4 years after our last positive pregnancy test that ended in a miscarriage at 10 weeks pregnant, here I am again sharing our once hopeful pregnancy news that turned into another missed miscarriage
I can think of approximately 1.7 billion blog posts I’d rather be writing right now.
Like one of the many projects we have done or that we are planning to do in the next coming months or something stupid and boring like our home paint colors.
But here I am. Talking about infertility. Again. Because it’s reared its ugly head again.
I’m writing this because if you’ve been around any length of time, you know what you see is what you get with me and while I typically keep things light, I don’t shy away from the things that make my world very, very dark which is 90% of the time somehow related to our infertility journey.
Another reason I decided to share our late miscarriage story is because every time it’s happened to us, I looked up stories like mine to find some sort of “comfort” or to not feel so alone.
To read our whole journey with infertility journey, you can read this post here to catch up.
While this is our second time around with a pregnancy loss (which is actually the term I prefer over miscarriage), I realized that there was just so much that I do not remember from our last experience so I decided to write it where I was far enough away to not completely sob the entire time, but also lucid enough to remember the details.
I’m going to do my best to break this up with headers so you can skim through if you don’t need the entire story and just get to the miscarriage part.
Finding out we were pregnant
Because I’ve been using OvuSense for about a year, I’ve been very in tune with my cycles. And when I had consistently high temperatures around 13 days after confirmed ovulation and I normally only have 10 and then a crash before my period comes, I had a glimmer of hope.
Sure enough, I got a positive test at home. Well, 2.
Okay, 5. Because that’s what you do when you haven’t been pregnant in 4 years. You take a million tests of all different brands in early pregnancy to make sure you’re not crazy.
It was the Thursday before Mother’s Day and let me tell you – what an incredible gift.
I called my OB (who I was not a fan of anyway) told me they couldn’t see me until May 28th. To which I replied there was absolutely no way I was going to wait that long. I had an extensive history (which they knew because they had my charts) and was high risk.
I finally got myself an appointment around 11 that day, but went home to tell Jordan first. I could tell he was excited, but also cautious. As to be expected.
I had a urine test at the doctor and….it came back NEGATIVE.
Y’all, I was pissed. Instantly deflated. And so confused. They did a blood test, but I was just not convinced they were right. Or that they even cared. I’ve seen enough stark white negative pregnancy tests in my day to know these were NOT negative.
Here is where I will also add to advocate for yourself. I asked for them to test progesterone and they refused. Which made me very angry. I had to wait a day for the blood test results but I was pissed so I went to Walmart and got more tests.
All of which came out positive.
In the meantime, I found a new doctor the next day (who is the most incredible care provider I have ever had. More on him later).
My husband grew up with him and sent him a message to explain our situation and he’s like, “Give me her name and date of birth and tell her to come in immediately.”
He tested my progesterone and HCG and it had already gone up from the previous day’s at my old OB. But my progesterone was low.
I called the on call doctor that Saturday and (advocating for myself) asked to be called in progesterone. I immediately started taking it.
I continued having blood draws every few days until the numbers made my doctor comfortable, trending in the right direction.
What I’m not sharing here is the complete and utter anxiety I experienced every hour of every day.
Pregnancy after infertility is a scary thing. You want to have hope, but you don’t want to get too attached. You have positive thoughts that are instantly invaded with overwhelming thoughts and feelings of dread. You don’t just see 2 lines and think, “Oh yay! Let’s go ahead and pick out names and make our baby registry!”
It’s more like, “Ohgodohgodohgodohgodohgod please let this be real. Please let this not end the same way as last time. Please let this actually give us a baby. Please don’t make this another sick joke.”
This was a tricky one. Because of my PCOS, I did not have regular cycles.
However, because of OvuSense, I knew EXACTLY the day I ovulated.
So, when they told me they had me at 7 weeks, 5 days at my first ultrasound, I had to tell her that, no, that was not right. I was actually only 5 weeks, 5 days.
Now, this is a very normal picture for a 5 week scan. Just a tiny little gestational sac and a fetal pole. My doctor was cautiously optimistic, but so was I. Since he knew my husband and knew we were believers, he asked if he could pray with me. I just cried the entire time he prayed.
But it was what he said after that that just sang so beautifully to me.
He validated every emotion I was feeling. He told me that my pregnancy journey equals trauma so what I was experiencing was PTSD and triggers to said PTSD because of previous early miscarriage and baby loss.
Which is exactly what it was. Everything triggered fear in me.
We repeated the ultrasound in 10 days and again, perfect growth. And we even got to see the flicker of a heartbeat. 171 beats per minute.
I was concerned because at this point I was almost 8 weeks and had NO symptoms and with Charlotte I was very very sick from the beginning.
Around week 9/10, my sickness came and oh boy did it come.
But anyone with infertility will tell you, it’s the best reason to be sick. It doesn’t make it any easier and it doesn’t make it any more fun, but it gives reassurance. I felt reassured every time I got sick over a smell or couldn’t eat anything.
I had to wait a grueling 3 weeks for my next ultrasound which is where I had my most anxiety.
Because our last pregnancy ended in miscarriage right around the same time as my next ultrasound. So, I held my breath it felt like every day for 3 weeks.
But sure enough, in 3 weeks, we had another ultrasound and we saw that sweet baby moving its arms and legs and saw the strong heartbeat….again.
I finally got to have my official appointment with the nurse to do all my welcome paperwork and new patient intake.
This was happening!
Telling friends and family
A few friends knew right away just because I had to tell people who knew our journey so they could talk me off a ledge when I needed it (which was often).
But I didn’t want to tell our larger circle (including our family and daughter) until that 10 week ultrasound. Most people wait until some magical “12 week mark” but honestly, timing meant very little to us since I just wasn’t sure how long this baby would be with us.
Since I didn’t want to talk anything about it on social media (because of the pain pregnancy announcements had caused me for years) we decided on a snail mail invitation which turned out to be really, really fun.
We wanted people to know because when we miscarried last time, we had told absolutely nobody so we felt so incredibly alone. It was so hard to tell people that we were pregnant but then lost it in the same sentence.
This time, it felt much better just to give the good news and ask them to partner with us in sending prayer and positivity our way if something were to go wrong.
Charlotte was thrilled. It was really fun talking to her about it, having her pray for the baby, ask questions about it, and even have her tell some of our family.
I caved and got a fetal doppler around week 11 but waited until week 12 to listen. I listened to it 3 times that week and heard a sweet little heartbeat around 153-154 BPM each time. And I found it super fast because I knew where to look.
We had a beach trip planned every year since my husband’s aunt has a house down there. I’ll take both kids with my mother in law and his aunt. I was a little nervous because weeks 11 and 12 were by far the worst in my sickness. I threw up more in that time than I did all my sick weeks combined so I was a little nervous about going to the beach, but knew I would have help.
July 11, 2020
We were planning to leave that Sunday (July 12) but I turned 13 weeks on June 11, so I listened one last time before we left. Perfect little sound at 153 BPM.
I felt really good and decided to be strong and leave my doppler at home and head off to the beach.
While I didn’t throw up at all there, I was extremely tired and still had zero appetite.
I obsessively check my apps every morning to see what the news was for that day, but something in me just stopped about half of the week through. It was like I didn’t want to know.
July 18, 2020
I got a notification on that Saturday (when I switched over to 14 weeks) congratulating me for officially being a 2nd trimester mom.
But still, I didn’t open the app. Something just told me I actually wasn’t a second trimester mom. I can’t explain it.
I had had no bleeding, hadn’t started cramping, no outward signs. I even threw up the Saturday before we left.
The second I got home I went to find the heartbeat with my doppler.
Jordan was out of town doing a wedding and I was home alone that night.
I tried a few more times. Texted friends asking if they ever couldn’t find their baby’s heartbeats and they assured me there were times they couldn’t.
July 19, 2020
I woke up again Sunday and tried again.
I actually wasn’t even going to tell Jordan because I was embarrassed. But when I picked him up from the airport he asked how I was feeling and I just said, “I’m okay, but I can’t find the heartbeat and it was super easy to find the week before and it should be easier now because I’m further along.”
We tried a few more times when we got back home and nothing.
My appointment was the following day.
My nurse comes in first with the doppler in hand to get my vitals and ask how I’m doing. I told her I was doing “okay” which was all I could muster.
She laid me down and said, “We’re going to listen to the heartbeat” and I started sweating.
After trying to find it for a while, she said, “I think I’m rolling on your bladder, Do you need to pee?”
Knowing I didn’t, because I had just gone, I said yes anyway and just went to the bathroom.
She tried more when I came back, but still couldn’t find it. Then she said, “I’m going to let doc try to find it. He’ll be in here in a minute. Don’t freak out.”
Too late. I’ve been freaking out for 2 days now.
Doc came in and I just immediately broke down and told him I didn’t have a good feeling. I had actually thrown up the morning before my appointment because a smell got me, so again, still had all my symptoms but something in my heart told me it was over.
He said, “Well, I am going to be a little more agressive and push harder and we’re going to find this thing.”
After trying a few minutes, he grabbed my hand and pulled me up and said, “Let’s get you to ultrasound.” And as he was closing the door, I heard him let out a huge sigh.
At that point, he knew too.
Because I was alone (as I had been with all my appointments due to Covid), I knew this was about to be even worse.
But as I laid down on the table, I heard a knock on the door. It was my doctor and he said, “I don’t want her to be alone right now.” And he sat next to me and just squeezed my hand and my shoulder and handed me the box of tissues.
I had already been crying because I knew how this was going to end.
There our sweet baby was. Just looking like they were curled up asleep. Except there was no heartbeat.
They took measurements and said I lost it just a few days ago.
The tech offered me pictures and I said absolutely. We had none of our last one and knowing there would be no belly pictures, no maternity pictures, and no monthly pictures celebrating milestones, this was all I have.
Again advocating for yourself, if they don’t offer these to you, ask for them. You may not want to see them right away, but I can attest from not having any from our first one, they can help with your healing.
I called my husband and just through sobbing tears said, “It’s over. Can you come here please?”
He works about 30 minutes away so my doctor whisked me out a back door so I didn’t have to go back through the waiting room and let me sit in one of his rooms until Jordan could get there.
When he got me back to his office, he just prayed over me as I wept. I told him Jordan was on the way and so he said he’d keep an eye out for him.
While I was waiting, I could hear him next door congratulating someone who just had their first 8 week ultrasound and talking with his upbeat happy voice that I had heard so many times for myself. It was awful, but in that moment I thought, “What a hard job. Having me crying in one room having just lost our baby, but having to flip a switch to just congratulate someone else within minutes.”
He is one of the most compassionate doctors I’ve ever had and has told us multiple times that he’s prayed for us and just asked God for this to be our time and for him to provide the best care he knows how.
When Jordan got there and the doc came in the room, he just hugged Jordan and told him how sorry he was and how he felt like he failed us.
We talked through options and he said if it were his wife (who was also pregnant and due 2 days after me), he would tell her to get the procedure done so I trusted him. I had had a D&C before, did well under general anesthesia and quite honestly, couldn’t imagine passing it at home. I feel like no matter where it happened in the house, I could never be in that room or place again without seeing it, feeling it, and remembering every single thing.
He said he was operating on Friday and he wanted to be the one to do it (and I wanted him to be too) so we scheduled everything for Friday.
We had actually talked to Charlotte a couple weeks before about what would happen if the baby came out too soon.
She had said one day “Maybe you’ll have the baby when we come back from the beach!” and I explained to her that it wouldn’t be good if that happened because that would mean that the baby would be too small and that it wouldn’t get to live with us. (Little did I know, she would be exactly right).
She then said, “Oh, well then I’m going to add that to my prayer at night that the baby goes strong and healthy and gets big enough to come home with us.”
When I got home from my appointment that day, we told her what happened.
I honestly expected her to just be like, “Oh, okay” and maybe have a couple questions, but boy was I wrong.
Tears started pouring out of her face.
I fell apart.
“Why mama? That makes me so sad. I wish it didn’t have to be this way.”
Those who know her know she’s been extremely sensitive since she was very, very young. Her heart loves hard and she falls hard too.
I just started sobbing and telling her how sorry I was. I feel like I let her down too. She was so excited about this baby and honestly kept my hope going a lot during the time too and I just felt like I was crushing her spirit and it broke my heart in a way that my heart didn’t break our first miscarriage.
“I’m so sorry baby,” I told her, “But the good news is that this baby is with Jesus now and that’s a good thing.”
Which I thought would help, but she just cried harder and said, “Yeah but now I don’t get to see how cute it is.”
We explained that it was okay to be sad and that I was very sad too and told her that if she ever has any questions about it, that she can always ask us and we will do our best to answer.
A couple nights later, I put her to bed with J and she got upset because I didn’t pray for the baby like I normally do and then I had to remind her why.
She started crying again and I lost it again and just kept telling her how sorry I was.
“It just still makes me sad,” and I assured her that I was still sad too and she may be sad for a while and that was okay.
I told her if she needed us she could call us and we would come to her room and she said, “But what if I’m lonely and sad about the baby and can’t go to sleep?” And I asked her if she wanted me to lay in her bed with her for a bit and she said yes so of course I did.
I just asked her again if she had any questions and she didn’t at that time, but just said, “Maybe if God gets married, we can let him have the baby that died so he can have a baby too.”
I told her that was a great idea.
“Or mama, what if God already has another baby for us and we won’t even have to ask for it? He’ll just give it to us!”
I told her that would be so great and we could ask God to make it look just like this baby so she could feel like she could still get to see how cute it was one day.
Her heart is giant, y’all and even though she’s a sass pot sometimes, her hope gives me a glimmer of hope too.
July 21-23, 2020
The following few days were an absolute blur. We told our close circle obviously, but I deferred most conversations and questions to Jordan because I couldn’t handle it.
He took the week off work, but ended up working Thursday so he could be off with me the weekend after my D&E.
I didn’t leave the room for more than 30 minutes daily and it was just usually to get something to drink or I remember one day it was pouring rain and I just wanted to sit on our back porch so I did that for a few minutes.
July 24, 2020
The morning of our procedure was a pretty quiet drive with J in the car. He asked me a couple questions about whether this felt easier or harder since we had to wait longer and things like that, but it was mostly quiet.
I was numb walking in there but also knew that this would be the last time I would have this baby with me.
I was in and out of tears when they took me back (again, alone because of Covid). They have to verify why you’re there and they make you say it in your own words so that was tough every time I had to say it to someone else.
I met with the anesthesiologist, the nurse anesthetist, 2 nurses, my doc came by of course and then Jordan was finally let back a few minutes before they took me away.
Everything went as planned and I was home around noon.
Very little pain and not too much bleeding. Just cramping as my uterus shrunk back down.
Weird things you may have to do if you’re going through this yourself
Here’s some things I didn’t want to necessarily do but knew were a must:
Delete pregnancy tracking apps
I say apps because if you’re going through infertility, chances are you had more than 1. I had 5. And I deleted them in the doctor’s office while I was waiting for my husband to come from work.
I will also add if you’ve created an account in some of these, you can “report a loss” before you delete it.
Unsubscribe from email lists
I had already ordered a few small things baby related and ended up on their email lists. Also some of the apps I had would email me updates too.
Get off those lists ASAP. Every one is like a little extra stabbing pain in your empty womb.
Hide Instagram ads
This is the suckiest thing about modern infertility.
Your freaking phone listens to everything you say and the stupid algorithm pays attention to everything you click on or spend time scrolling through.
Because I had watched so many videos on pregnancy or childbirth on IG for 13 weeks, my explore page was FILLED with these videos and photos.
Which meant I had to go through (which I’m still doing because this is a process) and “retrain” my algorithm.
- Hiding ads you see in your feed
- Hiding ads you see in stories
- Going to your explore page and spend time scrolling things that have NOTHING to do with babies or pregnancy (For instance, I found some super weird like soap cutting videos and just scrolled on them for a really long time. You should see my explore page now. So weird but no babies so whatever)
- Unfollowing any new accounts you had followed that are pregnancy related (I had several of these)
I’ve also had to do this on Facebook, but not as much because I’m not on FB that much.
I would really recommend doing this during stronger moments when you have them. Doing this through tears and anger will make this much harder.
You could also delete the app altogether, but I didn’t.
Today and continuing…
It’s only been a week and although most people by now know, I feel like everyone has already moved on.
Because we got genetic testing done at our D&C, we were able to find out if it was a baby girl or boy.
The sweet baby we lost was a sweet baby boy, who we named Elijah because our other baby we lost we named Emery and we liked the idea of both having E names.
There are times where I want to move on too and then there are times when I don’t know how I ever can.
I’m terrified I’m never going to get pregnant again. And equally terrified that I will.
My husband is back at work today and even though I have amazing friends here to help me take care of the kids for this week, I’m struggling with him being gone.
I feel like I need him a lot more than I did last time we went through this. And I’m not sure why.
I’ve been in my room for most hours of the day because like I told him, I feel like when I’m in my room with the door closed, I can somewhat lock it away. It’s when I have to come out of the bedroom and look out the windows or look outside or watch my babies playing together that makes me realize that life is moving on and eventually I will have to too.
And I know I will. I’m just not sure when.
There is nothing anyone can say that will make the pain go away. And everyone grieves differently, with different time frames.
Grief comes in waves and it’s unpredictable.
Give yourself space and give yourself grace.
If I can offer one piece of advice, just don’t do it alone. Even if you don’t want to share your story publicly, have a close circle to which you can speak. You don’t have to respond to every text or DM you get, but at least talk through it with your significant other or someone who has been there who can grieve with you.
You can always reach out to me too – although I’m in the throes of it too, I’m more than happy to help you feel any less alone.
Whether you’re 13 weeks, 17 weeks, 20 weeks, whatever – a loss is a loss.
I have a weird complex about referring to a baby after a loss as a “rainbow baby” because I hate referring to a child that I carried as a “storm.” Yes, the situation SUCKS and is heartbreaking, but the fact I was lucky enough to carry him for 13 weeks and didn’t get to meet him earth side doesn’t make him a storm – it makes him my child and it makes him a miracle.