This was such a painful post to sit down and write, but I knew for my own self that I needed the timeline documented. I knew I’d want to come back at some point and remember what happened. I also know that like infertility, miscarriage connects women… so today, I’m going to share that timeline.
July 11, 2017
For those who missed my very first ultrasound on Instagram, here is a little peek of our sweet pea:
The day I went in, I told the ultrasound tech that my baby could be off by a whole week because I knew I ovulated a week later than normal women. I knew this could date my ultrasound behind from my LMP. Even though my first blog post about this pregnancy was dated as week 6, I knew that was an average and could be a bit off. Sure enough, baby measured in line with when I ovulated verses my last period, but it was considered on time with conception. I walked into the ultrasound knowing it could be too soon to see a heartbeat, but was pleasantly surprised to see it flickering away on the screen at 100 BPM. To be just under 6 weeks along and see that tiny flicker, I was on cloud 9!
July 15, 2017
Just 4 days after the ultrasound, we had a scare and I ended up in the ER. I had spotting that went from brown (totally fine), to pink (okay, sorta fine), to bright red (not fine). According to the ultrasound in the ER, the baby was doing well and had grown quite a bit in those 4 days. Also, my HCG level was 34,000, and the heartbeat was stronger at 116 BPM, so I walked out of there feeling much better. They said I had a small subchorionic hemorrhage and that it can be quite normal. Even though my progesterone in the ER was still in a healthy range (16), I started taking Progesterone supplements to tell my body it’s not supposed to bleed and to further support the pregnancy.
July 18, 2017
My post-ER follow-up ultrasound was three days later and I was able to see the subchorionic hemorrhage, and was told it was very small. The baby had jumped in growth to 7 weeks + 2 days (catching up to my LMP). My HCG had gone up to 52,000 and progesterone up to 79. However, baby’s heart rate had gone down to 88, which was very bad news. I can’t even begin to explain how crushed I was to hear that news, and being the researcher I am, I Googled everything I could. All I kept seeing in medical research was an 80-100% rate of “fetal demise.” I know in my heart that God is bigger than statistics, or this baby wouldn’t have been here in the first place. But seeing those numbers, and story after story of miscarriage on every pregnancy board, and the Facebook pregnancy group I was in telling me it would likely end in miscarriage… I felt foolish. Defeated. Broken. I hit my knees and prayed so hard to be in that 20% of successful pregnancies…
I am convinced that on Wednesday, July 19 is when the baby’s heart stopped beating. I can’t explain it fully, but I felt a deep level of anguish I have never felt before while in the shower that morning. It felt like life was literally sucked right out of me. I sat in the shower floor and wept until the water ran cold. I prayed and cried until my stomach muscles hurt. I was determined to believe I was just being emotional and was wrong, but I knew… I knew what was going on. I so deeply wanted to be wrong.
July 21, 2017
Our 10 year wedding anniversary and the day we were leaving town to celebrate.
That morning, I couldn’t eat. I felt nauseated (a combination of the pregnancy hormones and fear). I was really struggling with feeling any positivity because I just knew… I was already playing it in my head. I was preparing to hear “I’m sorry.” I was shaking the whole ride to the doctor’s office.
When the ultrasound began, I held my breath. The tech briefly scanned over the baby and then very, very quickly scanned away… she focused on everything but the baby. My ovaries. My uterus. Picture after picture taken… she ignored the baby until she absolutely had to focus on it, and I knew it was because she already knew there wasn’t a heartbeat. When she finally came back to the baby and took the first measurement, I knew… there wasn’t a flicker. There was no sign of life. In fact, the baby measured a bit smaller than it had just days prior… it was already shrinking. She didn’t have to say a word. When she said, “I’ll be right back.” I just knew. She wasn’t the one coming back…
When she left the room, it was over for me. I looked at Glenn in tears and said “Either I have no idea what I am looking at, or there wasn’t a heart beat. The baby doesn’t have a heart beat.” He looked puzzled, almost unsure if this was real life… and then my doctor walked in and confirmed.
Ladies, I cannot begin to explain how IMPORTANT it is to have a doctor you love and trust to walk through this with. Because mine? She grieves with us. This is a loss for all of us. The pain of infertility is a heavy burden… adding miscarriage on top of it is like a boulder crushing your soul. Having a good doctor on your team makes all the difference in the world.
So, now what?
Now we wait. As usual, my life is one big fat waiting game that I have no control over. My body hasn’t fully picked up on the miscarriage yet. Every morning, I wake up feeling so very pregnant, and so very sad. I stopped taking the progesterone over the weekend, and that has made my spotting and some cramping return, but it could take weeks for this miscarriage to carry out. I am trying desperately to avoid a D&C because I don’t want to put my body through a surgery… and I am trying to avoid using the drug that can induce the miscarriage. I know in my heart that it’ll be better for my body if I am patient and let this carry out, but at the same time, I’m just ready for this to be over.
Feeling pregnant every day and still having all my symptoms is torture. My body is hoarding a baby that it can’t keep. I’m struggling with understanding why this happened… after FIVE YEARS of waiting and finally a miracle happens, only for it to end in miscarriage.
Why in the world is this my story?
Please pray for my body as we wait for the miscarriage to begin. I know it will be the single most awful moment of my life to date… but I am ready for it to just be here and end already.
And while this sucks and hurts deeper than any pain I have ever felt… God is still good. And in his goodness, there is some sort of mercy in this ending now instead of later. For that mercy, I am grateful.