My Pregnancy Journey Part 2: Experiencing Loss

Note: If you haven’t read Part 1, click here.

May 27, 2019, my life was changed forever. I was literally on cloud 9. I could not believe that I was actually pregnant! I immediately told my mom and one of my cousins that I’m really close to. I was dreaming of meeting my little one…wondering if I was having a girl or boy. It all felt so surreal. Never did a negative thought cross my mind. I never felt the need to be cautious nor did my mind drift to the possibility of a miscarriage. In my mind I didn’t believe that could happen. My husband and I had been praying for this blessing so why would something go wrong?

The next day I went to work so excited. Even one of my co-workers said I was glowing. Since she noticed something different about me, I shared the good news with her. As the week went on, I felt so much joy. I talked to my baby even though I didn’t know if it was a boy or girl. I scheduled a photo shoot so that my husband and I could do a cute pregnancy announcement. I ordered cute onesies from Etsy so that we could announce to his parents and my dad that they were going to be grandparents. Like I said, it never crossed my mind that this pregnancy wasn’t viable.

Saturday, June 1, 2019, I woke up filled with excitement. My husband and I were going out to LA for a friend’s surprise birthday party. On our way to the surprise party, we made a stop at the barbershop so that my husband could get a haircut. I went in with my husband and ended up having to sit in one of the most uncomfortable seats. I started having severe back pain. I didn’t think anything of it because back pain is normal in pregnancy. I ended up having to go to the restroom while waiting. I soon discovered that I was spotting. My anxiety kicked in to overdrive, but I prayed and reassured myself it was normal after googling “spotting in early pregnancy”.

After my husband got his hair cut, I told him that I had some spotting. He reassured me that everything would be okay and we headed to our friend’s surprise party. When we got there, I had to go to the restroom again and my spotting had increased. I called my mom hysterical. She prayed with me and tried to calm me down. She suggested that I sit down, relax, and try not to worry. Once again, trusty google reassured us both that spotting in early pregnancy was normal. I headed back over to my husband and the rest of the party. I tried sitting and relaxing, but something didn’t feel right. I did not feel like it was just normal pregnancy spotting. I felt like this was the beginning of the end.

My husband came to check on me and I told him that I think we should go to urgent care. My husband told our friend what was going on to explain why we had to leave the party suddenly. She was very understanding and reassured us that she was praying for us and a good outcome. We quickly rushed to the closest urgent care and waited. While we were waiting, the spotting turned into light bleeding. When I was finally seen by the doctor, he had me do bloodwork to check my HCG levels. He informed me that I was having a threatened miscarriage, and that everything could just turn out fine or I may lose the baby.

Although this news was discouraging, I still held on to hope that everything would turn around and that my baby would be okay. I had another friend of mine pray with me and she encouraged me. Throughout that weekend the bleeding continued. That Monday I went back to the doctors to have my HCG levels checked. I was excited because my HCG had increased since Saturday. It hadn’t doubled but it had increased quite a bit. This gave me some hope. I also called to schedule my initial appointment with my OB. I held on to hope that things would turn around. However, the next day at work, the bleeding increased heavily. My heart was broken. I didn’t understand why this was happening. I called my mom and she met me at the doctors. My doctor had my HCG checked again. It was still high, but it had dropped since Monday. My doctor took me off from work for two weeks and put me on bedrest in hopes that the bleeding would stop.

During my time off I did some serious spiritual warfare. I prayed, got before God in worship, and confessed the prayers and promises from the book Prayers and Promises for Supernatural Childbirth by Jackie Mize. I would be up at 1, 2, 3 in the morning praying, confessing scriptures, and singing praises to God. I knew that no matter what the outcome was, He was all I needed and He would bring healing. During this time in worship, 2 Samuel 12:16-23 came to me. It’s the story of when God condemned David for committing adultery with Bathsheba and killing her husband, Uriah. As a result of that adultery, Bathsheba became pregnant. As part of the consequences for what David did, the child became ill. David fasted, prayed, and worshiped. He knew what God had said regarding the child, but He still had hope that God would spare the child. When the child passed, David worshiped God once more, cleaned himself up, and then ate. His attitude and how he handled the situation surprised his servants. They expected him to be depressed following the child’s death, but he wasn’t. He trusted for God’s will to be done, interceded for his child, but respected God’s ultimate decision. That story brought me so much peace. I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be, but either way I was going to trust God and I was going to intercede for my child.

Although I had took the same stance as David, it was a trying time. I had my prenatal intake during this time. My husband came with me and it was a very draining experience. I was still bleeding and the nurse practitioner over the intake was very cold and direct. She pretty much told me there was no hope and that I could try again in the future. We still had to go through our family history and she gave me the packet that they give all pregnant women. It was so heartbreaking for me. I had to get bloodwork done including checking my HCG. I had requested to have my progesterone checked in hopes that if it was low I could just take progesterone suppositories, but she said at this point it would be useless.

The following day the cramping intensified. I had my mom take me to the ER to see if I could have an ultrasound done. I ended up getting more bloodwork and an ultrasound done. The ultrasound confirmed that my uterus was empty. There was no sign of a gestational sac. The doctor stated that it could be too early or I could have passed the gestational sac already. They also saw a cyst on one of my ovaries. The doctor stated that she was concerned that I may have had an ectopic pregnancy. She also said it was possible that it was just the corpus luteum cyst that pregnant women get to produce progesterone in the first trimester. She then told me that the best course of action would be to get an injection of methotrexate, which would stop the pregnancy. She also stated that I would have to wait at least 6 months before trying to conceive again because the methotrexate is a form of chemotherapy. I then had to do a pelvic exam, which was painful and excruciating. Tears flowed down my eyes throughout all of it. I was so confused and didn’t know what to do. I had heard horror stories of women who had ectopic pregnancies and how they ended up losing a fallopian tube due to the ectopic pregnancy.

My mom requested that the doctor give us a minute to discuss our options. When the doctor left the room, I just cried on my mom’s shoulder. What was supposed to be a joyous time in my life turned into a nightmare. She prayed over me and I instantly felt at peace. I knew what I had to do. I informed the doctor that I wouldn’t get the injection since she wasn’t 100% sure if it was an ectopic pregnancy or just the corpus luteum cyst. I could tell she did not agree with my decision, but I had my mind set up. At the time I wasn’t sure what was God’s purpose for all of this, but I didn’t want to make any rash decisions. Since I refused the injection, she had me get my HCG levels checked every other day to ensure that my levels were dropping. That night I went home and began to experience labor pains. The pain was excruciating. All I could do was curl up in a ball and cry. I also started passing large clots and tissue. I knew I was having a miscarriage.

My heart broke for the loss of my child. My heart broke for my husband who had to watch me endure this pain and could not do anything to help relieve it. My heart broke for us both and the loss of us becoming parents. My heart was just broken. Despite the pain and the trauma, I had peace over the situation. I knew that God would bring me through and would bring healing to my aching heart. I was so grateful for all the love that my friends, family, and church showed me and my husband. Our Pastors sent us flowers and the leader of the ministry I serve in bought us dinner. The overwhelming love we received was such a blessing during such a difficult time.

Miscarriage is not something to be taken lightly. It’s not just a heavy period. It is the loss of a child. It doesn’t matter if it was in early pregnancy or later, it is still a loss. You connect with that child from the first moment you find out you’re pregnant. You make plans and have hopes and dreams for that child even though you don’t know if it’s a girl or a boy. Speaking as someone who has had to endure such a loss, do not be that person that gives a flippant response such as, “At least you know you can get pregnant” or “At least it happened early” or “You can always try again.” After losing a child, you start to question yourself. You wonder if you did something wrong. Maybe I shouldn’t have lifted that box? Or maybe I shouldn’t have eaten that particular food? Although miscarriage usually indicates that there was something genetically wrong with the fertilized egg, you still wonder if there was something you could have done to prevent it. It’s also not so easy to just “try again”. You fear that if you try again you will have another miscarriage. That brings so much anxiety. So please, please, be understanding and patient with those who have endured a miscarriage. You don’t fully understand the wave of emotions it brings until you’ve experienced it yourself.

My Pregnancy Journey: Part 1

Ever since I was in my teens, I loved children. I loved being around them, interacting with them, having random conversations with them, and their innocent outlook on life. My love for children definitely motivated me to pursue a career in child development. It was never a question in my mind whether or not I would have children. It was a given.

When my husband and I began dating in 2015, we both expressed that we desired to have children one day. When our relationship became serious and headed towards marriage, we picked out names for our future children. Little did we know that our journey to pregnancy would not be as easy as we hoped.

May 12, 2018, I married my best friend and we agreed to start trying for children immediately. After about a couple months of trying, I became frustrated. I know trying for a couple months isn’t along time, but I was naive and expected to get pregnant quickly. I didn’t understand why it wasn’t happening for us. I decided to start tracking my cycle and learning more about my cycle. I began using OPKs and tracking my basal body temperature. I also began to research what a normal period was supposed to look like. I soon discovered that my period was far from normal. Experiencing excruciating pain to the point that all I could do was crawl into the fetal position and cry was not a normal period. Losing as much blood as I was losing and clotting the way I was was far from normal. I decided to seek medical help. It took me switching primary doctor’s to finally get the answers I thought I needed.

After meeting with my new primary and having some tests done, my doctor told me that she believed I had polyps. Polyps are small growths on the uterus that can cause pain, discomfort, and interfere with conceiving. I was told that this was an easy fix through minor surgery. This gave me hope. I felt like I had a concrete answer as to why I hadn’t gotten pregnant. In the middle of all of this (June 2018), my job switched insurances. Thankfully I was able to get all of my information from my previous provider and submit it to my new doctor. My new doctor had to do some tests (hysteroscopy and HSG). These tests of course confirmed what I already knew.

In October 2018, I was scheduled to have surgery to have the polyps removed. I was nervous because I had to be put under anesthesia, but I was excited to hopefully resolve the issue that I believed was preventing me from getting pregnant. After I had my surgery, my doctor informed me that the growths on my uterus were actually fibroids, not polyps. I ended up having a myomectomy to remove the fibroids. Thankfully where the fibroids were located the doctor was able to shave them off and not compromise the integrity of my uterus.

The recovery from my surgery was somewhat painful, but bearable. When I followed up with my doctor a few weeks later, he assured me that my husband and I would be able to conceive in no time and that I would see an improvement in my period. November 2018 I had my first period following my surgery. There was no change in my pain level. If anything it felt as if it made my period pain was worse. I was tired of experiencing such pain month after month so I decided to research natural remedies for painful periods.

I came across a few different remedies including Red Raspberry Leaf tea, arvigo therapy, and acupuncture. According to Euphoric Herbals, Red Raspberry Leaf tea contains calcium and iron, both of which play important roles in the menstrual cycle. Calcium helps regulate hormones, which in turn can help prevent PMS symptoms including painful cramps. The iron in this tea is helpful in preventing anemia, which can occur in women who tend to have a heavy monthly flow. This tea also contains fragarine. Fragarine can help tone pelvic muscles and relieve period cramps. I started drinking a minimum of 16oz. of Red Raspberry Leaf tea daily and saw a difference in my periods. Although my periods became more bearable, they still weren’t “normal”.

My next step was to give Arvigo Therapy a try. I found a specialist who was about an hour from where I lived. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but I was hopeful. I met with the specialist and we went over my complete menstrual cycle history. As we discussed my cycle history, she recommended that I take magnesium glycinate. She explained that most people do not get enough magnesium in their diet and that magnesium helps prevent muscle cramps. Since the uterus is a muscle, it also helps prevent menstrual cramps by smoothing the uterus. We also discussed my diet. I told her that I had been a vegetarian for the past year, but I was ready to go back to eating meat. She explained that vegetarian diets tend to cause hormonal imbalances because your body isn’t getting enough of the nutrients it normally receives from certain proteins (Disclaimer: For those who are vegetarian/vegan, I’m not here to debate this. Let’s just agree to disagree :)). She recommended a Paleo diet, which was what I had been planning to transition to. After discussing my history and diet, she introduced me to Arvigo Therapy and Castor Oil packs.

Arvigo Therapy is a form of abdominal massage. By massaging the abdominal area, organs and tissues in the abdominal and pelvic areas are relaxed and loosened. Internal organs that may have shifted are massaged and repositioned, which can help relieve painful symptoms. For women, this therapy works great for a prolapsed or tilted uterus. Some of the other benefits include increased blood flow, congestion relief, improved flow of lymph and nerve impulses, and improvement in digestion. After she performed the Arvigo Therapy, she had me do a Castor Oil pack. I was given a cotton cloth soaked in castor oil. The cloth was placed right below my stomach. A heating pad was then placed on top of the cloth. This was done for 30 minutes. The purpose of castor oil packs is to pull out the toxins that can cause hormonal imbalance, improve circulation, and decrease inflammation and pain.

Following this first session, I experienced what I would consider a normal period. I felt minimal pain, I was able to function and engage in my regular activities instead of being curled in a ball crying in my bed, and my period was a lot shorter (it went from it’s standard 7 days to 5 days). I was in shock and I cried tears of joy. I finally felt like I was getting somewhere, like real changes were being made. I continued to work closely with this specialist for the next few months. Even after discontinuing our sessions, I continued to implement the natural remedies she taught me and continued to see great improvements in my menstrual cycle.

May 12, 2019, my husband and I celebrated our one year anniversary. At that point I was no longer thinking about trying to conceive, but enjoying the journey and allowing God’s timing to take place. I was still implementing the natural remedies I had learned and focusing mostly on balancing my hormones and ensuring my period was normal.

The week of May 20, 2019, my body felt extremely off. My period was due soon, but I didn’t experience my normal period symptoms. Everything felt different. I was extremely tired and didn’t have much of an appetite. I could not stay up past 9:00pm, which was out of the norm for me. Everything just felt off. On May 27, 2019, Memorial Day, I decided to take a pregnancy for kicks. I honestly did not think I would see two pink lines. When my timer went off indicating it was time to check the pregnancy test, I was greeted by the sight of two pink lines. I came running out the bathroom and showed the test to my husband. I burst with tears of joy as I shoved the pregnancy test in his face (I’m sure he didn’t appreciate me shoving a stick covered in pee in his face lol). I was in such disbelief that I decided to take a digital test just to see the word “pregnant”. When I saw the word “pregnant”, I then decided that this was really happening. Little did I know that the following week everything would change instantly and I would face one of the most heartbreaking and difficult moments of my life…

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my Pregnancy Journey!