. I kept coming up with all these excuses. I asked my doctor to do one more ultrasound in a week just to make sure. I couldn’t have a D&C without 100% knowing my baby was no longer there. We scheduled the ultrasound and came back 1 week later. Confirmed. Miscarriage. The doctor came in and began to discuss my “options” again. I could wait and let everything pass on its own, or have the D&C. At this point, I couldn’t go on not knowing if/when it was going to pass, I didn’t want to have to the feeling of being pregnant and not be at the same time. I had the D&C two days later. Now the second hardest part, we had to tell everyone. I never wanted to go through this again!
Time passed and my self-anger started to slowly go away and life was becoming normal again. July 2012…I missed my period. “It’s stress,” I told myself. Three days later, pregnancy test – positive. I saw my best friend that evening, and I showed it to her…Yup, she agreed it showed positive. Dare I get excited? I told Jeff, showed him the pregnancy test, and we held each other, knowing that this time everything was going to be fine. We scheduled the appointment, here we go! This time, we told no one, not even our other children…only my best friend knew. Fears resurfaced. I tried not to remember, but it was hard; it all still seemed so fresh.
At our doctor appointment, we figured I was approximately 6 weeks pregnant from my last menstrual cycle. Let’s schedule that ultra sound! Two weeks later, I lay down on the table and the ultrasound begins. What’s that we are seeing…could it be…YES! A heartbeat! Tears of joy ran down my cheeks, as well as Jeff’s. We were so happy. She measured the heartbeat…remeasured…then one more time. At this point, I asked what’s wrong. “Well,” she began to say, “I’m only measuring the heartbeat at 76 beats, it should be double that.” My heart sank…WHAT! NO! PLEASE! She tried to remain positive. Now to the doctor appointment. I knew when she came in, she was concerned. She began to explain to us that the baby’s heartbeat was slow and that was a concern. I’m diabetic and cardio is always a huge concern. But she remained positive, also explaining that technically I’m just at 8 weeks, so probably today or yesterday was when the heart started to beat. Let’s come back in a week and check it again. At this point, I let a couple close friends know and people at my work know. I work as a CNA/CMA and my doctor left me with strict guidelines as to no heavy lifting, etc. Plus, I was going to missing some work.
So, one week later, here we go! Lay down on the table with fear running through my body. The ultrasound began. Immediately I could see baby’s heartbeat. Tears of joy once again. She measured the heartbeat and didn’t say anything. She moved around a little and measured again. Oh no…so I asked, “What rate are you getting?” She replied, “96.” I was excited…”Well, that’s good right?” “Well, it’s better, but it should still be higher.” I was so frustrated! We have the baby’s heartbeat…”96 is strong,” I told myself. “We have a fighter on our hands!” After the exam, we spoke with the doctor. She was extremely concerned that the heartbeat wasn’t stronger and wanted me to come back again in one week. We scheduled the appointment.
Jeff and I were so happy that things were looking better. We decided to tell the kids, since it was going to be obvious sooner than later. We started guessing boy or girl…talked about names. I had a strong feeling this was going be a girl. Back at the doctor’s, I laid on the table, afraid to watch the screen. I just had that feeling hit me all over again. She started the ultrasound. She moved, and moved and moved around. I begged to myself please find the heartbeat, “There, that’s it, right?”…the technician didn’t answer. She looked at me and said, “I’m sorry, I’m not finding a heartbeat today.” NOOOOOOOO this is not happening!!! Are you kidding me!!! Why Why WHY!!! Tears could not stop coming. I once had this baby inside me, heart beating, IT WAS BEATING and now nothing. Why is this happening? We sat in the room waiting for the doctor to come in. Words between Jeff and I just couldn’t come. He kept apologizing. I just kept crying. I didn’t understand…this time we had a heartbeat… I could see the look on my doctor when she came in, almost as if it was just as painful to her as it was to me. Again we discussed my options. To me there was no other option…I couldn’t have this dead baby inside me and just wait…not knowing when or where it would try to pass. We scheduled the D&C…now it was time to tell the few who knew, our baby was gone. We now had to come home and explain something that was impossible to explain to our children, who couldn’t understand, either. It wasn’t until the day before my surgery that we told our parents. It was just so hard to deal with. We thought this was our baby girl; we named her Madilyn Jo.
It’s been a couple months, I still find myself caressing my tummy and then remembering she is no longer there. It’s been hard and not sure I’ll ever get over this loss. I just keep telling myself…we had a heartbeat.
You can contact Jeri at firstname.lastname@example.org.