As the month of March comes to a close I realized I’ve been dealing with a pregnancy loss for almost the entire month. This is some serious March Madness for me! And at times I definitely feel mad about it. So it seems only fitting to write about the pregnancy loss. One more time. If only for myself and my personal healing. Maybe it’ll be help a few of you like the other posts…
March started out with so much positive and high hopes! I had a due date of 10/31 for a Halloween baby. I had a photo shoot scheduled and planned for a cute Easter announcement. I had started saving ideas on Pinterest for decorating another nursery. We were cautiously optimistic about the pregnancy, because of my history of miscarriage. But still told our families and a few other people here and there, out of our excitement.
On March 5th, the madness began. All of that changed on my first trip to the ER with acute left abdominal pain. There we found out that the hormone levels were not where they should be and pregnancy was not thriving. Doctors were concerned about a possible ectopic pregnancy, but could not confirm with ultrasound. We were discharged from the hospital full of disappointment. The familiar feels of the pregnancy loss roller coaster set in and all we could do was wait for the miscarriage to happen.
I’d been planning to leave for a girls’ trip to Napa valley on that Friday. Those plans and flights had to be cancelled as the inevitable presented itself early that morning. I was somewhat mad and sad about missing the trip, but moreso about the pregnancy loss. My husband’s heart was broken for me having to suffer both the miscarriage and missing my trip. He started looking into plans for a little family getaway to Florida the following weekend. In the meantime, I tried to be kind to myself and process the emotional consequences of the pregnancy loss. I tried to just get back to stay at home mom life and get all of my work done to prepare for our trip. This included a few repeat blood tests to make sure the pregnancy hormone levels were going down and miscarriage was complete.
We packed up the fam, and flew down to Fort Lauderdale, Florida for some serious R & R. We spent all day Sunday at the beach. I found myself feeling super happy, emotional and grateful as I watched Greg and Lillian playing in the sand, crying tears of happiness under my Raybans. We did relax for a couple days… until the doctor called to say the last lab results from my levels were concerning. It wasn’t over. The miscarriage was not complete. The levels went back up and showing more evidence of ectopic. I found an outpatient center in Florida where I had to go immediately to get bloodwork and repeat in 24 hours. So there I was, sitting in a waiting room by myself on our family vacation with my husband and toddler waiting for me and accommodating my every move. More March miscarriage madness and now I was pretty mad about it! I had just started to relax and recover and now here I am filled with anxiety and so far from home. There in the waiting room I cried and wrote my Strong as a Mother post to remind and motivate myself.
On the way to the airport, at maybe the worst possible timing, the severe acute side pain came back. The Uber made it to the airport drop-off and I had to make the tough call to ditch the flight and divert us back to the emergency room. By the time we got to the hospital, I was crying due to how scared I was and how bad the pain was. There the ultrasound confirmed that there indeed was an ectopic pregnancy in my left Fallopian tube. Bad news and more March madness. And I was mad. Mad this situation seemed to be regressing instead of progressing. Mad to be stuck in a Florida ER. Mad we missed our flight because of me. Mad that I had to choose between two treatment options that were less than ideal. Emergency laparoscopic surgery to remove ectopic pregnancy and tube, or take a shot of low dose chemotherapy to stop the embryo cells from growing and terminate the pregnancy. I reluctantly chose the latter to avoid surgery. But I was mad about it. This was madness! I never planned to ever receive any kind of chemotherapy. Ever! I’ve told my husband that chemo would be a very, very last resort for me if I ever, God forbid, was diagnosed with any kind of cancer. Yet here I was, getting shots of chemo in my butt, to finally terminate the successful fertilized egg stuck in my Fallopian tube. This felt like madness.
Finally flew home the next day and had to go directly to doctors office for more bloodwork. Needed to check to see if the shot was working. We went about our weekend with anxiety, needing the numbers from Monday’s levels to have some assurance. They went down, and all was looking like the storm has passed. Just needed one more test. So again, I tried to get back to regular mom life. Until I had to abruptly leave brunch with Lily on Wednesday morning and head BACK to the emergency room. For a third time. With acute, severe side pain. What in the actual eff was going on in there!? THIS IS MADNESS. Why is this pregnancy loss being drawn out to such a depressing extent? When will it be over?
Diagnosis this time was a cyst rupturing. Not the ectopic pregnancy, thank goodness! The hormone levels had gone down and I was discharged with a prescription for pain meds I didn’t think I would need. Boy was I wrong! Later that night, as the cyst continued to rupture and dissolve, I endured 6 straight hours of some of the worst pain of my life. It rivaled that of childbirth. The pain meds barely worked. This was very NOT over. This was absolute madness! And I was mad. Mad that I had to scrape the last bits of mental strength to endure this mind numbing pain again. Mad I was still suffering the physical and emotional pain of pregnancy loss for over 3 weeks. Mad I spent another day in the ER.
Finally though, we had some answers. Finally I felt some small sense of relief that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Like I was on the road to recovery. Now I just have to rest and heal. As I sit writing this from an airplane, crying again under my Raybans, I can’t help but wonder…. What does this mean for future pregnancies and the future of my family? Will I get to keep my ovary and Fallopian tube? Do I even want to keep them? Will I always feel this dysfunctional? Will I get to give my husband another biological child? Will I resent my body forever if I can’t? Am I being ungrateful for the one perfect child I already have?
All of these questions are pretty premature and are almost 100% fear based. The fact of the matter is, life goes on and the world keeps turning. Lillian still needs her mama and Gregory still needs his wife. Most importantly, Lauren still needs to be a wife and mom to Gregory and Lillian! To care for and to give the immense amounts of love in my heart to. To receive back the immense love that they have in their hearts for me. To be fulfilled by the life we have built. To be grateful for the things I have now that I used to wish for. To keep me from throwing a pity party for myself. To remind me how lucky I am. To help me love living in my own life vs. comparing myself to others.
With one more day of March to go, I can say with so much certainty that I survived this month’s super moon and mercury retrograde. I survived this horrible March madness. I survived another pregnancy loss. And as much as I’ve talked about it and shared my story, I refuse to let this define me. I’m not going to label myself a warrior or survivor. Because we’re all warriors and survivors of something. I’m just a woman, sharing her story of struggles and strength. Being real and raw about something not a lot of us talk about.
Thank you to anyone still reading this. Thank you to my friends and family for all of your love. Thank you to my social media community for the hundreds of messages of support you’ve sent. Many of you have thanked me for sharing and complimented me for handling it graciously. So lastly, something I don’t normally do, I want to thank myself. Thank you Lauren, for being so strong and not getting swallowed up in the swamp of sadness this month. Thank you for being unapologetically yourself and calling people out when they were disappointing. Thank you for your resiliency and refusing to be a victim. Thank you for the positive thoughts you’re already thinking about possible ways to complete your family. Thank you for being vulnerable and authentic, not hiding behind perfect pictures and cute captions. Thank you for writing this post. Thank you for being you Lauren… I love you!