Miscarriage #2 (GRIEF)
It took 4 months and we were pregnant again and I felt confident that this time was our time.
In mid-September 2017 at about 6 weeks pregnant, my husband and I attended an entrepreneur’s conference in Utah. I was tired (yay!), my boobs ached (yay!), I felt my hands often resting on my belly and I happily swapped the glasses of wine with water.
I arrived home solo, as my husband flew to Colorado for a separate work trip. On Saturday, I had planned a hike with my friend. Before the hike, I noticed a little bit of blood when I went to the bathroom. After some obsessive googling, I knew this could be totally normal and read that light bleeding or spotting is common during the first trimester. I went ahead and took off for our hike, a bit nervous, but optimistic it was nothing. That night I went to bed with the same feeling, even as the spotting continued. But by the morning, there was more blood and I was nervous.
I called my husband and tried to remain positive but at this point, I had more than a hunch about what was going on. I had 2 girlfriends coming out for lunch that day. I decided not to tell them as I thought the distraction would be nice. By the time they arrived, I was bleeding heavily and soaking through pads and there was no doubt in my mind, I was miscarrying. I stuck with my plan of not telling them and to be honest, I don’t regret that decision. It was nice to not be sitting in bed crying (there would be plenty of time for that!) and to have their company. It also helped ease my mind knowing that if something went wrong, they were there to provide a ride into town to see a doctor.
This time around, I knew better than to go into the ER only to spend a (LOT) of money just for them to confirm what I already knew. Instead, I booked an appointment with my doctor and went in early that week where she confirmed that I had indeed miscarried.
This left me with a lot of questions. One miscarriage seemed common enough and even encouraging, but number two was devastating. What was going on? My husband and I both had a tough time with this one. There were weeks of grieving, spontaneously bursting into tears. I was also worried that two was not a fluke. Was there something wrong with me?
From November to January I did a lot of work related to food, nutrition and supplements that I will go into further in a separate post since ultimately, I don’t believe it revealed much in terms of answers. However, we did make a few discoveries-
In November I had a polypectomy where they went in a removed scar tissue from my uterus, perhaps left over from one of my previous pregnancies. She couldn’t be certain, but this may have been something preventing the baby from implanting.
In the fall, testing suggested that I had Antiphospholipid Syndrome, a blood clotting disorder discovered in 15% of women with recurrent miscarriages. This was confirmed when I repeated the test in January. One thing I learned through this process is that recurrent miscarriage is defined as three or more, luckily after two our obgyn ran this test (reasoning that because of my older age of 35 it would be better to test sooner).
As devastating as this all was, we felt like we had some answers and steps for moving forward. While the Antiphospholipid Syndrome diagnosis left me feeling devastated, overwhelmed and confused, it also left me hopeful. There is a protocol of aspirin and lovanox (both blood thinners) that helps women with APS to conceive.
I felt encouraged and grateful that we had potential answers. I know so many fertility issues cannot be explained. We had an explanation and a plan, I was ready to move forward.
What Helped Me
I got chickens!
This one was God’s plan, not mine. My husband and I had already planned for and ordered the chickens prior to this pregnancy, having no idea how perfect the timing would turn out. Having a box full of 2-day-old chicks showing up 2 weeks after the miscarriage was exactly what I needed! Just like my cat Livia that I mentioned in my story about my first miscarriage, my chickens continue to be a source of comfort, joy, love and laughter in my life.
Something I’ve learned through experiencing grief, is sometimes I just need a good cry. For me, these usually take place either in the shower or in the car and can last from a few minutes up to half an hour. Allowing for time and space to fit in a good cry from time to time was very therapeutic for me (and still is to this day!).
I knew I didn’t want to quickly jump in to my next pregnancy. I wanted some time to do testing, explore some nutrition pieces, and see if there was something I might be missing. But most importantly, I knew both my body and mind were telling me I needed a break, so I listened. Allowing myself a few months to “recover” felt good and necessary.
Having a Plan
I had a rough few months that fall and really struggled to come to terms with what was happening. After wrapping my head around the Antiphospholipid Syndrome and what a protocol to help with that might look like, I felt much more positive about moving forward.
Pregnancy (Surviving Morning ‘ALL DAY’ Sickness)
Around February we decided to start trying again. It took a few months, but the day after I returned from a very relaxing trip to Costa Rica, we conceived. I had such a hunch this would be a healthy pregnancy.