After getting verification of a positive pregnancy test, a miscarriage happens.
|Warning: The following story is true and will provide graphic information as to what happens during a miscarriage.
I am just another woman who has struggled her whole life with getting pregnant. I am faceless among millions who carry the same struggle every day.
I tried from the time I was a teenager until recently to become pregnant. I am sure I will try again, but for now I need to recover. I am 35, and for the first time I am in a loving happy marriage, and financially able to afford IVF treatments. We began our IVF journey with the normal blood, radiology, and semen tests that every couple go through.
Amazingly my body cooperated. The doctor said there was nothing at all wrong with my reproductive system, and that I should have had no issues getting pregnant. We tried naturally for another 3 months when I told my husband I don't want to wait anymore. Every month that passes I get closer to those magic age numbers where the chances for conceiving drastically decrease with every month/year that passes. I went through all of the injections for preparing my ovaries to produce multiple eggs. I had 9 follicles "harvested". Out of the 9, 7 were able to be fertilized. Out of the 7 that were fertilized, I had 4 happy good stage 1 and 2 follicles that were viable.
The doctor was extremely happy with the number, ratio and quality. I began to get my hopes up. I had 2 blatocysts placed in my uterus and 2 were frozen. The 2 week wait to find out if you are pregnant is awful. I remember testing early and getting a negative. I was so depressed my husband regretting letting me try. Two days later I took another test on schedule, and I got a faint line. We went the next day and confirmed the positive test with the laboratory.
I was so happy. I knew I would have a child at last. I felt it. I also felt apprehensive like it wasn't real. I began to feel almost stoic at the same time, yet I clung to the happiness and hope with every last fiber of my being. We were told to come in 2 weeks later for the first ultra sound.
I began to get pregnancy symptoms. My very first symptoms came 3 days after the placement of the blatocycts. I had slight cramping that felt different than when I had pms cramping. For me the cramping was very centralized and continued daily for the next week or so. In the beginning, my breasts were becoming tender and aching as they grew. I started to feel nauseous at certain smells (grilled fish and fried onion with garlic). A few days before my scheduled scan I felt a sharp stabbing pain for about 20 minutes in my right ovary area. I really didn't think anything of it at the time.
We showed up at the doctors office eager to see our little creation. During the scan, all you saw was a dark spot with nothing inside. But at 6 weeks, this can be normal. The doctor said it measured 6 weeks and 1 day. Because it was ivf, the calendar showed 6 weeks 3 days, but what is 2 days with the miracle of life? The doctor said to come back in 2 weeks, then changed his mind and said no 1 week is enough we should be able to hear the heartbeat by then. We thought nothing of it because it was an early scan.
During the next week I noticed my "pregnancy" symptoms were slowly going away. My nipples and breasts weren't as sore. I had even commented to my husband that I don't really know why women complain about such things because it really wasn't that bad for me. I even began googling on why I was losing pregnancy symptoms. I read that some women really don't get them or it is an easy transition for them. I still had an aversion to fish, but it was not as bad. When my mother in-law cooked onions and garlic for a soup base, it no longer seemed to bother me. I commented to my husband about how I really wasn't getting any of the terrible "pregnancy" symptoms.
About 2 days after the scan I had this dream. It really was not that bad or even depressing, but I woke up scared and depressed. I couldn't shake the feeling for days. The dream went like this: I was laying in bed looking at my stomach and my baby moved from up around my belly button and down to the lower left side. I can only explain this as "Alien" style like the movie. The baby was fully formed and about the size of a hamster. It pushed up against my skin and crawled quickly around. You could obviously see the baby clearly as it stuck out . Then it settled in a place and I could feel it settle. I could put my hand down and feel where it was laying and could cup it easily.
The next day (in my dream) I went to the doctor for the scan. The doctor said the baby was smaller than it should be and there was no heartbeat. I put my hand where the baby nestled and I felt it moving against my hand. I told them this. They immediately did 2 more scans and found the baby. They were absolutely shocked. It was much bigger than it should be and would have been much older. They were confused on how I became pregnant at different times and had horrified looks on their faces. This is the point I woke up. I felt such fear and dread.
So the week seemed to drag by, I was anxious to see my baby again. I can honestly say I knew, yet I didn't know what the doctor would say. He did the scan, and the baby had not grown. And he said this pregnancy would not continue. He looked down at me and said "now what do you say?" (being a Muslim convert I knew what he wanted). I said "Alhamdillah" which basically means thanks be to God. This was probably the last thing I wanted to say at this moment. My worst fears were just confirmed and realized. I sat in the chair as he explained to my husband about the next steps.
I would immediately stop the progesterone injections and stop taking estrogen. I would then take two Misoprostol 2x daily 1 orally and 1 vaginally each time. I made it outside of the doctors office before I cried. I walked out of the clinic while my husband stayed to talk to the admin about something. He caught up to me as the tears started to overflow my eyes. I remember making it to the car before sobbing. He was very supportive, and at the time his support felt like something I cant even explain. He asked if I wanted to eat, I did not. On the way home we passed this one corner. There were buses, cafes, and a lot of people milling around. All I saw were the 5 mothers with new babies. All of the babies were no more than 6 months old. I lost it again. My husband would say things like, it isn't the time, we will try again, it's ok, I love you and so on. What I heard was "meh we will try again no worries".
I loved the baby I thought I would have. I had picked out boys and girls names, I had started crocheting and knitting things, and I was told that the baby stopped growing. It isn't alive, there is no heartbeat. Having struggled with the inability to conceive for so many years coupled with the valid assurance that I would finally have that baby was too much to bear. I couldn't take the medicine when I got home. I told my husband that I needed 1 more day to just be pregnant. I didn't take my injections, but I didn't take the medicine either. As I was laying on the sofa watching the t.v., I realized my lower stomach was bloated and kind of felt like like I had been kicked. Something else I noted was that for the last week I had chapped lips that would not heal. Every time I woke up my lips were swollen and painful. I would use chap-stick and they would go back to normal until I slept again.
I researched Misoprostol and found out (from the pharmaceutical company) that it is recommended to take 4 tablets vaginally at one time to be effective at an abortion, or to open the uterus to expel an expired fetus. So that's what I did at 3:30 am. I thought I would be able to sleep during most of the pain etc as it was supposed to start 2-4 hours after taking the pills. I got light cramping 2 hours later and then at 9:15 am I passed the embryos. There were 2. Now I am not sure if they were blighted ovum, or if they had grown past that stage or not, but there were clearly two.
The pain was horrible. I had been taking a pain reliever every 2-3 hours in preparation, but at the moment when the tissue passes out of your body, it is not fun. It was bearable, but the contractions themselves are a different story. My husband was angry when he woke up and found out I had not listened to the doctor. To be honest I didnt wan't the issue to keep going for days and days before it was done. I managed to sleep around 1pm or so and slept til 8pm waking only a few times at bad contractions/cramping and so on. Bleeding was very heavy. Of course, I bleed onto the sheets mildly during one of the longer sleeping stretches. I took a shower, stripped the bed and began to clean the sheet and mattress protector. As I scrubbed the sheet I began crying hysterically. I literally felt I was washing the baby away as if it never existed. My hormones were raging and I was a mess. My husband was napping on the sofa. When I came into the room he heard my crying and I told him how I felt. I took the wet sheets to the laundry room to put them in the wash.
My father in-law was sitting near there watching t.v. When I came into the room he told me that it wasn't good to hole up in my room sleeping all of the day sulking about losing the baby. He didn't know that I had passed the baby and the amount of pain I was in. I stood there and cried. I managed to load the sheets and go back to my bedroom. I told my husband that my father in-law was upset with me because I didn't come to dinner and that I wasn't good. He speaks Arabic and I speak English. Most of the time I can understand what he is saying, but not when I am a hormonal mess mourning the loss of my future child. Not while I was still in pain and having minor contractions. I ate something small so I could take more pain medicine. Then came back to my room to swallow the tablets and lay down.
The doctor said to continue the Misoprostol as prescribed. Let me tell you this is the most awful medicine I have ever taken to date. While it may be deemed "ineffective" to take as the doctor prescribed me, but I will tell you something different. What I have discovered is that this medication basically opens your uterus. It causes you to cramp and "expel" any tissues, or help with removing the excess uterus lining that builds up during pregnancy. The doctor prescribed it to me as he did to help my body naturally process what would be happening and to help make sure I wouldn't need a surgical procedure to make sure everything was expelled. I cried and begged my husband to let me stop taking the medicine.
My sleep schedule became completely backwards. I couldn't sleep at night. Night time is when the cramps and the bleeding would be at its worst. I began sleeping all day, and getting nothing done at all. I also stopped laughing and finding joy in life. Maybe it was just too soon for me to kick the depression, but I was not able to "just get over it" and move on as everyone seemed to think I should. Living in a Muslim country is not difficult, but some things are much different than what I grew up with. Here, crying is a shame. You thank God for the good and for the bad, immediately. In some ways this does help, but being a woman, I was just not able to kick out and forget what I had gone through. The depression started to eat me.
- to be continued a work in progress.