Stepfanie’s Story

We found out we were expecting on January 1, 2021. After our January 15th wedding plans changed due to COVID, we decided in December to “maybe try” to conceive. After all, what would it matter if I was expecting during our ceremony and small family reception at our home?

We had considered the idea of starting to try sooner rather than later because, like many, the question in my mind was “how long would it take to actually conceive?” Little did I know, all it would take is that one month. 

I didn’t think I was pregnant; I experienced some spotting which, instead of realizing that was implantation bleeding, I thought I got my period. After a few days of this light bleeding, something told me to take a test that New Year’s Day morning. We were so confused when it was positive – one month of trying and feeling certain I had gotten my period… After a few more tests, we realized it was true, I was pregnant. 

Although I had never experienced loss before, I had an immediate feeling of hesitation.  I was excited, but skeptical.

“It’s not supposed to be this easy,” I thought – it was as if I was waiting for the other shoe to drop.

In the week leading up to our small, COVID-safe wedding, I had continued to experience light bleeding. My first doctor’s appointment wasn’t going to be until after we returned from our honeymoon. After calling my doctor, they had asked me to get some bloodwork done to check my HCG levels and said just go to the hospital at any time if the bleeding gets worse. The HCG levels were extremely high and rising normally so we were told there was nothing to worry about. 

When we returned from our honeymoon, we had our first doctor’s appointment on January 27th. My husband wasn’t able to be there with me due to COVID visitation policies.  The doctor briefly performed an ultrasound but was quickly able to tell me and my husband on FaceTime that there was no fetus. He quickly walked me through what to expect over the next few days – I was to expect bleeding and maybe some pain and they would check my HCG levels weekly to ensure the miscarriage was complete. I was sad but for some reason at peace with what was happening. It happens; I was ready to move on and try again.

That week, spotting continued and then I passed a small clot – “that was it,” I thought, “it’s all over.” I had my first miscarriage-confirming HCG draw a week later and to everyone’s surprise, my HCG levels rose again. The OB sent me immediately to Maternal Fetal Medicine for another ultrasound – he seemed confused, and that made me hopeful. Fortunately, my husband was able to be with me for these MFM appointments.   At that ultrasound, the OB stated she could see a fetus but couldn’t detect a heartbeat- it was possible I had just been earlier in my pregnancy than they expected. She asked me to return in a week to check again. That next week, a new OB stated he could detect a heartbeat but was very challenging to get a solid read on it. He instructed me to come back in 2 weeks. At this point, for the first time, I started experiencing pregnancy symptoms: nausea, cravings, etc. I was doing research and drawing theories on what could be happening.

Could there have been an earlier undetected miscarriage and I got pregnant again and was early in my second pregnancy? Were there twins and one disappeared and the second is taking longer to develop? I felt that there was no way I’d be going through all this for nothing. 

On February 26th – almost a month to the day of my first appointment, I had my final ultrasound. I had so much anxiety going into this appointment because the pregnancy up until this point was such a rollercoaster. It was the same OB I had two weeks prior and as he reviewed the ultrasound, he looked at me and confirmed, there is no heartbeat. “I’m so sorry,” he said and left the room as I cried with my husband. I was fine with the initial diagnosis but to have gone through the last month thinking there was hope and ending with the same outcome, I was devastated. I told my doctor I really wanted to have a D&C – I couldn’t return to a doctor’s office for this pregnancy ever again. The D&C went well and recovery began.  

We were fortunate enough to get the news that we were expecting our rainbow baby on July 1, 2021. Oddly enough, I am due almost exactly a year to the day of the D&C with my first. When I miscarried, I thought if I ever found out again I was pregnant I wouldn’t be able to be happy because I’d worry about loss again. In fact, the opposite happened. I felt more secure in this pregnancy than I ever did with the first.

Something told me, this was my baby. 


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