Looking back, I wonder if this pregnancy was doomed from the beginning. Nearly every step of the way there was an obstacle. I learned I was pregnant on a Friday morning. I was only about 10 or 11 days past ovulation but I was excited to test. I didn’t feel pregnant at all but who “feels” pregnant this early anyway.
Everything seemed to be going very well early on, with this pregnancy. My body seemed to be working like any normal, fertile woman’s body would. I was so happy to see the HCG levels doubling and my progesterone level naturally normal. I thanked God that it seemed I didn’t need progesterone supplementation this time.
Friday we found out we were pregnant. We told only close family and a few of my close friends but reserved the announcement to the world for months later. After all, I was technically only three and a half weeks pregnant. That’s super early. I hadn’t even missed my period yet and things can go very wrong at that early stage.
By Wednesday though, I was in the hospital. I had an intense pain which I thought was in my uterus. Timmy and I had been playing at the park on Mainstreet that morning. I was sitting on the curb watching him go down the slide over and over when I felt a pain in my uterus. I thought it was just because my legs were all bunched up and squeezing that area so I just moved my legs and felt a bit of relief.
I was excited, thinking that this was my uterus starting to grow in the earliest stages. The pain seemed to get a bit more intense though, so I stood up. I felt nauseated at that point and began to think about leaving. We really hadn’t been there that long and I wanted Timmy to have more time there.
I thought maybe I was hungry so I took Timmy with my back to the car and ate a fruit bar. We returned to the slide but I didn’t feel right at all. The pain was becoming intense enough that I wanted to lie down. I told myself to wait five minutes to give the food some time to digest and hoped that would help me feel better.
Within three minutes, my body was telling me we needed to leave. Timmy didn’t want to listen and I had to drag him out of there kicking and screaming. I felt so bad for him. He was having so much fun.
I got him in the car and started to drive away. The pain was really low, just above my pubic bone and it had become very intense. It felt like my uterus was in a tight contraction and wouldn’t let up.
I began to get concerned that I might have an ectopic pregnancy. At the next stop light, I googled “early ectopic pregnancy.” I needed to know if this was something that could happen at only four weeks. I didn’t think I would be in this kind of pain that early.
I couldn’t find anything and I was driving. I just wanted to make it home. Home was only ten minutes from here. I drove as fast as I could but just three miles from home, I felt like something bad was about to happen. I needed medical attention. This pain was too intense and lying down at home alone, with a toddler would not be safe, especially if I was bleeding internally due to a ruptured fallopian tube.
I turned the car around and called the clinic. I was quickly in touch with a nurse and explained everything. She kept telling me to stop the car and she would call an ambulance. There was no way I was going to do that. I was only ten to fifteen minutes from the nearest Kaiser hospital. I was driving fast and was still conscious.
The nurse kept me on the line and had me tell her where I was every few minutes. She did not get off the phone with me until she heard me talking to the emergency room clerks. Another nurse had contacted my husband while I was driving and told me that he would meet me there.
I got checked in. The pain was so intense I just wanted to lay down in the fetal position and rock. I wanted pain medication so badly but I knew how dangerous that could be for the development of this baby at this stage. This is the most important time in a baby’s development and I needed to be very careful.
I denied pain medication for hours. After ultrasounds, blood work, diagnostic tests, and doctors telling me they wanted to cut me open and explore, one doctor suggested a medication that numbs the bladder. If that stopped my pain, it was my bladder and no surgery would be needed.
Forty-five minutes after receiving the medication, I was in significantly less pain. My whole stomach hurt though and did for many days but it was manageable. The emergency room however, did not want to send me home until my pain level was under a three.
A lab result revealed I had many white blood cells in my bladder and indicated an infection. I was placed on antibiotics. After nine hours in the emergency room and no end in sight, I opted for some pain medication so we could go home. Thirty minutes later, I was discharged.
The next week, a progesterone test revealed my level had dropped to an unsafe level for the baby. I struggled to get progesterone supplementation. You can read about that struggle here.
I couldn’t believe I was struggling again to receive supplementation, especially with my history of needing it for each pregnancy. The odd thing was, I had no OB and no history with any OB provider so it compounded this mess.
We saw the baby that week for the first time. Baby was growing well and had a heart rate of 122bpm. Baby measured perfectly and on the exact date of 6 weeks 3 days. I was a little concerned about the heart rate but it was in the normal range for that gestation. Timmy’s heart rate was in the 180’s at that gestation.
Just a few weeks later, I twisted my ankle horribly in the front yard. I fell and was incapacitated for thirty minutes on the sidewalk. I managed to pull myself up the driveway and into the garage where I hung out with Timmy for a while. I was able to walk later that day but it was horrible.
I had an appointment that day as well. I limped in. I was anxious but as soon as our midwife put in the ultrasound transducer, all my anxiety was relieved. The baby was still there and had a heart rate of 133bpm. That was great progress. However, the baby measured at 6 weeks 5 days. I knew there was a margin of error but I was concerned. I was supposed to be 7 weeks 3 days. The baby was measuring four days behind.
Our midwife was not concerned though and explained there was a margin of error. She adjusted my due date to December 11, 2015. I didn’t like any of this and was concerned but figured we would have our due date readjusted at the next ultrasound.
Our next appointment was supposed to be with the OB because our midwife would be retiring but I decided I wanted to see her one more time before being released to the OB. I wasn’t comfortable with the growth so we scheduled an appointment for two weeks later. I would be 9 weeks 4 days. I couldn’t wait for the appointment.
The next week, my foot wasn’t any better so I returned to the clinic. There was nothing they could do since I was pregnant. So they wrapped my foot and sent me home. The following week, we would learn of our baby’s demise.
By the end of the week, I noticed that my milk supply had increased. Before I became pregnant, I was pumping 11oz per pump session regularly. As soon as I became pregnant, my milk supply dropped to 7oz per pump session. I was good with that because this was still just enough milk for Timmy. I planned to wean him soon and had been working towards that goal with success.
When my milk supply dramatically increased on May 2nd, I was very concerned. I thought it might have been because hubby and I had sex the day before. I know oxytocin helps with milk supply but after several days, the supply did not go back down. It remained at 9-10oz or more per pump session. I chatted with a few friends about this and they all told me not to worry. There was no evidence of a loss and there was no way to prove a correlation. There is no research on lactation during pregnancy. I worried but not too much.
The final sign that made me feel like something wasn’t right, happened just the day before my ultrasound. At one of my clients’ postpartum visit, I had an overwhelming urge to hold their baby. I kept talking about how beautiful she was and I seriously wanted to pick her up and just cuddle with her.
Now that I am looking back, I wonder if my body knew our baby was dead and was giving me that urge. I rarely want to hold other people’s babies. I remember thinking how weird it was that I wanted to just grab her and sit on the couch with her. I thought it might be just because I was pregnant.
Then just two days later when my friend came over to watch Timmy so we could go to our appointment alone, I too, had a strong urge to hold her two month old. When I did, it was cathartic. I didn’t want to let go. I just wanted to have my own baby to hold in my arms. I wanted to cry but I didn’t. I just held him. That’s when I remembered how I felt at my client’s how with their baby. It was very much the same desire. I NEEDED a baby. I WANTED a baby. I contemplated adopting a baby right there!
As I looked at him, I thought about what this December would feel like for us. No new baby for sure. No “First Christmas” outfit or bib. Nothing would change at all except the loss we would feel not having that new baby to hold.
Photo Credit: Dravas Photography
STATS on baby:
BFP – 3/27-15 11dpo – BETA 32, P4 17.6,
15dpo BETA – 205
16dpo BETA – 317
18dpo BETA – 759
6w1d P4 – 9.6 HB = 122
7w1d HB = 133