I have always wanted children…at least as long as I can remember. Even with my first pregnancy, I originally did not want to be pregnant, but I immediately loved that baby the second I found out I was pregnant. After that miscarriage, I had horrible fears about not being able to conceive or to ever be able to have children of my own. Once I had known John for 3 months, I knew he was the one. I knew I loved him, that I would marry him, and that we would make beautiful babies together. It had been years since my 1st miscarriage, and even though I still had that fear of not being able to have children, I told myself that everything would be great. John and I were soo happy. We had great careers, we were doing well financially, we had a house, and we were so great together that we knew we would only get better once we started a family. I felt confident and excited about starting a family. I wanted to start right after we got married, but I could tell John wasn’t quite ready. He is a slow mover and with new things that he has never done before, he is a little scared. I knew he would be great once he got used to the idea of me being pregnant, but I still gave him a little time before we actually started trying.
I got off of my birth control pills soon after the wedding. I had been on bc for over 10 years, and I wanted to give my body some time to get back to normal. I believe it took about 3 months for my body to be somewhat normal. I actually learned about mittelschmerz and how I have them–it’s the cramping like pain you get in your lower abdomen when you are ovulating. I began reading some books that Larissa had given me about conceiving and I learned a ton about my body! I didn’t even know about the 6 day fertility window and when it was. I didn’t know about cervical fluid, or anything about charting my waking body temperatures. I decided that we would just try to have well timed intercourse at first and if it didn’t work, then I would start taking it more serious. Larissa was kinda obsessed when her and Damion began trying for Savannah. She has ovulation predictor test strips (OPKs) and some thing she spit into that would tell her if she was ovulating. I thought she was crazy and I told myself there was no way I would get that obsessed 🙂
John and I decided to start unofficially trying in January of 2010. We just stopped using protection that month. We were unsuccessful, so we started timing it better for February. It was more all me though. John was still nervous about it. But it wasn’t like I was forcing him into anything. He said he was ready…it still just scared the crap out of him. February was unsuccessful though also. I really had felt that we had good timing. Man, having that much sex is NOT easy! So I decided that March was the month that I would break down and start using the left over OPKs that Larissa had given me.
John and I met a couple online, Chris and Emily, in February. I guess we just felt like we didn’t have many friends in Eugene that were in the same place in their lives as we were and we were looking for another couple to hang out with. They have grown to be some of our closest friends and they are about to have their first baby! Tyler Jewel is due at the end of August and we are very excited to meet him!
On 4/6/10, Damion and Larissa and me and John were planning on going to Chef’s Night Out at the Hult Center. Aunt Flow (or AF as we like to call her on the Bump) was due that day. I was very regular, so when I got home from work that afternoon, it was not normal for me to not have started yet. So I had a digital HPT and I decided to take it even though you are supposed to use FMU (first morning urine). I started getting ready to leave and almost forgot to check the test. I had been so used to it being negative (okay, I know it was only twice, but it still sucked!) that I just told myself it would be again. But when I looked, it was positive!!! I yelled for John and he came into the bathroom. He said, “Are you serious?” He didn’t believe it and was in shock. I was effing stoked! I ran into the living room and showed Damion and Larissa. Larissa was so happy and excited she started crying!
I was nervous about the pregnancy because I had done some research since my 1st miscarriage. I have known that I was B- blood type since I donated blood in high school. And I know that the father of the 1st pregnancy was A+ blood. When I had my miscarriage, my doctor didn’t even ask about my blood type and didn’t say a word about a Rhogam shot. Basically when a mother with negative blood type and a father with positive blood type conceive, the baby will always have positive blood because it is dominant. The first pregnancy is normally not a problem, and the mother will get a Rhogam shot during the 7th month and shortly after birth. This is because during birth (and sometimes during miscarriage) the mother and baby’s blood will cross and the mother’s body will create antibodies to attack the foreign blood type. The Rhogam shot stops those antibodies from forming. So since I didn’t get the shot, I was very afraid that my body was attacking my baby every second. I had my 1st OB appointment when I was 6 weeks along. Our doctor ordered all the blood tests and the antibody screen came back negative! She had told me before the blood tests that I probably didn’t have the antibodies because I wasn’t very far along with the 1st miscarriage.
Everything else was going very well with the pregnancy. I was due on 12/12! The day after my birthday! I was so excited for this birthday and Christmas–it was going to be a great December. Once I hit and passed the 6 week mark, I was feeling much better, since that is when I lost my first baby. I didn’t have too many crazy symptoms. I got super bloated and even bought some maternity pants instead of buying larger regular pants. I had almost constant nausea, I never threw up, but I constantly felt like I needed to. I was hungry all the time and peed about a million times a day. I was starting to get very excited and our first ultrasound was scheduled for 8w3d. We had told my dad, John’s parents, our sibling and a few close friends that we were expecting. We wanted to wait until after the 1st ultrasound to tell more people.
The weekend before the ultrasound was scheduled I started spotting some brown blood. I tried really hard not to freak out because I had read that brown spotting can be normal. It was red blood that you had to be worried about. Well, that Sunday when I was at work, I went to the bathroom on my lunch and there was bright red blood when I wiped. I left work and drove home bawling the entire way. I just knew I was losing the baby. I called the OBs office and they said to put my feet up, drink a lot of water, and if I filled up a pad in 1 hour, than to call back. I actually didn’t bleed at all after that first time. They pushed my ultrasound up by 2 days so I got in on Monday. John left work so he could go with me. When the u/s tech used the internal machine, we saw our little blob of a baby on the screen with it’s heart beating away! We were so relieved. The u/s tech told us the baby looked great! She asked when my due date was again, and I told her, she said that the baby was only measuring at 5w6d and I should have been 8w1d. It was an automatic red flag to me but she said not to worry because I could have ovulated late. I told her I knew when I ovulated, but she said it was fine and maybe I ovulated twice. When I saw my doctor after the u/s, she also had the same fears that I did. She told me that either the baby would catch up and everything would be fine, or that the baby’s heart would stop beating and I would miscarry. We made an appointment for the next week to check on the progress.
I started reading about similar situations on the internet and I actually started to feel a little optimistic after a few days. A lot of girls on the December 2010 board on the Bump said that similar things had happened to them or people they knew and things turned out well. I didn’t spot anymore and I was feeling better. That weekend I started spotting again just a little bit and had a little bit of red blood again. I realized though that it happened when I was trying to have a bowel movement. Gotta love pregnancy constipation! So I read about that and found some articles about how when you gear up to push out a bowel movement, that sometimes blood can pool in your cervix and then come out when you release. And since I was noticing spotting and blood when I was constipated, I thought that was what it was probably from.
Just a warning, some of the information following can be disturbing and considered TMI, so only continue reading if you feel like you can handle it.
John and I went in for the next ultrasound when I should have been 9w3d. I had a horrible feeling. The ultrasound tech was quiet for a few moments and then told me that there was no heartbeat. I was devastated. John cried and that was even more heartbreaking because I have only seen him cry a few times since I have known him. I decided to schedule a D&C for Friday. I just wanted it to be done so that we could move on and so I could heal. When I went home that day, John went back to work and I began to cramp and bleed a lot. It was very painful and I began to feel the urge to push. So I spent about 2 hours on the toilet and passed a lot of clots and tissue, alone. I called the OB office and they said to try to save the tissue for testing and to come in the next day to test my HCG levels to see if I still needed the D&C. John had to go out of town for work the next day. My levels came back at 12,000, so there was still a lot of tissue left. Soon after my appointment, I began cramping and bleeding again. This time it was so much worse than the day before. I was literally having contractions and was in soo much pain. I wanted to go to the hospital or the doctor, but I didn’t know how I would get there because I didn’t think I could drive. And I felt that if I called and by the time I got down there, it would be over and I would be down there for nothing. I finally broke down after about 3 hours and called the OB office. They told me to take some ibuprofen, but the pain did stop shortly after. I was so exhausted after it that I fell asleep for about an hour or so. When I woke up, I felt like I was passing more tissue. I went to the bathroom and could feel that a large amount of tissue or something was passing. I caught it on tissue and when I looked at it, it was grey tissue and a clear-yellowish sac. I knew my baby was inside of that sac and I wanted to see it, but I decided I probably shouldn’t look. I saved it so I could bring it into the OB office the next day.
John was able to leave work so he could go to the D&C with me. I wasn’t supposed to drive after the procedure, so I asked Robyn if she could drive me because I didn’t know if John would be able to leave. He met us at the doctor’s office and Robyn went home. I didn’t want to have the D&C if I didn’t need it, but my OB said that I probably hadn’t passed all of the tissue on my own, so I decided to go ahead and have the procedure. I only received local anesthesia which didn’t really help much at all. I could feel her dilating my cervix and when she inserted the tool and started scraping the inside of my uterus and vacuuming out what was left of my baby, I began cramping immediately. It was horrible. I hope I never have to go through that again, but if I do, I will insist that I be put under for it. A lot of women on the bump were appalled that she didn’t put me under, because pretty much everyone on there that I had talked to said they had been put under.
I was scheduled for a follow up appointment in 2 weeks. In the meantime, I grieved and got support on the Bump. I became a regular poster on the Miscarriage/Pregnancy Loss board. The women on there are amazing and they gave me so much comfort and support. I only hope I was and am able to give them what they gave me. One of the women even started a secret Facebook page so that we could all become friends on there and see pictures of each other and just have another way to get to know each other.
John and I usually go back to Nebraska every summer. It has always been for a wedding, and this year we actually didn’t have a wedding to go back to. John was dragging his feet on booking our flight and making plans so I got frustrated and asked him what the hell was wrong with him–we only had a couple weeks until we were on vacation. Well, he told me that he correlated the Nebraska trip this year with the end of my 1st Trimester and how he was looking forward to going home and telling everyone we were pregnant. 😦 So we decided to take a trip for just the two of us. We went to San Fransisco for a week and had an amazing time! We went to an A’s game in Oakland since the Giants were away that week. I also took a little time to write some names in the sand. Some of the women on the M/C/Loss board had started a tradition of writing our baby’s names in the sand and taking pictures for each other. And since we are from all over the country (and some women are in different parts of the world), it gave our babies a chance to visit new areas 🙂 We didn’t name our baby, so we just called it Baby Chess.
A month or so after the loss, I began to feel a lot better and ready to move on to TTCAL (trying to conceive after loss). But I will save that part of the story for another day and another post.