Two days after finding out I was expecting our first child after 15 months of infertility, my husband and I excitedly toured Target looking at baby things as I carried the sweetest little stuffed dog in my arms. It was baby’s first gift from us and I couldn’t wait to get it home. Earlier that morning I had stopped at the urgent care clinic beneath my ob/gyn’s office for a second round of HCG level bloodwork. The prior day I was supposed to have received word from my dr.’s office to confirm what three home pregnancy tests were telling me. Instead, my dr. was out for the afternoon so she’d given the nurse orders to message me and ask me to come in for a repeat test in addition to advising me that the spotting and cramping I was experiencing was normal. The message said to not worry unless I bled a lot. I did the math using my last cycle. I was five weeks pregnant.
About an hour and a half later while my husband and I were grocery shopping, I began feeling tired. In fact, I really just wanted to sit down. I had the feeling of cramping and some pressure... I went home and curled up on the couch immediately, still talking about the baby and what this meant for my husband and I. A couple of hours later, I began to bleed. I started getting nervous but remembered what the message had said yesterday and told myself to take it easy and chill out. A half hour later, it got worse. I called the dr.’s office and talked to the dr. on call. He told me to rest during the weekend, stay off my feet and he was kind enough to pull up my HCG level from the first day I went in and call me back with my hcg level - 14.7, which he indicated was low, but that didn’t mean anything he said. Call your office on Monday and get the results from today, he said. Those numbers should increase.
That night I went to bed and tried to sleep, but anxiety was getting the best of me. The bleeding hadn’t stopped or even lightened. My husband tried to reassure me and finally I fell to sleep. Two hours later, in the middle of the night, I woke up. I felt shaky inside, my stomach hurt, and I was still bleeding. This time it was much worse. I glanced at myself in the mirror and my face was ashen. I began shaking uncontrollably and cried, dragging myself back to bed, fearing the worst. I laid there for hours, praying and begging God to keep our baby safe. Sleep somehow succumbed and I woke up feeling a little bit better. The bleeding had eased off. I ate breakfast with my husband and we stayed home from church that day. Two hours later the bleeding started again. At one point, I remember walking out of the bathroom into my husband’s arm and crying,” It’s gone. Our baby is gone, I can feel it.” I laid in bed and cried. I called the dr. on call again and told him the events. He said he was sorry, but it didn’t sound good and I may have experienced a miscarriage, however, I still needed to call my doctor first thing in the morning. Oh the sobs… I cried until I thought I would throw up. I begged my husband to call my mom and tell her. He did then he called us both out of work the next day in addition to cancelling our fifth anniversary trip we had coming up that week. He sat with me in bed as I laid there and cried until I thought my heart was literally breaking in two.
The next morning I called the dr.’s office. They called me back and said my labs from Saturday would help them determine what was happening to me and that those labs had been shipped off over the weekend to a lab in another county. They would have that information that afternoon. The nurse advised me to stay on bed rest for the day. My husband set me up with my laptop in bed and we waited. At 3pm, the office called and said my lab work had been lost. They asked me to come in that afternoon for another blood draw. Heartbroken and frustrated, I got up, dressed and went in. They drew more blood, apologized for not being able to locate my last tube of blood and sent me home.
The next day was now Tuesday, two days after my horrible night. The dr. office called first thing in the morning and informed me my levels were going up! They notified me the levels had risen from 14.7 on Thursday, to 33.3 on Saturday, to 76.9 on Monday. She said I probably was only 2-4 weeks along. I could return to work, but was to remain on pelvic rest and come in again Thursday for more labs. I hurriedly called my hubby and gave him the good news.
Since I had scheduled time off for the trip we’d cancelled, I stayed home from work all week and stayed on self prescribed bed rest. I wanted to keep our baby safe and this made me feel comforted to stay resting and allowing that baby to grow and strengthen. I had no symptoms of morning sickness or pregnancy, so I felt certain I was very early on in my pregnancy. I scheduled my first ultrasound for May 23rd and excitedly put it on hubby’s calendar. My sister came and spent one day with me, my mom spent another and my mother in law spent a third day. The week went by so slowly… Thursday afternoon I had more blood drawn and waited all day Friday for results.
On Friday afternoon I hadn’t heard anything but got a message from the doctor’s office telling me my levels were going up and stating a 76.9 again. I felt certain they weren’t reading the latest lab work so I called in and asked to speak with the office manager. She explained my doctor was out that afternoon again and the nurse had looked at a prior level. I then took time to explain my trial over the weekend and how I was needing to return to work in two days and wanted assurance that the levels were continuing to go up. I didn’t understand why no one had called me with the latest level yet. She put me on hold for 20 mins. The nurse practitioner came on the line and said, “I’m so sorry, your levels dropped down to a 30 yesterday. Dr. S tried to call you yesterday and her notes says she’s left you a message.” She had not, in fact, reached me and I had no missed calls or messages. I knew, because I’d had my phone in hand nearly all week. The sweet nurse practitioner went on to explain it wasn’t my fault, I couldn’t have done anything to prevent this and I just needed to wait one new cycle so I could start Clomid again… I lost track of what she was saying. Forty minutes after calling in, I hung up the phone. My sobbing subsided some and I sat there silent, numb, and raw. I had just lost my baby. Again…
My best friend called me; we didn’t speak for several minutes. I could hear her crying and I was too. “I wanted this so badly for you” she said. “I’m so sorry”. She’s been there, she knew my heartache. That night when my husband came home, I sobbed the ugly truth to him.
The next day, all alone in the house and no longer on bed rest, I found myself going through the motions of cleaning my house. I cried almost hourly, sobbing and trying to gather myself together and then repeating the process all over again.
I cried out to God, “How could you let this happen? I trusted you! I asked you to keep this baby safe. What did I do to deserve this?”
Then reality started sinking in. This was our first child, the child we wanted and had prayed for, for so long. And it was gone. The word miscarriage played over and over again in my mind, making me literally sick to my stomach. I didn’t understand why my levels increased, playing what seemed like a cruel joke on me. I felt an overwhelming emptiness, alone, betrayed by God… I noticed this strong sense of urgency to have my body expel anything that could possibly be left inside. I was upset, I wanted it over and I wanted closure after a week of laying around, thinking I was carrying our child when in fact I wasn’t. I cried at the thought that I’d unknowingly flushed my baby’s tissue down the toilet. I cried because I hated myself for not believing in the loss earlier in the week. I told myself I had known, I knew on Sunday morning that I had lost our baby. And here I was again, experiencing the loss all over again.