This post tells the story of my first pregnancy, as well as the first loss my husband and I have ever experienced together. I wrote this post as therapy for myself and to help others who have never experienced this type of loss to have a better understanding. I’ve also found that I find comfort in reading the stories of other women who have faced this awful nightmare, so perhaps this will remind someone else experiencing a miscarriage that they are not alone.
Travis and I decided we wanted to start a family in September of 2014. We began trying to get pregnant in October 2014. When Travis moved to South Korea in March 2015, the trying obviously stopped but the longing for a baby didn’t.
On Jan. 6, 2016, I was happily surprised when two lines appeared on my home pregnancy test. It seemed our reunion in the fall was more happy than we even realized. I immediately shared the news with Travis over Skype. We were both ecstatic and full of joy about the new life growing inside me.
I was still feeling like it couldn’t possibly be real after seeing too many negative tests for so long, so I got blood work done right away. It was confirmed — I was positive for pregnancy. We told my parents a few days later, and I anxiously awaited Travis’ arrival home to America.
I picked Travis up from the airport with a “Welcome Home Daddy” sign, and we began announcing to our families our great news. We only had a couple of days to share with our families, move our household goods, see the doctor, and say goodbye to everyone before we moved (PCS’d) to Missouri.
Being almost 10 weeks, I went in for an ultrasound in hopes of hearing our precious baby’s heartbeat for the first time. The doctor was able to schedule it on the only day available for both Travis and I to be there. This was the first time something didn’t feel right. The ultrasound technician had told us she would let us see the screen, but she never turned it around. She told us we probably couldn’t hear a heartbeat because it was too early. After I got dressed, she told us she wasn’t allowed to say anything and we had to wait for our doctor to call. The second we walked out of the room, the tears came. I knew something wasn’t right, and I was incredibly disappointed that the appointment was nothing like what I expected.
The doctor finally called the next day — on Jan. 22. They told us we weren’t as far along as we thought and I was probably closer to 6 weeks. The nurse told me everything was fine and assured me there really was a baby in there.
We finished driving to Travis’ parents’ house to share the news with everyone. That night, his entire family was coming over for dinner to say goodbye to us. That was also when I started bleeding. I had been told some bleeding and even cramping was normal after a vaginal ultrasound, so I tried not to think too much into it. But the worry came nonetheless.
As everyone arrived for the party, the bleeding and cramping became worse. We decided not to announce our news to the entire family. I was scared that I was miscarrying. I sat in the living room as stories were told, smiling and pretending I was listening all the while knowing I was losing my baby and my dreams were dying.
Eventually, we decided to go into the ER. We left the party, probably leaving everyone wondering what was going on. I didn’t even say goodbye to anyone.
In the ER, they did a pelvic exam first. Several doctors and nurses were in the room as Travis held my hand and I cried. I’ll never forget the moment the doctor stood over me, looking down into my eyes, to tell me that I had definitely miscarried. I don’t remember anything she said after that. The nurses put in an IV, gave me morphine and took my blood. The morphine knocked me out. I couldn’t move or talk or open my eyes, but I could hear everything going on around me. When the doctors and nurses finally left the room, I could hear my husband break down. He began to cry sitting next to my hospital bed, and I was unable to comfort him or even squeeze his hand.
Once the morphine began to wear off, I had to do another vaginal ultrasound to make sure everything had been expelled from my body. Otherwise, it can cause an infection. They told me everything was out, and I was released with instructions to see an OBGYN as soon as we got to Missouri.
That night as we drove away from the hospital, I played the song “Not Right Now” by Jason Grey. We both sat in silence as we drove, listening to the song with tears pouring down our faces.
The next day, we left for Missouri. We had one day of no hospitals — my 27th birthday — which was spent bleeding, cramping, and crying together. We only had a few days to find a house, so we also spent this day looking at a couple houses. But we didn’t like either of them, and we planned to look at more the next day.
On Jan. 25, we got an appointment with an OBGYN after quite the hassle with TriCare (insurance company). At this appointment, I assumed it would go quick and all of this would be over. Instead, during the ultrasound the doctor saw something inside my uterus. In fact, Travis and I both saw it too. There was also a fluttering. The doctor called in a second doctor to look at it, but neither were sure what we were seeing.
We were told there were two main possibilities — we were just seeing tissue and my heartbeat OR we were seeing a gestational sac and a fetal heartbeat. When I saw the fluttering and the second doctor was coming in, I was praying over and over, “Please give us a miracle. Please save my baby.”
Next, I was to have my blood drawn and another ultrasound with more high-tech equipment. This would be my fourth vaginal ultrasound in five days. I stared at the tech’s face as she pushed buttons on her machine and made no facial expressions. Tears streamed down my face and I knew.
“Did you see what they saw this morning?” I asked.
“Yes, kind of,” she replied.
“No,” she said. “I’m sorry.”
I couldn’t help myself. The tears washed over me and I didn’t care if the whole hospital heard my crying.
The radiologist came and spoke with us. He wasn’t sure what to think. He told us there was definitely a gestational sac in my uterus, but he couldn’t see anything inside it. He said he couldn’t rule whether the pregnancy was viable or not. It was all left up to my HCG levels.
I had went from a happy pregnancy to a miscarriage to the possibility of a healthy pregnancy back down to a miscarriage all in a matter of days, and now here he was telling us we still didn’t have a clear answer. Because we ended up spending most of the day in the hospital, we only had time to look at two more houses. We didn’t like either of them either. We set up an appointment to look at about 6 houses the next day.
I got more blood work the next morning, bawling through the whole process. I knew this blood would determine whether I was pregnant or not. And I knew there was nothing I could do to get the results I so desperately wanted.
I began praying for a miracle, knowing that was most likely not what was going to happen. It wasn’t that I thought God couldn’t save my baby. I know with everything in me that He most certainly could have. But I also knew that my will and God’s will are not always lined up, and I just had that gut feeling that this time I wasn’t going to get what I wanted. I determined in my mind that the pregnancy was over. I was ready to find out for sure.
The appointment to get my blood work took way longer than expected, so we had to push our house hunting appointment back to later that afternoon.
A few hours later after I got my blood drawn, we got the results. My HCG levels had dropped. Nonviable pregnancy. My body is expelling what used to be beautiful life inside me. That morning, on Jan. 26, I lost my baby … again.
Surprisingly, I didn’t cry when the kind nurse told us the final news. In fact, as horrible as it sounds, Travis and I felt relief to finally have an answer. Instead of wondering, we could begin to fully grieve our loss.
An hour later, we found out Travis’ grandma passed away. Ten minutes after receiving that heartbreaking news, we had to look at houses. Thankfully, we loved the first house we saw and decided to take it rather than keep looking.
Our household goods came the next day, and as soon as they finished unloading the truck, we got in the car and drove back to Indiana for Grandma’s services. We spent a few days there and then headed back to Missouri.
And that is where we are at now. We are grieving our precious baby and all the dreams we had for decorating a nursery, having a gender reveal party, birthday parties for our little one, first days of school… We are grieving the loss of a precious grandmother and reliving memories of favorite popcorn, waffle eating contests, and using a hammer to break ramen noodles.
We want to thank all of our friends and family who have been praying for us through this ordeal. Thank you for your support and love and kind words.
I plan to write several more posts on this topic and more about my own personal experience. For now though, as we try to get settled into our new home and process all we’ve been through, I thank you for understanding that I may not post on my blog as consistently as I usually do. Because writing is therapy for me, I plan to keep writing and posting as much as I can, but I also know my body and soul need rest and healing.
Are you currently going through a miscarriage or do you know someone who is? Consider ordering my eBook Miscarriage & Mourning: Encouragement after Pregnancy Loss.