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Three Strikes

That’s how I’m feeling at this point. Three strikes…. I’m out.  A reality I was not really ready for, yet… ready for. If that can possibly make any sense. So the story starts last fall. We so elated to have found out we were pregnant. It was about week 5 when I took a home test, and just because I am me and like to double check everything, I opted to take another test a week later. The second was negative…. that quickly. A reality we were shocked by because well…. It had never happened to me before. Four amazing, beautiful, quite healthy pregnancies… never had we experience a ‘glitch’ quite like this one. After speaking to a few friends, I had gathered this was what was medically called a “chemical pregnancy.” Something not even really recognized by medical professionals as a miscarriage. A pregnancy that never really existed? Is there really such a thing?

I, for one, knew I was quite pregnant. A woman knows long before she is given conclusive scientific evidence that she is pregnant. Whether she is open to accepting and owning of the knowledge her body is lending her is one thing, but the signs are there long before she knows for proven fact. I knew I was pregnant. We were elated, and crushed all in the matter of a single week. It was hard to take.

After some healing and sole-searching we opted to try again. We were pregnant in January 2013. A little birthday present for me ; ) We waited a little longer this time and even took a few pregnancy tests at home. I went for a check-up with an OB and all looked great…. Till later that same afternoon when I received a call from her saying that my blood work came back telling her that my hCG level was significantly low for how far along my dates would otherwise suggest I should at that point. We had an ultrasound scheduled already for later that week so she said to go ahead and do the ultrasound, and then repeat the blood work afterwards. Well….. we went to the ultrasound at the point at which I should have been about 7-8 weeks along. Our little wee-one was visible with no heartbeat. When the technician measured, the outcome suggested he or she stopped developing at about 4.5 weeks. We were devastated. We repeated the blood work to be sure what we saw via ultrasound was really so, and unfortunately it had dropped drastically. I miscarried by that very next weekend. (That whole story can be read here.)

That was in an incredible process to go through. I was devastated and mad. We all were really. SBJ and the kids and I all equally took this very hard and it took much healing process and gumption to try again….. but alas we did. We found out we were pregnant August 4th. Yippee!!! This time I felt certain that all was well. Things were feeling wonderful….. wonderfully pregnant. No signs or symptoms I had had previously (with the miscarriage). I waited a bit longer this time to go in for a check –up. I needed to love and dote on this notion of being pregnant and I was feeling so good that I really did not want too much medical intervention as it was. This time around, I went straight to my midwife and she issued an ultrasound prior to our first check-up. At our US appointment, September 3rd, we should have been about 8-9 weeks along. The ultrasound tech was the same we had previously with the miscarriage in March. She remembered us, but could not remember what happened the last time we were there. It was quite insulting, the mannerism in which she treated us. She glanced around and came to the conclusion that we had a 7.5 week gestational sac… that was empty. No fetal pole. I was in disbelief. This was not news I was willing to take lightly. I did not feel she was trying very hard and really did not appreciate much of how she handled us, the news, the diagnosis, etc. I received a call from my midwife suggesting the same….. we would miscarry.

Well, after I had given it all a ton of thought and lots of research I found by medical standards, this diagnosis is called a “blighted ovum.”  I read dozens and dozens of different scenarios, from that which women were convinced to have a D&C and the Dr. ended up yanking out a perfectly healthy heart-beating fetus, to those who chose to miscarry naturally at home and carried a full-term healthy baby. I, at this point, feeling as healthy and pregnant as I am/was, choose that we needed to do some more fishing around. I reached out to my midwife and asked if we could to an hCG test series to see if it was indeed going up or down. And depending on that, we would see what to do next.

Well, last week we did that series and our first read was at 53-thousand something, and our second read was at 50-thousand something. A drop, but not significant enough to declare miscarriage. It could have just meant that we were 10-11 weeks (as per the calendar) and hCG drops naturally by this point. Or…. well yes, it could mean that my body was just reacting quite slowly to a blighted ovum. Either way, this mode of diagnosis had not really clarified anything just yet.

We went in for our 2nd ultrasound today. I choose a much better facility that I felt was designated and trusted in maternal and fetal health. She did a very thorough search…. I felt. This time, much pressure was given, lots of search and investigating and we saw a deflating gestational sac. We were looking at our original diagnosis, but this time…. somehow… more acceptable. We have given all that we can give to scientifically “prove” what I have been feeling.  I still feel it even though we are at the same point we were in the first place. I feel healthfully pregnant, and I my mind has been told that I am not. My body would like to suggest differently. This time, the diagnosis feels like a reality to brace for. We had done the science to attempt to figure it all out, and for some reason, the universe has really wanted me to experience this experience.  It is really quite hard to accept and grapple when you feel the way your body is telling you to feel. When the reality hits in scientific format (in repeated formats), it makes it no easier to accept if your body is clearly functioning and telling you something quite contrary.

And all that being said, I feel at peace. I feel I’ve listened soundly to my body and entrusted its process. I have never quavered from my sole feelings, even when I had been told (several times) to, “not to hold out hope.” I was enraged and angered to hear these words repeatedly. I don’t quite understand how people can say this to someone when hope is all they really have at this point? Hope , love, gratitude, abundance….. it is all that brings us to where we are in our lives. Without hope I would be mourning….. for months at this point! And without hope, this process would be even harder to accept and get through. And as I come to accept the reality to come, I am saddened… and peaceful. It is complicated to live in a limbo. To want to share this people but not really have anything to share. To be excited about something that just may not ‘be.’ And to constantly question and wonder what it is your body is trying to teach you. Clearly this experience has happened for a reason. Empowerment? Character building? What is my mission or lesson to take from this? I shall soon completely understand I am sure.

Till then, I await and attempt to grapple the reality to come. I digest and regroup. I hug my amazing hubby and we whisper in each others’ ears….. “we are so blessed.” My life is truly abundant.

 

4 thoughts on “Three Strikes

    • Author gravatar

      Hi,

      I’ve had 3 miscarriages in a year and although I want to share something of what I feel with people, there is no one out there who will understand. I’ve been through so many emotional rigors and the aftermath is still here. I’ve come to term with it and feel at peace, like you said but every time it’s time to think about getting pregnant again, it’s like the time between ovulation and waiting for a period is death to me. Hope you’re able to hang on and yes, doctors, OBs, etc, still haven’t figured out how to be sensitive, as if that’s not supposed to be part of their job at all!

    • Author gravatar

      Your comments are heart-warming. I share in your experiences whole-heartedly. I am very sorry to hear of your miscarriages. I too feel much of what you state…. there are few that will understand. And sometimes I even feel like those that have gone through the same, have very different feelings than I am experiencing. Of course, to each his/her own. Everyone experiences things differently. It’s hard to put words to experiences like this. I just find it difficult to understand how there have been some who seem to be numb to the feelings of their miscarriages? Is that a societal thing? Is that something that just happens? I personally can’t fathom becoming numb to any of these 3 babies that were a part of me, if even for a brief period.

      And the question “will you try again?”…. or “are you done?”….. break my heart. I am 14 weeks into this 3rd miscarriage, and still trying to get through THIS, right here, right now. How can I possibly put thought to those questions? Eeek! And really… my rants about medical/scientific folks just tends to grow larger as this process unfolds. I feel like no one should be handed a medical degree without getting through an entire psych/social/MANNERS degree in addition.

      Thank you SO much for sharing your experiences and feelings. I truly appreciate it. I wish you warm healing…. trust and love. It is not an easy life experience by any means.

    • Author gravatar

      Hi Amy!
      I clicked over here from your announcement on facebook (congratulations by the way!). I don’t often leave comments on blogs, but something you said in this post really resonated with me. My most recent birth was very different from the first three (she was our first hospital birth) and I have at times struggled to understand the choices and emotions that brought us to birth her there. You said in reflecting on your miscarriages that for some reason, you were meant to have this experience, despite it being so different from what you had hoped for or come to expect. In reading those words, I felt like a little light bulb went off over my head. For some reason, I was meant to have this experience. If I step back, I can already see how having a hospital birth has helped me as a doula; I have a different understanding of what my clients are working with when delivering in the hospital, and I have been able to refer several people to the doctor who helped us with this birth as he is highly supportive of natural birth and vbacs and is also very skilled (he was able to turn our breech baby even a week after our due date). Thank you for putting words to what I was needing to hear about these moments in our lives that, despite our best intentions, education, and planning, don’t always unfold the way we envisioned. Wishing you and your family all the best in the many journeys that lie ahead for you…

    • Author gravatar

      I am warmed by your comments…. Thank you so much! I feel it is too often the case that women do not feel comforted or supported in their birthing choices and/or experiences, and then they end up not talking about them when they a very strong need to. Sharing our experiences helps us validate our life choices, and so many women feel isolated in these choices. Even though we each have different choices, experiences and wisdom to share, we all need to share for this very reason. Sometimes our words, emotions and/or thoughts about our experiences help one another. It is truly heart-warming to know I have helped in some way. It sounds like you had a very trying and rewarding experience from the little you mention. We are very excited for ours to come 😉 Thanks again for dropping a note to say so….

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