In May of 2001, my husband and I started to talk about having a baby. We decided that I would go off the pill and let nature take its course. We weren’t consciously trying to conceive; we just felt that it would happen when it happened. My husband was so excited about the prospect of me being pregnant, that every month he was a little disappointed when I wasn’t.
October was the first time in my life that I have ever been “late,” so we thought for sure that this was it. I took a pregnancy test a week after being late, and it was negative. I have to admit that I was a little relieved; I was surprised because I always thought that I would be excited to be pregnant. November came and went, and I never got my period. I took eight, yes I said eight, home pregnancy tests, and every one was negative. Finally I called my doctor (she’s actually a nurse practitioner) on December 6th. I told her that I wanted a blood test to make sure I wasn’t pregnant, and she told me that the home tests are very accurate, but she would write me a lab slip for the blood work.
A week went by before I got the results. My husband kept telling me to call, but I was afraid of what the results would be. I was nervous about being pregnant, and I was afraid of being upset if I wasn’t. So on December 11th I found out that I wasn’t pregnant. My doctor told me to make an appointment with her when everything calmed down; she was concerned about me not getting my period. I’ll never forget that day because my husband was in a really bad car accident. I was not in the right state of mind to be emotional about the news at all.
So my husband recovered, and December came and went without another period. The week after New Year’s I got the flu (or what I thought was the flu, but it never really went away). School started again the second week in January. I know it was irresponsible to go that long without meeting with my doctor, but I was so busy with the holidays, and then getting sick, and then school starting. On January 25th, I was preparing to go away for the weekend. My husband called me from work and asked if I planned to take another home pregnancy test before going away, and I told him that I wasn’t planning to, but I would. A few hours later my husband called and asked me what the results were. I had totally forgotten to check it, having gotten distracted with chores. It was positive. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I looked at the box, I looked at the test, and I looked at he box again! I was shocked!
I know it sounds crazy, but I didn’t know what to feel. I was happy, excited, terrified, and confused. I had no idea when I got pregnant. My husband was thrilled and wanted to tell everyone and their mother. I told him not to tell anyone until after my doctor’s appointment. I was unable to make an appointment until the following week, and then they told me they couldn’t see me for another week! They sent me a prescription for prenatal vitamins and all of the hospital paperwork to fill out. That was the longest week of our lives. My husband wanted to tell our parents so badly, but for some reason I didn’t want to tell anyone. I gave in to my husband on Saturday, February 2nd. We told my parents first (this would have been their fifth grandchild). They were so excited, but they wanted to know when the baby was due, something that we couldn’t tell them. We told them that we would let them know after the appointment, and they were OK with that. Then we told my in-laws (this would have been their first grandchild). They were also very excited and wanted to know the due date. Again we told them we would let them know after the appointment. I made it very clear to everyone that I only wanted our immediate family to know. Our siblings were all happy for us; they knew this was something we had always wanted. It’s hard for me to admit this, but as I look back on it, I was the only one who was not excited. I always thought I would be shouting it from the rooftops the moment I found out I was pregnant. I was so scared, I was nervous, and most of all worried that something was wrong. Dare I say it was “mother’s intuition?”
Tuesday, February 5th, was my doctor’s appointment. I went and saw my nurse practitioner. She went over all the paperwork with me, the hospital information, and health and nutrition stuff. She did an internal and estimated that I was about 6 to 8 weeks along. She told me to have an ultrasound done as soon as possible to determine the exact due date. I was able to schedule the ultrasound for the following day. I was so nervous about the ultrasound that I was nauseated (not a good feeling when you have 36 oz of water sitting in your stomach). My husband was not able to get out of work to go with me, so my mom took me. The technician had absolutely no personality and hardly even spoke to me at all. She was pushing and poking at my stomach, clicking on the computer screen. I asked if she knew what she was looking at (hoping she would start pointing things out to me), but she said legally she was not allowed to describe anything to me. That was apparently the radiologist’s job. After the internal was complete, the radiologist came in and pointed out my “fetus” (God I hate that word!) and told me that I was about 9 weeks along. He then told me in a “matter-of-fact” way that they were unable to locate a heartbeat. He told me that I either had a very large “fetus” that had not developed a heart yet, or I had miscarried.
Well, what do you say to that? He told me that he had just gotten off the phone with my doctor and that she wanted to see me right away. I didn’t say a word to my mother at all, and I think she knew better than to say anything to me, knowing that I’m probably the most emotional person on the planet! I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I may have miscarried. My doctor told me that I had to have a blood test done right then and there to measure my hcg levels and have another blood test on Friday. She explained that if the numbers went up, I was in good shape and didn’t miscarry, if the numbers stay the same I would have another test done on Monday, and if the numbers went down I had miscarried.
My husband came home from work and didn’t know what to say. I told him the whole story, and it was the only time through this whole process that he broke down. He was sad about the loss, he was worried about me, and he regretted ever telling anyone we were pregnant in the first place. I let him vent and get it out of his system because I knew that I needed him to be the strong one from here on out. On Thursday, February 7th, my doctor called me and told me that my levels were at 63,000 and that there should have been a visible heartbeat. She told me that I needed to start considering my D&C options; she told me that I cold have the procedure done on Friday or Monday. I had to let them know so they could schedule the time at the hospital. She also told me that she had to assign me to a different doctor because she is just a practitioner and unable to perform the surgery. He would be calling me with the result of my blood work tomorrow. I felt like my head was going to explode! First of all I was holding out hope, I still had one more blood test, and what the hell is a D&C!?! I told her that if the procedure needed to be done, I would have it on Monday, February 11th.
The blood test on Friday was miserable. I knew it was pointless. I was just waiting for the morbid phone call from my new doctor. When the phone rang, I started to cry; I knew it was the doctor’s office. It was my new doctor who I had never met before. He told me the bad news, and expressed his deepest sympathies. He told me about the D&C (just what you want to hear when you’re grieving such a loss!) and explained that it was the safest thing to do in my situation. He told me to call him if I started bleeding over the weekend, in that case an emergency D&C would have to be performed. Luckily that didn’t happen.
My husband and I spent the weekend hanging out together. We stayed at home, didn’t answer the phone, watched movies, and hung out. We talked about trying again, and I decided that I wanted to wait a while (little did I know…). Monday came, and we went to the hospital, where they stuck me with more needles (once they found a good vein!). I finally met my doctor; he was so nice and patient with me. I was crying again, and he comforted me and let me know that it would all be over in no time. As soon as I saw the anesthesiologist I told him to put me to sleep, that was all I wanted! And so he did.
I woke up when they were trying to put those awful (fishnet type) underwear on me. Such a great feeling! Anyway, I was out of it, but I knew that it was all over. I just wanted to see my husband, and let him know that I was OK. I went home and slept for the next 2 days. I was sore and achy. I just wanted to stay in bed forever and feel sorry for myself. I was sad that our baby was gone, and I wondered how we were ever going to get past this. I knew that the only thing that would ease our pain would be to get pregnant again. But could I go through this again? I didn’t think so. A week and a half later, on February 20th, my doctor called me with my pathology report. He told me that I had had a partial molar pregnancy. He went on and on about what it was and what I had to do. He mention weekly blood test, and then once at zero, monthly blood tests. He told me that I shouldn’t get pregnant for 6 months. The only word that stood out to me, though, was cancer. He wanted me there the next day for blood work. I agreed to come and hung up. I sat on my couch for about 15 minutes contemplating calling my husband. What do I tell him? Should I wait until he gets home? I had to call him, and I did as I was logging onto the computer.
We searched Web sites together, and every one we found was full of medical jargon. I know I said I wanted to wait a while to get pregnant again, and I was OK with that. But for some reason, being told that I was not allowed to get pregnant for 6 months pissed me off! How serious was this? Should I see a specialist? Do I have cancer? Oh my God!
I went for my first blood work, and my doctor called me the next morning, February 22nd, and told me that my numbers were at 35. Great news, but I wasn’t out of the woods yet! On March 1st (my birthday!), my levels hit 16; on March 7th they hit 13 (slowing down, I don’t have the patience for this!); and on March 14th they finally hit 0. My first monthly blood test was terrifying. I didn’t know what to expect! After being used to going every week and feeling secure, a month is a long time! But on April 11th, 2002, my doctor told me I was at 1. As I write this, my next monthly is in a few days, and I only have five more blood tests to go!
I think about my baby every day and probably will forever! I’ll never forget our first child; I know he/she is my little guardian angel now. Many of our friends and family members still don’t know I was ever pregnant. I don’t think that I can handle talking about it all the time (we have a very large family). So I think we will keep it that way.
My husband is the most wonderful man in the world. That’s why I married him. We are both still young (25) and have many years ahead of us. I don’t think I could have ever gotten through this without him. He makes me smile and laugh and knows just what to say to make me feel better. I look forward to the day when we have children to love and nurture. But the one that we lost will forever remain in our hearts.