My first pregnancy ended very early on. It was referred to as a “chemical pregnancy”. Months after this I became pregnant with twins. My first sonogram revealed that one of the twins would not survive; a heartbeat was not detected. The pregnancy produced one beautiful boy. Years later I became pregnant again. By all accounts this would be a successful pregnancy. I had seen the baby kick, felt it move, seen it suck its thumb. During a routine prenatal appointment in my second trimester, I learned that I had lost the baby. This was such a devastating loss.
During my pre-op appointment to get a D&E, I read an article in the waiting room that changed my life. The article dispelled myths about only-children being socially awkward, spoiled, or just maladjusted. Several studies concluded that only-children have higher self-esteem, are more dependable, more successful, and report higher levels of happiness. I decided that one child was enough. I resolved to not feel guilty for not giving my son siblings. He would get all of my love and attention. And I wouldn’t have to endure any torture related to fertility. I donated all of our baby things and learned to appreciate the freedom and flexibility I had compared to my friends with multiple kids.
A year passed since my miscarriage and I thought, “I’ve got to write an article about how much better it gets”. You never forget the baby you lost, but you learn to not cry yourself to sleep every night. I moved on enough to be able to be around (and be happy for) pregnant friends instead of avoiding them. I stopped looking at my family as having a gap in it and realized it was complete.
One month after this revelation I learned that I was pregnant. I wanted so much to jump up and down and cry from joy and cheer as I did my other pregnancies. But I couldn’t let myself. I was so afraid of a repeat of last time I would not allow myself to be vulnerable. I decided I wouldn’t tell anyone until I was five months along. I wanted to do things to help prevent a miscarriage like take baby aspirin and progesterone. I had conflicting advice about these things from different doctors, which was very stressful. I felt like anything I might do or neglect to do could have fatal consequences. Instead of looking forward to my first sonogram, I entered it with an incredible amount of fear. And rightfully so.
My ultrasound revealed a possible blighted ovum. A term I later researched endlessly. I found a website dedicated to misdiagnosed blighted ovums. After reading dozens of testimonials, I became convinced that mine was a misdiagnosis as well. I approached my follow up appointment with an incredible amount of hope, only to have my heart crushed again.
I regretted not telling anyone I was pregnant, because I didn’t have anyone to call for comfort after the bad news. I made the decision to fill my parents and best friend in. I still have not miscarried and will likely have a D&C. My HCG levels continue to increase. Because my body thinks it is pregnant I continue to have morning sickness and fatigue. It seems cruel. My way of coping right now is to do endless research on the causes of multiple miscarriages. I’m driving myself crazy but I know it gets better.