Ashley’s Story

Baby G & Naomi

March 2021- it had been 9 months of carefully tracking every sign and symptom of my cycle. I even bought an expensive OPK from a Facebook ad thinking I’d get better results. Then, in mid March, on the day we were heading to my OB to start the conversation of helping us in our journey to parenthood, we got the 2 lines. We were pregnant! My husband and I were excited, relieved, scared, etc.

These feelings however were short lived. That night I started spotting. But my medical degree from Google University taught me that was normal. I bled off and on for a week and we finally went to the ER to see what was going on. We then found out our little bean was ectopic. At the time, I didn’t realize the severity of what could have happened. I was given an methotrexate injection and instructed to get blood work done once a week until my hormones returned to normal.

I bled for a month straight! I didn’t realize until later how lucky I was. We caught it early enough, Baby G was only 4 weeks along. “It was just a fluke!” We kept saying.

Once we got the okay to try again we did.

September 2021, another positive test. Because of the ectopic, we went in for an ultrasound at 6 weeks to make sure it wasn’t another ectopic. We held our breaths until that appointment.

Whew! Sigh of relief, not ectopic and we even got to see the heartbeat. We had to go back in the next week to make sure the heartbeat was continuing to rise as normal. During that week I was out on progesterone. That week 7 appointment was more good news! Things looked good. We were really going to be parents and we could finally be excited about it.

At this time I had also entered into, what would be, my last & most stressful year as an 8th grade teacher. Things seemed to be progressing well. My symptoms were bearable.

Then came the week before Thanksgiving break….11 weeks along

On Monday, I started bleeding at school. I ran to a co-worker’s office crying on my plan and she did her best to calm me down. As with most teachers I thought I’d stay through the day and then reevaluate from there….I did just have a pelvic exam so that’s the cause of the bleeding right?

I told my principal what was going on. She came to my room to check on me and she could tell from my frazzled instructions to the class that I wasn’t okay. She insisted I go home so I did. Bleeding had stopped so I went home and relaxed the rest day. Luckily we were given an online learning day the next day so I just had to post my assignment online and I could spend the day relaxing. The bleeding had stopped, things seemed fine.

On Wednesday, I went to work as normal. By lunch time the bleeding started again. I knew this time something was wrong. I told my teaching team and principal I needed to go to the ER. My amazing principal even offered to drive me. The ER doctors confirmed what we already knew, I was miscarrying.

I immediately texted my therapist who got me in the next day along with a follow up with my OB.

The next day I went to my therapy appointment and towards the end the cramping started. I made it home with the worst pain I’ve ever had. What happened next was a whirlwind of tears, trauma, multiple pairs of underwear, a towel, and eventually an emergency D&C.

Through all of this, take a wild guess what I spent a majority of the time thinking about? My classroom, my students, what quick sub plans I can get together, how I’m going to explain my sudden absence to my 8th graders who watched me leave in a panic twice in one week.

See, that’s the thing about teaching. Our whole identity becomes about our students and our classroom. I barely had time to grieve what had happened before I had to go back to class and try to explain to my students what happened all while dealing with the same behavior issues I’d been dealing with all year. Oh, and did I mention I was in my last year of grad school?

It was a lot. I became mad & bitter towards God. I lost who I was, I lost my baby Naomi, and even though I thought I was hiding it well, those closest to me knew I wasn’t the same.

It’s been a tough year of finding out why our journey to parenthood has been this painful. 2023 is off to a better start, I’m in my new role as a school counselor in a new school district. I have a doctor who is willing to help us.

Hopefully this story will have a happy ending and not end here; feeling left behind by life while those closest to me have been building their families.

This isn’t a club I want to be a part of but man, it’s a community of some of the most supportive strangers I’ve ever met.


Beth’s Story

A year ago yesterday, I saw a heartbeat. Two days later it stopped. We went through our third loss in less than a year. 

   This time the midwife and doctor decided there is nothing we can do, just go to a fertility clinic. Of course, I felt horrible, like there was something wrong with me. That I was doing something wrong. Still to this day, I have those moments where I think that. I see someone smoking while pregnant and am like, “I never did that, why couldn’t I have had a healthy birth?” I try not to let those thoughts take over, because it causes envy, jealousy, anger and bitterness. I am so very thankful for all the babies born and so very glad there are women that don’t go through what I did. I will continue to give my negative thoughts to God, I refuse to let them take over.

    We didn’t feel that a fertility clinic was the answer. God sent us to a new doctor. He read my chart and said he wanted to run some more tests. 17 vials of blood later, he said my eggs were healthy, I was healthy and he doesn’t see a reason for me to go to a clinic. He said we will try something new when I get pregnant again. Before I left the office he said “I will be praying for you.”  I knew then that God sent me there.

   Here we are, a year later, and we have not had another pregnancy. Every month I have hope that it will happen.  I do get discouraged when it doesn’t, however, I know God has perfect timing. I struggle with many emotions daily. With the support of my husband, parents, other family and friends I continue to have hope and cling to God’s promise.

  We have found strength and encouragement from our church family. Not a week goes by without someone praying over us or someone says they are praying for us. So every week, I am in tears. Not always because of grief, but because of the love and encouragement. Just a couple weeks ago, I held a 2 month old premie and it brought joy to my heart.  Being around babies and pregnant women is not always easy. God has sent us this family at the right time and we know our own family will grow at the right time as well.

  I don’t share this to get sympathy, I share this to show God’s love through our struggles. I am growing everyday as I go through these emotions. I continually give my thoughts and hopes to God. I’ve seen many stories where couples have broken up, where they can’t get out of depression,  because they can’t get past the grief and hurt. I understand because without God, I would be right there. I don’t have the strength, but God does. God’s love and grace is so strong, just relying on Him makes moving forward so much easier.

  God is always there through the storms and the calm days as well. Let Him help you move forward. We are one day closer to our breakthrough, one day closer to God’s promise!


Emma’s Story

On February 23rd 2022, I found out I was pregnant. I didn’t quite believe it at first so I took a second test, then a third. I had so many emotions, I was terrified. I was only 19 and had no idea how my boyfriend was going to react, all I could do was cry. But I was so excited, I always wanted to be a mum and we’d spoken about kids all the time.

Days and weeks went by and we both got so excited. I’d downloaded pregnancy apps, obsessed with how big my baby was this week, we’d chosen names we wanted for both genders, we’d look at cots and prams we both liked. Even stuff we could get later on, ready to turn our spare bedroom into a nursery. Everything seemed perfect. I met my midwife for the first time when I was 10 weeks pregnant. She asked general questions about my health, what pregnancy vitamins I had been taking and what would happen from here. I remember her saying “you may think you’re young but 19-21 is such a good age to get pregnant, you’ll fly though it.” She put me at ease so much, I felt like I could finally start enjoying being pregnant.

On April 6th, I had my first scan, I was so excited to see my baby for the first time. I remember sitting in the waiting room with my boyfriend being unable to hide my excitement. I was finally called in and my scan started, it was so quiet until the sonographer asked how far along I thought I was, then asked when I found out I was pregnant. He told me he was struggling to find a heartbeat and asked to do an internal scan. I immediately started crying. I remember trying to hold in my sobs while he did the second scan. I still remember him saying “I’m really sorry Emma but your baby doesn’t have a heartbeat” so vividly it still hurts 6 months later. I was taken into another room with a student midwife where she gave me a photo of the scan, told me I was measuring just under 9 weeks and how I’d have to go for another scan next week to confirm everything I was told today.

5 days later, I started bleeding lightly. A part of me was relieved because I couldn’t bear being a coffin for my baby anymore. I assumed I was just going to have a heavy period, like everyone told me it’d be. At around 3:30am, I woke up with the worst pain I could ever imagine. No matter what position I was in there was excruciating pain. I ended up having to sit on the toilet because of how much blood there was and the shriek I let out when I felt my baby pass. I remember at around 6am when the pain starting to become tolerable I had to take a shower to wash all the blood off myself, I even had to mop the floor. My bathroom looked like a murder scene.

I felt stupid being so distraught. I was so young and I had lost my baby so early into pregnancy. I knew other women had it so much worse than me. I felt ashamed and like I did something wrong. I refused to see my mother, my partner’s parents, I even struggled to see my partner some days. I really expected to go back to everyday life after my miscarriage but it was far from. I wish miscarriages and the grieving process was spoken about more as it could save a lot of pain for so many women.


Jennifer’s Story

I found out I was pregnant the week of Thanksgiving 2021, which was 10 days before our wedding.  We were pleasantly surprised, and I let the venue know so I could avoid certain foods and alcohol without letting any of our guests know of the news.  Right before Christmas, my husband caught COVID so we both were symptomatic and had to reschedule our first prenatal appointment until January 7th. My husband told most of his family, friends, and a fair amount of coworkers and I told only a select group of friends and family.  Maybe it was because it still felt unreal to me, or maybe I had an underlying fear that something was wrong. The nausea I had in early December was no longer occurring yet my belly was still growing. 

When we went for the ultrasound, the OB saw a sack but was uncertain of the heartbeat. She questioned us a few times if we were sure of the conception date because the baby was measuring about 7 weeks when it should have been about 10.5 weeks. We were rushed to the nearby hospital for a more in depth ultrasound.  Within 30 minutes of leaving the hospital,  I received the most devastating words… “there is no heartbeat. It appears the baby stopped growing 3 weeks ago.” We were told that we need to think about our next steps since I was at risk for infection with a deceased fetus inside of me. The “in sickness and health” part of our vows was hitting us hard a month into our marriage. Since the appointment was on a Friday, we had to weigh our options over an entire weekend, but luckily a family friend who is an OB/GYN walked us through the different options. I questioned whether there was a chance maybe they were wrong about the heartbeat up until I walked into the operating room for the D&C. 

My recovery time physically from the procedure was fine with minimal issues but emotionally, I was wrecked.  I blamed myself in many ways (being over 35, underweight, stressed from wedding planning, etc.).  I felt disconnected from my body when I looked in the mirror. I had trouble seeing the same person I was before the loss.  However, in some ways, the loss really helped me advocate for myself and focus on putting my own needs first. I broke away from unsupportive friendships, changed jobs, and sought out therapy and nutritional counseling. I learned what it truly means to have a supportive partner.  We have started trying again at our own pace, and we are open to what the future holds for us. 

Jennifer G.

Emily’s Story

It was the morning of New Year’s Eve 2021 and I had my first positive pregnancy test. During the month of January, I started reading pregnancy books and downloading all relevant apps. I started to plan out what the next year would look like, how far along I’d be at each holiday, when my maternity leave would be and how we’d be spending our 5th wedding anniversary with a newborn. Fast forward to February 2022, my husband and I had our first appointment with my OB at 10 weeks. She couldn’t find our baby’s heartbeat using a doppler, so she was able to get me in for a transvaginal ultrasound while we were there. We got to see our little baby and hear his heart beating for the first time. I finally felt that I could breathe, and everything was going to be ok. After my appointment I went to the lab to give blood to do carrier screening on me and the Maternit21 test on our baby. 10 days later I got a call that the lab didn’t get results on my Maternit21 test, and I needed to do the blood draw again. Back to the lab I went, I was just about 12 weeks and assumed I just tested too early, no big deal and my carrier screening came back fine.

When I was 13 weeks pregnant, I found out my Maternit21 testing did not have a result for a second time. Multiple calls with my OB, and two days later I had an appointment with a genetic counselor and an ultrasound with the MFM Doctor (Maternal Fetal Medicine). I remember the genetic counselor telling us there was a 70% chance everything was fine but still reviewed other possibilities. All I wanted was to get in for my ultrasound, hoping we would see everything was ok. When the nurse was checking my vitals, she was concerned about my blood pressure being so high and I just wanted to scream of course it is, I need to know if my baby will be ok. We finally got to the ultrasound and it was so quiet during the scan. I remember how quickly she moved on from the heartbeat even though it was good, but it didn’t matter because nothing else was. Over the next hour, the MFM doctor did two additional scans and reviewed his findings with us. The brain, heart, skull, and face were all major areas of concern. They could not yet confirm but likely club feet and/or hands. There are no words when you are told your baby had a lethal fetal anomaly from an abnormal nuchal translucency, alobar holoprosencephaly, and congenital heart defect. We learned that one of the Maternit21 tests had noise of Trisomy 13. While we were advised we could wait to do further genetic testing but not until later in my pregnancy, the diagnosis would not change to nonlethal.

We were asked if we would consider termination. This was something we talked about before we became pregnant but honestly never thought this would be an issue. I was much more concerned about actually getting pregnant and not having a miscarriage. Our options were to terminate (via a D&E or induced labor) or continue the pregnancy knowing our baby would not survive. All options were awful. Termination was not that straight forward as just a decision between me, my husband, and our healthcare team if I wanted to have the D&E at the hospital. The termination had to be to be approved by the department chair and board and all happened before 22 weeks. We were also advised that additional testing could be required if they felt it was needed before approving.

The next day, we received the confirmation that our termination was approved. Thursday felt like a scramble between all the doctor calls from the MFM checking in and letting us know of the approval, my OB calling to see how we were doing and trying to get scheduled with a new OB for our consultant and signing of the paperwork 24 hours before my procedure. Friday morning, I met with my second OB that would do the D&E and sign my paperwork acknowledging I was terminating. This was an awful appointment to being with, let alone the receptionist wanting to check me in as a new patient – same medical group but a different office location and asking why I’m there. There was some lack of compassion checking in and with the nurse, but once we met the doctor I felt more at ease. She was on call but would be coming in on Saturday to do the procedure.

On Friday I just kept cleaning, I needed to stay busy and not have any down time. Maybe I should have but I wanted to forget this was my reality and just find a way to get to Saturday.

Saturday morning came and we made our way to the hospital. I felt like we were in an empty hospital. While I’m sure it wasn’t empty, I’m thankful it was quiet. The next two hours I was prepped and was brought warm blankets to help with my shivering. It took two nurses and the anesthesiologist to get my IV in, finally it was inserted painful in my hand. I was eventually wheeled down to the OR. I hated leaving my husband in my room, I was leaving him and would be coming back without our baby. The OR room was so bright, white, and cold. I was asked to shimmy over onto the operating table and in a few minutes I was out. I woke up back in my room with my husband by my side. I was in and out for a while and shivering again until I had warm blankets once again. After a few hours, a couple crackers, and some water we were told I could go home. I wasn’t ready, I had to leave behind my baby. It was incredibly heart-breaking walking out of the hospital. The nurse gave us a sheet of paper with some resource phone numbers and information on a group burial. After many phone calls in the days that followed, I was gutted to learn we could have had a private cremation had we told the hospital before my procedure. But we didn’t know this was something we could even elect to do. I wish I could have had something physical to hang on to, but we have nothing more than our 10-week scan photos.

In the weeks shortly after, I didn’t know what to call what happened. I very much wanted to bring our baby home, but we didn’t have that option. We were asked if we wanted to terminate, but no one ever said do you want an abortion. I had a termination, technically this was an abortion, but this was hard to even admit to myself at the time. There is so much stigma around abortion and what I now know as TFMR (termination for medical reasons). But why – I could do nothing for my baby other than prevent them from any pain, that was my only option. I couldn’t change the baby’s chromosomes.

As the world learned of the Roe vs. Wade leak, I just want to scream that I had an abortion. I was fortunate to be able to go to a local hospital with my healthcare team to have this done. We were treated with compassion and care along with way, and they shared how often this happens even though you feel incredibly alone. This did trigger me to share more of my actual story on social media. This needs to be shared, we shouldn’t feel stigma around baby loss the way we do today. Too many couples are going through this awful loss and feel so isolated.

About a month after my D&E, we received the genetic testing from our baby. An extra chromosome 13 was confirmed, trisomy 13. In addition, but unrelated, they found that the baby also had a Balanced Robertsonian Translocation between chromosomes 14 and 21. Knowing this meant myself or my husband could be a carrier which could affect future pregnancies. Our genetic counselor worked with our insurance to get the testing approved. This was a very challenging time for me waiting to get tested and then waiting for our results. If one of us was a carrier, we would have a much higher risk of having a pregnancy that is not compatible with life and likely either early miscarriage or having a nonviable pregnancy. I feel very fortunate that we both have 46 chromosomes and are not carriers. They did express that our chance of this happening again is low, but more than had it not happened the first time. Also, there is still a risk of Germline mosaicism, where the sperm or egg have a mutation that is not presented in the rest of our body but as of now, it is believed this was two spontaneous genetic occurrences. We were essentially struck by lighting twice.

I remember being annoyed that I would only have one ultrasound at my 20-week anatomy scan. I was annoyed that our baby was due September 11, it was grandparents day this year but also felt like it was clouded with 9/11. Never again will these things matter.  The idea of being pregnant after loss is challenging enough but now that Roe was overturned and my state no longer allows abortions for any reason it is terrifying. 

While I wish pregnancy loss and lethal fetal anomalies would not happen to anyone else, I know this is not reality. But what I can hope and push for is more compassionate and empathic care. That others feel that they can tell their family and friends the truth and not be judged. That our families and friends can be allies and support reproductive rights. And that all abortions and terminations for medical reasons are covered by insurance, at your local hospital, at any week during pregnancy because no parent is making this decision on a whim. This seems so basic but it really feels so unattainable in our current political state. Reality for me, is if I was in the same position 3 months later, my termination would not be covered at all by insurance, I would need to travel to another state and am very unclear of what type of hospital or clinic I would be able to go to.

To my family, friends, and wonderful online baby loss community, I see you and thank you so much for being vocal, for simply liking a post and being an ally around abortion care. To all those who do not, I see you as well. I don’t know if this is a I don’t talk about politics online but not saying anything to me about this or even simply not liking a post that includes the words abortion or termination hurts. It cuts deep. I feel like I’m wearing a scarlet letter and those who are silent, make me feel so unsafe.


Jessica’s Story


It’s so strange how one moment you’re happy and the next your world is shattering into a million little pieces.

In January 2022, we found out we were expecting. We were so happy and told close friends and family about the bundle of joy coming. On February 11, I went to the bathroom and saw blood. I immediately started crying and calling my husband to figure out what to do. We went to the ER where we got to see our little baby and told that we had a threatened miscarriage. We went home feeling so scared and confused. On February 13 as we were leaving Target, I felt something leave my body. I looked at my husband to get us home now – we raced home and I went to the bathroom where a flood of blood came out. Our sweet little baby left us and went home to be with Jesus.

It was a crazy couple of weeks – various doctors appointments, my blood getting drawn all the time to make sure my body did it correctly, all the emotions and pain that come along with miscarriage. People’s faces that look on you with sadness as you tell them awful news instead of joy.

God sent a dream the night before that I gave birth to a sweet little girl with eyes that match my husband. The night that our miscarriage was confirmed we sat, prayed, cried and the name Emily was brought to us. We are mourning the loss of our little girl who was wanted so much. But in the midst of this we have seen God move – we had food dropped off, all the chai tea my body could contain, our bathrooms deep cleaned by a friend who knew that they were a place of shame for me. People sent flowers – I found it beautiful that each of them had lilies were closed and then opened up very slowly – like as I was grieving they were blooming, showing me that I don’t have to rush grief.

In March, I got a letter from my insurance company telling me congratulations for being a new mom and to sign up for their program. I was so mad at that piece of paper – I called my insurance, got a very cheery lady who was probably ready to sign me up when I told her in the most monotone voice I have ever made in my life – “no I don’t want to sign up. I had a miscarriage and I lost my baby.” This lady started crying and crying. I was trying to console her and just letting her know that I didn’t want to be on the list anymore. She said she would.

Right before Mother’s Day I got the same paper again.

Now I was pissed. I see now why mama bears get so mad when you touch their cubs. I called them again and told them “no, I don’t want to sign up. I had a miscarriage and I lost my baby.” The phone suddenly went very quiet. The first person I talked to said that there was no way to take my name of the list. I told them that I wanted to speak to their manager because that is BS that you can’t take my name of a list that I didn’t ask to be on. They transferred me to another person who said yes she could take my name off the list. Ever since that phone call I haven’t seen that damn piece of paper show up at my mailbox.

Every time I get my period, I get brought back to that cold February day. I now freak myself out by telling myself that any random symptoms could be pregnancy, only to get my hopes dashed by the awful blood that I get to see instead.

We are now trying again but it still so scary. My husband and I were talking about it and we both know we are scared for the next time. My miscarriage took away my innocence about pregnancy, but brought me so much strength.

I’m so sorry for every woman who this has to go through this. I wish I could take away the pain, I really wish I could. Thankfully, being a loss mom has made me connect with so many others. I can’t wait until I go to heaven and get to meet my little girl who was gone way too soon.


Colleen’s Story

Quinn, Peyton, Riley and Bryn

“Recurrent pregnancy loss.” A term I was unlucky enough to have attached to me over the past year. Four babies gone, in ten long months.  


May 2020, my sweet baby Emmelyn made me a Mama.  Much to our surprise, we were lucky enough to conceive on the first try.  We couldn’t believe it when I took that first pregnancy test and saw the faint line (let’s be real, I started testing at 7DPO).  We were so excited, and so shocked at once.  My morning sickness kicked in very early around 5 weeks and I was sick multiple times a day – but it was all worth it, knowing what the reward would be a few months down the road.  Nine weeks rolled around and I was participating in an after-hours event at work, when I went to the bathroom, felt a sharp pain and had my first experience with bright red blood.  This would later become an expected event for me, a feeling all too familiar.  I hysterically called my husband and rushed home.  We rushed to the emergency room, where we were quickly encouraged us to just go home due to me being only 9 weeks along – “there isn’t anything we can do to save the baby if you’re having a miscarriage.” We then tried urgent care, where we were told they couldn’t treat me because I was pregnant.  I got back on the phone with the after-hours line at my OB’s office, to speak with the most heartless nurse who told me I was having a miscarriage and I just needed to go home and let it happen.  Come the following day, we were back at the ER to find out our little baby still had a heartbeat, but it was a threatened miscarriage that could certainly take a turn for the worst.  We followed up with my OB a few days later and baby was still doing great.  The doctor made it clear that I still had a high chance of miscarrying and that I probably didn’t bleed as much as I seemed to think I did. Needless to say, I immediately found a new doctor and had a few additional ultrasounds to check on the baby.  I had no more bleeding the remainder of my pregnancy and she was born a full-term tiny little 5lb 7oz baby via C-section due to her breech presentation.


In July 2021, we decided to try for our second baby.  We loved having a spring baby, so we thought that timing would be great for our next pregnancy as well.  Once again, we conceived on the first try, and were expecting a baby to be due April 2022.  I am an obsessive tester, so I continued to pee on sticks every couple of days.  Around 5 weeks, I began to get concerned when my test strips were becoming lighter.  Sure enough, at 6 weeks, I had a tiny bit of spotting that turned into the most awful cramps and bleeding by the next morning.  I made the very familiar trip to the ER to check on the baby.  My husband stayed home with our daughter, so I went alone.  I was at the ER for nearly 4 hours where I had an ultrasound and bloodwork done.  The doctor finally came in to tell me that my HCG was very low and that there wasn’t anything seen inside of my uterus on the ultrasound.  “You must just not be as far along as you think” – the words that don’t hold true for any woman TTC.  I knew exactly the day I had conceived, which also meant I had my answer, I had lost our sweet Quinn. I was completely devastated, but I felt comfort in thinking this was a fluke and I would likely never have to go through it again. My doctor suggested taking 3 months to let my body heal, which I reluctantly abided by. 

Three months later, we tried again, and I was once again pregnant.  This time I was watching my tests even more closely to see they never even had the chance to get darker.  At 5 weeks on the dot, Peyton was gone.  I didn’t even make the trip to the ER this time since I knew exactly what was happening. I followed up with bloodwork, and sure enough my HCG had dropped to nearly zero. 

“Another fluke, you have a healthy baby, so certainly this is just bad luck.” 

We took a month off and had some recurrent pregnancy loss testing done.  All of my bloodwork came back normal, and my SHG identified a uterine anomaly, an arcuate uterus.  You know, the uterine anomaly that is no big deal and won’t cause you to lose babies… just keep trying, one will stick!

Two cycles later, I was pregnant again.  THIS TIME HAS TO BE IT.  There is no way we can have three in a row.  I watched those tests again and saw as they once again didn’t darken.  This time I was getting HCG tests from the moment I got pregnant, so I watched my miscarriage unfold in real time.  At 5 weeks, I once again lost a baby – our Riley. 

At this point, I had decided I couldn’t go through it all again.  However, when I discovered I was ovulating 10 days later, we said what the hell – let’s go for it.  At this point we finally had our appt that we’d been waiting months for with a MFM doc.  I found out I was pregnant the day prior.  She said she would watch me closely and would do anything in her power to help keep this pregnancy.  This time around, I started taking progesterone after O day, in addition to baby aspirin, a prenatal, an additional 4mg of folic acid and a vitamin D supplement.  I finally got those dark tests I dreamed of. The day I got the dye stealer, I was ecstatic. This finally felt like a win.  We had our first ultrasound at 7 weeks and we got to see that flicker on the screen.  It was magical.  A second ultrasound followed at 10 weeks, where we once again got to see our sweet baby.  Our MFM said we had graduated and could continue to just see our OB.  At the beginning of week 13, in my process of checking my toilet paper for blood, which had become a regular ritual for me, there was a tinge of blood.  I scheduled an appointment for the following day to check for a heartbeat and a follow up ultrasound for a few days later.  At 14 weeks, we watched our perfect baby bounce around the screen and even suck her thumb.  At this point, I felt so relieved that the bleeding was nothing. 

Three weeks later, I went in for my standard OB appt.  I was met by a new doctor who began to find the heartbeat.  Time was passing so slowly as she was searching with the doppler, and the excuses began for what might be going on.  She ran to get a hand ultrasound machine to find the heartbeat.  The second she paused, she didn’t even have to say the words… I said them for her.  “There isn’t a heartbeat!?”.  I was completely inconsolable.  I couldn’t stop screaming “NO, NO, NO! I just saw the baby a few weeks ago and they were perfect!! – This can’t be happening, please tell me this isn’t happening!” She rushed me to their other office to get an ultrasound to confirm, and sure enough, my sweet angel Bryn (we found out her gender after the genetic testing came back), no longer had a heartbeat. 

She was measuring to be about 13 weeks, so she likely passed almost immediately after we saw her in all of her perfection at the ultrasound a few weeks prior. I carried her for three weeks, still getting sick every single day, having no idea she was already gone. I felt like I had failed her in every way.  I scheduled a D&E for the following week, made the arrangements for her to be cremated and put in a teddy bear, and tried my best to be the best mom I could for the baby I have, but everything inside of me was empty.  I felt so lost, confused, angry, in denial, and probably just about every other feeling on top of that. I am now 2 months post loss, and am finally getting to a point where I’m not crying every day, but it’s all consuming thinking of what this past year has brought. To be so close and have it all ripped away.  

I am still working through so many feelings around the whole experience, including letting go of the timeline I had planned for my family and accepting this new post-loss version of myself. There has been one silver lining to this experience though; I have the most amazing support system through my husband, friends and family – particularly a couple of women I connected with on a loss forum back in December. The support and empathy these once strangers, now best friends have shown me is something I will forever be grateful for. Loss leaves you with such a feeling of loneliness, but being able to share your saddest, deepest, most vulnerable feelings with those who have been in your shoes, is the closest thing you can get to filling your heart back up.


Nicole’s Story


Written for those who are curious, those who don’t know what miscarriage is like, those who think they do, those who share the same pain, and those who will… and also written for me by me as a way of trying to put the pieces back together.

They say writing is healing, and I guess I’m desperate for solace. This is the story of the life, death and birth of my baby, that we called Blueberry, and me trying to figure out where I go from here… all in a word document. 

On March 19, 2022 I got 2 lines on my pregnancy test (that I never expected to be positive) and from that moment on I had crippling anxiety and an overwhelming sense of dread that something was wrong with my baby. No reason for it, just did. I had never been pregnant before, and thought I was supposed to be excited (I was thrilled I was pregnant, not thrilled about the feeling of impending doom). I thought I was supposed to be bursting with joy. The only thing I was bursting with was fear. I called an OB and made my appointment. My first scan showed my baby was 6 weeks and 3 days (thought I was 7w/3d, but ovulation was off). Everything was “perfect”… perfect measurements. Perfect heartbeat. 

I had intermittent spotting starting around 7 weeks. Nothing heavy, nothing bright red. I called my OB several different times over the next few weeks concerned, and the nurse told me I had a had a 1cm subchorionic hemorrhage on my first scan, and to attribute my bleeding to that. She said it had no effect on the baby and not to worry. All I had done since I found out was worry. But alright nurse, if you say so. 

When I called yet again at exactly 9 weeks for more spotting, they told me I could come in for peace of mind. Again, baby looked “perfect” with a heartbeat of 175 and measuring on target at 8 weeks and 6 days. They found a cervical polyp at that scan and said I was spotting from that too. They told me I now had not one, but TWO reasons for my consistent light bleeding, and I would likely bleed on and off throughout my whole pregnancy. The nurse told me to only be concerned if I started bleeding so heavy that it filled a pad in an hour or less. They sent me home with ultrasound pictures. I walked to the car and called Heath near tears and told him that they told me everything was perfect but I didn’t feel like it was. I had by all accounts an “easy” first trimester with virtually no symptoms. No nausea, no vomiting, no debilitating exhaustion, etc. which made me worry even more. He told me I was lucky, and it was just my hormones and first time mom jitters. My mom and best friends agreed. I felt no better, but I believed them. 

At exactly 12 weeks (May 16th) the spotting started up again with light cramps (nothing new), and when I went to pee, I wiped about a dime sized clot onto my toilet paper. I was tired of crying wolf, but I was still drowning in anxiety and fear something was wrong. So after much deliberation with myself, I called my OB yet again. They told me I was likely finally passing the subchorionic, and they weren’t concerned, but if I felt I needed to, I could come in again. I told them I’d be coming in. The nurse made a joke about me being a regular. 

I laid down on that crinkly paper, stuck my legs up in the stirrups, took a deep breath, and had another transvaginal ultrasound. I watched the tech measure and when I saw 10 weeks on the screen I felt a wave of nausea. The tech said nothing, so neither did I. A few more clicks, and the tech asked me how much I had been bleeding. I told her I was spotting. Radio silence. Then, in my own head, I immediately confirmed what I already knew. She had never asked me that before, even all those times I came in because of bleeding. The measurements on the screen were never so far behind. She normally played the heartbeat pretty quickly. Then it came… “I don’t see a heartbeat.” My initial sobs didn’t produce tears, but there we plenty of tears that followed. When the nurse came in to hug me, I bawled into her shoulder and just kept repeating “I knew it, I knew it.” What broke my heart even more is my mama was there with me, and she didn’t realize what was going on until the tech said there was no heartbeat. 

Baby had stopped growing at 10 weeks. I had been carrying my dead baby for 2 weeks. When the OB came in she pointed out signs of what she believed may be a chromosomal abnormality on the ultrasound, but was unable to determine what exactly it might be. 

I was given 3 options. I could wait until I miscarried naturally, I could take a pill that would induce miscarriage, or I could have a d&c. I was adamant I wanted a d&c… I knew not having it would only make this bad situation worse. But the OB informed me there were no available appointments in the OR until the following week (May 23). I signed the paperwork for the d&c in the office anyway, and also signed for the tissue testing to see if a reason for my baby’s demise could be found. 

When I got home, I cried puddles of tears. I wished the d&c wasn’t so far away because I didn’t want to carry my poor dead baby anymore. But at the same time, I was praying it didn’t kick in naturally before then, because I didn’t want to add that to my portfolio of pregnancy loss experience. The trauma of a missed miscarriage was enough. 

Wednesday afternoon around 12:45 pm the spotting increased to a light bleed and the cramping started creeping in. My mama gave me ibuprofen, a heating pad, and all of the comfort she could for a grieving first time grandma. Heath held me close and let me squeeze his hand and arm every time I contracted. As time ticked on, the pain worsened. I had a bit of a reprieve over night and was able to sleep for awhile. And then 6:30 am on the dot, a full force lightning bolt of pain woke me up. And so it began… everything I did not want to happen began.

The pain was excruciating. My mama gave me maximum ibuprofen and Tylenol doses at the recommendation of the on call OB (my OB office was not open the first time she called). I might as well have been taking tic tacs. I was up, down, laying on my stomach, on my back, on my side, on my other side, on my bed, on the couch, on the chair, pacing the living room floor, squatting, sitting on the floor, laying on the floor, writhing in just about every position and location one could think of. I held my lower belly the whole time, groaning loud in pain, with my eyes squeezed shut. I could not even speak the pain was so bad.

My mama called my OB again at about 9:15 am, and the nurse called her back. She told my mama the doctor could put in a Percocet prescription if my pain was uncontrollable (uh, duh), or the other alternative was to take me to the ER. My mama, bless her critical care nurse heart, said the ER would probably only give me tic tacs and a $400.00 bill. 

While she was on the phone with the nurse, I suddenly felt the most strange sensation. It was like a popping, ripping feeling deep in the lower belly. The pain immediately stopped, and as I began to sit up I felt a huge gush of fluid come out of me. I raced for the bathroom and made it to the toilet. All I did was slightly release the muscles, similar to what it’s like to pee, and I felt the ENTIRE contents of my uterus dumping out of me. My mama was standing next to the toilet and I had my face buried in her chest, sobbing, shaking, yelling in pain, and repeating “I’m so scared..” over and over and over. At about 9:20 am on May 19 my baby, who we had always affectionately called Blueberry, was born still. 

When I no longer felt solids pouring out, I pulled my face away, continued to sob and asked her to wake up Heath, who was asleep in my bed. The poor man had slept about 5 hours in the last 36 hours between caring for me, his kids, and working night shift. I stayed on the toilet and she brought him in there. As traumatic as it was for me, I’d imagine it was traumatic for them. They had to stand there helplessly watching me in physical and emotional agony. I labored 21 hours with my dead baby. When I finally stood up from the toilet, I had tears and snot all over my face, and blood pouring down my legs to my knees. 

I had initially told them I didn’t want to look in the toilet so the two of them did. It was just a sea of crimson… so I did look and it was so solid colored red that none of what I had passed was visible. Heath handed me wipes and I cleaned up as best as I could, and then packaged myself up with overnight pads that my mama handed me. Heath and I went out to the living room and I put the heating pad back over my belly. My pain had definitely subsided from what it had been, but it wasn’t gone. Heath rubbed my back and I just sat silently, trying to make sense of everything that had just happened. My mama asked me if she could check the toilet (bless her critical care nurse heart again) and I told her she could. She gloved up and went back in the bathroom to wade through the bloody water. 

A few minutes later I called out to her asking if she had found everything, because I was afraid it wasn’t over and I would be passing more. She gave me a weak “yes.” I asked her if she found my baby, and an ever weaker “yes” followed. My heart sank. I asked her if she could bring me Blueberry. 

My tiny, 10 week baby was perfectly formed. Blueberry had all his/her fingers and toes, and his/her little ears, eyes, nose, and mouth were visible. Blueberry’s little legs were closed, so there was no way to even try to determine if he/she was a boy or girl. I held my tiny baby for a few minutes, and then we gently wrapped Blueberry up in paper towels and laid him/her down in a plastic container. 

Because I miscarried naturally I was unable to get the uterine tissue tested. The tissue needs to be immediately submerged in special chemicals, which obviously are not found in toilet water. I have so many questions about what happened to my Blueberry, but they are questions I’ll never get answers to… At least not during my time on Earth. 

In the days following the miscarriage, the bleeding was extremely heavy, soaking an overnight pad an hour, and the clots I was passing were several inches long. It was a constant reminder I had birthed my dead baby just hours and days before. I smelled like blood.. it seeped out of every pore for days. The physical pain would come and go. By Sunday, the pain had changed from legitimate pain to bad menstrual cramps that the ibuprofen and heating pad finally eased. 

A friend of mine, Sarah, who is also a mama to a beautiful still born baby girl named Indie, told me she calls the stage of grief immediately after miscarriage “seeing the world in black and white.” And black and white it is. I know I need to eat, but food has no taste. I know I need to sleep, but I only sleep 3-4 hours a night. I know I can hear, but things sound muffled. I know jokes are funny, but I don’t feel any joy. Black. White. I sat in the park with my mama one evening and watched the people, ducks, birds, squirrels, and ants and thought “there is life.” Then I remembered my tiny, still baby cupped in my hands just 2 days before and thought… “and there is death.” Black and white. My mind is empty… my belly is empty… I’m empty. I see no light at the end of this tunnel. Who I was before and who I am now are two different people. I am forever changed. 

The support system I have cannot go unmentioned. In addition to Heath, my Mama, and Sarah Rodriguez… my extended family and my closest friends have been incredible. Lindsey, Kevin, Aunt Denise, Kaitlyn, Aunt Linda, Sarah DeLuca, Kristen Judge, Sarah Lodato, and everyone else who has reached out, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have all helped me sort through the aftermath of this traumatic experience. 

The devastation and grief felt after ANY miscarriage or ANY pregnancy/child loss is indescribable. It shatters what is left of my heart to know so many women have traveled this road before me, and so many will after me. I never in a trillion years thought it would happen to me until it did.

I’m afraid I’ll never be a mom. I’m terrified to be pregnant again because I’m terrified this will happen again. I don’t think I can live through this twice. 

The moral of the story is, always trust your gut mamas. A mother’s instinct starts at conception and will continue until our very last breath. Us women don’t get enough credit for the sh*t we endure. 

I’m sending peace and healing to each and every mama who can relate. For mamas who have never experienced this, I pray you never do. Squeeze your babies extra tight tonight. For those mamas holding their rainbow babies, my heart is happy for you. I believe your angel baby hand picked him/her for you. For those mamas who, God forbid, find themselves facing something like this, feel free to reach out to me. If my experience could one day be someone else’s survival guide, then Blueberry’s short life wasn’t in vain. Sarah’s story became my survival guide, and I hope to one day become what she became to me. 

And I could never forget those mamas who are still waiting for their rainbow baby… our time is coming.


Emily S’s Story


May 2nd, 2022. 

I should be having my baby today, but six months ago I went through the most physically and emotionally painful experience of my life. I woke up excited for my second ultrasound and my blood work that would tell us the sex of our baby. It was like any other Thursday: I got us ready and took my son Alex to school. I went for a 3 mile walk/run, and then to Valley Thrift because I still needed some props for my Beauty & the Beast table. It wasn’t until I went to the bathroom at Alex’s school that I saw I had spotted. The five minutes between that realization and picking him up lasted an hour in my mind; the two hours until my ultrasound felt like an eternity. I willed my baby to be okay. But when I had my ultrasound, my worst fears were confirmed: my baby, who I had seen dancing on the screen and whose heart I heard beating strongly inside of my body just two weeks before, no longer had a heartbeat.

 I felt like my body had betrayed me and I had failed. I was in shock during the hour after finding out, waiting to talk to the doctor, etc. How could this have happened when I had such a great pregnancy with Alex? How could this have happened when being a mom is who I am? I had to call Adam with the worst news I’ve ever had to share with him, and then pick up Alex from my parents’ house because life continues. That night I went to bed knowing the baby who was once thriving inside of me was now lifeless, and with what was the beginning of labor pains, and the most physical of emotional pain I have felt.  Six months later, my body still aches every time I think about it, like a muscle memory I never wished to attain. The gravity of carrying both life and death inside of you is not something you’ll ever forget. 

I couldn’t be scheduled for my D&E until Saturday, so on Friday I went to get my pre-surgery Covid test and shopped for paint for my castle project, then I went to Bill’s to get donut holes for Alex to have Saturday morning at my mom and dad’s while I had my procedure. I also did two loads of laundry at home.

Even while having an active miscarriage, I wanted to make sure my family was taken care of.

 As the day went on, I started to have a lot of pain, and it was throbbing in my back and hips and shooting down my thighs—it felt like contractions, and it wasn’t until later I found out an active miscarriage is basically labor. Why didn’t they tell me how this would feel?? Everyone who says a miscarriage is like a heavy period? False. It started to feel worse after my errands, but by night the pain was so excruciating I couldn’t stand up straight when I walked or even sit up straight. It was an incredibly long day. 

I had to be at the hospital by 7am on Saturday, so we needed to drop Alex at my parents’ house even earlier. He was soo excited to be out driving when it was still dark out—there were Halloween lights and decorations that we had never seen before during the day, so he was thrilled about that. He still talks about how fun it was to get up early and drive in the dark during Halloween time; even though it stings when I remember why we were driving so early, the fact that he holds it as a special memory makes me happy. 

At the hospital, I had to go to the Labor and Delivery unit; I was checked in and taken into what would be my prep and recovery room for the morning…which happened to be the same recovery room we were in when I had my c-section to deliver Alex. The same room in which I met and held my firstborn, was the same room in which I had to say goodbye to my second. I held it together until we walked down the hallway past the newborn portraits—a special form of torture for any woman who will never get to see the face of the baby she is there to have taken from her body. 

The procedure went smoothly, and when I awoke from anesthesia my body felt so much better physically; I was too far along to have my miscarriage at home, but I can’t imagine enduring that pain for any longer than forty hours anyway. I was given paperwork with a certificate of death and a list of groups I could contact for grief support. Our baby’s remains would be buried at Calvary Cemetery. 

I was 11 weeks along, and we hadn’t had the chance to tell many people yet, even though I was confident everything would go just as smoothly as when I was pregnant with Alex. It’s problematic when we feel discouraged from sharing news of pregnancy until after the first trimester.

From the moment I saw my positive pregnancy test, I was carrying our child. I talked to my baby every day, encouraging its tiny soul to flourish inside of me. I pictured our life as a family of four before we had even conceived, so when I heard my baby’s heart beating for the first time and saw my baby moving, I had no reason not to plan—not to hope. 

We still hadn’t told many people yet because we wanted to tell Alex first, and were just about to announce our great news when it all came crashing down. So when I had my miscarriage, since I had only told a handful of people, the story I was now sharing put my loss at the forefront, instead of celebrating the life I was lucky enough to create and carry in the first place. It became a very confusing process for me to navigate. 

Those who did know will ask how I’m doing—but how do you tell someone that you don’t know that you’ll never be okay again and that your whole entire heart has shattered into a thousand pieces and no matter how hard you work to put it back together, there’s always going to be entire shards that are missing now. Forever. How do you put that kind of hurt on another person’s heart? I just felt so responsible for protecting everyone else from my suffering, but in doing so I cheated myself out of my own grief. 

The holidays were hard—I felt stupid for ordering my skeleton maternity shirt for our Halloween pregnancy announcement. I tried to stay joyful for Alex, but I couldn’t help but feel slightly bitter at Christmas time when I should have been halfway through my pregnancy and wearing funny Christmas maternity shirts and thinking about how we’d have a seven month old addition to our celebration the next year, and what a fantastic brother Alex was going to be. Even though he hadn’t known I was pregnant, he talked about having a sibling all of the time, and what a good helper he would be to me. It broke my heart that I couldn’t give that to him. 

Today, I should be feeling all of the emotions I felt the day I went to the hospital to be induced for Alex: excitement and fear…so much fear…but also so much calm and readiness. I was so lucky to be having my baby. My body was aching and ready, and my mind overcame every doubt because I knew in my heart I would be able to nurture him and give him the best parts of myself. As soon as I found out I was pregnant this time, I think my attachment was immediately so much stronger because I knew how amazing the outcome would be. I already made a really awesome human, how lucky was I to get to do it again? Unfortunately, Noah’s story had a different outcome, and though he’ll never join us on earth, it comforts me to know I will hug him one day in Heaven. 

I never thought I would so heavily mourn the loss of someone I never really met. I just didn’t know. It happens to sooo many women, but I’ve only known a few women who lost their babies, and their pregnancies were so much further along than mine; they all had to delivery their stillborn babies, while I got to sleep through my procedure. I didn’t think I had any right to compare my grief when I had a first trimester loss. But grief counseling has helped me acknowledge my loss as real, and my feelings as valid. My experience and Noah’s existence, however brief, matter. 

My greatest source of support has been my friend Jenn, who lives states away, but has checked on my constantly since the day I reached out to her. She has always been so eloquent and forthcoming about losing her babies Hope and Anakin, and she was one of the first people I knew I could trust with my complete disclosure and heavy heart over the past six months. She’s also the reason I’m finally sharing my story because if I can make just one woman feel less alone, it’s so important I do. It’s just taken time to get to the point where I feel ready.

 Even though I only got to carry my baby for two and a half months, I still experienced five months of post partum symptoms, which was another thing I had no idea to expect. But it makes sense: my body was pregnant and grew a placenta and produced an extreme amount of hormones in that two months, so I still had to have that adjustment period. I just didn’t know it would be as long as my full term pregnancy. Human biology is miraculous, but so so weird.

During the past six months, we’ve learned that for a variety of reasons, we won’t be having another child. But I feel so incredibly lucky to have Alex: my perfect and wonderful soul, and some days I still don’t believe I was so blessed to get to be his mom. That is a privilege not lost on me. But I can’t deny the fact that I am still processing so much, and grieving the life I always envisioned us to have. I know nothing in this world is certain, (and that lesson has hit us more than ever lately) but I do know that I will do my absolute best to make sure Alex knows every day how loved he is, and that he has the most fulfilling life possible. He is everything to me, and I’ll never let him not feel that. 

Today, I’ll work as much as I can and I’ll have ice cream for dinner and I’ll love who I hold dear, and every day I’ll continue to hold Noah’s memory in my heart. Forever. 


Katie’s Story

It all started on June 30, 2021 when I took a pregnancy test to learn I was pregnant. I still have the cutest video of me showing my husband the pregnancy test while he was holding our son (2 years old at the time) on the couch and smiling when he realized we were going to add our third child to the mix. My son smiled too…it was all so sweet. My husband and I were both so excited and honestly I didn’t realize how badly I wanted another baby until I was sitting there processing it all. This would be our third child and would complete our family.

My sister had also told me she was pregnant a couple weeks before, our babies were going to be 5 weeks apart! Again, another sweet video of me announcing to her that our children were going to be best friends via newborn onesies. Another video I cannot bring myself to delete and that I will probably never share.

I told all of my sisters and my mother, but kept it at that because I wanted to see the heartbeat at my first ultrasound. For me, having already experienced a pregnancy loss with my first pregnancy, seeing the heartbeat on the ultrasound helps ease that first trimester anxiety nearly every mother has probably felt.

I went in for my 8-week ultrasound on July 29, 2021. (8 weeks and 3 days to be exact as I knew the date we conceived). I was by myself as my husband had to work and I was fairly confident that we were ok. When I say that, I mean I had all the pregnancy symptoms (tender breasts, gagging when brushing my teeth, hell! my stomach had even grown) and I had not had any bleeding to indicate otherwise. The tech started on my belly with the ultrasound and had the screen out for me to see. Going through two pregnancies already, I knew what to look for but wasn’t seeing it. After a while the ultrasound tech said that we would have to go vaginally to get a better look because I wasn’t as far along. She asked me to confirm the start of my last period date and started the ultrasound again, this time without showing me the screen. That should have been my first clue.

Katie P.

She kept a good face on and after a while she said she needed to go get a physician to speak with me. I looked at her and asked what was going on and she said “there is no baby.” She said there is a gestational sac but it appears to be empty. I sent a text to my husband and I texted my sister, who had sent me well wishes before the appointment. I couldn’t believe that this was happening to me. Not in a million years did I think this would ever happen to me again.

The OB on shift at the time came in and told me that I was most likely miscarrying because the shape of my uterus looked to be shrinking. What she didn’t see in the ultrasound or what didn’t draw her attention were the grape like cysts. I cried and asked some questions which she answered and she gave me a hug which was comforting…I love hugs. Before I left they drew blood to check my hCG levels, they scheduled me for an appointment with my regular OB and told me to get another blood draw the day before that appointment. Then they sent me on my way.

I made it out of the waiting room and to the comfort of my car before I just completely lost it and sobbed. On my drive home I called my pregnant sister and sobbed some more. When I got home, my husband called after seeing my texts and said he was on his way home from work so I wouldn’t have to be home alone. It was a long, long, dreadful day. Many of the same emotions as my first loss. I had immediate thoughts of “what did I do wrong?” “Why me?” “This isn’t fair.” You name it, I thought of it that day.

August 1st – Ultrasound Results:
Uterus: Irregular shaped gestational sac with no yolk sac or fetal pole visualized. Heterogeneous tissue noted surrounding the gestational sac.

I got my blood drawn as instructed by the OB. On July 29th, my HCG levels were at 90,051. On August 3rd, the levels came back at 155,076. I thought, “huh? How can it be rising? With my last loss it went down…maybe, just maybe the OB, the ultrasound tech, and the ultrasound results are just wrong. Maybe the baby isn’t as far along as we thought?” For some reason I actually had hope going into my next appointment that maybe the baby was still there…

On August 4th, I saw my regular doctor and she took one look at my ultrasound and combined that with the rising hCG levels and said “this looks like a molar pregnancy.” She ordered another ultrasound and once she saw those images she confirmed that yes, it was in fact a molar pregnancy and ordered a D&C to have it surgically removed the following day. The small hope I had of there being a baby was crushed and now I had to start digesting this diagnosis.

Most of you I’m sure have never heard of the term “Molar Pregnancy” and I’m sure you want to know what that is. This is how I understand it: so, there are 2 types of molar pregnancy. One is a partial molar where two sperm fertilizes one egg 69 chromosomes total; 23 chromosomes from the egg and 46 from the sperm. A baby can form in a partial molar, but will not be viable. The other is a complete molar pregnancy where an empty egg with no maternal chromosomes is fertilized by one or two sperm. Meaning 23-46 chromosomes, but all from the sperm, no genetic material from the mother. No baby forms. In a normal/non-molar pregnancy you get 23 chromosomes from the egg and 23 chromosomes from the sperm. So a tumor formed in my uterus instead of the placenta and it became a mass of fluid-filled sacs/cysts. This was the knowledge I had going in to get the surgery to remove the molar pregnancy.

August 5th was D&C day to remove the molar pregnancy. Before I went into surgery, we had my OB explain what we should expect and what would come of this, etc. She said that once we get everything out they would send it to pathology to discover whether it was a partial or complete molar. She said we would hope for a partial molar. She explained that if it’s a partial molar we will monitor your hCG levels until they go to 0 and when the levels return to 0, we would be able to try again for another baby. She said if it’s a complete molar that again they would monitor my hCG levels until they return to 0, but that I would have to be placed on the birth control pill to ensure that I do not become pregnant for up to a year to ensure that my levels never rise. In both partial and complete molar pregnancies, hCG levels are monitored weekly to make sure the levels are going down. If the hCG levels ever plateau or rise then that means the tumor is growing back and I would have to undergo chemotherapy to remove tumor cells and reduce the chance of it spreading to my lungs. My OB assured me that this becoming cancer is super rare and only happens to 15-20% of women. But my first thought was, “yea it’s rare, but so are molar pregnancies and here I am.”

I am another statistic. I am 1 in 1,000 women in the US. I just wanted a baby to complete our family and I ended up with a tumor…and now there is talk about possible cancer? This is so unfair.

As I laid there waiting to be put under for my D & C, I was looking up at the operating room lights and couldn’t believe that this was the second time in a year that I was looking up at those lights (August 2nd 2020 was my appendectomy. My daughter was only 11 days old). For some reason, I find those lights terrifying, even though both my surgeries are very routine and less invasive, it’s still terrifying to be put under anesthesia hoping nothing goes wrong and you wake up! My OB held my hand as I was being put under and that helped a lot. My OB was very happy with the surgery, there was minimal blood, they removed it all and we would meet in 2 weeks to discuss the pathology results and move forward with a plan.

The pathology results from my surgically removed molar pregnancy indicated that I had a complete molar pregnancy, meaning back on birth control and not allowed to become pregnant. That was another hard pill to swallow. I want to have my baby on my own timeline and my own terms, I don’t want it to be dictated by doctors. Also, a complete molar pregnancy means a baby never formed. Was I even allowed to grieve if there was no baby at all? I remember getting this news as I was getting ready for work and I just sat there crying on our couch. After I allowed myself that cry, I got the kids ready and off I went to drop them off at the sitter and go to work. I could have taken time off, but work was a distraction. 

I was placed on birth control to ensure I would not fall pregnant and I had to go in every single week to get blood drawn to check my hCG levels. It took 7 weeks for my levels to get down to 0. Then I had to get monthly blood draws for 6 months. As long as the hCG levels did not rise, we would be cleared to get off birth control and try again. This molar pregnancy was extremely hard on me. I was emotionally devastated to learn that I had lost the pregnancy, then I felt isolated from the rarity of my diagnosis, and then there was a chance I may need chemotherapy! It’s an incredible amount of emotions I was forced to bear. On top of all that, I wasn’t able to try again right away, I had to be monitored weekly and then monthly which made it impossible to move forward with my grief. Every blood draw was a constant reminder of my loss. 

I was lucky enough that my hCG levels never rose and I was cleared by my OB to get off birth control in March of 2022. My first cycle in April, we fell pregnant, but it sadly ended in a chemical pregnancy. We are still trying and are hopeful for a double rainbow baby.