A week ago was September 3rd. That day has particular significance for me. That was the due date for my first pregnancy. The one that ended in miscarriage. I wasn't sure I was going to write about that experience, but I have been feeling particularly down and think that perhaps it will help to share what happened. At least to get it out of my system. For now.
Do I even need to bother with a warning? Just in case...
Warning: This is a very sad post. I discuss my miscarriage and resulting D&C. If loss like this upsets you, skip this post. I'll understand.
I know people who have had multiple miscarriages, and at times I feel fortunate that I had only one miscarriage (so far). But it was still a devastating loss to me. After trying on our own for two years with no success, it took us 3 medicated IUI cycles to get pregnant that first time. All those months of disappointments, and finally, a fertilized egg that actually implanted!
I still remember how we found out. My MIL and FIL were up here visiting, but Londo wasn't ready to tell them that we were even trying to conceive. We had taken the day off of work to spend with the inlaws, however my appointment for the pregnancy blood test was scheduled for early Friday morning. I snuck out of the house, successfully avoiding my inlaws, had my blood taken, and was back in time for breakfast. I think Londo told them I had to go help my mom with something so they wouldn't suspect anything.
After breakfast, we headed off to the DC museums. We saw the American History museum and then met my dad downtown for lunch at the American Indian museum. After lunch, we went around the American Indian museum. I was getting tired from the full day downtown and went outside the gift store to sit on a bench. That was when I got the call. After receiving the good news, I motioned Londo out of the store and told him. As we left the museum, we told his parents, and included the whole tale about our trouble trying. Everyone was so happy.
For those who don't know, when you are getting fertility treatments, you get your blood taken and measured for the pregnancy hormone every few days until you reach a certain threshold, and then you go in for weekly ultrasounds until they are satisfied the baby is growing, has a heartbeat and seems fine. After three more blood tests that all looked good, we went in for the ultrasound and saw the egg growing. The following week, Londo couldn't make the appointment, but since I was only 6 and a half weeks along, we figured it would be too early to see a heartbeat so he wouldn't be missing anything major.
There was a heartbeat. But it was slow. I did not know what that meant, but the ultrasound technician who had been so cheerful the week before was very reserved when she told me. The doctor came in, and I'm sure he explained what it could mean, but I don't remember now what he said. I do know that I was still unsure how bad a sign a slow heartbeat was. Of course I googled it when I got home, and I found out the likelyhood that the baby would make it was very slim.
The next, Londo was sure to come to the appointment with me. The doctor was in the room for the beginning of the ultrasound. There was no heartbeat at all. The doctor put his hand on my knee and said "I'm sorry."
Londo and I were devastated. We had tried all week to hope for the best, but I had tried to prepare for the worse. Let me just tell you, nothing can prepare you for looking at a picture of your baby inside you whose heart is no longer beating. I cried. They gave me and Londo time to get ourselves together, and we left. Later, I talked with our nurse over the phone about what it would mean and what we should do at that point.
We decided to wait and see if it would "pass naturally." After a week and a half, it still had not "resolved" itself. I don't know how this might sound to anyone else so please excuse me if this is at all offensive, but at that point I couldn't stop thinking that I had a dead baby inside. My dead baby. (Excuse me while I take a minute to collect myself... Okay.)
We decided to go ahead and have the D&C so I could start recovering and we could move on. The D&C sucked. Everyone was wonderful and understanding, afterall the procedure was done by the people in the fertility center. Londo was the most wonderful, being supportive and trying to keep me in good spirits, even though I know he was as upset by the whole thing as I was. I was unconscious when they did the procedure, but I was awake when they wheeled me into the room, got me on the table, got my legs in the stirrups and strapped my arms down. Sucked sucked sucked.
I don't think recovery took more than I few days, but I was emotionally miserable, physically uncomfortable and hormonally whacked out. I. Was. A. Mess. I got better, and we did start treatments again, which resulted in our second pregnancy and subsequent birth of my precious baby girl.
I don't remember the dates of these events exactly. We found out we were pregnant in December. We found out the heartbeat stopped in January. I had the D&C in January. (We took a cruise in March to help get away from it all and feel better.) But I don't even try to remember the dates. The only date I know for sure was September 3rd, the baby's due date. Every year on and around September 3rd, I am reminded and feel down at the loss of my first baby. The baby who wasn't.