Sunday, February 7, 2016

When things don't go according to plan...

Having had JRA my entire life, I am used to things not going as planned. I can't even count the number of times my typically positive attitude is crushed after having heard that my Uveitis or JRA is flaring once again. I think subconsciously I was trying to prepare myself for the possibility of a miscarriage, knowing that nothing in my life has come easily. However, nothing could have prepared me for that ultrasound appointment. 

I was having an early ultrasound by the fertility clinic. I didn't have an appointment scheduled with my OB until 10 weeks and when I called to cancel my follow-up appointment with my fertility specialist, I voiced my concerns about waiting so long until being seen. The nurse said they would see me sooner for a 7 week ultrasound. I had had pregnancy symptoms on and off for the past 7 weeks. I was occasionally nauseous, cramping, bloated, etc. Although, all my symptoms were varying in intensity, I had no reason to be concerned that anything was amiss. We had told our family and many close friends and I was beginning to believe that this was really happening and we were starting how we were going to tell more friends around Valentine's day. 

We were brought into the ultrasound room by a young, friendly technician, who explained what was going to happen and than began with the abdominal ultrasound. She took her measurements and then asked me to change for the transvaginal ultrasound. I thought I saw what looked like an embryo on the screen, but never have been pregnant before, I was unsure what to expect and I was uncharacteristically quiet throughout the whole process. She explained it is protocol to have the doctor's assistant come in to oversee the transvaginal ultrasound and explain the results. 

The doctor's assistant was cold, blunt and barely looked at me throughout the process. I began to become concerned when she asked, "have there been any other images of this?" She then went on to explain that typically at 7 weeks there should be a heartbeat and based on the size of the embryo, this was a failed, non-viable pregnancy. She was sorry and they would call my doctor to let her know. They then left us shocked and in disbelief in the dark, ultrasound room. I could barely process the news and immediately began crying, still not fully comprehending what had happened. 

My fertility doctor was very empathetic and agreed that it was in fact a failed pregnancy. She then went over some of the early results of our fertility testing and recommended a D and E procedure and to schedule more fertility testing at my next cycle. This 45 minutes appointment with the fertility doctor was a blur. I was listening to everything she said but the words did not seem real. Just two hours previously we were discussing who to share our exciting news with next and how we would every agree on a boys name we both liked. Now we were discussing a surgery to remove the embryo and further fertility testing. I felt numb.

I was able to hold it together until we got into the car in the parking lot. All the emotions off the past few hours overwhelmed me. Why did this happen? Was it my JRA? Will I ever get pregnant again? Is this just the first of many miscarriages? What do we do now? It's not just not fair... That following weekend was one of the hardest weekends. I was crushed, devastated, angry and worried. I have known many people who have gone through miscarriages, but you truly do not understand the grief, emotions, and sadness that comes with miscarriages until you experience it personally. What's more difficult is that these emotions are usually dealt with silently as women are expected to get right back into their normal lives. For that entire following week, I became upset just saying the words aloud. I avoided all social media. Pictures and status updates of pregnancy and babies brought me additional anger, sadness and grief. I bowed out of the one year old birthday party I was invited to over the weekend. How would I be able to see babies and pregnant mothers without becoming angry and upset over their success. It wasn't their fault they had successful pregnancies, but where else would the frustration and anger go?

I had my D and E on Friday and will write about that in an upcoming post. I am still sad about my miscarriage and will be for many months to come. This is an experience that never leaves you and it will be forever a part of our journey to start a family. However, I am feeling much better now and am ready for the next steps, whatever that may be...


  1. Jennifer A. MilazzoFebruary 9, 2016 at 9:36 PM

    I'm so sorry to hear this! I know there isn't much that I can say that will make you feel better, but I really hope you will get pregnant again soon! This is also one of my biggest fears. My husband and I have been TTC for 4 months now, no luck yet. My mom and grandma (and all my grandma's sisters) had a miscarriage of their first pregnancy. After that they were fine, but I just dread having to go through months and months of TTC, then deal with a loss. I don't fully understand the feels and emotions since I haven't been there, but I can can anticipate it. I already feel somewhat wistful/jealous around my friends with babies/facebook posts of babies, etc. Which is so petty I know since I haven't been TTC all THAT long... but still. It gets emotional sometimes..

    I hope the fertility drs can help! I am debating on when I should seek any fertility testing for us. I don't want to be overly paranoid or go to my OBGYN and have her just say, nope, you need to keep trying a little longer first. But my arthritis is still doing so well, and I fear when the next flare up may be. Why can't it just happen! TTC is stressful enough, and when you have factors like arthritis involved, it is just that much worse!

  2. Hello Jennifer,
    Good luck on your journey. I completely understand your feelings about TTC. When we first started I felt the same way and then felt guilty about being frustrated when it hadn't been that long. However, even one month seems like ages during this stressful time! Try not to worry about the future, although I know that is impossible! Also, when I went to see my fertility doctors after about 6 months, she agreed that it was a reasonable idea, given my history of JRA, to get things looked at before waiting too long.

    Good luck!