Two years ago I got pregnant with my first little one. I was so happy and excited. I downloaded the What to Expect App on my phone so I could track my progress. I signed up for updates and emails from The Bump. I even went as far as to purchase one of those maternity belly bands because my pants were getting tight. We made announcements to our family and very close friends because you know that’s what people do when they get pregnant right? They tell everyone!
It was also around this time 2 years ago almost to the exact day that I just knew something was wrong. It was 2 weeks before we were leaving for vacation and I was getting ready for bed when all of a sudden I had this very strange feeling. To this day I will never forget that feeling and it is hard to explain but I will try. I felt like everything got really quiet, not just in my house but even my body got real quiet. It was like everything just stopped. Then I just had this strange thought in my head saying “it’s gone, it’s over”. And then just like that things weren’t quiet anymore. It was such a strange, almost surreal feeling.
I quickly googled signs and symptoms of miscarriage and went down the list to see if I had any of them. The most common: cramps…not one, bleeding…not a drop, back pain…nope. I had none of the signs. My boobs were still incredibly sore and I was feeling exhausted so my pregnancy symptoms were still there. So I proceeded on and went on vacation the following but I still kept thinking about that feeling and couldn’t get the feeling that something wasn’t right out of my mind.
The week we came back from vacation, we had an ultrasound scheduled at 9 weeks…not because there was anything wrong but we had the opportunity to go early so we went. We went to the hospital rather than my OB-GYN since it was technically a diagnostic ultrasound due to it being so early. We were so eager and couldn’t wait to see our baby however the ultrasound technician made it very clear that she was NOT discussing anything with us and that she would just take the pictures and give it to the radiologist. I would have to get the results from my doctor. I thought maybe this was just a formality and she was surely going to show us our baby. But no she did not…she took those pictures, told me to get dressed and that I would have the results from my doctor in 2 hours. I remember I kept thinking “what results?” It’s a picture of a human baby not an alien right??
At this time I noticed my husband was sitting very quiet. I asked him if ge could see anything and he nodded yes but didn’t say anything. So I said “well what did you see?!” He told me that he saw a sac but no flicker on the screen which he remembered from his 2 daughters ultrasounds that he saw a flicker for the heartbeat but that maybe it was too early. He saw I was getting upset and then apologized and told me he was probably wrong and not to pay any attention to what he said. I tried to tell myself that yes my husband is dumb and has no clue what he saw or is talking about but I thought of that night before vacation and that awful feeling and I just knew.
A couple of hours later, the doctor called and told us that the ultrasound showed a fetal pole measuring about 6 weeks with no heartbeat and that I was supposed to be 9 weeks so this was not a viable pregnancy. I just remember I kept saying that I had NO symptoms and maybe my dates were wrong and that’s when I learned a new term: missed miscarriage (A missed miscarriage is when the baby stops developing but you don’t experience any miscarriage symptoms and your body still thinks you are pregnant). He advised me to come in the next day to the office to have an exam and go over my “options”.
We were in shock. Everyone was calling and texting us asking how it went because you know we told everyone and now we had to untell everyone that there was no baby. The next day we went to my Ob-gyn office and saw another doctor (I go to a large practice so I see a different person every time). She examined me and went over our ultrasound results and then said that she thought it might be possible that maybe I am not as far a long as I thought and maybe I really am only 6 weeks which could be early to see a heartbeat. She didn’t want to get our hopes up but wanted to make sure that it was not a viable pregnancy before we made any decisions. I loved her…she was so bright and optimistic even though she looked twelve. I didn’t care how old she was because on that day she was the best doctor in the world until she called 2 days later to tell me that my hcg level showed it was dropping. And then the following week when we went for the follow up ultrasound and everything was exactly the same as the week before…no heartbeat…no baby. We were devastated all over again and once again I kept thinking about that night before vacation which would have been around 6 weeks and how I just knew.
This was also the night before my first day of school which as a teacher I didn’t have time to have a miscarriage let alone miss the first day of school! I can’t even tell you how I got through that first day with my second graders or really that week before of setting up my classroom and getting ready to start the year or the weeks that followed for that matter. I had my appointment for my D&E the next day which was the 2nd day of school and luckily on a Friday.
When I think back on that time 2 years ago, I feel so many things. Obviously sadness and pain but also a little jealous of my first pregnancy self. I got to experience what it was like to get pregnant and be genuinely happy and excited rather than worry about how long this one is going to last or worry every day what the results are going to be at each appointment. I am grateful that I got to experience all of that even though deep down, maybe even mother’s intuition…I just knew.