We had a baby!
I realize I haven't posted since my miscarriage last year, so I figured I'd give an update. We ended up getting pregnant again in June and it was a surprise. Even though it's what we wanted, I had really mixed feelings at first when we got that positive pregnancy test. It was terrifying because I knew what could happen, but as soon as I saw that positive test I got an immediate thought in my head that said "she's strong." It was so strange, and I don't know how I knew it would be a girl right away but our 16 week elective ultrasound confirmed it, we were having a baby girl due in March 2019.
I had a great pregnancy and I loved being pregnant. I didn't really have morning sickness, I didn't have food aversions or cravings, no mood swings. When I would hear other women complain about being pregnant, I just couldn't relate. Everything was great until my 32 week appointment when I was diagnosed with Preeclampsia, but even then I still enjoyed being pregnant. My Preeclampsia diagnosis meant that I would have to be induced at 37 weeks, so our March baby would turn out to be a February baby. After my diagnosis I had to go for weekly ultrasounds, non-stress tests, and blood work. I used to be afraid of getting my blood drawn but after this pregnancy I am a pro. It was a lot of office visits, but I didn't mind and I had Luke by my side at every appointment, he didn't miss one.
At my 36 week appointment we got our induction date: February 13th. Our hospital bag was already packed, and the car seat was in the car. We were ready, but I was not excited to give birth. It's scary! I've never had any kind of hospital stay before, not one stitch or broken bone. The idea of giving birth really freaked me out but obviously I knew it had to happen. Luke and I went out to breakfast at our favorite place, we had been treating ourselves to our favorite restaurants for days knowing we wouldn't be going out to eat for a very long time. At 10am we got the call to be at the hospital at 11:30am. When we got to the hospital we were escorted up to the "high risk" section of the labor and delivery floor due to the Preeclampsia. I was given four doses of Cytotec 6 hours apart. It was a long, boring process and my back was killing me from laying in an uncomfortable hospital bed for hours on end. I couldn't even get up to walk around because I had to be on a monitor the whole time to monitor the baby's heartbeat and my contractions. By the time my 24 hours of medication was up, I was 3cm, up from a fingertip dilated. They were ready to move me to the delivery room but apparently it was a popular day to have babies because every delivery room was occupied, all 16+ of them. I had to wait a while, but a room finally opened up and we were moved to a huge, intimidating delivery room. They started me on Pitocin and broke my water. Once my water was broken, the contractions were intense. On top of that, I had horrible gas pains in my ribs/below the breast area which made the contractions almost unbearable, I swear those gas pains were more painful than giving birth and if I didn't have them I would have been able to go without an epidural. I ended up getting the epidural, which really creeped me out but it wasn't painful. The anesthesiologist hit a nerve and my leg kicked violently, but it ended up being okay. After the epidural everything was great. I hated the fact that I couldn't move my lower half, but it was better than having to deal with the pain. I went to sleep and when I woke up I was 9cm dilated. My midwife had to perform a c-section on another woman, and she told me by the time she got back I would be ready to push. When she came back, the baby was more than ready to come out. I pushed for only 3 sets of contractions, about 10 minutes total before she arrived. I had a second degree internal tear that was stitched up, but other than that everything was good.
Maeve Emmelene Evers arrived at 5:10am on Friday, February 15th. She weighed 6lbs 1oz and was 19 inches long. She had a full head of dark brown hair which was so surprising! She's a sweet baby and we love her so much. She's a pro at breastfeeding and doesn't cry much. We can't wait to watch her grow.
The first couple of weeks after giving birth were hard. I injured my back from the hospital beds which caused my arms, legs, and hands to feel numb and incredibly weak. I even had trouble holding my head up. I struggled putting my contacts in and my hands wouldn't do what I wanted them to do. When the back pain was bad, my numbness was bad. I spent countless hours googling and asking other people if they had experienced the same thing, and I got nothing that matched exactly what I was experiencing. I felt so alone. My doctors never gave me an answer as to what could be causing it and I feared I'd be stuck that way forever. I had no idea how I was supposed to care for a baby when I couldn't even function normally. I had blurry vision, and I still notice it some days. My swelling was insane, I hardly had any swelling during pregnancy but they pumped me with so much fluid at the hospital I felt like the Michelin Man for over a week. I was struggling mentally and I still don't know if I have Postpartum Depression/Anxiety or if it was just the "Baby Blues." I remember getting home from the hospital, we had people over and I went into a full panic attack. I curled up in a ball on our bed sobbing, shaking, and struggling to breathe. I didn't care who heard me. Luke took me into the shower and sat with me while I just sobbed until the water went cold. I cried constantly for the first week and a half. All Luke could do was look at me while I was crying, nothing anyone said or did could make me feel better. I felt so alone. I couldn't bond with Maeve and I missed my "old" life desperately. I wanted to run away. After that week and a half, I started to feel so much better. I can laugh at things now, I'm relaxed (most of the time), and generally just feeling more myself again. I still dread night time and get anxiety when Maeve is fussing, but I know it will get better and I will get used to this new life. I had a lot of emotional support from Luke, friends, and family the first few weeks. I was not afraid to open up about how I was feeling, which I know is a hard thing to do for a lot of new mothers. It's okay to talk about how you're feeling, and it's okay to get help. I have been open with my OB and even considered medication to treat my anxiety, but I feel okay enough now to not take that route. However if things change, I'm not afraid to do what I have to do to feel better for myself and my family. At my last OB appointment my doctor told me I looked like a different woman compared to those first weeks. I feel like a different woman. Not the same person that walked into that hospital, but not the same one that walked out of it either.
No amount of research or advice could have prepared me for how much work it is to take care of a baby, but I know it's worth the lack of sleep and the stress that comes from being a parent. We're all still getting the hang of things, and Luke has been absolutely amazing and I know I could not do this without him. I'm thankful for my life, my husband, my family, and our new little one. <3
I'm hoping this will be my last update on this depressing ass subject. Thank you if you've reached out to me, I wouldn't be doing this well without the support of others. I honestly mean that. After writing about my experience I had a lot of people reach out to me to tell me about their own miscarriages. It happens to a lot of women.
I finally miscarried on Monday morning. It took my body almost 5 weeks to finally let go after the twins stopped developing. I'm kind of glad it took so long. I had a lot of time to process my feelings and I can say that when the time did come, I was in full control of my emotions and I had already come to terms with what was happening. I think if it happened a lot sooner, before I was able to come to terms with it, it could have been a very emotionally painful experience for me.
When I knew I was going to miscarry I spent most of my time reading message board posts from other women, trying to get an idea of what I might experience. What I've learned is that every woman's story is their own and experiences widely differ. I'm about to talk about some TMI things, so please skip the rest of this paragraph if you're uncomfortable. I'm only sharing because having an idea of what to expect from the other women who bravely shared their experience really helped me get through this, and I'd like to lend some info to others who might need it. I've read that many women were fully unprepared for the physical aspect of their miscarriage. Many doctors don't tell women what to expect. They tell you you're miscarrying and send you on your way without information, just like my doctor did. It was up to me to do research and I'm glad I did. A lot of women have had some horrible experiences, and I was so lucky. Since I had read about a wide variety of experiences, I prepared myself for the worst and waited. And waited, and waited, and waited. Many women have reported that their miscarriages felt like labor, that they'd bleed through nighttime pads within an hour. I came across post after post about needing to pack an overnight bag for the hospital just in case you bled too much and needed an immediate blood transfusion. Since I was miscarrying twins, I thought I might be headed down that road. I didn't. I am very, very lucky. My miscarriage began at 5am on Monday morning. I had been experiencing slight cramping for about a week and that morning the cramps began to worsen and I started spotting lightly. The pain was worse than any period cramps I've had before, but nothing unbearable. At their worst, they were happening about 2 minutes apart. I was also experiencing lower back pain which is also very common. I wore a pad and paced around but the cramps lessened when I was sitting down so I chose to switch between sitting in the shower and sitting on the toilet. Around 6:30am I started passing clots, most came out when I would cough (I knew this cough stuck around for a reason) but other times I'd push them out. I was bleeding a lot, but nowhere near what I expected. I passed one large clot that was definitely a sac, it was round, about the size of my palm. It was clear like wet tissue paper on the outside with dark coloring on the inside. I knew it was one of them, so I was almost in the clear. By 7am I had passed a few more, another clot I suspected was the second (one twin stopped developing before the other so it wouldn't have been shaped like the other one). By 7:30am I had passed almost everything, I only passed one more clot around 2pm which I now know was the last of it. Throughout the miscarriage I didn't even bleed through a quarter of the overnight pad I was wearing which I did not expect. I think being prepared for the worst really made this whole experience feel much better when it was all said and done. I am still bleeding slightly, usually only when I wipe and not much shows up on any pads. I had a OBGYN appointment to confirm that all the tissue was out. My doctor first did a pelvic exam, but she didn't believe it was all out so she gave me a pregnancy test. The pregnancy test still showed up positive, so she then did an ultrasound. Luckily the ultrasound showed no leftover tissue, which can lead to infection so I am very grateful for that. I've been told I may continue to have light bleeding for up to 2 weeks, but many articles I've read online have said the bleeding usually lasts about 7 days. Since the pregnancy test is still showing up positive, I have to go back to the OBGYN weekly to get my blood tested until my levels go back down to zero. I was told that usually happens when the bleeding stops, so fingers crossed it's all done and back to normal by my appointment next Friday.
If you've experienced a miscarriage you're usually told to refrain from having sex for 2 weeks after it happens, and you usually ovulate around this time. Your period normally returns anywhere from 4-8 weeks after (my doctor said 6-8 weeks, but it varies online) and you're allowed to start trying to conceive again after your first period after the miscarriage. I don't know if we'll try again, we'll likely just let whatever happen happen like we did this time around. I know emotionally I'd be okay being pregnant again, but if I were to experience another miscarriage it may do a lot of damage to my mental health. This was a very hard experience and I would not wish it on my worst enemy.
Emotionally I'm doing pretty well. Honestly, I was kind of expecting something like this. I felt like my life was going too well. I have an amazing husband who absolutely loves me and wouldn't ever hurt me. We are financially doing well, he makes good money and I am lucky enough to not have to work at a traditional job. We have a big beautiful house. We've been able to travel many times. I know this is a horrible mindset, but anxiety does that to you. So I wasn't too shocked when something didn't go our way, but it doesn't make it hurt any less. I do have moments where I can't help but think "why us?" I try not to get in that mindset because there is no point. It won't change what happened. When I was pregnant, before the miscarriage was detected, I did a lot of research on products to buy. What sucks now is that every ad I get on social media is for babies. All of my suggested posts are pregnancy announcements. We would've been announcing our pregnancy next week. It hurts a little. I also know about 700 pregnant women, or women who have given birth within the past few months. Don't get me wrong, I am overjoyed for them. I love seeing people happy, and I know they deserve it. But the "why me" still forces itself in. I don't want anyone who is pregnant or has young children to feel uncomfortable around me. I'm okay, and I'm more than happy for you. I want to see your cute little baby. Things like this just happen and there's no changing it. Hopefully Luke and I will get to experience it one day too.
As for now, I plan on getting as much done around the house as I can in these next few months. I don't want to worry about getting pregnant without realizing it and be working with paint or other harsh chemicals that are dangerous to pregnant women. I still have a few rooms to paint and wallpaper to remove. We're replacing the floor in our laundry room so we can finally get a washer and dryer. There's a lot that will keep me busy, and I'm excited that I'm finally feeling motivated to get out of bed again.
I'm wishing with all my might that the rest of 2018 is better than 2017.
So Uh, 2017 Kinda Sucks
I debated whether or not I was going to share this publicly because of how personal it is, but these past couple of weeks have made me realize that sometimes you need support. Additionally, after scouring the internet for stories from other people and their experiences, I was comforted by those brave women more than they could ever imagine, just by reading that I wasn't alone. So I decided I'm going to share our story in hopes that it might help someone else going through a devastating time.
Miscarriages are quite common, more than likely you know many women who have experienced one. I have friends and family who have experienced them. Most don't choose to talk about it, and definitely not publicly. It is unbelievably painful, something I had hoped we'd never have to experience. It's a pain that's not comparable to anything else. But sometimes you don't get lucky. Sometimes it's your first pregnancy, sometimes it's with twins, sometimes your body doesn't even recognize it and you've been living, unknowingly, with little ones that will never grow. And sometimes you hit the unlucky lottery and all three of those things happen to you at once, like me.
I was never really sure I wanted kids, but after spending hours upon hours doing genealogy work, I started coming around to it. Everyone comes from a long line of people and I didn't want that to die out for me. Luke was ready a long time ago. After getting our house we decided that whatever happened happened. We wouldn't try, but we wouldn't not try. Does that even make sense? So we went about our daily lives and ended up getting pregnant in late October/early November. My mom never experienced morning sickness and neither did I. But DAMN did my boobs hurt. And I slept more than I've ever slept in my life. I also couldn't look, no think, about a frozen dinner without wanting to throw up. And the strangest part of all is that even though this pregnancy "ended" at 6 and a half weeks, at week 10 I still have all those symptoms.
What I'm having is called a "missed miscarriage." Before researching I thought "how in the world could you not know you're miscarrying??" But it happens. Your body does not reject the pregnancy, at least not at first. Many women don't even realize their pregnancy is no longer viable until they get an ultrasound, like what happened with us. You still have all the same symptoms you were having before. It could take weeks for your body to expel the pregnancy on its own, I'm currently on week 3-4 with no signs of naturally miscarrying. Sometimes your doctor can prescribe you something to bring on the miscarriage, but my doctor doesn't think it'll work for me since it was twins. So more than likely I'll have to have surgery, something called a D&C, in the next couple of weeks to remove them. I wanted to avoid that, but sometimes you don't get what you want.
I didn't even know it was a twin pregnancy up until a couple of days ago. I had two previous ultrasounds and no one bothered to tell me, which I guess is a good thing. I spent much of my time the past couple of weeks crying in the shower at 3, 4am because I couldn't sleep. If I had known that I had lost not just one, but two of our future children in one go it probably would have broken me. So after Luke and I had both come to terms with our fate, when we knew there was literally no hope that some positive news was coming our way, they told us it was twins. I was completely shocked, I still am. I would have never expected to be able to get pregnant with twins, and especially not during my first pregnancy. It's hard to joke about something so utterly awful, but Luke and I were just like ???? we definitely are too broke for twins.
Luke took the whole situation much better than I expected, though I have a feeling he was just trying to be strong for me. I saw his face when the doctor confirmed that there was no new growth after our last ultrasound and he was just so sad. I was certain that I had cried every tear I could but seeing his face brought on a new wave of them. I told myself before we left for that appointment that I was strong, and I wouldn't cry but that face betrayed me and the tears started again.
We're doing a lot better now. I think because we've both come to terms with it and I no longer find myself not being able to sleep. I still cry sometimes, and I know that I'll never get over this, but I'll be able to grow and learn from it. I already have. I read a message board post from a woman asking how did other people handle their future pregnancies and a poster wrote "you'll never have another ignorant pregnancy again," and that hit me deep. I'm a worrier to begin with, but I know if/when I get pregnant again, it'll be the most stressful time of my life. That's if I'm even able to carry a pregnancy to full term, which is my biggest fear at the moment. But I personally know multiple women who have lost their first pregnancies and then went on to have children, and it's only because of that that I have a little bit of hope.
As for now, we're both just going day by day. We're spending a lot of time together since Luke has off work, we treated ourselves to a new bed, and we even got a 1,000 piece puzzle to occupy ourselves. We couldn't bear to celebrate Christmas since we knew we'd learn the outcome at 9am the next day, but we're going to have a little family get-together for New Years Eve and I'm looking forward to that. If there's one thing I've learned from this whole experience it's that you need support. My family has been so good to us, and their words of support mean more than they'll ever know. The few friends we've told about this ordeal have been so kind, and so many of them have checked in on us. If you're going through something like we are, please know that there is no reason for you to feel ashamed and that you will do so much better with the support from your loved ones. You don't need to tell the world and put yourself out there like I am, but the support from just a couple of people WILL help you. If you do decide to share your story, please know that without the personal stories from random strangers on the internet, I would be in a much darker place right now and sharing your story might just bring a little bit of light back into someone's life.