I Was a Mom for 5 Days: Pregnancy Loss

After 3 years of trying, 2 major surgeries, umpteen million procedures, and countless hormone injections, I actually got pregnant naturally! The love my husband and I have for each other finally created life! I was a mom for 5 whole days.

Austin Moms Blog | Coping with Pregnancy Loss

This New Year’s Day, my husband and I decided we had finally had it with the suck-age of the fertility world. We were spent! He requested a 90 day break to get our finances back in order, my physical health back on par, and most importantly, my mental health. Three years of hormone fluctuations can really do a number on the female psychy. So, we took a break. Six weeks into our “break”, on Valentine’s Day, I found out I was pregnant for the first time in 3 years!

That day we were heading to meet our best friends at a winery in Spicewood so I thought ‘what better time than now to tell them’, right? I told them I had a surprise I’d been working on for years and I pulled the test out of my clutch and cried, “I’m pregnant!” My husband was shocked, one girlfriend hit the floor, and the other cried tears of joy and hugged me so tight I felt she was hugging my baby, too. Then, two days later we drove to Chappell Hill where my parents live and told my parents and my sisters who also cried tears of joy. This had been a long time coming!

chelsea-vail

Given that this was my first pregnancy and I was considered “high risk” as a frequent flyer at the fertility center, 48 hour lab draws are required. Monday’s lab draws rocked…these confirmed the pregnancy! For me, that was the moment it felt real! The phone call from a nurse saying, “Yep, you’re pregnant” was all I needed.

Instantly I was a mom.

I drove slower on the way home to Austin that day, refusing to put my baby’s life at risk. Song lyrics about love were suddenly about the life forming inside me instead. I was exhausted, but I knew that was a side effect of growing a human so I cherished being tired and smiled while taking a nap. I laid talking with my husband that night and no longer felt it was just us two. Suddenly, we were three.

Wednesday I went for my second set of blood draws, went to work, had dinner with my best friend, all the while walking on air, falling more in love with the life inside me every minute of each day.

Then, Thursday morning, I got a call from my nurse at Texas Fertility Center. I answered, “Hey, do you have good news for me?!” The silence on the other end was deafening and I felt like I’d been punched in the gut when she finally said, “Oh, I’m so sorry, but…”. Gulp. She informed me that my HCG levels (pregnancy hormone) should have doubled in 48 hours, but instead mine were dropping rapidly.

“What does this mean?! Am I pregnant or not?!”

The worst part of the response? “Yes, you’re still pregnant”. In fact, I’m pregnant as I type this; however, according to the nurse, I won’t be pregnant by Wednesday of this week. At least, they hope I’m not by Wednesday because if I am, that could mean an ectopic pregnancy, in which case I’d have to have it removed via surgery. Now that, I cannot emotionally handle. They explained my pregnancy is “disappearing”…possibly a poor quality egg…sometimes these things happen…it’s nothing that I did…this just wasn’t it…blah blah blah. I heard the words, but it eventually started to sound like a recording and I completely spaced out. All I wanted to do was scream.

You mean, the life I thought I would get to introduce to my family will have “disappeared” by Wednesday? The life I loved with every part of my being will be gone midweek? I won’t get to hold him? See him? Meet him?

I thought these two would have a cousin by Christmas

I thought these two would have a cousin by Christmas

Some friends have tried to help me cope with this by saying…

  • “The fact you got pregnant is a great sign”
  • “This just wasn’t your baby”
  • “Isn’t it better that you found out now and not 15-20 weeks in?”

And I get where they’re coming from; it’s coming from love, but what is hard for people who have not been through this to realize is, I was a mother to this being. I loved, nurtured, and hosted this potential life. I am grieving what could have been, what might have been, and what was. However odd that may sound, I’m grieving deeper than I’ve ever grieved for anyone I’ve ever known in the flesh.

Thursday night I went to bed crying. Friday I woke up choking on the tears I was crying in my sleep. Saturday I cried all the way to zumba, but I did zumba. I cried all the way home from zumba, but then I laughed at lunch with a friend. I laughed over cocktails, but then I cried on the way home. It’s now Sunday night and I’ve only cried once today, which means there’s hope; however, I’m still wondering when I’ll feel it’s safe to dream again. When will my hope to be a mom return? When will I see a plus sign on a pregnancy test and not expect the worst?

I think miscarriages are hard no matter what, but I think they’re especially hard when compounded with years and years of fertility treatments, countless diagnoses, and disappointments. I’m sharing this not because I want sympathy, but because I felt very alone in this struggle because no one really talks about it! No one in my inner circle has experienced this (that I know of) and it’s not something people openly admit to having gone through. I’ve been an open book regarding my journey towards motherhood and I feel strongly that my story has helped others with theirs. This is just one chapter in that book and this chapter SUCKS! I was a mom for 5 days…the best 5 days of my entire life, but…

When does my happy come back?

 

, , , , , ,

9 Responses to I Was a Mom for 5 Days: Pregnancy Loss

  1. Irma February 23, 2015 at 8:11 pm #

    My love and prayers are with you. You are so awesome to open up and share your heart with all of us.

  2. Ashley February 23, 2015 at 8:23 pm #

    Beautifully written. My husband and I went through the same thing. Three years of trying and then it happens and then it doesn’t but your still sort of pregnant. It’s been one of the most heartbreaking things that I have gone through. The only thing that made it better (about 3 months down the road) was one of my nurses telling me that this was God making a decision for us, so we wouldn’t have to. Two years later we had a sweet baby. It’s well worth the wait but emotionally exhausting. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Gina B February 23, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

    i don’t know you, but this effing sucks. I’m so sorry for the pain you must be feeling. I hope your happy surfaces again soon for you.

  4. LM February 23, 2015 at 9:35 pm #

    i am so sorry for your loss. I was debating looking at facebook this evening for fear of seeing a sweet little baby and being reduced to a puddle of tears instead I saw this post. I just completed a frozen embryo transfer and had a positive blood test on Friday and today also heard the same sad news you were delivered., hcg did not double. It’s so heartbreaking. I’ve been through years of fertility and Ivf. I know the pain. Each miscarriage is a tremendous loss. If you ever need someone to talk please feel welcome to contact me. Again, I’m so sorry for your loss.

  5. R February 24, 2015 at 1:40 am #

    I’ve typed, deleted, then retyped, then deleted and started this response over quite a few times. I’m hesitant to share because it’s my natural instinct to hide, rather than say anything. But here goes…I went through years of fertility treatments as well. I hated it. HATED it! I felt like a failure somehow, even though EVERYONE assured me it was not my fault. I felt ashamed. And it was worse when someone tried to be helpful and say things like “Oh, if you just RELAX, it’ll happen!” But that made me even more tense and so-not-relaxed. I was diagnosed with “unexplained infertility with the left fallopian tube blocked”. WTF is that suppose to mean?! Well, specifically about the “unexplained infertility” part. None of my friends were going through what I went through. They were making babies left and right and bragging (rightfully so!) about their adorable children on Facebook. They had no idea, NONE, that getting pregnant was so difficult for me. It just wasn’t fair! But it was my life. And I want to tell you something:

    I’m so, so sorry for your loss. Truly, I am. It sucks. There is no two ways about it.

    I don’t want to minimize your pain in anyway, but I understand. I absolutely hate that you experienced this. I can’t stand the thought of any woman going through this and it makes me tear up. I experienced 2 miscarriages. The first one was a week after I had a positive test (a happy accident!) and the second one was at 8 weeks when I went in for the sonogram appointment (no heartbeat, had to schedule a D&C) . Each one hurt a LOT and affected me deeply and I grieved for both babies that I never got to meet and hold. Each child had a name, too!

    It is truly a gut-wrenching time – how can you say good bye to someone you never got a chance to say hello to? But eventually, my tears stopped, and I was able to smile again, and then I was able to laugh again. And hope. And my happy came back. And yours will too. It may not be anytime in the near future, but it will come back. But in the meantime, you are allowed to be sad and grieve for your baby.

    I will be praying for you and your husband. May your happy come back soon.

  6. Michelle Harper February 24, 2015 at 11:43 am #

    I am SO very sorry for your loss. You are NOT alone. I say that because I too have experienced miscarriage, 4 to be exact, and I have had one successful pregnancy. So, you are not alone in the miscarriage world. I also have a friend who is about to be 40, and has been trying to conceive for at least 5 years, with one pregnancy that ended in miscarriage. So you are not alone in the Infertility world either. But, I do know that every experience is different with IF and Miscarriage, and they are all very personal and each woman has struggled in their own heartbreaking way. My first full blown miscarriage was the worst…I had not yet had my child that I have now so I remember feeling so many horrible feelings. I felt like an alien, I felt like a piece of me had been ripped away. I felt angry at other mothers, and pregnant women and I had wished that ALL women could experience the pain I was feeling just because. I too am angry about how it seems like women can’t talk about it, as if it is embarrassing or shameful. I don’t know how many times I wish I could post it on Facebook, only because I just want people to mourn my losses I guess….I am not even sure why. Or maybe I just wish they would understand. My last miscarriage took a lot out of me, I am STILL recovering physically and emotionally and it happened in September of 2014. So I should have been due in April of this year. The pain of seeing pregnant women is unbearable and I should not even feel that way because I have a child, but I do…I guess because I too wonder what might have been with the baby I lost and all the babies I have lost. And when people say that it’s not my fault, I mean in all reality, how could it NOT be my fault…My body messed this up, it did not support the pregnancy. And if there was something wrong with the baby, that is my fault too, cause it is my make up that caused this baby not to be. So I hate that I feel that way but I also hate when people say that it is not my fault and there is nothing I could have done to change it. Anyways, enough about me…I hope and pray that your TTC journey ends with a healthy pregnancy. Thank you so much for your post, it helps so much to read someone else who struggles with TTC and miscarriage.

  7. Taylor February 28, 2015 at 9:55 pm #

    I believe that every woman who wishes to become a Mother will have her needs fulfilled in some way or another. My husband and I went through all you did for years. After 5 miscarriages, we decided to use an egg donor through TFC. At age 40 and 42, I carried and delivered healthy baby boys. We donated 11 excellent quality embryos to other couples at TFC. Your dream will come true and I encourage you to expand the ways in which motherhood could materialize for you. You and all couples yet to hold their babies are in my daily prayers!

  8. Lindsey
    Lindsey March 30, 2015 at 8:56 am #

    Oh Chelsea! Thank you so much for your bravery and transparency. You have no idea how many women this post has likely touched. Hoping and praying with you that your happy returns soon.

  9. Gail May 31, 2015 at 9:20 pm #

    I came across your post looking for some support in dealing with the miscarriage I suffered 10 days ago. You are right. It is a painfully lonely experience. I truly feel for you and wish I could hug you. I hope you’re healing. I was 9.5 weeks pregnant. I found out my baby died at my first appointment. It was like someone turned out a light and doused me in ache. I have a beautiful 17 month old who is the only reason I got out of bed the day after I found out. I had a d&c last Thursday (postponed due to the floods in Houston, as if I needed that too). My body was pregnant until I left the hospital. I couldn’t touch chicken, coffee repulsed me, I craved milk. Then suddenly I was the same person I was 12 weeks prior, a chicken-eating coffee-drinker. And I bawled my eyes out making dinner tonight when I realized that. It sucks and no one is there.

Leave a Reply