The last part of this blog series and a final goodbye…
Over the next days I kept thinking about what my dad said and how excited he was when he said it. He really wants a grandchild from his first born. My younger sister already has a son who just started elementary school, and it always makes me sad not being able to be there to see him grow up.
But here I am, the first born, 31 years old, married and childless. Sounds like a bad book title. I’m sure there is worse things than that, you might think. Well, I agree but for me this is something I have been struggling with since a younger age and it absolutely weighs on me! I have accepted the fact that I am never able to conceive a child the natural way but that doesn’t mean that it makes it any easier or less of what it is.
I caught a cold or some type of bug just a couple of days after my parents had returned to Germany. I was pretty miserable but at least it only lasted a couple of days. I was glad that that’s all it was. Life resumed to the normal and Thanksgiving was slowly approaching. Too bad my parents couldn’t have stayed a little longer, but life doesn’t stop for them either. I get it…
My dad’s words kept floating around in my thoughts and for some reason made me think about what any possible early pregnancy symptoms could be. I wasn’t sure if I was late with my period as I haven’t paid much attention to tracking it since the pregnancy three months prior, and I didn’t expect to be pregnant again anyways. But I can’t explain it any better than something inside of me making me think of the possibility.
So I googled “early pregnancy symptoms” and sure enough there it was. Cold/flu like symptoms. I read how many women experienced cold/flu like symptoms during conception. ‘No way; that couldn’t be!’ And suddenly I realized I had far more symptoms than just that. Frequent urination especially at night, increased sense of smell, people kept telling me I was glowing, and my dog was super attached to me again.
I was still in denial by the time I got home. I procrastinated but finally took a pregnancy test. As we were waiting for the result I was still trying to tell myself that it can’t be. My husband was the one to looked at the test first and said “It’s negative.” I was thinking that I knew it couldn’t be. But a moment later my husband started waving the test in front of my face and I couldn’t believe what I saw.
It was a BIG FAT POSITIVE!
I couldn’t believe my eyes! This happened that fast?! I was in shock and immediately trying to make out when this could have happened. It was fairly easy to rule out though because we have just reached the “all clear” after our three month abstinence.I counted back from the day I started feeling sick and it must have happened during the night of our engagement. Yes, sorry guys, TMI!
We were in disbelief, happy, scared, and confident at the same time. In exactly that order. My dad was right. It’s as if he had sensed it! We were trying to figure out whether or not to tell our parents but decided to wait. We wanted to hold off until we got the “everything is the way it is supposed to be” from the doctor. We were so sure that this time it was our time and did not expect another pregnancy loss. We knew the risk was there but we didn’t expect it. I called my doctor the next day and scheduled an appointment.
Thanksgiving rolled around and it also happened to be my mother-in-law’s birthday. We were on the phone with her for a little while and didn’t plan on telling her yet but somehow ended up spilling the beans. She was so happy and said this was “The best birthday gift!” We really felt so strongly positive about this time being IT! Since we told my in-laws we also told my parents. Needless to say that they were stoked, especially my dad!
We went to our friends house for Thanksgiving lu(nch)(Su)pper. Despite being super happy about our news I couldn’t tell anyone anything. I was surprised no one questioned me declining alcohol and coffee. But of course our all-time favorite questions couldn’t be avoided “So, you guys don’t have any kids?” “Don’t you want any kids?” “When are you planning on having kids?’ blah, blah, blah….. All other times, these questions would have probably bothered the heck out of me but that day I was fine with them. All I said was “No, no kids yet. We will see when the Lord will bless us with any.” And that was it. It didn’t bother me. Not one bit. I mean, I was pregnant and thought this would really be it. I thought we would be having our baby.
I remember sometime before our first appointment we were standing in the bedroom and all of a sudden I felt a sharp crampy pain on the left side of my abdomen. I thought it’s the baby implanting itself further. Actually, I don’t know what I really thought. But it was something like that. I started spotting pink and figured it’s just implantation bleeding. The spotting stopped a couple of days later and I don’t know why, but I wasn’t worried.
A week passed and our doctor’s appointment was finally here. We were so anxious and excited. When we got there my doctor made a joke and said “You guys were really not wasting any time!” Yea, I didn’t think we were going to see him that soon again either! He did the ultrasound and we saw a sac which seemed to be in the right place! Gosh, I was so, so relieved! My doctor mentioned that I shouldn’t be too worried about the bleeding as it has already stopped and because it was pink, and he said that it might be too early to see anything else just yet. Given the previous ectopic pregnancy he still wanted to do a beta hcg blood test to see if my levels were rising accordingly. Apparently, you’re levels are supposed to double every 48-72 hours depending on how far along you are. Last time, that wasn’t the case.
And here it was again, that tiny monster called ‘FEAR’. What if this is not a viable pregnancy again? What if something is wrong again? But our doctor said not to worry too much. So we tried.
The next day I was back at work and got a call from my doctor. He mentioned that he has gotten my beta back and it was fairly high, 11,250 mIU/ml ! He said that with numbers this high we at least need to be able to see something more than just an empty sac. Something or that it’s twins and I wasn’t as far along yet as we thought. I had to immediately go to the Fetal Diagnostic Center at the hospital, so they could do a thorough scan as they have some better high-tech equipment.
My heart sunk into my pants and I was literally shaking. THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING AGAIN! Please God, please don’t let this happen again! I was begging and praying and slowly starting to lose it.
I told my boss I had to leave immediately and gave her a quick rundown of what the doctor said. She tried to calm me down and told me not to worry too much and that it’ll be OK. Seriously, why was everyone so optimistic, constantly telling me not too stress too much! If only they were in my shoes….
Once at the Fetal Diagnostic Center it didn’t take too long to be taken back to the room. I was so nervous, I felt my heart racing and the palms of my hands started sweating. All these thoughts started running through my mind and all I could think about was that I didn’t want to see my husband hurt. I didn’t want to have to tell our parents again that it didn’t work out. I didn’t want to go through surgery again and lose the last possibility of being able to conceive a child naturally.
The ultrasound tech came in and started with the ultrasound. She wasn’t speaking much and just answered to all of our questions to “wait for what the doctor will read”. This was so frustrating! I was starting to get angry and trying to tell myself that it’s not the techs fault.
And there it was, our baby, and a heartbeat! It made me tear up and I didn’t realize that at that point she wasn’t looking at my uterus. I was just so happy to see our baby and a heartbeat. I mean how was I supposed to know?! She finished up and told us the doctor would be right with us. I told my husband about the heartbeat and tried to remain calm and positive about it.
A few minutes later the doctor came in and she didn’t waste a minute. “I’m sorry, it’s an ectopic pregnancy again. The pregnancy is located in your left tube. You have to go into surgery immediately so your tube won’t rupture.” My whole world fell apart! I broke down. I cried, I wanted to scream, I wanted to tell the doctor to look again as this can’t be true! But it was. And there was absolutely nothing we could do about it. I was about 7 weeks pregnant. Swallow that, I saw my baby’s heartbeat and was about 7 weeks pregnant.
It didn’t take long and we were sitting back in the emergency room. I was numb. I didn’t want to talk. My husband was quiet, angry, disappointed and worried. He didn’t need to say anything, I could see it in his face. I felt horrible and didn’t know what to do to make him feel better. Most times us women always feel like we carry the burden alone but moments like this show how much it actually affects our partner as well.
I was angry with God, and kept thinking why He would do this when He is supposed to be a good God?! I didn’t understand back then, what I do now. I didn’t see it yet, that this was what saved us and drew us closer and closer to the Lord. The path might not always be pleasant but in the end it always works out for good. I believe that now that my eyes have been opened. I see the Lords goodness every day, and I see all the blessings that come from unfortunate life events like this. I know that sometimes the Lord leads us through rough waters because that is the exact time when we pray and call out to Him and are vulnerable enough for Him to pull us closer to Him. But back then, no. I didn’t see it.
My nurse was very kind, she told me a little bit about herself and how she experienced something similar when she was younger. She tried to encourage me and give me hope. She could never have children of her own, but she ended up adopting and said it was the best thing that ever happened to her. Now I hate when people tell me that I “can still have children and adopt” because they use this as a filler because they don’t know what else to say, but I really appreciated my nurse’s story and kind and uplifting words.
My doctor wasn’t available to perform my surgery as he was called to a birth (go figure). His replacement was telling us that they would try their best to save my tube but he could not guarantee it at that point. He also tried to give us hope that even if we would lose the tube we would still have other opportunities to have a baby. He said that our chances with IVF would be great as it seems like the tubes were our only issue. We didn’t know then, that my husband also has low motility and morphology. I mean how could we have known, we fell pregnant twice!
My anesthesiologist was the same one from the last time. As he was giving me Valium he looked at me and said “You’re here again? Didn’t we just do this?’ Well thanks for the reminder! After that, I don’t remember much until waking up in recovery. I’m not sure how high the dosage was he gave me but it must have worked.
I felt like I got run over by a train. Worse than the last time. Maybe also because of my emotional state. I was so thankful to have my husband there. He was sitting right beside me making sure I was OK. And even though he was battling with his own disappointment and anger, he still tried to encourage me and give me hope that we will someday be parents. I just love this man. He is my rock and always finds the right words to say. I really don’t know what I would do without him. In situations like this I panic. I can’t think rational, I let my emotions take over. But he, he always brings me back.
Recovery took longer after this surgery. It was just a lot to deal with emotionally, which I think caused me to also heal more slowly. Again, I had to go in for bi-weekly blood draws to make sure my beta hcg levels were dropping to zero. I was just so over it!
The holidays have just started and I was so depressed. I couldn’t face work or people. I just wanted to be to myself but at the same time, deep inside I wished that at least my friends would check up on me or something. I think this was when I started to realize that I had to let some of the people I once cared about go. It was a rude awakening that even though I was going through such a devastating time many of them were not there to make sure I was OK. But I am slowly learning that God always takes away the unnecessary and negative and replaces it with good. So, I know I am and will be OK!
My doctor gave me three weeks off of work. Three weeks that would enable me to avoid any holiday happiness at work or anywhere else. I felt bad because I didn’t want to be a party pooper so I tried to get in the holiday spirit, but it was hard. We went to my husbands work Christmas dinner. It was nice and took my mind off things for a little bit but in the back of my head I kept thinking about all these things that could have been.
I had a hard time dealing with my depression. I had no confidence because I felt like I was not woman enough anymore because I can’t even give my husband a child and grow our family. I just felt terrible and unworthy. Like I wasn’t woman enough anymore and I felt ugly, with a bunch of scars across my stomach. I tried to see the bright side of things. I prayed and prayed and hoped God would some day give me an answer. And He did.
One thing about that years’ Christmas (2015) was that my husband and I both gifted each other a Bible. You might not think a lot about it but to me that was the most special gift of it all. I believe that this was God’s answer in a way. Telling us to find Him and to get to know Him by reading His word. To do things the right way. And I suddenly felt at peace.
Yes, it was a devastating experience, and it still hurts when I think about it but as I mentioned earlier, through all this I was still able to find the many blessings the Lord gives us. My salvation first and foremost. I feel at peace because I know that no matter how hard the times might be, we will always have Him by our side. He has it all planned out for us already, we just have to follow his lead and not lose faith. Knowing that my husband and I are staying strong together, growing closer as a married couple and finding the Lord together is a tremendous blessing! And I have faith that one day He will bless us with a miracle child who we then will be able to raise the right way, knowing Him and all in His glory!
In the last days of 2015 my husband and I decided to try InVitro Fertilization aka IVF. We didn’t know when exactly but it would be sometime after I am healed up. New Year, new start I guess.
But before the year could end of course there had to be another rock on the road! It was December 31, 2015 and I had just left my house to go to work. I have not even reached my car yet and received a phone call from my doctor’s office. The nurse I was speaking to was telling me that my doctor called her and to let me know to go to the Emergency Room immediately. She said that she does not know exactly why but that doctor is concerned about my beta hcg levels.
I was so confused and scared. I called my husband frantically to tell him to bring me to the ER. He came home and we went to the hospital. We were upset most of all because we didn’t know what was going on. “Hi, I was told by my doctor to come to the ER.” The admittance clerk looked at me and said “Ok, what is going on?” And all I could tell her was that I have no idea.
Once we got to our room my doctor came walking in already. He mentioned that my beta hcg levels were rising again. ‘What? What does he mean? Am I still pregnant?’ The first thought that came to my mind was ‘Twins!’ I was thinking about how high my levels were in the beginning and that maybe there was another baby somewhere in my uterus. I mean, conditions like this are very rare but what if!
My doctor did another ultrasound and there was nothing; he could not see anything anywhere. He mentioned he suspected some left over pregnancy tissue, which has gotten hold of blood supply and hence the rise in levels. My levels were low enough so he ordered the methotrexate shot for me. This would kill off the rest of the tissue. Man, how does that sound?!
The shot wasn’t too bad and we were in and out that day, and all I thought about was leaving all this bad stuff behind and moving on to the new year! It still took some time for my blood levels to drop to zero. But when they finally did I was so relieved. No more blood draws. No more bad surprises.
I am writing this post around the same time of our loss last year and right before our upcoming frozen embryo transfer in January 2017.
And I am saying goodbye. Goodbye to our angel babies in heaven who I have been holding onto so strongly until this day. Saying goodbye does not mean that I will ever forget you! It just means that I have to move on and leave the pain behind. To get myself ready for 2 of your 9 siblings (our frozen embabies), so I can provide them a happy and healthy home for the next 9 months and following. I will rejoice in the Lord because I know you are with Him and I know one day we will reunite in Heaven. Even though you were with us for only a short time, you will always hold a big piece in our hearts. Never forget that mommy and daddy have loved you from the very first moment we found out you were growing inside of me and that we always will!