September 9th: After a restless night of tossing and turning, I woke up early in the morning for my Tacfit class feeling super dizzy. Holy crap, just walking to the gym felt like the world was moving. Even getting to work, my mind was just stuck in vertigo, almost like a fog. This continued on for two more days until I took another pregnancy test on 09/11. Since I just took a negative test 10 days after ovulation (September 5th), there’s no effing way this could be positive. Plus, I had to restock up on EPTs anyways, so using one of them wasn’t a big deal. I stopped by the Target on State before work and went into the bathroom. Sure as shit, the sign on the little stick was positive.
Ecstatic, I picture texted my hubs immediately, just to make sure that what I was seeing was a positive. He agreed. Although this wasn’t the typical t.v. show reveal I had imagined this moment would be, I still felt butterflies from the excitement. I mean, Holy shit, in the midst of a lot of bad things that had happened to us personally (not being selected to move to Denver….again) and within only two weeks of us “trying,” somehow, we hatched an egg! That innocent feeling was so magical. I swear, all I did at work that entire day was smile and listen to “Miracles Happen” from Princess Diaries. We got an appointment at the local OBGYN later that week to confirm and sure enough, my HcG levels were super high (=pregnant).
From then on, my hormones took control of my body and my brain – total preggy fog to the max. Prego hormones are nasty nasty control mother-effers, man. I’ve never had an instance in my life where I felt un-motivated to work or workout, but during those 8 weeks, it was so difficult to concentrate on something longer than 10 minutes. My brain was officially paralyzed. I also had bad food aversions – to anything sweet, white and green colored food/drinks- basically anything AIP healthy for me (wtf). The food I tolerated was potato chips (Jackson’s Honest) and plain foods because of the smells. However, I was untouchable. No matter how drained I felt or what negative things came my way (like also losing a 2BD condo war to another renter), I had a magical peanut growing in my belly.
Before I left for my California vacation with my sister, we went in for our 6w checkup. Everything was perfect – vitals were on track, hcg levels were fantastic, and the peanut was the right size. We got the first picture of our little one. We immediately gawked and couldn’t stop smiling as we stared. It was still too small to get a good heartbeat, but we weren’t worried, I was going to the West Coast for a week to relax. However, California was the calm before the storm.
I returned to Chicago a week later (8w of pregnancy) for my heartbeat ultrasound. After a rough day returning to the office and finding enough brain cells to get thru my stack of e-mails, I was so excited to hear my peanut for the first time. I walked into the ultrasound room at our Dr. in Streeterville, undressed, and got that nasty jelly poured on my stomach. Within seconds, my little peanut flashed on the screen in front of me. The ultrasound tech took loads of pictures and measurements, then it was time for the heartbeat. After about a minute of the tech rolling the monitor across my stomach, an internal ultrasound stick was used to hear it better. However, all we could hear was the sound of my own heartbeat. My little peanut was on the screen, except he/she was still the same size as our last ultrasound. It almost looked frozen in time on the screen from two weeks prior. Although we were told point blank that this was a faulty egg and we’d never be able to hear its heartbeat, the hubs and I refused to believe it. There’s no way. I still felt very pregnant, I never bled once or cramped up super bad. They probably got the dates wrong. Yeah, they must of because they were having a tough time determining my due date to begin with.
We scheduled a second opinion at a different doctor’s office a week later. We wanted a different interpretation and to ask more personal questions because we felt that the facility in Streeterville was too “cold” and had typical b.s. no-explanation doctors. While we waited for the follow-up appt in a week, both my husband and I experienced so many emotions. Many many tears were shed, but no matter what, we both decided that we needed to continue on as if I was still pregnant-because after all, our little egg could just be really small and slow at growing. We didn’t want to think any negative thoughts or make any rash decisions until the next doctor.
After a week of hoping, praying, and pleading, it was determined at the follow-up appointment that our little egg had stopped growing. Sometime between our last 6w appointment and before I stepped on the plane to California, it froze. We even got another ultrasound to confirm it – our little peanut was still the same size as week six. Since I was traveling for work and we were moving all within the next three weeks, we decided that a D&C would be the best option. Plus, it would help me mentally and physically recover more efficiently. Within a day, I had the procedure at a hospital and began the recovery process.
I know as I write this, it may come off as being very heartless and lacking emotion. But there are no words that can describe the feelings that my husband and I went thru during the month of October. Unless you have experienced a miscarriage in your family, no one will ever be able to understand the grief that still lives with us. Although we never got to meet or hear our little peanut, it is still a giant blow to our hearts. It’s still even hard to not cry as I write/re-read this now. Some women may also not understand or support why I quickly opted for a D&C, however, I don’t care. I mentally would not have been able to handle miscarrying naturally. Seeing the contents and feeling all of the pain would have been too emotionally traumatic for me. I’ve already gone thru so many emotions and physical changes in the past month, I can’t handle any more pain in my life right now.
However, there are a few things that have helped me get thru the past couple of weeks:
1. This miscarriage was not my fault. I know just from eating as healthy and as organic as I do, the activities and food choices I had made over those 8 weeks were definitely not the causes. My hormone levels and vitals are proof that everything I did was right and there is nothing physically I could have done to prevent this.
2. Miscarriages happen way more often in women. The more I’ve opened up to my friends and family members, I’ve realized that the chances of miscarrying are closer to 50% than 25%. Why? There are so many unreported miscarriages out there because women feel embarrassed or too sad to seek medical attention.
3. Everyone woman is born with a set amount of normal AND abnormal eggs. We saw a specialist before my D&C procedure who showed us something we’ve never ever seen before. He used a hi-tech machine that zoomed into my ovaries and told us to wait for the “flashing bubbles.” The bubbles were my eggs that I’m currently carrying around. When my husband and I looked at the screen, all we saw were flashing lights-like bubbles popping out of control. Knowing that there were so many bubbles-eggs, means that I still have a lot of chances for a good egg to be fertilized.
4. Despite what people want to say or believe, I am a mother, even if it is to an angel baby.
5. Crying. To date, I’ve never considered myself to be a big crier or super emotional. However, I’ve allowed myself to cry and feel whatever emotion that I need to feel in the moment. Even if it’s being angry (as I have been since my D&C), sad, cold-hearted, or even obsessive, let yourself feel what you need to feel. I’ve learned that if you suppress your feelings, it will only just delay the grieving process-something that I’ve always done in the past. Truth be told, there has only been one day since October where I haven’t cried and I don’t care how that makes me look.
As my body is still recovering and waiting for my stubborn HcG levels to go down, I’d like to offer a message to those who have also had a similar experience. You’re not alone. Coming from a fertile line of women and living the “clean” lifestyle as I do, I never thought in a million years that something like this can happen to me. But it did and there’s nothing I could have done to know about it (unless you go thru IVF). While we wait to try again, all I can do is continue eating as healthy as I do (more like gorging lately, now that my food aversions are gone), and try to heal. Getting annoyed and hurt whenever I see cute baby outfits or strollers won’t go away anytime soon, but I have to focus on putting one step in front of the other. This experience has made me realize that I’m not untouchable and that no matter what, I have the best husband and support system in the world. Despite my horrible angry mode I’ve been stuck in since my procedure, I’ve never seen my husband be such a model man. His “spidey sense” somehow turned on and knows exactly what I need all of the time. Whether it’s a hug, snuggle time, watching housewives, talking, or even a paleo beef bar, he’s so in tune with taking care of me. Our bond has never been better and continues to grow deeper each day – something a normal newly wed never expected to feel/think.
Although I debated whether or not to share this super personal part of my life with the public, I felt that I needed to tell our story. Women who are trying like me need to be informed of the jaggered statistics and understand that if this happens to you, it’s not your fault (even if you have to repeat it over and over to yourself like I have to). I’m always around to talk at firstname.lastname@example.org and I hope you’ll keep following my journey. Thanks for listening.