I lost my daughter on December 31, 2018. During my cycle that began on April 7, 2019, we conceived another baby. I found out a couple days before my missed period, via a home pregnancy test.
It was Friday, May 3 the morning I found out. I immediately got dressed and went to Party City to buy rainbow colored balloons and sidewalk chalk for my big reveal to my husband. My pregnancy announcement for my daughter was such a memorable moment that we got on video, and I didn’t want this baby to have anything less. So I drew a rainbow on the brick wall surrounding our patio and set up some rainbow colored balloons. I then called my husband, who was upstairs, and told him to come outside.
You can see the video here:
The following Monday I went to a new OB/GYN. I chose a new doctor because I had traumatic memories at my last OB’s office and I wanted a fresh start. I told her what happened last time and that I was extra nervous this go round. She took blood in order to test my hCG hormone levels, and re-tested on Thursday to see if the numbers were doubling as expected. Unfortunately, on Friday afternoon she called to tell me my numbers were staying about the same (they actually decreased slightly).
She sounded very concerned and told me to go to the lab on Saturday to get my blood tested for a third time, and then to come in on Monday for an emergency ultrasound. Since my hCG wasn’t doubling like it’s supposed to, but wasn’t going down a lot like it does in a miscarriage, she thought maybe I was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy, where the embryo grows in the fallopian tube instead of the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy is deadly to the mother if it’s not terminated.
I was a complete wreck all weekend. I was completely devastated and couldn’t think about anything but my unborn child and how unfair it was. That Sunday was Mother’s Day. It was complete torture spending my first Mother’s Day as a mother, not knowing whether I was still carrying a growing embryo inside me.
On Monday I began spotting. The ultrasound showed no evidence of an ectopic pregnancy, but also showed nothing in the uterus. At 5 weeks the embryo is usually too small to see anyway, so this wasn’t worrisome. However, the fact that my hCG wasn’t doubling, combined with the fact I was bleeding, caused my OB to be 100% sure I was experiencing another miscarriage.
The news was very difficult to hear, but somehow I felt relieved leaving my doctor’s office. Somehow I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders knowing what was happening. The not knowing — that was excruciating. Going three days not knowing whether the life I had created inside me was still alive, was just plain torture. Not knowing whether I was carrying a dead baby and for how much longer. I had come up with a couple theories of how this could all work out fine – including vanishing twin syndrome and possible lab errors. I was driving myself crazy on Google. Now that I know my baby has died, I can go through my period and try to conceive again in two weeks.
I’m not saying this loss is in any way easy. Like I said after my first loss, being “un-pregnant” is a horrible experience I would not wish upon my worst enemy. I’m just relieved to have answers so I can heal and move on. Plus, this time I won’t have to go to the ER with excruciatingly painful contractions, or deliver a dead fetus. This time it will be like I’m having a slightly heavier than normal period (says my doctor).
I will post updates if my feelings change or if something unexpected happens to me physically. For now I am trying to be positive and hopeful. Because otherwise, I just won’t get through this. I won’t wake up tomorrow morning “un-pregnant” and get through the day. I’m shaking as I type this, but it’s what must be done. Strength, positivity, and hope are the only things that can carry us through tragedy. I lost two babies but I am still standing. I am strong, healthy, and ready for the day I get to hold my third baby in my arms.