Through Pain I Have Learned How To Live
May 30, 2002
I am not quite sure where my story begins. It's not a very long story, nor is it terribly tragic or unusual, but it is very special, it is my story.
From the time I was 17 until I was 24 I was in a very abusive relationship with a man much older than I was. I didn't know much then, but I thought this man was my world. In the last year of our relationship I became pg, I was 22 or 23 and thought that my world had ended with that pregnancy. He didn't want to marry me nor did he want me to have his child. I fought him and his ideas and told him I would have the baby with or without him. He became enraged and abused me again. A few days later I miscarried, I was 9 weeks pregnant. After 7 years I finally left him.
At the time, I rationalized my grief by thinking that God worked in misterious ways and that it was destiny. I thought it had been God's way of giving me a doorway to exit such an abusive relationship. I thought that I should be thankful for His help and for taking matters into His own hands, making decisions for me. My heart was telling me otherwise, but I locked up my grief, deep, deep inside. I never spoke to anyone about it, not the pregnancy, not the abuse, not the loss.
Six months later I met dh. Love at-first-sight. The most loving and caring person I have ever met. 9 months later we were married. I had never been happier. It took us a long time to decide to ttc. I didn't really want children and we were having to much fun traveling and well, just having fun the two of us. We had a dog and that was enough. Finally 4 years later, we decided that we should start to ttc. I always loved children, I guess I just thought that I didn't deserve them.
Anyway, after 6 months of ttc we became pg!!! I was so excited, but I was trying to contain it until we knew everything was ok. This was in Feb 2001. A few days after we found out, dh had to go on business to Japan. 3 days after he left I began spotting, so I called my Dr. She was away and the nurse practioner told me that I shouldn't worry and if it got worse in a couple of days to call her. Two days later and it was worse and painful. I called again, and the NP told me not to worry again. My best friend who was 7 months pg at the time, told me to get a new DR, which I did. I ended up going to the new Dr. right away. After the Dr. examined me, she sent me straight away to get a vaginal ultrasound. Mind you, I was all by myself and beginning to get very nervous. So, I went to the scan and while I'm looking at the monitor, the technician tells me "you don't have a uterine pregnancy". I looked at him like I didn't even know what he was talking about. He then said, "it's in the fallopian tube, close to the ovary, you have an ectopic", "let me call your Dr.". Anyway I went back to my new Dr.'s office and she told me that because it was so early I could be treated with Methotrexate. All of this time I was crying and couldn't think of what was happening. I had no idea what they were telling except that I didn't need surgery. Surgery!! I didn't really know what an ectopic was or that you could die from it. All I wanted was for dh to be there with me, but he was in Japan. He didn't even know what was happening. Anyway, I was given the methotrexate and dh came home a few days later. The treatment of the medication was awful and the shock of having an ectopic was devastating. I was so sad inside for having lost the pg, and everyone was relieved that they hadn't lost me. I never had a chance to grieve.
After the drama of the ectopic pregnancy, dh and I had to wait 3 months to ttc. We had to wait until there were no more effects of the drug they had given me, which apparently linger for quite a while.
In the meantime we found out we were being relocated to London in September. While we were preparing for our move, in June, we began to ttc again. Every month that went by I became more and more frustrated. Nothing. Once we were in London, I found a new Dr., I took my vitamins I used and electronic ovulation monitor.
Finally, in January of this year we had wonderful news!!!! I was pg again. I began to have some pain and feelings that there was something wrong, so I went in right away for a scan, it was too early and the findings were inconclusive. We scheduled another scan 1 week later. The Dr. wanted to rule out an ectopic. So, at five weeks 2 days we had another ultrasound. This time the pregnancy was confirmed and we were able to hear the beginnings of a heart beat!!! Just to be sure, the Dr. scheduled another scan for the following week. The third scan was amazing. At 6 weeks, 2 days we heard the heart distinctly, we were able to see a head, and we were very excited.
We began to tell a few people about the pregnancy, our parents, families and close friends. We were so, so happy. My Dr. said that everything looked good and that he didn't want to see me for another six weeks. In those six weeks I went to see my sister and her brand new baby and began to feel very pregnant. I had "all-day sickness", food aversions, I was sleepy, irritable and just about all the symptoms of a healthy pregnancy.
At about 11 weeks my symptoms began to subside somewhat. I had a feeling that something wasn't quite right, nothing specific, but I thought that since my first trimester was almost over I should begin to feel better. Maybe the subsiding of my symptoms was normal. On my 12th week, dh and I went in to the Dr.'s for my 4th ultrasound. We were a bit late for the appointment and they gave it to someone else, so we had to wait a while. I was getting kind of nervous sitting in the waiting room.
Finally we went in and began the scan. Right away, the Dr.'s face changed, I was wondering where was the heart beat? Why couldn't I hear a heart beat? I looked from the monitor toward my Dr. and he said right away, "I'm sorry, the baby died". I looked at him in disbelief and then at dh, and then it sank in. This strange noise came from my throat and I began to sob, all I could say through my tears was "not again, not again"... Dh and I just held each other while I sobbed and sobbed...
I had to have a D&C which was scheduled for the next morning. Everyone at the hospital was very kind and supportive. Dh was incredible, but he was also hurting.
In the days that followed I didn't want to talk to anyone, I lay in bed sleeping and crying, sleeping and crying. Dh called all our family and friends to tell them what had happened, there was no way that I could stand speaking to anyone. I didn't want anyone to comfort me or feel sorry for me. I just wanted to grieve. One day I was pregnant, the next day I wasn't. This was just too much.
My sister had just had a baby, my brother and his wife were 6 months along, my best friend had a 7 month old, dh's best friend also had a new born, everyone we knew, all our friends were either pregnant or had new borns. We were the last ones, the only ones to not have babies. I just couldn't take the unfairness of it all. I couldn't talk to anyone, I didn't want anyone telling how sorry they were, or worse yet, saying something stupid. I already had the experience of the ectopic.
8 weeks later we finally got the results back and it turned out that our little baby was a girl and she had died of Turner's Syndrome, a chromosomal deficiency. That night I named my daughter, Lilah.
It has now been a little over 2 months. I am not in such a dark place anymore, I have spoken to my friends and dh and I are ttc again. I found "Silent Grief", this wonderful web site and have been able to accept my losses, through the love and support of these wonderful women. I am scared but hopeful. I am still trying to reconcile my feelings. There will never be an answer as to why I had 3 pregnancies and no babies. All I can hope for is that in time I will come to terms with the nagging question of "why me?". I still cry. I cry for myself, for dh and for all my babies. I can only hope that this will make me stronger, wiser and most importantly more appreciative of living beings and the fragility of life.
The one thing I have learned already is that it is not as important how long you live, but how you live.
My most sincere appreciation to each one of you that comes to this site and to Clara for giving us a venue where we can begin to recover.