Tag Archives: pregnancy after loss

2011: The Year of Positive Change

While two miscarriages in a year might indicate suckiness, I publicly declare 2011 a success.

In 2010, the year of despair, I decided to make 2011 the best year of my life.

It began with medication, making my anxiety and depression manageable.  Shortly after, I saw motherhood through a different lens which allowed me to enjoy parenting and really connect with my kids.

I suffered through my third miscarriage in May, two weeks before we moved across the country.  While it was hard, emotionally and physically, I finally reflected on my religion that had promised me a healthy pregnancy, twice, which ultimately resulted in miscarriages.  Since I was often wallowing in guilt–especially as a woman and mother–and confused by all the doctrinal inconsistencies, I decided to seek the truth, whatever the outcome. My conclusions were vastly different from what I had been taught I would find, so I finally said good-bye to Mormonism.

Leaving religion helped me find my voice.  I evaluated my current goals against my dreams for the future and decided that my husband and I were equally intelligent and capable of caring for our family.  We moved to the Midwest, Ben started medical school, and I became the breadwinner.  We learned how a partnership really works.

In November, I had another miscarriage.  Three weeks later, I found myself pregnant again.  I discovered a new perspective with this pregnancy and left my worries about miscarriage behind.

At the viability ultrasound, we saw the developing embryo and a beating heart.

All these events culminated in a successful year and I can’t wait to see what 2012 brings.

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Filed under Holidays

That's Life (And It's So Grand)

While I had the best intentions of running a week’s worth of Top Ten in 2011 posts, my body told me to “stop that,” and rest.

So I have.

On Tuesday, I went to my ultrasound appointment and saw the most amazing thing: my developing embryo’s heart beat.  It was strong and loud.  I am happy.

The ultrasound also indicated just how far along I am: 6 weeks.  With my usual track record of horrible pregnancy-induced sickness, I stick to the couch and to boring foods like instant mashed potatoes with saltine crackers.  I no longer crave coffee, chocolate, or anything else delicious.  Instead, I shun all things healthy, unhealthy, and seemingly delicious by reaching for the most bland foods my irritated pregnant body wishes to consume.  My husband gets tongue lashings every day for ridiculous things.  He patiently (and not so patiently) endures them and quickly forgives my outbursts.  Thank God.

Between exhaustion and sickness, I do have brief interludes of productivity.  During these moments, I managed to complete my master’s application.  I am beyond excited to have this done and will now impatiently wait on an acceptance or rejection letter.

Right now, I am resting.  Life will resume its outrageously busy pace next week, when I start back at work again, so I am taking advantage of this brief holiday by putting my feet up and watching countless hours of TV.  And sleeping.  I can’t get enough sleep. (Except for at night, when my body decides it wants to act uncomfortable and send me dry heaving to the bathroom multiple times, but I seem to do okay during the day.)

I am not sure what shifted with this pregnancy.  Whether it’s the attitude of do-or-die (regarding the fetus) or the, hell what could possibly go wrong that hasn’t in previous pregnancies, line of thinking that has left me happily embracing each moment and living in the day.  I don’t consider names, how I will deliver the baby, or what gender it is.  Instead, I am content with a heart beat, the increasing nausea/dry heaving, and the muscle pain.  I am satisfied with each day that my body holds onto the pregnancy and feel confident that things will be okay.

As computer screens increase the nausea and dizziness, I will be going on a brief hiatus.  If and when I have a break from the sickness, I will return.  But for now, consider this my good-bye until next year.

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season and enjoy your New Year’s festivities.

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Filed under Reflections

I'm Speechless

In walked the doctor, with his clipboard full of test results from the blood they had drawn two weeks earlier.  I sat on the examination table, with Ben across from me, waiting to hear what the doctor had found and still unsure of what I might do with the information.

Doctor: “Well your lab results came back with some interesting information: You’re pregnant.”

Me: [Eyes wide, breathing rapid, surprise written all over my body.] “You’re kidding, right? And will you please repeat what you just said?”

Doctor: “No, I’m serious.  The nurse did the test like you requested and two lines quickly appeared.”

Me: “Uh.” [Lots of nervous laughter.]

Cue the sarcastic side.

Me: Well thanks for ruining my day.

*****

When I wrote about worry, I was referring to test results from the blood they had drawn at the [above] appointment, measuring my hCG levels and Progesterone.  I wasn’t expecting any phone calls until Thursday, after they had drawn more blood to see if the hCG was doubling and that the Progesterone was increasing.

The news came back yesterday very positive, my initial levels were around 156, which indicated pregnancy.   After the second draw, my levels increased to 333 and the Progesterone rose to 16.5.

So, I guess I’m pregnant.  Again.

*****

Because I haven’t had a period post-miscarriage, I have no idea how far along I am.  With a very narrow time frame for when I could have gotten pregnant, I am pretty sure it happened sometime within the last two weeks.  Since there is no certainty of when I ovulated, I, and the doctor, must rely on hCG levels to determine everything, and based on those results I am around 2 weeks.  Holy shoot.

While it might seem surprising that I am sharing this news so early, I have nothing to lose (no pun intended).  This pregnancy will either stick or it won’t.  I have gone through 4 miscarriages and know the drill, I know what my chances are and what most results mean when they come in.

However, I am feeling more optimistic than I ever did with the last four.  This was unintentionally caught super early, which means I can start the Progesterone and other medications right as the blastocyst implants, a critical time in my obstetric history.

Thanks to my hypochondriac tendencies after every miscarriage, I am sure I am pregnant within a couple of weeks.  I remain ill and hurting for up to 3 months post loss, and never know what that means.  So, to give my mind and body a rest, I asked for a pregnancy test so I could see negative results.

That plan backfired.

What I must fight now is the constant tension I feel throughout my body.  I worry.  Constantly.  Every morning, noon, and night I practice the breathing I learned through hypnobirthing to relax my body and make things as hospitable as I can for the embryo.

The next few months are going to be TOUGH.

But I am so glad I have this place where, with you, I am making the moments count.

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Filed under Pregnancy