My story began a few years ago while I was in medical school.
I got those 2 pink lines and I thought ” I can’t be pregnant now!” My then boyfriend agreed but in a “not- so- supportive” kind of way, he also had his career to think about. I decided that I couldn’t go through with this pregnancy — not now, not with this guy. Everyday I agonized about this decision, I cried asking my unborn baby to forgive me for being so selfish. I went to my initial appointment alone and scared I told the doctor what my plan was — I couldn’t keep this pregnancy. He understood and said he would do an initial ultrasound and then book my appointment to come back for the procedure.
The ultrasound then revealed that for 7 weeks he wasn’t seeing any signs of a fetus as yet but at my next appointment he would check again for a heartbeat, he thought maybe my dates were off. Even though I thought I had made my decision I was sad. For the next week I longed to get back to the doctor’s office, now it wasn’t for the procedure but to see if my baby now had a heartbeat.
By the 8-week mark still no signs of a fetus, I was diagnosed with a blighted ovum and had the D&C within the same appointment. Guilt consumed me for the next few years after that, I blamed myself for this, I had caused this to happen. Over the years I began to forgive myself and moved forward. I met my then fiancé (now awesome husband) and we started to think about having a family, old feelings began to stir- old guilt’s.
Our first positive test I was happy, yet apprehensive, I warned him that we should keep it under wraps until the end of the first trimester because as a doctor (working in obstetrics-no less) I knew the potential risks. But I let myself go and started to pick out names and even the Graco Pack n Play.
By the 8 week mark I started to have spotting which progressed for a few days until finally I had the intense crippling stomach cramps, we both knew what had happened. I felt like I was being punished for my past. About 4 months later we were pregnant again and now we were not telling anyone and again by the 8 week mark I had another miscarriage. I told myself “these things happen” it was a statistical probability, I saw this happen to women all the time at work.
My husband was angry he wanted answers I told him it was likely a chromosomal abnormality; my doctor pride was standing in the way of asking/demanding more testing. I knew the rule only investigate after 3 consecutive losses.
A year later right before our wedding, another positive test. Surely this was it, this was our chance to have a happy healthy baby because it couldn’t happen a third time to us, unfortunately, it did.
Mourning a loss 2 months before the wedding was not easy but my hubby made it bearable. We decided to go and have more tests done after the wedding was over.
Before we could get testing done, I knew I was pregnant again after the honeymoon, I just knew, I never tested because I didn’t want to know. I just figured I would start to bleed again as usual and pass it off as a delayed period to myself. But then a few weeks later and the absolute worse pain I have ever felt hit me suddenly after work.
A red flag went up, from my experience this could be an ectopic pregnancy, an outcome I never considered. I went to the emergency room and suggested they do the pregnancy test (at that point they were concerned about my appendix). It was positive, husband was shocked, I wasn’t had to get rushed by ambulance to another facility (one where I recently worked at) and get assessed by my friends/colleagues. It was another horrible factor I hadn’t bargained for, now they all knew about my medical history and I didn’t want their pity or awkward glances.
I was treated medically for my ectopic (as it hadn’t ruptured my tube) and went home. I was physically and emotionally spent. My doctors told me to take some time to recover and I did until about 2 months later I felt strange again and sure enough this was pregnancy number six. We were still a few months after our honeymoon so we weren’t as careful as we should’ve been.
Again I found myself in the emergency room with intense pain and again another ectopic pregnancy this time I lost one of my tubes. I was numb and emotionally crippled, it was so much strain on our new marriage.
I wish I had a happy ending to share, but my story is still ongoing. My tests finally revealed Antiphospholipid syndrome which is a big contributor to multiple losses. I am relieved to finally have a diagnosis but scared about trying again, I know the risks all too well.
I go to work and keep a smile on when I’m dealing with my pregnant patients but at night I think about my day and I’m in tears. My husband doesn’t like to talk about it anymore, I know he’s hurting too, more than I realize.
I found this website recently and decided to share as a way to get this all off my chest, it’s very soothing to see it all in print like this. But my journey will continue when we heal some more and try again with the help of some specialists. I use prayer to deal with all of these feelings and it has helped me, but last night I saw a commercial for a Graco Pack n Play that caused to me burst into tears…
Photo credit: adapted from Flickr | Benson Kua