In the past two months I have gone from the high of becoming pregnant for a third time, to the low of processing a miscarriage. This journey has not been an easy one and has definitely hit me with a wide range of emotions.
On Mother’s day, after being only 3 days late for my period, I was blessed (and surprised) with a positive pregnancy test (how fitting, right?). The day was filled with excitement, fear, and a lot of adjusting. Tucker took the news amazing, he was so excited for the “baby in mamas belly”. Rylee, refused to acknowledge and followed up with increased nursing sessions for the following few weeks – she obviously wasn’t ready to give up the “baby” title quite yet.
After the surprise and joy settled in, we were hit with guilt and shame. There are a lot of people in our lives right now attempting to conceive without luck, yet here we are pregnant again. We were scared to tell our family and friends in fear of hurting those suffering, but we felt that it was such a gift that we wanted to share it with everyone.
The morning sickness kicked in on Memorial Day weekend – I know because I spent most of Memorial Day laying in bed or on the couch. The nausea was so uncomfortable – but it was different than my last two pregnancies (both involved extreme nausea and vomiting with about 10lb weight loss in the first trimester). It felt like when you don’t eat for so long that you start to feel nauseous – so I spent majority of my time snacking to keep the nausea at bay. The vomiting never kicked in and I ended up gaining wait right away. Everyone around though maybe it was so different because this time it was twins – boy were they wrong.
Two long weeks later, I went in for my 8 week appointment with my OB. I went through all the routine paperwork and birth plan details with my nurse then waited patiently on the table for my doctor to come in and show me the pretty little picture of my baby so I could share it with the world… Only that’s not what happened. The ultrasound showed the gestational sac where a baby would normally be, but there was no baby.
My OB assured me that we could be off on the dates of conception since my periods weren’t completely regular yet, and it could just be too early to see the baby yet. Counting back, that didn’t make any sense to me. She told me not to jump to any conclusions and to wait until we have more answers, but there wasn’t much more she said at that time. She left the room and I started bawling. Hysterically crying.
She adjusted my orders and instead of the urine sample and blood tests I was scheduled for, I was sent to the lab for a blood draw to see what my pregnancy hormone levels were. I walked down there with blood shot eyes and a tissue in my hand. The lab tech was the sweetest woman ever, making me feel so special despite the circumstances.
I got in my car and called my husband only to begin crying again and him to barely understand that I was telling him there was no baby on the ultrasound. He calmed me down like he usually does (he is completely the yin to my yang) and told me not to freak out until we knew more.
I got the call with my results just before 5:00PM that day. The pregnancy hormone (bHCG) levels were around 68,000 – consistent with about 6 weeks pregnant; and my protesterone levels were 10.2 – they are looking for over 11 in the first trimester. I was due back in 48 hours for a second blood draw with hopes that the bHCG levels would double.
Although they did increase, it wasn’t enough. So I remained in limbo, with no complete answers, and with a lot of unanswered questions for another 5 days until I was scheduled for a formal ultrasound.
I spent the entire weekend in a confused state. Am I pregnant or am I not? I feel pregnant, but I feel different than before in my other pregnancies. Intuition was telling me there was no baby, but my symptoms were messing with my head. How could I be feeling so pregnant, how could I be so exhausted I can hardly play with my children and I have to nap when they nap, how could I be so uncomfortable – but not have a baby in my womb?
By the time I went in for my ultrasound, I had processed a lot of emotions and was ready for whatever the results were. When I saw an empty sac for a second time, I knew there was no baby in there. My body was pregnant, producing pregnancy hormones, had a gestational sac implanted in my uterus, but there was no growing baby – this is known as a “blighted ovum”.
The actual results of the ultrasound didn’t come for another 2 days. No yolk in sac, no fetal pole. The nurse asked me to come in right away for another hormone level, which came back at almost the same as the last. So although the first (unofficial) ultrasound showed no baby, the numbers were no longer doubling, and the official ultrasound showed no baby, the numbers grew in the tiniest bit so they could not tell me (legally) that I was having a miscarriage.
Instead they scheduled me for another formal ultrasound, 5 days later.
By this ultrasound, I had completely accepted that I was having a miscarriage and that my body was no longer supporting a healthy pregnancy. The crappy part – I was still feeling sick. I was feeling a little better, in the sense that I was starting to enjoy a cup of coffee in the morning again, but the waves of nausea and exhaustion were still present at the most random times.
The second ultrasound was painless, the blighted ovum was smaller and lower, suggesting my body was finally accepting it was having a miscarriage and working to expel the non-viable pregnancy. I received the results the next day a long with a prescription for Cytotec. My nurse told me that it would ripen my cervix and induce the miscarriage process. All I had to do was insert 4 white pills into my vagina at night before bed and wait for the cramping and bleeding to start.
I planned for the kids to spend the night at my mom’s house in case the pain and bleeding was too much for me to handle with them around. 24 hours later I had some cramping and bleeding, but not a lot. I thought “wow I got lucky” since my nurse said some women have a light period and others can’t get off the toilet. But really, the medication didn’t work effectively.
The following Thursday night (almost a week later) I started bleeding again. It improved in the morning, but worsened on Friday night with uncomfortable cramping. The pain and bleeding got better again in the morning only for it to turn very uncomfortable and excessive Saturday night. I thought I was through the worst of it until Sunday night started.
I can only describe it as a mild labor.
I had contractions that came in waves, back pain that worsened through the night as the contractions worsened.
And with every contraction came bleeding and clots. A lot of clots.
At one point, there was a clot the size of a softball that required “pushing” with the contraction, which scared me so much. How could one person lose this much blood from passing a miscarriage?
At 1:30am I ended up calling the nurse hotline to make sure this was normal. She told me I could wait to see if the bleeding and pain improved in the next 15 minutes, otherwise I may benefit from going to the ER.
But there was no way I was going to make it to the ER at this time, with 2 kids sleeping, and all this bleeding.
My son woke up around 2:00am, and since my husband was already sleeping, I ended up cuddling up in my bed with him and falling asleep as the pain started to subside. The contractions were finally over and the pain I was feeling was starting to subside.
I continued to have period like bleeding for about another week.
But, I am still on this journey. I still have to get my hormones tested weekly until they reach baseline. I am still waiting for my next regular period to signify the end of this chapter. I am still waiting for my emotions to help me heal and move forward from this process. I am still waiting for answers I may never get.
But in the last two days I have finally started feeling like myself again, with more energy, waking naturally at my body’s pace feeling energized and ready to start the day. I am finding more patience for my children and I’m able to play with them without feeling pukey or light headed.
I’m telling you all of this in the case that you are looking for reassurance and answers. I found myself left alone to research anything I needed to know. If I hadn’t read a blog post on my own about someone going through a labor type passing of her miscarriage, I would have never known that what I was enduring was somewhat normal. I felt that the medical professionals that I had trusted with my pregnant body and unborn child had failed me miserably, and I want anyone out there to know that if they aren’t there, someone else will be.
The support system that enveloped me during this unthinkable time was everything to me. Friends checking in on me and staying updated as things progressed. Parents and in-laws helping at the drop of a hat when I needed to run to the hospital for an appointment last minute. My husband, helping with the children and food after he already put in a 10 hour day at work. And honestly, the quiet hugs of those that knew what was going on and just wanted me to know they were thinking of me and that they love me. The positive side of this whole experience can be encompassed in finding the support team I never knew I had. A community that gathered around me when I needed it most.
Questions, comments, concerns?? Leave them the comments! I’m obviously an open book ❤️