At 12w3d pregnant, we went to a morning appointment for the NT scan. I was nervous. I had been unsettled and not confident about this pregnancy for 2-3 weeks. Maybe that was just normal given all the previous losses, but I’d like to believe that my body was preparing my brain for what was to come.
She started the ultrasound, zeroed in on the baby and didn’t say anything right away. The words “where is the heart beat?” kept rolling through my brain like a scrolling marquee, but before I could voice them, she said “I’m so sorry.” The baby was measuring at 8w4d and had no heart beat. Again, another loss at the end of the first tri where I’m carrying a baby inside for weeks after it has died. It definitely hurt and there have been many tears shed, but the crazy thing about each miscarriage is you feel more and more prepared for the worst and the pain isn’t magnified by the shock. I would have been more surprised if they had said “look at your healthy baby measuring right on time!”
So I didn’t feel very hopeful that day. First of all, the doc at the NT scan told us that even after 4 losses, you have more than a 50% chance of having a healthy baby. That wasn’t reassuring. Then in the afternoon, we had the 12 week appointment with my clinic. I met with a different doc than I normally do. She was wonderfully compassionate and took action to schedule a D&C so testing could be done on the baby. But she did say that we’ve already had all the testing and there really isn’t more that can be done beyond testing the baby. Our answer seemed to be to just keep trying and hoping for the best. After 34 weeks of pregnancy in the last year, all in the first tri and all ending in the loss of our babies, I’m not sure I can do that.
So the D&C was yesterday. I was anxious about it and even wondered if there was a chance I wouldn’t make it. It certainly feels like I’m already dead on the inside. My regular doctor walked in like a woman at the starting line of a race right after the gun goes off. She was ready for action. She confirmed that we’d be testing the baby, but also said she wants to try additional tests that “the experts don’t think are helpful, but it might tell us something.” So 3 vials of blood were taken yesterday and we’ll be doing more in 6 weeks. When I brought up seeing an RE and the testing they can do on embryos, she supported us 100%. She said if we want to see 5 other doctors, that is fine and the more brains working on this, the better. She also said there is more detailed chromosomal testing that can be done on me and my husband, but she hasn’t looked into it in 5 years and at that time it wasn’t very helpful. So she’s going to see the new research on that to see if that would help. I feel better that she isn’t just accepting that it is bad luck. She also feels there has to be something occurring and it is just a matter of uncovering what it is. I have the feeling she likes puzzles.
So the D&C itself was not bad. I react strongly to medication and puke when coming out of anesthesia. So they gave me 1/2 to 1/4 of what they normally administer. On the one hand, that means I was a little more conscious for the procedure and remembered what happened. Honestly, it wasn’t bad and it was super fast. On the other hand, I feel my recovery has gone much quicker than it would have. I was feeling like myself within 8 hours of the procedure. I’m now getting close to 24 hours later and I’ve had no cramping (although the only time I ever have had cramping is when I’ve had a natural miscarriage) and very little bleeding. I bought all these giant pads, but will probably only need liners.
I’m still a bit torn on if it is better to have a natural miscarriage or D&C. Once I knew the baby had died, there was no question what I was going to do. I did not want to wait for the inevitable. Physically the D&C was not bad at all. But I did feel guilty before the procedure–it was my baby after all and, if this is the only way I can ever hold him or her, I should hold on as long as possible. I had to remind myself that the baby was already gone. The other thing that is a little strange is that it doesn’t feel as final. With a natural miscarriage, you know the baby is gone. You feel it and you see it. You go through various physical stages, which I think might help progress the emotional stages. With the D&C, I don’t feel any differently now than I did a couple of days ago still pregnant. It is a more “pleasant” experience (but still super sucky), but maybe the full reality hasn’t hit yet?
There is more to say about the grieving process and the reactions of other people, but I think that is all for now.