My pregnancy with Gwenevere was uneventful. I was lucky. From five weeks to fourteen weeks I suffered from all day sickness, a sign of a healthy pregnancy. I worried from time to time about a pregnancy loss, but never let my mind dwell on the thought. At 10 weeks I saw my physician for a routine appointment and she asked how far along I was. I told her I was only 10 weeks. She asked if I wanted her to try and find a heartbeat via Doppler. I hesitated for a moment, I had anticipated Micah being present for that moment but I said yes. She got out the Doppler and within a minute she found a strong heartbeat. I called Micah and he could hear our baby’s heartbeat over the phone. It was a magical moment.
I remember throughout my pregnancy with her I enjoyed everything. I loved our prenatal appointments with our midwife and getting to hear our baby’s heartbeat. I loved buying baby things and decorating her nursery. I loved my growing belly and feeling all of her movements. I loved the right to complain about all of the discomforts that come along with being a pregnant lady. I loved the moment we found out we were having a baby girl by cutting into a pink cake. I loved taking natural child birth classes and planning the drug free arrival of our daughter into the world. I loved the anticipation of becoming a parent with my husband. My perfect pregnancy ended on December 1st, 2010 at 4:49am with the delivery of a perfect baby girl, Gwenevere Cate Fuerst; 8lbs. 1oz. 20.5 inches.
Ten months after the birth of Gwenevere I found out we were pregnant again. I was elated! It was a little sooner that we had originally planned on having another child, but I couldn’t wait to become a parent again. This pregnancy however was very different for me. I had a loss of appetite, but I had no nausea. I didn’t feel pregnant. I had anxiety all the time that something was wrong. I kept saying to Micah that it was either twins or I was going to miscarry. I just knew it was different. To calm my nerves my midwife offered me an early ultrasound. At seven weeks we got to see our little Poppy (as we referred to him/her). Poppy had strong heartbeat, but was only measuring at 5 weeks. Our midwife told us not to worry because it is common to be off on dates. Micah’s mind was put at ease, mine was not. I reluctantly told our family and a few friends that we were pregnant. We bought Gwenevere a “Big Sister” onesie and everyone was so excited. I was not excited, just anxious.
The weekend before Gwenevere’s 1st birthday we threw a party for her. We invited a few friends and family. It was a wonderful party and Gwenevere had a great time. Once all of the guests left I went to the bathroom and noticed some bleeding. My stomach sank. I tried to stay calm, reminding myself that spotting can be perfectly normal in the first trimester. The next morning it got worse. I called our midwife and she suggested going to the E.R. to get checked out. We dropped our daughter off with friends and went to the hospital. It was there that we discovered that our Poppy no longer had a heartbeat. It looked as though our baby had died several weeks ago. I cried knowing that my worst fears had come true. I was angry. I felt that my body had failed me and my baby. I tried to comfort myself that something was wrong with our baby and that Poppy wasn’t meant to be. I had a D & C later that week, two days before my daughter’s first birthday.
After my miscarriage I felt devastated. I wanted that baby. I didn’t think I could find the strength to get through the loss. It didn’t seem fair. The OB that did my operation recommended waiting at least 3 months before trying to conceive again. I wanted to be pregnant again. I also wanted to never again experience the loss of a baby. Four and a half months after my miscarriage I learned that I was again pregnant. I was struck with excitement and fear, but mostly fear.
This third pregnancy was so much different than both of my previous pregnancies. I was so sick I could barely lift my head from the bathroom floor. I was exhausted beyond belief. At 7 weeks we had our first ultrasound to confirm dates and viability. I will never forget what the ultrasound tech said when I asked if everything looked okay. “Well, there are two!”. Twins, I couldn’t believe it. It gave me twice as much to worry about and twice as much to look forward to. The first trimester was challenging to say the least. I had to care for my daughter at home while curled up in the fetal position and dry heaving. I worried every minute about every tiny ache or pain that I had. I remember lying in bed one night feeling light cramps with my heart racing. I was sure that I was miscarrying.
Although the first 13 weeks went by at a snail’s pace I made it through. Each week that went by I felt more and more confident that we were actually going to have two healthy babies. At 18 weeks we had our anatomy scan. Not only did we discover that we were going to have a son and daughter but most importantly both of them looked perfectly healthy! I was elated. Even though everything looked perfect I never let go of the anxiety. When I would wake up in the morning I would check to make sure my water hadn’t broken prematurely. I avoided heavy lifting, even having Gwenevere climb stairs to get into her crib. I ate healthy and drank a gallon of water a day to help prevent preterm labor. I knew that a multiple pregnancy was high risk and I wanted to reduce my risk as much as possible.
Despite my efforts I did go into preterm labor. At 22 weeks and 5 days I went into labor and delivered my son and daughter. Nine days too soon for any medical intervention. I had to watch them die and know that there was nothing that could be done to save their lives. The worst part was seeing how perfect and healthy they looked.
My point is this; at the time of my pregnancy with Gwenevere I never would have thought I could handle a miscarriage. The thought of losing a pregnancy was too much to bear. I knew it happened to many women and they got through it, but I just couldn’t imagine the pain. When my miscarriage happened I got through it. As each day passed it got better and I survived. Not long after my miscarriage someone very close to me had a 2nd trimester pregnancy loss. I couldn’t imagine the pain. I knew how much it hurt to lose my baby at 10 weeks and I couldn’t begin to comprehend her loss. By that time you are feeling your baby move, setting up the nursery, picking names and planning for that child. Then, three months later the unthinkable happened to me. The event that I never thought I was strong enough to survive happened. My babies were taken from me and I was left to try to go on with my life. I am still here, I survived. Not because I am strong, because I had no choice.