After having a difficult time with the birth of my baby and severe depression, I was very happy to be pregnant again. To me, this felt like I could do the maternity period all over again as I hardly remember this time with my baby girl.
The first few weeks were exciting. I hardly had any symptoms except for sore breasts. My psychiatrist told me it was ok the keep using the antidepressants for my depression, which was a huge relief. When she told me this, I could enjoy this pregnancy a little more. As I was very insecure, I had an early ultrasound to check if everything was ok. This was planned at 7 weeks of pregnancy. I was very nervous about this appointment as I know it will become more real to me when I see this tiny human growing inside of me. The waiting in the office for the appointment felt a bit weird as we also had a 6-month-old with us. Lucky for us we did not have to wait very long. The ultrasound operator asked us a few questions and we were ready for the ‘real’ work. First, she tried it externally but as the pregnancy was still very early, nothing was detected. She did a second attempt internally. This way the fetus was found quickly. The heartbeat was fast and strong. Again a huge relief for me. It was so special to watch this small clump of cells of about 1cm big. I saw my girl for the first time at 13 weeks of pregnancy. By then everything was already there. Now that I saw this tiny human inside of me. I felt pregnant for real.
About a week after the ultrasound I lost a few drops of brownish blood. This scared me and I immediately called my midwife. She told me this can happen when you cough or sneeze and that there was nothing they could do. This reassured me a bit. The next day, I lost more blood. This time it was bright red. I immediately knew something was off. I cried all day and my belly felt really weird the whole day. By now the bleeding was so severe and I had to use a sanitary pad. Towards the end of the, I felt the fetus leave my body. This was so surreal and I will never forget what it felt like. It was about 2cm in size and the membrane around it was still intact. It was such a weird feeling to see my child that way. I took pictures and got to burry my child next to the birth tree of the big sister. Every time I see that tree I think about my baby.
The time after the miscarriage was hard. It happened a few days before Christmas which made the holidays no fun. Lots of mandatory family visits with babies and pregnant women. This was very difficult for me. Luckily, there were a few who also had a miscarriage or have had a PND so there was some understanding for the way I felt. In the next weeks, I saw my psychiatrist a lot because I had a big set back. I cried a lot, suffered from anxiety, and barely slept. Only after about 6 weeks, I started to feel a little better.
2 months later I was holding a positive pregnancy test (again). I felt a little happy but also very anxious. The thought ‘what if it goes wrong again’ kept circling in my head. I did not dare to call the midwife for an appointment as to me it gets more real once I made that appointment and I am only pregnant for real once I have seen that tiny human in my belly. In short, everything I should do once you find out you are pregnant I held off. I did take a pregnancy multivitamin for folic acid so it was not completely irresponsible. I also did not suffer from severe pregnancy symptoms so I felt pretty good. In fact, I felt so good, that the three of us went on a camping trip one weekend. During this trip, it all went south, unfortunately. It started with a little blood loss which doesn’t have to mean anything but my subconscious knew better. We immediately went home when it started. The bleeding got worse when I got home and I could only cry. I felt so weird and empty. I also started to doubt everything. Maybe something went wrong during the removal of the placenta after the breech birth. Maybe something was damaged during that surgery. Maybe my medication is causing the miscarriages. Thoughts like these kept spinning in my head.
When I felt a little better I made an appointment with my physician. She was very understanding fortunately and really wanted to help me. She also ensured me that my medication did not cause miscarriages as she has several pregnant women who use the same brand of antidepressants. She told me that they only investigate when you have had at least 3 miscarriages but she could give a gynecologist a call for some extra information. The latter I appreciated a lot and she would call me back afterward. The phone call the next day reassured me somewhat. The genealogist told my physician that it was positive that I could get pregnant but it was also very likely that if they would investigate further, that they would not find anything. In short, I just had a lot of bad luck, unfortunately.
Another downside of having multiple miscarriages is that I no longer dare to do a pregnancy test. A while ago I had a cycle of 6 weeks but I couldn’t make myself do a pregnancy test. (un)Fortunately (?) I got my period but I felt a bit weird about it. I hope this also just needs some time.
Sadly, it didn’t stop at 1 miscarriage. By now I have a bunch of positive pregnancy tests in my bathroom cabinet. I somehow don’t want to throw these away.
As each miscarriage was a big setback for me and I was still treated for depression, I decided to stop testing each cycle. I thought that if I just don’t test, I was never pregnant and just had a longer cycle. This already was long and irregular so that wasn’t that strange for me. This way I saved myself from the pain of each miscarriage.
I understand that this is not for all women but by focussing on my business (greenandhappymom.com & greenandhappyshop.com), I could stop thinking about it as this distracted me enough.
After about a year and a half, I was still not pregnant so I went to my physician who sends me to the hospital to get checked by a gynecologist. Luckily I didn’t have to wait very long to see someone who was specialized in infertility. She told me multiple miscarriages can have several causes but it is also possible that they don’t find anything. In this case, having multiple miscarriages is just bad luck.
The gynecologist wanted to do several blood tests and check if the shape of my uterus might be different. A differently shaped uterus can cause breech position of the baby and a stuck placenta (read here more about both during my labor). This did not seem to be a problem.
For the blood tests, I a to wait a few weeks as I recently miscarried again (tested after 7 weeks), to make sure my hormonal levels are back to normal. The genetic tests which my boyfriend and I had to take together could take up to 10 weeks. When we finally could do the blood tests, it appeared that we did not receive the right papers for the tests. The hospital was just declared bankrupt so all the doctors were gone. Now I had to make a decision, go to a different hospital or wait until a different hospital takes over. I choose the latter to not put so much pressure on myself. Unfortunately, this took longer than expected. The first appointment was in January. The first appointment with the new gynecologist was in early May. By now I just found out that it was almost 8 weeks ago that I had my last period (but I didn’t dare test). On the day of the appointment, I got my period. I suspected and another miscarriage.
The new gynecologist was very thoughtful. She immediately wanted to do several tests as she suspected that I might have an ectopic pregnancy after a brief exam she did. I had to come back the next day. The tests showed that I had not been pregnant but just had a very long cycle this time. As this could indicate that there no ovulation taking place, the gynecologist wanted to do even more tests. I also received the right papers to do genetic tests. By now I had my blood taken 3 times this week resulting in 9 tubes. Not much fun but hopefully it gives us some useful information.
Unfortunately, these tests did not give us any indication of why I had so many miscarriages. On the one hand, it was a relief that everything in my body was working fine, on the other hand, there was nothing I could do to prevent this. This was just bad luck. As this whole process was difficult to deal with, we decided we were going to wait at least a few months/years before we try to get pregnant again. All the miscarriages, the breech birth, and the depression make me more and more hesitant to have a second baby. Time will tell…