My first pregnancy and miscarriage
When my husband and I decided to start trying to get pregnant I was nervous and excited. I knew it could take time to conceive and that was assuming I could at all. I had so many friends struggle with fertility and until we started trying I didn’t know if we would too.
I decided for the first several months of trying that I wasn’t going to track anything other than my period. I figured it would be better to just have sex every other day. I knew stress could impact my hormones and ability to conceive. So that’s what we did. Then in the middle of that first month of trying my mother’s house was destroyed in a fire. My mother lost so much but thankfully everyone was ok. My mother came to stay with us and we spent a lot of time those first few weeks running a lot of errands. She had no clothes or toiletries. Everything had to be replaced. It was during one of these visits to Target that I realized my period was late. I told my mom and she insisted that I get a pregnancy test. I held off on taking the test until the next day because I knew that pregnancy tests are more accurate in the morning. Shockingly it was positive. I was stunned. I told my mom first. We shared in our excitement. Next I had to share with my husband.
Matt was at work the day I found out I was pregnant. So I decided to set something up for him when he got home that day. I made our bed and set out some cute stuffed animals on it that were meaningful to us and added an additional stuffed animal. When he came home and found it on the bed it took him a minute to realize what was happening. When he figured it out he looked at me questioningly and asked if it meant something. I shared we were pregnant. I think he was a little surprised. We didn't expect it to happen so quickly.
After that I called my OB and made plans to go in and have a confirmation ultrasound. I was so excited. When the day came my husband, mom, and me looked at the screen not sure what to expect. At this point I wasn't even six weeks pregnant. But there on the screen was a little black dot. No heartbeat at this point, but one wasn't expected. It confirmed that I was pregnant and it wasn't a tubal pregnancy. I was just so excited. I couldn't contain it. I shared my news with those around me. I didn't feel the need to wait until the second trimester. In the event I did miscarry, I thought it would be important to share my sorrow. I didn't want to hide my joy or potential sadness.
My next ultrasound was scheduled at 9 weeks. My husband was with me then too. We met with the OB and while laying there, during the ultrasound, she says to me "Did they see the heartbeat last time?" I knew then. I replied, "No I was too early." She proceed to turn the machine around and explain that there wasn't a fetus. I had what was called a blighted ovum. This is common. Somewhere in the conception process things didn't come together correctly and development stopped. After the ultrasound we met her in her private office to discuss options. I told her I didn't want a D&C. I would prefer to let my body miscarry naturally. All my friends knew about this appointment. I had to go one by one and tell everyone there was no baby. It was awful. I was devastated.
A couple of weeks went by and while at work I started to bleed and cramp. I had shared with my coworkers what was happening. I left work early, went home, and shared a glass of wine with a friend who came over to keep me company as my body took care of the inevitable. It was at this time, while we're sitting in bed, my husband having gone to get us dinner, that I started to shake. Within 30 minutes I was running a fever of 103 degrees. This of course isn't normal. I called the OB, my friend had to speak with the on call doctor for me because I was shaking too much to talk. It was determined that I should proceed to the ER to rule out septic abortion.
So off to the ER I went. With no other source of infection it was determined that I should have that D&C I didn't want after-all. I was taken to the OR. The procedure itself went fine, but there was this moment afterwards that I will never forget. I awoke on my way to recovery and felt a gush of blood. I told my post-op nurse. She said to me "It's all over now." And I lost it. I sobbed and asked if my husband could come back and sit with me. She said no. I felt so lost, alone, and empty. I didn't see my husband or friend until I was in a room. I am still angry when I think about that nurse leaving me to grieve by myself. Her lack of compassion will haunt me forever.
I stayed in the hospital for several days. It was terrible. I hate being a patient, stuck in bed, feeling like crap and to top it off I had lost the dreams of my baby. I struggled. When I was finally discharged home I went about my life like I had before but there was an emptiness. I had wanted that pregnancy and baby so bad. We decided we would start trying after my next cycle, but what if it took a long time to get pregnant again. What if this last pregnancy was a fluke. I was so sad and fearful. I lost all trust in my body. How was I suppose to recover from this?
I will say that since then I have gone on to have three babies. Two of which are mine and one surrogate. With my two pregnancies I was so afraid. Afraid of losing the pregnancy, after of stillbirth, afraid of loss in general. I struggled to connect with the baby in my womb. It wasn't until I was a surrogate that I had faith. It wasn't because I knew my body could do it. It was because I felt this calling. I felt this little spirit waiting for me to give them life. I never doubted that surrogate baby. It makes me bittersweet to know I missed that connection to my two children. There are a lot of things I regret missing out on with my girls. I'll share more of that in another post though.
Thanks for reading my story. Thanks for holding space for me.