Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Our Baby

After 13 months of trying to get pregnant with various fertility drugs, supplements, diet changes, and desperate "alternative treatments" and one early miscarriage, I had a surgery called Ovarian Drilling in August. Sounds lovely. It actually was not too terrible and my recovery was not too bad. My doctor explained that this would decrease my ovarian cysts, balance my hormones, and make my reproductive organs more functional.

Approximately six weeks later, I had yet another ultrasound that found that I had two healthy follicles. We did an hcg trigger shot and hoped for the best.

About three weeks later, I had a positive pregnancy test. I was so relieved that I shed a few tears of joy. I crawled back into bed and snuggled up to Jordan (it was about 6:30 am). Jordan asked, "What's up?" in a concerned tone. I immediately responded, "I'm pregnant." We were both so excited and giddy. Poor Jordan- I scared him because when I cuddled up to him, he felt my tears on his arm and assumed I had yet another negative pregnancy test.

I was ecstatic to be pregnant, but I was extremely anxious to get my blood drawn and tested. I have no issues with needles. I was more anxious about the results. In November 2015, when I pregnant before this time, I received a call that my hcg level was 50 (pretty dang low) followed by another blood draw a few days later with the dreaded phone call that my hcg count was down to 5. The thought of going through that again made me want to throw up. I went in to get my blood drawn the day after I received my positive pregnancy test, and waited desperately for a phone call all day. I finally got the call the next morning that my hcg count was over 1,000. A huge relief! They wanted me to come in two days later to make sure that my hcg was still rising at a correct rate. I spent those two days reading infertility forums about twins, as I was suspicious that my higher count was due to two babies in there. Two days later, I got my blood drawn, and spent the next two days waiting for my phone call. I finally called the office myself and was told that my count was around 11,000. Huzzah!

I felt as though I got through the first level of being pregnant, but there were many more levels to get through. Miscarriages almost always happen before week 8, so the next few weeks I was hyper sensitive to any pain or discomfort that I experienced. I remember while 6 weeks pregnant, I started to have a bad back cramp. I immediately started chanting, "Oh no, oh no, oh no PLEASE no"....only for the cramp to go away about five minutes later.

When I was at 7.5 weeks, I had my first ultrasound. Jordan and I were both so nervous that there would not be a heartbeat. Luckily, our little bean had a healthy beating heart and my uterus looked fine. I was so happy I cried. We got our picture of our blurry seahorse and I nearly hugged the photos the whole drive home. After that point, I felt so much more calm. My baby has a healthy heartbeat. There was just one baby in there. I was nearly at the 8 week sweet spot. Everything was going to be ok.

The next several weeks were wonderful. The world had more color. When I saw a pregnant woman out in public, I felt happy. There was no more twinge of pain at the sight of a cute baby bump. I felt as though I could enjoy our son growing up because I no longer worried about him getting older and older without a sibling with whom to play. I rubbed my belly everyday. I subscribed to all the pregnancy tracker apps. I was relaxed. I announced my pregnancy to my sweet friends and relished in their excitement.  I was starting to think that this little person was a girl. It felt so real. I was over-the-moon happy.

During Thanksgiving, we announced our pregnancy to all of Jordan's family. It was a wonderful day. I felt whole.

On Friday, December 2, we had our next ultrasound. I was nearly 12 weeks along and could not wait to see our kiddo. When we had an ultrasound at 12 weeks with Jonah, he looked like an actual baby- not a weird lump. We were both so giddy.  This was it. We were going to see our long awaited blessing.

When we get into the exam room, my doctor came through the door with a big smile on his face. "I'm surprised you waited for me, " he said, "I figured you would be so excited that you would try to do the ultrasound yourself." I told him I had been feeling pretty good and he responded, "Hey, maybe you will have a girl since your symptoms are different! But I know you are just happy to be on the other side of all of this. "All of this" meaning infertility.

He began the ultrasound and suddenly our sweet little baby appeared! It looked like a baby, too, a sweet little profile, the cutest little hand with the cutest little fingers. I couldn't believe it. Jordan was happily filming the whole thing on his iphone. We were so thrilled to see our kid that I didn't even realize how quiet my usually upbeat doctor was being.

He asked how far along I was. I said, "Almost 12 weeks." He measured the baby and said that it was a normal size, measuring 11 weeks and 5 days. My doctor stayed quiet, until he said that second worst thing he could say at the moment: "I'm having trouble finding a heartbeat." He turned on the doppler and instead of hearing a tiny thumping heart, there was only static. White empty noise. Then he said the absolute worst thing: "I'm afraid your baby has passed away."

I began crying heavy, uncontrollable sobs that wouldn't stop. My doctor had left the ultrasound tool (I don't know what the camera part is called) on my stomach and I noticed that the baby was not moving, despite my body's hard, heavy shakes while crying. The little body that I had fell in love with moments before was still and lifeless. Our doctor explained that based on our baby's size, it was just within the last day or two that it had happened.

My doctor was so kind to us, telling us how sorry he was, and leaving us alone in the room to hold each other and cry. Between my sobs, I kept saying "I can't believe it" or "It's not fair" or "I'm so sorry".

I had a D&C that afternoon. While waiting in the surgery waiting room before my procedure, a soft lullaby sound recording played on the intercom. A woman sitting next to us said, "Oh, another baby is born." Cue more tears.

We learned a week later that the most likely cause of death was inflammation in the umbilical chord and fetus' arteries, which was probably caused by a virus that I caught. I have thought of this baby every day since October 11, when I found out I was carrying it. I have thought about it every day (every hour?) since December 2. I miss that tiny baby so much.