The wait for your first ultrasound after a positive pregnancy test can seem like an eternity. You know you’re pregnant, but seeing your little nugget and getting to hear their heartbeat makes it real. We have been anxiously waiting for our appointment since we found out I was pregnant. After all the letdowns, doctor appointments and medication, the anticipation of this appointment was almost unbearable…
As we watched the blinking screen in anticipation, we knew our lives were forever changed. What we weren’t prepared for was just how much our world would be turned upside down…
You imagine so many things as you wait to see your child for the first time: Will they look like me? What will your laugh sound like? Who are you going to be when you grow up? What kind of mother will I be? There are so many “what ifs” going through your mind, but the one you don’t think is “what if something is wrong?”
“I’m concerned.” Of all the things you expect to hear your doctor say, this isn’t one of them.
Our RE explained that our baby had an enlarged yolk sac, which more often than not ends in miscarriage. The heartbeat was also barely registering on the ultrasound, although it was clearly present. With little additional information other than to “wait and see” we left the appointment in a mix of disbelief, shock and overwhelming sadness.
Living in limbo
Over the next few days we remained in a very weird limbo where I was still pregnant, but had no idea if our baby would survive the next few days, let alone a full 9 months. My amazing hubby tried to remain so positive through the process, reminding me that we weren’t out yet, and that there was still hope for our little miracle. I spent a week somewhere between numb and crying, trying to function at work and carry on as if everything was ok. But really, how could everything be ok? We were just told that the child we barely had time to celebrate would most likely not survive the next week. Before we had the chance to tell the world, we were already mourning our inevitable loss.
Our follow up ultrasound was scheduled on a Monday; until then I was to continue taking all of the medications and carry on as if it were a viable pregnancy on the slim chance that we saw different results on the next ultrasound. Thankfully I have some pretty amazing coworkers, who gave me the space to be an emotional wreck at work.
I was at work on Friday when I started to have some mild cramping, however I had been having lots of pulling and twitches since shortly after our transfer, so this wasn’t necessarily new for me. Shortly after, I noticed some light spotting after I went to the bathroom. Panic immediately set in, however my RE‘s office was closed for lunch, so I had an agonizing 45 minute wait to see what to do. Once I spoke with them, they asked me to come in as soon as possible “just to check“…
My work is only 10 minutes from my RE’s office, but that was the longest 10 minute drive of my life. My hubby met me at the office, since he was at home, 25 minutes from the office. I paced the parking lot waiting, afraid to go inside and hear the inevitable alone. Once inside, we were quickly taken back to a treatment room and given the news we knew was coming… The embryo was now measuring more than a week behind. The gestational sac was too small and the yolk sac had grown even larger. At almost 8 weeks, the heartbeat was barely measuring at 90 bpm.
I was having an inevitable miscarriage…
There are two situations that result in an inevitable miscarriage, also referred to as an incomplete miscarriage:
- Your cervical opening begins to dilate (open) and you are having vaginal bleeding. This means that your body is beginning to deliver your baby.
- Your baby has not developed (stayed the same size) over a two week period. Your baby’s heart rate may be slowing, or have completely stopped.
Since I was still taking a progesterone supplement, I was advised to stop immediately, as this was most likely what was allowing the pregnancy to continue despite being non-viable. We were given two options at this point on how to proceed:
- Allow the miscarriage to proceed naturally, and eventually miscarry at home.
- Return to the office for a D&E.
While the decision was completely up to us at this point, our RE did recommend option #2 in order to allow us to complete genetic testing on the tissue to determine the cause of the miscarriage. Ultimately, we opted for the D&E so that we could complete genetic testing and determine if future embryos were at higher risk for similar issues.
The actual D&E itself was very similar in experience to egg retrieval. Due to a lovely cocktail of pain meds and propofol, I do not remember most of the events leading up to or immediately after the procedure, and was able to sleep for the majority of the day after.
For now, we continue to heal, both emotionally and physically, while we wait for the results of our genetic testing. These results will determine where we go from here…
How you can help
If you have a friend or family member who has experienced miscarriage, here are a few things Julie with Lemon Stripes suggests you can do to help:
- Check in on her every few days for at least a month. Send a sweet quote and just let her know that you’re thinking about her.
- When you speak with her, ask her how she is feeling and let her talk about it for as long as she needs to.
- Send a card. I would have loved to have received one…especially this one.
- Share this post, or one like it, with her so she knows that she’s not alone.