Amber

My story began in August 2000. I was 23, in a serious relationship with my now husband, and I became pregnant. We were so excited at the thought of a new baby. Shortly after I found out I was pregnant, I miscarried due to a blighted ovum. Not long after my miscarriage, I found out I had polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and that I needed to go on medication to help my body function properly so I could get pregnant again.

My husband and I tried for 3 years to get pregnant. I started charting my temperatures and reading everything I could get my hands on about how to help conception along. After about 8 months of temping, I noticed my temperatures were very different than they had ever been before. About 14 days after I ovulated I bought a 3-pack of pregnancy tests. I worked nights and couldn’t stand to wait until the morning to test, so I took the test at work. To my amazement it was positive. I was in shock. I couldn’t believe that after 3 years of trying we finally became pregnant again. I had made many great friends online, and I rushed back to my computer to tell them all. My husband was sleeping, so I didn’t wake him up. I was going to surprise him in the morning. After the shock wore off, however, I started having feelings of dread. I was so scared something would go wrong like the last one.

I went to my doctor around my fifth week of pregnancy, and they confirmed my pregnancy and did an ultrasound to make sure my appendectomy 3 months earlier hadn’t caused an ectopic pregnancy. My doctor saw a little blip on the screen and even thought she may have seen a heartbeat. Because the machines in my doctor’s office were not as good quality as those in the hospital, my doctor sent me for an ultrasound around my sixth week. As I watched the technician do the ultrasound, we saw something on the screen: it was a heartbeat. I was so relieved. I knew the chances of miscarriage go way down after a heartbeat is seen. I felt more at ease, but I still had a feeling of dread in my stomach.

I went on with my pregnancy. I had my 8 week check-up, and everything seemed fine. I had my hCG levels taken, and they were above 5,000; two days later they were just over 7,000. I knew they were supposed to double, so I asked what was going on, but they said the numbers were going up, so maybe I was one of those women whose numbers double every 3 days. As a few more weeks went by, I started wondering if this was gonna really happen. I had some slight spotting, but usually after intercourse, and I was told that was normal.

On the morning of October 16th, I woke up and went in to take a shower. I had to urinate, so I sat on the toilet, when I wiped, the tissue had blood on it, and it was a different blood than before. I knew right away that I had lost my baby, and the roller coaster ride was just about to start. I called my doctor’s office and told them I was losing the baby. I was seen an hour later. The whole ride to the doctor’s office was horrible. My mind kept trying to tell me everything was fine, then it would tell me to prepare, over and over. We went straight into the examination room and had an ultrasound. My baby looked to be at about 8 weeks when I was supposed to be 10 weeks and 2 days along. My doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat, and discussed with us what that meant. She said she wanted to send me to the hospital for the better ultrasound, just in case. I was given the choice to miscarry naturally or have a D&C if no heartbeat was found. I wanted to have the D&C; if my baby had died, I wanted it out…now!!! When we went in for the second ultrasound the tech didn’t put the monitor on so I could watch what she was doing. She said that she looked really hard, but was not able to find a heartbeat. We already knew…it was what we had expected. I went right back to the doctor’s office, and they had received the results already. They had scheduled the D&C at 5pm, we were to be at the hospital at 2pm for pre-op. I had a really good friend working at the doctor’s office, and when we went to leave the office she was sitting right across from the exam room door. She looked up with a bright smile when she saw me, but all I could say was that our baby had died, and then I started to cry. She embraced me, and we cried together for a minute. I wanted to go home and make a few calls before my D&C, so we left right after that. I felt so bad going out into the doctor’s office lobby. I had been crying, I looked wrecked, and I didn’t want to upset all those pregnant women in the room. I shot out the door and we went home.

We arrived at the hospital at 2pm for pre-op. After an IV had been placed, I had to put a pill next to my cervix to make it dilate. At around 4pm, I started cramping badly. I was supposed to go in for my D&C at 5pm, but I kept getting pushed back due to emergencies with my doctor. At around 6pm the cramping was horrific. I hadn’t had a break in the cramping since it started, and I was getting tired of the pain. The nurses tried fentanyl on me, but it didn’t do anything. They went on to try Demerol, and after my second dose around 8pm, I was begging for something else. As the nurse walked in with a shot for me, the pain stopped. Very suddenly I felt better, I looked up at the nurse, said the pain had stopped, and at that moment, I passed something. I was laying in bed, and the nurse had to collect what I had passed for pathology, and I watched as she picked up some blood clot and the sac my baby had lived in for such a short time. I knew more was coming, so we wrapped me up and I went into the bathroom. I sat down on the toilet and the whole pregnancy came out. It was a relief and so horrible at the same time. After I thought it was all out, I cleaned myself off and got the nurse. I watched as she collected all the tissues. I was in such a state of shock I wanted to know what she was taking. I watched as she pulled my baby’s placenta and umbilical cord out of the toilet and put it into a specimen container. I went back into the hospital room and started to get dressed. I had sent my husband home to feed the cats, and I wanted to call him to come and pick me up. While I was waiting, I went to the bathroom and passed more clots and blood. The nurses were so great and so supportive of me. They said when I left that I would have had to wait until 6am the next morning for my D&C due to emergencies. I am glad I passed it “naturally.”

After all this happened, I was ready to move on and get well so we could try again soon for another baby. I had heavy bleeding the first night, and then it was just a little spotting. Two days later I started cramping again. After about 4 or so hours of cramping it was getting really bad. I called the on-call doctor to ask what I should do for pain management and that’s when I found out I had had a partial molar pregnancy. The doctor started out saying how I may not understand what she is about to say, that even some doctors don’t understand it, but I knew what a molar pregnancy was because my step-grandmother had had one. The doctor was shocked I knew what she was talking about, and she said since I had the PMP that I needed to go to the emergency room to make sure I didn’t have any tissue left in my uterus. After an hour wait in the emergency waiting room, I was cramping just as bad as I had 2 days earlier. I was finally taken to my room in the ER, and I kept feeling like I was gonna pass something, so my husband ran out to get someone to help me. I didn’t pass anything, but I started to bleed heavily. I was given an IV, chest x-ray, vaginal ultrasound, and finally pain medication. I was told that I would have to have a D&C, and before I knew it I was in the operating room having surgery.

My recovery after that was fast and swift. My hCG levels dropped down to zero after only 4 weeks. I am now getting monthly blood tests, and if I get two more monthly zeros, my husband and I can start to try again for another baby. I have found that my grieving comes in waves and is unpredictable. I know I will never forget my babies, but I feel confident that my husband and I will someday have a healthy baby. I am excited for that day.

Update: February 9, 2004
Today I found out that I don’t have to get any more blood tests. After 3 consecutive months of zero’s I am done. My husband and I are about to start trying to conceive again, and I hope it will go a lot faster this time around.

February 13, 2004
I received a call from my OBGYN today, and she told me that my miscarriage tissue was sent out to a special pathologist because the pathologist at my hospital was a little concerned that they may have been wrong. It took 4 months, but she finally had the results sent back to her, and it turns out I didn’t have a molar pregnancy. I wanted to let you know because I don’t want my story to give false information now that I have the truth. I am upset that I had to go through 4 months of blood tests and worrying and all just to find out it was for nothing, but I am glad it wasn’t the PMP. They don’t know what caused it, but my doctor thinks it was just a miscarriage.

I wish you so much luck with your Web site. I will always feel a connection to you all because I lived the life of a PMP survivor for 4 months. I feel a bit like I betrayed you all because I am no longer worrying about the molar pregnancy. Just know my thoughts are with you all.

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