Disclaimer: This story contains details of miscarriage that may be upsetting to some.
“Ever since I can remember there were very few things I knew I absolutely wanted to be, from the typical little girl’s wishes of wanting to be a princess, or veterinarian, maybe even an artist. On the list only two things really never changed: I wanted to be a wife, and most of all, a mom! Fast forward to being 19 years old. I met and began dating the person who would become my husband. At 22, I finished nursing school and in short order engaged at 23 and married shortly after my 24th birthday. Life was seemingly working out just as I had always hoped.
After getting married my husband and I decided that we would ‘wait’ a year before starting a family and just take the time to enjoy life and each other. The year flew by and was filled with adventures. Once our first anniversary came and went, we agreed that anytime now would be just fine to have a baby.
So began a journey I never thought I would have to take, nor one I ever wanted… 6 months into trying for a baby and still nothing. I began to suspect that something could be wrong, however, I was assured that it could be up to a year before I became pregnant. The more time went on and the more negative tests, the more discouraged I felt. About 9 months in my husband was getting laid off from work for up to 1 year. Thankfully prior to this, we had heard rumors of it so I was able to switch jobs so we could maintain insurance in the meantime. The layoff wasn’t the shock, however. Finally getting a positive pregnancy test the morning prior to his last shift was…
The timing was not ideal, but we knew we wanted this baby. We were determined to make it all work. A week goes by. I tell my parents since I figured they would be the first to suspect anything. My mom convinced me to call my doctor to confirm the pregnancy and figure out the next steps. I was able to get in quickly and had the blood test done. My doctor called with results the next day saying I was indeed pregnant! However, the next thing was a slight gut punch; my numbers were low and he wanted me to come in the next day for a repeat draw. The next day I had the test done and waited again for the results. The doctor called me while I was at work at a local hospital to inform me that my numbers had barely risen. I was having a miscarriage…
I broke, defeated. My doctor set up an ultrasound at my work to confirm and my husband met me there. The ultrasound was never what I pictured my first one would be like. We left with no pictures, no smiles, just an, ‘I’m sorry for your loss.’ We were devastated, and I was angry. Though I know it’s not uncommon, I had the ‘it won’t be me’ attitude. I was wrong. We had a preplanned vacation already scheduled for the next month so we agreed to go enjoy some time and try again the following month. At this point, my doctor recommended we try Clomid. Clomid is a drug used to essentially stimulate ovulation. My doctor figured since it had already been over a year of trying at that point, it could be worth a shot.
Clomid round 1. Success! Right before Thanksgiving came a positive pregnancy test! Excited but cautious, I knew I could miscarry again but it would be less likely. A couple of weeks later I began to have some pain and cramping. I texted my mom to call my doctor since I was working and didn’t have much time to get to my phone. She did and no sooner did I have a handful of missed calls from my doctor and multiple voicemails to call him back immediately. (I should note this man was my mom’s doctor.) I was able to talk to him and run down to the lab for a blood draw and have an ultrasound after work at the clinic next door. Alone this time, before the tech could even say anything, I could already see miscarriage number 2.
At this point, I felt every emotion. Angry, mad, sad, confused. We made it through the month and Christmas. Round 3 and 4 of Clomid…nothing. In March my parents decided to move across the country and being that I had some time off, I went with them to help them move. I think in hindsight I just needed a break. I spent 10 days with my parents and returned home. Only to find out a week or so later I was pregnant for the 3rd time in about 8 months. This time around I swore I would wait until 8 weeks to be seen. The odds of miscarrying a 3rd time in a row is about 1%.
No way it could happen again, right? At this point my insurance had changed, which forced me to switch providers. However, to get into a new one, I needed a referral. My old doctor wasn’t all that happy about the ‘red tape’ more or less, so he called and made my appointment himself and told me when I was being seen. I met my new doctor, and he began to run tests and an ultrasound. My husband was with me, smiling away as the doctor pointed out the body parts on the screen. Head, body, etc. Me being ever-so-myself, I looked at the doctor and asked, ‘Where is the flicker?’ He replied, ‘No heartbeat.’ He said it may just be too early and to come back in one week for another scan. Blood levels looked good, but the scan was showing no heartbeat.
My doctor was out, and the covering provider didn’t want to call it. When I came back in 5 days, there was again no heartbeat. Everything else was growing, except my baby. I was having a missed miscarriage. My own body couldn’t recognize the pregnancy was not viable. We came to the hard choice to chemically induce ‘expulsion,’ however, after the medication, it failed. I needed to have dilation and curettage. Mechanical removal. I got pregnant in March and at the end of May (what should have been nearly the end of my first trimester) I was saying goodbye to baby number 3. I was in the 1%.
Everything raised red flags. We saw genetics, hematology, and had a ridiculous amount of scans, tests, pokes, and prods. Consensus? Bad luck. I was a perfectly healthy young individual with no medically diagnosable fertility issue. Great. In midst of the this, we said screw it. Let’s try one more time. We obviously know what the worse case is. And right before our appointment with a genetics counselor, we were pregnant again for the fourth time. Genetics recommend progesterone as a Hail Mary with no other suggestions because we were the anomaly. I don’t know if it’s worse to have no answer at all or to have an answer that you don’t like.
I followed pregnancy number four closely. Thankfully, at this point, I switched over to the clinic and pretty much had my OBGYN down the hall regularly. All was well at the 14-week scan and DNA tests came back normal for a girl! At 20 weeks, we learned the baby was breeched. The placenta was in front and the cord was placed a little far off to the side, but it was all manageable.
34 weeks came and our big, breeched baby was measuring 7 pounds. Yay c-section! 36 weeks: preeclampsia, bed rest. 37 weeks: 6 days to baby day. I’ll save you the horror stories but some things were missed. The pain post-op was not good. 60 to 90 seconds after my little girl made her entrance I had chest pain that quickly began to move up through my neck, face, and finally my head. I was able to tell the anesthetist exactly what was happening before my oxygen saturation dropped and I turned blue and went unconscious.
But I eventually came back around! Everything seemed seamless. In fact, I never even knew I lost consciousness until I was told later. The anesthesiologist I thankfully knew was right by my side, and somehow I was able to joke about him standing in my vomit. Gross, I know. Eventually, everything stabilized and a while later I got to hold and be with my girl! The following day I was informed that though they couldn’t be certain, it was likely I had an air embolism that dissipated.
This whole journey has been a wild ride. Yet despite all of the craziness, I wouldn’t change a thing. I have my girl, my baby. I’m a mom to her and now her sister! (Pregnancy number 5 was easy.) I’ll never forget my first 3; because of them, I am the mom I am today. They were wanted, wished for, and prayed for, but if things were different my girls wouldn’t be here. For that, I’ve learned to be okay with it all.
Being a mom after miscarriage is a weird twisted grief with happiness, sprinkled with a little bit of guilt and wondering what could have been, yet not wanting to change it. To this day sure I will never fully wrap my head around it all, but I’m just going to enjoy the now.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Alexandria Roskoski. Submit your own story here, and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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