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DISCLOSURE
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  • Writer's pictureEmma Tierson

The Misadventures of a Year with Three Miscarriages


One miscarriage is devastating. Three miscarriages is something else entirely.


Miscarriages are extremely common and don't get talked about often enough in my opinion. They happen for a variety of reasons, just about all of them are out of our control. Which is why it is so incredibly difficult to deal with when it happens to you. I like to solve problems, it eases my mind and gives a sense of control. You cannot control a miscarriage.




 


My first miscarriage was April 6th, 2021.


If you're squeamish, this is likely not the blog post for you. I'm going to get very personal and a little bit graphic.

If you are curious, I did write a blog post shortly after that miscarriage. Below is a link to my original blog.


On March 29th, 2021 I took a pregnancy test. It was negative. The next day, March 30th, I took another test. To my surprise, it was positive! That week, I was full of joy and excitement. It only took us one month to get pregnant. Over the 4 years of marriage and total of 9 years as a couple we never realized planning a pregnancy for us would happen so quickly. We had thought it would be a long time before we had a positive test result and relief rushed over us. I swiftly set up an appointment with a new OBGYN (we had moved to a different state since the birth of our first child, Warren) and did all the things one typically does during pregnancy. No more alcohol, reduction of caffeine, increased healthy foods...the list goes on.


Exactly one week after my positive test, I miscarried. On April 5th, there was some brown spotting. The next morning I had cramps and was bleeding. By mid morning I had passed a large clot. It was slightly larger to clots I regularly have during menstrual cycles, and because it was so close in size, felt like a surreal experience. Was I even pregnant? Was it a false positive? The bloodwork I had taken right after my miscarriage showed that my HGC levels were decreasing. Yes. I really was pregnant.




At the time, I thought that what I had was called just a 'miscarriage'. I knew there were different types but it seemed really average so I thought nothing about categorizing it further. Currently, I see a specialist. They categorize this first miscarriage as a Chemical Pregnancy.

"A chemical pregnancy is a very early miscarriage that happens within the first five weeks of pregnancy." -Cleveland Clinic

It really isn't different that any "normal" miscarriage. It just has to do with the timing of it. Most people don't even realize they are having a chemical pregnancy because it looks, feels, and can happen around the same time as a period. It made me wonder how many other times I had been pregnant without knowing. The thought still gives me chills.




 

My second miscarriage was August 25th, 2021.


On July 10th we discovered we were pregnant again. We had our "8 Week" appointment at CompassCare on August 11th. The technician said the gestational sac measured at nearly 7 weeks and we took that to mean our timeline was just a little off of what we thought originally. At the appointment the technician tried to find the heartbeat but couldn't. She told us that often times a heartbeat can be found within one weeks time, so we arranged another appointment the following week. At the August 18th appointment, the sac measured 6 weeks and there was still no heartbeat. It was a non-viable pregnancy due to a blighted ovum.

"A blighted ovum, also called an anembryonic pregnancy, occurs when an early embryo never develops or stops developing, is resorbed and leaves an empty gestational sac. The reason this occurs is often unknown, but it may be due to chromosomal abnormalities in the fertilized egg."-Mayo Clinic

Now, at our first appointment, we had seen an embryo. This second appointment the embryo was much smaller, almost not even there. We had a long talk with our technician. We did some math from my predicted ovulation and conception dates, our baby would have been around 9-10 weeks at that point if it were a viable pregnancy. We were shown ultrasound photos of other embryos in that 9 and 10 week stage of development and it was clear that our child did not make it anywhere close to that stage. Our embryo stopped developing after 6 weeks.





It was a lot to process. I had had a dead child inside of me and my body and mind didn't even realize it. It would be seven days until my body caught up to speed and expelled my six week old embryo. A week feels like an eternity to wait for a miscarriage when it happens to you. You don't know if today, tomorrow or the next day will bring what you're dreading. You keep having moments where you think maybe there is a spark of hope that you are actually fine and that maybe the ultrasound was just a week off-even though that was clearly a delusional thought. At the same time you're hyper worried that at any moment you'll strike a fever and need an emergency D&C.

"Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a procedure to remove tissue from inside your uterus. Health care providers perform dilation and curettage to diagnose and treat certain uterine conditions — such as heavy bleeding — or to clear the uterine lining after a miscarriage or abortion."-Mayo Clinic

I read forum posts on my "What to Expect" App every day, at least three times a day about other women and their experiences with miscarriage. I had the option of taking medication to induce my miscarriage. After reading these women's experiences, I was too scare of the pain that came from these pills so I opted to wait for a natural miscarriage. I didn't think it would be too bad based on my miscarriage a few months prior. So I kept waiting, and working, and waiting, and crying, and waiting....until on August 21st I had a strand of blood. Then on the 22nd another. And on the 23rd some spotting. And on the 24th NOTHING. And then on the 25th I woke up and went to work.


Something felt off. An hour into my workday I had cramps. Then I started to bleed. I think I left by 10am, although I don't remember much of that morning. I do remember being on my bed thinking that cramps would never stop, being jealous of the one time I passed out from my cramps and wishing that would happen now. I remember how for some reason it felt SO GOOD to just be on the toilet and expel all of those horrible clots. And there were just so many of them. Eventually I realized that every cramp I had was an enormous amount of clots trying to leave my body. I couldn't lay down and bleed them into my pad either, I had to be sitting and on the toilet. If I did that, the cramping could decrease. If I didn't, the cramping would continue for as long as it took for my body to release these clots. At some points I almost wished I could die, not quite as bad as when I was in labor, but I still wanted everything to just end. Out of nowhere, I expelled the largest clot I had ever seen. Almost without thinking, I picked it up out of the toilet. Instinctually I knew this was my little child. I had to hold them in my hands. The sac was the size of a small egg. It felt solid. It almost looked alien. I started crying, I don't know how long I was in the bathroom holding my dead embryo. But eventually I knew I had to say goodbye, and I flushed my deceased child down the toilet. It felt wrong. Really, really wrong. I didn't have a coffin made. Cody and I never talked about what to do with it, so I did what would have happened if I hadn't noticed this was the clot...and I flushed.


Everything after that point feels like it was some sort of dream. My cramps became manageable and later went away completely. For a majority of the day I just was on the bed, maybe on my phone, playing Animal Crossing, or taking a nap. It's all fuzzy and I really don't remember much. I do remember the next month being unbearable. One day I had to go home from work because I just couldn't stop crying.


Was taken to confirm that my HGC and Progesterone levels were decreasing-they were. My OB ordered more test to see if there were any medical abnormalities that have increased risks of miscarriages. She also gave me a vaginal ultrasound to check the quality of my womb, see if there was any tissue leftover and make sure that everything had passed correctly. I'm so thankful for her thoroughness because there was some tissue left. I was prescribed a round of birth control to get my hormones regulated and ensure I had a period at the correct time. After that I had many other tests taken: Chromosome Analysis done-normal, Thyroid-stimulating hormone test-normal, T4(thyroxine) Free Test-normal, Lupis Anti-Coagulant-negative, Phospholipid AB Panel-normal. All of my tests came back to be totally fine. This is a good thing, but for some reason I now have to keep telling myself that. Because now the only reasons that I had these two miscarriages were because of unknown reasons. And now that means I can't prevent it from happening in the future. All I can do is keep trying.





 

My third miscarriage was November 18th, 2021.


All told, this was another chemical pregnancy. On the 13th I had a few light positive pregnancy tests. On the 17th, some spotting occurred. I tested again and the result was negative. The next few days I bled heavily. Having to make the phone call to my OB office once again that I need to cancel my confirmation appointment was just as brutal as it was the first two times.


Thankfully though, this led to me calling my OB and getting set up with a specialist. A lot of doctors like to wait until the third miscarriage to tell you that there are such a thing as a fertility specialist, but mine was nice and queued me in after my second. I'm really thrilled with this new doctor. He ordered a blood test the day I saw him for Anti-Mullerian Hormone, I was normal, and within another week I had a Hysterosalpingogram, they found no blockages in my fallopian tubes.


The doctor said that given my medical history I have about an 80% chance of having a viable pregnancy. So with that information I'm trying not to fear the next time I see those two faint pink lines.


 

It's odd because I now also take ovulation tests, which also have two pink lines. I have to remind myself every positive test that these are not the same as pregnancy tests. Does this happen to anyone else? Trying to get pregnant is a strange experience. It's not the nudging and winking of "Oh! Now you get to have fun getting pregnant!". I've decreased my alcohol intake to just twice a week when I used to have at least two drinks a day. I take three different vitamins every night. I never drink more than two cups of coffee. My obsession with sparkling water keeps my water consumption in check (anyone else out there who used to just not drink anything all day long except for a cup of coffee or five?). My consumption of vegetables has definitely increased. Any cramp or pain alerts me to check my calendar to see what kind of cramp I'm dealing with-ovulation? implantation? period? I've got to be on high alert just in case I missed the first sign! And then of course there is the "fun" part. The 24 hours up to ovulation and 12 after. HOW MUCH PRESSURE IS THAT?!!?!?!? How do you even know when peak ovulation is?! There are only 36 fertile hours each freaking month. And how is it ever time they come around I'm always tired, angry, or ate my own weight in food and just want to chill?


Trying for a baby is just crazy...

But I'll be here, hoping that maybe 9 months from now I'll be able to hold another precious baby in my arms.




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