Good morning lovelies!
WARNING: This post is about pregnancy loss.
Today is pregnancy and infant loss awareness day. I have been wanting to share my experience for a while and decided now is the time. This story is about both my loss and my experience with the doctor. Getting pregnant for me with my daughter wasn’t easy. It took 7 months and a little medical intervention. I know people who have had to go through a lot more though, so I am always grateful for what I have.
When Drew and I decided to try again I was so excited and shocked when I got pregnant after only the second month of trying. We did the normal things: told immediate family, scheduled the first doctor’s appointment, then we waited.
The day of our first appointment came and we were so excited, but there is also always a terrifying factor. I am a worrier. We were in the sonogram room with the doctor and nurse and he’s checking everything. He measures and asks how far along I think I am; I was 8 weeks. He said “I am not finding a heartbeat and baby is only measuring at 5 weeks. You’ll need to come back in a week to see if there is growth.” Now since we had trouble getting pregnant the first time, I was very aware of how to track my cycle, I was taking my temperature every morning and I knew exactly when I ovulated. At this point I started crying. I tried to explain that I knew when I ovulated, but to be honest I was very upset and wasn’t completely capable of getting a lot out. The doctor looked at me a little annoyed and said “I haven’t given you bad news yet, why are you crying?” I was very thankful for the nurse at this point because she spoke up and said “she’s pregnant. She can cry about anything she wants.” To be honest, the doctor didn’t really want to hear what I had to say anyway. He knew more. But I KNEW. I knew my body and how far along I should be.
We had to wait a week. We scheduled the next appointment one week after and it happened to fall on my mom’s birthday. She came up to be with me and go to the appointment with us. I had spent the last week crying and trying to come up with all sorts of ways this could still work out in my favor; that the baby was still there and growing. I also knew deep down (even though I couldn’t admit it to myself) that it wasn’t possible, and I had lost the baby. Drew was staying strong.
The next week felt like torture, but finally the next appointment came. The doctor confirmed there was no growth and that I had a missed miscarriage. I expected it and felt a little numb by the time he told us. I didn’t cry. I also felt like based on my last experience that I couldn’t let myself cry in front of this doctor again. We went outside and Drew and I both hugged each other and cried together. It was devastating. In fact, writing this down is making me emotional all over again. It’s not something I wish for anyone to go through. But so many of us do.
Some of the next stuff is a bit foggy (its been many years and also it was an emotional time so I’m not sure how everything went down exactly). I went to meet with the doctor to discuss next steps and he “suggested” I get a D&C (dilation and curettage: which is a procedure to remove tissue from inside the uterus). I say suggest in quotations because I felt like I was bullied into it. I wanted to wait and see if my body would do it on its own. Women have miscarriages all the time (unfortunately) and our bodies usually know what to do. Why would my body not be able to do this? In addition to that, as sad as it is, I was thinking how much is this procedure going to cost? Anything medical comes with a hefty price tag. I understand that babies cost money so I would have been spending it, but this was a loss. To add the additional burden of a large medical bill to an already unbearable situation is even more stressful.
We were going over the options and he said I could wait, but that if I do and if my body doesn’t get rid of all the tissue on its own then I could get an infection and could end up needing an emergency D&C. He then went on to say his schedule was very full and that he couldn’t guarantee how that would go as he probably wouldn’t be able to get me in last minute. What am I supposed to do with that? I felt like if I didn’t go along with this, then I’d risk a serious infection and he didn’t have time for that. So I went ahead and scheduled the D&C.
My body DID start the miscarriage process on its own the night before the procedure. We had taken my daughter to her grandparent’s house the night before so we could leave for the hospital first thing in the morning. I was up all night in pain. It was terrifying and sad. By the time we went to the hospital it was mostly over. I still had the procedure. The doctor confirmed there was a little tissue left, but I am certain had I waited it out my body would have taken care of it.
The procedure was the day of my 4-year wedding anniversary. I spent the rest of the day sleeping in bed, we didn’t do any celebrating. The following weeks were hard. I don’t know what I would have done without my family. They were amazing at helping with my daughter, bringing me dinner and just giving me time to process. Processing it is hard. You go from so excited about adding to your family to this huge hole that you feel alone in. It was at this point that I shared with a few people. It is truly amazing and sad how many women have gone through something similar. So many people I spoke with said they themselves had a miscarriage or their sister or best friend. It makes you feel a little less alone hearing other’s stories.
I waited 3 months to start trying again. It took me 10 more months and additional medical intervention to get pregnant with my son, whom we almost lost during delivery, but that is a story for another day. He is a happy and very healthy 5 year old today.
My hope is that this helps you feel a little less alone in your story. I see you. I understand your pain to the best of my ability. Pregnancy loss is hard. I can’t even imagine what it must feel like losing a child further along in the pregnancy and my heart aches for all you women who have gone through that. But I am here for you.
Lots of love!