Holding on to Hope (after 4 missed miscarriages)

I’m a mother of two beautiful healthy children.  Drake is 5 and Kennice is 2.

I have been pregnant 8 times: had 2 early miscarriages and 4 second trimester missed miscarriages.

My first pregnancy was deemed a “blighted ovum” where no signs of development were found after fertilization and confirmed by ultrasound.  A yolk sac was all that was present at a 8 & 9 week ultrasound check.  I had to have a D&C.

Over a year passed and I was not getting pregnant as expected so a saline ultrasound was done to check for any abnormalities and everything checked out just fine.  A few months later I was pregnant with our son Drake and everything was exciting.

I unfortunately had a big scare at 1o weeks of which I began experiencing abdominal discomfort and was seen in the ER after vomiting yellow like fluid on a empty stomach   I was given a diagnosis of UTI with a elevated white blood cell count of 17.1 and sent home on antibiotics.  I got better for a little while, but again at 24 weeks pregnant I began experiencing the worst abdominal pain I had ever had while I was at work.

I thought at first I had trapped gas or needed to have a BM.  I was driven to the hospital ER of which my primary OB group was located.  After being checked for pregnancy complications and ruling out preterm labor, I had a couple of ultrasounds which did not give any positive diagnosis for the problem.  I was sent home at almost 48 hours after receiving a couple of enemas and with pain meds.  I for some reason couldn’t completely stand all the way up without my right side causing excruciating pain.

I was back at the ER again within less than 7 hours of being discharged in severe pain.  I signed consent to have a MRI and was diagnosed with acute appendicitis.  I had an emergency appendectomy at 24 weeks gestation a week before Christmas of 2006.  I recovered completely and my son was born on 4/19/07 full term and healthy.

We were pregnant again by the end of 2008 and waiting to find out if we were going to be having a girl or boy soon.  I went for my 16 week checkup and no fetal heart tones were detected by doppler which was confirmed by ultrasound.  No heartbeat, I couldn’t believe it, it was the most devastating moment I have ever experienced at that point in my life.  To top it all off it was 2/13 on Friday and my induction took place during the early morning hours of Valentine’s Day.  This special holiday will never be the same to me.

The numbness and emptiness was heavy. 

I was induced and delivered under near sedation with stadol.  I was so distraught over the whole process, I didn’t know if I wanted to see my baby or not and never decided until it was too late.  I was too sedated to voice my self when the time came.  I regret not being able to see my baby even though I know I would probably be traumatized by the appearance of a lifeless body.  I was told by the nurse that if at some point I ever wanted to see pictures of my baby that they would have them in my record and I could receive them with a keepsake box that was offered to the parents with other memoir keepsakes.  After I decided a few days later that I did want to see those pictures, I contacted the hospital and was told that they couldn’t locate the pictures and did not know what had happened to them.  Was also given some excuse about them being digital images and being somehow lost.  I do have the certificate with the footprints at least.

We tried and were pregnant again within a few months after the 16 week loss.  I was surprised that I was able to get pregnant so soon after that ordeal.  I was told by my OB doctor that it was okay.  I delivered a healthy baby girl on 3/3/10 one day after her due date.   We love our kids so much and enjoy the lessons they teach us everyday and the experience we have had the opportunity to have with them in our lives.

We decided to get pregnant again and mid 2011 we were.  This time I found I had a missed miscarriage around 13 weeks gestation on my birthday 9/12 and had a D&C a few days later.  My birthday will never be the same again.

Once again I was pregnant a few months after my D&C, but this one would only last up to the 12-13 week gestation period again.  Exactly to the day from my first miscarriage on 2/13 I found myself being told the baby had no heartbeat!  How could this be on the exact same date as the first missed miscarriage?  I felt I was cursed in some way.  Another D&C, I wasn’t sure we could go through this anymore.  Genetic testing of the fetus showed normal, genetic testing of my blood-work only revealed a double copy of one of the MTHFR gene mutations.  Every other blood test I believed that could of been done was drawn with no detectable problems.

Yes, we were pregnant again a few months after my 3rd late miscarriage and I began to worry that we didn’t wait long enough, but again was told that it should have no bearing on the current pregnancy and everything looked fine.  I was referred to Sacred Heart Maternal/Fetal Medicine and was placed on Lovenox 40mg SC daily as well as ASA 81mg daily, and Folbic (high dose combo of Folic Acid) due to the MTHFR gene mutation that was discovered.  As much as I disliked the injections of Lovenox, it was all worth it to me.  I felt empowered that I could make a difference maybe and actively help in some way to keep my baby from being miscarried by a small clot.

I held my breath at my 16 week appt knowing that with all my other missed miscarriages that this was the hurdle that I had to cross.  If  I could somehow get through this one, I would feel better.  We heard a heartbeat!  I made it through the 16 week appt.  I felt safe enough to begin to share the news with friends and not have to worry about delivering bad news.

Here we go a week before my 20 week appt and awaiting the anatomy scan to find out the sex of the baby.  On Sunday before Labor Day, I have some light brown discharge.  I panicked and called the OB doctor on call and was told to rest, and that it was probably just a small vessel on the cervix that had ruptured a few days before.  It occurred again on Monday afternoon and again I worried.  I took myself to the OB doctor on Tuesday morning and the worst of my fears was confirmed by ultrasound.  No heartbeat.  The baby was measuring approximately 13 weeks.  How could it be that we heard a heartbeat at 16 weeks, but the measurements were showing 13?  I began feeling the baby move around 14 1/2 weeks.  I know what it feels like and I know I felt the baby moving/kicking.  I’m still confused about this.  I was scheduled for yet another D&C two day later on Thursday morning.  I went home with pain medicine for cramps which I was lightly having.  Thursday morning came and around 3:30 am I began having contractions that I thought could be curtailed with pain medicine, but not this time.  By the time we were heading out to my appt for my D&C of which we had to drive a hour to get to, my body was ravished with pain and contractions that were unbearable.  I had to try to make it to our local ER.  I didn’t think we would make it in time.  When we arrived at the entrance, the nurse was waiting on us and took me right in.  I thought maybe if I could get some pain medicine that I could make it to my scheduled D&C as planned.  I was bluntly told by the ER physician that he would first have to do a pregnancy test and then a ultrasound to confirm everything.  All this he was babbling as I lay there in pain and bleeding.  After he checked me he even said everything looks okay and began giving me his protocol as I just mentioned.   I think we made it pretty clear that we already had an appt for a D&C and had the paperwork in hand for it, but I guess we could have made all that up and I was just having a bad period wanting to get some narcotics!

I sobbed uncontrollably and felt helpless as I was being told by this physician that it may be a while before I could get pain relief.  My body was shaking uncontrollably as I endured the pain from the contractions when finally after the nurses got my IV started and seemed to be trying to get the physician to visualize the excessive bleeding I had, he seemed to come in with a new attitude after maybe talking with someone who had some authority or yet common sense maybe.  They managed to get my medical records from the Pre-OP hospital where I was supposed to have the D&C and proceed with an emergency D&C with the on-call OB Doctor.  The surgeon/OB doctor checked me just prior to the procedure and told me that the sac was already out of my cervical opening and I was almost completely dilated.  No wonder I was in all that pain!  The surgery went fine, I’m okay now.  I was told that most of the contents of the pregnancy was already in my vagina by the time the D&C started which was kind of a good thing since I could have bled more due to being on Lovenox.  I also found out this would have been a little boy.  The pathology report did not indicate any physical abnormality to the baby.  Its frustrating not knowing why this keeps happening after having two healthy full term babies.  I forgot to mention that I had a early 4 1/2 week miscarriage after my 2nd late miscarriage(If I remember correctly).  Its hard sometimes to recall all the dates when you try not to dwell on the negative and avoid the hurtful reminders.

I think we suppress so much after awhile we begin to feel numbness or eventually explode with emotions whether it be anger or depression.  It manifests itself negatively if not expressed in a healthy way by grieving.  Even then it can make everything feel hopeless if it is allowed to control your life.  Coping and grieving must be given time so that healing can take place and for some it takes longer than others.  Still, the “what if’s” and “why’s” linger and can be just as draining for the mind.

There is hope and having to face uncertainty sometimes that’s all you have left is hope and faith.

Nelwyn

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