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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

OK, lets do this...

If you are a long-term reader of Momsie you already know that I suffered a miscarriage this year.  I shared with you all back in October that I was about 5 weeks along when I miscarried.  I am blessed to have 2 sons already, Oliver and Sullivan and they were a huge reason I was able to move on from that with a lot of peace and thankfulness.  I was also so touched by the loving emails and comments I got from you all.  I know that I am not the first woman to go through a miscarriage and I know there are many situations that are worse than mine.  And I realize that by already having two children I am beyond blessed.

To fill you in a little more, my miscarriage was not your typical miscarriage.  It was also not my first.  After having Oliver I got pregnant pretty quickly again but after only about 6 weeks I was rushed to the emergency room.  They discovered that I had an ectopic pregnancy which means the pregnancy attached to the inside of the fallopian tube instead of attaching to the uterus as it should.  In some cases, if it's caught in time an ectopic can be treated with medicine which disolves the pregnancy.  In my case the pregnancy had already grown enough to rupture my tube which was causing internal bleeding.  So, my tube had to be removed.  Recovering from that surgery was not awful in the physical aspect, especially since it was not as painful as a c-section but emotionally it really took some time.  It was so unexpected after having no trouble with my first pregnancy it really messed with my head.  I was anxious and sad and dying to get pregnant again.

It would take a full year and a half for me to get pregnant with Sullivan.  I started seeing a reproductive specialist at REACH and test after test would reveal that there was no real issue going on which only made me more frustrated and impatient.  Why was it so hard suddenly for me to get pregnant??  Let's just say that I was not a happy camper during these days.  After multiple procedures I finally got pregnant on my own.  No drugs, no help just a good ole fashioned natural pregnancy.  It was a shock and a huge relief.  My pregnancy with Sullivan proved to be the reward for all my trying.  It was so easy and I was so happy throughout those nine months.  Sullivan also was a dream baby so I finally felt like my luck had turned.

When we started considering trying for a third I was feeling really healthy and positive.  I had started accupuncture, had run my first 5K, was relaxed and not stressed, and open to letting things happen when they were meant to be.  So I was beyond shocked when I got pregnant on the first try.  I felt like it was so fitting and deserved after what I went through with the miscarriage and the trying with Sullivan.  Never once did I think that I was at risk for another ectopic.  Sure, they had told me your chances are raised once you have one but my remaining tube had never shown signs of damage and seriously, what were the chances that would happen to me again?!

I was at the beach when I got that positive test so I didn't have my first appointment until I got home.  Being "high risk" meant I got to see my doctor as soon as I found out which was great because every girl wants that first appointment as soon as possible!  I floated in that day without a care in the world.  I had had a really busy day and never even stopped to think about the appointment.  I knew I was really early on so I was not surprised when the ultrasound tech said she couldn't find the sac on the screen.  I had a little flutter of nerves but figured it was no big deal.  My doctor came in and his first words were, "I am worried that it is in your tube."  I sat there stunned, not knowing if I should laugh or cry.  He and I have a great humorous relationship so I seriously thought he could be joking.  I looked over at my husband, Taylor for confirmation that this was not happening and he just looked at me worried.  I don't know what was said after that because all I could focus on was not bursting into tears.

The next few days were an excruciating wait of blood tests and ultrasounds, each one in hopes that the sac would show up or the levels would indicate a normal pregnancy.  To my delight the blood work was promising.  Each day my levels were going up, something that would be unlikely with an ectopic.  I had gone back to my doctor at REACH so that I knew a specialist was monitoring me and he was really hopeful that it was not in my tube.  At the very least he would watch things closely enough that he would catch an ectopic before it ruptured my tube.  My days during that week were a haze and full of prayers.  My stomach tied itself in knots.  On Friday I had an ultrasound and the doctor thought he saw the sac!  He told me that that combined with my blood levels were a great indicator that everything was ok.  His last words to me were that he was "95% sure that the pregnancy was not in my tube."

Saturday night I woke with terrible cramping.  I knew something was wrong but the symptoms weren't like the last time so I held out hope that it was just gas or something benign.  As I got up to move from the couch to my bed I blacked out for a minute.  I came to and realized that something was terribly wrong.  I was instructed to go to the ER and by the time I got there I was telling the doctors that it was an ectopic.  I just knew.  The night was painful and scary and I can still remember the doctors face as he spoke to me before I was put to sleep.  He explained that he would do everything he could to save the tube if it was safe but that I should prepare to wake up without it.  At that point I didn't care anymore, I just wanted to be out of the pain.  When I awoke I knew it was gone so I immediately said one little prayer, "God, just give me peace of mind."  It was all I could think to ask and I repeated it every time the anxiety creeped in.  God definitely answered my prayer time and time again.

So, suddenly I was tube-less.  My chances of ever having another baby relied on in vitro fertilization.  Sure there was the option of adoption or surrogacy and both options did cross my mind.  I wondered if this all happened because I was meant to do one of those things.  I wondered if I should just leave well-enough alone and just be grateful for the two I had.  All I knew was that it was going to take time to figure out what we wanted and I was in no rush.  Suddenly the pressure of when to have a baby seemed silly and I decided that however our family came together would be fine in it's own time.  We took time to just heal and once we were ready we decided to make our first appointment to discuss how IVF would work.  We got all the information and were told that whenever we were ready we could get started.

So how do you decide you are ready for that??  We decided that we would just follow our instincts and start when it felt right.  No timeline, no pressure.  And if we changed our minds altogether that was fine too.  I have to say that even I was shocked at how quickly I was able to get to a good place with all of this.  I know that having two kids helped distract me and take away a lot of worry.  I also became so busy with new things with designPOST and Sullivan's growing high-maintenance-ness :)  Life really felt pretty good.  So when Taylor was the one to bring up the thought of getting started I was kinda surprised.  What surprised me even more was how little time it took for me to get on board.  As soon as he showed some interest I got a little excited at the thought of trying again.  Clearly the thought was also terrifying at the same time.  

I had always heard about IVF but never in my wildest dreams did I think I would go through it myself. I imagined lots of scary medicines, crazy mood swings, and of course the chance of me having a litter of babies!!  I quickly found out that some of this was true but some of it was not that bad.  Oh but the bad parts were brutal!  Stay tuned next week when I will share the fun of visiting your local fertility clinic!


  1. Beth, I had not read this blog until now. That is what I get for "skimming" thru Facebook! What a positive outlook on life and how it unfolds. Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Beth, I am so appreciative of your honesty and openness in your journey. After trying to get pregnant for so long, we did IVF, too. Praise God for your blessings! Hugs to you. :) Danae

  3. I am so glad I can be an open book so yall and any other girls can not feel like they are the only ones going through it.


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