Sunday, January 29, 2012

My TTC Plan

After a miscarriage, many women react by wanting to take a break from trying to conceive.  TTC is hard, emotional work, and after such an emotionally draining experience they can't embark on another one. That's not me. I want to be pregnant so bad. At 12 weeks, I was solidly in maternity pants, and even some maternity shirts. I had round ligament pain and felt my uterus expanding (more in the beginning than the end of the pregnancy, of course.) I had what I wanted. I was pregnant.  It was wonderful, and I want it back. This pregnancy took 5 months to achieve, and it was the first and only time I ovulated in that time. It's nearly impossible what went wrong, but we think it was a non-PCOS related chromosomal issue. We think it was a bad egg on my part. Not that it was my fault, it's just what we think the problem was. I hadn't ovulated in five months. We have no reason to suspect a genetic issue. So, it was either him or me, and it's easy to believe that after 5 months we didn't get the best apple out of the tree. 

So, despite the fact that it's well known across the trying to conceive community that even women with PCOS have increased fertility after a miscarriage, and everyone knows someone who got pregnant again right after a loss and went on to have a healthy pregnancy, we're going to wait two cycles to try again. That's not to say I'm confident in this choice. On one hand I feel that I'm wasting that unique fertility window, but on the other hand it just feels like we should make sure my body can ovulate without damaging eggs or whatever happened last time. 5 months with no ovulation, then ovulation with bad egg. We'd like to watch a few eggs go by before we grab one in the hopes that it's better. I probably sound crazy, but that's our plan. Plus, not like I ever care what idiot doctors have to say, but our doctor wants us to wait two cycles as well.

So, where are we now in this plan? I've taken three pregnancy tests throughout this process and they've been fading.  On friday I finally got a negative test. When my HCG is zero (which could be even two weeks after the negative test, but hopefully not that long) my first cycle will begin.  If my cycle has already started, and I have my normal 32 day cycles, than I think we could be conceiving the first or second week in April. However, I'm still spotting at least once a day.  I've been meaning to use a more sensitive test to see if it could pick up anything, but haven't gotten around to it.

So, that's when we'll ttc again, two cycles.  What will our protocol be? I've got 2 or 3 months to dwell on it. I have a prescription for clomid from my doctor. It's tricky. I've now gotten pregnant twice without fertility drugs. But each pregnancy took months to achieve, and half of them ended in miscarriage. Tho I still believe many PCOS women don't give TTC naturally a fair shot, I'm not sure why I'm still doing wasting my time with natural cycles. It used to be a source of pride for me, but that's all gone now. During my two cycles off, I'll be using digital OPKs and charting CP and CM to check for a real ovulation. If I ovulate both times without any assistance it will be tempting to do the 3rd cycle naturally, but I may use the clomid anyway just to be sure. I don't know. I used to be so against clomid because of the risks and how much it's over prescribed, but now I've done so many things that cause female breast or reproductive cancer. (black cohosh, soy isoflavones, birth control pills, etc.) Would it really up the odds THAT much to go just one round of only 50mg clomid? My true belief is, yes. I believe each use of unnatural hormones ups the odds significantly, and I want to be here to see my have children of his own. On the other hand, I want my son to have a sibling somewhat close in age. Isn't that worth some risk? It's a tough decision, and I haven't decided yet, but I have at least until April to think about it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My Miscarriage Part 5: The Physical Process of Miscarriage

Here's links to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 in case you need to catch up. Thankfully, this is the last post. These are hard to write and tho I'm really thankful to have the record, I'm so happy I'll be done.

This post is going to be TMI, with blood, gore, and amniotic fluid. I'm going to say what happened because it was helpful for me to read these stories while waiting for my miscarriage, and I know it might help someone else prepare themselves.  Everyone wants to know what to expect. I also want to preserve this memory for myself. I'll warn those waiting to miscarry, my story was different in a lot of ways than those I read. I now know every story is really different. For the record, at the time of the miscarriage I would have been exactly 12 weeks pregnant, tho the fetus only measured 8 weeks and 5 days. Miscarriage is supposed to be more difficult the further along you are. Is this a 9w or a 12w miscarriage story? I don't know. When talking about my pregnancy I've actually started dividing it up in my own mind. I'll talk about when I was pregnant, and when I thought I was pregnant. The latter referring to the 3 weeks I walked around with a dead baby inside me.

This isn't a sad or emotional post, because going through the actual process wasn't sad for me. I thought it would be, but it wasn't. My baby was gone. For me, there was no connection between this physical process I had to go through and my baby who was now elsewhere. I was sad to think back on the process and then make the connection, but at the time, it was like a bizarre science experiment. What's going to happen next?!

It was the day after I'd found out I'd lost my baby, and at that morning's OB appt they'd confirmed what I'd learned at the ER. no heartbeat, baby only measures 8w5d. The doctor prescribed me 6 pills  misoprostal. 3 to get contractions going, and 3 more in case nothing had happened within 8hrs of taking the first dose. We came home and put my son to nap, and then I said goodbye to my husband. My best friend usually comes over on Mondays and I asked him to still come. I was out of the sobbing stage, and I knew I wouldn't cry in front of him. DH and I had decided it was best for me to take the first dose of the misoprostal that night, and before I continued this horrible process I wanted/needed a break. I just wanted one normal afternoon where I forgot what happened before I would be physically reminded.

I'd done some research online and saw that most people felt the pains about 5 hours after taking the pills. My husband wouldn't be home until 11, and tho i didn't mind starting the process without him, I didn't want anything to happen before my son went to bed around 8 or 9. But, I wanted to have it be over with as soon as possible so I could go to bed and still be useful the next day. Ideally my first pain would be immediately after my son went to bed. At first, I was going to take the pills at 5pm, but I chickened out. It was so important that I be able to put my son to bed without pain I decided on 6pm. My friend ended up staying past that time, and he convinced me to wait until 7pm. I kept delaying because I had a feeling the pills would work right away. My body was already starting this process, I'd been bleeding more and more throughout the day. Finally committed and downed them a little after 7. I swore I felt tightening in my uterus about twenty minutes later, but dismissed it as being in my mind.

By 8:30 I was breastfeeding my son. If you're thinking, "I can't believe she was breastfeeding while on that medication," I had the same panic attack as soon as he latched when I realized what I'd done.  But, there was nothing I could do about it at that time, and he isn't feeding for nourishment at this age. He just comfort nurses to sleep. I don't think he gets very much actual milk. This topic was soon pushed far from my mind as I began having very strong contractions while breastfeeding! I later learned this was more from the breastfeeding than the pills. It was actually stimulating the contractions. I had about 5 pains in twenty minutes and they were actually the strongest pains of the entire process, but not strong enough that I couldn't breath through them. DS was in bed. I went downstairs very curious what would happen next.

This part I don't remember very clearly, and it's not really important anyway. Same old story, pain gets worse and worse over the next hour. I recall texting my husband that things were really picking up. The pains were getting so intense I felt I had to walk around and move through them. I've heard people describe it as a really bad period. I think it was more like a really easy labor. I tried to clean, but it required a lot of concentration to get through the pain and I wasn't really making any progress. Then I started to feel pressure, a lot of it. Felt like if I could just have a BM all the pressure would be relieved and I could do this. I went to the bathroom twice to try to go and I couldn't. I've read a million birth stories and I still can't believe I didn't realize what was happening. I was about to pass 'the pregnancy' as my OB put it. The sac was putting pressure everywhere and caused me to feel like I had to poo. 

Clueless, I continued to text DH how bad it was getting and finally just went to the bathroom determined to strain and pass this BM no matter what. It felt like it was right there, if I could only push it out. (Hello? Urge to push? I still can't believe I didn't recognize what was going on at the time.) I strained and strained. I pushed and pushed. For about ten minutes I gave it everything I had, until....SPLOOOOSH. I have never heard of this happening to anyone else, but my water broke. There's nothing else it could have been. Clear liquid came out with such force it gave gravity no chance to bring it down into the toilet bowl, but shot straight forward to the floor.  I knew immediately what happened and texted DH the update. It was so bizarre. It completely blew my mind. I hadn't read that in any of the miscarriage stories I'd researched. Then I finally had the tiniest BM ever, and I believe I then passed the baby in a tremendous outpouring of blood and tissue.

Stunned, surprised, and a little disappointed things had gone so quickly, I looked in the toilet. My greatest fear had been that I would see the baby. The black and white image of my lifeless baby on the ultrasound screen still haunts me, and I nearly chose the D&C just to avoid this moment. I could have flushed without looking, but I looked. I don't know if I should be ashamed to admit it or not, but I reached into the toilet to look at things further. I offer no excuses.  It's just what happened, and I didn't find the baby. I'm so glad I couldn't find it. I flushed. I cleaned up. I put on a fresh pad, and, again, waited to see what would happen next. It was 10:30. I'd passed the baby about 3 hours after I'd taken the misoprostal.

What happened next? SO. MUCH. BLEEDING. It wasn't painful, but it was a little scary. By the time my husband was walking through the door at 11 I was desperate for his arrival. I was stuck on the toilet due to the massive bleeding, out of toilet paper, and had bloodied my pj pants and needed new ones. Between 11 and 1am, I mostly had to just sit on the toilet because of the bleeding.  Everyone once in a while my boredom would give me some bravery and I'd put on the largest diaper-like maxi they make and venture to the couch. I never lasted more than twenty minutes as massive amounts of blood and clots the size of golf balls were passed. My one regret is that I didn't just get the Depends adult diapers. They would have worked so much better.  At 1am, it was over.  The bleeding had slowed to a crawl. I cleaned up the bathroom, cleaned up myself, and went to bed.

Looking back, I wish I'd taken the rest of the misoprostal right then. I later learned there was a lot of blood and lining remaining, and assuming I'm done bleeding today. (fingers crossed!) It totalled 20 days of bleeding.  This was a monday night (jan 2nd). On friday I had the u/s confirming that I'd passed 'the pregnancy', and over the next week I took the remaining three pills of misoprostal. Each time there was tightening, cramping, and a lot more bleeding, but only for an hour or two.

On Jan 15th I tried black cohosh, a controversial herbal supplement to help complete a miscarriage. I took 1500 to 2000mg in capsule form every 4 hours for 24hrs. I worked 3rd shift while doing it so I even did it at night. It really helped a lot, but I don't know if it was worth the worst headache of my life that followed. The headache lasted two days and was probably not a migraine because there was no nausea or light sensitivity, but there was pain. Intense, blinding pain that radiated from my temples. I wouldn't change what I did because I'm happy to be done bleeding, but I don't know that I'd recommend this herb to someone who wanted to do anything more than finish up the last little bit. It's super strong, and has documented side effects which I won't get into.

This is it. I'm done. I've told my miscarriage story. Phew.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Update: back to the present

This month I've been recounting my miscarriage on the blog rather than blogging in real time, and I feel like I'm missing out on the benefits of real-time blogging, especially now that I'm beginning to struggle. I was told by so many people, "it hits you later."  It does, but not all at once. For me, I found out the news, I grieved, I went through the physical process, and began to recover. Afterwards, I'd really feel like I was fine, but my behaviors were different, and they still are. I don't feel like myself, and I haven't been acting like myself. At first, it was a real struggle to sleep, but I've been sleeping much better. Those of you on twitter know I've really been struggling with headaches, and the last two days have really been a lot better. In fact, today was the first day I went all day without popping any ibuprofen. But, I'm not myself.

I used to be hungry all the time. I'm known for it. My BMI is in the normal range, I'm normal sized, neither fat nor thin, and after loosing 50lbs in my early twenties I'm very happy with my body.  Because of this, I never go without missing a meal. Everyone who knows me, knows this. When out, I wouldn't say I can out eat anyone, but I would say I eat a lot. Everyone who knows me, knows this about me. When we visit family, it's joked they have to count me twice because of how much I'd eat.  But now, I'm just not hungry. I'll actually FORGET to eat. I've heard of this happening to people, but it's never happened to me. I don't forget to eat. A couple times I've made it to 7pm without eating. I do remember before then, but by then I figure I might as well wait until dinner. To go all day without eating, to go a week without cooking, and to go even longer than that without buying any candy? It's just odd. It's not me. My husband tells me it's just the hormone crash, it's not depression. My friends say the opposite. I really don't know. Is 22 days too soon to expect to be back to normal? Do you ever go back to normal?

It's little things like not eating, watching lots of tv without watching any of my favorite shows, being less self conscious and even more tolerant, and all sorts of little missing or altered aspects of my personality that were giving me heads up that something wasn't right yet. It was hard for me to believe I was depressed because I felt fine. I really didn't feel depressed or sad all the time, I just would go 18hrs without eating. And then came 'the feeling'.

It started yesterday. I know I'm going to cry writing this part. I cry feeling it. I feel like I'm missing someone, and I've forgotten who they are.  I desperately, desperately miss this person. I miss everything about them, and I don't know anything about them. I miss my baby.  I've heard women say this before, and I had no idea what a terrible feeling it is. It's just terrible. It's similar to forgetting what you were about to say, but with an added aspect of bottomless grief. I feels so bad to feel it that I push the feelings away, but I miss my baby. It just pops up. It started yesterday. I can't feel this feeling without crying. The feeling pushes tears into my eyes and down my face. I cried several times today. I didn't sob, but the feeling hit me and I'd shed a few tears before moving on.

I'm hoping this is just yet another stop in the journey. Maybe this feeling will go away with time, maybe those little disappeared aspects of my personality will return. I have a son who I'm so thankful for, and who makes me continue. It's easy to get out of bed when you have no choice. I'm just going to take it day by day, and see what happens.

Monday, January 16, 2012

My Miscarriage Part 4 unfinished

This is the 4th installment of the story of my miscarriage, and is the most boring part. In case you missed it, Part 1 is about me realizing something was wrong and deciding to go to the ER, Part 2 covers being told the horrible news, and Part 3 covers the endless tears that followed.

So, after everything I'd gone through that day, I had to tell my mom. She was the first and only one I told 'in person.' Or that was my plan. I wanted to say it not over text, tweet, email, or facebook message, except... I couldn't do it. She was on AIM at the time and I told her over AIM and then said it was ok to call if she wanted. She called immediately and we got through it. Her perspective was different than mine.  She clearly didn't think of it as a baby at all, but as a mistake or a fluke. I didn't want to disagree, because she'd been through a loss of her own and had to deal with it in her own way. So, I just got through the conversation. It helped that ds was past ready to have a bath and we could hear him fussing in the background. She did cry for the loss of her grandchild at the end of the call. If only in that moment, I was happy sweet baby knew her grandma missed her.

I put ds to bed, stayed up until 1am feeling numb and incomplete, and then went to bed myself. DS woke up at 6am and I nursed him back to sleep in our bed.  But, I couldn't wait to get out of there, out of bed. I wasn't tired at all. I was eager to do the dishes and call for my OB appt. I was eager to DO, to get up and away from mourning and grief and be full of activity.

I was surprised how quickly the office got me in. They made it for the first appointment slot of the day. Despite how early I awoke, we were late getting ds to the sitter and a few minutes late to the appointment. Being late in an OB's office is an unforgivable sin, even if your baby dies. The office people there showed NO sympathy. We went in, and I sort of dreaded more condolences from a doctor. I was so done being spoken too as if I were a tearful child. My OB shined. She's a small woman, spits when she talks, and known to go off on wild tangents during appointments. Most describe her lovingly as 'the crazy one,' (some not so lovingly) and she was wonderful at this appt. I love my crazy OB. As soon as she walked in the room she loudly declared, "What an odd thing to happen?! I was so sorry to see this. It's just so odd." HA! I was immediately put at ease and ready to get down to the business at hand rather than be put to tears by another person telling me how sorry they were. She had a very small ultrasound machine on wheels with maybe a 12in screen. During the u/s I was surprised to see dh get up to see the body, but I was really happy he did. It was his baby, too, and I'm glad he got a last look. I, however, did not want to see it again. Luckily, the screen was next to me on a swivel, and I pushed it away. My wonderful ob didn't complain as she craned her next to see and take measurements so that I wouldn't have to see it again.

She measured it as 8w2d, as opposed to the hospital measuring 8w5d. It could be that it'd been so long since the passing that it was shrinking and disintegrating, or it could be that my ob was so quick in her measurement she wasn't as accurate. In my mind I've calculated the day, the week, that it happened, but I haven't actually looked at a calender and tried to make sure or figure out what I was doing that day. I hope that I don't. It always surprises me when there are things I don't want to know because I'm a very curious (nosy) person. But, I don't want to know the exact moment my baby died.

Then, being an OB, the doc suggested a D&C. She explained that it was a surgery to scrape the lining of the uterus to prevent severe pain and bleeding heavy enough to send me to the emergency room. Being a member of the IF community, I've unfortunately watched too many women go through this. I knew my options, and I knew I wanted to do it naturally.  Looking back, I wasn't really as informed about my decisions as I thought, but I'm still very glad I didn't run to the operating room after such a tragedy.  How to miscarry is such a personal decision, and there is no wrong way to do it.  Personally, I could not say goodbye to my baby painlessly and publicly.  I couldn't skip over birth, or have a bunch of strangers there when it happened. I insisted on doing it at home. The doc suggested the misoprostal pills (cytotec) to make it happen, and this also felt right. I was eager to get it over with.

Also being a member of the online natural birth community, I have to mention somewhere that any labor augmented by drugs really isn't 'natural.'  So, it's not really accurate for me to say on twitter or anywhere else that I miscarried naturally when, in fact, I used drugs to miscarry. I try to be clear about that when it comes up, but I do probably misuse the term. It happens. Women who choose to miscarry without drugs and go through the 'waiting for it to happen' stage are doing it naturally. I have always been guilty of rushing through my grief, and this was no different. I wanted to do it at home, but I also wanted to do it ASAP.

Part 5 will be all TMI about the actual miscarriage. Skip that one if you can't or don't want to handle it, but I think it's important to include it for those in my same situation who want to know.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Miscarriage Part 3 Crying

This is Part 3 of my miscarriage story. Here's part 1 and part 2 in case you missed it.

They wheeled me back to the ER. My face looked terrible. Tears were still streaming down, but I was crying silently.  They put me back in my tiny room, and then I could hear the nurses telling each other how sad I was and that they didn't want to go in there.  It felt like hours, maybe it was only one hour. I don't know how long it was. I know I had lost my baby and was all by myself and was just sobbing endlessly.  Through my tears I sent my first, short, tweet about the news. I texted a few close friends that had known I was going to the ER. I cried more, and then I cried more than that. My face hurt from crying, but my grief was so thick.  I thought I would suffocate in that tiny room alone with my grief.

Finally a brave nurse came in to take my vitals again. I asked when I could leave. They reminded me I needed a RHogam shot because I'm RH negative, and pretended surprise that the doctor hadn't been in yet. (I'd heard them talking outside for long enough to know that she just didn't want to come in and deal with that poor woman. I don't blame her. Who would want to be in that room?) The nurse left. I cried. The doctor eventually came in. Asked if I understood what happened. I didn't answer, the tears were too thick and my throat seemed closed. I honestly don't remember what she said next. Perhaps something about chromosomal abnormalities? Sometimes these things just happen? I don't care what she said.

Finally the nurse came with my paperwork and my shot. I'm normally afraid of needles and I cried more with fear. I told the nurse it was unfair that I had to go through both this AND the shot, but she didn't respond. I'd always heard that this shot was particularly painful, but it didn't hurt me at all. I was completely numb.

I finally was cleared to leave the ER. People stared at me as I walked through the waiting room. I wasn't embarrassed.  I wondered what it would be like to not be me, and be one of those people waiting. What would it be like to see a sobbing visibly pregnant girl walk out and wonder who she was visiting, why she was so upset. I bet no one guessed that my baby died. I don't remember the drive home, but I remember arriving home and wanting to give my son a hug, but he and DH weren't there.  I caught my face in the mirror and it occurred to me I should take a picture of myself. 'This is me the day my baby died.'  I didn't do that and I regret it now. I wish I had a picture of my grief to help me remember.

I'd been up for nearly 30hrs at that point. tears were still flowing and I doubted I'd be able to sleep while that upset.  Later, one of my friends asked me why they didn't give me a sedative or a Valium at the ER. That would have been a good idea.  I hope there's no next time for me to ask for that. When I got in bed I just cried and cried. I felt my baby bump and I hated it for lying to me for so long and making me think all was well. I heard DH arrive and was so relieved. I don't remember going downstairs or what I said. I don't remember giving ds a hug, but I know I did. I do remember DH told me if the baby was lost at 9 weeks than it was nothing I did. I was glad he wasn't mad. I went to bed and fell asleep. I was jerked awake 2 hours later. I'd been crying in my sleep and woke myself up. I think I nursed ds to nap at that time. I think I watched a movie. I'm surprised I don't remember. I can't believe I don't remember every second of that day. I know at some point dh called my boss to explain what happened and that I wouldn't be working that night.

At 5 I announced that I needed a nap. Dh had taken care of ds more that day than he had in over a year. It's hard to take care of a toddler almost nonstop all day long, but he didn't complain. He hesitated when I asked again, and I saw how hard it was for him to walk back into the living room, but he did. I slept for only an hour, and then got up and asked if we could all go out to target together.

Imagine my surprise that Target was exactly the same as it had been the previous day. My grief had been so strong I thought the whole world would have felt it, but, amazingly, it didn't seem phased at all.  My own personal 9/11 went completely unnoticed by Target. I don't think we got anything.  We just looked at toys and gadgets before going back home.  I needed to call my mom.

Continued in Part 4

Monday, January 9, 2012

My miscarriage Part 2

You can read Part 1 of this story here. I suspect it will be at least a 4 parter, but hopefully I'll get more up this week. It's been tough to write, but it feels necessary for my recovery.

The ultrasound tech came to take me to radiology. She was maybe 40, and looked like quite the little church lady.  She seemed out of place in a hospital and she didn't seem that comfortable in her position. She wasn't very rehearsed on giving the same old instructions. (empty bladder, take off bottoms, cover with this sheet.)  After I was ready for the vaginal ultrasound, she didn't seem comfortable doing it. She even asked me if I'd be more comfortable inserting the wand myself. ha. I made mental note of all these musings to tell people later. The funny story of how I freaked out over a little bleeding and went to the ER to see the baby. I wondered if I'd get to find out the gender at almost twelve weeks. I'd heard of people finding out that early. Would Dh be mad I found out when he wasn't there? 

She started the ultrasound while I was thinking on all these things.  I immediately asked about the heartbeat. "No, honey. I don't see it yet. Hold on, sometimes it takes a while, and I'm not supposed to tell you that much." I asked again, and she repeated herself. I asked again. "Hold on, honey. I'm just taking some measurements."  I decided to change my approach. "Well, does it measure 12 weeks?" She just shook her head. "No. honey, I'm sorry. It's more like 8 weeks. You deserve to know that much."

I was shocked.  Hard to tell time, maybe 2 or 3 seconds of silence, of understanding.  Then my world fell down around me. I always imagined hearing something like this would be like in the movies, and I'd say, "NOOOOOOO!!!!" like they do and collapse on the ground, etc. I didn't do that.  My grief sounded like a dying, choking animal. Noises I can now hear in my mind, but are difficult to describe and painful to hear again.  Inhuman noises. I don't know how long that part lasted. I thought I heard the tech choke back tears. I don't remember the order of what she said, but at different times while I was making these sounds she said the following to me several times.
"I remember when it happened to me."
"you go ahead and cry. It's a very sad thing. Go ahead and cry."
Then she started to repeat "Ooooh, precious dear," and after hearing that a few times I looked up and realized she was talking to the baby, not me. "Dear precious angel baby." This was oddly comforting. I stopped with those strange sobs and started regular human sobbing.  I asked to see the baby.

It's so unlike me to ask something like that. I can't believe I did, but in grief I had completely lost my mind. She showed me the ultrasound and I saw my baby. I don't regret seeing it, nor am I glad I saw it.  I did see it, and I'll remember the lifeless pictures forever. It was just black and white ultrasound, but it was so very different from the bundle of moving cells I'd seen before.  I don't have more to say about that.

After she was done I called my husband and told him. Seemed like he took the news so well. He later told me he'd worked hard to prepare himself for bad news so that he could entirely support me in that case. I'd responded by asking if he'd had any hope going in. He assured me he'd had hope, but had just prepared for the worst. At least one of us had. I was relieved he took it well, and I'm still thankful I don't have to be haunted with a memory of his devastated reaction. I told him sweet babe only measured 8w5d, and then got off the phone and was wheeled back to the ER section.

Continue to Part 3

My miscarriage Part 1

I'm finally ready to tell this story.  I want to be able to remember everything so that when I see this little life again, I'll be able to tell him exactly how much I mourned his loss.
I usually blog on saturdays. Last week I didn't. It's not that I 'knew' something was wrong. It's just that if it turned out to be the worst, I didn't want to ever have to read a post written right before I lost everything.

On friday one of the moms from my sons playgroup posted on facebook that she lost her pregnancy. We were due within a week of each other, and I felt terrible about it. I imagined whenever she'd look at me, she'd see how pregnant she would've been, and when I had my baby she'd always look at him and think "that's how old my baby would be."  I felt terrible for her and thought it best not to respond at all. I thought I should give her space to handle this how she wanted.

That night, I wiped and saw blood. I totally freaked out. Ran from the bathroom crying and then stopped at the livingroom threshold. I saw my husband laughing and playing with my son. I knew I was going to have to ruin this beautiful picture. I told my husband what happened. He said I was probably stressed out from the other girl miscarrying. I called the on call OB sobbing. Her eyerolling came through the line a little too easily. She noted that some spotting is normal, and it would probably turn brown or stop completely within the hour. It did.

I went into complete rest/guilt trip mode. I had moved a smallish tv to the basement that day, was it that? Did I not drink enough water? Had I not taken my metformin regularly enough? DH put our son to bed for me and I wondered what I had done wrong. I worried about the baby. The next morning a little more spotting, and again it went away. That night, New Years Eve, right before I was to leave to work 3rd shift at a local hotel, there was more. A lot more. I was ready to go to the ER right then, but I couldn't leave the hotel unattended. I tried to find someone to work for me. On NYE? Fat chance. I had to go. As always, I asked my husband what I should do. For the first time ever, he said he didn't know. I was shaken.

At work that night I googled and found story after story of successful pregnancy after bleeding. I began to feel foolish. Did I really need to ring up a huge ER bill just for peace of mind? The bleeding had stopped, and I wasn't sure what to do. When my son woke up in the middle of the night, my husband texted to see how things were going. I explained to him my indecision, and we decided to call the on-call doc in the morning and let her make the decision of whether to go to the ER or wait for an ultrasound in the office on monday.

Called her at 640. She was totally indecisive. "well....Nothing we do now is going to make a difference. If there's no heartbeat then we'll find out today or tomorrow. It's up to you. Hard to say with your symptoms, it might be fine."  UGH!!! I didn't know what to do. My coworker came in to relieve me at 7am, and I told her what was going on. She'd had 5 miscarriages in her life and said to go straight to the ER. Finally someone had made a decision! I didn't care that it wasn't my husband, myself, or the doctor. I just needed someone to tell me what to do.

I headed to the ER and called my husband on the way to let him know what I had decided. (but not how I had decided it.) I went inside and the two check-in nurses just looked at me. I was silent for too long, but it's hard to say it outloud. "I'm almost twelve weeks pregnant and I'm having some bleeding." They asked me the usual questions, took vitals, then sent me back out to the waiting room. Thinking back, I miss those moments of blissful ignorance. Despite everything that was going on, I still thought it would be fine. I never thought I'd receive devastating news in less than an hour.

I saw the ER doc, and had my first ultrasound. The doc couldn't find the heartbeat, and assured me she just really wasn't that good with the machine. I did cry, but mostly because I'd been so nervous as to what she'd say.  Having no answer was a shock to the system. I cried, but I believed her. Sounded reasonable that a regular ER doc wouldn't look for heartbeats that much, and I was only 12 weeks. She ordered an ultrasound tech to come down and take me to radiology. I hadn't slept in over 24hrs, so I napped while I waited.

Continue to Part 2