My husband and I are sitting in the Ultrasound room in shock. We can’t believe our eyes, nor can we believe what we just heard. “Your pregnancy isn’t viable.” The Ultrasound technician speaks to us as if she was talking to us about the weather. I look at the screen and I see the 9 week old sac- but it was empty. No baby was in it. Someone please wake me up from this nightmare. This can’t be real life. This is just a horrible dream. I keep asking the technician, “What do you mean it isn’t viable? Why? What happened?” She leaves my husband and I alone in the room to call my midwife. We are both in shock. I keep asking him as if he knew the answers, “I don’t get it. Why is there not a baby in there? How did this happen? What went wrong?” The technician comes into our room and says that our midwife is going to give us a call to explain everything. We walk out of the office confused and shocked. As we are walking to the car, she calls. I put her on speaker phone and she explains to us what had happened. She explains that I had a Blighted Ovum. According to americanpregnancy.org,
“A blighted ovum (also known as “anembryonic pregnancy”) happens when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall, but the embryo does not develop. Cells develop to form the pregnancy sac, but not the embryo itself. A blighted ovum occurs within the first trimester, often before a woman knows she is pregnant. A high level of chromosome abnormalities usually causes a woman’s body to naturally miscarry.”
Mother Nature’s worst trick. My baby never developed but my body still acted as if it was pregnant.
My midwife explains the next steps. There are 3 options:
- I can wait and allow my body to miscarry on its own. (This could takes weeks)
- I can take a pill that basically induces labor to pass the tissue and clean me out. (Every woman’s body is different but it can be very painful both physically and emotionally)
- I can do a “D and C” where I would go under and a doctor would clean the tissue out. (There are of course risks in doing this but it is a quicker recovery)
She told us to take a day to process the information.
After hanging up, I break down in tears and am flooded with so many different emotions: sadness, anger, confusion, shock. I’m devastated because I was looking forward to making us a family of 4. I’m angry because I feel like my body betrayed me. My body has grown a beautiful healthy boy. It’s like it forgot how to grow a baby. I’m confused because I’m a very healthy, young woman. I exercise and eat healthy on a regular basis. I’m in shock because I never thought I would have a miscarriage considering I had one healthy baby already.
The next couple of days were a blur. My husband was my strength. Luckily, for the next 2 days we had already planned for my 3 year old to go to his Nana’s house. I was so grateful. I honestly don’t know how I would have parented. I was a mess. I was overwhelmed with the amount of text messages and beautiful bouquets of flowers from close family and friends who knew. I wouldn’t have been able to survive if it wasn’t for them. I spent those two days processing what had happened and talked to friends who had gone through the same thing. I am so thankful for those friends and family members that could truly empathize with me. I learned in those moments that you are not meant to deal with suffering alone. You need others to help guide you through it.
Later that week, after considering all my options, I decided to do a D and C. I am happy to say that the procedure went well and the next day I felt okay. I was in no pain and didn’t have to take any pain medication. It offered me the closure I needed to move forward.
After experiencing one of the most trying weeks of my life, I can truly say I am coming out of this stronger. I am learning that life is not meant to be lived alone. We are not meant to deal with painful experiences by ourselves. Life is meant to be shared. Not just the good times, but the rough times too. I am so glad that I had friends willing to be vulnerable about the pain of their own miscarriages. Those friends offered me hope. Hope that I can survive this and be okay in the end.
Life can be hard but it is in those hard times we grow and learn. We become stronger so we can offer support and encouragement for those who need it.