Tuesday, October 20, 2015

I Lost My First Baby.

So I have gone back and forth about posting the details about all this, but I've decided I want to share.   If you have been through this you know how heartbreaking it is and I want people to know they can talk to me! It really helps to talk to people and know you're not alone.

As you may have guessed, this is not my first pregnancy. A few months ago I miscarried my first, sweet baby. I can't even type those words without crying.

But let's start at the beginning. When we started "trying" we both assumed I would get pregnant right away. Wrong. So we did the whole ovulation kits, charting body temperature every morning, etc. etc. etc. Each month I wasn't pregnant was heartbreaking. So heartbreaking. Each month I thought for sure I was pregnant too. One month happened to be right Valentine's Day and of course I was convinced I was pregnant. I had all the "symptoms" and just had a gut feeling. So I made Landon this Valentine's Day card and was planning on surprising him with the card and the positive test. I wasn't pregnant, and of course was devastated. I showed him the card bawling, telling him I wasn't pregnant that month either.



Those seven months were basically one big roller coaster ride. Most doctors won't start testing you or taking you seriously until you've been trying for a year. That's a long time and I didn't want to wait. So my doctor started running some tests and things were looking fine. 

We started talking seriously about options like IUI, IVF, and adoption. We were SO ready to have our baby. One particular low point was on our camping trip over memorial day. We were just relaxing in our tent and seriously having the best time and I just lost it. I just kept telling Landon I missed our baby. I felt like our baby should be there with us and my heart was just so so broken.


Well just over a month later, on Father's Day, we found out I was finally pregnant! It was the happiest moment of our lives and we were SO excited. I surprised Landon with this darling baby outfit and we were both in shock--we were seriously starting to wonder if we could even get pregnant! Our baby was due March 3, 2016 which was perfect because it would share a "birth month" with daddy.


I seriously carried that pregnancy test with me everywhere. I know it sounds weird, but it was physical proof that I had a baby in my belly and I LOVED it. We also left the baby outfit out and were constantly holding it and looking at it. One night Landon even put Henry in it. IT WAS SO FUNNY! :) 


Landon was so protective of me and would tell me to take it easy and take naps. He was always kissing my belly and telling the baby how much he loved it. I wrote the baby a letter every week. We were seriously over the moon. 

But a month later it all came crashing down. We learned at my 8 week ultrasound that our sweet baby no longer had a heartbeat and had stopped growing at 7 weeks. I'll spare you all the details, but it was the hardest thing I've ever experienced physically and emotionally.

Remember how I said I wrote the baby letters every week? Here's what I wrote the day we found out we lost our angel.
7/21/15
Goodbye Baby,

Oh sweet baby, I'm writing this with tears streaming down my face and my heart in a million pieces. We lost you today. I don't even know what to say other than we love you so very, very much. I still can't believe it. It's a nightmare replaying over and over in my mind. Donna, the ultrasound tech, telling us there is no heartbeat and putting her hand on my thigh telling me she's so sorry. Lisa the midwife explaining to us what this means and what is going to happen next. Everyone is so sorry, but nothing they can say will make it better. We just want you. We wanted you to be in our family more than anything. We were looking forward to our future with so much brightness and happiness and hope and now suddenly we feel like there is no hope. How can we be happy without you? You lived to be 7 weeks old. You were perfect. I got to see you on the screen and see your head and tiny body. Last night I had a dream about you. I thought that it was a good sign that everything was okay. You were a perfect, beautiful baby boy. The most beautiful baby I had ever seen in my life. You had dark brown hair and beautiful skin like your daddy. You had beautiful blue eyes and the most perfect, angel face. We named you Blake and we were so happy. We found out exactly one month ago that you were in my belly and it's been the happiest month of our lives. There wasn't a moment that went by that I wasn't thinking about you and praying for you to grow healthy and strong. I always had my hand on my belly, rubbing it telling you how much I love you. You were our first baby, and I always called you my miracle baby. After months and months and months and months of not getting pregnant, you finally made me a mama-to-be and I've never been so happy. Thank you for bringing me so much happiness and filling our house with so much love with your short, perfect life. We love you so much baby!

Love,
Mama

I can't even read that now without sobbing. I felt so much guilt, because I had suspected I had low progesterone and had mentioned it to my doctor who just brushed me off. I felt like I could have done more to save my baby. In fact, the day of my miscarriage my progesterone was SO low and to me that confirmed my fears.

The next few hours were a blur of tears, anger, and phone calls to our parents. We were planning on Skyping with our parents later that night to tell them the happy news...Everyone was devastated and heartbroken and offered so much love and support. It REALLY helped me to be able to talk to people about it and tell them about my sweet baby. I talked to my mom first and at that point I was still crying so hard I could hardly talk. She told me not to lose my faith and to pray. I told her I did not want to pray, but she told me I HAD to keep praying.

That night I went through waves of despair, disbelief, anger, hopelessness, depression, shock... so many emotions. I was nauseous and dizzy from all the crying and I couldn't stop. I really thought I was going to pass out. That night I remembered my mom's advice to pray, but it was so so hard. I couldn't start my prayer off with gratitude. I was so angry and so upset.

I've always heard of people having miscarriages and the stupid nurses and doctors will say things to you like, "most women will have a miscarriage at some point..." and "miscarriages are very common." Like that's going to make losing my child any easier to deal with?!?! It was sooooo hard to be treated like I just had a tooth removed when I was losing my CHILD. My first baby. It was the loss of our future, our hopes, our dreams. From the moment we found out I was pregnant, Landon and I were in love with our sweet baby. To have that suddenly snatched from us was more devastating than I can even express. I also think it's important to acknowledge how hard a miscarriage is on the daddy. My poor sweet Landon.

My mom and Landon's mom really helped me to feel better and understand that it was NOT my fault. Although it felt like I could've saved my baby, I obviously had no idea and my intention was NOT to lose my baby. It's easy to look back and say "well what if I would've gone into the doctor RIGHT when I started spotting..." but I was told over and over again that it wasn't a problem. So instead of being angry with myself, I turned my anger to my doctors. If I was worried, they should have trusted my instinct. They should have told me to come right in. They should have checked my progesterone levels, especially because I had told them before I even got pregnant that I had symptoms of low progesterone. Maybe if they had taken me seriously, they could have saved my baby.

I wish I could say that all of the sudden I felt such peace and happiness and went on with my life. Every morning I cried when I woke up remembering my baby wasn't in my belly anymore. Every day I had breakdowns. Every second I missed my baby. Whenever Landon had to leave for work I had mini-anxiety attacks. I didn't want to be alone. Being alone hurt. Being alone was hard. I would get so upset and so depressed that I literally felt dizzy. It's the weirdest thing to feel so much sorrow that the room starts spinning and you are scared to stand up because you feel like you would just pass out. I told Landon I was worried I would never be "me" again. The "happy Hannah" that everyone knew. I was also so worried that I wouldn't even be able to get pregnant again and that even if I did, what if I just kept miscarrying?

I had to go to my doctor exactly one week later and be in that exact same office and in that exact same ultrasound room. I walked in and immediately started tearing up, but then prayed for strength so I could hold it together and ask my doctor questions. It was hard to watch the screen and see my empty uterus. No more sack, no more baby. Landon sat in the same chair and when the ultrasound tech with tears in his eyes too. It was a nightmare. Talking to our doctor didn't help at all. She basically thought I was crazy for thinking I had a progesterone problem and told me she never even checks her patient's progesterone levels and never prescribes progesterone. We asked if there was anything wrong with too much progesterone, and she said no only the cost. Then give me the freaking progesterone, crazy lady!!!

I knew that the next time I got pregnant, I would be more proactive and find a new doctor who would take me seriously and test my progesterone. So exactly a month later, I took a pregnancy test. We hadn't been "trying" so I knew that there was no way I could be pregnant. But what if? I needed to know if I was because then I wanted to get started on progesterone RIGHT AWAY. Well I took the test and the faintest line showed up. It was almost invisible. I just started shaking uncontrollably, but was scared to get excited because sometimes even months after a miscarriage you have leftover pregnancy hormone. I said a quick prayer, praying that if this was a new pregnancy that my baby would be safe. I knew I could not handle the devastation of losing another baby. I can't even tell you the immediate sense of PEACE and comfort that flooded over me. Even though I kept second guessing if it was a new pregnancy or not, deep down I remembered how I felt when I prayed.

So when Landon woke up, I showed him, but we really didn't think much of it. It wasn't this happy moment of "oh my gosh! we're pregnant again!" Having a miscarriage makes you second guess everything. I explained it to Landon that my "pregnancy innocence" was taken from me and now pregnancy was just a very scary thing. I called my old doctor's office, but told the nurse I needed a new doctor who believed in progesterone. She was able to find me a new doctor at the same clinic. Thank goodness! I went to the clinic that morning to test for the pregnancy hormone (hcg) and progesterone.

You have to look REAL close to see that second line, but it's there! 
Anyway, the next day they called with my results and told me my hcg was 8 and that my progesterone was 12.1. That's "normal" but definitely on the low side. The nurse told me that the doctor would prescribe progesterone if I wanted it. OF COURSE I wanted it, even though I still wasn't sure if the hcg was just leftover or not. The only way to know if it was a new pregnancy was if my hcg doubled in 48 hours (or if my pregnancy test line got darker). But it was such a relief to have a doctor who took me seriously and who gave me progesterone! Hallelujah! 

I took a few more pregnancy tests over the next few days, and started to feel more confident that I was in fact pregnant again! But, of course I was still terrified of another miscarriage.


Then we got the results from my 48 hour hcg test and knew for 100% certain that I was definitely pregnant again. A MIRACLE! My hcg went from 8 to 50! So it more than quadrupled in 48 hours. We couldn't believe it! But we were still SO guarded and honestly didn't even talk about the baby that much. We were trying to remain detached after all that we'd been through, just one month earlier. 

We had an ultrasound at 6 weeks, which is pretty early but I just wanted to know if my baby had a strong heartbeat. If there was something wrong I wanted to know sooner rather than later. This was on Wednesday September 9--a few days before we moved to Utah!!!! Crazy huh? A few days before my ultrasound, I had some brown spotting (sorry for the TMI) but that's exactly how my last miscarriage started. I was so so terrified, but hoping for the best.

Anyway, being back in that same doctor's office and sitting in the same ultrasound room with the same ultrasound tech was absolutely horrifying. We were both so so scared and both couldn't keep back the tears. The sweet ultrasound tech said to me, "yay! you're pregnant again!" and I just said, "I think so??" She was confused by my response, but I was pretty much in denial. I was prepared to hear the worst. So when she showed us our baby and its heartbeat of 118 Landon and I were both in tears! I can't even explain how relieved and happy we were. It was the most amazing thing we had ever seen or heard in our life. She printed out a few pictures for me and then printed out the cutest wallet-sized picture "for dad." We also got a video! It's only 2 seconds, so you just have to hit repeat and watch it over and over and over :) 




After that ultrasound, we finally let ourselves get excited! We knew there was still a chance of losing our baby, but once you see the heartbeat that chance drops dramatically. What was even more exciting is that we were moving to Utah in a few days--which meant we could tell our family in person! 

When we arrived in Utah on Sunday, we showed everyone the ultrasound picture and they were all just so shocked and SO happy. Both of our parents knew about the miscarriage, so all of their reactions were especially sweet! I wish we would have gotten it on video, but honestly I'll never forget it. This baby is SO loved!

Nini (Landon's mom) had this blanket made already for the baby! She had no idea she'd be giving it to us so soon.
I had been feeling a little queasy (I was about 7 weeks then) but luckily I didn't get REALLY sick until a few days after the big move. I can't imagine how I would've done all that packing and loading and driving if we had moved a week later! Being sick has been a huge blessing though because I didn't get sick at all with my first pregnancy, so puking and feeling like crap all day is WONDERFUL. It just means my baby is healthy! :) 

We had another ultrasound with a dumb doctor at 9.5 weeks in Utah. I say dumb doctor because he didn't print off a picture of our baby! The machine ran out of paper... WELL GET SOME MORE PAPER THEN DUMMY! Ugh! I was so mad. But our baby was SOOOO cute! He was wiggling around and had a heartbeat of 170! I was really nervous to get another ultrasound, and started having a major panic attack in the waiting room. People probably thought I was crazy standing in line waiting to get checked in because I was just crying. But all that fear went away when the doctor let us see and hear our sweet baby's heartbeat! Such a miracle!!!!

Landon is already the cutest daddy--my heart can hardly stand it. He carries a picture of the ultrasound we got at 6 weeks in his wallet and will show it to complete strangers (like on the airplane!) It seriously kills me. He's so so excited!

So that's the story of our little miracle baby. He came to us when I was at my lowest low. I had no hope. I was depressed. I was broken. I know that not everyone who experiences the loss of a baby is as lucky to get pregnant again right away, and my heart seriously aches for them. Just know I am giving you a MILLION hugs from the computer screen if you're reading this and have gone through something similar. But I hope my story gives you hope. I had to tell myself every day that I would be a mom someday. Whether that be through the help of fertility doctors, adoption, foster care, church callings, etc. etc. etc. Just keep the hope! Talk to people. Don't give up! Miracles happen and our sweet baby boy is living proof of that!

Right now I'm 12.5 weeks so we're officially out of the "danger" zone and feeling so so grateful. I'll share the story of how we know the gender already and post the video in the next post, so stay tuned :)

4 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry for your loss...but could not be any more excited for your new sweet baby boy! Congratulations Hannah!! You will make the greatest mom ❤️

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  2. I lost a baby at 10 weeks. A heartbeat was already confirmed and we had already told family.
    I switched drs after this experience because after I went in for blood work to confirm it i never got a call back so i hunted down the nurse and all she said was "oh yep, youre miscarrying" it was so cold and no compassion. Her response made it worse. My sosterinlaw was pregnant too and we were 2 days apart in due dates. Once family knew i lost the baby I didnt feel much sympathy buy rather focus on her pregnancy and make sure her baby was still ok. It was such a lonely time for me. Then one month later I got pregnant again. I too thought it must be leftover hormones. I was in denial. But, it was true. That baby is now my 4 yr old Jay!
    I have followed your life journey for years now and have known how much you want to be a mom. Youll be amazing, you already are.
    I am so sorry you had your pregnancy innocence as you put it (such a good word for it) taken away. Its a horrible thing to have taken. My pregnancies were very hard and scary even life threatening. My pregnancies were heartbreaking and yet a miracle each time. Due to having severe preclampsia each time by the grace of modern medicine my babies and me were saved.
    I wish you nothing but a healthy pregnancy with a healthy baby boy. Even though your innocence was taken, i wish you peace and be able to enjoy these last few months of just you and landon with that sweet baby growing inside you.
    (Hug)
    Seriously so happy for you. So sorry if its ever come off nosey. Ive always meant the best.

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  3. I'm so so so happy for you. We've lost three sweet babies and you honestly put so many of my emotions I still deal with into words. Thank you for sharing your story! You'll be in our prayers 💕

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  4. I'm so so so happy for you. We've lost three sweet babies and you honestly put so many of my emotions I still deal with into words. Thank you for sharing your story! You'll be in our prayers 💕

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