This is going to be one of the hardest posts I will ever write. I feel like this needs to be shared, I feel it needs to be expressed, but it’s gonna be hard. So, here we are…
January of 2013 I was put on Clomid. It is a pretty rough drug, used to help a woman’s body ovulate. The need for this drug proved true when months went by without ever having an ovulation test read positive.
If you find yourself in the midst of infertility, I would advise you to purchase a $15 box of ovulation tests to check yourself with. Please do not purchase these from the dollar store. This test is more particular and you need a high quality test to prove it’s accuracy. I find this the easiest way to reduce anxiety about a lot of things. We spent a year in the dark about my lack of ovulation…12 months of wondering if we were pregnant only to have my period come…
So, I was put on Clomid. This drug is…for lack of a better word…awful! I felt horrible on it. It is used for 5 days. You take a pill day 2-7 of your cycle. I never felt like myself. I remember just feeling off. I was tired, grumpy, achy, annoyed, weak… lots of things. There were days I felt like I had been hit by a truck or run over by a herd of wild animals! I could tell that there wasn’t something right, I just couldn’t pin point it. This was my first real glimpse into learning to read and understand my body and the hormones that make women feel different things. I was still having oddly long or short cycles. Nothing felt balanced or right. I dove head first into work because it was the only thing that made sense. My husband and I had become so scheduled in our intimate times together. We were slaves to my cycle and the calendar. The only thing that began to show SOME signs of my body normalizing, was my basal temperature. After a year and a half of taking my temperature EVERY morning before my feet hit the floor, it was starting to show the correct patterns. My body was FINALLY ovulating, but I still wasn’t pregnant.
Then, August 2013 began. My cycle had finally leveled out to be around 30-31 days. This meant that I typically started my period at the beginning of the month. Well, August 3 happened and I still hadn’t begun my period. Instead, I was having CRAZY dreams. Now, up until this point in time, I NEVER remembered my dreams. I was a deep sleeper and not a dreamer. And if I did MAYBE have a dream, it was pretty simple, nothing too crazy. Well, I remember waking up on August 4th, still no period and going, “Hey babe, you won’t believe the dream I had last night!” As I told my husband all about my escape through a real live “Candy Land Game” from the bad guys with Batman fighting them off for me, he looked at me and goes, “That’s crazy! You never dream!” It was crazy, and he was right…I NEVER dream! But I did dream that…and it sure was crazy! As he went off to work that day, I remembered that someone had said their first sign of pregnancy was “crazy dreams!” I was so excited to head to the store for a test (or 10). When I got home, I took the test and there were those 2 pink lines. Seriously, the best little things I have ever seen (up to that point). I then ran to my craft room, quickly found the tiny little onesie I had been saving for this very moment, wrapped it in a special little box and anxiously waited for Drew to get home.
When he did get home I asked him to sit in our living room. I brought the box to him and inside was a tiny little yellow onesie with letters ironed on it saying “I am DMB.” Now, If you read an earlier post you remember I mentioned the “Dave Matthews Band” fan that my hubby is…Often this band is referred to as: DMB. Cool thing is, my husband’s initials are also: DM…so I figured the B could stand for Baby. Drew M’s Baby = DMB. It was perfect. I did have to explain the DMB thing…but once it clicked, he was so excited he couldn’t speak. Mission accomplished!
This was glorious. I made phone calls to our Dr’s office. I called the fertility clinic to say we wouldn’t need that mid-August apt. We were so excited! We went in at 7 weeks for an early ultra sound and a measurement. Everything looked perfect. We even saw the flicker of that tiny heartbeat…that little perfect blip.
At 9 weeks went in again for another ultra-sound to check on things. We were giddy and excited and just couldn’t wait to share this news with the world, but the look on the Dr’s face wasn’t good. “Where is the flicker?” I wondered. “Why can’t we hear that whomp whomp whomp of the heartbeat?” And “Why isn’t our Dr talking anymore?” As the lights came on, I knew in one look at the Dr and the nurse that something was wrong. “You guys, we can’t find a heartbeat, and your baby is only measuring 7.5 weeks.” As he handed us the ultra sound photos I tried to process things. Drew was already pulling me in, tears hitting the top of my head… “What? After 2 years THIS is the end?!” My brain couldn’t comprehend this. The tears started to roll down my cheeks…falling silently into my lap, I fought for it all to be a lie. A big stupid joke. I clung to the hope that something was seriously messed up with that machine or something, because I didn’t feel any different. How could I have a baby inside me that wasn’t alive anymore? I felt the same… But they took the machine out our Dr place his hands around us and said, “I know this will be hard, but we need to schedule your D&C for tomorrow. It is important that we remove the tissue so your body is still capable of getting pregnant again.”
That poor scheduling nurse that came in…I felt so bad for her. She tried to explain what was happening, where we would go and when we would need to be there…but I couldn’t understand anything. “My baby is gone?” Breathe “You have to remove the tissue from inside me so there will be a chance for other babies?” Breathe “I will undergo full anesthesia? I won’t feel a thing…won’t feel a thing…won’t feel…” Right. I don’t feel. I don’t even feel this all happening. That baby was due April 4, 2014 (4/4/14).
I was so confused. We left the OB’s office and my dear hubby dropped me off at my parents so I could sit and process with my mom, but I was still in shock. She read me Psalm 36, which has become so near and dear to me over the years.
The Drs and nurses at our OBGYN office were amazing. They walked with us through that process and encouraged us, that the 1 miscarriage shouldn’t crush our hope. After all, 80% of women experience a miscarriage. This is hard, but not abnormal. We would pull through.
Then, as mid November 2013 hit, I was met with more crazy dreams and another set of 2 pink lines! This was perfect timing! It was the weekend before we would be heading to my brother’s for our Thanksgiving with them and the rest of my family. I couldn’t wait to go around the table with my family all saying what they are thankful for and getting to say “our baby!” Only, the Tuesday of that week, I woke up in terrible pain, and bleeding… “Not you too!” I remember internally screaming at my child to hold on. Mama wasn’t ready to say goodbye yet! It was no use. We had lost this baby too. Before we had even had time to see the blip or hear the whomp of the heartbeat. Gone.
We were crushed, and spent the next 9 hours in the car crying, and talking and processing. Ugh. That was hard.
After that, our “break” wasn’t so long. Christmas Day 2013, we saw those 2 pink lines for a 3rd time. This 3rd baby was due the day after we lost our first. I thought for sure that THIS was the baby that would stay. I mean 1 miscarriage was common. Even 2 was more than normal at 60% of women having at least 2… But 3! No, 3 was down at like 5%. 3 meant testing, and a problem that needed solving. I wasn’t a problem. Neither were my babies.
We went in for early ultrasounds and saw those sweet blips at 7 weeks. Heard that wonderful whomp whomp whomp at 9.5 weeks(Drew and I both cried)…everything was wonderful. Then, on a Saturday morning, at 11 weeks and 5 days, I woke up to a cramping in my lower abdomen. Something was wrong. I went to the restroom and found I was bleeding…and more than just a few drops. Drew helped me to the couch and I called the on-call Dr. Because we had primarily been working with just my OB up until now, this Dr didn’t know my history, didn’t know this had happened before. She was heading into a delivery, and all she could offer was, lay low and rest for the weekend, you have an apt on Monday. We will double check everything then.
I tried to lay low, but the bleeding and cramping wouldn’t stop. I was apart of our praise service at our church the next day. As morning came that Sunday, I knew I was loosing this baby too. Only by the strength of God, I mustered the strength to get to work and talk to my boss to explain what was happening and tell her I didn’t know how much of that day I could participate in. –That evening I was scheduled to sing “Oceans” by a group called Hillsong United.
I had planned to stay at church all day and work since we lived 40 minutes away, Drew was planning to meet me up there for the evening service rather than drive back and forth so many times in one day. As the day went on, I called Drew mid afternoon, I asked him to meet me at the urgent care 1/2 way between our church and home. It was there we learned that our baby, who was supposed to be 12 weeks along, was only measuring 10 weeks and 1 day. We would eventually find out that this baby had not just 1 or 2 trisomies, but a completely extra set of chromosomes.
A normal person has 46 (23 from mom, and 23 from dad). Sometimes, an extra 1 or 2 can get in there, causing a trisomy, and intern, usually a mental disability –like down-syndrom for example. Our baby had 69 chromosomes. A complete extra set. It passed away at 10 weeks and 1 day. It is at 10 weeks when the fetus begins to take on gender features(XX-female XY-male), our baby was and XXY. At 10 weeks and 1 day, the baby could not take on a gender and with the extra set of chromosomes, the confused fetus passed away.
I did go back to church, with Drew at my side. He sat in the back row, tears falling as I sang (and cried my way through) “Oceans” for our praise service and then we sneaked out the back so we could go home and mourn our 3rd child to enter heaven before us. You can see a post from that night from my previous blog here. See the video here.
I was defeated. Devastated. There is more to this story I want to share, but this post is so long I need to give you and myself a break. But please know, that Finding Joy in the deepest moments of your life can happen. It is there, when the lemons of life have run dry that we have to look for our own and make our lemonade.
Our Dr met us early the next morning to perform the D&C himself and to make sure he could do the necessary testing to help resolve our issues. We had become a problem. A case to be solved.
To be continued…