Trigger Warning! This article may contain sensitive material. If you are easily provoked by content regarding miscarriage, I would proceed with caution. I want to share my story in hopes of helping others as well as myself. My healing process begins with shared experiences and connections. Thank you for your love and support during this difficult time.
A little over a month ago I started bleeding. This would come as no surprise as I was due for my period. The bleeding remained subdued for a couple of days which is uncharacteristic for my cycle. I decided to take a pregnancy test even though I knew that I would be disappointed when that lonely solo line showed up yet again to taunt me. I sat on the toilet prepared to add another negative pregnancy test to my batch of hopefuls that I’ve collected throughout the months. When I examined the test, I was in disbelief as two beautiful pink lines stared back at me. I didn’t have to shine at light on the test or analyze it from a million different angles, this test was a clear positive.
The next morning, I woke up to a lot of blood. Blood was in my pad and filling the toilet every time I went to the bathroom. I was devastated. It was was inevitable that I was miscarrying. There was no way there was a baby in there anymore.
I called my doctor to make her aware of my situation and she advised me to do blood work. I went for three separate blood draws and each time my HCG levels rose appropriately. I was ambivalent. How could I be bleeding and pregnant?
I wanted to be excited, but I didn’t know how to. Even as the bleeding began to subside, I couldn’t help but to think that something wasn’t right. My doctor assured me that bleeding in early pregnancy is not uncommon and it could be implantation bleeding or just an irritated cervix. I began to convince myself that this was normal and that everything was going to be okay. The more reassurance I received, the deeper my joy and excitement grew. I finally allowed myself to celebrate this pregnancy.
I began to think of ways to announce our exciting news. I looked up the tentative due date and already started brainstorming cute Halloween costumes that would emphasize my growing belly. I was in disbelief that it was actually happening. I was thrilled to be able to experience pregnancy again as well as to give Beau a sibling. It felt unreal. My dreams were once again becoming a reality.
I continued to spot throughout those first couple of weeks. It wasn’t as alarming to me as I had experienced similar spotting when I was pregnant with Beau. It wasn’t until we got back from our anniversary trip to New Hampshire that my worries and doubt began to emerge again. I was still spotting, but it had evolved to this very distinguished brown color. A color that I’ve never seen my body produce before. It was almost as if my body was sending me warning signals. I started to feel mild pain on my left side, which is not unusual for me as I am prone to cysts, but when accompanied with that disturbing brown bodily fluid, I knew that something was not right.
As much as I wanted to continue to live in this state of bliss, sending Brandon on McDonald’s runs to fetch me more French fries, taking first belly pictures and imagining my complete family of 4, I knew I had to snap back to reality and get help.
I made an appointment for an early ultrasound. I would be 6 weeks and 2 days. My hopeful heart prayed that my instincts were wrong and there would be at least the start of a baby thriving in my uterus, but my mind forbid me from letting my guard down again. I was prepared for the worst. Either I was experiencing a missed miscarriage or worst case scenario an ectopic pregnancy.
I ended up in the emergency room the day before my appointment because the pain on my left side became way too disconcerting. I was so afraid of an ectopic pregnancy rupturing my tube and putting my life at risk. Ectopic pregnancies are a leading cause of prenatal deaths in young women. We sat at the emergency room for hours and still remained in limbo. My blood work showed that my hormones were still rising, but the ultrasound showed no evidence of a baby in my uterus. They couldn’t detect anything in my tubes either, so once again it became a wait and see.
The next day, I went to my appointment with my regular doctor and I’ll never forget the look on her face when she detected a 2 cm fetus in my left tube as well as a concerning amount of free fluid. Not only was my tube threatening to rupture at any time, but I was already bleeding internally. She urged me to go to the ER and get surgery. This was my worst nightmare come true. My fertility was being compromised at the price of my life.
As I laid there in that hospital bed I felt numb. All I ever wanted was to complete my family and to give Beau a sibling. It’s my calling to be a mom and I have so much love left to give to another child. I was torn between, this procedure will save your life and this procedure is taking life away from you. I didn’t just lose my tube, I lost my baby.
I laid on the operating room table looking up at that piercing bright light, remembering that the last time I was in an OR I was delivering my son. Life is cruel with irony sometimes.
I feel heavy, like there’s a ton of lead coursing through my veins, rendering me useless. I can’t seem to peel myself out of bed. I feel like I’m missing something and someone. I may not have been pregnant for long, but that little life inside of me made itself known. I was nauseas, tired and suffered from some of the most unbearable headaches. That little life already had a list of potential names and a tentative May birthday. I had already calculated the age gap between Beau and his sibling. I thought about whether we would be in our new house yet and how sleeping arrangements would go if we were still in our current home. I don’t care how far along I wasn’t, I was still pregnant and it still hurts. My maternal instincts are aching. It’s a mom’s job to do everything in her power to protect her babies.
So here’s to trying again when I feel psychically and mentally prepared to do so. Those two pink lines will never bring me the same sense of excitement they once did. Now those lines bare the weight of worry and the unknown. This experience has robbed me of the magic of pregnancy. I’m afraid. I’m afraid to get pregnant again and to lose my other tube. I only have one tube left, there’s no room for error. I never thought I would be one of those people longing for their rainbow baby, but here I am, just aching to carry one more child to complete our family.
Ladies, please be diligent if you are experiencing something in pregnancy that doesn’t feel right to you. Listen to your body and trust your instincts. It could save your life.