I’m going to warn you…. This is a long post. I didn’t want to break it up into subsequent posts, but the jist of it is the difficulties I faced leading up to my miscarriage.
The next four months can best be described as a whirlwind. After finding out we were expecting, we spent the next couple of nights trying to decide how we were going to tell our families, and how we could pull off this great surprise. We ultimately deciding on having my sister, who does photography on the side, take a picture of my husband and I holding a chalkboard and baby shoes with the words “Baby Price due 8/18/2016” written on the board.
We ordered three 8×10 pictures and placed them in a gold gift box with a gold bow on it, and had the plans of giving it to my parents and my husbands mother and stepfather on Christmas Eve, and my husbands father on Christmas day. We also ordered scratch-off cards to give to all our siblings, and wrote “Baby Price arriving August 2016” on each one. The reveal went off without a hitch and is probably one of my fondest memories. The reactions we received were absolutely priceless and I couldn’t have imagined more.
From the beginning of my pregnancy until it ended, I have never felt so…..sick. And I don’t just mean morning sickness that would be expected, like nausea and vomiting and lethargy. What I experienced was as if the life was being drained out of me. A sort of all-consuming exhaustion where I wasn’t quite sure if I would make it until the end of the day. Or when I would run to the local store, after about an hour I would have to insist to whoever I was with that I had to leave at that very moment, or else I felt I would faint. I passed up several times out with my mom and sister, and other events, simply because I knew I wouldn’t be able to make it past an hour and didn’t want to ruin their time by insisting we leave at that precise moment. It was the type of sickness that my sister and husband would notice and insist I didn’t do certain things around the house, or they would talk to my parents about how something was “just wrong” with me and this pregnancy and I just didn’t seem right. I had become so accustomed to the feeling that I just assumed this is what being pregnant felt like, or that I was lucky enough to have a difficult pregnancy my first time around…
Also lending itself to my sickness was the fact that I bled throughout the duration of my pregnancy. Not heavy bleeding typical of menstruating, but more like spotting. Every. Single. Day. This started around when I would have missed my first cycle; I called my doctor’s office and was told it was most likely implantation bleeding and to come in for blood work to check my pregnancy hormone levels, and had to return in two days to have it checked again. I had spotting off and on for a few weeks after that, but it was light and I kept being reassured that sometimes there is slight spotting during a pregnancy and it can be normal.
On January 7, 2016, I had my first prenatal appointment with a nurse practitioner at my ob/gyn office, and it was the most uncomfortable “woman” appointment I’ve ever had; when she pushed on my cervix and down on my abdomen, I thought I was going to see my cervix come shooting out of my mouth and that my little tiny baby was going to get crushed from the force of her pushing. She stated that I might have some light bleeding afterward and it would be fine. The next night, around 9:30pm, I went to the bathroom and when I pulled down my pants I saw that I had blood-soaked panties, and had to urinate right away. When I was finished, I noticed there was heavy blood in the toilet as if it was the heavy day of my period. In a complete state of panic, I walked into the living room and said to my husband and sister, with tears welling in my eyes, “Can you take me to the hospital, I think I’m having a miscarriage”. My husband and I immediately drove to the closest hospital while my sister called my parents and they all came. At the hospital, the on-call doctor performed an internal exam, said she could see a large clot on my cervix and was going to remove it to see if my cervix would close, removed it and placed it in a plastic cup (which didn’t look like a normal clot to me but was more of a bright red and I’ve wondered if it was actually a twin…) she then stood up, and said to me and my husband, “I’m sorry…but it looks like you’re having a miscarriage…” and we never saw her in the room again. I was then taken for an ultrasound to see what was going on in my uterus, and during that time the ultrasound tech told me that the doctor really shouldn’t have said I was miscarrying without an ultrasound performed to see what was happening with the baby. Hearing that upset me, because maybe I was even more upset than I already was for really no reason….? When he placed the ultrasound wand on my abdomen, he became very quiet for what seemed like hours, but I’m sure it was only minutes. Eventually, he turned to me and said, “I’m going to show you what I’m seeing, but I want you to try to remain as calm as you can”, which also made my heart start to accelerate because my automatic assumption was he was going to show me there was no heartbeat. When he turned the screen around, the first thought that popped into my head was “there she is!!!”, which was so bizarre because from the moment I found out I was pregnant I was sure the baby was a boy, so I quickly dismissed that by reminding myself how I thought it was a boy. The tech then took his cross-hair cursor and showed me how this little thing on the screen was the baby’s heart beating, and that he could see that my cervix was slightly open, but the baby was definitely there and alive. I was then taken back into my emergency room; the nurse asked before I was taken for my ultrasound if I would like if my mom came in, which of course I wanted because sometimes, you just need your mom. When I was wheeled back into the room, my mom and husband were there waiting and I started crying and told them how I heard the heartbeat. A different emergency room doctor came into the room and proceeded to tell me and my family, my dad and sister were in the room now at my request, that I was considered a threatened miscarriage and had a subchorionic hematoma. I had an additional ultrasound a few days after my emergency room scare, and that tech said she saw what the first tech saw, but wouldn’t necessarily agree that my cervix was open.
Over the next two months I had other separate moderately-heavy bleeding scares causing my doctor to send me for an emergency ultrasound each time. And let’s not forget, between each of those scares, I was still constantly spotting. My bathroom routine turned into each time I was pull down my pants, I was checking to see if I was spotting, and if so, was it a lot, or a little, its color, etc. Each day was nerve-wracking. I once jokingly said to a co-worker that I had never been this anxious, or nervous, or neurotic, as I had been since I found out I was pregnant.
Because I was always bleeding and feeling so sick/exhausted, my husband would try to overcompensate for daily activities that I could no longer do, even mundane tasks like carry the laundry basket downstairs. He would always remind me to take it easy by saying, “don’t over do it…” And I would try to listen, I really would. But I didn’t want anyone to think my husband was just babying me, no pun intended, simply because I was pregnant. But the truth of the matter is, I really couldn’t do things because of how ill I really felt, which I’ve come to terms with was my body doing everything it could to try to save my baby. But, it sure was the worst I’ve ever felt in my entire life.
But I still loved every minute of being pregnant.