Trigger Warning: This post contains positive news about our current pregnancy (yay!), but I do mention our previous missed miscarriages.
If you read my latest post, you know we’re pregnant – Yay! You may also know that Eric and I have experienced 3 miscarriages since 2020. Needless to say, the last couple of years have been a bit traumatic, but they’ve also made us stronger and opened us up to personal and spiritual growth.
Spoiler Alert: Our 12-week ultrasound went AMAZING, and I’ll share more about it below. This is a pregnancy update for those interested, but if you’ve experienced pregnancy loss, I’m also sharing this to let you know you’re not alone. And I also want you to feel hope.
My recurrent missed miscarriages have been unexplained, aside from my “geriatric age,” though I’ve often wondered if my auto-immune flare-ups contributed in one way or another. I’m currently 39, and despite never planning to be 40 when we had our first kid, I hope the extra time I’ve had to work on myself will come in handy when this little one arrives.
A missed miscarriage, also known as a silent miscarriage, means the baby has passed away, but the body hasn’t realized it yet (no spotting/bleeding). You either wait to miscarry naturally, which can take several weeks, or you handle it through “expectant management,” which is to take a pill or have surgery. I have experienced all 3 options, and while everyone’s experience is different, the surgery was the hardest on my body.
Pregnancy after Loss
I believe everything happens for a reason, and even if I don’t understand it, this gives me some peace. I’ll admit it’s challenging to go through a miscarriage when some people out there do hardcore drugs and have perfectly healthy babies. And yet here I am, wondering if eating fries or cheese will create a flareup and ruin everything.
It may sound ridiculous to someone who’s never experienced a pregnancy loss, but despite doctors telling you it’s nothing you did, it’s difficult not to question everything.
However, I’ve come to believe that babies come into this world when they are meant to.
I don’t know how this pregnancy will unfold, but I’m choosing to lean on faith that this baby’s journey is just beginning. My 2023 word of the year is Embrace, and I’m trying my best to embrace this pregnancy and our little one on the way. I’ve noticed I’ve had a better grip on my anxiety this time, but there have been times I’ve felt withdrawn – subconsciously too scared to get too excited. That’s why I chose the word “embrace” as my word this year. I want this baby to feel loved, wanted, and believed in. I can’t control what happens, but I can control how I react to my thoughts or emotions. Daily meditation, walks, prayer, distractions, and repeating positive affirmations certainly help.
This pregnancy – Week 7
We had our first ultrasound at 7 weeks and 3 days. It was our first positive ultrasound experience because we saw our baby and heard its heartbeat. Best feeling ever!!! It didn’t mean we were out of the woods, but hearing the heartbeat was a good sign and something we hadn’t experienced with our previous pregnancies.
My first miscarriage happened in 2020 at 8 weeks – it was a missed miscarriage, so we found out during our first ultrasound that our baby’s heart had stopped beating just a few days earlier. I was encouraged to have a D+C (surgery), so I did. (You can read about it here.)
My second miscarriage was a blighted ovum – and again, it was a missed miscarriage, and we found out during our first ultrasound at 8 weeks. I was told (different doctor this time) that because it was so early, a D+C wasn’t necessary, and they were surprised the previous doctor made it seem like the best option. They recommended the pill, which I took. (You can read about it here.)
My third miscarriage was yet another missed miscarriage that we again discovered at our first 8-week ultrasound, where the baby had stopped growing a week prior. This time I decided to wait it out and miscarry naturally. (You can read about it here.)
This pregnancy – 10 Week Visit
We had our 10-week checkup at the beginning of the month and could hear our baby’s heartbeat on the doppler – another amazing appointment! Since we recorded the visit, I can listen to that beautiful heartbeat whenever I want. Hearing the heartbeat a second time made me feel more connected to this pregnancy. It felt more real.
We also had the NIPT testing done during the 10-week visit, which checks for chromosome abnormalities and can also reveal the gender. We got the results about a week later and were told this pregnancy is considered low-risk. We were also told the baby’s gender, and while we would have been excited either way, I had a gut feeling about what the gender was, and it was cool to discover that my gut feeling was correct. (We’ll be revealing the gender at a later time!)
Nausea has been INTENSE these past few weeks, and all I know is every woman who has ever been pregnant is a superhero!!! I finally asked my doctor for something to help ease the nausea, but ultimately decided not to take it. This was a personal decision as I’ve had bad experiences with prescription meds in the past. As much as I’d love to be posting more consistently on this website and Wanderful RV Interiors (and the meds could potentially help with that), I decided to deal with the nausea as long as possible. I’m trying to give myself grace and be grateful I don’t have a boss to report to or a commute to make, but as someone who enjoys being productive, it’s challenging to feel useless at times.
This pregnancy – Week 11
With that said, I know it’s temporary, and am hoping the 2nd trimester will be easier. I even noticed my nausea was slightly less intense the last few days. It’s still there just about 24/7, but it’s not as crippling, so hopefully, it will improve as time goes on.
However, despite knowing it’s normal for symptoms to subside around 12-14 weeks, I began to freak out. I also had a mini flareup (the fingers on my right hand got a tiny bit swollen), which was pretty scary. I didn’t want to overreact and make another appointment, but I also wanted to hear our baby’s heartbeat to know everything was okay. Anxiety and fear can happen for anyone during pregnancy, but I can also see how it may be even more difficult for someone who’s experienced loss.
I was trying to be strong, knowing our next appt was only 2.5 weeks away when I’ll be 14 weeks. Did going in for an extra appointment mean I didn’t have faith in this pregnancy? Of course not!
I was trying to make this pregnancy as “normal” as possible, but needing extra assurance is normal for someone with recurrent pregnancy loss. I didn’t want to not go because I thought people would think I was being weak. I wanted to do what was right for me and this pregnancy, and thankfully, Eric agreed.
I ended up calling our doctor’s office, and they were so kind and understanding and told me I could come in to hear the heartbeat on the doppler for peace of mind. They said they didn’t think the food or flareup would affect the pregnancy, but coming in for peace of mind was a better option than being worried all weekend. (Just another reason I switched to this doctor’s office – they make me feel supported, and I hope every pregnant person feels this way).
Well, the doctor’s office is nearly an hour and a half away in traffic, and my nausea gets worse in the car, so I asked if I could go in for a quick ultrasound at a local place – which they said was totally fine. Whew! I made an appointment for the next day at a location 15 minutes away, and just having the appointment scheduled was a relief. I didn’t necessarily feel like anything was wrong, but I was looking forward to the peace of mind the visit would provide.
This pregnancy – 12 Week Ultrasound
I’m happy to report the visit went amazing, and we couldn’t have asked for a better ultrasound tech. She first let us hear the heartbeat and even spent extra time with us, trying to get better photos (though I need to drink more water). She let us record the visit, and I’ve included a few pictures and a short video clip showing our baby moving around. Life is such a miracle, and seeing this baby, the size of a lime, move around was incredible.
This pregnancy – Video Clip from Our 12 Week Ultrasound
Here’s a short clip from our visit where you can see our baby moving around. This visit was exactly what we needed, and I feel even more connected to this little human, though it’s still crazy to think they’re growing inside my body.
Pregnancy after loss isn’t easy, but I’ve also come to truly understand just what a miracle babies are, not to mention what our bodies are capable of. I know nothing is guaranteed, but sharing our journey is helping me lean into the love, joy, and hope I feel for this miracle baby. Thank you to everyone who has left comments or emails about this pregnancy. It means more to me than you know, and I’ll continue to keep you updated.
Until then, I’ll just be sitting here watching the video clip above on repeat…