Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Losing Baby #2

Disclaimer: I plan to be very honest and descriptive when I talk about our miscarriage experience. I don't mean to sadden, gross out or offend anyone. Everything I write are my own feelings or John's. I want to be helpful to anyone going through a similar experience. While we were going through it I couldn't find any personal stories that were detailed enough to relate to which is what lead me to post. I know it will also be healing for me. Thanks for reading!

My period didn't come back after having Kai until he was almost eleven months old. John and I knew we wanted to have our babies close together so I was relieved I wouldn't have to choose between breastfeeding (which can delay the return) my sweet boy and conceiving another little one. I have a history of an irregular cycle so we figured it was our cue to try and if we hit the magic day great, if not we had time. I started getting negative tests mid-July. I was bummed, but figured it was our first try and I was focusing on the trip to St. Thomas we had planned. I packed pregnancy tests and other "supplies" to be prepared for both scenarios. After a few days on vacay, Aunt Flo still hadn't visited, so I took a test, negative. A few days later another test and a faint positive!  I took the test again very early in the morning (Here's the blog about finding out about Kai!) It took a little while to sink in, but I felt happy. John woke up right on cue, so I was able to let him in on our secret. We were unable to celebrate out loud because we had brought my youngest sister on vacation with to help with Kai.  We only had a few more days of vacation so we soaked in the sun, sand and beautiful Caribbean ocean water and then it was time to go home.  Here's a little tidbit I wrote on vacation for our sweet baby:

"Yesterday we found out you were coming. You are an answer to prayer sweet baby! The night before I prayed for a sign either way because I hadn't gotten my period and all the tests I had taken were negative. I took a test at 4am and surprise you're inside growing!  We love you already! Can't wait to meet you!"

After we got home I called the midwives to schedule my first prenatal appointment.  They don't see you until 8-10 weeks so I scheduled my appointment for August 28.  We had decided to tell people on Kai's first birthday August 23 because my sister was getting married on August 16th and we didn't want to take away any of their thunder :)  I was so excited to keep our secret just for us.  John and I could smile at each other and no one else knew our sweet news just yet.  I bought some big brother books to wrap for Kai for his birthday and we would let everyone find out that way. 

On Saturday, August 10th in the evening I started spotting.  It's not unusual during pregnancy, so John was sweet and kept encouraging me not to worry about it.  It felt off and yucky and not right to me.  I was headed home Sunday afternoon to help finish up a few last wedding details and by that point it still hadn't stopped but it was very light.  Everything I read online said to call your provider if bleeding is present so I called Monday morning.  I was transferred here and there and everywhere on the phone, until finally I left a message with the midwife nurse line and then all I had to do was wait for the midwife to call back.  She did finally call back and reassure me again that everything sounded fine because I wasn't experiencing heavy bleeding or cramping.  She said our best plan of action was to schedule an ultrasound.  That would be able to tell us if we were losing the baby or if the spotting was normal. If the spotting was normal it would just be considered our "dating ultrasound" to figure out how far along we were. We scheduled it for the next day, so I headed home Monday night.

Tuesday morning came and I was full of nerves and water. I still think asking a pregnant lady to drink 16 oz of water an hour before an ultrasound and then keep it in while the technician pushes her her bladder is crazy. John stayed home to hang out with Kai since still hadn't told any of our family about the pregnancy. I went to my appointment feeling like I was going to pee my pants the whole way. Since I had gone through a dating ultrasound with Kai I knew what I would be looking for. First they did an outer ultrasound, then she let me pee. Sweet relief! Second a transvaginal ultrasound, basically an inner ultrasound to see what's going on in there better. The tech said she had hoped to tell me something either way (if we were miscarrying or if everything looked good). Kai looked like this at his dating ultrasound at 9 weeks. Sweet little gummy bear, kicking and punching with a beautifully visible beating heart! 

She said they first look for the sac, then fetal pole, fetus and lastly heartbeat. She found the gestational sac and it was an empty, just black and empty. The technician told me that I wasn't even measuring 5 weeks and I knew that wasn't possible. Let's just say the dates didn't line up with what she was telling me. She said the sac was in a great position high up in my uterus and that the midwife would look over the results and get back to me. I appreciated her kind and encouraging words, but still felt defeated. The pregnancy didn't feel right to me and neither did the bleeding.

(Warning: Graphic details ahead.) I got home around lunchtime and John got ready for work. When he left I told him that I was feeling pretty awful. He told me to call if I needed him to come home. I was cramping, nauseous and flu-like. I started to bleed heavier and pass larger and larger clots. I knew something was going on. That continued throughout the day not getting better or worse. Around 7pm I sneezed and felt something come out. It was a feeling I've never felt before. I went to the bathroom and turns out it was the gestational sac, all the tissue that was in there suppose to be making a baby. It was like a tissue blob. I honestly didn't know what to do with. It felt so wrong to throw it away and felt even worse to flush it down the toilet. I didn't know how to properly get rid of it without feeling like I was discarding a child. I felt numb. We ended up burying it in the backyard. That felt weird too, but it was the best solution John and I could come up with. After I passed that my body felt so much better. It was strangly a relief. 

I felt peace about losing the baby although it stung. We wanted him/her! It was possibly a blighted ovum which is a baby that implanted but didn't start forming because of a genetic mutation. I think the biggest hardship was not being able to talk to my mom about it. She is fabulous and would've been great and supportive but I didn't want to bother her or anyone else right before the wedding. (I ended up spilling the beans the morning of the wedding. I know right right?!?! I just couldn't do the day without her knowing.) Wednesday was like any other. I felt a little sore but with Kai consuming all of my energy I got through the day. 

We decided to go to  Bruggers for supper. Nothing like a little food to heal wounds (John got me a DQ blizzard the night before). While we were there the midwife called. She started to tell me how everything from the ultrasound looked good and it was okay that my dates were off. I had to stop her mid sentence to tell her that I had miscarried. She was so very empathetic. I only talk about this part because of the necessity of another Rhogam shot. A Rhogam shot is a shot a pregnant woman has to get before and after her first pregnancy and after every subsequent pregnancy if her blood type is the opposite of her baby's father. It helps her body not to attack the baby if their bloods come in contact with one another. I had one before and after Kai, but it didn't even cross my mind that I'd need one after our miscarriage. I went in for that the following morning bright and early before going to work. A nurse gave me the shot and after that the midwife I'd been talking to brought me back to a room just to see how I was. She gave us the go ahead to not wait to try for another one :) 

We made it through the wedding and the following week I got a care package from the midwife. I cannot rave enough about their personal care. They are the best ever! On August 28 I had a blood test to check my hCG level to make sure the miscarriage was complete and my numbers were good. Now we're praying for Baby #3! 

Please don't hesitate to post questions here or to email me. Thanks again for reading and allowing myself to heal :) 

I've thought of a few more details I wanted to share:

1. In case I didn't remember the miscarriage happened my insurance thought they'd send lots of mail explaining our benefits and what we owed them.
2. I'm thankful for the friends that shared their stories of loss with me before it happened in my life. That's another reason I'm sharing. 

Here's a website for Rhogam FAQs:

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