I’ll never forget the moment I received that phone call. It was a sunny, cold Monday afternoon, and I was sitting in my favorite recliner sipping on coffee. I was elated because the Saturday before we had gotten a BFP-one that we had been waiting on for so long. Our FET had worked, and we were so excited.
As I grabbed the phone knowing it was the fertility center calling with my beta hcg levels, I wasn’t prepared to hear that our hcg level was 14. 14. Our doctor told us that for a viable pregnancy to happen, the number would have needed to be higher. We were having a miscarriage.
I was devastated. I hung up the phone and just cried.
That moment, that instance, that call.. will forever haunt me.
For me, losing a pregnancy was difficult. What has been surprisingly harder, in some ways anyways, was getting pregnant after this loss. Literally we conceived naturally a mere 2.5 weeks later. When we found out we were expecting, we weren’t as elated as we should have been. Between the constant fear of something going wrong and obsessing over factors I had zero control over, I have been a wreck this pregnancy. I haven’t been able to thoroughly enjoy it.
Here are some reasons why my being pregnancy following loss is different:
Disconnect with Baby Early On
It’s hard to admit that it’s been hard to connect with my baby during early pregnancy, because I didn’t want to get attached and have something happen. It sounds so terrible, but in a way I felt that I was protecting myself. With each passing week, I feel more of a connection happening.
You Consistently check for Blood in your Underwear
This might seem weird, but for those who have experienced a miscarriage, the sight of blood when you use the restroom can be terrifying! Automatically you think the worst. This past weekend, I experienced this firsthand. I experienced some relatively heavy bleeding and immediately took myself to the ER. Though the baby is fine, as am I, the doctor’s discovered that I had a subchorionic hemorrhage (subchorionic hematoma) within my vagina which caused the bleeding. It was absolutely terrifying, and I immediately thought the worse.
You Live in a Constant State of Fear
When we found out we were pregnant, I was so fearful of our first ultrasound. The fear I had over not knowing if there would be a heartbeat was enough to give me a slight panic attack. Though we had a great heartbeat, we were still at risk of miscarrying considering our history. Our doctors immediately put us on progesterone, Lovenox and I continued the thyroid medicine. Even though we were nearly 8 weeks along, we weren’t out of the dark yet.
You Experience Worry and Anxiety Daily
I often question my decisions, worried that I might accidentally cause a miscarriage because of my poor lack of judgment. I barely worked out during my first trimester out of fear that I’d somehow hurt the baby and pregnancy. I’m hesitant to lift my toddler because I’m worried that the strain might cause issues with the pregnancy. Everything I do, I think twice about out of fear of inadvertently having my pregnancy end in another miscarriage. I listen for a heartbeat nearly every day because of the extreme anxiety and worry I know experience.
You Experience Lack of Enjoyment and Joy
With everything that has happened over the past few months, it’s hard to actually enjoy this pregnancy. Between the worry, anxiety, mood swings, insomnia and overall fear of something going wrong, I live in a constant state of alert. With my first pregnancy, I enjoyed everything about it. Even the horrendous amount of morning (aka ALL day) sickness I had, couldn’t get me down. We had tried for so long that I didn’t care what my body had to go through. Following a loss, all I can think about is not messing up. I’m hoping I get to the point where I can start enjoying this pregnancy, but it’ll take some time.
Morning Sickness Becomes Your Reassurance
With my first pregnancy, I had morning sickness every day all day long for nearly 18 weeks. Even though I had problems keeping food down and hated the fact that I was constantly sick, it was reassurance for me. With this pregnancy, I’ve had hardly any morning sickness, so I find myself craving morning sickness just so I can have that reassurance.
Obsessing over Baby’s Movements
Even though it’s not common to feel the baby move in the first trimester, you’ll constantly be waiting until the day when you can feel them move. It might make you crazy! It’s a sense of reassurance that your baby is OK. Once you’re able to feel them move, you fear that when they are less active, something is wrong.
Doctor’s Appointment Anxiety
Even though doctor’s appointments can be reassuring, they can also be something you dread. It’s completely normal to experience anxiety before an appointment for those who have experienced a loss as well as those who haven’t. Again, it’s the fear that something might go wrong.
Lack of Sympathy for those Pregnant complaining about Symptoms or Pregnancy
I have a hard time feeling bad for those who complain about being pregnant. They might complain about the horrible symptom’s they’re experiencing, but for someone who has struggled with infertility and experienced loss, those are the kind of things we so yearn for and pray about. It means we’re pregnant. It means we beat infertility.
Few Truly Understand
Few understand what you’re truly going through because they can’t relate to pregnancy after loss or maybe they can’t even relate to infertility at all. Fortunately for me, I have a close friend that has been a lifeline for me who had a very similar path to parenthood. For others, they have no one they can relate to or vent too.
More Doctor’s Appointments than Truly Necessary
I’ve already had several ultrasounds and doctor’s appointments during my second pregnancy. A lot of those visits were a result of the extreme anxiety I was experiencing over something being wrong. My ER visit this past weekend was a legit reason to visit the ER, but others might not have been necessary other than to just give me peace of mind.
Time moves S l o w e r
Time seems to almost stand still after experiencing loss. You just want time to move fast so you can hold your little miracle in your hands and know that they are safe and sound. If there was a fast-forward button, you’d gladly opt out of the whole 9 months of pregnancy if it meant you could have your baby in your arms quicker.
Grief Doesn’t Just Go Away
The grief you experience after losing a baby, no matter how early or late it was in your pregnancy, never goes away. You might find yourself thinking about what your baby might have looked like or if they would have had a similar goofy personality to their older sibling. You will never just forget that you lost a child. It just doesn’t work that way.
You’re Deserving of Your Miracle
Sometimes I feel guilty that I’ve been only dealing with infertility for 5 1/2 years while others have been dealing with it for so long. Sometimes I feel that maybe I don’t deserve this miracle, but then I remember that even though my journey hasn’t been as long as others, it’s been a journey nonetheless. My husband and I have experienced heartbreak, loss, joy, happiness, excitement, let down and every emotion therein. We are most certainly deserving of this miracle. When anyone has to go through infertility and loss, when they get to experience joy and happiness, they are so incredibly deserving of it!
I pray that I get to the point where I can begin to relax and thoroughly enjoy this little miracle growing inside me. Experiencing a loss, even though it was early, wrecked me and how I see pregnancy now. My heart breaks for everyone experiencing infertility and for those who have lost a child or multiple. I’m fortunate enough to have met some incredible people during our infertility journey, and although I don’t wish this journey on anyone, I’m thankful that I’ve been able to discuss this journey with so many people.
Infertility is still a subject that many don’t feel comfortable discussing, and that’s OK. I totally get it. As I’ve mentioned previously, I received backlash when I started openly discussing our infertility issues, but it has been an incredible blessing to us. I pray that my openness will help others and inspire them. There is light at the end of the tunnel. There is hope. More importantly, you are certainly not alone!