miscarriage

pregnancy fail (pt. 3) — our ttc journey, continued

10.04.21

i can’t believe we’re here again. but i’ve had another miscarriage, two within 12 months. having one miscarriage is one of the most devastating experiences i’ve ever had. but having two is unlike any pain i could ever imagine. wow it is so much worse and i wasn’t prepared.

you hope the first one is just bad luck and you just feel cautiously optimistic that it wouldn’t happen again, but to go through it all over again is like an actual nightmare. i can’t even imagine how women feel who go through this more than that. i do actually feel like i have some PTSD from all of this, and the idea of having this happen again… it’s terrifying.

finding the right fertility doctor

so since the last update i gave after our chemical pregnancy, we decided to consult with a fertility doctor. then we got pregnant on our own and hoped maybe it was just a fluke and this time would work out! 

my acupuncturist recommended one and we went for a consult and actually had a really bad experience there. the doctor was nice enough, but he basically just looked at our files and went straight into his sales spiel on IUI and IVF and why we should probably just go with IVF since it’s more effective and here’s how much it costs and lets do some blood tests and start this! 

no actual details as to whether we’d be good candidates, he did a quick ultrasound and we did some blood tests and they were ready to proceed. it didn’t feel right to us.

so instead we made appointments with two female fertility doctors that were well reviewed and recommended by people we knew but we had to wait for another few weeks before the consultations. we met with both of them virtually and really loved them both. they were patient, communicative, and both suggested we doing testing prior to any fertility treatments that the first doctor never even mentioned.

it made me realize that i was SO relieved we didn’t go with the first doctor. if you’re looking for a doctor, shop around. make sure you vibe with them. and if you’re in la i’m happy to refer you to mine.

another pregnancy

while we were waiting for a month before the consults with the two new doctors, we thought what if we just try one more time. we were so hopeful that it would work out this time. jaded, but hopeful.

literally the next day after our consults, i found out i was pregnant. this time felt so different than the others. i was having legit symptoms! morning nausea which i didn’t even have with arlo so i was feeling so optimistic about it. my boobs were killing me everyday and getting way too big too quickly. it felt so real.

the fertility doctor had me come in that day to do a blood test and she started monitoring the pregnancy weekly. after a few weeks of good blood tests, we started doing weekly ultrasounds.

every single week things looked so good! i was out of my mind anxious every week prior to the appointment but then we’d feel so good about how things were looking.

we heard the heartbeat at 6w and i cried so much. what a relief after what we’d gone through to have a healthy pregnancy this time.

at 8w, the heartbeat got stronger, it was moving around and we saw it growing little arms and legs.

that weekend i felt weird. just really bloated, which isn’t that weird for me because i have a lot of stomach issues but i just felt worried. i wasn’t feeling the same daily symptoms i’d gotten used to and i just had this bad feeling. 

the morning i drove to the ultrasound it started drizzling for a few minutes and i just was like omg today i’m going to get bad news. i was trying to convince myself in the car that everything was ok. gid couldn’t come with me, once again because of another spike of cases.

she was quiet for a moment before i said “it’s bad isn’t it?” and now i’ll never forget hearing her say “i’m not seeing the heartbeat.” it was very reminiscent of being alone the first time when he said the same thing.

it didn’t feel real. it all happened so fast. one day i was scheduling my genetic testing and brainstorming cute little ways to find out the gender and then suddenly i was scheduling my d&c.

my d&c

what a nightmare to go through during covid times. first off i was stuck seeing an OB i didn’t want to continue seeing because the ones i’d made appointments with wouldn’t see me yet since i was a new patient. so i had to go back to an office i hated and sit next to pregnant women in the lobby for way too long a day after i lost the pregnancy and then i had to rush over to the hospital to get a covid test before the procedure. no joke then the hospital called me and asked me to come back because they did it wrong.

last time i miscarried i opted to take the pills at home and it was a miserable experience because i was not warned about how painful it would. i was in excruciating pain, bleeding all over my bed and then they didn’t even work!! two months later i had to f**king take them again.

so this time i wanted to book the d&c right away and have enough time to recover before our vacation which was days away. overall, it was a better experience in some ways — i didn’t feel a ton of pain afterwards and the procedure itself was over quickly. but the day was so long and the anesthesia messed me up for a while. i was so bloated for a week afterwards i felt like i looked 4 months pregnant, a fun constant reminder. i’d already gained weight quickly in the pregnancy and now i just feel bad about myself when i look in the mirror, it sucks.

as for recovery, i ate a lot of sushi and watched a lot of little mermaid with arlo in bed. i received a lot of love from people that i needed a lot. but then time passes and people stop checking in, even though it’s not a distant memory for you yet. it starts to feel isolating again.

and also just to rant for a second– when people have babies everyone sends dinners and you get time off work, shouldn’t it be the same for losing a baby?? luckily with my job i was able to take a legit break but gid wasn’t. (but for some reason my announcement lost me 1,000+ followers on instagram?? ooooookay)

at the moment

emotionally, i’m struggling about half the time. it feels like everyone around me is holding a newborn or walking around with a huge bump. i don’t want to resent the lucky happy pregnant people but i do. it just feels so unfair. to want something so much and feel so much pain and then watch other people get it without even trying.

i’ve made a concerted effort to mute almost anyone who announces their pregnancy on instagram (no offense lol) and to just continue to take it easy and don’t rush into feeling better. a decent chunk of time has passed and i do feel better day to day, but then sometimes it just hits me.

i’m feeling so many things, and at the same time feeling so empty. going on vacation was incredible timing because i didn’t have a choice but to not focus on it and to spend time laughing with my family in my favorite place— but coming home and back to reality was hard. just walking into my house reminded me of that sinking feeling.

the time factor sucks. it’s now been over a year of this. we started trying around august 2020 and the fact that i won’t be pregnant in 2021 stings. i keep getting older and so does arlo. their inevitable large age difference makes me so sad, but i’m aware it is what it is, and plenty of people have told me that their siblings with huge age gaps are their best friends.

our next steps

the fetus was tested for chromosomal issues and it didn’t have any, so the hopefully “easy fix” with ivf to fix the chromosomes is out for us. i was also tested for antiphospholipid syndrome which means i have blood clots and it can cause miscarriage and i tested positive but they need to retest me again in a few months.

the fertility doctor is now having me do the tests she originally would have done had i not gotten pregnant (of course now i’m bummed that we got pregnant vs being patient). but we can’t do them for another two months or so. when we do, we’ll do a saline ultrasound which will show if there’s anything in my uterus causing issues.

i want a definitive answer but i’m worried there won’t be one.

i also met with a new female OB. when i told them i wasn’t pregnant anymore i asked if i could still keep my appointment to meet her and we went over my entire history and she gave me the energy and communication that i’ve been craving, so i feel really good about that. and now i’m able to see her if anything like this should happen again. 

the OB also thought this was all a lot of trauma on my body to do in such a short time, so she’s relieved that i’ll be taking the next couple of months to heal. 

i can’t even stomach the idea of having a third one, while i also know that giving up at this point would make me feel like there was a piece missing.

so my plan at the moment is slow down, attempt to be gentle on myself (easier said than done), be patient and wait until we get our test results. once we do, we can determine our POA. until then i just hope to start feeling better.

17 comments on “pregnancy fail (pt. 3) — our ttc journey, continued”

  1. I am so sorry Molly. I had a miscarriage in March 2020 (what a fun month) and it was the most painful, traumatizing experience of my life, followed by such intense grief and isolation. I can’t imagine what you are going through, and am sending you all the love and light.

  2. So, so sorry about your loss :( My husband and I have been TTC for three years with zero positive tests ever – so I totally understand the confusion and difficulty with finding a good fertility doc (i.e. one that’s not just pushing IVF/IUI right away!) and the fear that even though nothing is wrong, there are no answers… hoping this time of healing and slowing down really helps you feel better. It’s so hard. Sending you lots of love.

  3. i am so sorry, molly. i have been on a ttc journey for the last 12 months without much luck and we are now starting fertility testing to see what exactly might be happening. i empathize with you so much and i am sending you so much love! i am so grateful you’re so open about this, because a lot of folks do feel so alone in this process (i certainly understand that) and i think it’s very generous of you to share so much. <3

  4. Thank you for sharing your story in such an honest way. You have such a gift for connecting to people through your writing. Hope you continue to heal and that things will turn around for you. Don’t worry about age differences – there’s 16 years between me and my sister and we are very close. Arlo will be a fantastic big brother when that time comes. Sending you all lots of love.

  5. My heart breaks for you, Molly! I truly know and feel your pain. I lost my first pregnancy at 32 weeks (a girl!) and we had a really hard time TTC after that. And yes! People should definitely be bringing you dinners!!! It sucks when everyone goes back to their normal lives and you’re stuck in this empty, limbo-land space. The only thing I can recommend that helped me so much (more than therapy!) was finding a support group. Talking about it every month with women who had gone through what I did (or worse) was so comforting. Especially when you constantly see people you know or people out there getting pregnant/having babies. My support group girls helped pull me out of my dark pit of despair.

  6. Molly, I’m so so sorry about this additional loss. The TTC journey can be such a rollercoaster of disappointment and loss. After trying on our own for a year, we started seeing a fertility doctor last November, eventually starting IVF. It’s not at all what we expected, but being open about our experience has helped, even finding out that close friends have been doing IVF too. I hope you sharing your experience is helping you process. It’s something that doesn’t get talked about nearly enough.
    And make sure you take pain meds, like extra strength Ibuprofen, before the saline ultrasound. It’s not usually painful, but I had a newer tech and it took way longer than normal and I was totally unprepared for it to hurt as much as it did (like really bad period cramps).

  7. Molly, take it form me I had 5 miscarriages before I had my rainbow baby. Sometimes it’s stress, sometimes it your body and sometimes it’s fate. Try and not to think about it, however make sure you cry it out because loosing a fetus sucks no matter what people say.

  8. thank you for sharing your story. I have suffered 6 miscarriages now, and it’s been a terribly painful, isolating experience. I remember after the first one, my partner asked me how many miscarriage I thought I can handle before I giving up, to which I responded three. i have been truly shocked at how resilient i have become, and yet seeing my friends and family get pregnant with their first, second and third babies is tough AF. I hate that I have become jaded and resentful when it seems to come so easily to everyone else. (though through my journey, I have also realized that is not always the case.)

    at this point, after six, I feel like the logical thing to do is to give up, and yet it kills me to think that I may never get to experience motherhood. I question whether maybe I just need to do something different, like try different supplements, or give up gluten… what a total mindfuck. I echo what addie mentioned above about finding a support group. it helps to know that we are not alone. <3

    1. I’m really sorry to hear that you may never experience pregnancy but you can definitely experience motherhood. There are currently 12 million children in foster care in the US.

      1. you’re right. I should have re-phrased that.
        it has actually been a consideration for my partner and I; my own mom came out of the foster care system.

  9. Hi- thank you so much for sharing this publicly. I read this right after coming back from my follow up at my OB… this really resonated. In the past year and a half, I’ve had a “normal” miscarriage, a stillbirth at 26 weeks, and an ectopic. As you said, I’m not getting younger, my other kids are getting older, but I need to take the time now to heal the trauma both mentally and physically. I’m at the place now where just thinking about trying again seems absolutely crazy, but I really don’t want to give up on my dream of one more. I second what someone above had written- find a support group, many of them are on zoom these days which makes it easier. Talking about your experiences with people who GET IT makes a huge difference.

  10. Thank you for being so open about your experience. I’m really sorry that this is happening and am sending good energy and wishing you smooth and successful fertility treatments.

    I did 2 rounds of IUI and 1 round of IVF before getting pregnant. A couple of things I found helpful:
    * The podcast Big Fat Negative, hosted by two funny and honest friends in the UK. They cover all topics in this space. I found it hard to talk to friends about it in depth, so being able to listen in on their podcast chats (sprinkled with humour) made me feel less alone.
    * Reducing my use of social media. I know this would be more difficult given your career but I didn’t like the feeling of being surprised by a pregnancy announcement or other child-related posts. I stopped using Instagram last summer and deactivated Facebook. It was a huge weight off and let me decide what news I wanted to consume, giving me a sense of control when I was extra emotional.

    Take care of yourself as much as you can and go easy on yourself. Arlo is a gem and here’s hoping 2022 brings him an equally adorable little sibling. xo

  11. Thank you for sharing this difficult news. I felt so alone and traumatized and heartbroken when I had my miscarriage, but your writing makes me feel understood. Sending lots of comfort back.

  12. So sorry Molly. And for anyone going through this or has gone through it. Being gentle on yourself is easier said than done for sure. You’re not alone. During my fertility struggle I stopped going to my neighborhood coffee shop because the very pregnant barista asked me if I was pregnant too because I ordered decaf (I wasn’t) and I nearly fell apart right then and there. It’s tough.

  13. Hi Molly!
    My deepest sympathy to you and your family 🙏🙏🙏. A few years ago I was in your footsteps and can relate. I miss my baby all the time. After some cleaner diet changes (healthy food+more organic) and fasting(24 hours.. no food or water 1-2 times a month+gratitude prayers) I was able to conceive and have my beautiful baby in January. I know everyones journey is different but those things worked for me and I share them in case you are looking for new suggestions. If anything, I believe fasting 24 hours helped the most. If you research fasting and fertility you might find some hope in it. I will keep you in my prayers. God loves you and will be there for you in difficult times. God bless you and your family ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

  14. Molly,

    I’m sorry you are going through this. Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly.

    Another podcast to add to Big Fat Negative–Matt and Doree’s Eggcellent Adventure. It’s mostly about IVF and parenthood, but people call/write in about a wide variety of fertility topics. They also have a supportive facebook/social community where people post many resources. Matt and Doree are based in LA.

    Thank you for all you do.
    take care of yourself.
    <3

  15. Molly,

    I have a daughter right around the same age as Arlo (I actually almost bought his old high chair from you WAY back when but I live in Oregon so it didn’t work out). ANYWAY, I became pregnant in June and miscarried in August. The whole pregnancy felt off with lots of spotting and cramping. I had a D&C and found out I had a partial molar pregnancy (super rare and can mean you aren’t allowed to even start TTC until around six months later). To make matters worse, they found leftover pregnancy tissue in my uterus last month so I had to have ANOTHER D&C. So physically and emotionally painful. Miscarriage is so hard and we don’t talk about it or support each other enough when it happens. I, too, swear I see pregnant women and newborns everywhere – and it’s like pushing on an open wound. I also worry about the age gap between my daughter and another child (if we can ever have another.) I’m sorry you’re going through this, but know that I’m a random mama out there feeling so similar. 💗 Sending you big love. 💗

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