I had just gotten back from a weekend in Texas for a good friend’s bachelorette party. I was a couple days late. I was so excited I could hardly stand it. We had only been trying for a couple months, but as you know it felt like years. I got home on September 4th, and the next day September 5th would mark our 1-year anniversary gift. What better gift than a positive pregnancy test, right? On my drive back from Midway Airport I stopped at a Walgreens, and bought it. Our test. I can’t recall how it all happened, but long story short, I got home, peed on a stick, saw two lines, showed my husband, we both cried tears of joy, and went out to celebrate one year and a new baby!
Everything was going good … boobs hurt, super tired, all awesome symptoms of pregnancy! We told my husband's family around 8 weeks by making cupcakes for my brother-in-laws birthday. We put little blue and pink trinkets inside. We told my parents by sending them on a scavenger hunt to spell out the word BABY! We took pictures of all this, so I could scrapbook and show baby when he or she got older!
We decided we would tell other family and friends after our 12 week mark and after seeing our ultrasound. We decided we would go big! We were going to make a CD with songs that have the word BABY in the title! Burned all 30 plus copies, put them in padded envelopes, addressed, and sealed. 11 weeks, only 1 more week to spill the beans!
Days before 12 weeks, I went to Omaha to go to a concert with my one and only sister. One of the first things I did when I got there was give her a present. Inside were tampons and condoms with a note “These need to be put to good use, because I won’t be needing them for the next nine months.” You could see the light bulb go off in her head! She cried, I cried, we laughed, we hugged. It was so real! She would be an aunt and I would be a mom. A mom! We went to the concert and the next morning was a day I would never forget.
I woke up to blood. Bright red blood. Period blood. My sister of course knew nothing because she is younger, so I called my sister in law who said it is really common to “spot.” I had a feeling this was not just spotting. Called the OB and they said I should just keep my appointment in a few days when I got back and we would see what was going on. Even though I already knew what was going on. Mother’s intuition.
We kept our ultrasound appointment at the doctor’s office. While in the back of my mind I knew the news we were going to get, I had some hope. Maybe it was a mistake and my body was just freaking out and handling this pregnancy in a different way. And I could not be having a miscarriage. I was 25, healthy, happy, not a care in the world. But that is the thing, miscarriage does not discriminate. It doesn’t care if it is your first pregnancy or fourth pregnancy. It doesn’t care if you are white, black, young, old, overweight, or skinny.
The waiting room was small, and there were lots of baby bumps. That was going to be me in 4 months. I couldn’t wait to have a bump and eat for two! We got called back to the ultrasound room, the tech took our info, checked over everything, and started the ultrasound. I explained to her what had happened, the blood. She seemed very calm and proceeded with the ultrasound. First on my belly, then vaginally. After silence in the room and searching for what felt like forever, she said the words. “It looks as though there is no heartbeat.” It felt like I had no heartbeat too. I had to catch my breath. Really? Me? Are you sure? My husband and I were holding hands, there was comfort. Tears started. We were let into another room to wait for a doctor I had never met.
Our doctor came in. It was all a blur, but she gave us our options, some of the science behind everything, told me it wasn’t my fault. She said all the right things, but there was still ache. We opted to have a D&C to remove our baby. When I say it like that, it makes me cringe. It was a baby. It was our baby. After the appointment, I went to school and wrote sub plans for the next day, went to the hospital to have the D&C, and then went out to dinner with my husband. That’s right, we went out to dinner. I think we were both in shock, not fully understanding what had happened and what we had lost. The evening seemed so routine … like find out you had a miscarriage, go write sub plans, go have surgery, go out to dinner, and carry on with your night.
The funny thing about miscarriage and loss in general, is n body knows what to do. If you are the person going through the loss, you want to quit, hide in bed, get lost for a while. If you are offering condolences, there isn’t much you can do. We only knew a couple people who had a miscarriage. My miscarriage was back in 2010 and now it is 2015. So much has changed about miscarriages since then. The discussion is more open. More honest. More loving. More sincere. We are not alone. While I don’t want anyone to feel that pain, it is comforting to know that someone has been there and can sympathize with me.
We tried as soon as we could and on Christmas Eve of 2010 I took a positive pregnancy test and gave it to my husband on Christmas morning. We were excited to say the least, but we were also very scared. Miscarriage takes away a certain amount of excitement with each following pregnancy. Is the outcome going to be the same? Worrying takes over your mind. Miscarriage robs you of happiness, in so many ways.
On September 8, 2011 Brooklyn Ann was born into this world. A beautiful, big girl weighing 9 pounds 13 ounces with a head as long as a ruler! I loved her. But I wasn’t in love with her. Friends told me what to expect with pregnancy … stretch marks, weight gain, boob engorgement, emotions, etc. But no one really explained the emotional rollercoaster that is Post Partum Depression. I remember thinking “Everyone loves Brooklyn, but what about me? I did all this work! And I am not getting any sleep, my boobs are crazy, I still have 40+ to lose. My husband is showing her more affection than me, I can’t go out when I want to. This isn’t fair. She is ruining everything.” Yes, I thought that. If you have had PPD, you totally get it. If not, sorry. That is the truth, it is how I felt! I cried all the time. It didn’t help that the anniversary of 9/11 was three days after we got home. I can just see myself lying on the floor crying with this new baby thinking “Why don’t I love her like everyone else does? Why am I not jumping up and down? There are so many people suffering and I have this beautiful baby.” Eventually I fell in love. In love with my baby girl, Brooklyn.
We knew we wanted our kids close together, but when I got a positive pregnancy test when Brooklyn was 8 months old, we were a little nervous. We were even more nervous when we went in for our ultrasound and they told us we were eight weeks along. I was due December 1st, 2012. I was going to have two babies. How in the world? But we did it! On December 8th, 2012, exactly 15 months after big sister was born, Alexandria Ann came into this world. Dark hair, squinty eyes, and 9 pounds 1 ounce of happiness. Having symptoms of PPD prepared me for the emotions of being home with two babies. This time it didn’t last as long, but still cried thinking I ruined Brooklyn. How am I going to balance this thing called motherhood? How am I going to give Brooklyn the attention she needs? How am I going to give Alexandira all the cuddles and rocking she needs as a baby? In reality, I gave Brooklyn the best gift I will ever give her. The love of a sister.
Our fourth pregnancy, started in March 2014 when we went in for our ultrasound. Everyone gave us a hard time for having our kids so close together and having two girls. Are you going to wait? Do you want a boy? What are you going to do if it is a girl? “Oh don’t worry if it is another girl we will just send her back!” Idiots! Anyways, I was going to Omaha the following weekend for my sister’s bridal shower and really wanted to see a heartbeat before I told my family.
We scheduled our ultrasound and were so excited. Arrived, Checked in, called back, the same routine. As I was getting ready I looked at my husband and said “What would we do if it was twins?” That would put us at four kids, four years and under! I don’t remember his answer, or if he even answered. The ultrasound tech came in and started and there THEY were. Two sacs. Two fertilized sacs inside me. Seriously? One was bigger than the other. She said that we would have to see how the smaller one developed. No heartbeats were detected yet, but they were there. Two Babies. We were coming back in a week to see the progress.
That was one of the longest weeks of my life. Everything ran through my head. EVERYTHING! How would we set up the minivan? How would I breastfeed? How would I stay sane? How would I do anything? During this week I prayed all the time. I just asked God to do what he knew was right. If he thought the right plan for us was two babies, awesome. We would handle it. It would be hard, but we could do it. If not, then we would be blessed with one. We went back one week later and we saw two sacs. One with no heartbeat, and one with a heartbeat of 99. Even though a heartbeat was never officially detected, I believe he or she is up in the Heavens with their big brother or sister. The doctor said she really wants the heartbeat to be higher than 99 at this point in the pregnancy. I thought “We are going to go from twins to nothing.” Praying and more praying. A week later we had another ultrasound to see one sac with a strong heartbeat of 156. One baby. One heartbeat.
So many emotions. I was so happy to have another healthy baby, but wondered what would have been. Seven months later our little boy entered this world. Smaller than his sisters, at 8 pounds 13 ounces, but stronger than ever! Trenton Allen officially completed our family. We have always wanted three babies. Well, we have always wanted three children to raise on this earth. Three earthside babies, and two babies in heaven.
To those that are reading this who are struggling. I have no clue what you are going through. I have had my own experience, my own struggles, my own story, but I do not know yours. I don’t know why bad things happen to good people. I am sorry you are struggling. I am sorry you are sad. I am sorry you don’t have a baby. I pray for you all the time. I hope that you find comfort somewhere. I hope that you have a baby. I hope that you are blessed. I hope that you find hope!
Disclaimer: This is not a medical resource. The information is related to individuals and their unique situation. If you have questions or concerns about your health or fertility, please contact a medical professional.