The Story I Never Wanted to Share..
The story of how I became a mom.
Would it be awful to admit that I don’t remember my first positive pregnancy test?
In fact, I don’t remember much about that pregnancy at all.
I recall going to the doctor's office to pick up the results of my confirmation blood test; I was so excited to make that first OB registration appointment.
I was young but married to the man I knew I wanted a family with, we were thrilled.
They made my appointment for when I would be twelve weeks pregnant. It was their policy, and they sent me on my way.
Like many new moms, I started to read every pregnancy book, every blog post and downloaded every app.
I started to think about the nursery and who that baby would be.
My husband and I talked about it endlessly.
Not long after while my husband was at work, I saw blood.
I panicked but tried to remember that it didn’t HAVE to mean anything sometimes people have spotting...
I didn’t want to tell him.
Then it got worse. I had to go to the hospital.
Before the doctor even got the chance to examine me, the pain began.
Pain like I had never experienced.
I was not a stranger to pain, since my early teens I had “monthly” cramping that was strong enough to make me faint on several occasions.
So intense that I was actually prescribed Vicodin, and even that didn’t take it away.
This was different.
This was pain and panic and my worst nightmare.
In retrospect, for me it was similar to my unmedicated labor. Just much quicker, easier for the doctors to control, and more heartbreaking.
I will never forget the attractive male nurse who gave me an IV with morphine too fast and who I immediately threw up all over.
This was a year into my marriage.
My new husband was in the room watching in horror.
The doctor did an exam, to confirm what he knew.
I wasn’t pregnant anymore.
I was between eight and nine weeks pregnant. Very early.
But my family knew, everyone knew...and I was attached.
I never talked about it. I told my mother and just let the rumor spread on its own. I let everyone figure it out. I was living on the other side of the country from anyone that mattered so it was easy to avoid it.
To be honest. I was 18 and newly married. I was nervous and not ready, but having that first miscarriage scared me.
It scared me because of the pain I had experienced in the past and this convinced me that maybe I was “broken” like I always sort-of knew.
Maybe I wouldn’t have children?
So we started actively trying to conceive.
And we didn’t for a year.
I was so excited this time, determined this would be my miracle baby. Our relationship had been rough since the first miscarriage. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was depressed. My husband didn’t know how to handle it, and we fought.
I felt like it was my fault and he couldn’t convince me otherwise.
When we started to fight, I began to believe that he shouldn’t want to be with me anyway if I couldn’t have children. He desperately wanted children.
A few weeks into the pregnancy, when I started to feel safe. My husband was on an overnight military duty and the pain started.
Pain just like before, but no blood?
I rushed to the hospital who told me that cramping is normal, but I knew better.
I was in agony. even worse than before.
Before they sent me home, I had started to bleed.
This miscarriage was more devastating than the first. I remember blankly staring at the doctor just wanting to go home and curl up on my bed. Just wanting to cry, but I couldn’t. I was just, shut off.
The doctor repeated what had been said before: these things just happen sometimes. We don’t worry about them until you have three miscarriages.
You need me to lose three babies before you care?
To be completely honest, it’s a blur after this. I had my third miscarriage and was referred to the OB on base to see if they could figure out why. For some reason, they stopped hurting at this point, just bleeding.
I have no idea why. Maybe it was psychological. A symptom of giving up?
They did testing, a diagnostic surgery. They found some endometriosis but no explanation for my miscarriages.
I was referred to a fertility specialist in Las Vegas, but while waiting for that appointment my doctor, who I adore to this day, put me on Clomid.
It had been about a year at this point since I had been pregnant last.
I got pregnant fast and miscarried twice more within three months.
I wasn’t even upset anymore by each miscarriage; I was just horrified that I wasn’t going to be able to have children.
I finally got in to see the specialist who ran every test known to medicine at the time and found…
This was November 2011, and I conceived again sometime that same week.
I wasn’t hopeful anymore.
I distinctly remember laying in my bathtub thinking this is it. I don’t need children right now. I’m 20 years old; I don’t need this. I don’t even want kids until I’m 25. Time to focus on your career. I can’t handle this again. If I miscarry this time, I’m done.
Despite my lack of faith I went to the doctor and got the blood test.
I responded with a confused look. “You’re not pregnant."
But I just took a test this morning….
“Hmm, could have been a chemical pregnancy, an early miscarriage.”
I just stared, thinking she should have checked my records before responding so insensitively.
“I guess you can have a second test if you really want to."
I said yes. Fuming and honestly just sad.
I got to the lab and the woman at the desk looked at me confused.
"They told you that you aren’t pregnant?”
She couldn’t “tell me anything” but walked with me back down to the OB office and spoke to my doctor.
Sitting in the waiting room, I could hear that my doctor was extremely upset with her nurses.
The generally calm and super professional head of the OB department was yelling.
I have to tell you….
this is the best thing that has ever happened to me.
I cannot even begin to express how grateful I am for that nurse's carelessness.
The reality was that she read the wrong result.
She messed up, she’s human. Whatever.
Did she mess up with the wrong patient? Absolutely.
that nurse's mistake saved my child..both of my kids really.
My doctor was sick of me miscarrying. I didn’t have an appointment, but she pulled me into her office quickly to tell me that she wanted me to take a progesterone supplement and baby aspirin.
"All of your labs have shown your progesterone levels are fine, and we can’t find a clotting issue, but let’s give it a shot and see what happens."
I had five miscarriages to this point. They all made it to around eight or nine weeks. I can’t count and don’t want to think about how many positive pregnancy tests that I had followed by a next day period. I can’t go there. I won’t.
That night I had the pain. Pain like the first two miscarriages. Pain that had me curled up in my bed in tears. My husband wanted me to go to the hospital, but I just couldn’t.
If I was going to go through this again, I wasn’t going to do it with them.
Their pity, or their indifference. I wasn’t going through that again. If this was happening, I was going to be in my bed at home with him.
The pain lasted the entire night, but no blood.
I regained a little hope but mostly feared a D&C would be necessary. A procedure that was never necessary in my case.
Nothing happened after that night.
I took the progesterone and the baby aspirin religiously and made it to twelve weeks.
I breathed a sigh of relief and continued to worry my entire pregnancy.
Today that beautiful strawberry-blonde baby boy has his head on my lap watching Doc McStuffins, mad that I’m typing instead of switching it to PJ masks.
He is my miracle.
I always wanted more children but to be honest. I wasn’t sure I could go through all that again.
If I only had him, that would have been fine.
But we didn’t prevent pregnancy after he turned one.
Other than a couple of the positive test, period next day situations.
I didn’t get pregnant until he was three.
This was September 2015.
I immediately called the most recommended Doctor in the immediate area.
"How many previous pregnancies?"
My favorite question…. six
"This is your seventh pregnancy…?"
"How many children do you have?"
The nurses try not to be insensitive about it, but to be honest. It’s hard for them not to respond with surprise. I get it; I hate it, but I get it. I try to keep it light and not show any emotion about it at all. I don’t want pity. Which is why I never intended to talk about this here.
"Okay well, our policy is that we see people at twelve weeks."
I’ll miscarry before twelve weeks.
"That’s our policy but let me talk to someone....We can bring you in at nine weeks."
I explained to her as clearly as I could that I’ve been through this and bringing me in at nine weeks will not work. I even told her the specific medication that I felt I needed. It didn’t change their mind.
To my surprise, I was still pregnant when I got to that appointment.
Or so I thought.
They took their standard pregnancy test when I arrived and when the doctor came in (not the doctor I was scheduled with), she simply said: “You’re not pregnant, what brand of test did you take?"
This experience was the most irritating of all; I explained everything her but she insisted I just wasn’t pregnant at all.
I had the appropriate blood work, and the staff could see my HHG levels going down.
Confirming a miscarriage.
The bleeding started soon after.
This time I was pissed.
They could have saved that baby by listening to me.
Before getting pregnant again, I found another doctor and explained the situation to him.
"Well, I’m going to give you a prescription for progesterone and the moment you get a positive test, start the medication."
I could have hugged him, and when I think about him doing that for me, I’ll admit I do cry.
Two months later in November I was pregnant again. I started the medication.
In July 2016, my beautiful baby girl was born.
I try not to think about my miscarriages much, and honestly I don’t feel like they impact my life daily.
I would rather have a miscarriage every month than lose a child after birth, and I’ve never been through the experience of losing a baby later in the pregnancy.
I cannot imagine that and would prefer my experience any day. My heart aches for any mom who has been there.
I am beyond relieved to have two healthy children.
I can’t tell you have often I think about that nurse's mistake, and that doctor's decision to give the medication a shot.
If her attention hadn’t been so dramatically brought to me at five weeks pregnant, I would not have my son. If I hadn’t found another doctor who would listen to me my daughter would not be in the swing next to me.
Everyone’s experience is different, and everyone has a right to as much pain as they feel. But I don’t feel like my story is a tragic one, the absolute last thing I want is sympathy.
I am so lucky.
I’m sharing because since I started writing, I’ve encountered so many mom’s stories of miscarriage.
Many of which do not yet have children and I think it’s important to know:
I became a mom the moment that first baby existed.
I don’t know who she (or he) would have been or what they would have looked like. But they were mine. I learned to love, and I learned loss.
Every Mother's Day after my first miscarriage my husband got me a gift.
I remember thinking he was ridiculous. Clearly, I wasn’t a mom. At first, it upset me more, like he was reminding me that there wasn’t a baby here.
Didn’t he know?
I couldn’t make a baby right. The one thing a woman’s body is supposed to be able to do. Biologically the thing I am MADE to do…I couldn’t. I was a failure.
But not to him. To him, I was the mother of his children, long before he ever met our son.
The reality that both children were born with the help of that medication breaks my heart a little more than I’ve ever admitted. Yes, I have them. That’s what matters.
That means it was me.
It wasn’t due to issues with the fetuses; it wasn’t something genetic. They weren’t babies that would not have made it.
They were likely just as perfect as the ones I’m looking at right now.
My body simply cannot keep my children alive on its own. I try not to feel that it was “my fault” but I do struggle with that fact, it's something I have to live with knowing.
My experiences made me the mother I am today. When I finally had my son, I felt that I needed to prove to the universe that I was good enough to be his mother. I felt like it was a challenge and I had to prove that it WAS meant to be. That's a lot of pressure, and to this day it makes me try a little too hard to be the perfect mom.
These days I still sometimes feel like a failure at motherhood.
Usually, it’s because the baby is crying, the four-year-old wants his 5th meal of the day before 10 AM, and I have too much work on my to-do list.
I’m not the perfect mother I thought my experience would make me, but I could not be more grateful for the opportunity to try to be.
I'm sure she hasn't thought about it since but: