Take a stand?

I haven’t forgotten. As we approach October 15, pregnancy and infant loss awareness day, I find myself thinking more frequently about my babies. I think about what it would be like if I had never experienced a loss. What does that innoncence feel like? I often wonder that when I see early pregnancy announcements. When I announced my pregnancy at 35 weeks on social media, I wonder if people thought, I too, were of the innocent mindset… 

I contemplate writing a social media post acknowledging my losses prior to my live birth. My motive would be to make those with similar experiences feel less alone. However, with family attached to my social media pages (mostly my husbands), I feel uncomfortable taking such a personal stand. Funny right? I can post almost daily pictures of my daughter and family and yet when it comes to the journey of getting there, it’s oh so taboo. 

So I’m torn- do I take a stand to publically recognize my babies who didn’t make it? Or do I go about my business with the notion that people probably incorrectly preceive me as ‘innoncent?’ 

Jinxing myself

Yesterday I wrote a post about maternity leave and how the system I am in doesn’t support new mothers. I realized after writing that that I am assuming I am bringing this baby home. I know I am planning for this baby; nursery is painted and I am working on painting her furniture, but what if there is no baby. What if all this planning is for nothing? Why am I assuming that this is going to be my take home? I know this is morbid to think about and maybe rather unhealthy, but its hard to stop my mind from wandering there… I have had two previous loss, although much earlier than this current pregnancy (5 weeks and 15 weeks), and its hard to wrap my head around an actually healthy baby.  According to textbooks- I am in a ‘safer zone’ at almost 25 weeks. Statistically, I should be bringing my daughter home in April. However, through people I know personally and those I have met through blogging, I know there is no such thing as ‘ safe zone’. Anything can happen at any given time.

I suppose I am just having an anxiety inducing day. I am worried than anything I do to plan for her arrival will come back and slap me in the face.  I know the alternative is doing nothing, which means we will be scrambling when and if she comes. And, truth be told, I am want to nest. I deserve to nest. I think its so unfair that my losses have raped me of the innocence I so desperately yearn for.

Comparing pregnancies

Besides the fact that this pregnancy is so far healthy and this is the farthest I have come in a pregnancy before, there is innate differences between the three pregnancies I have had. The first, which sadly only lasted 5 weeks (a week of me knowing), consisted of spotting and cramping…I think I knew we were going to loose it. My head was screaming miscarriage during the entire week. The second pregnancy, although lasted longer, felt off. From the very beginning I was super nervous and felt something wasn’t right. I thought this was a result of me just suffering a miscarriage, but maybe it was intuition? As we know, that pregnancy resulted in a termination for medical reasons. I was right. Something was off. My daughter was unhealthy. I felt it. I knew it when I was spotting off and on, when I was prescribed progesterone, and right before we entered the room for the NT scan.

Despite my tumultuous pregnancy history, I felt differently with this pregnancy. I was a little more at ease. I have stopped analyzing everything I consume and I feellike this might actually be our baby. I am completely aware that until I take home this little girl, we are not in the clear. I am fully aware through my experience and through hearing about others, that pregnancy does not always equal baby, however, I am beginning to feel more hopeful…Like this could actually be our living daughter.

What could of been 

Last Christmas was my first period after my first loss, a miscarriage at 5 weeks. It took 6 weeks to get my period back, and I was eagerly waiting because I was desperate to try again. My husband and I knew we wanted to have kids, but he preferred to not know about the details of ovulating of cervical mucus. To spare the poor man, I silently calculated my fertile window and plotted my seduction. At the end of January, I was pregnant. I was shocked, but relieved it happened right away. The moment the test turned positive, I was nervous. Naturally, I thought this nervousness was a result of just suffering a miscarriage. I told myself- get passed 5 weeks and then you should feel better. I passed 5 weeks… But was still not settled. At 7 weeks, my husband and I were headed to Puerto Rico. Our first doctors appointment was scheduled for the Monday after our return. The first day of our trip, I started to spot. It was brown… Not red…I discovered this after our first meal in San Jaun.  Maybe the flight? All I know is I was bracing myself for another loss. And I was anxious. When we got back to the hotel-  I refused sex and instead went to sleep. I woke up the next morning and ran to the bathroom. Red blood. A couple drops. My heart sank to feet. My pulse raced. I began to sweat. No no no, this can’t be happening again! I called my mom and I called my mother in law. Both assures me that spotting can be normal. I went about my day, trying to enjoy the time with my husband. I kept checking my underwear. No more red… Some brown…. Some tissue. It wasn’t a lot, but it was concerning… This continued the whole week. We returned to New York and the next day went to our first appointment. To our surprise- there was a heartbeat! I felt okay, but I was still super uneasy. At 9 weeks… I was spotting again. Still brown. I was then told I have low progesterone and was giving supplements. Somethings didn’t feel right. I became obsessed with looking up statistics of miscarriages and risks associated with weeks gestation. I was a ball of anxiety… Then our 12 week scan arrived, our nuchal translucency. We walked to the hospital and I remember thinking ‘shit, I am scared.’ My husband hushed my thoughts and ushered me through the automatic doors…

I often wonder if my intuition knew something was wrong from the beginning. Did my mind know my baby wasn’t healthy? Was the anxiety that I was feeling meant to let me in on my body’s failure to multiple and divide correctly? 

Even though I am noticeably pregnant- I still resent pregnant woman I see. I immediately get upset because I assume their journey to pregnancy was easy and their innocence is still intact. I resent them. I resent the families that get to announce their pregnancies at 12 weeks… Thinking they are bringing their baby home. I resent that fact that I posted a picture of our gender reveal on Instagram and had immediate anxiety. What if I have to explain another loss that I have made so public??? Why did I have to be so stupid. I should of kept it quiet longer… I miss my innocence. 

If I didn’t have the miscarriage, I would have a 5 month old baby.

If I didn’t have to terminate for medical reasons, because my daughter had extra chromosomal material on chromosome 8, my daughter would be almost 3 months… 

Instead, I am so grateful that I am carrying their sister. Every day I am thankful that I am pregnant and every day I am hopeful that I will bring this baby girl home in 4 months. I love her so much and I can’t wait to show her just how much when she arrives. 

Today is intense…

Today is an emotionally charged day. At this exact point in my last pregnancy, 15 weeks, we were terminating our daughter due to medical reasons. I am currently 15 weeks and carrying a so far healthy child, yet all I can do is replay that terrible week and the subsequent weeks I had to endure in April. I wish it ended there….Exactly one year ago today, I found out I was pregnant with my first. That pregnancy last exactly a week before I had a natural miscarriage. I have quite a bit of mixed emotions.  Technically, if my first pregnancy was healthy, I would of had a baby in July. I would of never had to terminate for medical reasons.  I never would of have to endure the worst emotional roller coaster of my life.  If my second pregnancy was healthy, the same would apply…and I would of had a daughter in October. She would of been roughly a month old.  Instead…I am still at the beginning of my pregnancy and everything beyond today is a mystery….

Getting Pregnant and Loosing Baby Round 1

My husband and I never really spoke about trying to conceive.  We knew we wanted children.  There were several conversations when we discussed having two with the possibility of the third if we had the fiscal means and energy.  Since before we got married, I was not on birth control. My husband and I resorted the pull-out method.  Birth control  pill for me resulted in unwanted weight gain, moodiness, and a lack of a sex drive. At the start of our relationship we used condoms. I was impressed that we lasted as long as we did before we discovered sex without one…Next we tried the IUD.  After eleven months of constant spotting and cramping I was left with an pelvic infection and more disdain for birth control. So pull out it was…Or what I like to refer to as Russian Roulette. Anyways, My husband and I were pretty lucky with the pull out method and got away without conceiving when we didn’t want to.  About 4 months after our wedding, we decided to take it to the next level.  If it happened, it happened.  We knew we wanted a baby.  If we made one, we would be excited.

Two months later, I got a faint positive on a home pregnancy test I had taken a day before my missed period. surprised that it happened so quickly and unsure what to do next, I booked an appointment with my gyno for that evening. In hindsight and knowing what I now know about pregnancy, I know this was a silly move. After my husband got home, we went to the doctor.  A pee test confirmed my pregnancy but it was still too early to do an ultrasound.  My blood was taken to confirm my beta levels.  I would receive a call the following day for the results.

When we left the doctors my husband and I discussed how our lives were going to happily change.  We knew we would be around 8 or so weeks around Christmas and that would be a prefect time to share the exciting news with our family.  We were excited!

The next day rolled around and my doctor called to give me the results of my blood test.  My hgc levels were only 25.  My doctor explained how this was on the lower side, but that he needed to see if the levels doubled before he could tell me whether or not this was a viable pregnancy.  I was to come back next Wednesday, 5 days later.  My levels should be over 200 at that point.  Later that weekend I took another pregnancy test. A digital one. This one read 1-2 weeks.  Seems like it was going up! But what did I know?

I received a call on Thursday for the results from my second blood test.  I answered the phone during lunch duty at work. Big mistake. The doctor signed and told me that my hgc levels were only 49…he was confident that this was not going to be a viable pregnancy.  He told me to prepare to miscarry. Then through my tears, he scheduled a follow up appointment for that following Monday.

I left work early and took off the next day.  I was devastated.  I started the mourn the loss of a baby that never was.  The loss of the idea of a baby. A baby that was suppose to be born July 14.

That Friday night I started to bleed.  I met my parents, sister and husband for dinner that night.  On our way home, I felt the impending cramps and felt the blood.  It was official over.  I was loosing the baby.

I was 4 weeks when I found out that I was pregnant.  I was 4 weeks and 6 days when I lost the baby.

It took me a couple weeks to get over this loss. I cried off and on.  I would dream about babies and fantasize about getting my period again so we could ‘try’ again. I wanted a baby.  I needed a baby. I wanted a little person that was a mix between my loving husband and myself.

We were told that everyone gets one freebie when it comes to miscarriages.  One miscarriage does not increase your risks of a second.  This was our freebie.  we thought to ourselves- ‘Next time will be different…’