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.
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!