We planned to wait to share our newest pregnancy until after we saw a heartbeat. And if there was no heartbeat, we were just going to to keep it to ourselves. The public nature of our losses has been difficult. But I started bleeding heavily on Thursday at five and a half weeks pregnant and I felt like we could use some prayers. So we shared widely and requested prayers, so I might as well share the news here as well. The bleeding has since stopped and we went in for an ultrasound which revealed that the gestational sac was still there and measuring correctly. It's too early to see a baby or heartbeat, but the news is reassuring so far and we're grateful my doctor didn't think I was a complete nut (or if he did think so, he humored me anyway) and had us come in to take a peek.
I really pride myself on not being crazy or over reacting during pregnancy. I'm not a worrier by nature and while I'm often a pessimist, I don't tend to let fears get to me. In truth, when I get a positive pregnancy test, I expect a miscarriage withing two months and not a baby in nine, but I other than contacting my doctor and taking what precautions we can, I acknowledge that if we are going to miscarry there isn't a whole lot we can do about it. But I've never experienced bleeding in pregnancy like this before and it was the uncertainty that was killing me. If we miscarried, fine - we'd get through it. But I just needed to know if we had or not. Had I bled like this before my first miscarriage, I doubt would have called the doctor at all. I know that some bleeding, even heavy bleeding can occur in a normal and healthy pregnancy. But this time, I found myself freaking out for the first time, calling my doctor several times, begging to go in for an ultrasound (lest you think my doctor is heartless, he very well may have agreed to an ultrasound without begging but because I didn't get a hold of him, I was begging over voice mail). I felt desperate and then very foolish for letting my thoughts spiral like that. I hate that my losses have robbed me of my ability to be joyful, relaxed, and even sane during a pregnancy.
Seeing the sac is no guarantee that this pregnancy is healthy. In fact, in three of my four pregnancies, it wasn't until after this point that something was noticeably wrong - the sac grew just fine, but a baby or heartbeat never materialized (in the remaining miscarriage, we lost the baby before this point). I know not to get my hopes up until we see a heartbeat in a couple weeks, and I assume that even if we do see a heartbeat, I'll probably not fully relax until the baby is born. Even though I've only had first trimester losses, I'm much more aware of loss in general now. I go to a support group in which the majority of mothers had full term losses. (I'll admit to often feeling out of place as the only or one of the only women with first trimester losses at the meetings. Why aren't there more? Am I the only woman with early losses who can't just "get over" them and move on? Do these women who lost their full term babies think I'm ridiculous for mourning over my early miscarriages?) Anyway, I know those things happen and the fact that they are rare doesn't exactly make me any more comfortable. Even if something only happens to one in a billion, there is no guarantee that the one is not me. After all, it's pretty rare to have as many miscarriages in a row as I have, and here I am. Anyone can be a statistic, you know?
But here is the thing: I'm feeling a bit guilty because there was a part of me that wished that I had just miscarried. Not because I want the baby to die - I don't! My most ardent wish is to have a living child! And not just any living child, but this one! This irreplaceable soul who I already love so much and who is a unique and important member of our family. But there is a part of me that feels like miscarriage is inevitable, 100% certain. So if it's going to happen, I'd rather just have it happen, you know? So I can start healing. So we can try again. It's crazy! Who thinks like that?
I really wish there were some better resources out there for pregnancy after loss. There ARE several, of course, but they tend to be based on the fact that you won't miscarry again. There is maybe a page or two on "if you miscarry again". Which makes sense, because it's actually pretty rare to have two in a row much less double that. But for women like me, in which miscarriage is the rule and not the exception, I sometimes just want to have someone acknowledge that yes, I may miscarry again. There may not be a "happy ending" in store for this pregnancy. But that it will be okay anyway. That I'll survive.
Anyway, enough rambling. For all of you that are struggling to conceive or who are awaiting your pregnancy after loss, know that I am praying for you. God bless.