Mom to 1st Baby miscarried at 10 weeks

Maryland by way of Illinois

May 29, 2009 marks one of the worst days of my life. It was the day that I found out I was never really pregnant. My body had been paying a cruel trick on me for about 10 weeks. I found out I was pregnant in April 2009, at that time it was one of the best days of my life. However, things were strange from the beginning. My hormones levels would rise every time I would have my blood drawn but they would never double like they were supposed to. I kept hearing things like “maybe the dates are off” or “everyone is different” but I knew something was not right. Then came May 29, I remember that day like it was yesterday. My entire world came crashing down in a matter of seconds. The doctor did an ultrasound, he was able to see a sac but there was no baby. There never was a baby. The was the day I learned the term blighted ovum.

If this news was not bad enough we had told just about everyone in the world about our pregnancy. It was not hard to tell people about the loss. The hard part was having people ask who did not know what we were going through.

At the end of May the doctor gave my Cyotec in hopes of miscarrying “naturally.” However, all it did was causing me enough pain to pass out in my bed for a few hours. A few days later they scheduled me for a D&C. I cried bittersweet tears after the D&C; my beautiful pregnancy was finally, officially over.

I said I was never really pregnant because that is what other people labeled me. In my eyes I was. My body began to prepare for a pregnancy for 10 weeks. I still go back and forth with this feeling now.
After the D&C they told us to wait a few months before trying again. However, I was never trying for my first pregnancy. My husband and I decided to leave it up to a higher power. We went on vacation and tried to avoid the depression we seemed to be in. Apparently it worked because I came back pregnant. I believe we conceived at the end of July 2010.
Here we were again in the same situation as before. Only this time we would not let ourselves enjoy the moment. We were cautious, we did not know how to feel. We made an appointment and went in to confirm the pregnancy. I requested an ultrasound because I was so nervous. On the screen there was my blob, my baby. I cried like I have never cried before. I felt like I could breathe again. We were given a due date of April 25, 2010, my husband’s birthday.
We did not tell anyone that we were pregnant this time. Even after one of my best friends revealed that she was pregnant, her due date was April 3, 2010. We waited until past 12 weeks to tell anyone. Everyone was very happy when we did tell them but again we did not know how to feel. Happy that we are pregnant again or cautious not knowing what will happen? I did not feel pregnant at all, no morning sickness or anything (and yes I know I am lucky).
I ended up purchasing a fetal doppler online. I could not fall asleep at night without hearing my baby’s heartbeat. Her, yes her heartbeat was very low and sometimes hard to find, which can freak you out big time! At 20 weeks we found out that we would be having a girl. I swore she was a he, and ended up making them look every time we went in for an ultrasound.
My pregnancy was going great. I was beginning to love the idea of being pregnant and we were learning that we might be able to get excited about this new life. We started to decorate her nursery and prepare for her which did help us to become more comfortable with the idea.
Around 28 weeks, I mentioned to my doctor that my left ankle looked swollen. This happens during pregnancy but I had also gained 17 pounds in one week and my normally low blood pressure was really elevated. We went over options and bed rest seemed to be on the complete other side of the spectrum.
A few weeks past and my blood pressure continued to go up, the doctors monitored my protein levels and sure enough they were elevated. At that point I was told I need to quit working and get off my feet. Well being a teacher you cannot just shut things down and leave. I had things to do, plan to make for the substitute. I was able to go back in the next day and get things ready for the substitute. However, I never got to say goodbye to my kids, all I could imagine was them feeling like I had abandoned them.
The doctor said I could be out of bed to use the bathroom, shower, and eat at the table or couch. I also began reading about the signs of pregnancy induced hypertentionor PIH since this is what they told me was going on. I read that if not taken care of this PIH could turn into pre-eclampsia. Huh? Sure enough after being on bed rest for a week I got the headache that would change my life. It was with me for two days and nothing I did would shake it.
I ended up driving myself to the emergency room on March 6. They monitored the baby and did some blood work. Ultimately they decided to send me home. My husband was out of town at the time for work and I did not want to bother anyone, so I drove myself home around 5 am. I slept for a few hours but still could not shake the pain in my head.
I went to sleep for most of the day and woke up. I hopped in the shower and went back to my room. As I sat down I could not figure out why there were small nats darting in front of my eyes. I swatted a few times in front of my face before I realized I was actually seeing spot (which looked like black shooting stars). This happens to be another sign of pre-eclampsia.
I was on the phone with my mom at the time who decided to call my husband and tell him I was spotting. Well since he was out of town he called me to try to figure out what was happening…
On March 7, 2010 I was admitted to the hospital with “full blown” pre-eclampsia. My blood pressure was high, my head hurt, my legs were the size of tree trunks, and my ankles were non-existent.
I was hooked up to monitors for the baby and had my blood pressure being monitored. By the way no matter what the nurses says you cannot sleep in the hospital.
I was hooked up to an IV and given magnesium to prevent having a seizure or stroke. The best part was that I could not get out of bed or eat with this medication. I was literally strapped to my bed. IV in my left hand, blood pressure cuff on my right arm, cuffs around my legs to prevent blood clots, and the straps around my stomach to monitor the baby. Did I mention it was impossible to sleep? I stayed like this for three days, it was pure hell. My husband did come back into town, just in the nick of time.
They decided to induce me using Cervidil. After having it placed inside for 12 hours I made no progress. I was also hooked up to Pitocin, this did nothing but make me contract. I was also given several rounds of Cyotec, which did nothing as well. My body never progressed or changed. After 48 hours of being in “labor” and having been stick in bed for three days I opted for a c-section, by this time was I was too weak, physically and mentally. At 11:15 Camryn Elizabeth Spatafora was born weighing just 3 pounds 14 oz. She came out crying and was taken to the NICU. She stayed in the NICU for 16 days and made progress each day, most days it was teeny tiny progress but that happens a lot in the NICU. On March 28, 2010 my world was turned upside down and she was free to go home! Nothing has been the same since. Now at almost 6 months my 3 pound baby is weighing over 15 pounds and growing every day. She is amazing. All the sadness and sickness were worth this little girl.
Christmas this past year was still hard even though I was pregnant. I was supposed to have a Christmas baby so I imagine every year will be somewhat hard around that time of year. While Camryn Elizabeth has healed my heart for the most part, my heart still aches for my first baby. Things remind me of that time and it all comes back to me.

You can contact her at michelle.spatafora@gmail.com

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  1. Lessons in Life and Light says:

    I just wanted to tell you that our experiences with our first losses are very similar. And I can't tell you how you feel, but my blighted ovum was VERY MUCH a baby to me. The minute I saw that plus sign, I became a mom. I just never got to carry the pregnancy or meet my baby. Still though, to me, I was pregnant with my baby.

    I loved reading your happy ending. That's what I search for these days. I need to know that I can have a happy ending too.

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