Tag Archives: pregnancy #2

She Says… You Were Right

First of all, a huge, huge thank you to everyone who read last week’s posts and reached out in comments, emails, tweets and phone calls. I apologize for not having the time to respond to each one individually, but please know that I read each one and was so touched by your words and your stories and I am so thankful to be part of such an awesome, supportive community.

There are so many layers to recovering from a miscarriage, especially for me having struggled with fertility issues in the past. An important thing I’ve learned: the physical and emotional recovery are not always on the same timeline. I find myself now feeling like I am in a great place emotionally/mentally. I am positive about the future and I’m ready to move on. I’m sad about what happened and I’m anxious about my babymaking timeline, but overall, I know we’re going to be ok and all signs point to the fact that I will get pregnant again. My physical recovery, though so many people have told me that was the easy part (though everyone admits there is NO easy part), is long and drawn out and not at all the discrete event I thought it would be. I don’t know if it’s the blood loss or the hormones or the fact that I haven’t been sleeping well, but I am WIPED. Still. A week later.

That said, I think I’m on the upswing now. My bleeding is decreasing (especially since I came home from work early yesterday and laid on the couch for 3+ hours) and I haven’t passed a large clot since Tuesday. Last night I actually got a little sleep. I feel more myself today than I have since last week. I think I’ve turned the corner.

Y’ALL WERE RIGHT. In general, I am completely unable to sit down and stop doing All The Things. I don’t know how to relax. I didn’t let myself relax, and my body paid the price this week. Yesterday’s few hours of laying on the couch (withOUT also doing work on my laptop or making phone calls or emailing on my Phone) was exactly what the doctor ordered. Exactly what YOU ordered.

So, thank you. For telling me what I knew, but somehow wouldn’t believe until everyone told me so. As soon as I finish work today I will park my butt on the couch and not lift a finger. We’ll see how long this lasts.

(Not very long, I can guarantee, because it is ONE adorable little boy’s birthday party this weekend and I have promised him a TRUCK CAKE. Now I just need to figure out how to make a truck cake… . Thank goodness for Pinterest.)

Happier posts to come next week! Promise!

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She Says… Powering Through

Last Thursday night was awful. There’s no other way to describe it. Just… awful.

Friday I took it easy. I stayed in bed as long as possible in the morning (and Owen cooperated by sleeping in later than ever before!). I took Benjamin up on his offer to make me breakfast (egg and avocado on toast), as I was starving but too weak and tired to make anything myself. I stayed on the couch for most of the day. I napped when Owen napped. I was still cramping and bleeding quite a bit and felt woozy most of the day, but was generally ok. Despite that long day, I barely slept at all.

Saturday I woke up and had to rally. I had planned to host not one but TWO parties. I had the option to cancel them, but I thought actually busying myself with the prep would help drag me out of “sitting on the couch all day” mode. Oh, and Benjamin promised to do all of the cleaning and work for both parties! I whipped out two quiches while Benjamin cleaned the house and a couple hours later we hosted 12 of my closest girlfriends and their husbands and kids. The hugs from them were worth the party prep. It’s so amazing to be surrounded by dear friends who know what you’re going through. When they left, we put Owen down for a nap and I went to work cooking and baking for the 2nd party, an outdoor movie party we planned with our neighbors. A few hours later I made it through that party and headed to bed. Despite that day, chock full of activity and friends and parties, insomnia struck again.

Sunday was more of the same. A friend stayed overnight and we spent the morning together. After Owen went to bed I headed out to dinner with a group of my mom group friends (remember my mom group from when Owen was tiny?). Sunday night I STILL couldn’t sleep. By Monday morning I headed to work dangling by a string. I was TIRED of insisting “the show must go on”. I was EXHAUSTED from not sleeping. I was NOT looking forward to running a week-long training event at work.

My usual method of coping with stress or sadness is to power through. I put on my brave face and I just… go. I push it out of my mind and charge ahead. Work through the pain. Sometimes working even harder because of the pain. Usually, this serves me well. In a sense I thrive on that kind of energy and it makes me feel strong. You know what they say, “Fake it ’till you make it”. The more I pretend I’m ok, I really become ok.

But you know what?

I’m not sure it’s the best way to get through this particular struggle.

I smiled through dinner with friends while they discussed their new babies and baby bumps about to pop. I gave a brave nod, held back the tears and told everyone I was doing ok when they asked me how I was doing. I cooked when I should have been napping. I told my manager I could handle this training week and would be ok. Go go go. Though all of that activity certainly took my mind off of the miscarriage and my own sadness, it has bubbled to the surface at unexpected times. I know it’s still there and I haven’t given myself the time to heal yet. Physically AND emotionally.

I find myself crying when I don’t even mean to. A simple “how are you?” from a random person and I feel my eyes welling up. In the shower in the morning, for no apparent reason. When I can’t sleep. For most of the day, I’m rushing around from one activity to the next, and then all of a sudden I will feel the tears come over me and I have to sit down. I know it’s the hormones. The same thing happened after I gave birth to Owen. It’s the hormone crash. I remember how it felt then and it feels the same now.

In addition to the random tears, I’m also still bleeding. Bleeding and passing shockingly large clots. Apparently when I said “it’s over“, I had no idea what I was talking about. It’s not over. My body is still cramping and working hard to expel that tissue. Even though the actual pregnancy tissue may have come out on Thursday, apparently there are other things that need to come out still, and in my case they are coming out in masses that I have to experience passing along with uncomfortable cramps. Not so fun to be going through while I’m trying to put my happy face on and run a corporate event single-handedly this week.

I’ve called the doctor twice about the bleeding. She seems slightly concerned with the size of the clots, but said that the bleeding sounds “moderate” and not “heavy” and should taper off soon. If it doesn’t taper by Thursday, I have to go back in for an ultrasound and possibly a D&E procedure to make sure everything is out. I’m sure it doesn’t help that I am physically incapable of LAYING DOWN and TAKING IT EASY, especially over the last few days. It also doesn’t help that I have to run this event this week for work, which means early mornings, late nights and a lot of running around in between. But who knows if getting off my feet would help, really.

All I know is that I am terrified of having a D&E at this point, after all that I’ve already been through. Enough is enough. So think some happy thoughts for me over the next few days, please!

She Says… Pregnancy #2 Journal: Part 5

If you haven’t read Sunday’s post, please do so before reading this one. This week’s blog posts will be back-dated journal entries of what I experienced over the last 11 weeks regarding a pregnancy that will end in miscarriage.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

So that brings us to the present day. Well, to yesterday, really.

Yesterday I had what I hoped to be my last ultrasound of this whole awful ordeal. The ultrasound tech and I smiled weakly at each other, both knowing what I was there to see (or, not see). After much poking, I quietly asked, “Has the heartbeat stopped?” and she nodded. To my surprise, I felt nothing but relief. I have had time to be sad and cry and mourn, and now all I feel is an intense need to move on. Keep chugging. Try again.

My midwife saw me quickly and we talked through my three options again. Benjamin and I had decided that we would try medical management at home (that is, taking a medicine to induce the miscarriage at home) instead of waiting for nature to take its course or getting a D&C/D&E procedure. I was still scared of what it would feel like, and even more scared that I would be part of the 15% for whom it just “doesn’t work”, who still end up needing a procedure, or, worse yet, an emergency one if something goes wrong. Lots of things to worry about, no matter which option I chose.

I had originally planned to take today off of work and take the pills this morning (Friday morning). But my midwife encouraged me to taken them when I got home on Thursday and then try to sleep. The medicine can work as quickly as a couple hours, or take as long as 2 days (and sometimes even longer… like a whole week!). She said generally, though, if it’s going to work, it will work in a few hours. The earlier I take them, the earlier I can get on to the rest of my life and “enjoying my weekend” as she said. Ha.

With the pills, I had two options. I could take them orally (letting them dissolve under my tongue) or as vaginal suppositories. I chose orally, because I thought it would be “easier”, but let me tell you, if I had to do it all over again, I would NOT make the same decision! The pills took ages to dissolve (30 minutes?!) and got all powdery and disgusting in my mouth. Yuck.

I took the first dose at 5:30pm. At 8:30pm I had only very minimal cramping, so I took the 2nd dose (some people don’t need both doses, it just depends on your body). By 9:30pm I was having extreme, consistent cramping. Almost everyone had told me, “It won’t be any worse than your worst period cramps.” Well, maybe my periods have been good to me, or maybe they are all liars, or maybe my reaction to the medicine was different, but these cramps were a lot more intense than regular period cramps. I was hunched over on my couch with a heating pad and still in a lot of discomfort. I had a slight fever and debated calling the doctor’s office, since both of these things were on the “Warning Signs” list. Finally, around 10pm I popped one of the painkillers I had been prescribed as well. Probably should have done that sooner.

Just like when your body goes into labor (because really, let’s be honest, that’s exactly what my body was doing), everything softens. And I do mean everything. So the first and only real symptom I experienced other than cramping and bleeding were some pretty extreme, uhh, how shall I put this… loose bowels? Essentially I was shivering cold, having super uncomfortable cramps and couldn’t get off the toilet. Loooovely.

So, all in all, almost exactly what the doctor told me to expect. Still, it felt awful.

I shuffled to my bed with my heating pad at about 11pm. I know, I know, you’re not supposed to sleep with heating pads on, lest you catch fire in the middle of the night, but I knew I wasn’t going to be doing much sleeping and it was the only thing that seemed to cut the pain. The cramps got continually worse and my temp climbed for the next 2 hours, and finally I reached the climax. I passed the pregnancy tissue in one piece. It was actually kind of amazing to see it. I felt the same sort of awe at what our bodies are capable of as I did when the doctor held up my placenta for me to see after Owen was born. Bodies are AMAZING.

To be honest, I expected to feel a deep sadness or sense of loss at that moment. I was, in that moment, no longer pregnant. But what I really felt was an overwhelming awe for my body and what it had done and complete and total relief that it was OVER. I don’t know how to explain it, but I honestly wanted to wake Benjamin up and give him a high five. Maybe it was the hormones, but I felt so darn happy that my body had done exactly what it was supposed to do. I climbed back in bed with an exhausted smile on my face.

Over the next few hours my temp normalized, the cramps reduced and it began to feel just like I was having a normal period. I barely got a wink of sleep (I think my adrenaline was pumping and I was still somewhat uncomfortable with cramps for the rest of the night). I’m still bleeding this morning and feel like I’ve been hit by a bus, but I’m OK. I did it. I survived.

In hindsight, I probably should have waited until Friday morning to start the process so that I wouldn’t have lost an entire night’s sleep. Alternatively, perhaps the D&C would have been a simpler and more efficient way to get through the hard part. One will never know.

All I need to know now is, it’s over. And it’s time for a nap for me.

She Says… Pregnancy #2 Journal: Part 4

If you haven’t read Sunday’s post, please do so before reading this one. This week’s blog posts will be back-dated journal entries of what I experienced over the last 11 weeks regarding a pregnancy that will end in miscarriage.

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

June 29th, 2012

After facing the news head on and putting on a brave face for Benjamin (over the phone, since he was still traveling), I wallowed. I went and got a pedicure in the middle of the afternoon. I ate an entire bag of cheese flavored Pirate Booty. I called my mom and cried and cried. Then I called my sister (a doctor who has experienced 2 miscarriages followed by 2 beautiful daughters) and cried and cried some more. The next night my brother called me because he had been thinking about me so much, and although I told myself I was done with crying, I cried some more. Despite not being “a crier”, I just couldn’t stop the waterworks. It was cathartic. It was exactly what I needed to do. There’s no way to sugar-coat it. This sucks, no matter how this story turns out, or how strong of a person I am.

I put myself on self-imposed “bedrest when possible”. Sometimes that meant running around after Owen and tossing him into the air a million times just to see him grin and squeal (hey, a mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do), and other times it meant laying on the couch in our living room for as many hours a day as I could stand. I napped when Owen napped. I stopped working out and even walking very far in the heat. First trimester exhaustion + bedrest + fear of moving = a match made in heaven. Ha.

Today we drove up to New Hampshire for the first half of our vacation week (Owen’s daycare is closed for the week of 4th of July, so we decided to get out of town over those days we weren’t paying for school). On the drive up I tried my best to put my nausea behind me and be at peace with the situation, whatever happens.

All of the clichés are 100% true. This is out of my control. There is no substitute for time. The best thing I can do is be good to my body. This helplessness blows.

I am not nearly as Zen inside my head as I seem on the outside.

July 5th, 2012

Ultrasound day. (You know, for what feels like the millionth time). To be honest, this 8-day wait couldn’t have come at a better time. The last few days were chock full of fun, activity, good food and in-laws who couldn’t wait to take Owen off my hands for a few hours. I napped. We took walks. We went whizzing down a mountain on a zipline. We went to an amusement park. Then we drove to a friend’s beach house for a few days. We walked down to the beach and waded in the ocean. We grilled delicious burgers. We laughed at all of the silly things our 2 year olds said. In short, it was the perfect way to pass the days. They practically flew by.

And yet, still, in the back of my mind during all of these activities, was the dread. The dread of what we would see in today’s ultrasound. The scenarios I played in my head over and over again of the various outcomes. The questions of “Am I still pregnant?” every minute of every day. It was exhausting.

We drove home from the beach a little earlier than we planned so we could make it in time for my ultrasound appointment. Though Benjamin was home this time, we didn’t have time to find a babysitter for Owen, and frankly there had been enough disruption in his schedule with staying in different rooms and late bedtimes, etc., that we decided Benjamin should stay home with Owen when I went to get my results. I knew I wouldn’t be able to fully concentrate if Owen was there, and frankly I didn’t want to have to temper my emotional response knowing that he’d probably be freaked out to see me crying. So, reluctantly, I headed to the appointment alone. Again.

When I went in, I told the ultrasound tech (the same woman I had seen for the other two ultrasounds) that although of course I was hoping for a positive change, I was as prepared as possible for bad news. I know it isn’t her job to deliver that news, and I hoped that my candidness and composure would help her feel less awful having to tell me that the pregnancy wasn’t viable.

As she started the procedure, I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. After what seemed like an eternity, I asked her if she could tell me what she was seeing. She said, “I see a flickering heartbeat. You are measuring 6 weeks and 1 day.”

6 weeks and 1 day. Ouch. I had measured 6 weeks at the last ultrasound (a week ago) and by the calendar I was nearly 11 weeks along. I knew what she was saying without her having to say it.

“What is the heart rate?” I asked her. I summoned every ounce of strength to keep it from wavering. I guess there was still a tiny part of me that thought, maybe this can work? Maybe my dates are still just off? “67” she said quietly. She had said enough. I knew what the nurse was going to say. I had done my research.

Surprisingly, I was ok. I think having the information that something was wrong for so long helped me to come to peace with the outcome. I had prepared myself for “Oh my goodness! What a wonderful surprise! You are measuring 7.5 weeks and everything looks great!” and also the opposite, “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat”. What I wasn’t prepared for, though, was a continuation of this nebulous wait-and-see period. That was harder to receive than I expected.

When the nurse/midwife came in, she discussed what happens next. In short, nothing. Even though it is clear that this pregnancy is not viable, they/we cannot “do” anything until the heartbeat stops on its own. Once the heartbeat stops, I will have three options. 1) Wait and see if my body expels the tissue on its own, 2) take a medicine to induce a miscarriage at home or 3) schedule a procedure (D&E) to physically remove the tissue from my body.

But until the heartbeat stops? Nothing. I literally sit around and wait for the tiny beating heart inside my body to stop.

Wow. I thought I was as prepared as I could be for today’s appointment. But I really hadn’t considered the possibility that the outcome would be to just… wait. And do nothing. Even knowing that the life growing inside of me is not going to be growing for very much longer.

So we scheduled an appointment for next week. It feels strange and uncomfortable to be wishing that we don’t see a heartbeat at that point, but at least we will be able to move forward and try again after that. Until then, we wait.

I’m scared. I’m scared of what a miscarriage will feel like. I’m scared that it will happen when I’m at work or commuting on the train. I’m scared that it will hurt. I’m scared that it will take us a long time to get pregnant again, and now we’ve “wasted” so much time from when I wanted to have a sibling for Owen. I’m scared that my fertility struggles aren’t just a part of my past, as I thought they were. I’m scared that it will happen again. I’m scared I won’t be able to relax and enjoy future pregnancies out of fear. I’m the most scared there won’t be any future pregnancies.

I know how common early miscarriages are. I know that most women wouldn’t even have had 1 ultrasound at this point in their pregnancy while I’ve had 3, so perhaps I should consider myself lucky. I know that one miscarriage (and even 2 or 3) does not have an impact on future fertility. But it still doesn’t change the fact that this is so, so hard.

She Says… Pregnancy #2 Journal: Part 3

If you haven’t read Sunday’s post, please do so before reading this one. This week’s blog posts will be back-dated journal entries of what I experienced over the last 11 weeks regarding a pregnancy that will end in miscarriage. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.

June 27th, 2012

Benjamin is traveling (again!), but I didn’t want to wait too long before my next ultrasound, so I went this morning by myself. I’ve been feeling sick and exhausted enough that I’m sure I’m still pregnant, but right before the appointment I also became acutely aware of that “something doesn’t feel right” feeling I’ve had since the very beginning. I started to get really nervous about what I was going to see… or, more importantly, what I wasn’t.

During the ultrasound the tech asked again about how far along I was. Again. Shouldn’t she know this? Isn’t it on my chart? It was the same tech as last week, so I think she actually knew more than she let on. Despite the fact that I am 9.5 weeks counting from the last day of my last period, and should be about 7.5 weeks judging by the last ultrasound, she said I was measuring at only 6 weeks today. 6 weeks. That’s like turning the clock back… again. She saw a heartbeat at 97 bpm. If I was really 7.5 weeks along, that number would be dangerously low. At the new guess of 6 weeks, that’s within normal, but not stellar.

Maybe I should have been happier about seeing the heartbeat. After all, I had been waiting for that moment. But I wasn’t. It was totally overshadowed by the slow growth and “young” size.

I didn’t even have Benjamin’s hand to squeeze. I just laid there. Staring at the ceiling. Yoga breathing. Trying to silence the screaming in my head.

What does that mean? How could I only be 6 weeks along at this point? Why isn’t the baby growing properly? I honestly felt like when we saw a heartbeat today, that would finally be the point that I could let out the breath I’d been holding and get 100% excited about having a baby in February. On my 30th birthday, no less. But what I realized was that the heartbeat wasn’t my ticket out of this doubt. It was yet another dribble of information leaving me completely numb. And confused. Even more confused than before.

The tech didn’t want to go into too much detail, and I knew it wasn’t her job to answer lots of questions or give me medical advice, so I held my tongue until the nurse could see me. Unfortunately I wasn’t scheduled to see a nurse (I had scheduled an appointment tomorrow with a certain midwife who I am hoping to work with). So I had to wait and wait and wait in the waiting room for AN HOUR while they found me a nurse who had time for a surprise appointment. I texted Benjamin furiously in the waiting room to pass the time. I ended up getting the same nurse who I have spoken with on the phone since the beginning of this whole saga (way back when I was calling to say, “My period’s late but my tests are negative… what do I do?”). She was refreshingly point-blank about the reality of the situation.

“Look”, she said. “It’s concerning that you’re measuring small, if you really are farther along. But the fact is that what we are measuring is SO small, that everything could be fine and dandy, just 6 weeks along at this point. And we did see a heartbeat, which is good. On the other hand, this slow growth could mean that this pregnancy is headed for miscarriage. We really just don’t know at this point. I would say you have a 50/50 chance of this pregnancy working out. We want you to come back next week for another check. I’m sorry I don’t have better news.”

As soon as I opened my mouth to ask a few questions, the tears started flowing. Hello, old friends. I remember these tears. The ones that come when what I really want to be saying is, “What the hell? Why can’t I make a baby like a normal person? Why does it always have to be so fucking complicated? How is this so easy for so many other people? What is wrong with ME?”.

As soon as I saw that beautiful plus sign with Owen almost 2 years ago, I essentially closed the door on my struggle with infertility. I haven’t ever forgotten what I went through to make him and I certainly didn’t stop thinking of the other women I knew who were still struggling, but getting pregnant with Owen was such a joy, from the very beginning, that it pulled me right out of that downward spiral of struggle and defeat and stress and frustration. I chose to concentrate on the present and the baby growing inside me, and not to wallow in the past. I moved on. I cut ties. I erased those months from my memory. But today’s appointment brought me right back there. To my old familiar place. At the mercy of my body, probability, and a whole lot of chance.

So the wait begins. Again. In 8 days we will have another look. Maybe THAT will be the moment that I breathe out and scream “I’m PREGNANT” from the rooftops. Or maybe it will be the day that we realize that this baby isn’t meant to be in this world. And there’s not a damn thing I can do now to change that outcome between now and then.


She Says… Pregnancy #2 Journal: Part 2

If you haven’t read Sunday’s post, please do so before reading this one. This week’s blog posts will be back-dated journal entries of what I experienced over the last 11 weeks regarding a pregnancy that will end in miscarriage. Part 1 is here.

June 13th, 2012

Long, excruciating wait at the doctor’s office this morning. The nurse poked around for a long time before asking me, again, when my last period started. I told her, again, that it started almost 8 weeks ago, but that I am pretty sure the pregnancy dates are a bit different, given how long it took to get a positive pregnancy test.She poked around longer. And she stayed silent.

I closed my eyes and squeezed Benjamin’s hand. I imagined all of the scary things that could come out of her mouth.

Finally she said, “Well, as far as I can tell, everything looks great, but you’re just not as far along as we thought. You’re measuring at a healthy 5.5 weeks.”

While my instincts said, “RED FLAG! RED FLAG! Why are the dates so off from the date of my last period?!”, I breathed a huge sigh of relief and tried to let myself be excited. There is a baby in there. Seemingly healthy. She could see the gestational sac and yolk sac and a tiny flicker of a miniscule little heart beating. We discussed late ovulation and other factors that could have affected the dates, and she sent us on our merry way. Our bodies are amazing.

We didn’t get to see a heartbeat, given that the growth was only 5.5 weeks along, which continued the “everything is different this time around and it’s REALLY hard for me not to be nervous”. (Remember this from my first pregnancy? Yeah… it wasn’t like that at all)

Calendar be damned! Apparently there is a little life in there, just a little newer than we thought. Given Benjamin’s crazy work schedule the last few months, and the fact that it sounds like I ovulated WAY after I thought I was going to, it’s a wonder we ever even got pregnant at all this cycle. And that’s pretty special.

I Googled my dates, estimating that I am around 5.5 weeks along, and guess what? The due date is on my 30th birthday. February 9th, 2013. What a wonderful birthday present that would be.

June 19th, 2012

Well, I asked for it. I had been asking and asking to feel something relating to this pregnancy. Apparently the amazingly oversensitive sniffer and sore boobs were not enough. I wanted the real deal. Where was the exhaustion? The puking? The cravings and aversions?

Oh, here they are.

Today I felt like I needed to close my eyes from the moment I woke up. My body felt like the painful beginning to the flu… everything hurt. Even my hair. It was a dull, nagging pain, but I remembered it immediately. I wasn’t getting the flu, and it wasn’t contagious.

Throughout the day my stomach lurched a few times. Eww, a banana peel in the trash can caused me to take out the trash even though it was only half full. And even then I could still smell it. The thought of raw vegetables in the ‘fridge made me want to never open it again. Nothing tasted right. I was hungry, but not hungry at all.

Then I was getting ready to go to a meeting for the parent reps for Owen’s classroom at school. When Benjamin came home from work I just kept saying, “Ugh, I don’t feel good”. I was secretly kind of happy about it, because it was confirmation that someone was growing in there, but it was still kind of foreign and strange. And all of a sudden, in the middle of a sentence, I bolted to the bathroom.

As I sat there, overwhelmingly disgusted by the smell of pee in the toilet (it was clean… this was more a result of my super sense of smell than a comment on how clean the toilet was), I couldn’t move. I dry heaved for a few minutes and then felt ok. Off I went to my meeting, water bottle in hand (sipping water seems to keep the nausea away) and crackers in my purse (I remembered that trick from last time).

Nothing so dramatic has happened since then, but my stomach is doing some crazy things. Smells send me reeling (the broccoli I packed in Owen’s lunch this morning? GROSS) and I’m always worried that the “Ohmigod I’m going to puke RIGHT NOW” feeling is just around the corner. Like when I’m riding the train to work, especially.

People always say “symptoms are a good thing”, right? As much as I hate feeling so pukey, I’ll take it. Anything to know that things are going on in there.

 

She Says… Pregnancy #2 Journal: Part 1

If you haven’t read yesterday’s post, please do so before reading this one. This week’s blog posts will be back-dated journal entries of what I experienced over the last 11 weeks regarding a pregnancy that will end in miscarriage.

June 6th, 2012

I’m confused. Confused, but excited. At the end of April, Benjamin and I decided to pull the goalie and begin “trying” for a 2nd baby. It was the perfect timing I had planned all along (despite the fact that everyone, and I do mean EVERYONE I know with a kid Owen’s age is ready to pop with their second baby already). A 2 1/2 year age gap. Avoiding a Christmas baby. Winter pregnancy. Getting pregnant right away would have been totally ideal, but I was not putting pressure on us just yet. I was doing my best to “enjoy the trying” and put the troubles I had getting pregnant with Owen out of my mind. I was aware of when I would likely ovulate, but I wasn’t tracking myself closely or obsessing in any way. If it happened, it happened. If it didn’t, it was only our first month trying.

Around the end of May I took several pregnancy tests (starting far too early to actually get a positive… a bad habit leftover from my “will I ever get pregnant?” days!), and every time, I was a little disappointed when they were negative. After several negatives and a few days after my expected period, I put on a happy face and was ready to start again next month. It was only our first month “trying”, anyway. No rush.

A week went by. Still no period. I didn’t feel quite right. My boobs hurt and I got a spontaneous bloody nose (which happened a lot when I was pregnant with Owen). I felt a nagging feeling that I was pregnant, but was emotionally tired of taking pregnancy tests and feeling down about it. They had been negative even after my expected period date anyway. I convinced myself I didn’t ovulate this month and was frustrated that I didn’t know when to “try” again. Then, on a whim, I tested again on a Saturday afternoon before we had a party, just to check if there was ANY reason I shouldn’t have a drink.

And there it was. Or, it wasn’t. But it was. The faintest line I’ve ever seen on a pregnancy test. With Owen, the pregnancy test turned positive immediately and practically jumped off the stick screaming, “YOU’RE SO PREGNANT, OMG”. One second I wasn’t pregnant, and then one second I was. It hit us like a ton of bricks. With this pregnancy, the test whispered. So quietly I thought I was going crazy. So quietly I had to shove it in Benjamin’s face and say, “Do you see a line? Or am I making it up?”. He saw it, but it certainly didn’t feel like a cause for celebration. Weeks late, and only a barely-there line? That couldn’t be right.

It was the middle of the afternoon when I took it, so I chalked the light line up to the fact that I was well-hydrated. So I took another one the next morning. SLIGHTLY darker, but still very, very faint. Immediately I began to worry that something was wrong or it was ectopic or a chemical pregnancy or blah blah blah. My Google PhD in Fertility Issues was NOT helpful at this point. I knew just enough to scare the crap out of myself.

I scheduled a blood test for the next day. The hcg quant test came back pretty low. 108. Especially low if you consider that, counting from the first day of my last period, I was technically 5 weeks and 2 days along. Even lower if you consider that at only 14 days past ovulation my quant with Owen was in the 300’s. Instead of celebrating a positive pregnancy test, I was biting my nails over numbers and holding my breath for the second beta test (where the numbers should double… and if they don’t, it’s not a good sign). An agonizing 2 days later I got the second blood test, hoping against hope that it would be at least 216. The nurse said 350 (or something like that, I couldn’t hear her after the “3”) and I was relieved. Relieved, but I still wasn’t giddy. Why weren’t they higher? The second quant from Owen’s pregnancy was in the 1,000’s.

EVERYTHING feels different this time around.

Given that my dates are a bit funny, my doctor and I decided to do a dating ultrasound next week. If I am 6 weeks along, we should be able to hear a heartbeat. I think I’m still holding my breath for that moment.

She Says… Let’s Start at the Very Beginning

Deep breath.

Now that we know how this story is going to end, I feel like I can start to share it from the beginning. The last 11 weeks have been quite the roller coaster. I have had to turn around and walk backwards into territory I thought I had locked up and thrown away the key to on the day that I found out I was pregnant with Owen.

Apparently struggling with babymaking once wasn’t enough.

Here’s the short version of the story. I was pregnant. And while I still am at this minute, I won’t be for very much longer. This pregnancy, though it seemed to drag out for a very long time and felt for many weeks like it was going to grow into a sibling for Owen (a perfect little sibling with a perfect 2 ½ year age gap), is not going to. I’m sad. But I’m also relieved. The course of events over the last few weeks helped me see, over the many, many doctor’s appointments and tests, that this little life just wasn’t meant to be. Benjamin and I were able to come to terms with that slowly, little by little, as the information trickled in. And now we are at peace with how this has gone, and how it will, inevitably, end.

This blog began as a journal of my struggle with fertility. It was “anonymous” in the sense that no one in my life knew that it existed, even though I used my real name and even posted a few pictures. A couple of people found out about it along the way, but mostly it was my private (yet very public) place to cope with the struggle of getting pregnant. Once I got pregnant it became a place to share the joy of being a mother and the ups and downs that came along with that new title and our new life as a family of three.

Now that so many friends and family members and coworkers read the blog, it is nowhere near as anonymous as it used to be. While fertility used to be the main focus, it felt strange to announce that we were “ready to start trying” and to chronicle the timeline. To be honest I felt that doing so would add a pressure to this process that I didn’t want to deal with. I so very much wanted to get pregnant easily the second time around and be a beacon of hope for those who struggled in the past to say, “Look! This can happen to you too!”.

And I almost was.

We got pregnant the first cycle we started trying, without temping or ovulation predictor kits or crazy obsession with my internal organs. Which is pretty much the opposite of what happened with my first pregnancy. But something (ahem… that elusive Mother’s Intuition…) told me that I just wasn’t ready to share the news yet. I wasn’t ready to experience this pregnancy so publicly. I just… wasn’t.

But now, even though the “end” isn’t quite here yet, I’m ready to share it. I’m ready to talk. Because the absolute best thing that has ever come from writing this blog is the individual emails, comments, tweets, conversations and phone calls in which people have said, “Thank you for writing about this. I’m going through the same thing and it was so helpful to read your words. They’ve made me feel so much better.” If I can help even one person out there feel comforted or educated or understood, it is worth it to share this story. If I can open one person’s eyes to the fact that many more people struggle to get pregnant than they might realize, it is worth it to write these words.

Over the next few days I’ll share the journal I kept over the last few weeks.