Uuuggghhh, ok, here goes. Let’s talk about the biggest trench I’ve had to dig myself out of. 6 miscarriages! (maybe I’ll pour myself a glass of wine to write this) Writing this gives me such anxiety and already has me crying and I’ve only written three sentences. Yes, I’ve endured, survived, warriored through, whatever verb you want to use, six miscarriages. Who the hell does that?!! Me! And, as it turns out, many women. Why the heck isn’t this talked about more often?!! I think that’ll be another blog entry, but for now I’m just going to discuss the hell my family and I endured, and are still enduring. (There’s no sugar coating it. If you are sensitive, stop reading. Seriously.)
When I was 18, I found out that I had endometriosis. When I was 20, I had surgery to remove the endometriosis. After surgery I was put on medications to induce menopause for 6 months and to make sure all of the scar tissue was healed. I was then put on birth control pills non-stop so that my body did not experience any periods because a period would cause more scar tissue to build up which is what caused the endometriosis. I tell you this because it helped my husband and I in making our decision on when to start trying to have a baby. I was told very early on, it would most likely take me a long time to get pregnant because of my endometriosis. This is almost laughable now, because it seems that I’m the most fertile woman that has ever existed in the world. My husband and I got married and I went off birth control immediately (after the honeymoon, of course. I’m not crazy. Who wants their period on their honeymoon?!) Three months later, boom, I was pregnant. This is not where things get hard. After the easiest pregnancy (I mean don’t be too jealous, I was nauseous and huge, but it was a very normal pregnancy) our sweet little son was born. So easy!!
About a year later, my husband and I decided to have another. This is where things got hard. (sip wine) 14 months after having our son, I got pregnant. Now, I’m one of those freak of natures who knows when I’m pregnant before a test can even show it. Because of this, I also immediately start planning and dreaming about the baby that is coming. I immediately started getting cravings, started eating more and started gaining weight. Seriously. A week later a pregnancy test confirmed what we were hoping, I was pregnant. We started planning and doing all the things you’re supposed to do when you find out you are pregnant. I called the doctor and made my appointment and we told some friends and family (I worked in a somewhat unsafe classroom and needed to tell my team so that they could protect me). A few days later all of my symptoms disappeared. At first I thought I was lucky, that this was going to be an easy pregnancy. Then I realized it might be something bad. I took another pregnancy test. It was negative. What the hell did that mean?!!! I took another. And another. I was hoping that the darn blue line would come back. A few days later I had an early miscarriage. Some would say it was just a heavy period. I knew it wasn’t my normal period because it was completely different. It looked different. It felt different. And it smelled different (I told you to stop reading if you are sensitive). And then I had to make that AWFUL call to my doctor to say what had happened and that I needed to cancel my appointment. The normally bubbly receptionist became quiet and stated “a miscarriage this early is called a chemical pregnancy”. What the fuck does that mean? A chemical pregnancy??? No! It was an actual, real pregnancy! My husband and I had already started dreaming about the little baby we were going to have. It was then that I learned all of the sterile, cold, terrible names doctors use for miscarriages. Spontaneous abortion. Chemical pregnancy. No woman wants to hear those terms when they are going through hell. Those terms made me feel like it was my body’s fault or that the pregnancy didn’t really count. After hanging up the phone with the receptionist I had to call my mom and break the news to her. And the next day I had to tell my team. My only thought through all of this was, “what did I do wrong?” I started researching everything. I stayed up late (I was up anyways because I couldn’t stop crying) trying to find any information I could, to give me some answers. Everyone had theories but no one had answers, so I made up my own answers. I immediately stopped using cleaning products that weren’t natural or made by me. I started only eating food that was organic and not processed. One night I texted one of my friends to tell her about my miscarriage. She was my hippie friend and I wanted to get her thoughts on what could have happened. Instead of telling me the latest research on cleaning products and miscarriages she told me that she had just experienced a miscarriage a few weeks prior. What?!!! Seriously?! For Fuck’s sake! Though I was incredibly sad for her loss, it was almost nice having someone who could relate to what I was going through. So for the next 6 months she and I were in constant contact. In the middle of the night, when there was no one to turn to and the questions and anxiety were keeping me awake, I knew I could always rely on her to be there. You guys, I have the most supportive and understanding husband anyone could ask for, but there were aspects of a miscarriage that I could only discuss with someone who had experienced the same physical hell.
So guess what? We got pregnant a month later. And of course, my thought was, well I’ve already experienced a miscarriage, so I got that out of the way. I truly thought/hoped there was no way God would put me through that again. But I still entered this pregnancy with a little more caution. I still told my mom, because she’s my mom. And I still told my team at work because I needed them to protect me. What I didn’t do was call and make an appointment with my doctor. I just couldn’t go through with that again. What if I lost this baby and had to call them to cancel my appointment again. It was just too humiliating to think about. I started this pregnancy absolutely paranoid. I took a pregnancy test every day and sometimes twice a day. I took my temperature every morning and every day after work. I was a total mess. And then it happened again. The exact same thing! One morning I woke up and took my temperature and it was lower. I immediately ran to the bathroom and took a pregnancy test. The line had faded. I knew exactly what was happening. Again, I had to break the news to my mom and my work team. I just kept thinking “what the hell is going on? What is wrong with me? What did I do? What did I eat?” I stopped using stupid things like dry shampoo, hairspray and all medicines. I did so much research that I could probably write a book about it. I started taking notes and making my own diagnosis. At this point Joe and I decided to take a break and let my body heal. We were just entering the holiday season and we didn’t want to go through all of this again during that time. By this time, I knew that after a woman had three miscarriages she can go to a specialist and they can try to figure out what is going on. But until then, the first two miscarriages are just considered “bad luck”. Of course I had convinced myself that because I had gotten rid of every chemical in our house and I had stopped using dry shampoo and hairspray and was only eating natural foods that I wouldn’t be having another miscarriage. I was wrong. Again. In January we had our third early miscarriage and now it was time to see the doctor and try to determine what was going on. I asked my primary OB to refer me to a specialist. We found a great one near where I worked (part of me wishes I had found a doctor in a completely different state. For four years after this hell, I had to drive by that doctor’s office on my way to work every day and think about that pain.) We met with our new doctor who spent an endless amount of time with us. She listened to my entire story. She offered me tissue and a shoulder to cry on, something I hadn’t experienced with my rushed primary OB. She explained our options and possible theories of what could be the problem. My first step was to give a lot of blood, not my favorite thing. The next step was to get pregnant again and then see what happened. They would monitor it closely and take continuous blood samples to see what my levels were. When I became pregnant they would put me on meds to keep the pregnancy past 12 weeks. The specialist I was going to suggested I start acupuncture so I started doing that once a week. Obviously by this time, we were pretty wary about getting pregnant again and having to go through the pain again. But there’s something funny about hope. For some reason, hope was always there. It faded a little bit, but we still held on to that small glimmer of hope. We hoped my body would just know that we were seeing a specialist and say “ok fine, I’ll let you stay pregnant”. We hoped that the doctor would never have a chance to find out what was wrong and we would just look like a couple that was overreacting. Unfortunately, this is not what happened. We got pregnant, again. The acupuncturist was the first to notice. He felt my heartbeat through my wrist on one side and said I was pregnant. He then felt my heartbeat through my other wrist and became quiet. He said the pregnancy was faint on that side but that didn’t necessarily mean I’d lose it. What the hell did that mean?! But I knew. It was confirmed through blood tests that yes, I was pregnant. A few days later I started experiencing the awful pain that I had gotten so accustomed to reading. I was losing this one too. I went in for more blood work and they showed that my levels were decreasing instead of increasing. I started getting the questions from friends. Why are you still trying? Can’t you just be happy with what you have? Be thankful for the son you already have, some people don’t even have that. I know they were trying to be helpful but I didn’t need them confirming my own insecurities. What I needed was someone to tell me that what I was doing was ok, and that the doctors would figure it out. I just needed someone to say “I’m so sorry you’re going through this”. I spent a lot of time hiding in my room, under my covers. Researching more. Crying more. My doctor wanted to continue with what we had been doing and give it one more chance. I continued going to acupuncture. I stayed on my meds and I started to know the people working at the blood lab. Guess what? We got pregnant. Again. I know, this isn’t a shock. This was never our problem. We started the process again. The doctors monitored my levels. I just needed to make it through the 5th week. I went to the acupuncturist. He took my pulse again. I studied his face and reaction as if he were telling me my future. He smiled and said it was strong, on both sides. I cried. I went home and told Joe. And then I started cramping. I knew this cramping and pain all too well. I looked at Joe and told him. I asked him to get me some Advil and a glass of wine (yes, that’s how I dealt with it). I knew it was ending again so I was going to drink. I assumed my position in my bed, cried and went to sleep. The next morning I called the doctor and stopped by the office on my way to work to give more blood. The lady taking my blood told me how sorry she was that I was going through this. I went to work, told my team and got more sympathy head tilts. About an hour later, I got a call from the doctor. It’s a call I will never forget. The first thing she said was “Explain to me your symptoms and why you think you are having another miscarriage” I explained. Her response “well, you’ll be happy to know that your levels have more than doubled and you are not having a miscarriage. You are still pregnant and it looks very strong”. What?! I almost collapsed with relief. We discussed coming in to get an ultrasound to see the baby. Joe and I went in to see the baby and were in disbelief when we saw a heartbeat. I took a picture of that ultrasound and sent it straight to my mom. We had passed the point when I always lost the baby and could relax a little. Of course, knowing my son now, I know that he likes to keep us on our toes. Let me tell you, just because you get past that 12 week point, doesn’t mean you actually relax. For someone who has been through a miscarriage, it’s almost impossible to relax until that baby is in your arms. At our 20 week appointment our baby’s heart skipped a beat a couple of times. The doctor told us not to worry but to immediately see a specialist the next morning. Our hearts sank. Seriously?! We had come so far. That appointment turned out just fine. Though they did ask what I was eating because this was a very large child. You mean the cheeseburgers and banana cream pies weren’t creating a small baby?! At my 28 week appointment the doctor told me to keep an eye out for certain symptoms. I pretty much ignored her because in my mind we were in the clear. Nope! One morning Joe left for a work trip and I got up to take a shower. When I got out of the shower I noticed that I was bleeding. Like a lot. I started freaking out. I grabbed a pad and called my mom to come take the kids to school. I called my husband and told him what was going on. He immediately turned around and started driving home. I rushed myself to the hospital. I couldn’t even talk when I got to the hospital. Luckily my doctor had told them I was on my way and they set me up immediately to hear the heart beat to stop me from worrying. When they found that heartbeat it was like music to my ears. The doctors never actually found out what was wrong but I was put on bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. I’m happy to say that after having contractions for the last three months of my pregnancy, I delivered a very healthy 10.2 pound baby boy! When he was placed on my chest, I cried harder than I’ve ever cried. The nurses thought I was crazy. They kept reassuring me the baby was healthy and fine. I told them I knew that, I was just so happy.
So you might have deduced that this only covers 4 out of the 6 miscarriages. Yup, there are two more. I’m going to write about those in the next blog because they are their own identity. I know that sounds weird and it’s hard to explain, but it’s almost like different chapters. You’ll understand more when you read it.
Please, I beg you, if you have any questions at all, please ask me. I'm an open book and here to help. If you don't feel comfortable asking on this page, do it through a message on Facebook or Instagram. I know what it's like to not know or understand everything that is happening, so please message me. I may not be able to answer all questions but I will listen.
“When you can tell your story without crying, you know you have healed”. I was going to wait to write the second chapter of our miscarriage story because the first chapter drained me so much, but I need to write it all out and get it out there. In the last blog, you read about the first four miscarriages that we suffered through. This blog entry will discuss the last two miscarriages. All of them were painfully difficult but the 5th one was probably the worst one, both emotionally and physically. It was literally the worst thing I have ever had to endure. I’ve never been able to tell the story without crying and I don’t know if I ever will.
After we had our second son together, Joe and I knew we were done trying to have children. We didn’t have any more room in our house or our car. We were old and tired and sure didn’t want to be getting up for middle of the night feedings anymore. So what did we do? We got pregnant. Ooops! Yes, we are very well aware of how babies are made but we were using the full proof method of the pull out method (too much info? Sorry.) I think we truly believed that since we had decided we were done having children, our bodies would just know to stop being fertile. (palm to face). Ok, so turns out that this wasn’t a full proof method. I had actually just started coming out of the dark from having my last baby. I was out of solitary confinement (not nursing anymore) and was able to have a little bit of free time to myself. My colleague and I were just starting to go on runs together again. It was wonderful. Then one day, after a particularly long run, I was absolutely insatiable. I was eating everything in sight but chalked it up to the long run and PMS. I thought the fact that I was gaining weight was PMS as well. If you remember from my last blog entry, in ALL of my last pregnancies, I knew almost instantly when I was pregnant. I knew before a test could tell me I was pregnant. Not this time. You’re probably asking yourself “well, was your period late?” Um, yes, yes it was. But remember, I had only stopped nursing for a few months and was still getting into a regular cycle. I happened to have a pregnancy test left over from the last time I was pregnant (I kind of hoarded them during my last pregnancy because I wanted to make sure I was still pregnant). So I randomly took it. As you can guess, I was pregnant. I did the calculations and figured out that I was five weeks pregnant. This is usually the time I would have lost a pregnancy. I instantly texted my friend (who had also gone through a miscarriage the same time I had). Don’t worry, I also called Joe. We were in shock. What does this mean? If we hadn’t lost it by now, then we were in the clear, right? Wait! We’re going to have four children?! Who does that?! Party of six?! Where would this new baby sleep? We were out of rooms. We needed a bigger car. I had just gotten rid of my maternity clothes. We were spinning.
Because of my history, my doctor wanted to see me immediately. We held off on making any plans. Kind of. I bought pregnancy clothes and Joe started looking at bigger cars. I told him to hold off till we saw a heart-beat. We went to the doctor to confirm the pregnancy. Yup, I was pregnant. Too early for a heartbeat though. My doctor wanted to see me a couple weeks later to make sure the pregnancy was going well. A few days later, Joe surprised me with a new huge ass car. I’m probably the only person alive that would get mad about someone buying them a car. I just wanted to make sure we saw a heartbeat first. I was still scared. We went to the doctor for our follow up appointment. He was quiet when he was looking at the screen. Everyone who has ever been to a doctor knows that this is not good. He said the baby hadn’t grown as much as he had anticipated but that didn’t mean anything at this point. Really?! It doesn’t mean anything?! You’re telling that to someone who’s already been through 4 previous miscarriages?! He said to come back in a few days and we would look at the growth again. (I seriously just texted my husband to bring me the wine bottle to me. In bed. Don’t worry, it’s almost empty). So we anxiously awaited the next appointment. We went in and took another look at the baby. The doctor was relieved to see that the baby had grown and he wasn’t concerned anymore. Good Lord!!! Joe and I about passed out in the room. Ok, we’re back on track. We made another appointment for a couple weeks later. We started to relax a little and embracing the fact that we were going to be a family of six and that our lives were going to be pretty chaotic. We told a few more people. I started popping out a little and ordered more maternity clothes. I signed up for the pregnancy tracker app again so I could track how big my baby was each week. October 18th. I was ten weeks. I was at work, teaching. I went to the bathroom and noticed a little bit of spotting. Spotting can be normal, right? I called my doctor. They wanted me to come in immediately. I told them I was teaching and would come in after work. I thought it was just a little bit of spotting, it couldn’t be bad. Joe couldn’t make it, the one and only appointment he has ever missed. I told him it was fine because I didn’t think it was anything bad. They immediately brought me back to the room. The doctor started the ultrasound. Again, he was quiet. He kept moving that wand around, searching for a heartbeat. He looked at me and said there wasn’t a heartbeat. My first thought was “try a different machine, this one is obviously broken”. He gave me some tissue and told me to come to his office. I tried calling Joe but he didn’t answer. I went to the doctor’s office. He had seen me through so many miscarriages already. He explained to me my options. I could let it happen naturally or I could schedule a D&C. Here’s what I knew for sure. I knew the pain of the previous miscarriages, and those had been a lot earlier on. If that was painful, how painful would a 10 week miscarriage be? I knew that I couldn’t go to work and teach, just waiting for a miscarriage to start. How was I supposed to teach like that? How was I supposed to live like that, waiting? And honestly, I knew what the early miscarriages looked like and I couldn’t even imagine what this would look like. I just couldn’t do it. I told him to schedule the next possible procedure. Joe called. I tried talking to him through tears but the phone cut out. I scheduled the appointment for the next day. The doctor gave me a pill to “help the process along” I couldn’t even think. I was in a complete daze. I checked out of the office, the receptionist giving me that “I’m so sorry” look. I made it to my car and burst into tears and called Joe. I explained to him what had happened. I told him that I had scheduled a D&C and apologized because I thought I was taking the easy way out but I just couldn’t go through another one. I don’t really remember what happened that night. I know I immediately went to my bed and researched D&C. I swallowed that damn pill. I knew exactly what it was doing and I could feel it tearing me apart.
The next day I went to the surgery center. They took me to the prep area and I cried the entire time. My doctor came and talked to me. Joe held my hand the entire time until the wheeled me to the operating room. I remember everything about that room. I remember everything about the room I was in when I woke up. I immediately started bawling uncontrollably and begged to see Joe. Side note, you know you’ve found your person when you wake up from surgery and the first words out of your mouth is his name. It’s not when you’re saying your vows or when you are in the delivery room, those are the good times. It’s when you are at your worst and the only person you want to turn to is that person. The nurse left and got him for me as well as a cup of coffee. The weird part,that was the best damn cup of coffee I’ve ever had. Maybe it was the drugs. Maybe I just needed something warm. But I still remember that cup of coffee. And I still remember the excruciating pain. Physical and emotional. Joe took me home in that big ass car. The big ass car we didn’t need anymore. The physical recovery wasn’t as quick as I had hoped. I had heard I could go back to work the next day but I couldn’t even drive at that point. I stayed in bed. The emotional recovery is still ongoing. Do I think about it every day? Not usually. But I still can’t tell the story without crying.
What about the sixth and last miscarriage? Yes, we did get pregnant again. Yes, you would think we would learn. The last pregnancy was another chemical pregnancy. It didn’t hit me as hard as the previous one. Maybe I knew it wouldn’t last. Maybe I knew not to get attached or my hopes high. Maybe I just have too much armor up at this point. What happened to that box of maternity clothes I had ordered before my fifth miscarriage? They sat in the corner of my room for two years. Yes, two years. I didn’t know what to do with them. Eventually, I gave it to Joe and told him to do something with it. I still have that big ass car. There are days I don’t even think about why we have such a big car. And then there are days that I can’t forget. Joe has offered to trade it in but that just seems like a waste to me. And don’t worry, Joe and I have learned how fertile we are and Joe put our frozen peas to good use a few months ago.
I'm an average girl who has discovered her passion for self-development after warrioring (yes, it's a word) through 6 miscarriages. I took that passion and applied it to helping others find their passions through High Performance Coaching. Boy mom to two "energetic boys" and navigating the art of being a step mom to a teenage girl, all while working daily on maintaining an authentic relationship with the best husband around. Sometimes mindful. Sometimes a runner. Always a little crazy!