Monday, July 11, 2011

Nine Weeks

You may have wondered where I've been lately.  I haven't fallen off the planet, but there's been a lot going on in my life that I hestitated to share on the blog until I knew for sure what was going on.  I'm finally ready to share it with you, but I warn you, it might be kind of tough to read.  This is probably going to be the hardest thing I'll ever post on the blog.  I'm not quite sure how to even write this since I'm still processing it myself, but I'm really going to try and tell you everything with all the ups and downs.  This is going to be a long, somewhat sad post, so if this isn't your thing, feel free to skip this one.  It's a part of who I am now though, and I can't see moving forward without putting it out there.

On June 2nd, 2011, I found out I was pregnant.

I had just been to dinner with my husband and Book Club. I got home and was feeling really bloated. I really had no reason to think I might be pregnant that cycle, because I had realized early in the cycle that we were probably missing our "window" of when it could happen, since I had ovulated earlier than expected.
Anyway, I'm not sure what made me want to take a test that night, but through out the process of TTC I pretty much took tests at random and this night was no exception. I first took an "internet cheapie" as we like to call them. A while back I had ordered a bunch of these cheap HCG strip, no frills tests, for about $5 for 10 test or something, for moments like these when I wanted to take a test, but not blow $7 on ONE test. I took one while getting ready for bed and set it on the sink while brushing my teeth, washing my face, etc...

A few minutes went by, and I took a look. OMG... is that a faint line I see??


It's really hard to see, but I'm holding it upside down, and the faint line is over to the right of the control line.

So I did what any hopeful person would do and took another, better test.


See the faint line, on the left?


Telling Greg ended up being completely anti-climactic since he was home when I took the tests, and my telling him involved yelling for him to come see the tests and confirm there was actually a line on them.  It was a bit unfortunate since I'd been hoping all along he'd be gone on a trip and I'd wrap up a test or a "Daddy" onesie or something to tell him.  He was skeptical when he saw how faint the lines were, but I explained that nothing shows up unless you are actually pregnant, and I went to bed pretty excited that this seemed to actually be happening finally.

The next day Greg left for a trip and I went to work, nervous and excited.  I really never had a plan of who I would tell and when.  I realized quickly in all my effort to get pregnant, now that it appeared I actually was, I had no idea what to do.  I emailed Jen, who as many of you know is somewhat of an expert on pregnancy because of her job and personal experiences with it.  Jen had just announced her own pregnancy, and when I emailed her that it appeared I was pregnant, she was thrilled for me.  She told me to call my doctor and immediately schedule an appointment.  I made an appointment for the following Tuesday, June 7th.  The only other person I told the first day was my friend Alison, a fellow TTC buddy that I pretty much talk to on a daily basis about our TTC journey.  I knew it would be hard not to tell her, and she shared in my joy.  It was fun :)

Over the next few days, I took more and more tests, and watched my lines get darker.



I took a digital test, and got to see that beautiful word appear on the screen.




Finally, Tuesday came and we went to our first prenatal appointment.  I'd been sure to schedule it when Greg would be home so he could join me.  They performed a pregnancy test on me and confirmed that I was pregnant, then did a pelvic exam, and we talked to the doctor armed with a list of questions about everything from self-tanner, to flying, to migraines.  He was great and answered all my questions.  My due date was set for February 14th, Valentine's Day, which seemed fitting, since Greg and I were already in love with our little lentil.

They set my first ultrasound appointment for about two weeks later, which we realized was pretty early in the pregnancy, and we worried a little that it would be too early to see a heartbeat, but went with it.

In the meantime, I enjoyed mocktails when I was out...



 I daydreamed about nurseries...



I ate lots of healthy stuff.



I bought and read pregnancy books and journals and diligently filled them in.







I eagerly read pregnancy blogs, taking in what I might expect to feel and look like in the coming months.





I took the obligatory belly shots.  Around 6 weeks.





I fell in love with the idea that I was pregnant and going to have a baby, FINALLY.
I really didn't have a plan about whether or who I would tell I was pregnant. I know a lot of people wait til the end of the first trimester, til you're more "out of the woods", but I am not that great about keeping this kind of secret, and ended up telling some people along the way.



Luckily everyone I told shared in my joy :)
We told our families and they were over the moon with excitement for us, knowing how long we'd waited for this. The most fun was telling my brother and sister-in-law, who are expecting a baby in September. We told them together on Skype.  I told Ashley that I might want to borrow some of her maternity clothes when she was done with them. :) We all were excited at the fact that our kids would be cousins only five months apart in age. How cool.



When I told my parents and told them when the first ultrasound was scheduled, my mom wanted to come with us and see her future grandchild on the screen. We agreed it would be cool for her to come and after a couple weeks of anticipation, our appointment on June 24th was upon us.  My parents were so cute when they showed up.  They brought the baby's first present.





At the doctor's office, Greg, my mom, and I went into the ultrasound room, where I changed into my sheet, got on the table, and the technician began the ultrasound. Soon my uterus popped up the screen and the tech asked how far along I was. I said I was about 6-7 weeks, and she said my yolk sac looked to be 5 weeks and 1 day, a little behind where we thought I'd be at that point. Confused, we next met with a nurse midwife, who went through the results with me.

Not my ultrasound, but it looked similar to this.

Basically, the doctors considered me to be about 7 weeks pregnant at that point, since they go by the date of your last period. Even though I knew that my baby should only be about 5 weeks from the date we conceived, the ultrasound should still have shown me further along according to the tech and nurse. Still, I tried not to freak out, and asked about doing a Beta HCG test, to see if my hormone levels were normal or not. They agreed to do it, and I had the first test that day, with results in the 7,000's, good for 5-7 weeks pregnant. The way the test works, is that you take a second test about 48 to 72 hours later and you want your level to double if your pregnancy is normal.
Slightly uncertain, but not too worried, I went on with my weekend with my parents. We went to the mall, and Greg, knowing that I love the lamb themed nursery, bought me a lambie mobile, saying that we would need it, no matter what. I love him :)



Out of all of us, I think I remained the most optimistic and least worried all weekend. I felt like the ultrasound was explainable with the baby's size matching the date I believed we conceived. I was probably fine, it was just too early to conclusively know much. I was scheduled for a second ultrasound on July 11th, and knew that that would be the defining moment of my pregnancy, either we'd see a heartbeat or we wouldn't, and we would know if everything was okay or not. In the meantime, I would try to hang in there and stay positive.
Then Monday came, and I went in for the second Beta test on my way to work. A few hours later I received the results. My level didn't double, but it rose to 11,412. I didn't know what to think. More "gray" results. The number had climbed, but not doubled. That could mean things were okay, or it could mean bad news. I started to worry more than I had been with only the first ultrasound results. To make matters worse, I started having a little bit of bleeding later in the week, some brownish discharge.
I tried my best to remain “cautiously optimistic” as my nurse midwife had advised me too, but it was hard. Part of me still wanted to research cribs, and part of me googled miscarriage symptoms to see if I fit them.
I felt it could go either way. More than once I said that if I found out everything was normal, I would just think it was all explainable. If I found out there was something wrong with the baby, I would think these were all the signs. I had good days when I was completely optimistic and bad days when I wasn't sure it was going to be okay. It was a rough couple weeks, wondering and not knowing.



About a week out from the second ultrasound I had a meltdown. Maybe in hindsight it was intuition. Work was stressful and the lack of knowing what was going on with the baby was starting to kill me. I was scared and crying and I knew I couldn't wait til the 11th for an answer. We had originally scheduled our appointment for the 11th, partly because Greg was definitely off then and I needed him to be there with me. I realized he would be home by the morning of July 8th, and decided to call my doctor's office and see if I could move our appointment up to the afternoon of the 8th so that we could have our answer sooner.  I also wanted the weekend to either celebrate or cope with whatever news we were given. At first they weren't sure if they could fit us in, but I explained everything going on to the person on the phone at my doctor's office and she agreed to somehow make it work and get us in for the afternoon of July 8th.
After changing the appointment, I left Greg a shaky message explaining that I had changed the appointment and that he would NEED to be home the morning of the 8th to come with me. He called me back and was great, sensing my anxiety and told me something wonderful. He said, “I’m one hundred percent sure we will be parents, so you don’t need to worry”. He said if it didn’t happen now, he knew it would still happen. It was comforting to hear him say those words.
Now, I have to tell you that during that week, I had to do something. I had to prepare myself for bad news. Everyone kept telling me to be optimistic, and I really did try to keep hope alive, but at the same time, I knew I had to prepare the possibility that I might get bad news. When I was cop, my training officers taught me to prepare for any situation that might occur: a person whipping out a gun on a traffic stop, guys running out of a bank after just robbing it, an accident occurring in front of me. They taught me that it was good to run through scenarios of things that might happen so that you would be prepared for how you would react. I learned to do this to prepare myself for possible outcomes. If I only prepared for good news, how I would I deal with it if I got bad news? I had to think about the receiving bad news, at least a little so I could prepare myself.


Friday finally came and Greg arrived home that morning, which was a relief, since sometimes he doesn't make it home when he think he will due to the nature of the airline industry. I left work early and we headed over to our appointment. It had been exactly two weeks since our last ultrasound, and this was the day we had waited for, we were finally going to get our answer. I was called back from the waiting room and changed into a sheet on the lower half of my body for my ultrasound. I climbed up on the table and the ultrasound tech got working to check me out. I soon saw a similar sac to the one we'd seen a few weeks ago on the ultrasound screen, but it looked bigger with a little something more inside this time. I was a little bit hopeful. But soon the ultrasound tech said she didn't detect any fetal heartbeat activity, and that I was only measuring at about 6 weeks and a few days. I knew...

Numb, I changed back into my clothes, then came out and hugged my husband, feeling the tears start to well up just as the tech opened the door and led us down the hall to an examining room. Our doctor came in, and we asked questions. She went through our ultrasound pictures with us and showed us why our pregnancy wasn't viable. Our yolk sac was too big, our baby was just unformed tissue. She wasn't sure that our baby ever had a heartbeat, since it would have been right on the cusp of being at that point when it stopped forming/growing around the 6 week mark. She was 100% sure that I had miscarried. I knew from my prior research, that I'd had a "missed miscarriage", where basically I'd had a miscarriage, but it wasn't expelling itself on its own.


Then came the hardest part for me in the process, deciding how I wanted to proceed. My options were:
1. Do nothing and let the miscarriage happen on its own if/when my body ever realized it was supposed to expel it, which obviously wasn't happening yet.

2. Take drugs to induce the miscarriage.

3. Have a D&C, to surgically remove the pregnancy.


I REALLY struggled with this decision. It was the thing that made me cry the most. I talked it over with Greg and thought about the options, and eventually decided to go the drug route (#2). It was obvious to me that my body was not in a hurry to expel the pregnancy, so the first option was kind of out, and surgery made me nervous. I didn't want to do anything that would prevent me from being able to have a baby in the future. Drugs seemed to be the logical option, since I could start the process of miscarrying non-invasively. The biggest con seemed to be that it might take a while, since the bleeding might not start right away and once it did, it could last a week or two. Also, the doctor would have to kind of monitor things closely to make sure everything was expelled as it was supposed to, because if it didn't, I could still have to have a D&C in the end to remove whatever didn‘t come out. I still thought the drugs seemed worth trying if it meant preserving my fertility, and walked out of the office with a prescription and a hollow heart.



I took my first dose of the Misoprostol around 6:30pm on Friday night, with some delicious Donato's pizza. In an hour or so I felt some cramping coming on, but nothing major. I popped a prescription strength Ibuprofen once I could feel the cramping more. Then it got worse, and I decided to take a Tylenol with Codeine, my other pain prescription. Basically, the Misoprostol induces labor. We're talking full on contractions. While I was advised of this by the doctor, I had no idea it would be so painful and severe. I started with a heating pad on my abdomen, and then things went downhill from there. After a while, I ran the bathroom and spent a bunch of time sitting on the toilet. It was getting ugly.
Then I started cramping, contracting, and shaking uncontrollably, and decided to climb into a lukewarm bathtub and run the Jacuzzi jets to see if that would ease the pain at all. It helped a little, but it was obviously I was in bad shape. I started to heave and Greg grabbed me the trash bin and I threw up. It was not pretty. I was crying, shaking, and terrified. It was literally the most pain I have ever been in.  Side note, if and when I do get pregnant and carry to term, I am getting an Epidural!

I told Greg to call the doctor and he couldn't reach anyone. I told him he should take me to the hospital. I dressed myself in sweats, we threw together some stuff, and we were out the door headed to the hospital within a couple minutes. We arrived at the ER and checked in and I was still shaking and moaning. I expected to be rushed into to doctors waiting to check me, give me pain meds, and help me. Instead I sat moaning in a wheeled chair for what seemed like forever, while Greg continuously begged them to see me and insisted I was in severe pain. Eventually, I was checked by a preliminary nurse to got my vitals, and seemed relatively unconcerned with the fact that I was ready to die. She mostly seemed annoyed that I wouldn't stop shaking to give her a steady reading on her thermometer. After she checked me, I was returned to the lobby to sit and wait to be seen by a doctor. Somehow, the contractions finally started to stop, and after a while I actually felt like a somewhat normal human being again.



Finally, after about an hour in the lobby, our name was called, and I was admitted into the ER. I was seen by a great nurse and doctor, who listened to my whole awful story. I told them I could not handle the drugs, the contractions, and the pain and that I wanted a D&C so this would be over. They were able to reach my doctor group and schedule me for the D&C that morning- Saturday. I was so relieved.
Around 1:30am, I was discharged from the ER with paperwork to come back in the morning for my surgery. I went home and ate the best peach I've ever tasted, drank an ice cold glass of water- my last food and drink til after my surgery, then went to bed.
Saturday morning, we got up and got ready, on about 5 hours of sleep each, and headed to the hospital again. I was checked in and prepped for surgery by a great nursing staff, and my doctor came in to chat with us before the surgery. He was the same doctor we had for our first prenatal appointment, that had answered all my silly questions, and Greg and I both really liked and trusted him. He assured me the surgery involved no sharp instruments and would be as minimally invasive as possible. He understood our wish to conceive again and said in two menstrual cycles, we would be cleared to try again. I held back tears as he reassured me and squeezed my foot through my sheets.


The nurses gave me a cute stuffed monkey to hold.

I remember nothing after they wheeled me in to the hallway to go to the OR. I woke up in the same room where I was prepped and was given the best ginger ale and Saltines I have ever tasted.
The rest of the day was kind of a wash. I got my new prescriptions for bleeding and infection prevention, and Greg and I ordered some take-out Chinese, because I love wonton soup when I’m sick. We both took a 5 hour nap on Saturday afternoon and later I talked to my mom for a while when I woke up.
I wasn’t in pain at all from the surgery. At least not physical pain. Emotionally, I guess I have felt the same ever since I received the news on Friday: Sad, frustrated, worried, angry, jealous, numb, hollow, uncertain… Thoughts swim in my head. Why? Will we have trouble conceiving/maintaining a pregnancy again? Why do some people not have problems? Sometimes I feel like I just returned to the person I was before I got pregnant, but I know I really haven’t. This has changed me forever, and now when I look in the mirror, I see a sadness now that wasn’t there before. Something is missing now. I feel kind of apathetic. I noticed yesterday that I just didn’t care about things that might have bothered me before: my husband driving too slow, which sandwich to eat at lunch, whether the radio was on or off. It all seems completely trivial now.
 
My heart is broken.
 
I understand the mother/baby bond, even if I only got to experience it for a short time.  I would rub my tummy and say, "Grow baby grow" to it all the time, hoping it would.  I miss that already.
 
I need to mention that my friends and family have been great.  My mom calls to check on me daily, and I've received countless texts, emails, phone calls, invitations for froyo and drinking binges, and even cupcakes from my friends.  You guys are awesome, I love you, and thank you.
 
 
 
I do think we will conceive again.  I have to keep that hope alive.  I do think I will be a mother and hold my baby in my arms in the near future.
 
In the mean time, I told Greg that we need to take a trip, so as soon as he gets his August schedule, if we can swing it, we are hoping to leave the country for a few days. 




43 comments:

Heather Iacobacci-Miller said...

I am so incredibly sorry. I know how much you are wanting a baby. I firmly believe that it will happen for you and you'll have a perfect angel.

Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) said...

Oh Brittney, I'm sitting here in tears right now. I can't believe you had to go through this whole ordeal and how painful it must have been/is both emotionally and physically.
I hate that I don't know what to say except for that my heart aches for you and that I KNOW you will be an incredible mom when the day comes... and the day WILL come.
If you need anything, please let me know. I'll be thinking of you.

April @ Grits and Granola Bars said...

I'm so sorry. :(

Erin @ The Grass Skirt said...

I am so proud of you for posting this, Brittney. I know that it must have been incredible painful to type it all out. I've already told you how I feel about everything, but I want to say again that I love you and know that we'll both be mommies very soon. :) Jen & I talked about getting together next week, so we'll have to do some heavy duty drinking and eating! :)

Jen said...

I hate this SO much for you and Greg. You will get through this! I promise!

Danielle said...

Brittney- my heart goes out to you! You'll be in my thoughts and I pray your body will heal quickly so one day you'll have a little baby to call you mommy.

Katie H said...

Brittney, I can't stop crying for you. My heart aches for you and your family. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss.

Jenna (hello, i love you) said...

I am so sorry Brittney. Sending lots of love your way!

My Fashionable Affair said...

Brittney: I think you are incredibly brave for sharing your story. I am sorry for your loss and the pain you are dealing with. I will keep you and your husband in my thoughts.

Heather said...

Jen told me, I am so sorry to hear about this. Hoping you will very soon be a mommy!

Kelly @foodiefresh said...

Brittney, I hope writing this somehow gave you comfort. You told your story beautifully. I know you will conceive again and have a healthy happy baby. You're going to be a wonderful mommy.

Lizzy said...

I'm in tears brittney. I'm so sorry you went through this and I am thinking about you. I hope things get better for you quickly. I know you've probably heard this before, but my mom had two miscarriages and then she had two children (me and my brother) so I'm positive good news are in your future. xoxo

Alison said...

I'm so sorry :( there are no words. I have hope for both of us in this journey.

Kerri said...

Brittney <3 I am so so sorry you had to go through this. I know you will be a great mom someday, I just know it! Sending lots of healing vibes your way.

Anonymous said...

I'm so, so sorry. I went through something very similar last year. I know that nothing can truly help you right now, but all your readers can do is offer support and sympathy. I think a trip sounds like the best distraction. My husband and I valued date nights after our miscarriage because it allowed us to get out of our misery for a little bit and (at least try to) enjoy each other, rather than sobbing on the couch. It's just not fair, and I wish you some relief from your pain.

Jennifer said...

Oh Brittney, I'm so sorry! I know you've waited and wanted this for so long now and to have this happen is heartbreaking. BUT, at least you know that you CAN conceive and you don't have to worry about that part any more. Everything happens for a reason and something just wasn't right about this baby. I know it doesn't make it any less painful. I hope to hear good news from you again soon. Thinking about you and praying for you!
Jen

Lizzy @ runbakerace said...

I am so sorry :( I just went through the same thing back in May and it was so sad. Just really sad. It takes a while to feel like yourself again but it will happen. I promise. Everyday I used to ask my hubby when I would feel better and he would always say soon. It did happen sooner than I thought. My thoughts are with you and your hubby. :)

Joanna said...

You and Greg are in my prayers. I am so very sorry for your loss. Keep the faith...you will be a Mommy one day!

Amanda said...

I was just thinking about you the other day and was wondering how you were doing. I'm so sorry for your loss and I hope that you know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Keep your head up girl...now isn't the time to say that everything happens for a reason - BUT everything will fall into it's place...I do believe that and you will be an amazing mother.

Katie ♥ said...

I just want to express my sympathy, I have never been to your blog until now, but we are twitter friends, and I just want to let you know how sorry i am and that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. You are a strong and beautiful person, xoxo

Runblondie26 said...

I'm so sorry Brit. There are really no right words for a pain so hurtful, but you have a lot of love around you.

Rachel said...

I'm so sorry Brittney. :( Thinking about you and hoping you're feeling better soon.

Katiepie said...

I'm so VERY very sorry to read this post, Britt. I'd been hoping you had good news, due to a few wee tweets, but then when I read one of Jen's tweets the other day I wondered about you, and prayed it wasn't. I am hoping even harder that you get another BFP in a couple of cycles, and that this one sticks.

My thoughts are with you both.

Katiepie

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

Oh, I'm so, so sorry for you and Greg, Brittney. Thinking of and loving you guys <3

Amber said...

My heart hurts for you right now. Let yourself be sad. Cry. Mourn your loss. But I believe that you will be a mom someday. Let yourself heal both physically and emotionally and then try again. Hang in there!!

Whirly Wife said...

Brittney I have been thinking about what to say and there really is nothing that will make it better. My husband and I have lost two pregnancies one at 13 weeks and one at 9. My heart goes out to you and Greg, and my only advice is allow yourself to grieve. Everything that you are feeling is perfectly normal. You are right in saying that you are changed forever but take comfort in the fact that it does get easier and you will smile again. In the meantime we are all here for you to support you in anyway we can. Thinking about you.

Liz said...

I'm so sorry for your loss :( I read this last night on my phone and couldn't stop thinking of you. I hope you can take a much deserved trip soon.

Jen said...

brittney - you are brave for sharing your story. sending you and greg SO MUCH love and positivity.

Sarah Baucom said...

Brittney, I am so very sorry to hear about your loss. You will be a wonderful mother and I pray that your dreams will be filled.

Sana said...

I am so sorry you had to go through this :(

Phorrest said...

Hey Brittney, I'm so sorry about what happened! *HUGS*

Elle said...

Brittney, I'm so sorry for this awful experience you've had to go through. I can only hope that this is all part of a larger plan and that it will get better. *hugs*

Tanya Kummerow said...

This is terrible news. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. I know that you will have your precious baby someday! I am so sad for you.

Jaime said...

I am so sorry Brittney. I m/c before conceiving my first and it did change me forever. As I was reading your post, I was thinking you need to get away, so I am glad you are. I did and it helped a lot. Go as soon as you can. You are in my prayers. Stay strong.

Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point said...

Hey girl: Just catching up on blogs and saw this. I wanted to say that I am so so sorry for you and Greg and I really wish you the best when you can try again.

Molly said...

Oh Brittney, I am so, so sorry. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers........

Kristina @ spabettie said...

Brittney I am SO sorry! I wish I could give you a hug right now. Basil and I send our love. XO take care, friend, you are in my thoughts.

Pure2raw Twins said...

Brittney!!!! I am so sorry to hear this!!!!! You are so strong and beautiful person for sharing your story! Our thoughts and prayers are with you! Sending lots of hugs your way :)

Monique said...

I am so, so sorry to hear about this!! xx You are a brave girl to not only go through all of this, but to relive it here. I know you two are going to become parents soon! It WILL happen :)

But first... you definitely deserve an amazing trip somewhere tropical maybe :) At least you're surrounded by so many wonderful and supportive people. Things will turn around soon!!

Ashley said...

Oh my gosh Brittney, I'm so sorry to read this. I know you and Greg have been trying for a while and I can only imagine your heartache. You'll be a mom some day. I know someone who had multiple miscarriages, and they kept trying until finally having a baby! You and Greg are in my thoughts.

Anne K. said...

I came over to your blog from Sweet Tater's blog and just had to comment. I am so sorry for your loss! I have gone through two losses (one ectopic, one late loss at 19 weeks) and they were some of the most difficult experiences of my life. We had tried for a long, long time to get pregnant with both, too, which made it harder. We do have two healthy living children, and I wasn't sure that would ever happen for us. It did, so keep your hope alive. Allow yourself all the time you need to grieve. I know I don't really "know" you, but if you ever want a listening ear, let me know. Hang in there!

The Friendly Skies said...

Oh my... I know I am late commenting on this. (Blame it on wedding brain) I am so so sorry for your loss. I cried reading this because I have 2 friends struggling to get pregnant right now and this is my biggest fear when we are finally ready to start trying.

You sound so strong throughout this all and just from your post I can tell what a wonderful husband you have... aren't pilots just the best?!?! You Will be an extraordinary mother when the time is right, I fully believe that!!!

Brittany {Mommy Words} said...

Britney I am so sorry to hear about this! I know how it feels and there is not much that helps. We are thinking the same thing...a vacation! I just need to find people to watch my little ones so we can go :)

You will be a wonderful mother and I hope you are starting to feel better and get back on the TTC track. My thoughts and prayers are with you and please know we can get together anytime if you need to talk or anything a all!

Hugs!

Brittany

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