For those just tuning in: I’m usually funnier and specialize in playgrounds, poop and boobs.
Everyone loves to share their birth stories;I know I do. They’re exciting and crazy and have happy endings. Blah blah blah it’s like the most pain I’ve ever experienced in my entire life blah blah and it was totally worth it, blah. Exhilarating. But I feel like we’re doing a disservice by not sharing our, umm, un-birth stories as well.
A couple of months before Annie turned one, I found out I was pregnant. I was thrilled. So thrilled that at five minutes pregnant, I went online and ordered some maternity panties I had found on sale. I entered my estimated due date on Baby Center, so that I could get weekly emails telling me whether my fetus was the size of a kidney bean or an avocado. About ten minutes after finding out, I went to Dunkin Donuts and ordered a decaf coffee. The barista (or whatever they’re called there) asked me if I was pregnant and I was like “maybe a little bit” and she be like “girl, you either are or you aren’t — no such thing as a little bit”. Okay, maybe I used to go there way too much. Since my pregnancy with Annie was really quiet and not exciting at all, I didn’t think anything other than that could happen to me. Well, at around six weeks I went for my first appointment expecting to see a little heartbeat on the screen but nothing was there. There was a sac, but it was empty. My doctor said that maybe I miscalculated and there wasn’t supposed to be anything, but I totally knew. I had some more blood work done and she called me later that night to tell me that this pregnancy wasn’t happening.
I was bummed. I wanted to give Annie a sibling, I wanted them to be close in age and now I’d have to wait even longer. I started to feel really empty and even a little bitter. I was jealous of all the pregnant people I’d see on the street, and I even wished gestational diabetes on a stranger (karma is a bitch: I had gestational diabetes with Judah). Totally not one of my finer moments. We had a vacation coming up and I didn’t want to be hemorrhaging dead baby tissue, so I had a D&C (basically, having your uterus vacuumed). It was highly unpleasant. The next day my maternity underwear arrived. I found myself avoiding Dunkin Donuts because I didn’t want to be asked how I was feeling (and who am I kidding, their coffee isn’t great). Then I opened an email telling me that my baby was the size of a blueberry. Uuuugh.
About a month later I found out that I was pregnant with Judah, but I didn’t let myself get excited. I spotted and thought I had miscarried. I went to the doctor and since there was no heartbeat I assumed the worst. My progesterone was low and I had to take suppositories (it was as gross as it sounds). I did some genetic testing and got wonky results. Throughout the pregnancy I kept expecting something to go wrong. That miscarriage made me realize that sh*t can actually happen to me and I’d never be completely happy until I was actually holding the baby. Not the greatest way to spend nine months but there was a happy ending that time (hi Judah!).
A few months later I woke up in the middle of the night with that nauseous feeling. I was sure the timing was wrong but I took a pregnancy test just for fun (they were so cheap on Amazon, I bought a box of 50) and it was positive. I was a little wary because it didn’t make any sense. I had some blood work done and I was in fact pregnant. I went to my OB for an ultrasound but we had no clue how far along I was, so we didn’t expect to see anything. But there was nothing. Like no sac, literally nothing to see. It was really odd. I went to a radiologist for a closer look but he didn’t see anything either. So I had some more blood work done. And more ultrasounds. And then even more blood work.
As you can imagine, it was a very confusing time. I felt pregnant, but I wasn’t, and yet somehow I was. I went back to the radiologist and after a lot of poking around he finally found the sac, but it wasn’t where it was supposed to be — it was growing in my right fallopian tube. I’m not a science person but that didn’t sound good. I went straight to my OB and I remember doing a happy dance in her office. At least we finally found the little booger! I had a shot of methotrexate in my buttocks that was supposed to get rid of the sac. I needed to have blood work done every three days to make sure that my numbers were going down, and they were going down beautifully.
Now, this where it gets fun. And by fun I mean really not fun. It was a Wednesday morning, maybe ten days after my shot, and I was feeling crampy so I called my doctor. She told me to get to her office right away. Of course, I heard that as take Annie and Judah to a music class, then make your way downtown. She did an ultrasound and told me to get to the radiologist ASAP. I was wearing 4-month-old Judah in the carrier and had Annie in the stroller. She was like “you’re not taking the train, right?” Ummmm, I was going to, but cab it is. Craig met me at the radiologist and I had the ultrasound. The sac had burst. My OB told me to come straight to the ER at Mount Sinai and she’d meet me there. On my way out the radiologist said “you’re really lucky you came here, some women don’t catch this and just, well, you know, leave.” Wait, where do they go? Ooooh.
The whole experience was insane. Just that morning, I was singing with a bunch of toddlers. I had my right tube removed that evening. I actually consider myself fortunate that we caught this, otherwise I might have “left”. And there’s a happy ending here, too. A few months later Lisi happened. It was an uneventful pregnancy with no bumps in the road, unless you count the time she was almost born in a taxi.
I know it might seem like I’m over-sharing, but one of the reasons I wrote this post was because the topic really isn’t talked about enough. It’s been nearly four years since my first miscarriage and it’s not something I think about often (or at all). At the time, I didn’t think I’d ever get over it. The great part — and I know that this sounds bad — was that some of my friends had also experienced miscarriages, and hearing them tell their similar stories (and happy endings) got me through some of the darker times. So maybe this post is paying that forward.
And that concludes one of my more serious posts. Up next: back to school week!