Mom to Unnamed, lost April 27, 2012
at 4 weeks
Jalen Adoniah, lost August 27, 2012
at 7 weeks 4 days
Boonville, North Carolina
As long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a mother. When my husband and I got married, we knew we didn’t want to wait long for kids. We decided to wait a year, but were OK with it happening before that. Once we decided to “officially” try for a baby, we were excited, hoping it would happen quickly for us. When it didn’t happen several months later, we began trying different supplements, etc. and grew more and more discouraged.
Finally, 11 months after trying, on April 25th, 2012, a ray of sunshine seemed to come as 2 lines popped up on a pregnancy test almost immediately. It was faint, but there, so I tried another, and the same thing happened. I tested again the next morning to see if it was possibly real, still not completely believing it, this time with a different brand of test, and a darker but still faint line showed up almost immediately! We were ecstatic! We had finally conceived! I was anxiously awaiting missing my period before I informed the doctor about our pregnancy, but, unfortunately, that didn’t happen. The tests started getting lighter instead of darker. I tried a digital test to see if it might, perhaps, pick up the hormone enough to be positive, and it stared back at me with a “not pregnant”. Two days after my first positive, my period came. I was devastated! I researched on it and found that what I had was labeled a “chemical pregnancy”, which is fancy terminology for a very early miscarriage. I lost our first little one at 4 weeks.
Even though we were devastated by the loss, we continued on trying again. Even though the miscarriage had been a dark cloud, there was a silver lining on it — we could in fact conceive and achieve pregnancy. I hoped it would happen again quickly enough for us. Two cycles passed as we continued on, the whole time I’m going back and forth from being hopeful to being distraught over not being pregnant anymore and growing discouraged.
In July I was growing more and more discouraged, but I decided we’d give it our all that month and see what happened. I woke up a couple of days before my period was due, so sure I wasn’t pregnant because I was feeling like my period was on the way. I spotted some bright red blood when I went to the bathroom, and had tested the day before with negative results. I decided, however, to give it one more shot and took one more test, 100% expecting it to be negative. Much to my surprise, it was positive, faint but positive! I rushed out and got some more expensive, better tests and a digital test. I took one of the First Response tests when I got home and it popped up with a faint line immediately! Elated, I decided to try the digital for the fun of it because I had 2 to spare, not expecting it to be positive because the other tests were faint. Lo and behold, it came up “Pregnant”! I was SO sure this one would stick, since with the previous pregnancy I was unable to get a positive First Response test OR digital.
Fast forward a few weeks. I missed my period, tests got darker and darker until they were darker than the control line, and I was SO SURE this baby was our take home baby! When I was what should have been 7 weeks pregnant (according to my ovulation date and last menstrual period), I got some pink spotting after being intimate with my husband. I was scared since this was the first bit of spotting I had experienced with the pregnancy at all. I called the doctor, since my first appointment wasn’t until the next Thursday (at what should have been 8 weeks 4 days) and explained what was going on. They assured me that it is normal to have some spotting during pregnancy, so I tried to shrug it off and relax.
The relaxation was short lived; two days after my first bit of spotting, I spotted again. This began happening every day, a single incident a day, for over a week. I called the nurse on and off but they assured me that some spotting during pregnancy in the first trimester is normal, and, since it was brown and pink and only a tiny bit a day, it didn’t seem to be related to miscarriage. So, I shrugged it off and tried, again, to relax.
Again, relaxation was short lived when I spotted some bright red two days before my first prenatal appointment. It was more than had been coming out and was bright, bright red this time. I was SO scared! I called the doctor immediately and they scheduled me for an ultrasound that afternoon. We waited, afraid of what we would find out in the ultrasound. At this time I should have been around 8 weeks to 8 weeks 2 days along. We went in for the ultrasound, and as soon as she put the probe in we saw a flicker! Relief flushed over me as I watched our baby’s little heartbeat flickering away on the screen while the ultrasound tech did measurements and checked my ovaries. Then we were given a photo and waited to see the NP.
The NP told us that the baby looked good and healthy, but the sac was smaller than it should have been and baby was measuring a lot smaller than he/she should have been. He/she was measuring at 6 weeks 5 days instead of 8 weeks 2 days like it should have been. They assured me that my dates could have been off, it could have implanted late, etc. There were many reasons why he/she could have been measuring smaller than it should have. The heartbeat was 120, which was in the normal range, especially for a 6 week 5 day old baby, so we weren’t worried about that. I had a cyst on my ovary, the corpus luteum cyst, and it was seeping blood. The NP seemed to think that this was the cause of my spotting and it wasn’t a threat. So we left with our ultrasound photo, very relieved and happy. It was the perfect night.
The next morning, however, the spotting continued on and I tried to relax since I figured it was the cyst. It continued on, however, throughout the day sort of like a light period, bright red the whole time and not slowing. By that evening we were scared again, but decided to wait until morning since the doctor’s office was closed. I called first thing in the morning, scared to death that I was miscarrying. They scheduled me for an ultrasound right away and I was to see the doctor for my regular prenatal appointment later in the day. Again, scared, we drove in and went into the ultrasound room. As soon as the probe was in place, we, once again, saw that little flicker! I was SO relieved to see and hear that little heartbeat once again. This time the heartbeat was 125 bpm (faster) and the baby had grown a day ahead of where it was two days before. The ultrasound tech said my cervix was closed and no blood was in the uterus, so we were sure it was from the cyst. The NP looked me over during my prenatal appointment and even said there was no blood coming from the cervix, so it was likely the cyst causing all of the blood. So, once again, we left relieved and happy with another ultrasound photo in hand.
Fast forward a couple of days, on Saturday night the bleeding got heavier and darker than it had been previously. I tried not to worry myself because we had just seen the doctor twice in the last week, the last time 2 days before, and everything was fine. The bleeding continued heavier throughout the next day. I tried to take it easy hoping that it would help and hoping it was still the cyst. Sunday night, however, it was clear I was miscarrying our baby when I began having horrible cramps that kept coming in waves. The cramps just kept getting worse, doubling me over in pain, and reminded me of everything I’d ever heard of what labor pains were like. I called my husband, who was on his way home from work an hour away, and told him about it. He felt so helpless as he drove that hour-long drive when I was in pain and miscarrying our baby. I called the night nurse to see if we needed to go to the ER and she spoke to the doctor about my symptoms; they decided I was OK to stay home and get to the doctor first thing in the morning.
The cramps continued through the evening until I passed some tissue in the middle of the night, after which the cramps let up. First thing in the morning on August 27, 2012, we scheduled an ultrasound again and rushed to the doctor’s office, dreading what we would see this time. As expected, when the probe was in place this time, there was no heartbeat. The baby was still there in the uterus (lower in the uterus than he/she should have been), but there was no heartbeat at all. The ultrasound tech even tried playing the sound to see if there could possibly be a heartbeat not being picked up, but there was no sound. Most heart wrenching of all was the fact that our baby measured correctly, even ahead by a couple of days during that ultrasound. His/her heartbeat had just stopped not long before! All I could do as she was performing the ultrasound was weep and sob uncontrollably. My heart felt like it had been torn into a million pieces. Our baby was gone.
I was prescribed misoprostol (the abortion pill) to help me pass everything more quickly and was given vicodin and 800 mg of ibuprofen to manage the pain. Through the next couple of days after taking the misoprostol, I stayed dosed on pain medicine as I passed the clots and tissue that was our baby. I never did see any tissue that was distinguishable as a baby (which would have been close to the size of a raspberry at the time), but I passed some large amounts of tissue. Since we had let our family know about the pregnancy so early (the week after we found out), we had to tell them all about the miscarriage. I am glad we had, though, because they were all wonderful support for us as we went through the miscarriage. We leaned on family, we leaned on each other, and we leaned on God as we dealt with the pain left by the miscarriage.
Going through the first miscarriage was horrible and heart breaking, but I found it much, much harder to deal with this last miscarriage, probably because we had seen the baby and had seen/heard his/her heartbeat and we knew about our little one for over a month before losing our baby. I think it probably made it much more real this time and we had so much time to grow attached to this little one.
My heart still aches for the babies we lost. As a part of the grieving process of this last miscarriage, we named our little one a gender neutral name (because we didn’t know the gender), we decided on Jalen Adoniah. We are still holding out hope that we will one day have our little take home baby, but we can and never will forget those we lost. They will always be loved and will always be a part of our family.