How To Help A Friend Through Miscarriage
The creation of human life is one of the most complex and shockingly beautiful things that our bodies are designed to do. The microanatomy that goes into this task is so astonishingly complicated that it's a miracle any of us walk around at all.
And yet, most of us do. Most...but not all.
When a baby dies, we are fragmented. Shattered, we must pick up the pieces and put them back together as we pay tribute to our children, our tables forever missing one, our families incomplete, our treasures in heaven, our babies alive only in our hearts. It is through our stories that they live forever. These children were here and they mattered.
They were loved.
They are loved.
If you'd like to add your baby's name to our Wall of Remembrance, please fill this out so we can properly remember your lost little one.
There are some dates that will forever stick in my mind.
January 2, 1999 - a date I can't seem to forget. That was the day my first husband and I officially started trying to have a baby.
Eight and a half years later, we were getting divorced. While we'd been able to adopt a beautiful little girl, I still hadn't been able to experience my dream of being pregnant and giving birth.
Eventually, I met an amazing man who made me laugh; a wonderful father to my little girl. We had a whirlwind romance and were married just seven months and one day after our first date. We started trying for a child of our own right away.
January 1, 2009 - exactly ten years after I had first started trying to have a child, I was finally pregnant! My dream had finally come true!
The pregnancy was over-the-top from the very beginning. The morning after conception, I almost threw up on my husband when kissing him good morning. Pregnancy symptoms aren't supposed to show up that early.
Things were calm again until twelve days later when the morning sickness began, which was followed by the extremely strong sense of smell. I developed Restless Leg Syndrome. To my amusement, I also craved fresh raspberries and a very specific fast food burrito.
My ultrasound was scheduled for February 2, six weeks into my pregnancy. My husband met me at the office, where we held hands and waited excitedly for our first glimpse of our new baby.
The ultrasound tech was very professional, but she hardly spoke. She didn't say what she was (or wasn't) seeing. The more time that passed without her speaking, the more nervous I became. After a while, she told us that she was having some issues - she needed to bring in the radiologist.
He came in, moved the wand around on my belly, and finally gave us the bad news: they weren't able to find the baby. I was sent upstairs to my doctor's office. She was sympathetic, but told me I should prepare for a miscarriage.
I knew I couldn't just accept that. I'd lose my mind if I just sat there, waiting for everything to be over. I turned to the Internet where I discovered stories of misdiagnosed miscarriages. I clung to the hope that they'd all been wrong; that my baby was going to be fine.
Exactly one week later, on February 9th, the spotting started. I tried to deny it for the first day, but when it turned to full-on bleeding, I had to admit that I was losing my baby.
To say I was "devastated" was a gross understatement - I felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest.
I couldn't breathe. I couldn't think.
Obsessively, I went into the bathroom once an hour. I was horrified by the idea of passing my baby's tiny little body into a toilet. I searched through every clot, every little bit of tissue hoping to find something, ANYTHING that I might be able to bury. Realistically, I knew that any traces of my baby's body would be microscopic, but I couldn't stop myself.
The pregnancy symptoms stuck around for two weeks while I continued to bleed. I felt insulted and betrayed by my body. There was not going to be a baby at the end of it all, but my body continued to make me feel I was still pregnant.
But worst of all was the immense feeling of being alone.
My sweet husband was so loving and caring, but it didn't seem like he was bothered at all by the loss of our child. Women at church were kind; some of them even mentioned having miscarriages of their own. But they would talk about it like it was the common cold. Didn't ANYONE understand how tragic this was for me? After ten years of waiting and dreaming, I'd finally gotten pregnant only to lose it quickly.
After a couple of weeks, a woman I didn't know very well called me. She said she had been thinking of me; she'd been meaning to bring by a meal, but had been very busy. She choked up while telling me about a miscarriage she had suffered through between her second - and third - children.
She offered to have a pizza and salad sent to our home so I wouldn't have to cook that night. She gave me advice on how I could deal with the stress and mood swings. I finally felt like someone else got it.
Later, I found an online support group who were a great help. But the biggest help was when my husband admitted that he was terribly upset by it. He'd been afraid to let me see how hurt he was because he didn't want to make me feel worse.
I needed a memorial.
I needed something to cling to when I couldn't handle it anymore. During those very short, few weeks, I'd rub my belly whenever I felt the need to feel attached to my baby. But now there was no connection at all. I found a website that sold memorial jewelry and selected a small forget-me-not flower pendant. When the necklace finally arrived, I had something to cling to again.
It took therapy and a lot of time for me to feel better. But even now, more than three years later, and after the birth of our adorable little boy, I almost never take my necklace off, and I still hold on to it when I think of my lost little one.
And I still cry when I think about it.
The light of a distant star continues to reach the Earth long after the star itself is gone.
- Author Unknown
Today, October 15, 2012, we pause to remember the stars of our soul that were extinguished far too early.
To the parents who are missing their babies today and always, The Band sends our love and prayers.
To our babies, the babies who never got to experience the joys of Earth and whose lives were cut very short, we miss you.
We miss you. More than anyone can ever know. We wish we could have one more moment - one single moment - with you, as if we can't have a lifetime with you.
Today, we honor the short lives of some of the brightest souls, souls that have touched many and have taught us to cherish all of life's moments.
If you'd like to add your little lost soul to our wall, please enter your information here as we at The Band will be adding the names of your wee stars to our wall.
To our babies who we carry in our hearts, instead of our arms, we will never forget you.
Band Back Together's Wall of Remembrance:
- Mary Katerina, miscarriage March 13, 2008.
- September 23, 2010, miscarriage.
Amanda and John's Babies:
- Juliana, July 2008, miscarriage.
- Charlie, November 2009, miscarriage.
- Samantha, March 2010, miscarriage.
- Her 3 Littles, December 23, 2010, missed miscarriage/June 2011, miscarriage/December 6, 2011, Autosomal Recessive Polycysitic Kidney Disease
Another Becky's Baby:
- Baby Savu, August 2004 missed miscarriage between 3rd and 4th month.
- Baby Garrett, September 13 2012, Miscarriage
Aunt Becky's Babies:
- February, 2008, Baby 1, miscarriage.
- March, 2008, Baby 2, miscarriage.
Baby Boy, February 15, 2000, miscarriage.
Baby Ian, pregnant October 2011, unpregnant January 2012, ectopic pregnancy.
Baby KJ, July 15, 2008, miscarriage.
Baby Moll, June 13, 2005, miscarriage.
Baby Noah Walter, January 2012, miscarriage.
- Malcolm, January 2008, miscarriage.
- Ophelia, April 2009, miscarriage.
- Caden, miscarriage, May 1989.
- Aubrey, miscarriage, December 1993.
- Kaycie, miscarriage, 6/14/2011.
- Baby Jones #1, February 2007, miscarriage at 12 weeks due to blighted ovum (Empty Gestational Sac).
- Michelle, November 1991, miscarriage
- 2 babies, miscarried in 1994 and 1999.
Elsie's Ten Possibilities:
- Nine Embies, 2008
- Lola, 2011
- Baby 1, September 2006, miscarriage.
- Baby 2, January 2007, miscarriage.
- Baby Girl 1, December 2008, late miscarriage.
- Baby Girl 2, August 17, 2009, born still at 18 weeks.
- March 2005, miscarriage at 13 weeks.
- Biscuit, July 18, 2012, miscarriage.
- Unnamed baby, 6w1d, September 18, 2010, miscarriage.
- Unnamed baby, 6w2d, June 22, 2011, miscarriage.
- Unnamed baby, 5w, August 15, 2011, miscarriage.
- Pregnant in December, 2007. Unpregnant by February, 2008.
- Forget Me Not #1, February 2008, miscarriage.
- Forget Me Not #2, January 2012, miscarriage.
- Baby M, September 10, 2011, miscarriage.
- Stella, February 13, 2011, miscarriage.
- June 8, 2008, early miscarriage.
- November 2007, early miscarriage
- November 2011, early miscarriage
Justine and Boo's Baby:
Kallay and Ryan's Baby:
- Baby C lost to a partial miscarriage, May 17, 2010. Baby C is survived by twin sisters, Lily and Molly who were born on December 7, 2010.
- Mari Elizabeth, September 2003, miscarriage
- Noah Douglas, October 2004, miscarriage.
- Twin Angels, July 2006, miscarriages.
- Rebecca, June 3, 1995, miscarriage.
- Baby Sluiter A, April 2007, miscarriage.
- Baby Sluiter B, May 2008, miscarriage.
- Lola, October 9, 2012, miscarriage.
Kelly and Brad's daughter:
- Lily Catherine, February 18, 2010, miscarriage.
- Baby 1, April 2003, miscarriage.
- Baby 2, October 2004, miscarriage.
- Baby 3, February 2006, miscarriage.
Kendra Pocock's Baby:
- Baby JJ Pocock, July 13 2012, Miscarriage/Ectopic Pregnancy
- Baby, October 1996, miscarriage.
- Baby One, son late term miscarriage at 15 weeks.
- Baby Two, second-trimester miscarriage at 14 weeks.
- Baby Three: miscarriage, 11 weeks.
- Baby Four: miscarriage, 13 weeks
- Baby Five, late miscarriage, 16 weeks.
- Eva, miscarriage
- 7 other babies lost through miscarriage due to luteal phase disorder and clotting disorder.
Lara and Brandon's Son:
Lauren C's Angels:
- Baby, August 27, 2007, miscarriage.
- Baby Boy, January 13, 2011, miscarriage.
- Baby May 9, 2011, miscarriage.
- Cameron, born and died May 22, 2009 at 10 weeks.
- Jeremiah Oliver and Jillian Olivia, twin babies. Second trimester loss July 9, 2010 and July 14, 2010 respectively.
- July 1994, ectopic pregnancy resulting in emergency surgery.
- Natasha Anastasia, September 7, 2011, miscarriage.
- Baby B #3, September 1, 2011, miscarriage at 5 weeks.
Marlowe Corrine, September 19, 2006, early miscarriage.
- June 11, 2011, miscarriage
Mindy's Three Angels:
- Angel One, September 9, 2005, miscarriage.
- Angel Two, July 17, 2007, miscarriage.
- Angel Three, September 25, 2010, miscarriage.
- Peanut, August 7, 2011, miscarriage.
- Baby One, February 2, 2011, miscarriage.
- Hosanna Joy, June 18, 2011, early miscarriage.
- Cody Ryan-Price Grodan, February 14, 2012, miscarriage, 12 weeks.
Nicole and Jake's baby:
- Baby One, September 19, 2011, miscarriage.
Rachel and Jesse:
- Babies due Aug 2008 and November 2010. Both lost to miscarriage.
- Alivia Mason, March 21, 2012, miscarriage.
- Isaac Ephraim, miscarriage August 2006.
- Isaiah Jeremiah, miscarriage January 2007.
- Ella Alicea, ectopic pregnancy June 2009.
- September 2006, miscarriage.
- April 12, 2002, miscarriage.
- September 3, 2008, miscarriage.
- Baby #3, June 2000, miscarriage from a blighted ovum.
- Athena Rose Moore, Girl Twin B
- October 1990, miscarriage.
Three Angels: September, 2002, July 17, September 25. Miscarriages.
- Sean Michael, April 14, 1987, miscarriage.
- Nolan "Shepherd," stillborn at 17 weeks on September 15, 2009.
- Madeleine Rose, stillborn July 7, 2009 due to incompetent cervix and uterine infection.
- Orion, stillborn May 8, 2004
- Benjamin, September 4, 2012, stillbirth.
- Bella Rose, stillborn on September 9, 2009.
- Emerson Allen Behrends, July 10, 2001, stillborn.
- Jonathan Edward, June 4, 1992, stillborn.
Debbie And Jeff's Daughter:
- Chloe Eva, September 12, 2008, stillbirth.
Heather and David's Daughter:
- Clara Edith, July 1, 2012, Stillbirth at 42 weeks, 3 days due to meconium aspiration and uterine infection.
Lilla and Gareth's daughter:
- Pippa, born still on February 13, 2011 from listeria infection.
Louise and Joseph's Baby:
- Alice Mathelin, born still on February 25, 2011, at 36 weeks and 5 days from Abruptio Placentae
Martha's Twin Boys:
- Owen died March 8, 2008 because his cord wasn't properly attached to the placenta.
- Joshua died one month later, April 6, 2008 because he couldn't live without his brother. Both were born still on April 8, 2008.
- Summer Lily, born still March 30, 2011.
- Jordan Ala, stillborn on November 13, 2006.
- Audrey Elizabeth, August 7, 1998, born still.
Selah Mae: born January 22, 2002, stillborn.
- Carter Austin Ross, March 18, 2006, stillbirth due to an umbilical cord anomaly.
- Isabella-Rose Elizabeth, October 12, 2009, stillbirth.
Amy and James's Babies:
- Jacob Bennett born and died on July 11, 2007 due to premature rupture of membranes (PROM).
- Samantha Lauren born August 16, 2011 at 23.5 weeks passed away September 17th due to extreme prematurity and fungal meningitis.
Baby Helen: Born July, 1993. Passed from prematurity.
- Christopher Robin Cote: Born September 25, 2009. Stillborn due to premature rupture of membranes and incompetent cervix.
- Jellybean, born at 5:20 April 15th, 2009; and passed just four short hours later in her arms.
Heather and Aaron's Son:
- Aodin R. Hurd, October 7, 2007, born still due to premature rupture of the membranes.
- Baby S, March 2008, Miscarriage
- Evie, December 14, 2009, Triplet Prematurity
- Jack, December 22, 2009, Triplet Stillbirth due to Prematurity
- Will, January 13, 2010, Triplet Prematurity
- Baby M, May 2010, Miscarriage
Kristin's Baby (Mama KK):
- Ariel Grace, born on July 28, 2009 at 18 weeks 5 days. Lived 5 minutes.
- Ayla and Juliet, October 20, 2009 at 20 weeks.
- Bayli and Thomas on June 8, 2011 at 21 weeks 2 days.
Matthew Chase Sims: April 25th, 2006 due to prematurity.
- Born at 21 weeks in June 2011 due to a bacterial infection, lived for 30 minutes.
- Samuel, August 8, 2001, prematurity.
- Coleman Parker Garibay, September 14, 2005, lost at 6 months gestation and passed from prematurity.
- Reya, September 18 2011, Prematurity due to extreme Pre-eclempsia
- Erik Richard, July 29, 1981, prematurity.
Aaron and Kristine's Son:
- Luke Ervin Seitz, born July 21, 2011 with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome, and passed on June 28, 2011.
- Mateo, Anthony, and Ian born on May 6, 2008 at 23 weeks and 3 days.
- Mateo was born still.
- Anthony passed away from Transposition of the Great Vessels.
- Ian passed away after a short stay in the NICU.
Avaleigh: July 25, 2011, born still due to Down Syndrome.
Baby Anissa, born December 2, 2008, stillbirth from birth defects.
Baby Khalil, born August 14, 2009, stillborn, born still from birth defects.
- Ethan Connor Brockwell, May 3, 2006 - August 17, 2006. Born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome.
Christopher: November 4, 1979, due to pulmonary atresia, a congenital heart defect.
- Aidan, born with brain malformation on December 16, 2008 and passed on December 19, 2008.
Cora Mae McCormick:
- Shane Michael, born October 10, 1971 and died October 11, 1971 from heart complications before his mother could wake from anesthesia. She never saw or held him.
- Brianna Elizabeth, born January 29, 1998 and died March 7, 1998 from a heart defect.
- Matthew Connor - February 26, 2005, born at 26 weeks, passed from Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC).
- Reed Allyvion Miners, passed away July 5th 2003 at one hour old from Primary Myocardial Disease, a congenital heart defect.
- Nathaniel, born August 24, 2001 and died August 29, 2001 from an undiagnosed metabolic disorder.
- David, born May 11, 2010 and Died January 24, 2011 from a myriad of complications resulting from a liver transplant.
- Leia Sky Williams, born October 6, 2011, passed away from Group Beta Strep.
Baby Kash Michael:
- Born June 3, 2011 and died September 28, 2011.
Carey's Triplet Sons:
- Rudyard, Desmond, and Oscar, June 4th, 2011, born at 22 weeks due to of E. coli infection.
- Nicholas and Zachary, October 27th, 2004.
Heather and Joe's Twins:
- Malakai Zachary born still March 10, 2007 due to Anencephaly.
- Five more angels, July, 2007 - May, 2010. Miscarriages.
- Catherine Grace, born August 10, 2012, passed August 12, 2012, due to prematurity brought on by HELLP syndrome.
- Kaitlyn Grace, born sleeping at 38 weeks on Saturday, May 13th, 1995. Died from a true knot in her umbilical cord.
Matt and Lauren's Baby:
- Isla, born 14 weeks premature on August 23, 2011 and died on October 10, 2011.
- Mina Kathryn, born February 18, 2009, died February 24, 2009, due to complications with her PICC line.
- Baby R, May 24, 1998, Medicine Administration by RN who didn't know or ask.
- Matthew Conner Webb, born January 11, 2005 and died February 26, 2005. He was born at 26 weeks and faced many obstacles in his short life.
- Ziggy Ann born sleeping on January 21, 2009.
- Frank born sleeping May 21, 2010.
- Liberty Ann born March 30, 2011 and died on April 19, 2011.
Ally's Son: Collin
- Collin: born on August 9th, 2008. He passed away 30 minutes later from cardiac arrest after an emergency c-section due to a placental abruption.
- Nicholas, born December 14, 2005, died April 19, 2006 from SIDS.
- Max Corrigan, born November 14, 1987 and relinquished to adoption on November 18, 1987.
- Bryce Philip born May 26, 2009 and died September 1, 2009 due to SIDS
- Ashton Karol, stillborn on February 24, 2010 at 17 weeks.
- Addison Leah, June 13, 2008, accidental death.
Jessica and Mark's Daughter:
- Hadley Jane, born October 9, 2001 and died October 11, 2007.
- Jake, born August 14, 2005 died August 27, 2005 due to prematurity and hydrops.
- Sawyer, born November 17, 2009 died December 26, 2009. His cause of death has not been determined because he is part of a study at the Mayo clinic for heart arrhythmias - SIUDS (unexplained sudden infant death)
- Cullen, September 11, 2010, stillbirth.
- Brian Vitale, accidental death, September 4, 2007 - June 3, 2010. We miss him more and more each day.
- Patrick, born April 10, 1977, Adoption
- Sophia Lu Boudreau, born December 21, 2006 and died October 9, 2007 from SIDS.
Rebecca and TJ's son:
- Rafe Theobald Calvert, born on October 11th, 2009 at 26 weeks. Spent 3 months in the NICU and underwent an intestinal obstruction repair. He was released on January 11th, 2010 and we brought him home for 6 weeks. He passed away at 4 and a half months old from SIDS on February 25th, 2010.
The Stamm's Daughter:
- Adrienne Mae, May 7, 2006, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
- Nathan Michael King, died from SIDS November 2008.
Read about how to help a friend through miscarriage.
Read about what to say to someone who has lost a child.
When I fell pregnant with Bear, my sister-in-law, Aunty J, found out that she was also pregnant for the tenth time.
She only has one child.
She was due the same day as I was, and, for a few weeks, we excitedly started planning our births and pregnancy-related things together. One night, I had a phone call just as we were putting Flower to bed.
It was Aunty J.
She sounded very calm when she said, "Can you take me to the hospital, please?"
I was a bit shocked and asked what was the matter.
Then she said the words you never want to hear a pregnant woman say: "I'm having a miscarriage."
I dashed over to Aunty J's house, where her husband, Uncle P, was putting their son to bed. We left immediately. On the way down, I tried to make small talk, but inevitably the topic of the baby came up. I suggested that she could be wrong.
I was put right.
"I know how it feels! I'm sure!"
We managed to find a parking space and ran up to the maternity suite. The nurse checked her over while I stayed in the waiting room, trying desperately to hide my own growing bump.
However, people noticed and asked why I was there so late on a Sunday night. Everyone thought I was there for me, but then I explained what was happening to Aunty J. I felt terrible because even though they knew we were there for the worst of reasons, they'd always draw attention to the fact that I was pregnant; how marvelous it was.
I couldn't lie about how happy I was as we'd been trying for seven months to have a baby, but I also felt horrified that my baby was thriving and healthy in my womb, while down the corridor, Aunty J was losing hers.
She came out while I was talking to a lady who had literally just given birth, and I was cooing over the little soul.
I felt so guilty.
Aunty J simply said, "Let's go," and walked down the corridor.
I rushed after her. "What did they say?"
"Go home. If the blood loss gets any worse, phone an ambulance."
"Is that all?!" I was horrified that they hadn't even offered her counseling.
"What did they say about the baby?" I asked.
"It'll probably come out in the next few days," she replied.
I couldn't believe how nonchalant she was. But she wasn't, not really. When we got back to her flat, she left the room for a few minutes and when she came back her eyes were red with tears.
Two days later, she lost the baby. The life that was growing inside her died. She cried and so did I. I couldn't understand why it happened to her and not me.
Over a year later, I still cry.
Every time I look at Bear, I'm reminded that he should have a cousin the same age. I think things they should be doing together; how they'd be friends as they grow up.
Now Aunty J is twenty-six weeks pregnant with twins, and she keeps going in and out of labor and they've rushed her to the nearest hospital with two open incubator beds for the boys.
So again, we are praying for little unborn children. I hope they'll all be okay, including Uncle P who is still a child at heart. He's doing his best, but the stress is taking hold.
I suppose I'd better get a shift on with the premature clothes and hats I want to make because it looks like I don't have much time!
1 in every four pregnancies ends tragically in miscarriage.
This is her story about pregnancy after loss.
I just got a positive pregnancy test.
I want a baby so badly - this should be exciting, right?
I'm not excited. I'm barely even happy.
I can't get my last and only other pregnancy out of my head. The pregnancy that wasn't really there. Or was. I don't know. It was a blighted ovum so my body was growing everything for a pregnancy except an actual baby.
So now, instead of being over the moon, I'm cautious...at best.
Instead of driving to every family member and filming their reactions as we shared the big news the same day I got a positive test, I called my mom on the phone. I almost cried telling her. I don't even know when we'll tell anyone else.
Instead of my husband talking in awe about how he's going to be a dad, he says "he might be one."
I never knew might could feel like such an ugly word.
I'm using it myself, too, though. The reality that a pregnancy doesn't always end in a baby is hitting me so hard right now it's hard to think about anything else. I'm not talking to this baby in my head. I'm not imagining what it might be like. All I can think about is if there's really anything there.
It's so unfair. It's especially unfair to my possible future child. If this pregnancy does result in a child I don't want this to be my reaction to finding out about them.
Those are my only words for this right now. I can't allow myself to get attached. Not yet.
If I see more than an empty void on the ultrasound, I hope I can start to get attached then. Even though I know that's no guarantee and I'm starting to wonder why I got myself into this. I'm so scared. I don't know if I could live through another miscarriage.
Last time I laid in bed so giddy I couldn't sleep. That's how it should be. I shouldn't be awake because I'm sobbing so hard I can't breathe.
I want a baby. It's unfair to my potential child that this is my reaction. They're no bigger than a poppy seed and I'm already failing them as a mother.
Until I know more though, they aren't real to me.
They're just a giant question mark.
Prenatal and postnatal complications are not as rare as we'd like to believe, even in the United States. This month, Band Back Together is bringing this to light in our spotlight series.
We invite you to share your stories of any type of complication before or after the birth of your child. Whether it's preeclampsia, a cord trauma or an infection like Group B Strep, we want your stories.
Have you experienced complications during pregnancy or immediately after?
You want prenatal and postnatal complications?
I've had them in spades. My son just turned a year old, and I can't stop thinking about what happened after his birth every single day.
After having a miscarriage in 2008, another in 2009, and a third in 2010, I was desperate to have a pregnancy.
I have PCOS and hypothyroidism, and my doctors had told me that if I wanted to carry my own child, I needed to do it ASAP.
I couldn't get affordable health insurance due to my pre-existing conditions. The policies I could get didn't cover infertility treatments anyway. So I hit blogland to see what real doctors prescribed for women I thought were similar to me.
I found that some women had luck trying to conceive while on Clomid. I gave it a try, but after several cycles and too many stark white peesticks to count, I decided it wasn't working.
One day I woke up feeling worse, worse than I'd felt since the miscarriages - crampy, achy, downright vomity - and I knew I had to test just one more time. It was positive!
The next day, I was admitted to the hospital for the pain due to a suspected ectopic pregnancy. I spent the next three days there until an intrauterine sac showed up on ultrasound.
Guess what also showed up on the ultrasound? My right kidney, very inconveniently nestled up to my uterus.
Hyperemesis hit immediately, as it had with the other pregnancies. It sucked, but at least there was a constant reminder that lucky number 4 was still hanging in there. I was given an anti-emetic and remained on it for the remainder of the pregnancy.
It made things so much better. Even on the medication, I weighed 45 pounds less after delivery than I did before I got pregnant. (I've never been so happy to be fluffy in all my life. Imagine if you didn't have those 45 pounds to spare!)
At eight weeks, I started seeing spots. My blood pressure had started to rise, and a 24-hour urine protein sample showed I was already emitting large amounts of protein in my urine. The blood pressure medications made me incredibly dizzy. For the rest of the pregnancy, I couldn't stand up for longer than 15 minutes without feeling as though I might pass out.
At twelve weeks, my husband and I thought we were in the clear.
Suck it, first trimester!
I went to the bathroom one night at work, feeling slightly crampy. I found that I was bleeding and had passed a large clot. I rushed to the hospital, all the while thinking, "We shouldn't have bought the crib. We tempted fate and now it's all over. I'm sorry, baby."
It turned out that I'd had a small fibroid that grew larger from the pregnancy hormones, too large for its own blood supply. It was dying from the inside, hence the blood and pain. I went on the first of several stints of modified bed rest.
At 18 weeks, the bleeding from the fibroid finally stopped and I was released from activity restrictions. I promptly got food poisoning and ended up dehydrated and in preterm labor. Cue modified bed rest, part two, which ended at 22 weeks.
My blood pressure had risen to dangerous levels at 23 weeks. I was already maxed out on the amount of blood pressure medication I could take. I was also emitting even more protein in my urine. Enter modified bed rest, part three. On the ultrasounds, it showed that baby was getting smaller and smaller for gestational age.
I tested positive for gestational diabetes at 24 weeks. That, combined with the other complications, ruled me out of all care options in my hometown.
We're in a rural community, and a maternal-fetal-medicine team flies in once a month to do level two ultrasounds. They took on my care, seeing me when they were in town. I drove 220 miles one way to see them for the rest of my appointments. I caught bronchitis in their office and broke a rib coughing. Unpleasant at the best of times, downright intolerable when there's also a baby kicking you those ribs.
At 26 weeks, my blood pressure spiked some more. I was seeing spots in my vision all of the time. I had a constant severe headache. I was having epigastric pain, but I thought it was just heartburn from throwing up all the time and wondered why antacids weren't working. Due to miscommunication between my care providers, this went unnoticed until 28 weeks.
At the 28 week appointment, I was put on full bed rest after an abnormal EKG and some bad cardiac laboratory testing. It was only then that the maternal-fetal-medicine team realized that they'd never done a urine protein check on me. It came in high of course, but nobody could decide if that was because of my crappy pelvic kidney (that had been emitting protein for the entire pregnancy and was now getting damaged further by constant baby headbutts) or if it was the beginning of preeclampsia.
We monitored it for several weeks. The levels rose slowly, as did my blood pressure, and they decided to keep me home on bed rest with a blood pressure monitor. They would induce labor as soon as the baby's lungs were ready.
At 37 weeks, his lungs were ready, which was good because labs showed I was in the early stages of heart, liver, and kidney failure. He was deemed fully cooked. He thought differently and refused to make his appearance.
After 84 hours of labor (GBS+, 37 hours since my water broke), I had a c-section. I had a bad reaction to the spinal on the operating table. Our son's heart rate hit 30 and mine hit 16. I thanked them for the blessed pain relief. Labor sucks for most (if not all) people, but I didn't know it would also make me flashback to the sexual abuse I suffered as a child.
I never thought I'd really have a baby at the end of it all. Not until I saw him alive and screaming. I thought that was the end of the nightmare called reproduction. But after two hours in the recovery room, his blood sugar was a little low, so they took him for monitoring.
Eight hours later, when I could stand and walk again, they let us have our son back to feed him. We thought he was just sleepy when he didn't want to eat.
His blood sugar had tanked after they forgot to check it during those eight hours, and he was lapsing in and out of a coma. He was rushed to the NICU for IV dextrose.
He was also jaundiced from ABO Incompatibility and had to be on phototherapy. He stayed in the NICU for the next five days.
He's a determined, stubborn little fighter to this day, and we are so lucky that he made it unscathed through all of the complications.
Mama, on the other hand, still can't process the enormity of all of it - more than a year later.
But on the bright side, the PTSD symptoms from the pregnancy, birth, and postpartum period have almost completely eclipsed the symptoms I had from other life events.
Yes, glitter, dammit!
Page 1 of 6