My Story: Miscarriages, Part 5

After having 4 miscarriages in less than 12 months, my doctor finally agreed to start looking for a cause.

I went for blood work and a hysterosalpingogram, which is an x-ray of the uterus and fallopian tubes to see if there are any abnormalities or blockages.  They insert a tube through your cervix to inject dye into your uterus.  The dye flows into your fallopian tubes and it shows up on the x-rays.

Everything I’ve read about the hysterosalpingogram procedure says that you might have mild discomfort and that your doctor might suggest that you take an over the counter pain medicine prior to the procedure.

Well, let me set the record straight.  It HURTS!  A nurse was kind enough to hold my hand during the hysterosalpingogram and I thought I was going to break her fingers.  If you need to have this procedure done, ask (no, demand!) for a strong pain reliever prior to the procedure.

All of my tests results came back normal.

On January 20, 2008 I took a pregnancy test and it was positive.

I went for blood work on the 21st and the 29th.  All of my numbers looked good.  I was so hopeful that I would carry this pregnancy to term!

On February 18, I had an ultrasound and the heartbeat was 168 beats per minute!  With the 3 out of my last 4 pregnancies, I miscarried before being far enough along for an ultrasound, so I took this as a good sign, that I had made it this far.

I had another ultrasound and a regular doctor’s appointment in March.  The heartbeat was detected both times.  I also had blood work done in March.

On March 26, my mother called first thing in the morning to tell me that my grandmother had passed away.  She had been sick and I had been expecting the call, but it was still terrible news to receive.  I decided to work from home that day.

Mid morning I received a call from the genetic counselor who works with my doctor’s office and she told me that the blood work I had done earlier in the month showed that my baby had a 1 in 7 chance of having Downs Syndrome.

My husband and I were working at the same company at the time, so I called my boss and asked her to send my husband home.  There was nothing he could do to change anything, but I just needed to be with him.  I needed his strong shoulders to cry on.  It wasn’t even 11 o’clock yet and it had been such an emotionally draining day.

When we were trying to conceive our first child we both agreed that no matter what we wouldn’t terminate any pregnancies.  We would lovingly accept any child that were given.  Actually, he wanted me to pass on all of the testing that is offered during pregnancy because we knew we wouldn’t do anything with the information, but I wanted the testing in order to prepare and educate myself if I needed to.

In the 5 years since we’d had that conversation, we hadn’t changed our minds.  I did, however, want to know for sure if I was carrying a baby with Downs Syndrome or not.  I am the type of person to needs all of the information I can get.  I like to research and prepare.  So I scheduled a CVS (chorionic villus sampling) test for the next day.

To prepare for the CVS, a technician does an ultrasound first.  Having had several ultrasounds in the last 4 years, I immediately knew that something was wrong.  I’m no expert, but I can tell when there is nothing moving on the screen.  The only thing the technician said was that she was going to get the doctor.  As soon as she left, I turned to my husband and started crying.

The technician and the doctor came into the room and confirmed my worst fears.  I lost the baby.  They offered their condolences and then immediately gave me my options.  I could deliver the fetus naturally or schedule a D&C (dilation and curettage) for as early as the next day.

My grandmother’s wake was the next day and her funeral the following day.  I’d never had a D&C before and I was concerned that I’d miss the wake or funeral because of complications, so I opted to schedule the D&C for the following Monday.

That was one of the most emotionally exhausting weeks I’ve ever had.  In hindsight I wish I had delivered the fetus naturally, but at the time I just wanted to tie up the lose ends and move on.

If you are going through the heartbreak of miscarriage and would like to chat with someone who knows what you are going through, please leave your email address in the comments and I will contact you.  

If you would like to read the 1st 4 posts in this series, here they are:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

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  1. Ellen Russell says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, Kim. It brought tears to my eyes.
    I miscarried a baby a little over a year ago (I was about 11 weeks when I miscarried, but the baby had died around 9 weeks).

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