On Feb 5, 2018, we went into our fertility clinic for our 3rd IUI. At this point, it was becoming a familiar dance. I left staying positive, and went on with life. The day after, I went into Acubalance to see Alda for some post IUI acupuncture magic… they say that it can help with implantation. Three days post IUI, I woke up in the middle of the night with the worst cramps ever. I never get cramps, and I had no idea what was going on, but I was crying in pain, and Roberto rubbed my tummy until I fell asleep again. I emailed my fertility doc the day after to tell her what had happened, and she said it may have been implantation (hurray! Hope!).
Over the pregnancy test waiting period, I kept stress low, and just kept things as light as I could. Feb 20 was the day I was supposed to go in for my blood test, and because I lost the requisition paper, I totally forgot. Thank goodness for good friends who remember these kinds of things, because if it weren’t for Megan, I would have let it lapse for way too long! Feb 21 I went in for my blood test, and that afternoon I got the news.
I. WAS. PREGNANT.
Funny enough, I was driving (behind a cop of course!), and when the nurse said those words, I started bawling, straight up started losing it. I can’t put into words how that felt, but I was relieved, elated, and terrified all at once. It happened, I was officially pregnant. What tells you that you’re pregnant is your HCG level – this continues to rise as you get “more” pregnant, so you want to see that number climbing fast. I booked in for another blood test to see what the level was, and things were looking great (the first test was 150, and second was 3000).
Now for the fun part… telling Roberto! I decided to go get a pregnancy test and put it in the pocket of the robe he puts on when he gets home. So, of course when Roberto came home from work he took forever to put on his robe… but when he did, he had such an amazing reaction! Lots of tears and hugs, our excitement was through the roof! We couldn’t wait to tell our families and we waited for the weekend to see R’s fam in person to break the news – the love was overwhelming.
We had our first ultrasound at 8 weeks on March 20 – it’s not the usual to have one this early, but when you’re under the care of a fertility clinic, they keep a close eye on your pregnancy. That ultrasound was absolutely MAGICAL. We saw and heard the heartbeat, and everything looked and measured perfectly. It was so reassuring to hear and see this! Over the course of the first trimester, I felt tired, but no nausea, and I was mildly depressed and just feeling “off”… somewhat normal feelings due to hormones. We were also monitoring my TSH because it is notoriously unstable – this can cause miscarriage in early pregnancy. We lowered my level to .6 and that’s when I got pregnant. My first TSH test during pregnancy had it up to 2.5 which is right at the danger zone. It was something we were watching closely.
We went into the fertility clinic for our 10 week ultrasound on April 3 SO excited! It was our ‘graduation day’ from the clinic, and we would be passed to our OBGYN. We got into the room, and my doctor started the ultrasound – I saw the baby and was so excited. The doctor was very quiet and after a minute said something I’ll never forget. “I’m worried”. We moved into another room to get a better look, and that’s when she told us that she did not see the heartbeat. We were devastated. We were blindsided. We were in shock. The tears came, and all I could do was to look at Roberto and tell him “I’m sorry” over and over. I was sorry for his loss, I was sorry I couldn’t carry a baby. The appointment continued with a flurry of information about what our options were, what the next steps were. I was stunned, sad, overwhelmed… in shock. It took us 2.5 year to make this baby, and it was gone in an instant.
After our appointment, I texted my sister and friends to tell them the news – I simply couldn’t bare having the heavy heart, I had to get it out. Our friend came over with cake and to show support, I had some wine, I shared our news about the pregnancy and miscarriage on Instagram. I just HAD to get this off my shoulders, I had to unload. I knew I wanted to share because SO many women go through this in secrecy and I wasn’t ok with carrying the burden. Over the next few days, well wishes, flowers, and love poured in. I was numb, I was broken. I continued with work, and going though my day to day. I worked on what I could control and what brought me joy. Taking photos just for the creativity, working on personal projects like art prints, and soothing myself with comfort food. Lots of tears, lots of holding on to Roberto. I worked on projects around the house, I didn’t leave the house for days. I wanted to wrap myself in a duvet and just disappear. Slowly, over the ten days (today is April 13), my strength started resolving… emotionally, I would get over this, and move forward simply because there was no choice but to bounce back. I had Roberto’s parents over for three days doing some painting for us, and it was so nice to have their nurturing… I believe this helped me a lot.
The physical part of this process is NOT easy. Basically, the baby had stopped growing at 8.5 weeks and by the 10 week ultrasound, it had been without a heartbeat for 10 days. Your body should complete a miscarriage (bleeding and passing the fetus) on its own within a month of the fetus being no longer viable. Your three options are that you can wait for this to happen, use suppositories to soften the cervix and move things along, or schedule a D&C for them to remove the tissue. It’s torture to wait, so I opted for a D&C, which much to my dismay would take two weeks from the time I found out to the procedure. That system has to change! I went in to get assessed at the hospital via ultrasound, and scheduled the D&C. The day after this, I started cramping, and over a 30 hour cramping and bleeding process, ended up miscarrying at home this morning. To be honest, I was told by many that this would be scary and extremely painful – my fertility doc even emailed me telling me to call her on her cell if I was scared. I think because I felt so supported by her, the hospital, my friends/fam and my Insta fam, I felt no fear, and the pain was much less than I thought it would be. I was just ready for it to be over so I could move on. I felt elated when it was done – it had been 10 days of intense sadness and mourning, I felt strong and ready to get trying again.
Compounding this, and I’ve really considered if it’s something I wanted to talk about… is that my mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a month ago. I can’t type that without tearing up. With this, and the miscarriage, I have cried more in a month than I have my whole life. I’m very private about my family because I am very protective of them. I also like to consider their privacy. My mom was always my everything, and navigating this has not been easy… it’s been the saddest thing I’ve ever had to go through. I’m sad because my mom is going through something that I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
She is fiercely independent, proud and without going into too much detail (it’s a VERY complicated situation), it’s been tough to know how to navigate this with her – to give her help, but to respect her wishes, to step in for her health, but to keep her dignity intact… we are in the middle of this, and living in another province, I feel completely helpless a lot of the time. My sister and her husband have been instrumental and amazing with helping her. Every time I call her, I’m literally on the brink of tears, it’s hard hearing her the way she is, and I break down the instant I hang up. I am terrified for what’s to come – so scared that SHE is scared, wanting to help but not knowing how I can make this easier or better for her when she is truly so stubborn. She’s no longer who she was, and it’s like I’ve lost my mom, but she is still here. It’s really the long goodbye. When I told her about my miscarriage, my old mom would have been on the first plane to come and hold my hand. My mom now did not have that reaction, and didn’t quite understand the depth of the event. Sometimes, a girl just needs her mom, and I didn’t know until this event, that I didn’t have her anymore. I am broken up about it. I already miss her and am forgetting the person I once knew.
It’s been a very hard month. The hardest of my life, and I have moments when my heart physically feels like it’s breaking, and I can’t swallow the lump in my throat. I’m absolutely sick about it. I do know that everything will always be ok, and it’s something we will get through because there’s no other alternative. Through all of it, I am constantly asking myself what my mom would do, and then I do that. She’s my guiding force, and always will be.
We are excited to move on to trying again. The hospital is going to test the fetus to tell us if there were any genetic issues to cause this, and if not, we will try to identify the cause of the loss as to try to avoid it in future. I am lucky to be under the care of a great fertility doctor and to have Roberto by my side. I am ok.
I started this Instagram account to document the raw process that this is. Feel free to follow along there as that will be where I will share most.
Thank you to every single one of you that sent love and encouragement. Thousands of you shared your stories with me. How are women so damn strong? On that note, I’m signing off and moving forward. I’m ready to make our baby!