We have always known we wanted more than one child. My husband and his sister are less than two years apart and they have a very close relationship, so we wanted Liam to have a sibling who was close in age, as well. We decided to start trying this May and one month later, my first cycle not breastfeeding at all, we conceived.
It happened so quickly that we were a little bit shocked. It took us over a year and two rounds of clomid to conceive Liam, so we just assumed it would take at least a few months the second time around. We were excited, but much more apprehensive than the first time around because we knew what was coming. I remember my due date with Liam feeling so far away, but this time, our due date (which just so happened to be two days before Liam’s second birthday) seemed to be right around the corner. We knew how fast time flew with our first pregnancy and we were a little anxious to be doing it again so quickly.
Still, we were excited. So excited, in fact, that just a few days after we got the positive result on the home pregnancy tests, we were camping near the beach and took this photo of Liam so we could send it to our immediate family and a few close friends.
We are not ones to keep a secret, so after that, if we saw a friend or family member in person, we told them. At this stage in our lives, people ask when/if we are going to have another child on a regular basis, and since we’re not good at or comfortable with lying, we would just tell them the happy news without worrying about it. I had planned to share the above photo on social media on August 31st, exactly two years after we shared we were pregnant with Liam online.
I saw my doctor who confirmed my pregnancy and congratulated me and we set an appointment for 7 weeks to do the first ultrasound. My husband and Liam were both there and we saw a heartbeat, which was wonderful. The baby measured one week behind, which my doctor attributed to my longer than average cycles and estimated that I ovulated late, which made sense. We were a little bit panicked that the due date would be only two days before Liam’s birthday because it seemed like a lot to handle at once, but we were ready to take on the challenge and plan joint birthday parties for as long as they’d let us.
At that appointment, when the baby measured a week behind, a seed of worry was planted inside my brain. We saw the heartbeat, which was great, but I just couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. I talked myself out of it, telling myself that it was just nerves and that everything was fine. I remember that the next week I felt really bloated all of the sudden and my stomach suddenly felt pregnant. I wasn’t showing, but I could tell that something was different. This made me even more excited and I was even starting to browse maternity clothes online.
Then, about a week later, the bad feeling returned. My stomach didn’t feel bloated anymore and I just knew something wasn’t right. Again, I brushed it off as needless worry, but I told my husband about this feeling I had and one night I was texting with a friend and mentioned that I just thought something was wrong. That same night, I started spotting.
I had already had my first appointment scheduled with my new OB for the next day (I switched doctors because my previous one does not do VBACs, something I’m hoping for with my next delivery), so I tried not to worry (or google) and told him about it at the appointment. He said that it could be nothing, or it could be the beginning of a miscarriage, and had me come in the following day (a Friday) for an ultrasound. I should have been 9 weeks pregnant at this point.
Since I just kind of knew it was not going to be good, my husband took the day off so he could go with me. The bleeding had increased a bit by this point, but it wasn’t heavy. My intuition was right, though: there was no heartbeat and the baby measured less than 7 weeks. My doctor said that it can shrink after the heart stops beating, so there’s no way of pinpointing when it happened. He told me I could have a D&C, but I wanted to wait a few days to schedule it because I wasn’t ready to rush into surgery. As the weekend went by, I started to regret my decision and wished I had scheduled the D&C right away. I just wanted the whole thing to be over so I could move on. I worked on Monday and scheduled the D&C for Wednesday morning. Liam would spend his first night away from both of us at my mom’s the night before the procedure, and my husband would take the day off to help while I recovered.
Monday after work, I had some pretty bad cramping, worse than I usually had during normal periods, but nothing too awful. Then, around 6pm, I had to pee, so I went to the bathroom. I was home alone with Liam and when I have to use the bathroom, he always comes with me, but if I had known I would miscarry right then and there, I would have encouraged him to play safely in his room instead. The doctor had told me that the baby was the size of a lentil, so when something bigger than a walnut came out, I was horrified. I immediately called me husband who said he would leave work right away, and then I asked my mom to come over to watch Liam in the meantime, since my husband has a 40 minute commute. It was not a physically painful experience, but it was emotionally scarring. The image flashes in my brain several times a day even now, two weeks later. I felt empty, both physically and emotionally, and cried while my mom and brother played with Liam outside in the sprinklers.
I had my pre-op with my doctor scheduled for the next day, so I decided to go in and ask in person if I still needed the D&C instead of calling. He said that I probably didn’t, but that he would order blood work, repeated over the course of a few weeks, to make sure that my levels were decreasing at an appropriate rate. So far, it looks good, but I still have one more test next week just to make sure. I continued to bleed until the Saturday after I miscarried (on a Monday), which wasn’t bad, considering my doctor said it could take two weeks to stop, but it felt like forever to me. I wanted the physical symptoms to be over so I wouldn’t have to be reminded of it constantly. Of course, I still think about it constantly, but each day seems to get a little bit better.
Now that it’s over, I’m glad I didn’t have to have the D&C. I didn’t have to go to the hospital or be put under anesthesia and we don’t have to wait two months to start TTC again. The recovery wasn’t bad and I feel like it happened the way nature intended. I just wish I could un-see it. That would be the only positive to having the D&C – I wouldn’t have had to see anything.
The support we’ve received from friends and family has been incredible. I am so grateful to be surrounded by such wonderful people (in real life and online). This is such a delicate subject and many women don’t feel comfortable sharing their experiences with miscarriage, but for me, sharing has helped me work through the grief and loss.
We plan to start trying again right away. We are excited to grow our family and hope to have happy news again soon. I’m sure we will be more guarded than ever, but we will also be so much more thankful when we end up with a healthy baby. An experience like this really puts life into perspective.
A couple of people have mentioned to me that this was an early miscarriage, which I know it was compared to some other women’s experiences, but it didn’t feel early to us. While the pain would have been even greater if it had happened later in the pregnancy, it still feels like we lost a child. We had the image of this baby in our minds and were starting to plan our lives as a family of four. That idea just disappearing, no matter how early, is devastating.