17 Jul My Untold Story to Mommyhood
I’ve wanted to be a mom for as long as I can remember. I truly feel like my mom was put on this planet to be a mom, and that most likely is the reason. A few years after meeting my husband I began a very rigorous Masters program. I watched girls dropping out left and right when they became pregnant, and so I told my husband, Steve, I wanted to wait until I was done to start trying. We loved traveling and being together, and so for us it was no big deal. It wasn’t until we had been together for 7 years that the end of my program was in sight.
When I was finishing up the last of my course work and about to start studying for my certification exam, I figured I was good to go. I had been on birth control since I was 15 years old, and had only been off of it once. The one time I went off of it I got my period like clockwork. I decided to stop taking it, but 5 weeks later I still hadn’t gotten my period. This was all completely normal, but I was frustrated. I called my obgyn because I was getting so impatient. I couldn’t believe I had waited for so long, and now that I was ready I couldn’t stand that my body wasn’t. She assured me that it was completely normal, and that I’d ovulate 2 weeks before I got my period, so that we technically we could start trying.
I took that as the green light I needed and ran to CVS to get an ovulation kit. The only thing I had ever NEEDED to be was a mom, and so at this point now I was on a mission. I didn’t want to waste anymore time. Because we had never tried before I had no clue what to even do with an ovulation kit. I got home, quickly ran to the bathroom to use it, and to my disappointment got a big fat O. I wasn’t ovulating. Still that night we tried because I figured we had nothing to lose.
The next morning I grabbed another ovulation stick, and to my surprise was met with a smiley face. I was ovulating! I felt like it was the best news in the world. We proceeded to try for the next few days, and then I went into extreme study mode. I’m a huge book nerd, and so I proceeded to lock myself in our condo for the next 10 days straight studying every inch of notes that I could. About a week in a felt a rush of nausea go up and down my body, and the tiniest bit of cramping. I quickly googled early signs of pregnancy, and saw both. I just KNEW I was pregnant.
Because I’m a total Libra and so superstitious I kept my mouth shut. On day 11 I went to take my certification exam. I had Steve drive me so I could continue to look through my study guides on the way to the test. I went up, passed, and then couldn’t wait to get back downstair to tell him what I thought. When I saw he was waiting for me in the parking lot I practically sprinted to the car. I told him I rocked the exam and that I needed him to drive straight to CVS for a pregnancy test all in one breath. He started cracking up and said, “Morgan we’ve tried for literally 4 days, what makes you think that you’re pregnant?” I said, “I just know I am!”
4 pregnancy tests later, and yes I made him go back to get the one that actually said, “PREGNANT,” on it, and they all read in big fat letters PREGNANT. We were hysterically crying, and it felt like everything I had ever wanted in life occurred in that moment (ps I’m starting to cry while writing this because I’m recalling that moment of joy). I quickly 3 way called my sister and my parents, and within minutes everyone was cheering and screaming! My mom told me I had to come over that second, and they were LITERALLY popping bottles upon our arrival.
Later that week I went to my obgyn to confirm the pregnancy and set up my first ultra sound appointment. It seriously was all a dream come true. My bloodwork looked perfect, and at 7 weeks I returned back to the office to hear the heartbeat. My doctor set me up, turned the screen towards us, and I couldn’t wait to hear the thumping of the beat. She quickly pointed out the yolk sac, but explained no heartbeat was inside. Because I had gotten pregnant before actually ever getting my period, she ran over to her calendar to make sure our dates were accurate.
As she read off possible days that we cold have conceived I knew something wasn’t right. She told me that I needed to go home for the week, see if anything progressed, and come back for another ultra sound on Monday.
Going home for that week was possibly the most brutal experience I have ever had. I had to sit and wait with a baby inside of me that I knew would never be mine. All day long I would end up in rabbit holes on google trying to find glimmers of hope. Each and everyday I would pray that a heartbeat would show up on the monitor when we returned. Midweek they told me to come in for bloodwork to see if my HCG levels were still rising. When the nurse called she told me that they were going up so beautifully that she couldn’t forsee this ending in a miscarriage. She actually went as far as to tell me that they were going up so rapidly she wouldn’t be shocked if they were twins. To this day I cannot believe she made such statements.
One week later I showed up to my doctor’s office, climbed onto the table shaking, and prayed and prayed that there would be a heartbeat on the monitor. When my doctor’s face fell I knew it was bad news. All my dreams were rapidly drifting away while she said how sorry she was about it. She told me I should head over to the hospital to get bloodwork done and schedule a D & C for the next day. I was crying so much that I could barely ask any questions, and the term D&C was so foreign to me. She never went over any other options, and so for me I was just doing what I was told by my doctor.
A memory that sticks out in my mind so much about that day is when I called my best friend as I was pulling into my garage. I just started hysterically crying and saying, “Yesterday I was pregnant, and today I’m not.” I just couldn’t wrap my mind around it.
At 6am the next morning Steve and I pulled into the hospital where the D&C was going to take place. Every step I took more tears poured out of me, and I am the opposite of a person who cries because I’m generally just very happy. At my hospital there are many elderly volunteers, and the man behind the counter said, “Hey nothing could be so bad that you are crying. Don’t be so sad.” I couldn’t even get the words out of my mouth that I was suppose to be a mom a few days ago, and now I was about to lose that dream.
After I was taken back my family showed up, and upon seeing my dad I just lost it again. I was sobbing uncontrollably, but he just kept assuring me that everything was going to be ok. After the surgery I felt hallow. It was as if a piece of me had been taken away. I was so grateful to be surrounded by my family though because even in the darkest times we found ways to laugh.
I knew at that moment I had two choices: get under the covers and curl up, or keep going and fight to become a mom. It was never even a choice for me. I am a fighter and knew that I’d do anything it took to become a mom. If I gave up there would never be anyone calling me “mama.”
Over the next few weeks though something wasn’t right. My belly was continuing to get bigger, but I wasn’t pregnant anymore. I’d be in the shower, look down, and see what appeared to be a pregnant belly. It didn’t make any sense. When I got to work one day, I decided to hop onto a scale (at the time I was doing an externship at a hospital) so they were readily available. I almost had to do a double take when I realized I had gained 20 lbs over the last two weeks. Something had to be wrong.
I quickly got my obgyn on the phone, and she told me to come right over. She did an ultrasound, but didn’t find anything. She told me that something was definitely wrong, but that she didn’t know what, and to come back again when I was pregnant (I know your jaw is probably dropping right about now). I literally couldn’t believe she was acting so nonchalant about it, and I practically chased her into her office because I was so desperate for answers. She was so ice cold and dismissive about it that I couldn’t believe what was happening.
My friends and family then proceed to get me on conference calls with doctors in New York, who all agreed something wasn’t right. They insisted she had to of missed something on the ultra sound. At this point I was 20 lbs heavier, which was a lot for me since I’m so tiny, I couldn’t fit into any of my clothes, which was devastating, my belly was getting bigger, all while not having a baby. It was a lot to say the least. My heart hurt emotionally, and now physically I was a disaster as well.
One of the obgyns from Manhattan insisted that I have the ultra sound done again. I called my obgyn and told her I wanted her to perform it once more. At this point I was obviously leaving her practice, but she had all of my records, and I wanted the ultra sound done that day. Lo and behold it turned out she had left product in me from the pregnancy, my body had continued to believe it was pregnant, and thus the weight gain. I couldn’t believe it. She had been wrong! I knew something wasn’t right, and if I had listened to her instead of myself I would have continued to gain weight. I wanted the product out of me immediately, however it was Passover that night. She told me that we should just do it now because of all of the complications I had going on, and we pretty much rolled into an OR. Everything seemed very rushed though this time.
As I was being wheeled into the OR, for the second time, I couldn’t believe what was happening. I kept worrying that there was going to be scarring that would cause it to be too hard for me to ever get pregnant again. The one thing that kept me going was that I was finally going to lose all of this excess weight, and at least start to feel like myself physically again. After the procedure I headed home to rest. However something didn’t feel right this time. Within hours I was in intense pain. It was unlike the first D&C, and I quickly called my doctor, who told me to head to the ER if it got any worse. Within the next hour I was screaming, and in so much pain, we had no choice but to go. My sister met us at the hospital, which was basically like my second home now, and they had to give me morphine to get me out of the pain. They believed that it was because I had been put under anesthesia too quickly after eating (most times before a surgery you show up that morning to have it done after fasting), but with this D&C it happened almost in a rushed manner. I was released that night, and so grateful to be out of pain.
After everything that happened I obviously never wanted to look at that obgyn ever again. However, while I was figuring out which dr I wanted to go to I decided to make an appointment with a Reproductive Endocrynologist (RE). While this is not the typical course of action after 1 miscarriage, I wanted to be as proactive as possible. I just couldn’t bare the thought of ever going through this again. I insisted that my RE run every test under the sun because I wanted to make sure there wasn’t a reason that I had a miscarriage in the first place. I needed to make sure there wasn’t something going on that would cause me to have another. After performing every single test, on Steve and me, it came up that nothing was wrong with either of us. When I asked her when I could start trying again she told me after my next period.
That Monday were were scheduled to go to New York because my best friend had had a baby (we had been pregnant at the same time). While it was hard to come to terms with the fact that she had become a mother and I hadn’t, my happiness for her trumped everything. She is like a sister to me, and I wanted to meet her child. While we were in New York I was ovulating, and so we tried again.
The next week I was at the movies with my sister, when I felt a wave of nausea overtake me. At the moment I KNEW I was pregnant again. I quickly called my RE, told them the news, and they got me in to do bloodwork. And just like that, I was pregnant again. This time though, it was met with fear and anxiety. We were not popping bottles of champagne, but rather cautiously waiting to see what would happen.
7 weeks later, I came face to face with a monitor with no heartbeat again. I felt like my heart was being smashed into a thousand little pieces. I just didn’t know how much more I could take. I couldn’t believe I was going through this again.
For the third time I rolled into an OR and had a D&C performed. At this point I was a pro with the surgery, and I even started recognizing anesthesiologists. It wasn’t a good feeling to say the least. This time I made them show me that they got every last bit of the pregnancy out before I left the building.
During the next week I decided to change RE doctors to the doctor in the practice that was located closest to me. I heard he was an absolute genius, and that he was the person I needed to be seeing. I immediately fell in love with him, and to this day we will both tell you that I sat across his desk on that first day and said, “I just cannot go through this again. I won’t survive it. I <em>need </em>to be a mom.” He answered me by saying, “Then we’ll do whatever it takes.”
I decided that I wanted to do an IUI instead of trying myself again because I just needed to have some control over the situation. Before doing the IUI procedure I had to go through some testing though to make sure my body was ready for it. At this point all of the testing and procedures had become like a second job to me, and after work almost every day of the week I was at my RE’s office. It was a lot to say the least. To this day I am so grateful that I had two female boss’s that were so supportive of this entire process. I literally couldn’t have done it without their support.
One of the most critical tests that had to be performed was a 3D ultra sound and a biopsy. The biopsy had to be done because of all the D&Cs that had been performed previously. They had to make sure there weren’t any infections from the surgeries. After performing the ultrasounds my RE said I have some good news and some bad news. The good news he said was that he didn’t need to do the biopsy (it’s a very painful procedure), but the bad news was that there was still product in me that was retained from my last pregnancy. I literally can’t make this up. Yup, I needed <em>another</em> D&C. He explained that the retained product would act like a cork, and if we didn’t remove it then the IUI wouldn’t work. I can’t even describe to you what that moment was like because I felt like I was being tortured.
The next day I rolled in to the outpatient facility again to have my FOURTH D&C.
TO BE CONTINUED…