I’ll never forget the day I got a positive pregnancy test.
It was cycle day 28, and just like every month’s day 28, I was ready to take a pregnancy test. I was also ready to see just one line on the test as I had gotten very used to in the past 11 months.
I took the test, did my makeup and hair, and got ready for school. I went back to the test later (honestly forgetting that I even took it) and SWORE I saw the faintest line. Then, I swore I was crazy; I had made up that line in my head.
I took the test to school with me that day, and had my friend Melody look at it (I just had to tell somebody!). She swore she saw the line, too. I truly couldn’t believe it. I could hardly wait until the next morning to take another test, that then was a little darker second line. I was too scared to tell Brenden (and get his hopes up) before I had a positive digital test. I was still pretty sure I was making up that extra line. Finally, on day 30, I got a positive digital test.
I could not wait to tell Brenden. I had bought the book “Dude, You’re Going to be a Dad” several months prior, and knew that’s how I wanted to tell him the news. I wrapped it up and told him I had forgotten to give him a Christmas present. He totally went with it. He was pretty confused at first when he opened it, but shortly after I finally got to share the joy and new unknown with him. We were SO excited. I can’t even explain it. I don’t think either of us really believed it at that point because we were so used to trying every month with no success. We were just so happy.
I wanted to tell everyone in the whole world that we were finally pregnant, but I knew better as it was very early. Perfectly, we had previously planned a trip to Mexico with my parents. We ordered special “Bun in the Oven” and “She’s eating for two, I’m drinking for three” shirts and were SO excited to tell them the news. It was so hard to keep this a secret from my mom, but we made it to Mexico and surprised them. I drank way too many virgin Bloody Marys while we were there, but wouldn’t have changed that for anything. I was finally pregnant!
I had had some light cramping during this time, but I wasn’t concerned. From what I read, some cramping and pulling pains happen at the beginning of pregnancy as things are stretching and preparing for the baby. I never had any spotting or bleeding, so I just convinced myself it was all part of growing a baby.
Other than that, I really had no pregnancy symptoms. I was so happy to talk to my mom about her pregnancies and felt so relieved to know that she never felt sick with any of us kids nor had any terrible pregnancy symptoms. I figured I was just going to be a lucky one.
During this time, I was actually praying for some symptoms, though. I just wanted to know this was real. For whatever reason, from that very first faint line, I felt like it was too good to be true. I told Brenden that lots of things can happen in the first trimester and that I was trying to not get my hopes up too much (pessimistic, I know), but he had a hard time with that mindset.
Thankfully, my doctor was letting me be seen at 8 weeks. That was my only saving grace in getting over my anxiety about not really being pregnant and this all being a big joke. I don’t know how women wait until 10 or even 12 weeks; the wait is HORRIBLE.
The day of the doctor’s appointment (February 10th), I was SO nervous. I had IEP meetings that day before the appointment and they truly couldn’t have gone fast enough. We were so excited to get there and see our baby and then go to dinner afterwards to break the news to Brenden’s family. I had made magnets for all the new aunts, uncles, and grandparents, and I was so excited to show them the Shutterfly book I had made of our trip to Mexico with a pregnancy reveal page at the end.
I had a really weird feeling from the moment I woke up on the 10th. I just felt like a fraud. I felt like there’s no way I was actually going to get to be a mom and that I had made up that I was pregnant in the first place. I never felt pregnant at all, and today someone would tell me that my fears were true.
We got to the doctor’s office, and got right in to a room. The ultrasound tech said she was so bored this day so she was ready to get me in right away. Man, this pregnancy stuff is awesome! I wondered if I was ever going to have a long wait or if it would always be this fast.
I got all prepped and ready, and she went straight to the ultrasound. She started clicking away on the computer and watching the screen. I sat so impatiently and nervously for her to say something. The first thing she said was “Hmmm…” and I knew it wasn’t good. I just laid there and waited for something else to be said.
Shortly after that, the doctor came in. He wasted no time, and said “It looked like you have a large sac, but there’s no baby seen on the ultrasound. This means the baby probably stopped developing around 5 weeks.”
5 weeks. When I started having the mild cramps.
I’ve never felt so sick in my life. The worst part, though, was Brenden’s face. He was so shocked (I think he assumed everything I was saying was me being dramatic and pessimistic). I knew he had never even dreamed that this would happen. He got up from his seat and stood right next to me and held my hand, which is when the tears started.
The doctor then said that I had two options, being at 8 weeks. I could wait another week for an ultrasound, and hope that I was wrong on my dates and the baby just wasn’t measuring 8 weeks yet. The other option was to go right away to the Beyer building and get my HCG levels done, and then go back again on Friday. In 48 hours, my HCG levels were supposed to double if it was going to be a “viable” pregnancy.
Of course we both agreed that I’d go get blood work done immediately. Waiting an entire week seemed so horrible.
We left, mostly in a fog, and went straight to the Beyer building. We checked in, I filled out paperwork, and was told it would be about 30 minutes. I sat there and sobbed. In front of at least 30 people I didn’t know, I just sobbed. I had to text my parents (I couldn’t have possibly made a coherent phone call) that things weren’t looking good. I just sat there for what seemed like an eternity and felt so sorry for us. The “why me?” and “What did I do wrong?” all started, and that is a super slippery slope.
It took an hour and a half for me to get called back, and I couldn’t even communicate with my nurse by this point. Bless her heart; she was SO sweet, but I just couldn’t even talk. She took my blood and we left.
I remember feeling so bad for Brenden. I had no idea what was happening to my body, but for some reason, I knew this was going to happen. He had no clue. He also had even less of an idea about what was going to happen to me and my body. He was so supportive, but I know he was incredibly upset, too.
I cried pretty much all night. I quickly tried to Google some information about what a miscarriage timeline would be like because I wasn’t really given any information at all at the doctor, and I wasn’t able to calm my brain enough to ask any questions. Now I had a million: What’s this going to feel like? How long will it take? Could the doctors be wrong?
I read a lot of possibilities about doctors being wrong about early diagnosed miscarriages. My only hope was that my HCG levels would double, I’d get to go back next week, and a healthy baby would be right there on the ultrasound screen.
I couldn’t go to work the next day; I was still sobbing at every thought my brain went to. I got the call around noon that day that my HCG levels were 36,000. That was, according to the doctor, “really good.”
You can bet that my hopes went up dramatically from there. The whole previous day, I had basically grieved the loss of my first baby. Then, there was hope. This is what all of the articles said; your HCG levels may be high but baby just isn’t detectable on the screen yet. So now, Friday was the big day.
I went in for blood work on Friday in a much better state than Wednesday. I was in and out of there, and now just had to wait on the next call that my numbers had doubled and that I may actually have a viable pregnancy.
I had to go back to 4 more IEP meetings that day. I looked at my phone around 2:00 and had a voicemail from the Women’s Center. I was so anxious to call them back, but I had another meeting.
Eventually, I was able to call back, and got the news I was dreading. My numbers had gone down to 30,000. At this point of pregnancy, there is no reason besides a miscarriage that numbers would be going down.
It just sucked. I felt so alone and hopeless. Even though Brenden has been nothing but incredible through this early version of “for better or for worse”, I felt so alone. I was so thankful that it was Friday and I could just cry and be with Brenden on the weekend. There just wasn’t anything else to be said; I knew it wasn’t going to result in a baby that we ever got to meet and hold. I think that’s the worst part; it wasn’t that I wasn’t pregnant or that I tricked myself into thinking I was. I was pregnant. A baby had started to grow, but we would never get to meet him or her. We never get to know if this first baby of ours was a boy or a girl, looked like me or Brenden, nothing.
The doctor said that I should call by Thursday if I hadn’t started cramping or bleeding. On Wednesday, I had some really intense, almost shooting pains. It didn’t feel like cramps at all, just a sharp pain. I got nervous (again) that they were wrong and I really was pregnant still. They told me to come in first thing Thursday morning for another ultrasound because I hadn’t begun to bleed at all and was having these intense pains.
This time, the doctor was there the whole time, and he explained why I was having the pain: the process was starting. My body has to expel all of what was supposed to be my baby through a tiny canal and it was going to hurt.
He told me that if he had to guess, I’d start bleeding within 5 days. He told me I could expect some clots and what it would look like and probably feel like. I’d done enough research by this time to know that I wanted to do this naturally if at all possible. He agreed and told me to call on Monday if it hadn’t begun. I cramped off and on all weekend, but no spotting or bleeding at all. The cramping was worsening, but it wasn’t anything debilitating. Finally, Monday rolled around and I called to explain that I’d had no bleeding.
The doctor said I’d be at risk for infection if things didn’t get moving along quickly, and he prescribed me Misoprostol. I was super hesitant about this at first (I wanted to do it 100% naturally), but my body has always had a mind of its own, and I realized that this was going to be my best alternative. Also, at this point, I had been waiting nearly two weeks from the first day we found out the news and the waiting was about to drive me insane.
I plan to write a separate post about my day of Misoprostol and the actual miscarriage because the blogs I read about what to expect were the only things that helped me through the worry of what the process would be like.
Throughout this whole thing, I just can’t believe how little knowledge there is about miscarriage. One in four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. ONE IN FOUR. Still, all the information that I have acquired is from wonderfully written blogs or pregnancy loss websites.
From the second we found out that this probably wouldn’t result in a baby, I felt so shameful. I felt like I had the biggest secret ever that I just couldn’t share with anyone. No one wants to talk about my baby that’s never going to be born. No body can understand what it feels like to wait for that process to begin. The people that we have told have tried their best; I’m so sorry for your loss, you’re in my prayers, God has a plan. I know people that know feel awkward around me. I know it’s a huge elephant in the room and they know it’s all that’s on my mind. I don’t know how that will change, but I think it’s so sad.
It’s just so lonely. I can’t believe how many women I might know that have gone through this in silence and private mourning. It’s really frustrating to me that there seems to be so little support and information about this for it being so common.
I also hope that my story can help someone be a little more sensitive to couples when talking about pregnancy. The simple comments of “So when are you guys going to have a baby?” or “Gosh, everyone is pregnant!” hurt much worse than you can imagine.
We should’ve met Baby Hart #1 on September 23, 2016. I am already dreading that day of what could have been and the new start to our little family. I know there’s something better in the cards for us and that God wouldn’t bring us to this if he couldn’t get us through it, but this is hard.
It’s just hard.