ttc after miscarriage / first pregnancy
This is a long post from a first time poster, so please forgive me...
After 8 years together, my husband and I decided it was time to start the pregnancy journey last summer. I had my Mirena removed in mid-July 2013 and ovulated shortly after. I had a very light period at the end of July. My physician advised we could begin trying at any time. I wanted one more period before we gave it a true go. My last period began in the last week of August 2013. Using at-home ovulation tests (and being aware of when I ovulated because I feel it), we got busy in the right window in the middle of September. I knew less than a week later that I was pregnant, though pregnancy tests didn’t confirm it until the end of September. I felt VERY pregnant very quickly. I was incredibly lethargic and couldn’t make it through my 8-hour work day. I didn’t get nauseous until mid-October, but the nausea was ever-present once it arrived.
Around the same time the nausea started, I went to Jamaica with two of my best girl friends on an awards trip. (Work prevented my husband from coming, but I was excited for time with them.) The nausea continued in Jamaica, but mostly because there weren’t many pregnant friendly entrees. The week I returned home, I went for my first ultrasound with my husband. We saw our little baby, but they couldn’t hear a heartbeat just yet (which they assured us was normal). They had us come back the next week for a follow-up.
On the Wednesday of the next week, I knew something was wrong. My lethargy was much better: I was able to stay up for some late-night world series games and didn’t need my normal mid-day cat nap. I told my husband that something was wrong, but he said not to worry—the ultrasound would help us figure everything out. I distinctly remember looking him in the eye as we walked into the OB office and saying “something isn’t right.” It wasn’t.
The ultrasound tech confirmed what I already knew: we’d lost the baby sometime in the window since our last ultrasound. I had a “missed abortion”, as the doctor called it. (I struggled with that terminology, but in reality, an abortion is the end to a pregnancy—so in medical terms, I understood.) I was given three options: to let the pregnancy pass naturally, to use Cytotec / misoprostol, or to have a D&C. I chose to go the misoprostol route to avoid any anesthesia. My husband stayed home with me on the Friday I took the miso. It was an emotionally exhausting day, waiting for the big moment when my body would finally expel everything. Eight hours after I took the medication transvaginally, it happened. There was relief and there was heartbreak, but I was just encouraged it was over…or so I thought.
I bled for three weeks after the misoprostol, which I was told was not abnormal. The doctor said I could expect a period in the normal window after the bleeding stopped. Right according to plan, I started bleeding the week before Christmas…and kept bleeding for another three weeks. (After the miscarriage, we planned a trip abroad to clear our heads—and I bled the entire time. It was awful.) At some point during that trip, I noticed things weren’t fitting the way they normally did. I attributed it to vacation eating, but I knew something wasn’t really right because we were walking SO much.
When we came back, I weighed myself and discovered I had gained seven pounds from the end of November until the beginning of January. For someone who is petite and always been very consistent in weight, seven pounds felt like 50. I knew something else had to be going on and I was determined to get to the bottom of it. I asked for a thyroid panel and it came back normal. They tested my beta levels, which came back negative. It wasn’t until they did a transvaginal ultrasound that they discovered my uterine lining was nearly three centimeters thick—after a three week “period”. I had weekly ultrasounds for the entire month of January. Even after I began a period (during a wedding in which I was a bridesmaid), my lining still was not to my doctor’s liking. We tried another round of misoprostol (which produced NOTHING except pain and frustration) before the doctor booked a D&C.
My D&C was scheduled three months to the day after I was told I lost my pregnancy. It wasn’t pain-free, but it was exactly what I needed: the doctor discovered necrotic tissue still inside my uterus that the ultrasound had not detected. The doctor explained that this was likely why my body was holding onto weight (despite 60 minutes of a day of exercise): it thought I was still pregnant. It also helped to explain my severe sadness and overwhelming “blah” feeling for the previous three months.
Within a week, I lost three pounds. Two weeks after the D&C, I ovulated. I had a period the last week of February. My weight is almost back to normal and I feel (mostly) like my old self.
My physician told me we could resume trying after I had a period, but now that we’re in that crucial week of my cycle, I’m SCARED. I know my story isn’t different from many that have miscarried, but the idea of starting the process again frightens me. We were lucky: we got pregnant on the first real month we tried. I know this is not the case for many, so I know to count my blessings. I just don’t know how to proceed “normally” when trying again.
We got invited to a wedding on that day in June when we thought we would meet our son or daughter. I’ve watched countless pregnancy announcements come through Facebook, all after my due date. My sister-in-law had a healthy baby girl six weeks after I miscarried. I know life moves on, but it doesn’t take away the sting of getting texts from my mother-in-law of my new niece.
If you’re still reading this, thank you. Writing it was cathartic, but I think what is more cathartic is that I can actually talk about my loss in a forum like this. I’m extremely hopeful for the day I see a positive pregnancy test again, but it doesn’t take away the fact I wanted that June baby. If you had a successful pregnancy after a miscarriage, what got you through? How did you move beyond the miscarriage to be happy about the new pregnancy? How long did you wait to tell your friends and family? Any advice (big or small) is appreciated. Prayers are welcome too ;)