Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hilary's Story: Miscarriage at 11 weeks and recurrent pregnancy loss

Thank you so much, Hilary, for sharing with us about your son, struggle to keep your pregnancies, and all the physical and emotions behind loss. I know someone will be able to relate. I know I could.

Hugs to you.



Going through a miscarriage

by Hilary
I've thought about mentioning this on [my blog] for awhile. I'm kind of a private person, even though I share some stuff on here, it's mostly just pictures and projects of stuff. I've never really gotten too personal. Miscarriages are very common and a very personal thing, which is why not many people talk about it. I've decided to share my story with you, not because I want you to feel sorry for me, but in case anyone else has or is going through the same thing.  It can be a little lonely at times, but reading others peoples' stories/situations helped a little.  This will probably be way too long and maybe a little too detailed (maybe even graphic). Who knows if I'll actually go through with posting we go!

Last year on Valentine's Day, I found out I was pregnant. I was a day late and woke up early to surprise Jeremy by making breakfast while he was in the shower. I think I was awake before him just laying in bed waiting for him to get up. I decided I would test just get it over with. I ran to the downstairs bathroom and took the test. I put it down and I thought I could start to see a second line but I ran back upstairs to start the bacon. After I got the bacon started I went back down and  what I thought I saw earlier was correct.
This was a little bit of a surprise. I didn't really know what to think and I wasn't sure if I should tell Jeremy before he left for work. The rest of the day I paced around the house. I was nervous mostly because I knew we weren't going to have maternity insurance and we still had a bunch of school loans we were trying (still are....almost done!) to pay off. When Jeremy got home he asked if I wanted to go to the movies and we picked out a time.  Finally, I just came out with it! No special or cutesy way to announce. I felt so much better after telling him. We were excited and over the next couple days (weeks really) as we talked about baby stuff and baby names.

We decided to wait to tell anyone for awhile. I called my doctor, but they didn't want me to come in till 8 weeks. I thought that was a long time to wait but time went by. I started to feel sick around 5-6 weeks. I never actually threw up, but was mostly nauseous through out the whole day. My first appointment came and everything looked great. I had an ultrasound done. Jeremy didn't get to go but I texted him a picture right away.  
Later that weekend, we decided to tell our parents. Yay! Everyone was excited! Over the next week, we told our siblings. I still wanted to keep it a secret just in case. I went to the doctor again at 10 weeks and heard the heartbeat, everything was good.  At 11 weeks I decided that it was ok to let some people know. My mom told her group of friends and Jeremy and I told a couple of our friends too. I was going to do a little announcement on here at 12 weeks (I was already starting to show a little), but decided to wait till after my appointment which was a couple days later.  
I'm glad I decided to wait. They couldn't find a heartbeat on the Doppler. They took me to get an ultrasound and I was starting to get pretty nervous. The little baby popped up on the screen and I could see the little arms and legs. The tech didn't say much. Then she said she couldn't find the heartbeat. Nothing.
At first I wasn't sure what that meant. Was this really over? Or was it just another "couldn't find it" type thing. I could feel the tears welling in my eyes but I tried to push them back. She walked me back to my room and on the way it seemed like everyone and their mother was in the hallway. I was looking straight ahead because I didn't want to make eye contact with anyone but I think the tech must have made a face or shook her head a little because I could feel everyone's sad looks.
I was left in the room alone for maybe 30 seconds pushing back and wiping away tears and snot. My doctor walked in and as soon as I saw her face, for the first time, I knew it was over. She was really nice and we talked about my options. She said the baby probably stopped growing at 11 weeks 5 days (ish). She let me walk out the back so I wouldn't have to see anyone and then gave me a hug. Jeremy was supposed to come to this appointment with me but he ended up having to work late. I walked into the bathroom because I could feel myself starting to lose it and wanted to get some crying out before I drove home. It ended up being one of those really ugly silent cries because someone else was in there.

This all happened on a Friday, so we took the weekend to figure out how I wanted to go about doing this. Having a d&c, doing it at home with medicine, or naturally. I had for the most part already decided when the doctor told me my option,s but she told me to think about it. I decided to have the d&c. I felt like it would have been too painful physically and mentally doing it at home being 12 weeks. I was scared it was going to happen on its own before I could have the surgery.

I went in the following Wednesday (would have been 13 weeks) to have the d&c. Jeremy has done the anesthesia for these before and said it maybe takes 15-20 minutes. I had never been put to sleep before so I was a little worried. Jeremy said I had some good doctors and they would take care of me.  Anyway, It was time to go back and the last thing I remember was coughing into the mask and my doctor telling me that I was ok. Then I remember waking up in recovery.  
I didn't have my glasses or contacts on so everything was really blurry. I think one of the first things I did was check if my teeth were still there. Didn't want my teeth to have gotten chipped getting put under (I hear stories from Jeremy). The nurse told me that I had lost some blood and was getting fluids. I heard her say that she was sending for Jeremy. I think I kinda got the special treatment since Jeremy works there and knows everyone. I had my own curtain around me in the Recovery Room and Jeremy got to come back, which I don't think family is allowed.  He walked in and told me how much blood I really lost and how long I was really under for.
It took them about an hour to remove everything. He said he was getting worried because he knew they don't usually last that long. Finally the doctor came in and talked to him and he said she looked a little worried herself (she later told me that my surgery aged her 5 years). Since I was so far along and had so much tissue, I kept loosing a lot of blood. I had lost about a liter of blood and being kinda small...that's a lot of blood! I stayed in recovery for about 3 hours and then 2 more hours in my room getting fluids. I was finally able to eat! I wasn't allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before, which was really just dinner time for me.

The recovery time for the d&c was fine. I was just dizzy and weak for about a week afterwards probably from the blood loss. Of course I was still sad. Some days better than others. We had gotten the tissue tested to see if they could find out why I miscarried. A few weeks later my doctor called me and said that the baby had XXYY syndrome. Only males get this. We were going to have a boy. This made things feel more real to me and made me feel worse.  Picturing what could have been and all. I don't think XXYY syndrome is very common and is likely it wont happen again.

I had to go in every other week to make sure my HCGs (hormone levels) were going down.  It was a sad reminder every time knowing that I should have still been pregnant and seeing other pregnant women there too.  In the meantime, my parents came to visit, I went to visit a friend in CT, and we went to Yellowstone.
Things were still not back to normal.  
*this part might be a little gross*
On the 4th of July, I went to the bathroom and this big mass came out.  It was fleshy colored, but no blood. We think it was left over tissue that never got out during the D&C and that's why it was taking so long for my HCGs to go down. I probably should have gotten another D&C. Jeremy and my parents say no way never again ... my doctor pretty much said that too. She said she hopes to never have to do a D&C on me again (that makes two of us!)  
It ended up taking 15 weeks for my HCGs to go all the way back to 0. That's probably about 7-9 weeks longer than most. Of course everyone is different. My doctor said we had to wait 2 periods before we could try again. I just wanted to be pregnant again and go back to where I was at 12 weeks. So when she told me about the 2-month wait, and then the 15 weeks on top of that, it was just getting too long and the waiting was horrible.

A few people know about the first miscarriage, but not many know about the second and third.

In late September, I found out I was pregnant again. We were really excited and so happy it happened right away. I went in immediately to the doctor this time for blood work. Everything looked good.  HCGs were where they were suppose to be. We had decided again not to tell anyone until we got past the 12-week mark. Not even our parents.  
Well this time I miscarried around 5 and a half weeks.  I knew when I started to spot that it was over.  I'm not a very optimistic person. My sadness quickly turned in to anger. I was mad that it happened again. It was frustrating. So many people tell you that it's so common to miscarry you first pregnancy and I thought I had gone through that already. Why didn't this stick?  
My doctor said it was just bad luck ... it might not have implanted. A few weeks later I got a bunch of tests done and everything came back negative. Normal. Nothing was wrong with me. By this time, I was tired of getting my blood drawn and people at the doctors office seemed to know me.  
One lady asked if I had had my baby yet. I was standing at the counter which went up to my chest so she couldn't really see me. I just smiled a little and said no. She kept looking at me waiting for an answer and I told her I miscarried. I felt bad for her. I know she felt bad and was uncomfortable. I never told anyone about this miscarriage and it was sometimes hard to pretend that everything was ok.

I was told to wait a month or two and we could try again. Well towards the beginning of December, I found out I was pregnant. AGAIN!  I went in immediately to do all the blood work and this time I was put on progesterone.  Here we go again.
This time we were very hesitant to get excited. It's hard to not think about it, and being the planner that I am, it felt extra hard to not think about the future.  I had this weird thing about being pregnant at Christmas time.  I think it's because I was supposed to have a baby from the first pregnancy and we were going home and I was just excited about that. So I kept thinking as long as I can be pregnant again by Christmas.  
Well here we are...a week before Christmas and I miscarry at 6 weeks. I had told my parents when  found out this time because if I miscarried I wasn't sure I could keep that quiet. Again I was angry and bitter and I might have given God the stink eye a couple times.  My doctor called me and said she just doesn't know what's going on and she needs help. So I am now going to go see a specialist in February. I never ever thought I would be here, 24-years-old and I can't stay pregnant.  Fortunately, we have no problems getting pregnant and I know that's a struggle for many.

To say that 2013 was an unlucky year would be an understatement. I'm not a superstitious person, but 13 was just not my number.  It's still something I think about daily. It seems like every week there's someone posting an announcement or pictures of their pregnancy or newborn baby online. I'm happy for them and hope for the best, but it's just a sore reminder.  
This may come off as rude, but when I hear someone talk about or post about how sick they've been or their one-month-old baby wont let them get any sleep, I'm sorry but I don't feel sorry for them.  I'll get over it someday. ;) Some people say that this time in my life will be a blur and it wont hurt so bad. 
Hopefully it will be, but honestly I don't ever want to forget it.  It's part of me and has made me who I am. It's part of my story.

It's not fair in knowing that I will never have another pregnancy without fear. I can't just be excited and happy-go-lucky. There will always be worry, caution, and fear of something happening. Every little cramp sends me into a slight panic. I'm scared to go to the bathroom. If I don't have some sort of symptom, then I think that it's over.
I suppose everyone thinks about miscarrying when pregnant. My first time I know I did, but I guess I didn't think it could really happen to me. I am young and relatively healthy, I don't drink, smoke or do drugs. I had heard the heartbeat a couple of times and thought that since I was approaching my second trimester that I was good to go. I know next time I probably wont be able to breathe easy for a long time.

If you are or have gone through a miscarriage I hope you can find someone to talk to. Like I said earlier, it can be a little lonely because people don't really like to talk about it, or people don't know how to talk about it if they haven't gone through it themselves. When I had my first, I had a couple people reach out to me, sending me emails, and it was nice to talk to them.  Of course, my family was very supportive and always checked in with me and I'm very thankful for that! Jeremy has also been wonderful.  We've had to rely on each other more than ever and I think it's brought is even closer together.
This story was originally posted here, and reposted with permission.

1 comment:

  1. This is a very moving account of your experience and in a strange way helped me grapple with my own feelings about 2 miscarriages. I am much older than yourself, forty five when I had my first miscarriage and nearly 47 when I had my second. Sometimes it seems very unfair (especially when I hear of women around that age who have successfully gone full term and I think why couldn't I?) It would have been nice for Emily to have a brother or sister. The fact is you are young and healthy and one day you WILL have a child of your own. Or perhaps you have already? I wish you and your husband all the best for the future. And by the way......I UNDERSTOOD every single word, thought and feeling coming through.