Unexpected Love and Loss
My Miscarriage Story -
by Team Mama Wins | August 13th, 2018
My husband I had been trying to conceive for a year before we sought help from a Reproductive Endocrinologist. We did, and all the tests that came back showed promising results! The Endocrinologist encouraged us to try Intrauterine Insemination, and said our chances were very good. So, in preparation, we gave up alcohol, caffeine, and unpasteurized cheeses all- together. Twelve days later and after the procedure, low and behold, I saw that little pink line I had been waiting to see for so long! I was so excited! It felt like all our dreams had come true.
Two days later, I went out for a blood test and told everyone in the lab that I was pregnant! I anxiously awaited my numbers. Then finally, even before the nurse called me, I saw them online. My HCG was at an eleven. I did not know what this meant so I performed a quick google search and it said I was pregnant if the HCG was over 5! So, I called my husband, yelling that my blood test confirmed! We are pregnant! Then, about an hour later the nurse called to discuss my blood test results and numbers. Her voice was warm but did not have a happy tone to it. She said,” Laura, eleven is not a number we can be confident about. We want to see it over 100.” My heart sunk, and I felt heavy.
I remember calling my husband after and just sobbing into the phone. But despite the results, together, we decided we were not giving up. In that moment, our baby was inside me, and I would fight for my child any chance I got. Little did I know, that meant I would soon be enduring the hardest few months of my life.
My next blood test was two days later. They want the HCG to double every 48 hours, so when it came back at thirty-six, I was elated. Then--the nurse called again, and with the same tone in her voice. Instantly I became defensive saying,” Hey, it doubled!” “Things are going great!” And then, she said the last thing I wanted to hear. She stated, “Laura, I would be remiss If I didn’t warn you that this is not likely to be a healthy pregnancy.” We were entering what we call a “beta hell”. Every two days you go for a blood test and wait, pray, cry and search on google for success stories; anything to keep you at ease.
Now, I had a fighter in me which refused to stop believing in my baby. I felt like the moment I gave up was the moment I would lose my child. So, we endured. As a result, my baby grew. My numbers went to 114, to 336, and finally to, 3000! But, once again, low and behold, I kept getting warnings from the nurses that these numbers were still very low, and they’d always make sure to tell me to call them if I started to bleed. Absolutely nothing but, negative and disheartening, yet that fighter in me was confident in our miracle to come.
I did however, vow to never use this reproductive centre again. They were so adverse, almost damaging by constantly bringing me back to a reality that was crushing my hopes and dreams. I felt like they must be jaded, they must see the worst-case scenarios all the time, and so they were giving up on me even when I refused to give up on myself, or my child. At seven weeks we had our first scan and saw our baby on the screen. There it was, proof that I was a mum. A life was inside of me. I was now a mum.
But again, the nurses were negative. There was no heartbeat, and we were “measuring small”. So, by this point, they said that was okay and that it could start beating any day. The nurse saying, “There is no way to tell by the moment of conception, so our timing could be off” was not good enough. The moment the nurse left the room, I crumbled. I started sobbing uncontrollably, so disappointed that we did not get good news.
I was in dire need of a glimmer of hope, but thankfully, I wasn’t ready to give up yet. So, we waited another week full of more searches on google, and more reassurance that this could be a miracle. This could be!
At week Eight, we went for our second scan. This time, we saw that beautiful flicker on the screen. Our baby was alive! We had done it! We even got a due date of June 27th, a day that will always be special to us. The power of hope and prayer had helped our child fight the odds. And then, another sigh from the nurse, “The heartbeat is “only” at 99 and really, over 130 would be better.” (Sigh) Then the doctor entered, and he made it clear that this could go either way. She said that we had 50/50 odds. This time, we left the room feeling empowered. We refused to give up hope. I would fight for my baby, because my baby was fighting for me.
At Nine weeks pregnant, we went in again. This time, the heartbeat was lower as it was only at a 91. We cried, and the doctor came in to tell us, at this point, we only had 20% odds of survival.
At this point, we already began to grieve. Again, we cried and prayed, and we waited some more. We searched google for miracle stories. They helped keep hope fresh. We went to church and cried during mass praying for our fighting baby. We told our child how loved they were, and that if they needed to stop fighting, that it was okay. We spoke of our deep love for our baby and told them we didn't want them to be in pain.
A week later was the day after thanksgiving, and I was ten weeks along. This was the day we heard those dreaded words. “I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat". Let me tell you that no one and nothing can prepare you for that moment, and heaven knows that they certainly tried but in far too a negative way. Now, by this point my husband and I are numb. I cried no tears. I had bawled at every scan, and this is the one that I couldn’t cry anymore at. I remember the nurse looking at me oddly as if like something was wrong with me, and she said, “You seem to be handling this well”. I felt like that was such an insensitive thing to say right then and there, and it was.
At this point, our doctor sat us down to review our options. We could wait, and let things happen on their own which could take days maybe weeks, or we could take a pill to get things going, or we had the option for me to have a D and C, which she was against because of the risk of scar tissue. I chose to take the pill, and I was simply sent home with pain meds, and instructions to call if I needed anything. I had a three day weekend ahead of me, so I felt comfortable in my decision to not risk scar tissue. Boy, was I wrong.
The next day, I was losing so much blood that I was too weak to move. I called the doctor in hysterics, because I truly felt like I may die. I was ashen, weak, shaking, and scared. She assured me that this was normal, but to come in to the hospital if I needed reassurance. After the second day, I started to feel better. I went in for a scan, and it showed that unfortunately, it wasn’t over. I needed to take the pills a second time. I stood in the doctor’s office, scared out of my mind. I found myself yelling that if I take those pills again, I will surely die. My fear was palpable. The doctor reassured me that most times, taking the pills a second time was far easier than the first time around. She was correct. The second time around was much different, but it still didn’t solve the issue. So, there we were three months later, and I was still spotting with tissue still in my uterus.
All those months became a blur of many tears, sorrows and sleepless nights. I kept asking God, why? I understand that my baby got called home, but why make me suffer to such an extent? Many woman experience miscarriages, but we all feel so alone while we suffer in silence. Every day there was a constant reminder of our loss. I cried on the couch telling my husband that I felt like a rotting tree. It looks normal on the outside, but the internal part of you is in shambles. I spent that period hibernating. I didn’t want to see friends or family. I didn’t want to leave the house, and I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I felt broken in every way; spiritually, mentally, and physically.
It was only when I stopped bleeding that I started to feel like the weight was lifted. Typically the bleeding doesn’t last as long as mine did, and I felt spiteful that I had to endure it. After three months, I had to book a surgery to remove the remaining tissue causing the bleeding. I cried for days, and then, out of nowhere, I was at peace. I could tell something was different. I went to the doctor and asked for a scan, and sure enough, the tissue was gone. I didn’t need surgery, and I finally felt like the universe heard me. I needed a win and it didn’t matter how small it was. It was validation that I had been through enough, and that the suffering needed to end! That small victory was what I needed to feel whole again.
Once I felt ready to talk about it, I attended several therapy sessions, and my husband came along to hold my hand and give me the support I needed. I finally started to get outside, to see friends, to take care of myself and my well-being.
In the end, I learned a lot of lessons through this experience. For one, I learned that I am married to a saint. My husband bought me diapers when I was bleeding so much, he held me, he fed me, and he carried the weight of my grief on his shoulders, never once wavering with his own. He constantly reminded me that everything would be okay, but he also gave me room to be sad, and was always willing to let me talk about it. That man is a true saint.
I learned that people don’t know what to say, when something bad happens. I heard things like, “This happens to a lot of women”, or “You shouldn’t stress so much, you may be contributing to this”, as if to blame me for my miscarriage. I learned they couldn’t possibly be understanding about this as they had not experienced it themselves.
I learned that my doctors and nurses were really just trying to help me, even though it seemed like they were just jaded or generic with me. I appreciated that we knew this was a possibility, and that it didn’t take us by surprise, as it does for so many others. I get extra love and attention from each person in the office when I go in, and they say things like “You have been through a lot”, which affirms me, and making it feel real. Plus, I can tell that my experience was much harder than most, and I survived it.
I learned the meaning of what a trigger was and when I had a panic attack on the way to the doctors for a routine exam, or when I felt like my heart got stomped on anytime I saw a pregnancy announcement I knew it was a possible trigger. That helped tremendously to know my triggers.
Finally and most importantly, I learned that I am a warrior. There were days that I worried I would never feel happiness again, but I do. I am happy, I am strong, and I know one day I’ll be with my baby again. Now, as we move on to start IVF, I feel more prepared. My husband and I went to hell and back, and came out of it with a stronger marriage, a stronger faith, and a knowledge that we can get through anything, as long as it’s together. That is not the norm for most couples so we are thankful, and ready for our next adventure towards parenthood.
Want to connect with Laura?
You can reach Laura via Instagram at: @ldiva_fit.ttc
Miscarriage Support Helpline
The Miscarriage Association
Helpline: 01924 200 799