My Fitbit actually told me I was pregnant. I’ve been exercising a ton (because hello, that’s what everyone does in January!) and I noticed that my average heart rate kept increasing (1-2 beats every day for almost two weeks) when it should have been decreasing. We chatted about it, we knew it was a possibility. I put off taking a test for a few days (I was so terrified and not ready) and decided I finally would take one on Saturday.
January 26, 2019
I woke up, peed on the stick, put the cap on, and ran away from it. Literally. I was terrified what it would read. I woke up Justin and told him, “You have to go in the bathroom and look at it. I can’t.” He came back in the room, test in hand, “Third time’s a charm!” The test confirmed what my Fitbit hinted – I am pregnant. We sobbed.
Now, after two back-to-back losses, being pregnant again is absolutely TERRIFYING. Yes, this warrants ALL CAPS. My mind doesn’t let me be excited, because literally all I know about pregnancy so far is loss. I have to keep telling myself that this time is different. This is an entirely different pregnancy. I’m healthy, this baby is healthy. All will be good. Our rainbow baby…Finally.
Later that day, I was on the verge of a breakdown, so I called my mom in the car while I was out running errands. I had mentioned earlier in the week that I thought I could be, so when I called, she knew. She was so excited and said, “Third time’s a charm!”
Friday, February 1, 2019
I emailed my doctor this week to get her approval on the medicines/supplements I am taking. She called me a couple hours later, and as soon as I answered the phone she said, “Oh, Amanda! I am SO excited for you! This time will be different! The third time’s a charm!” She approved of all my medications, and supported our decision to wait a few weeks before coming in for our first appointment. (With the previous pregnancy, we had early ultrasounds and it was too early to see anything. We didn’t want to add any extra stress on ourselves this go around!)
She did recommend that I stop in the following day for bloodwork. She wanted an HCG and progesterone count STAT (never actually heard anyone use that term outside of Grey’s Anatomy), as well as an A1C (glucose) and TSH (thyroid). Someone from the office called me 3 hours later with the STAT results. My progesterone was 24.1 (she just wanted to see something in the teens) and my HCG was 2958. Both numbers were perfect, and right on track for 5 weeks.
I scheduled our first appointment for the end of February, which by my count, when we will be 9 weeks. The past two times we have been pregnant we had uneasy first ultrasounds that required follow-ups a week later, and for that whole week we were just sick with fear. Justin and I agreed we can’t bear to do that to ourselves again if we don’t absolutely have to.
Thursday, February 21 – 8 weeks 2 days
Since finding out, this was the third time that I woke up in the middle of the night in a panic. Sweating, shaking, and worrying, with an overwhelming feeling that something is wrong. I used the restroom twice and tossed and turned for hours. Justin woke up at one point and started rubbing my back, asking what is wrong. “I don’t know” I said through sobs. After two hours I finally fell back asleep for about 45 minutes until I had to get up for work. I went to the restroom, and low and behold – pink spotting. I started crying and ran in the bedroom and woke up Justin. I called and left a message at the doctors office. Then proceeded to call every half hour, just in case they answered the phones earlier than 8:30.
They requested I come in to the office and get checked out. We saw a different doctor (my usual doc was on vacation this week). While I was crying and squeezing my eyes shut, the ultrasound tech spotted a strong heartbeat. Justin was ecstatic, as it was the strongest heartbeat we had ever seen. Our little bean was alive, and I let out the biggest sigh of relief. But then she took a measurement, and said the exact phrase we have nightmares about. “Looks like you’re measuring about 6 weeks.” We knew for a fact we should be 8. Even with her reassurance that everything looks healthy, we still had a red flag.
We met with the doctor and she checked me. My cervix had some bleeding at the 6 or 7:00 mark, but the bleeding was on the outside and not coming from the baby. No need to worry. Based on my last period, we are due October 1st. But based on baby’s measurements, our dates must simply be wrong. She estimated that we conceived the third week of January, and changed the due date to October 17th. We knew that wasn’t right, but we went home feeling slightly hopeful anyway.
Later that day I was still bleeding, but assumed it was just irritation from the ultrasound wand and the doctor checking me out.
Friday, February 22nd – 8 weeks 3 days
When I woke up, the bleeding was different. Now it was red, with some tiny clots. Again, I woke up Justin and had him analyze. There was a chance it could be irritation, but in our hearts we knew something was wrong.
I called the doctor’s office yet again, and they had us come in for another visit. I cried all the way there, and Justin was on a work conference call. I was sad, and scared, and so pissed off that Justin couldn’t just take the day off. We walked in, and had to wait in the waiting room for about ten minutes, which feels like eternity when you’re waiting among happily pregnant couples. Also during this time, a man walked in alone and sat down, probably waiting for his wife, and started watching videos on his phone and giggling over and over. It took everything I had not to scream.
The ultrasound tech called us back, and remembering us from yesterday, said “let’s just take another peek.” She found the baby, and zoomed in, but this time said “I’m sorry.”
She gave us a few minutes alone. We sobbed and held each other. How was it possible that just 24 hours ago we had a strong, healthy heartbeat, and today we didn’t?
We met with yet another doctor, and got the same speech: It’s nothing you did. It’s not your fault. There is nothing you could have done to prevent this.
We already knew our options, and even though this time was different because I was already bleeding, I knew I likely wouldn’t pass an 8 week sac on my own. We also knew we wanted to do genetic testing again to see if the loss was chromosomal, and the only way to do that is with surgery.
The surgery team called me not long after we got home, notifying me that my D&C Surgery would be Sunday at 1:30 PM, by yet another doctor in the practice.
Sunday, February 24
We arrived at the hospital around noon, as instructed. They put us in a room quickly – the same “D&C Recovery” Room that I am already familiar with.
Again, I sobbed through the IV process. They had to put it in my hand again, despite my pleads, because I have shitty veins. I begged for Tylenol because I hadn’t taken anything all day. After about an hour, she gave me Fentanyl (which I totally thought was just another name for Tylenol, but turns out is a narcotic) and something like Pepcid for nausea. As soon as the fentanyl entered my veins, my eyes were fluttering, and I totally understood how people become addicted to substances like this. At that moment, I would have taken anything to get rid of the physical and emotional pain. A few minutes after that, the anesthesiologist came in and gave me some version of Xanax to calm me, so I wouldn’t freak out as soon as they’d wheel me to the ER. The next thing I knew, he was beginning the anesthesia.
When I woke up, I was back in my room with Justin. It was all over.
The doctor had come in and talked with him. She said everything went smoothly, and there was plenty of tissue for chromosomal testing (we were very worried that I had passed most of it and there wouldn’t be enough left to test). We should have the results in a week or two. Depending on the results, she would do chromosomal testing in office on both Justin and I. It’s possible that if we have the same Trisomy 16, that we have a translocation, where basically our DNA do not line up correctly. IF that is the issue, the only remedies would be sperm donation or surrogacy… topics we are not ready to even think about.
Tuesday, February 26
Everyone is asking how we are feeling, and I don’t know that there is really a short answer to that. First thought that comes to mind is, “How many times can one live through the worst day of their life?”
We are still in shock that this is happening to us again. We have only officially known about this baby for one month now, but it feels like so so so much longer. We had so many hopes and dreams and emotions surrounding this pregnancy. We were finally going to get our rainbow baby. Little did we know, this life would be taken from us too.
I’m drowning myself in junk food and junk TV and trying my best to distract myself from reality. I’m still bleeding of course, and the cramps are horrendous. My body aches everywhere from the anesthesia. Our sleep is slim, and our days feel long and dark.
We are acutely aware that we will never, ever have an exciting pregnancy. We are so envious of all of you who get pregnant by “accident,” and experience nothing but joy for 9 months. We will never have that, and that fact alone is depressing.
There is so much uncertainty that lies ahead of us. We don’t know what our next steps will be, and what hoops we will need to jump through to ultimately have a family. So many of you in your condolences have said, “you deserve to be parents” and that is the phrase I’m holding on to like hell. Right now, it feels like we are being punished, having to endure our third heartbreaking loss, but we too, feel in our hearts we deserve to be parents. We just hope God follows through soon.