It is with much sadness that I have to write this post. I have been putting it off for several days, but finally feel that it is time to get all my thoughts out and to let everyone know what has been going on for the last week or more. I will try to be coherent in what follows, but forgive me if I start rambling.
Mu husband and I confirmed on Easter weekend this year that we were pregnant once again. We were very excited, though a little nervous as well. After two losses, it was hard to get overly excited. We waited to start telling our families until Mother's Day weekend. That weekend, we used Skype to talk with my parents and one of my sisters and share our news with them. I also called my other two siblings and shared our news with them. On that Sunday we had my husband's parents over for dinner and told them and then he called several of his siblings to share the news with them. At that point I was almost at 9 weeks. We started telling people very slowly after that over the next week or so.
Also by that time, we had already had two ultrasounds. I had seen the baby at 6 weeks and saw the heartbeat. Everything looked good. Two weeks later, at 8 weeks, I saw the high risk doctor and had another ultrasound. Again, I got to see a perfect little baby and saw and heard the heartbeat. It was beating away at 171 bpm. Everything looked great! Through all of this I was feeling the constant nausea that is common in early pregnancy (never actually getting sick, just the feelings of it) and was extremely fatigued. All good signs and the doctors were all feeling positive about what they had been able to see thus far.
On Thursday May 20 I went in for a routine appointment, hoping to hear the heartbeat one more time before leaving for our vacation two days later. Because I was at 10 weeks, 4 days, they decided to use the ultrasound machine rather than the Doppler to find the heartbeat. The Doppler apparently works better once you get past the 11th/12th week. Now, my doctor's office also had just moved to a new location and the ultrasound machines they had at this new office were new to my doctor and she wasn't 100% comfortable using it. So she started the process and got the thing working. It took a little while but she finally found the baby but was having a hard time getting the picture to zoom in. Finally she decided to get someone to help her. She came back a minute later with another doctor and decided to do an internal ultrasound instead of the external like she had tried the first time.
I have been in this situation so many times now. Once the doctor starts an ultrasound and doesn't let you see the screen there is either something wrong or they think something may be wrong. So I was watching their faces, which was not encouraging. Once we finished and the second doctor left my doctor started telling me the news. The baby had stopped growing at 9 weeks and there was no heartbeat. The placenta seemed to be functioning still and was a little larger than it should have been at that point.
After hearing all this, she gave me a moment alone to get dressed again and call my husband. He wanted to come over, but it was close to rush hour and he had never been to this new location, so I knew it would take him way too long to get from his office on the edge of the city into downtown and find where I was, near lots of construction as well. So I told him to go home and I'd meet him there. I then talked to my doctor again and she explained our three options but told me to not make any decisions, go home and she would see me again in a few days to talk more.
So this Tuesday, two days ago, hubby and I went back to talk with the doctor again. My options were one, to wait and allow the miscarriage to happen naturally; two, to take the medication (cytotec, I think it's called) which would get the miscarriage going, but I'd still miscarry at home; or three, to do a suction D&C. I'd been through a natural miscarriage once before and wasn't sure I wanted to do that again. Plus, I am further along this time then I was that first time, so the cramping would probably be worse and it would be a LOT more blood. Not really something you want to wait out. Also, since the placenta was still functioning, there was no telling how long I would have to wait. The medication would speed that process up, but it was still essentially a long process of bleeding and cramping, probably at home. So after discussing the procedure more, asking lots of questions, and discussing the risks, we decided that the D&C was the best option. I am scheduled for the D&C on Friday morning and plan on wearing my St. Gianna bracelet that a friend made for me when I go.
With the D&C we also have the opportunity to have some tests done, which would not be able to happen if I miscarried naturally. There will be some chromosome and genetic testing done. This may or may not tell us anything.
One thing they can tell us is if the baby is a boy or was possibly a girl. The boy possibility is more definite than the girl possibility. But I don't care, if they have a good guess, that's good enough for me and I will feel comfortable giving this child a name and an identity that we can remember him/her by. In addition, after some pushing on my part and my doctor having to talk to two pathology people, they agreed that the baby's remains can be given to us after the testing is done so that we can give this child a proper burial. My plan at this point is to do a simple burial ceremony. I don't know when this will happen, it could still be several weeks away. But we'll probably keep it small and intimate, mostly just family. But it will be nice for this child to be buried next to his/her brother Zachary.
Tomorrow morning I go to the hospital at 6:30am for the D&C. I'm nervous, but mostly just because I haven't been put under for anything since I was in 8th or 9th grade to get my wisdom teeth removed. I also remember how much the IV hurt going in last year when I was in the hospital with Zachary. But, I know I'll get through it. I'm going to Mass tonight and seeing a priest afterwards for the anointing. I'll have my St. Gianna medal with me as well. And of course, we have the prayers of lots and lots of family and friends.
Thank you to everyone who has been praying for us and for all the notes, emails, FB comments and messages, and the many, many offers of help that so many have offered us. We are truly blessed to have so many wonderful friends and family.