My journey to motherhood started in 2005. I gave birth to my wonderful son, Dylan.
I had a very normal pregnancy. Actually, it was perfect. No morning sickness, headaches, cramping, nothing. I shopped at Pea in the Pod and Motherhood, ate whatever I wanted and embraced every minute of my pregnancy. I had Dylan on September 21, 2005. Everything was perfect.
I became pregnant again in 2007 — we weren’t trying to get pregnant so it was a shock. I wasn’t excited about it. I was enjoying Dylan (now a toddler) and I didn’t know how I could love another baby. My feelings were very mixed.
I went to the Dr. for a routine scan (beginning of my 2nd trimester) and was diagnosed with a subchorionic hematoma. I was told the bleeding would continue throughout my pregnancy and that my baby would not be harmed. “Great,” I thought. By this time I was getting used to the idea of being pregnant again.
When I went back to have them check on the hematoma, they noticed that my amniotic fluid was low so they sent me to a specialist. My husband and I saw that specialist for 4 weeks straight, each time being told that my fluid was rapidly decreasing and the fetus had no chance for survival. It was during my 18th week that I had to make the painful decision of terminating my pregnancy. I went for a D&E. I thought, “this is what I get. I didn’t want this baby to begin with and now I won’t.” Now, looking back, I of course know that’s not true but at that time, that is what I felt.
2008, we decided to try again. There’s no way we could have bad luck like that twice, right? I went in for a my first U/S and was told there was no baby, just a sac. I had a D&C the next day.
By now my husband was done — he didn’t want to try anymore and he just couldn’t understand why I did. I had a taste of pregnancy, twice now. I needed that baby, I just did. I got pregnant again in 2009. I made it to 15 weeks. I went in for another routine scan. I remember the Dr. saying, “ok let’s take a look at your baby!” (He knew what I had been through so he was very excited for me). He put the doppler on my stomach and seemed concerned. He left the room, came back and said, “I need you to go to the ER. They have better equipment.” He knew something was wrong. By the time I got to the hospital my baby had no heartbeat. I had a D&E the next day.
My marriage was under such stress and I didn’t know how to function. What did I do to deserve this pain? Was I only meant to have one child? I just couldn’t give up, I just couldn’t. Now I was with a high-risk doctor and I went to a hematologist. Could I have a blood disorder? I anxiously awaited for the hematologist report to come back. I was positive that I did have a blood disorder, I’d be put on medication and all would be ok, problem solved. “I’m sorry Kari, your blood results came back normal.” Another set-back.
I become pregnant once again and lost that baby in my 8th week. My initial U/S showed a very slow heartbeat. They told me to come back in a week. When I returned there was no heart beat and again, had another D&C.
My record was now 2 D&E’s and 2 D&C’s. My gynecologist was now advising me to maybe stop trying. With all of the scar tissue that had built up in my uterus, I may not be able to conceive and if I did, I would maybe lose another baby.
Well, I did get pregnant again in March of 2010. I’d been pregnant so many times before so I tested early and got those two little pink lines. It was a Wednesday (my period was due that Sunday). I woke up Sunday to a massive amount of blood. I was so confused. “Wait” I thought, “I’m pregnant, why is there blood?” I was numb to another miscarriage. WHY?? WHY US?? WHY US A.G.A.I.N.??? I peeled myself off the toilet and just cried. No D&C was needed this time, thank god.
Just three weeks later I had some spotting. Weird because I wasn’t due for my period yet. My gynecologist said it was probably ovulation bleeding (something I’d never had before.) I took it as a sign. I went home and told my husband that he may think I”m crazy, but this is our chance. This is the first sign that we are meant to have a successful pregnancy, I just know it.
A few weeks later, I tested positive. I was in no means letting my guard down. I acted like I didn’t even take the test. I didn’t even tell my husband. 6 weeks to the day I started spotting and I instantly felt ill. I called my doctor who told me to come in asap. I went in and my baby had a heartbeat, a very slow heartbeat, (words I’d heard before). He told me to come back in two weeks.
I drove home that day really unfazed. I didn’t cry, I just thought, “of course the heartbeat is slow.” I was done, done trying, done hoping, just done. I went home and told my husband that we were probably going to lose this one too. We were okay with having our one beautiful child and life would go on.
In that two weeks, I of course, went on the internet, which is always a bad thing. I have to say that 99% of what I read, was bad, except for a fact that I saw on some pregnancy site. “The normal heart beat of a 6 week embryo is between 90-110” My baby was at 97 so I had a glimmer of hope. I also phoned my gynecologist who wasn’t just my doctor but a good friend. She told me that it sounded like implantation bleeding and to wait the two weeks and not to panic.
I went back and my baby’s heartbeat was now at 147. I was happy yet so scared. Since I was now high risk, I went for ultrasounds all the time, I saw a neonatal cardiologist since I had a history of losing babies to weak hearts. I carried my little Drew all the way up until I had a c-section on 12/12/11. I thank god everyday for that child. He is a miracle, he is meant to be here.
One thing I didn’t mention in my story was that every baby I lost, with the exception of my last miscarriage (because it was too early to tell the sex) were all girls. To this day, I’m positive my body, for whatever reason, just couldn’t carry a female fetus. I have two healthy, strong boys. They are 6 years apart and are my world. I had a tubal ligation during my c-section with Drew. I knew I was done, I couldn’t even fathom going down pregnancy road again. There is only so much one can take.
I’m proud of myself for persevering. I don’t know what our life would be like without our little Drew. He is the proof that miracles do happen.
Photo credit: adapted from Steve Snodgrass | Flickr