I will start with the hospital stay because it is the easier of the two topics for me to discuss. I find much comfort in science and medicine. It's something that usually has an explanation or a cause. Something I crave out of life.
Our procedure was schedule for 9:30am, so, as asked, we arrived at 7:30am for prep. Things started out very smooth and were running close to on time. Something not usual for the medical profession. We met with our doctor prior to the procedure and decided to have a Chromosomal Analysis performed. Then we met with the anesthesiologist and he walked us through that aspect of the surgery. Joey and I said our goodbyes shortly after, and away we went.
This is where our story gets a little exciting, for lack of a better term. I was not informed, until much later, that I had lost a liter of blood during the operation. When I came out of surgery my blood pressure was very low, 60/something, I was too out of it to actually read the monitor, I just heard the nurses commenting. It slowly, very slowly started to rise. It finally got to 95/45 and stayed that way for a while, so I was prepped to move to the second stage of recovery. Now, when I say my blood pressure slowly rose, I was scheduled to be in recovery for only an hour or so, and the procedure was only supposed to be about 20 min. Well the blood loss set the surgery back, and then my low blood pressure set the recovery time back. Poor Joey had to sit in the waiting room with limited news. Joe said the doctor told him I was out of surgery and everything was fine at 10:45am and I'd be in recovery two in about an hour. My blood pressure did not reach 95/45 until around 1:30pm I would guess. They started moving me to recovery two around 2 o'clock. I started feeling extremely nauseous and dizzy, and then I passed out. It was maybe for a sec or two, I came back to consciousness hearing the nurses busying themselves around me saying my blood pressure dropped to 40/something, again really out of it. They kept me back there until around 3 o'clock, and then finally sent my amazing husband back. Poor Joey was sitting in the waiting room from 10:45am until 3:00pm only hearing that the surgery went fine. He said he finally asked around 2:30pm if there was any news. The nurses politely gave him the spiel that if something was wrong he'd be informed. I on the other hand was back in recovery snoozing off and on thinking things were running on schedule. I pieced the time frame when Joe came back to see me. We were finally released around 5:00pm tonight. We should have been on our way home around lunch time. It was a very long and exhausting day to say the least.
These past two days have been emotional for Joe and myself. I will say that I think both of us were preparing for this loss, but did not really expect it to occur. I say we were preparing because of the news of the increased risk of the Trisomy 18/13. We knew it was a possibility, but were holding on to hope that it would turn out to be a false reading, as many are. Taking the advice of our Genetics Counselor and doctors, we worked hard at trying to continue on as if the pregnancy was normal because we didn't know other wise. Joe and I spent the next two and half weeks discussing the possibilities and working hard to continue on as if all was normal. It was somewhat easy to do because my body was continuing on as if it was a normal pregnancy. I think that's the hardest thing for me to wrap my head around. I was gaining weight, especially in my belly. I was looking more pregnant as the weeks moved on. That gave me some hope. It's funny how the body can react to certain situations. I did not have any cramping and very very light spotting, more off than on, which the doctors kept telling me was normal and nothing to worry about. I don't blame them at all for saying this. As I've read, and even talked with a few mothers, spotting and bleeding during a pregnancy can be normal for some women.
Up until we found out, about the loss, everything seemed to be moving along OK with the baby. At the First Trimester Screening we were told the baby was measuring two weeks smaller than expected. At first I was very concerned about this, but I talked to the doctor and she said it could be a sign of the Trisomy 18/13 or it could be a miscalculation. She said it happens very frequently at these screenings, and many women leave measuring 1-2 weeks ahead or behind. I tried to focus on the second part of what she said, hoping that it was just a miscalculation. We talked with a Genetics Counselor after a more thorough blood panel, that was sent out, came back inconclusive. Again, we were told the best thing for the baby was to continue on as if all was well. After the blood work came back inconclusive, Joe and I decided to have an Amnio done. We needed to know, so we could start making some decisions. To run a second round of blood work would take another 4 weeks total. Two weeks until the next draw and then two weeks for results. We decided that waiting was not for us, so an Amnio was scheduled. Looking back at the signs, it seems that this outcome was inevitable. The small measurement, the lack of DNA found in the blood work, and the light spotting.
As I was coming home from work, on Monday, to head to our appointment, I knew something was not right. For the first time in the pregnancy I was having some cramping. It was very light almost non-exsitent, but it was there none the less. I got home and found that I was spotting more heavily. My stomach dropped, and I knew that the outcome of this appointment was not going to be a happy one. Our doctor tried to find a heartbeat using the Doppler and was unsuccessful. I looked at Joe and knew right away we had lost the baby. She preformed an ultrasound, and it was confirmed. There was our little love not moving and no heartbeat to be seen or heard. It was heart breaking seeing our baby on the screen no longer moving and kicking. We had been to several appointments and got to witness that amazingness, and now there was our baby, no more. I know I went into shock right away. I didn't cry, I didn't scream, I didn't even think. I just listened as our doctor walked us through our next steps.
The hardest part for me is not just losing the baby, but also losing the pregnancy. We had so many events coming up this year that I would've been pregnant at. Milestones in the pregnancy, and that is to be no more. When I came fully out of anesthesia the first thought that went through my head was "Our pregnancy is truly over". I know that it had been over, but now it was, and is, truly over. I was no longer carrying a little baby. That is still something I am grappling with tonight as I lie awake. For 16 weeks, I had a little life inside of me. Growing and bonding with, and now that no longer exists.
Joe has been truly amazing through this whole event. From the moment I told him we were pregnant, to when we found out about the Trisomy 18/13, he has been supportive, and loving, and taking everything as it comes. Even though this has been a very devastating time, we have really grown together in all of this darkness.
We have received an outpouring of support and couldn't be more grateful. I have heard from friends and family who have also lost their first child, or one of their children, and it is comforting to know we are not the only ones who have gone through this. I did know ahead of time that we are not the only ones, but there's comfort in knowing those close to us understand this loss too. I want to say thank you to all of you who have reached out and respected our asking you to message us privately.
I know that Joe and I will get through this, and I know in time the loss will get easier to accept. For now, I think we are taking it day by day and seeing where this road leads. Moving forward will be hard, and I'm not sure when we will be ready to go on this journey again, but I know we will, and I know that it will be just as amazing as the first time. Even though it was short lived.