Pregnancy after 2 Miscarriages
It feels surreal writing this blog post as I sit here typing with one hand as the other hand holds my newborn as she sleeps so peacefully on my chest. Not so long ago, this time last year to be more exact, I was suffering through the pain & heartbreak of my 2nd miscarriage. Yes, I experienced not one but two miscarriages within a 6 month period. I apologize for the length of this post, but let’s back track a little…
A couple months after my wedding, I had serious baby fever. Though my husband and I initially planned to wait at least a year to enjoy out first year of marriage, our minds were quickly changed. The next month, I discovered I was 4 weeks pregnant. ‘Wow, that was fast’ I thought. I had heard so many stories from friends and other sources that said it could take up to a year or more to conceive. So I was both shocked and excited to learn that I conceived right away. I broke the news to my husband and filmed his response, because it was the beginning of a beautiful journey that I wanted to remember forever right? For the next 5 days, I walked around with the biggest smile that only myself and my husband new the reason behind. On the 6th day, during a trip to the ladies room I discovered I was bleeding. I headed to the ER right away where it was confirmed that I was unfortunately miscarrying. It was a huge disappointment for us, but we were able to carry on with the hope of trying again soon.
A month and a half later, I discovered I was pregnant again. This time around, I didn’t do any fancy announcement to my husband. I let him know and we both proceeded with caution. We didn’t want to set ourselves up for the disappointment we experienced a few weeks prior. For the next few weeks I was worried, especially every time I went to the bathroom. I was constantly checking for bleeding and wondering if everything was okay with the pregnancy. By the 9th week, I was still terrified but began to relax a little. I was beginning to allow myself to become attached as things seemed to be going well, or so I thought. By week 11, I was feeling confident. I had only 1 week left until I was in the ‘safe zone’. (At 12-13 weeks pregnant, the risk of miscarriage is reduced significantly). During week 11, we attended a family gathering and for some reason, we felt it was ok to share our great news with our family and close friends. Even though I was a couple days away from my 12 week appointment which would confirm everything was ok with the pregnancy. I wasn’t bleeding and I felt very much ‘pregnant’ so surely everything was fine right? I had also already had an ultrasound done at 7 weeks along where the heartbeat was confirmed and everything seemed to be on track. Everyone congratulated us with hugs and well wishes. We were so happy and also relieved that it wasn’t a secret anymore.
About 2 days later, the day we were so excited for finally came. We were heading to our 12 week ultrasound appointment to see the baby! I had daydreamed about this moment for weeks. I was finally about to get the cute sonogram picture to pin on my fridge. Well, this day turned out to be the saddest day of my life so far. I laid down on the bed while the ultrasound tech scanned my abdomen and took her pictures & measurements. In Canada, the ultrasound tech isn’t allowed to give too much information away, but they always at least let you see your baby on the screen once they are finished measuring. I stared into the ultrasound tech’s face waiting for her to say something as she scanned around and took her pictures. I finally built up the courage to ask her if everything looked ok. She looked concerned and seemed afraid to say much, so she turned her screen around to show me what she was seeing. “This is your baby” she said. I looked at the screen and instantly new something was wrong. The baby was measuring 8 weeks with no heartbeat. I immediately burst into tears as the ultrasound tech squeezed my hand and gave me a hug. I cried so much my husband had to hold me up as I tried to lay on the floor with my uncontrollable stream of tears. How could this happen to me? I go to the gym, I eat healthy. Why was this happening? It was a very difficult time.
To cut a long and sad story short, I had a ‘missed’ miscarriage. This is where your body does not realize that the pregnancy is not progressing and instead of bleeding like you would in a typical miscarriage, you continue to experience pregnancy symptoms.
I had to have a surgery referred to as a D&C (Dilation and Curettage) to remove the pregnancy that had not progressed past 8 weeks. During my follow up appointment with my OB who performed the surgery, she advised that it was a suspected ‘partial molar’ pregnancy because my HCG levels (a pregnancy hormone) were extremely high. This would mean that I had to have blood tests done every single week to ensure this hormone level was decreasing. It also meant that I was not allowed (as instructed by the doctor) to conceive until my HCG level was back to zero and stayed at 0 for 3-6 months. All of this even though it was only suspected and not confirmed to be a partial molar pregnancy.
To fast forward a bit, 3 months later after several weekly blood tests to see my HCG level go back to 0, I asked to be referred to a specialist to have tests done to see if there was a reason I miscarried twice in a row. I wanted to try again, but I knew I couldn’t handle experiencing another miscarriage. So these tests were extremely important for my peace of mind. Going into my appointment with the specialist, little did I know, I was already pregnant again. For this reason, no tests were ever done, but given my history, the specialist clinic monitored my pregnancy for the next 7 weeks to make sure everything was and stayed on track.
This time around, we didn’t announce the pregnancy until the 3rd and final trimester. The only people who knew I was pregnant were the ones who saw me in person and discovered it themselves by looking at my growing tummy. It was just too terrifying for me to talk about. I had a huge fear of telling people and then having to un-tell them if something were to go wrong. My first 2 miscarriages definitely took most of the joy away from my successful pregnancy. I struggled to trust my body as it had deceived me in the most painful way. It was 9 months of worry and trying not to get too excited, which is heartbreaking because I had every reason to be excited and shouting it from the roof top.
To conclude (If you are still reading, thank you for hearing my story) I had a complication free pregnancy and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl after only 4 hours of labor. I may never know why my journey to meeting my beautiful baby girl was so painful, but I have to trust that everything happens for a reason. If you are going through something similar, I hope that somehow this can be a story of hope for you. If you ever want to talk to someone please feel free to reach out to me!