We waited the 3 months we needed to after the MMR vaccine. I prayed pretty constantly for those 3 months. To get pregnant again, for it to happen quickly, for this to be a prefect and healthy rainbow baby for us. I knew I needed to lean on God to give me strength through this whole process. Once we were in the clear, we were anxious to try again. We didn’t know how long it’d take this time around to conceive or how we would even feel once we did.
We were, once again, very lucky. We got pregnant on our first shot trying again. I took the test one day when Clayton was off work. I then saw a faint line appear. I feel bad saying it, but I felt fear right away. Fear that the same thing would happen with this baby that did with the last one. But I was also very excited as well. I thought we just lucked out of getting pregnant so quick the first time and thought surely it wouldn’t happen so soon this time, even though I really wanted it to. So I was glad that it had.
I called Clayton into the bathroom and showed him the test. He said he couldn’t see anything and that we should maybe wait a few days and test again. But I KNEW I saw a very faint line. I think he didn’t want to get my hopes up if it wasn’t really positive, and he truly says he didn’t see anything. But I knew that I was pregnant. (First test below with the teeniest line)
I waited a few days and, while he was at work one morning, took another test. This one was positive for sure and much more clear than the last. Clayton was getting off work that afternoon so I came up with a way to tell him.
Being the smart ass that I am…I decided to write in large letters across the bathroom mirror with a dry erase marker, “DO YOU SEE ME NOW?!?!! We’re pregnant!!” since he couldn’t seem to see the line that I could a few days before! With the 3 pregnancy tests I took (couldn’t believe it, yet again, so I took a total of 3! 😆) below it on the bathroom counter. Then I waited for him to come home. What I DIDN’T remember was that, unlike any other day, he wouldn’t be home that day at 5ish like normal. I forgot that he was going out with his work crew afterwards to a Tech football game! (They work right down the street from Tech so after their shift they all just walked over to the stadium.) That particular game was a night game and was being televised so he said he probably wouldn’t be home while I was still awake since they tend to take a long time. Well…THERE WENT MY SURPRISE PLAN! Haha. I wanted to be there when he at some point walked into bathroom but since that wouldn’t be happening, I decided he could just find it late that night when he got home and could tell me his reaction to it the next morning!
From here it gets a little funny as he tells his side of the story on how he found out… He says he got home around midnight (I tried my best to stay awake..but I exhaustedly gave in at about 11 o’clock). He walked into the bathroom and at first was startled/freaked out to see red on the mirror. (I didn’t think this part through…because originally he was just going to walk in on it during the day…😂 I didn’t think about how red on the mirror in the middle of the night would be a little scary and concerning. OOPS!) So after the initial being freaked out part..he saw that it was my writing. When he read, “DO YOU SEE ME NOW?!?!!?!” he thought that it was some form of me being annoyed with him for going out to the game with his buddies and not home with me, like I felt unseen 😂😂😂😂 Or something deep and dramatic like that. (Which I thought was hilarious because that’s sooo not something I would do and I could care less about him having some guy time! Haha talk about dramatic!!) So he was getting all deep with it and feeling bad about not coming home to me and going out with friends and getting really down on himself (😂) and then he looked closer and saw the, “We’re pregnant!!!!” part underneath it along with the positive tests. He said he then got nervous and excited as I had as well.
So that was a funny story to hear when I woke up because none of the first parts of it were how I had intended it to go. It was funny though none the less! 😆
Then here we were. On the road to being parents…again. We were far more nervous and anxious this time around because we knew of the risks firsthand. We wanted more than anything for that to never happen again, but a dark cloud hung over us it seemed. We were so in fear of it happening again that we almost couldn’t get fully excited about this pregnancy. I think we were both waiting for our first ultrasound to be the confirmation we needed.
We told our parents after our first round of blood work confirmed that we were on the right track to a healthy pregnancy. We just face timed them since everyone lives out of town and we had already recently done a larger reveal, we just kept it simple this time. They were excited for us again, but I think everyone was more cautious this go round.
This time, Clayton had the feeling it was a girl. He had several dreams about her and so, in our minds, girl it was! I didn’t have a super strong feeling about what I felt it was like I did with our boy last time, but I thought it might be a girl as well. We didn’t intend to find the gender of this one out until birth either.
We were told by our doctor that while miscarriages are super common, two miscarriages back to back were not. That we probably were just unlucky with our first but that we would most likely go on to have a perfect pregnancy the second time around because the odds were in our favor, we were young, and we were healthy. There was no reason why it should happen to us again.
That gave us a little piece of mind as well as them closely watching us this time around. I went in for blood work very regularly from the moment we knew I was pregnant again. They wanted to watch my progesterone levels closely as well as my HCG levels. The progesterone levels are pretty much what keep your baby rooted in your uterus and growing. You want those levels to be good to show that your pregnancy is secure and progressing. Mine was at a constant number of 22, which my doctor said was very good. That high number meant that the baby was burrowed in and that things were going well. My HCG levels were watched to make sure they were at least doubling every 24-48 hours. Those levels were doing mostly good, though a little on the low end. But my doctor wasn’t concerned so I tried not to be either. We had an early ultrasound set for 8 weeks (not 12 since we were considered high risk). We were glad everything was being monitored so well and glad that we would be able to see our baby so soon.
We told just a few of our closest friends this time. We wanted all the prayers and good thoughts we could get from them as we faced this tough journey again. We also let our moms take this round of announcement pictures.
It was fall time so I wanted to have a little fun in a pumpkin patch to announce our baby pumpkin that we had on the way. We planned to reveal it after our first ultrasound, even though it would early.
We kept going in for my blood work and everything continued to be good as we neared our ultrasound date. By the time of our actual scheduled date we would have actually been 9 weeks instead of 8 because that’s just when it was able to be scheduled.
The day after Halloween I didn’t feel right. I had a little bit of spotting later than night and, while that can be completely normal during pregnancy, I just didn’t feel good about it…especially after our history. So we called our nurse and she said it could be normal but it was our call on if we wanted to go into the ER or not. I decided I wanted to. So that night at around 10:30 pm we went to the ER to get checked out. I tried to remain calm for baby’s sake, but it was hard. After being there for several hours I was wheeled back to have an ultrasound done to check on baby. We were just 3 days out from when our first ultrasound should have been. This wasn’t how I pictured it would happen. The nurse doing it wasn’t allowed to say anything to me while she was doing the ultrasound and I wasn’t even allowed to see the screen. Clayton wasn’t even allowed to go into the room with me either. I don’t know the reasoning for any of this but it made my anxiety go through the roof. It took me back in time to the ultrasound we had with the last baby where no one was telling us anything as they were doing it. The screen was tilted away from me so I couldn’t see and we just sat in silence as she looked on the screen, telling me nothing about the status of my baby. They wheeled me back in to Clayton and we had to wait for what felt like forever for the doctor to come in and tell us what was going on.
He came back in with a grim expression. He told us it basically didn’t look good and to prepare ourselves for the worst. He said there was some bleeding around the sack (which can sometimes work itself out to go on and be fine about 50 percent of the time) and that the baby’s heart rate was also very low (75ish)… Our hearts sank. One of these on its own was bad enough. Both were definitely not good.
At 6 weeks along when the heart first starts the baby’s heartbeat shouldn’t even be that low, much less at 8 weeks. This was the main concern. The ER doctor put me on bed rest for the next few days. We went home thinking the worst and were feeling very defeated. The next morning I called my doctor to tell them what we found out at the ER. They then sent me in for more blood work (apparently the several tubes the ER took weren’t enough and they hadn’t looked at all the right numbers). They rushed the orders on that blood and looked again at my progesterone and HCG. They were both dropping. The progesterone had gone down to 14, which wasn’t ideal. We didn’t know, though, if the heart rate was dropping because the progesterone was or if I was miscarrying and that’s why everything was dropping. They said that we might have caught it in time and put me on progesterone pills to try and hold on to the baby and save it. They said we would have to be on it for a week and wait to see if it had worked. I asked if there had been instances that it had turned around for any of their other patients in the same situation and they said they had definitely seen it happen and to hold out hope, but that was easier said than done. So we scheduled an ultrasound for a week later and could do nothing but limit my activity and wait. That was an agonizing week long wait. We felt hopeless and expected the worst while praying for the best. I kept trying to not give up on our baby, but I knew in my heart that this wouldn’t turn out well.
As many apparently do not know, a “rainbow baby” is a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. A rainbow is known as beautiful and bright, follows a storm, and gives hope of things getting better. The rainbow is more appreciated having just experienced the storm in comparison.
The afternoon before our ultrasound, I came out of work and saw a beautiful rainbow stretching across the entire sky in front of me. I didn’t know if I should take this as a sign that this baby, our rainbow baby, was going to be okay when we went in the next day or not. It stopped me in my tracks and gave me a slight glimmer of hope. But then, right above the bright rainbow, I noticed a dimmer, second rainbow. This then lead me to believe that it was actually God telling me that, indeed, I had lost this baby as well and that our fate was to have a double rainbow baby (baby born after two losses).. I don’t know for sure that that’s what this sign was, but I do know that this is what happened.
We went on the next day to have our ultrasound where we saw our second baby for the first and last time. There was no heartbeat. We almost had known and expected this for the past week, but it didn’t help lessen the blow much. In a way, it was always in our minds from the get go what could happen and not being as blindsided as the previous pregnancy. We were highly aware that it could happen again and the fear was constantly present. My body also gave us a sign that things were going wrong this time whereas it hadn’t with the last, which lead us to the ER and gave us the heads up. So things were quite a bit different this time. But a loss is still a loss and it wasn’t by any means easier, just different.
We got sent home and were told we could quit taking the progesterone whenever we were ready to. I think that was the only thing holding my body back from miscarrying naturally at that point. We had processed and grieved this loss for the past week so we went ahead and let my body do what it needed to. I was glad to be able to forgo the horrible medicine from last time.
This second time around I felt even more defeated. Both pregnancies I had stopped drinking completely months in advance to trying, ate healthy, worked out moderately, and did everything humanly possible by the books to conceive and carry out a healthy pregnancy, yet here we were again. I couldn’t have done anything any better but I still couldn’t make it work for some reason. I was at a loss. I know none of it was my fault, but it was still just hard to accept. So many losses had happened in our short 2 and a half years of marriage. First my dad, then our two babies…I didn’t know how much more two people could take.
My doctor was at a loss as well. We went in and she told us she just didn’t know what the problems was. This shouldn’t have happened again. Our numbers were perfect throughout both pregnancies until all of a sudden, out of nowhere, they just weren’t. She said normally people have to go though 3 consecutive miscarriages before actions are taken, but that she had been in our shoes as well and that two was far too many losses as it was. She wasn’t going to let us go through it again. She was going to send us to an Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility Center to figure this problem out. The good news is that we clearly aren’t infertile, we’re actually extremely fertile to have conceived so quickly both times right after trying. The bad news is, we didn’t have a clue what our issue was or how long it’d take to figure it out.
We scheduled our appointment and couldn’t get in to the woman our doctor preferred we see until April (it was currently November). We couldn’t wait that long. Luckily, they also recommended a man at the same office if the woman was hard to get into and he could see us at the end of the month so we jumped on that appointment.
I’ll get more into our current situation and the appointments we’ve recently been to as well as some soon approaching ones in my next post (as I’ve already written a whole novel here). Thank you for whoever has read this far on our long journey. It’s not a fun one to write about, but it’s something I feel the need to share. Prayers for our continued journey to parenthood would be greatly appreciated ❤👼🏻