My name is Katie, and I'm 31. I am married to an amazing man and we have 2 beautiful girls, ages 2 and 4. When we found out I was pregnant again, we were overjoyed. We have always wanted 3 children, and we were excited to complete our little family. We love the age gap between our girls, so we were glad that the next one would have the same gap.
I actually never thought that I was pregnant, and I thought I was still having my period. My husband was the one who kept telling me he was sure I was pregnant and I should take a test. When I took it, the line was faint, not like the immediate and obvious positive result with my girls. I continued to spot, and I was convinced that I was miscarrying. I went in to my OB for an ultrasound, completely expecting the worst. I was shocked when I saw and heard a nice strong heartbeat. The tech couldn't determine any reason for my spotting, but she said it was not related to the pregnancy, so I shouldn't worry. She did feel that the baby's size was slightly smaller than what she expected, but because I was unsure of my last period date and I have extremely irregular cycles, she wasn't concerned. She just wanted me to come back in 2 weeks for a recheck to make sure I was on track.
Two weeks later, I was still having occasional spotting, and I was sure that THIS time I would get the bad news. But once again, all was well. This time, I was 10 weeks along, and I was amazed at the change in the baby - the first scan was just a blob with a heartbeat. This one was a baby, moving all over the place. What a relief! At this point in the pregnancy, I was having extreme nausea - something I hadn't experienced with my girls - and I was tired beyond belief. I was prescribed Zofran for the nausea, and it helped immensely.
4 weeks later, I was back for a doppler. I hadn't had any more spotting, and I was beginning to feel more confident about the pregnancy, but I still couldn't kick the feeling that this pregnancy was "different." Something just wasn't sitting well with me. With our girls, I had told everyone who would listen by this point, but this time I was holding back a bit. I just didn't have a good feeling, despite good news at every appointment. We knew we would be done having babies after our third, and my husband asked if he could toss the one remaining pregnancy test we had. I wouldn't let him, though, since I thought we may need it again.
Even though I was into my second trimester, I was still feeling uneasy and extremely fatigued. I was getting headaches almost every day, and I was still nauseous. Then, at 19w5d, I fell down the stairs. I had done this with my second pregnancy too (I get totally unsteady while pregnant!), so I knew the routine. We went to the birthing center to get monitored for a bit. I knew the chances that the baby was hurt were slim, but I also knew I wouldn't be able to relax unless I went in. The nurse immediately put monitors on me, but couldn't pick up anything. She grabbed the doppler, and still nothing. She kept telling us not to worry, that the babies sometimes hide on us, but my husband and I both knew. I'm not a large person, and a 19 week baby doesn't just hide. The hospitalist OB came in and did an ultrasound. There was so much blood in my uterus, he could not even locate the baby. I honestly thought I was going crazy, since I knew there had been a thriving baby in there just 5 weeks before, yet he kept saying he didn't see a baby. They called in a radiology tech who DID manage to find the baby, but she couldn't get decent measurements. She said she was thinking it was about an 11 week fetus. She kept telling me my dates must be off, but I knew they weren't. I was totally confused, but the end result was the same. Our baby had died.
Two days later, I went in for a D&C. I was extremely emotional, and I just wanted it to be over with. I had a terrible feeling something would go wrong. When I woke up after surgery, they told me that I had lost over 1700 ccs of blood - about 1/3 of my total blood volume. The procedure, which should have taken 30 minutes or so, took 2 1/2 hours. My doctor came to talk to my husband and I and told us that this had all the hallmarks of a Partial Molar Pregnancy. We really didn't know what that was, and given my current health state, we didn't take a lot of time to think about it. My body seemed to be handling the blood loss fairly well, and my doctor felt that i should be able to recover without a transfusion. He decided to discharge me. I kept telling my husband I wasn't okay and I didn't think I could leave. He kept telling the nurses he thought I looked awfully pale, but they blew him off, saying that of course I was pale - I lost a lot of blood! They kept telling me to get dressed, but I could barely move or speak I was so weak. They insisted that I would feel better once I went home and got some rest. They told my husband to go get the car and they would get me dressed and bring me down. He was super reluctant, but he went. The nurses had to strip me down and force me into my clothes, because I simply could not do it. Before they got me in the wheel chair, I decided to go to the bathroom. I didn't really HAVE to go, but we live about 20 minutes from the hospital, and I figured I should probably go before we got in the car. I sat down to go, and everything went fuzzy. I looked down and saw blood everywhere. The last thing I remember was thinking, "oh my God, I can't believe I have to pull the emergency cord while I am sitting with my pants around my ankles! HOW HUMILIATING!" The next thing I knew, there were a dozen people surrounding me, yelling at me. Someone was over me, doing chest compressions.
They said I had lost at least a couple more units of blood, and I needed a transfusion. I have never felt so weak and so scared in my life. I truly believed that I was going to die. All I could think was that I was leaving my husband and kids so unprepared. Would he remember to tell them all the good things about me? Would he make sure that they grew up "knowing" their mommy, even though they might not remember me? It was terrifying.
I had a few days where things were touch-and-go. My vitals just weren't improving, even after the transfusion. My heart rate was 125 bpm when I was asleep, and I thought I was going to have a heart attack. My blood pressure was dangerously low. Finally, I started to improve a bit, and my hemoglobin started to increase. They finally discharged me.
It wasn't until we were home again that I finally had a moment to process everything that had happened and the fact that we had lost our baby. My health was such an intense focus for the week that our baby really took second stage. But once I was stable, it started to hit me. The day I had my D&C was supposed to be our 20 week ultrasound. We should have been finding out the sex of our baby. I was halfway through my pregnancy. We were about to start getting the nursery ready. My kids were excitedly awaiting a new sibling. And just like that, it was all gone.
The next day, my milk came in. I was an emotional basketcase. There I was, with milk dripping down my front, my body ready to feed a baby that I would never know. On Saturday, my doctor called with pathology results - he confirmed that it was a Partial Molar Pregnancy. The baby had 69 chromosomes and could never have survived to term. We had discussed wanting to wait a few months before trying again, but when my doctor said that we HAD to wait 6-12 months (and possibly more depending on the WEEKLY blood work they have to do), I was crushed.
I am having my ups and downs. Sometimes I feel fine, and I can view this whole thing very logically. I am able to think about the advantages of this unexpected gap between kids: I won't have 2 in diapers. I will still have one baby at home when the other two are off at school, which also means we won't need a nanny (I work from home, and two is manageable, but 3 would be too much for me to handle while working). But no matter how much I try to rationalize, I end up back in tears, because when it comes down to it, I desperately wanted this baby. My kids are devastated and don't understand why they can't have a new brother or sister now. Today my 4 year old was watching Little Bear - an episode where Little Bear has a new baby sister. She burst into tears and begged me to turn it off. It's heartbreaking for all of us.
I have had several people tell me that I should just be grateful for the children I have. I am not sure why people would say this. It's mind-boggling to me. Why would anyone think I am NOT incredibly grateful for my children? And why would they think that I can't be grateful for my children as well as heartbroken to have lost our baby? A couple of people have said things like, "There are a lot of people who have NO children," like I don't know this. It's almost like people think I am selfish to grieve this loss and to still want another baby.
This whole thing has just been awful. Sorry for such a long post... needed to let it all out, I guess.