In 1988, October was designated as Pregnancy and Newborn Loss Awareness Month in the USA. October 15th is recognized as the official day of awareness. Though I have personally experience the loss of a pregnancy, I unaware of the awareness until last week. Here is my story:
James and I had been trying to have a child practically since the day we got married in October 2007. We were actively trying (monitoring my periods, predicting ovulation, etc) for the first year, and had no success. When I went for my yearly check up in early 2008, the midwife I saw mentioned that it can take time. Since it hadn’t been a year of actively TTC yet, she didn’t want to think about interventions. However, we could schedule an appointment once it had been a year and go from there.
So, we continued what we were doing, and in December 20, 2008, just over a year of TTC, we found out we were going to have a baby. Being just 5 days before Christmas, it was the best gift ever! I had my first prenatal visit the week after Christmas, and the ultrasound showed a little bean growing inside me. Our timing was right, and I was right at 5 weeks along. James and I were beyond excited. We called, emailed, or texted everyone we knew to tell them the news. I had wanted to be a mom for so long that I couldn’t put into words how thrilled I was!
Everything was going fine with the pregnancy…for a few weeks. On January 30, 2009, I went to the ER with cramping and a little spotting. After about 4 hours of waiting and a few random tests, I was discharged with two diagnoses, urinary tract infection and possible threatened miscarriage. I had no clue what the latter meant but the ER doctor suggested I just take the medication for the UTI and see my OB-GYN the following Monday. A few days later, I did exactly that.
The doctor started by trying to find a heartbeat. Being 10 1/2 weeks along at that point, it was possible they’d be able to hear a heartbeat with the doppler. However, she couldn’t find one, but said that wasn’t a cause for concern. She sent me for an ultrasound, just to be sure everything was okay. I got into the ultrasound room and lay down on the table. The technician began the ultrasound, and the moment the data on the side of the screen popped up, my stomach leaped into my throat.
The screen showed the progress of my pregnancy as “6 weeks, 3 days” with an estimated due date that was totally wrong. My first though was, why is it showing that when it should say 10 weeks? Why?? The tech searched around my abdomen a few seconds more, and then said, “Well, I hate to tell you this…” and I really don’t know what he said after that. By that time, I was already in tears. How could this be? I knew what was happening, but I had no clue why. What had I done?
We went back to the patient room to wait for the doctor. James held me as we both cried silently, though I wanted to scream. I was so angry and hurt…I had only “knowingly” been pregnant for about 5 weeks…but I was still devastated. The doctor came in, confirmed our worst fears, and started talking about the options. Thankfully, I had a natural miscarriage two days later and did not require a D&C.
After the miscarriage, we were so ready to try again…but at the same time, I was scared to death. What if it happened again? What if I couldn’t carry a child? Luckily, the second question wasn’t true, and we now have a gorgeous little boy. Like I said, my entire pregnancy only lasted 6 weeks, but it was still so hard. I cannot imagine the pain and suffering that expecting parents go through when they lose a baby later in the pregnancy, or even after the baby is born. My son means the world to me, and I don’t know what I’d do if we lost him now.