“PSA: Stop asking people or couples when they are going to have kids because you don’t know their story or the struggle they are going through. Maybe if I share ours it will shed some light on the issue.
After getting married in Jamaica during July 2017, I had gone to see my ob-gyn to talk about conceiving. Since being out of the country she suggested to get back on birth control for at least 6 months due to the possibility of Zika. I had stopped my birth control in Jamaica but immediately started taking it again (after confirming I was not pregnant after being off for 2 weeks). The reason being is that they will not test you or your spouse for Zika unless you are already pregnant. This is due to only 2 labs in the United States testing for it and being backed up with already pregnant women. To clarify: the virus stays in a female for one month, once your period comes it exits your body. With males it can stay in the sperm for up to 6 months.
End of January 2018 came, and I stopped with my birth control. Since being on it since I was 14, I wasn’t sure if there would be adverse side effects, would I be able to get pregnant, how terrible would my periods be? (Long story short that was the reason I started on B.C.). So, after the first month and not getting my period I researched how your body can take up to three months to regulate itself and start your period, so I waited.
During April 2018 while at work my friend looked at me and said I have this weird feeling you’re pregnant. I laughed and said, ‘no way, I have not even gotten my period yet, there’s no way I am pregnant.’ So, working in a doctor’s office I went to take an HCG test and sure enough those two lines showed up so fast. WHAT? Was this real? I immediately called my husband who was just as shocked and said, ‘you are kidding me, you need to take another one.’ I told him that false negatives are possible but false positives are very rare. So, I ran downstairs since my ob-gyn is in the same building as I am and took the test with them.
The front desk said, ‘Congratulations, but we don’t see you until you’re 8 weeks.’ I said, ‘That’s good, considering I have no idea how many weeks I am, since I never had my period.’ They fit me in that Friday April 13, 2018. They tried to hear for a heartbeat through a fetal Doppler and couldn’t find anything and said, ‘that’s ok, you’re probably not that far along’. They originally thought I was 10 weeks. Then they waited until the ultrasound was available. The trans-vaginal one was breaking which they were waiting on a piece to fix it, so they tried trans-abdominal. She wasn’t able to get anything and said I’m probably too early to see but they scheduled me for a trans-vaginal ultra sound the following week in hopes it were fixed. That Friday we were heading back to PA already, so we had told some family members because we were so excited.
As fast as we found out we were pregnant was as fast as I started to bleed, so it felt. That Monday I came home from work cramping something terrible. I had gone straight up to bed to try and relax but I couldn’t. I had gotten up to use the restroom and there was blood and clots everywhere. I knew right then I was miscarrying. I immediately called the doc on call to let them know we were heading to the hospital. Funny thing is, we had no idea the closest hospital as we had just purchased a house in September and never thought of it. So, we googled it and set off to the closest one. Busiest hospital I had ever been to. Crying and bleeding amongst the other 80 people waiting in an ER for the intake.
After an hour a male nurse called my name and told me, ‘you picked the wrong day to come here, Monday’s are busy, and we don’t have a room.’ My husband asked if we should go elsewhere and he said, ‘I can’t tell you to do that.’ Chris, getting frustrated, looked at me and said, ‘I am going to get the truck. We are not staying here.’ After texting back and forth with my boss who is a native to the area, told me which ER to go to, it was about 20 minutes away, but we didn’t care. It was an ER not attached to a hospital and no one was there! When we pulled in we laughed and said ‘are they even open?’ I walked in to the nicest, most genuine staff, nurses and doctors. After many tests and hours there, and the bleeding and clotting stopping, they still saw a sac and told me it was a missed abortion and I need to be on bed rest until I can see my OB. So, I was scheduled to see her that Friday. Since their trans-abdominal machine was still broken they scheduled me to go to their sister office for the ultrasound. I did not want my husband to come back with me because I already knew there wasn’t going to be anything there and I didn’t want to look either. The tech didn’t speak a word to me. We went to lunch to kill time between that appointment and the appointment with our doctor.
When we got to the office they called us back right away to let us know the news. I had miscarried; however, the gestational sac was still there. She gave me my options. To let it happen naturally, to use these pills that you stick up your vagina to start contractions, or to schedule a D&C. Since we ate, a D&C were out of the question that day.
I opted for the pills. She gave me two sets of 4 pills in case the first set doesn’t work. I immediately came home and started at 2:30 pm. The cramping was terrible and all they give you is ibuprofen. So, as I lay in bed hoping it starts soon it wasn’t until about 1am when essentially ‘my water broke’ or it’s what it felt like, a gush of water coming out of you. At that point I knew it started. Back and forth from the bathroom to the bed cramping something fierce and passing tissue. It lasted hours. They had told me you will know when you’ve passed the tissue. I thought I did. I slowly stopped bleeding by 9 am with the clots and thought it was over. That whole Saturday was miserable but finally by 3 pm I started to feel better and was only spotting.
Sunday morning was something different. At one-point early afternoon I had gotten up from bed to use the restroom. Before I stood up I had sneezed and heard a plop into the toilet, so I immediately jumped up and looked. There was a huge tissue clot sitting there. I assumed now this is what they were talking about. Not knowing I grabbed my phone to take a picture to show the doctor. She confirmed that yes that’s what I was to pass it was the size of my palm.
After blood tests to ensure my HCG levels were going down every other day, for a week they then had stopped decreasing. They ordered another trans-vaginal ultrasound, this time their machine fixed, to come to the conclusion my body did not pass everything. I had no choice but to schedule a D and C. Friday May 4, 2018 was the date my body said goodbye to our first child.
No one lets you know about the emotional rollercoaster your body is about to go on. The physical and emotional pain is something no one can describe. Already having anxiety, this made it worse. The day I found out I was pregnant I immediately stopped my medicine (not sure if that was a good decision or not). To this day I have tried to deal with my anxiety holistically.
July 16, 2018, I took a pregnancy test, positive. We wanted to be excited but were so scared to be excited because of ‘what if?’ I told my husband being excited won’t change whatever this outcome may be. The following day I immediately called my doctor to set up an appointment for August 16, 2018. On August 9 I was cramping; I had been off and on for a week or two which I thought was normal. That morning I woke up and I was bleeding, heavier than spotting so they called me in for an emergency ultrasound and appointment.
They concluded I was bleeding because I had two sacs and one wasn’t developing and thought it was my body trying to rid it, but the other sac was viable. Based off the app I use I thought I was 8 weeks 2 days. The ultra sound tech said no I would be 7 weeks, 1 day but it was measuring 5 weeks, 6 days. So, with the discrepancies of the dates there is a risk but as of that day everything looked good.
August 15 rolls around and I had been cramping and spotting for the past week which they said I probably would. I was at work and had gone to the bathroom and I was bleeding heavier than spotting and saw a dime size clot. The office was closed and was not worried as I was seeing them the following morning.
August 16, the ultra sound tech said ok let’s take a look. Immediately she knew what had happened. She said, ‘well the clot you passed looks like it was that other sac however, there is no heartbeat, no blood flow and it hasn’t grown. You are still measuring at 5 weeks, 6 days.’ My heart sank. My husband wasn’t there yet as he was coming from a job an hour away. So, she told me I could call him, so I did. Do you know how devastating that phone call is to make? To tell your husband you miscarried another baby? Thank God for him and being so strong because I do not know how I would have made it. We immediately planned to do a D&C that day. Since I had ate at 6:30 a.m. and my last sip of water right before my appointment at 8:30, we scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Thursday August 16, 2018… the day that was to be our first real appointment for this baby was the appointment we had to make another hard decision since the baby was not developing.
As I lay here my mind is going a mile a minute. Going on another emotional roller coaster ride. We opted for genetic testing and she did all the labs she could think of as to why I could possibly have two consecutive miscarriages.
So, I ask this of you… you do not know someone’s story or what they are going through or struggling through. You might be asking someone who is infertile and can’t conceive children and feels distraught over it. You might be talking to the mother who lost two of her children who she was never able to meet. Please be mindful of your words and actions in such a sensitive area of our society that we don’t talk about. I am fine to share my story in hopes that it reaches someone who is also struggling with pregnancy to know you are not alone.”
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