goodbye, gumball

February 24, 2010

When I found out that I was pregnant, I was surprised, overjoyed, excited, and afraid. It didn’t feel real to me, and I kept worrying that something was wrong. The only real symptom I had was that I seemed to be a little more hungry, but food was distasteful. People kept telling me how lucky I was, and went on to tell me their pregnancy horror stories of vomiting for 7 months straight. I thought to myself how great it would be if I continued to feel this well – as long as everything was okay with the baby. I tried to convince myself over and over that this was really happening, and that I shouldn’t worry and just be happy. But I couldn’t shake the anxiety.

For two weeks I simultaneously anticipated and dreaded my follow-up appointment with the reproductive endocrinologist (RE). I wanted to see the baby again with my own eyes, and know that it had grown since before. If everything looked okay, I think I could have relaxed.

I brought David along with me this time. My doctor came breezing in and asked me several questions about my symptoms. I told her that I had mild cramping almost every single day, but she assured me that this was completely normal. I mentioned that I had started having a little spotting that morning.

We did the ultrasound next, and the baby was definitely there and it had grown. I was measuring at 6 weeks, 3 days – but wait, shouldn’t I be more like 7 weeks by now? But then we saw a flicker of a heartbeat, and my spirits lifted. It was a beautiful sight, and David squeezed my hand. The doctor turned the sound on, and I heard a regular heartbeat. Sort of like I hear every day on my patients. Hmm.

“Is that the fetal heartbeat?” I asked.

“Yes…” the doctor replied.

“Is that not slow?”

“It’s a little slow. I’m going to try it again.”

But no matter what, the heart rate was only in the upper 90’s. The slow heartbeat combined with my spotting and the fact that the baby hadn’t developed quite as much as it should have put me at an increased risk for miscarriage. I was given instructions to stop exercising, eat more (I had actually lost a pound), cut back on coffee and return in one week for another ultrasound.

I didn’t get anything else accomplished the rest of that day. It was hard not to let my mind take me to bad places, but I still hoped that if I just took it easy for the next week then everything would turn out fine.

The next morning, however, proved that nothing was fine. Instead of spotting I had outright bleeding. I called in sick to work, got back in bed, and waited for the doctor’s office to open – it was 5:30 a.m. When it did, the nurse had me come in to get my progesterone level tested, which is a hormone that helps maintain the pregnancy. She gave me some supplements, and when she called me later it turned out that my levels were low. I took a supplement, but by that time it was too late. Throughout the day, despite bedrest, my cramping and bleeding had only increased. I was – am – in the middle of a miscarriage.

Like the pregnancy itself, I had thought about miscarriage so many times but never actually thought it would happen to me. I had just started forming an attachment to little Gumball after hearing his heart beat for the first time, and the next day – he’s gone. I’m glad we got that experience, though. No one can take it away from us.

Physically I’m feeling extremely crampy, nauseous, and weak, but that’s nothing compared to the emotional distress I’m in. David gets mad at me anytime I start to blame myself, and I know he’s right. Still, it’s hard not to think of things I possibly did wrong, like drinking coffee and exercising too much. But what really happened is just that there was some kind of abnormality with the pregnancy, and it wasn’t safe to continue. I get that. But now we have to start all over, and that means fertility treatment. It’s devastating and overwhelming.

I’m trying to see the positive. Like the fact that I know it’s possible for us to conceive, so we do have options. Also that one day I’ll be able to support someone else who is going through this and be able to tell them, “I’ve been there.” I really, really like my reproductive endocrinologist, so I feel safe that I get to continue in her care. And of course, knowing that God has a perfect plan for me helps immensely, even if it has become a cliche.

But the truth is that this is hard – harder than I expected and I’m not really sure how to live a normal life right now.

Posted in: motherhood, infertility, motherhood, motherhood, pregnancy

Comments on goodbye, gumball

  1. 1

    From Chelsea:

    I’m so sorry Kathleen. I have no words to help you. I’m just so sorry. I’ll be praying for you, for David, for your body. I love you.

  2. 2

    From Marlena:

    This makes my heart sad to hear. I can’t explain the why but I do know one thing for certain, you are going to make an out of this world exceptional mother when the time comes. I hate that it wasn’t this time, absolutely hate it, but you’re right, God does have a plan.

  3. 3

    From Kyla Roma:

    Oh sweetie, I’m so sorry, you guys are in my thoughts. This is so difficult, please be kind to yourself *hugs*

  4. 4

    From OurLittleAshley:

    Oh, Kathleen.

    I am so, so sorry. My heart aches for you. :(

    You sound like you’re thinking so positively and are full of hope – I admire your attitude so much.

    But, still, this is something no woman hopes to experience and I am sorry you have.

    You wrote this so beautifully…

  5. 5

    From Erin:

    Kat, I’m so sorry. I’m praying for you and David. I know there is nothing I can say to “make it better” but to remind you of what you already know. God is in control. My heart is broken with yours today!

  6. 6

    From Lauren From Texas:

    Praying for you. I think it is brave of you to post this & to see that God has a plan in the midst of everything. Love you.

  7. 7

    From Julienne:

    I’m so sorry. Covering you in prayer from far away…

  8. 8

    From Nikki:

    Kathleen, I’m so sorry to hear this news. I’m glad with your medical knowledge that you understand that your body did what was best, but I know that no matter how much your brain understands why, your heart still wonders, and hurts. I’m glad you have a wonderful husband and family, and a wonderful God to help you through. I hope God heals your body soon and blesses you with another little baby that we’ll get to meet and love.

  9. 9

    From Tabaitha:

    I know words aren’t enough, so know that I will continue to pray for you and David. Much love!

  10. 10

    From Amy --- Just A Titch:

    I wish I could make it better—my mom and several dear friends have experienced this, and I know that the pain never quite goes away. I’m sending you my best love, thoughts and prayers for peace during this time.

  11. 11

    From Amber from Girl with the Red Hair:

    I’m so sorry. You’re in my thoughts and prayers. XO

  12. 12

    From DeMo:

    So sorry to read this. I’m praying for you and David, and for healing for both your body and your hearts.

  13. 13

    From Becca:

    Hi Kathleen, I’m so sorry to hear this. I lost my first pregnancy and it was heartbreaking. I’ll be praying for you.


  14. 14

    From Sara:

    You know that I’ve been there. Please continue to call/text me anytime you need me. I know that’s it is nothing short of devastating.

  15. 15

    From Nora:

    Oh, dear. I’m sure the words I’m sorry don’t mean much right now, but I truly am.

    Sending hugs, loves, prayers and strength your way.

    I’m always available if you need to chat.


  16. 16

    From jimaiemarie:

    i am so so sorry, my heart just dropped when i read this because i know that feeling of bonding with your baby almost right away and it pains me so much to know that others have it ripped away from them.
    You seem to have such a positive attitude about this and I admire that so much. You are in my thoughts and prayers, sincerely <3

  17. 17

    From Katy:

    Sniffle. I’m so sad for you, friend. You are in my prayers.

  18. 18

    From Krista:

    What terrible news Kathleen. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending warm and comforting thoughts your way.

  19. 19

    From Ashley:

    I’m sorry Kathleen. You guys take care of yourselves and each other.

  20. 20

    From Allison Blass:

    Oh man. Big hugs… ::hug:: Big hugs and prayers.

  21. 21

    From Stephany:

    I’m so sorry to read this, especially knowing a friend of mine had a miscarriage last night and I know she’s deeply troubled by it.

    You are such a strong woman and there’s no words I can really say to make this make sense, or make it any better. But you are in the right mindset for this and I’m praying for you and your future children.

  22. 22

    From jessica (struble):

    o my gosh, i got upset as i was reading that blog. continue to be strong, and know that it will happen!! u will be a great mom and i hope u will never have to go thru this again. keep ur head up/…it will happen. dont stress over it, it def wasnt ur fault. david will be a great dad and im sure will continue to help u with this hard time,as it is prob the same for him

  23. 23

    From Becky:

    I love you Kathleen! So glad the great I AM has you in His hands. I’m heartbroken with you. Love, Becky

  24. 24

    From steph anne:

    I’m so sorry. This was beautifully written and I hope you and David will get through it. I’m definitely thinking of you! <3

  25. 25

    From Megan:

    I love you so much.

  26. 26

    From Ro Manalo:

    So sorry, Kathleen. Praying for you.

  27. 27

    From Cio:

    I’m holding you with arms of prayer.

  28. 28

    From Kelly:

    Oh, I’m sooo sorry to hear that. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  29. 29

    From Hilary:

    I am so sorry to hear this. My husband and I just went through the same experience, and I understand the devastation and pain in your heart. I am praying for you. You will get through this!

  30. 30

    From mediumcrazy:

    Kathleen — I am so, so sorry and so sad that you’re going through this. You are an incredibly strong woman and I know this will work out in the end the way it’s meant to.

  31. 31

    From Kait Sim:

    My heart and prayers go out to you both! You’re constantly on my mind. The whole Sim family is praying for you. I pray that God will give both of you healing and peace in the fact that his plan for you will work out better than anything you can foresee.

  32. 32

    From Emily Jane:

    I am so, so sorry to hear this, it just about broke my heart. There are no magic words but just know that I will be praying for both you and David and that God let this happen for a reason that may not be understandable right now, but He has a plan for you and I pray that comes to light when the time is right. Your strength is incredible, and just know that there are so many people out there who’ll be here every step of the way.

  33. 33

    From Rae:

    I am so sorry.

  34. 34

    From Christine:

    I’ve been there. And I’m sooooooo sorry that you’re there now. There really, truly are no words. Praying for all of you.

  35. 35

    From ellen:

    I love you.

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