The One About the {Missed} Miscarriage at 11 Weeks

So you can tell from the title of this post, things are about to get really real up in here. It’s been an absolutely insane past few months – we’ve bought a house, sold a house, moved from the city in the suburbs, I was pregnant and now I’m not.

I want to document my experience here on the blog for a few reasons – because for me it feels like the last piece of the puzzle to complete the journey I’ve been on the past few weeks. This has been my online journal for over a decade – I want to be able to look back on this and always remember.

Also, in the midst of everything going wrong in my third pregnancy and first miscarriage, I turned towards others’ experiences online, and knowing there was someone out there who shared their story similar to mine or not, helped. I want to add my story to the mix in hopes that it will help others going through it feel not so alone.

Because that’s how it felt for me – emptiness and loneliness.

It’s been the roughest week in my life, ever since we got the news last Friday. But I will go back to the beginning a bit more before getting into all that.

I found out I was pregnant May 20th – the day before our 8 year wedding anniversary. Two days before we were scheduled to close on our new home in the ‘burbs. I initially planned to try to keep it a secret for at least a day until our anniversary but couldn’t wait to tell Charles. Since we had plans to move into a bigger home from the city, we also had hopes to grow our family – and this all seemed to fall into perfect timing.

New house, new baby.

I will say that getting pregnant a third time wasn’t quite as easy as #1 and certainly not as simple as #2 – it has taken us a while, much longer than I initially thought it would when we decided to go for #3 – and when I first saw those double lines on the pregnancy test I was over the moon.

Everything seemed to be coming along perfectly. I wasn’t really feeling any pregnancy symptoms – except extreme exhaustion – but I didn’t know if that was due to already having two young, energetic little boys and the fact that we were right in the middle of packing up and moving, or if it was pregnancy related. I was going to bed at 6:30 at night and waking up at 6:30 in the morning, I was exhausted and there wasn’t enough sleep in the world, but that was really my only complaint.

Since I have always had typically crazy cycles – some super long {54 days!} some super short {19 days!} It was a little bit difficult for the doctors to figure out my due date in the beginning – we had a little going back and forth with how many actual weeks pregnant I was, which looking back now should have been a red flag, maybe? But we saw a strong heartbeat at 6+ weeks so I was all in. I had never had any issues with any of my two previous pregnancies so I had no reason to think otherwise.

I went in for my 10 week appointment last Tuesday – since I had a 6 weeks ultrasound and we saw the heartbeat they didn’t do any further tests. Everything seemed great and I made my next appointments for the coming weeks. We were in what I had believed to be the ‘safe spot’ and we were excited and making plans!

That night we told my parents – it was my dad’s 70th birthday and it seemed like a great time to celebrate. We had plans to tell my in-laws and other family members that weekend. Everything seemed to be falling into place.

I was almost 11 weeks pregnant, had seen a strong heartbeat – what could go wrong?

Answer: Everything.

Warning: Things can get a little graphic from here on out.

I woke up last Friday morning, dropped the boys off at camp, came home to pack as I had plans to go away for the weekend – one of my best friends was having her Bachelorette at the beach. I was feeling totally normal but went to the bathroom and wiped and had the absolute slightest bit of pink come off on the toilet paper. Seriously, it was barely anything and I am very aware that spotting in pregnancy is normal. I had never had any spotting before with my first two pregnancies – It didn’t scare me at all and I didn’t think anything of it. It was never even enough for a panty liner, but for some reason I called my doctor.

The nurse told me likely everything was fine – I could wait and see if it got worse, even though it was probably normal, or I could come in and get checked by the nurse practitioner – She could make sure my cervix was closed. Even though I was not concerned at all at this point, I decided to come in real quick to get checked – I wanted to make sure everything was good to go before going away that weekend.

And I’m so glad I did.

Since I was planning to leave that afternoon for a weekend away, I had already made plans with my parents for them to watch the boys. So I dropped them off and made my way to the appointment. She checked me out and said everything was closed and looked good. She was a sweet doctor and since she knew I was going away wanted to give me some peace of mind before going – so she wanted to do the doppler on my belly. She said it was a little early to get a good reading, but she was willing to try, and I was so excited to hear that heartbeat.

But nothing.

Either she couldn’t find it or the worst possible scenario.

But she was still very optimistic at this point and I really wasn’t worried. The doctor offered an ultrasound – she said they had a new machine, and she wasn’t an ultrasound tech, but she would give it a try – again, for peace of mind. I was excited to get to see the little babe.

She pulled up the screen, I immediately saw the sac and then, nothing.

I had seen enough ultrasounds in my life to know what was going on, and I knew right then and there. My heart sunk. I couldn’t believe it.

My doctor wasn’t convinced it wasn’t a user error at this point, since she said this wasn’t her normal job. So she offered to have another doctor come in and do a vaginal ultrasound.

Another doctor came in, and still, nothing.

At this point I had tears streaming down my face. Everything changed in an instant.

And it came out of nowhere.

The doctor said that she didn’t believe this was a viable pregnancy and she suggested I go to the hospital for a specific ultrasound to be 100% sure. At this point they left me alone to get changed and I remember sending a text to my husband with the 💔 {broken heart} emoji and he sent it right back to me. This blindsided him as well.

Charles met me at the hospital and at this point he was still holding on to hope that everything would be fine. I on the other hand, knew what I had seen and I knew it was over. The ultrasound tech did her thing and then called the doctor in. We looked at everything together – the sac was still growing as my body still believed itself to be pregnant – but the fetus inside the sac – which had a strong heartbeat and was measuring perfectly 6 weeks ago, was not.

Every doctor and nurse we met, everyone was so kind. Sadly, I believe they deal with this much more than they would like to. Everyone kept saying they were so sorry for our loss.

Our loss.

Hearing that, even typing that still hits me hard.

We were then given options from our doctor – we could wait and see if the miscarriage would start on its own. She believed if so, I would start bleeding heavily in the next 24-48 hours. If not, the following week I could take a pill – orally or vaginally – to start the process, or I could get a D&C.

We decided to wait and see what would happen.

I was obviously heartbroken and in a little bit of shock. Before going into the hospital I had sent the few that knew about the pregnancy texts for prayers, and then had to update everyone accordingly once we knew the official word. Re-telling everyone over and over the news of the loss might have been the worst part. But I wouldn’t have it any other way because at that point, I needed the extra love and support.

I actually still ended up going from the hospital to my friends bachelorette weekend away. No one that weekend knew about my pregnancy or my loss, and honestly it was nice to get away and just be. I was able to process everything a bit more by myself and it was the perfect distraction from current life at the moment.

I didn’t want to go home and be sad, I still wanted to be there for one of my best friends at this exciting time in her life. I’m glad I made the decision to go.

On Monday morning I got a call from the doctor – she wanted an update. I told her nothing had happened. I was expecting to start bleeding and it just never came. She said after talking it over with her colleagues she would suggest a D&C. She said taking the pill to evacuate isn’t 100% guaranteed everything would “come out” – the D&C would ensure they would “get everything.” And the worst part, my doctor reviewed the ultrasound from the past Friday and couldn’t be certain that the baby stopped being ‘alive’ weeks ago.

This was gut-wrenching in itself – I still can’t help but wonder, when did this happen? How did this happen? Is it something I did or didn’t do?

Officially, this is called a missed miscarriage.

The doctor believed it to be some sort of chromosomal imbalance and the ball of cells/fetus sort of ‘took care of itself” on its own – which I am grateful for. But it still doesn’t make it any less awful to live through. My body was still growing, thinking it was pregnant, the sac was measuring 11 weeks but there wasn’t anything inside. So she suggested a D&C.

We scheduled it for Wednesday, July 3rd.

The hardest part of this whole past week was being pregnant, but not – at the same time. Having a little belly {because, third kiddo} but knowing it was empty. The whole time the past two months thinking it was me and this little one together, when really – who knows when it happened, but it was just me.

I’m thankful we didn’t tell the boys yet, because THAT would have been awful to explain.

Tuesday, the day before the procedure came and I started bleeding a bit. I wasn’t sure if my body was starting to get the hint and actual begin the process of miscarriage, but it ended up not being much of anything, so we went decided to move forward with the procedure the next day.

I was doing the D&C in the doctors office. I was given the option to go to the hospital and be ‘put to sleep’ for it, but it didn’t seem to work out scheduling wise and I was ready to do it. I was prescribed a bunch of different anti-inflammatory, anti-nausea, anti-infection, anti-anxiety and painkillers before everything got started.

The plan was to have a Dilation and Curettage (D&C) but when I got all ready to go I learned the new plan was for a D&E – Dilation and Evacuation – because I was so close to the second trimester. Basically they wanted to make sure they were fully able to evacuate the uterus.

The procedure was awful.

You can google for how the D&E or D&C process takes place if you like. I am not familiar with all the proper terms of it all, so I’ll spare you the details, but I will say that it was worse than childbirth – and I’ve had two babies vaginally.

Maybe it was worse than childbirth because you don’t get anything at the end. You are left with an empty, freshly evacuated uterus, and a body in complete shock – because that morning, it thought you were pregnant, and now it’s slowly realizing it’s not.

But it hurt like a <insure bad word here> – and Charles has the marks on his hands to prove it. He was with me through the whole thing, distracting me, letting me squeeze his hands as hard as I could – I don’t think I would have been able to do it without him.

Coming home from it I was drugged up a bit {thankfully} so I didn’t have much to complain about. Doctor’s orders were: no climbing stairs, no driving, no making any important legal decisions and to take it easy for a few days, which I was more than ready to do.

I was able to sleep it off a bit the first day, and luckily we had my parents to help with the boys. But waking up the second day – July 4th – was a whole different story.

I’m still not sure if it was my body in complete shock from the whole thing – being pregnant and then suddenly not – or all the drugs and painkillers wearing off, but the next day was bad. I was vomiting, uncontrollably shaking, having horrible cramps, hot and cold flashes, nausea, the works. Again, worse than childbirth. I was in pain and I was sad and it was awful.

We didn’t do much celebrating on the 4th of July.

I woke up Friday and I felt a lot better. The bleeding essentially stopped after the first day, which was great – I’m still meant to take it easy, but I got out of bed this morning, not planning to write this – but felt overwhelmed with the need to do it. So much of my life is on this little corner of the internet and I wanted to make sure I documented it here, not to be forgotten.

There was no easy way to share this, but in writing our story down, I hope to help someone else going through this feel not so alone. I feel like miscarriage isn’t something that is talked about as often as it happens. Apparently the stats are 1 in 4 women have them – 1 in 4! And for everyone going through this, there is no right or wrong way to deal with it. For me, sharing my story felt like something I needed to do to process it all and come to terms with everything.

I hope we have more exciting news to share with you in the coming months. I am hopeful we are able to grow our family, but I would be lying if I say I’m not scared about the future of that. Having to go through another miscarriage or pregnancy loss of any kind terrifies me. This was an experience that has rocked me to the core and I won’t ever forget it. I have never gone through a loss like this, and I feel changed from it. But I know how thankful I am for my two beautiful boys, they are the light of my life. I am grateful for how easy my two pregnancies with them were because I truly know now how quickly it can all change.

Sending love out to all the mamas out there who have gone through this kind of heartbreak.

You aren’t alone.

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  • Reply Michele July 6, 2019 at 11:29 am

    I’m so sorry, I can’t even imagine. This has always been one of my fears and I feel so emotional after reading this. You are so brave to share your story.

  • Reply Gina Jacobs July 6, 2019 at 11:33 am

    Thank you for sharing your story, when I had my loss last year I also found my comfort in bloggers stories as I know no one personally that had been there. Sending you all the love as you heal from your loss

  • Reply Erika July 6, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    I am so sorry for your pain. Thank you for sharing your story.

  • Reply Mary Margaret July 6, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    I am so sorry to hear this news. You have such a great support system so lean on them to help comfort you. I am praying that when the time is right you will have your rainbow baby to love.

  • Reply Haley July 6, 2019 at 6:12 pm

    Sending you (and all of you) so much love!

  • Reply Sue July 6, 2019 at 9:34 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. Miscarriage is such a roller coaster of emotion and it does help to hear other people’s stories and share however feels right to you. I had three MMC last year all between 9-11 weeks all followed by D&Cs. Miscarriage is horrible. I was able to have my second and third loss tested and they were confirmed chromosomal abnormalities – after lots of other tests it turns out we just had “bad luck”. I am now 18 weeks pregnant with hopefully my rainbow babe. Sending you much love and strength and looking forward to when you are sharing news about your rainbow. ❤️

  • Reply Jacqueline July 6, 2019 at 10:09 pm

    So so sorry .. I had a similar experience on my 1st pregnancy. Missed miscarriage, found out at 11 weeks that my little one stopped growing at 9 and followed up wit a d&c.. it’s an awful experience for anyone and like all things, it gets easier but take all the time you need to GRIEVE. Only positive news I can share if that they say after a d&c you have a higher chance of getting pregnant shortly after. We got pregnant the 2nd month trying after my d&c. God bless and so sorry to hear the terrible news.

  • Reply Patty July 6, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    Our hearts are broken too and reading your story has made me realize what an emotional roller coaster you have been on these last few weeks. Don’t get discouraged, you will one day welcome a healthy new baby❤️Love You My Baby Girl XOXO

  • Reply Jennifer Crane July 7, 2019 at 8:20 am

    I’m so sorry! Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Reply Christina Toro July 10, 2019 at 9:37 am

    Been following your blog for years. I teared up reading this post. My heart goes out to you and your family. Sending warm wishes. You are a great mama! 🙂

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