Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Heartache Healing & Hope

At the end of last year my husband and I started the process of trying to get pregnant. What an exciting time of our lives. At that point, we had been married 3 ½ years and we were ready to expand our family.

December rolled around and we officially started “trying” at the right time of the month. The pregnancy test confirmed, or so I thought, that I was not pregnant. A couple of weeks later, I noticed things were not right with my body (I’ll spare you the details here). I called my doctor and explained what was going on and he said to come in that day so he could check things out. It took all of about 3 minutes once they nurse called me back to find out that I was pregnant. I was shocked that we got pregnant immediately. I was also very scared because I knew that with what was going on with my body that there was a good chance this might not be a viable pregnancy. They took my blood to have my hormone levels checked. I saw the doctor and he explained that I was probably having a miscarriage, but this early on spotting/bleeding can happen even with a viable pregnancy, but that we would know more in the morning once my blood results came back.

Oh my goodness, what a whirlwind this all was. I didn’t even have my husband with me because I didn’t think I was going to be given this kind of news, so I saw no reason to bring him. I hated calling him to tell him the news. While I was so excited I was pregnant, I was more terrified at the unknown and the probability of a miscarriage. This was not how I ever imagined sharing this exciting news with Jonathan. The rest of the night was terrible. I felt like I was just waiting for devastating news. We kept reminding ourselves that even if this one didn’t work out, it was encouraging to know that we can get pregnant.

I got the call from the doctor the next morning while I was at work. It was the news we wanted. My hormone levels were high enough to believe that I had not miscarried! Praise the Lord! We weren’t out of the woods yet, he did want to see my levels a bit higher at this point, and they needed to at least double of the weekend, and given the spotting, I was ordered to immediate bed rest and put on some hormones to try and help things along. I was told to come back first things Monday so we could recheck my levels and confirm where we were at with things.

The weekend was so long and dreadful. We just wanted to know that we were out of the woods so that we could peacefully celebrate the exciting news. I returned to the doctor early Monday morning and a rush was put on my lab work so that we could get the results within a couple of hours. The call came in shortly before lunch. I had miscarried. We were devastated.

To make sure the miscarriage was not ectopic, my hormone levels were checked a couple of times over the next week or so. About a week and a half later, my hormone levels were still rising (just not in a way that they should if you have a viable pregnancy) and it was clear to the doctor that the baby was obviously stuck somewhere, most likely my fallopian tube. It was an ectopic pregnancy, just when we felt the news couldn’t get any worse. For some reason, this felt so much more devastating and defeating than had it been a normal miscarriage. There was so much unknown and fear associated with an ectopic. First of all, they can be life threatening as your fallopian tube ruptures. Second, they usually result in having to remove the fallopian tube if it has in fact ruptured. And third, an ectopic pregnancy changes so much in terms of getting pregnancy again. I was consumed with fear and defeat. Was I ever going to get pregnant again, if so, would it be another ectopic pregnancy? I was tortured over this. And the next several weeks were horrible.

There was a small blessing for me, one that most women in my situation don’t have. My fallopian tube had not yet ruptured. This meant no surgery. However, that left me with the only option of getting these horrible injections that severely poison your body in order to kill the pregnancy. I was sick for weeks.

Once the waiting period of not being allowed to try and get pregnant for a while passed, I became more hopeful and excited. So much of the fear and defeat that had consumed me was replaced with hope and excitement for the future.

After just a few short months of trying to get pregnant again, we found out in July that we were pregnant! We were elated! We never thought that it would have happened so fast after everything that we had gone through. Given my history with our first miscarriage/ectopic pregnancy, the doctor wanted to see me immediately to check my hormone levels. We were so excited to find out after two rounds of blood work that everything looked perfect and normal. Next step was to go in for my first prenatal appointment and hear the heartbeat. We got to do this at 7 weeks. It was amazing. We couldn’t believe we were hearing our precious baby’s heartbeat and looked at that little peanut on the screen.

The doctor gave us the thumbs up and green light for everything and asked to see me back a few weeks later. When I arrived for the second appointment the doctor asked me about my symptoms and morning sickness (it had been really bad). He told me how much the baby has grown and changed the past few weeks and said I would be really surprised to see all the little features. He started the sonogram and he was right. The baby had grown so much. You could see so many features that you couldn’t see at the first appointment.

The most devastating news that I could possibly hear came just a few seconds later. The baby had no heartbeat. I was heartbroken. I felt as if I was having an out of body experience. This couldn’t be happening again. We had already loved this baby so much. We had planned for this baby. We had already bought a crib. I had just gone shopping with my mom to buy maternity clothes. How did this happen?

The doctor said the baby measured in size within just a day or two of where I was at in my pregnancy and had died sometime in the last 24-48 hours. I was too far along for my body to “naturally” take care of the miscarriage, so I had to have surgery. I was given the option to wait a few days, but I couldn’t imagine trying to get through the weekend with our lifeless baby inside of me. I know that sounds morbid, but that’s how I felt. My husband and I agreed that I would have the surgery that afternoon.

It’s now just a few weeks later. The numbness and shock have subsided, and sadness and anxiety seem to be my most common emotions. I will say this, after our first miscarriage I had so much fear. I felt hopeless and defeated. I do not feel defeat, fear, or hopeless this time. In fact, I’m very hopeful. I know we will have a baby. I know the Lord will richly bless us. Jonathan and I are already so richly blessed. But still, how do I go from planning for this life that is no longer going to happen? How do I go back to where we were before I knew I was pregnant? The funny thing is, I don’t think you can go back. I know I have to accept this, even though I don’t want to. More importantly, I have to find a new normal because it’s impossible to go back.

Right now I’m finding comfort in knowing that I’m completely dependent on the Lord with every breath I take. I’m so thankful for that. We are nothing without our faith in Jesus Christ. That’s where our hope is. My precious husband reminds me daily to look around at the wonderful life we have together. I love him for that, as for so many other reasons.

I hope this blog post helps someone else who is struggling with this issue. I hope it brings you comfort in knowing that you are aren’t alone in your grief, although I know it can and often does feel that way at times.

I know this is going to be a process, as getting through any tragedy is. For now, one breath at a time. One day at a time. And this too shall pass.


  1. Thank you for sharing this, Whit. I will add you to my prayers now that I know you guys are trying to add to your family! xoxo

  2. I am so SO sorry! I read another blog (http://livingbytheminute.blogspot.com/) and she has had one miscarriage and a chemical pregnancy. I can't even begin to know how devistating this is. Just keep praying and you'll get your baby but in the mean time enjoy the time with your husband and how you both are pretty much carefree! It all changes when a baby is in the picture! And, at least you know you are able to get pregnant and quickly...that's a blessing in itself.

  3. Thanks for sharing all your feelings, Whitney. :) I loved reading it and getting to se a lil' bit of your heart. This too, shall pass! Looking forward to see you and Jonathan!

  4. I sure do love you Whit!!

  5. I am so sorry, and will be praying for you and your husband. I admire your courage for posting this, and know that your witness will only help others.