The Loss of Hope After Recurrent Miscarriage

When I started this blog I wasn’t sure how much I wanted to share about our fertility struggles. I talked myself out of my mothers day post as well as avoided blogging after positive pregnancy tests. I didn’t want to be a Debbie Downer and drag other people down with my own misery. I have changed my mind about not blogging this part of our journey, not because I sadistically want to  spread misery but because perhaps sharing what I’m going through will help someone else know they aren’t alone. I also hope getting it out will act as a kind of therapy for myself as well. This is my story so far…

Pregnancy #1:
On September 1nd 2013 after more than a year of unsuccessfully trying to conceive I realized I was late (1 day late *eye roll*) and decided to take a test. Almost instantly a dark positive line appeared! We were beside ourselves. My husband and I laughed and cried and hugged and immediately called everyone we knew to share the good news! We started making plans right away, we couldn’t wait! I started reading all the pregnancy books I could find (though there isn’t much to read about at 4 weeks pregnant). Monday I called the doctor and gushed over my symptoms and scheduled my first two appointments. Week 8 for the first ultrasound felt ages away! Each week my husband and I read the updates about our baby from the app on my phone, we were on cloud nine! Everything was perfect!

Until week 7… One ordinary day at work I went to the bathroom and noticed a small about of blood when I wiped (sorry TMI…). I immediately called my husband and then the doctor in a panic. They told me it was probably nothing but that I could come in for an ultrasound if it was help me feel better. They did the ultrasound and told me it was a little smaller than expected for 7 weeks so I was probably only 6 weeks along. We saw the heart beating away on the little screen and they printed out the first pictures of our little bundle of love! We put the pictures on the fridge (after showing them to everyone we knew of course) and went about our week with our joy restored.

At our regularly scheduled 8 week ultrasound the following week we were beyond excited! When we got in the room and she began the process we were frustrated and very disappointed that the ultrasound tech wouldn’t tell us what we were looking at or explain anything. She went so fast and with out saying a word, we felt jipped! After the tech finished with us we were directed to the next room to await the doctor who would discuss the ultrasound. She walked in and the look on her face made me worry, I still had no idea it would turn into the beginning of my worst nightmare. She told us the baby hadn’t grown as much as they would have liked and the heartbeat is a little slower than it should be. She told us there was still hope but that we should prepare for the possibility of a miscarriage. In an instant our overwhelming joy turned into overwhelming fear. We left the doctor in a daze, unsure what to do next.

The next 2 weeks were a roller-coaster of fear and hope, both fighting for our undivided loyalty. At our 10 week ultrasound the tech gave in to my emotional pleas and explained what she saw as she went. That day we learned that our babies heartbeat had stopped and the miscarriage would happen anytime. The doctor recommended an immediate D&C due to the troubling look of the placenta and the possibility of a molar pregnancy. A few hours later, crying hysterically and screaming that my baby was dead (anesthesia tends to bring out your true emotions in full force…) they wheeled me into a operating room and removed what was left of the little thing I had waited my entire life to have.

The next 3 months went by in a fog. I was more of a zombie than a person. I wouldn’t talk to anyone, even my husband. I couldn’t work or live at all really. I just stared blankly without seeing, without life and went along on autopilot. Eventually, slowly my husband brought me back but the emotional pain and depression were crippling. I took the advice of my doctor and went to a pregnancy loss support group one night. I walked out of that building with a new determination to heal, to move forward. I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life angry at the world like the people I saw in that group. I wasn’t ready to give up! It took a lot of time and I still feel the pain of that first loss but life continued and I continued with it.
Pregnancy #2:
On April 25th 2015 I was 6 days late. I had waited as long as I could to take a test and the day had finally come! We nervously waited for a result and when a faint positive appeared we were happy but we wanted more concrete proof. The next day we took another test and again got a faint positive. At this point we are pretty sure we are pregnant and started debating who to tell now and who to wait to tell.  We had already decided not to tell many people this time as spreading the news about the miscarriage the first time was just too painful. We settled on just telling our parents and called to tell them the news. Like us they were happy but the lack luster enthusiasm from both us and our parents huddled over the celebration like a cloud of uncertainty. The next Monday we went to the doctor and got a blood test to confirm. My HCG levels where lower than they should have been but we wouldn’t know anything until the follow up tests. I started spotting and instantly I felt like it was over. 48 hours later the second blood test came back with doubled HCG levels (Yay), hope strikes back! 48 hours after that test the third blood test came back with lower levels than it started out and our hopes were dashed as quickly as they had been raised. We bounced back from this loss faster than the first one though it still wasn’t easy, we had prepared for the possibility. This time we were recommended to an infertility specialist who gave us a list of tests to have done to try and find the problem.
Pregnancy #3:
On June 24th 2015 I was 3 days late. I took the test with no expectations since I wasn’t that late yet. A faint line appeared and my husband and I both shrugged and decided to test again in a few days and see if anything changes. Saturday I took a test and we received a darker line. There were no cries of joy, there was no bubbling excitement, there were no calibration phone calls. We told our parents casually the next time we had them on the phone for other reasons. It wasn’t a “guess what, we’re pregnant!” telling the parents, it was a “so we got another positive pregnancy test but we will see what happens”. I started spotting very lightly and any hope that still remained faded. But unlike previously the spotting stopped and hope returned (in small doses). I went in for a blood test and my HCG levels were up, hope flooded in! Then the spotting started again and panic overcame me. They prescribed progesterone and my hope soared higher than I had let it get previously! This pregnancy really had a chance! The very next day I get the call that my second blood test came back with HCG levels lower than the start, not doubled as they should be. It was like a sick gave of tug of war, in which I’m never the winner.

We never had a chance to get the testing done the specialist had recommended before we got pregnant again so we are back to that plan. There has to be something wrong with me and I need to know what it is. We have been trying for 3 years and have had 3 miscarriages. That isn’t right. I refuse to give up! I have dreamed my entire life of having a baby and no matter what it takes, that dream will come true. If we conceive naturally, I will be happy with that. If we need help to carry to full term, I will be happy with that. If in the end we adopt, I will be happy with that. My dream may not come true the way I originally expected it to but that doesn’t mean it can’t come true all the same.

I have learned through this that when hope builds you up it’s a much harder and more painful fall but also that without hope we have nothing.

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One Response to The Loss of Hope After Recurrent Miscarriage

  1. Pingback: Infertility Testing Update | Fortner Thoughts

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