Hand Holding a Tulip

STORIES OF HOPE

Recurrent Miscarriage Story: The rainbow after the storm

by Kiersten Peterson

April 4, 2017, should have been a great day. I should have gone to my doctor appointment, seen my sweet, now 14-week-old baby on the ultrasound, and found out their gender (or at least a pretty good guess). I should have then left my appointment and gone to the store to pick out an outfit for either a little girl or a little boy, wrapped it in cute baby-themed packaging, and waited for my husband to come home from work so he could unwrap it and find out whether we would be welcoming a little boy or a little girl into our family that October. Instead, I found out our baby no longer had a heartbeat.

I had a feeling something was wrong as soon as the ultrasound started. In fact, I’d been feeling really anxious ever since we had announced our pregnancy just three days prior. I remember driving to my appointment that Tuesday morning with my hand on my belly, telling my baby I was sorry for being so stressed out and I would feel better as soon as I knew everything was okay. But it wasn’t okay.

After a few minutes of total silence, while the sonographer pushed buttons and took measurements of our still, small baby, she put her hand on my arm and told me the words I will never be able to get out of my head… ‘I’m so sorry, but I’m not getting a heartbeat.’

{

I remember pleading with my baby to be okay with my hand on my womb and tears running down my face.

Kiersten Pregnant

She handed me a box of tissues and went to get the doctor. I sat there alone in that room in total shock and disbelief at what I had just heard. I knew how common miscarriages are, but I didn’t expect it to happen at 14 weeks after hearing our baby’s strong, rhythmic heartbeat just two weeks earlier. But the doctor came in a few minutes later, confirmed what the ultrasound tech had told me, and sent me to the hospital to deliver my lifeless baby.

So many thoughts were running through my head. ‘How could this have happened? What did I do wrong? Why me? I need my husband.’ (He was in the midst of army training and completely out of contact.) I remember pleading with my baby to be okay with my hand on my womb and tears running down my face.

When I arrived at the women’s clinic at the hospital, with puffy red eyes I choked out the words, ‘I’m having a miscarriage.’ A nurse led me to a delivery room and gave me a gown to change into and a bag to put all my things in. I had about a gallon of blood drawn, was put on IV fluids, and asked a bunch of questions. And after roughly five hours of bearing the weight of this devastating news alone, my husband walked through the door of my hospital room. He walked over to me with tears in his eyes and lay on the hospital bed next to me. He held me and we cried together. Despite being one of the hardest moments in our marriage, it is one that is still so precious to me.

Later that night, I woke up with the urge to go to the bathroom. I woke my husband up to help me and immediately upon standing, I felt something trickling down my leg and knew my water had broken. My husband went to grab the nurse and I told her I thought I was delivering our baby. As my husband stood by me rubbing my back, I sat on the toilet with my legs violently trembling underneath me and fighting back tears while what felt like crazy amounts of blood and other liquids came out of me. I think it was painful, but the emotional pain overwhelmed any physical pain I should have been feeling.

After the contractions slowed and it looked as though I had passed everything, my nurse came in and told us we had a little boy, a perfectly formed tiny little boy with all ten fingers and all ten toes. When I heard her say the word boy and I felt this huge swelling of love and loss all at once in my heart. I had been wishing for a boy, and here he was, but I’d never get to meet him this side of heaven.

{

We left the hospital the next morning, not with a baby in our arms, but with a little purple memory box.

Kiersten P - hope

We left the hospital the next morning, not with a baby in our arms, but with a little purple memory box.

Since that day, we have lost three more babies. Baby Pea in August of 2017, Little Bean in April of 2018, and our little girl, Faith, in October of 2018. After our third loss we were finally able to do all the testing for recurrent pregnancy loss – a hysterosalpingogram (or HSG) and testing for antiphospholipid syndrome and balanced translocation. Everything came back normal. I had already been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis years prior to trying to conceive and understood the importance of making sure my thyroid hormones were within not just the normal lab ranges, but the actual optimal ranges, and my doctor monitored me very closely, even monitoring my thyroid antibody levels to make sure they stayed low. After our fourth miscarriage I had a d&c so we could have chromosome testing done. Our baby’s chromosomes were just as they should be. We saw a Reproductive Endocrinologist after that, but minus a “you might have PCOS” non diagnosis, again all our tests came back normal.

But four babies in heaven with no answers as to why wasn’t the end of our story. Little did we know around the same time we conceived our fourth baby, a little girl was conceived just an hour away from us – a little girl who we would welcome into our family the following February thanks to the incredible sacrifice her birth mama made when she placed her for adoption and chose us to be her parents. She is the answer to so many prayers, our little miracle, the rainbow after the storm of losing four babies.

{

She is the answer to so many prayers, our little miracle, the rainbow after the storm of losing four babies.

Little did we know around the same time we conceived our fourth baby, a little girl was conceived just an hour away from us – a little girl who we would welcome into our family the following February thanks to the incredible sacrifice her birth mama made when she placed her for adoption and chose us to be her parents.
Kiersten P family kissing baby

On that fateful day back in April 2017 when our lives were changed forever, I never could have imagined our path would lead us here- to adoption and our beautiful baby and her brave first mama. I wish I could tell that girl that there would be more pain to come, and it was okay to feel the fullness of that, but never lose hope because good things are coming. I am oh so grateful to have been given the privilege of being this sweet girl’s mama, and for the promise of Heaven where we will one day get to meet her siblings.

Q & A with Allison, Founder Miscarriage Hope Desk

How many miscarriages & how many live births? 

4 miscarriages, 0 live births 

For each live birth, please list your age, how it happened (ivf, naturally, adoption, etc)?

I was 27 when we adopted our baby girl

Looking back, what, if anything, do you wish you would have done differently? 

I would have tried to not let the idea of having a baby consume me. Between the fear of miscarriage, the timing of sex, and the endless research on diet, supplements and lifestyle factors to improve fertility, as well as testing and treatment options, there was no room for anyone or anything else in my head and looking back I know that wasn’t the way to live. 

What were you told was the cause of your miscarriages? 

We were never given a cause.

What do you truly believe was the cause of your miscarriages? 

I believe there was something going on in my body, either hormonally or with my immune system that conventional approaches to women’s health don’t know how to properly identify or treat. I am now working with a Creighton Method practitioner and a NaProTechnology doctor and it has already revealed more about my hormonal health and fertility than the dozens of tests we did with my OB and RE during our losses.

What advice would you give to someone going through recurrent miscarriage? 

Remember you are not broken. You are worthy with or without a child in your arms. Find people you can turn to in your grief. And maybe look into the Creighton Method FertilityCare system.

Connect with Kiersten

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Do You Have a Story of Hope to Share?

For me personally, reading about other people’s struggles and eventual happy endings helped give me hope, even in my darker days. If you have a story you would like to share, I would love to hear from you. Get started by clicking the button below.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This