You are definitely not alone.
My pregnancy began
under fairly stressful conditions. I had undergone surgery to remove
endometriosis, and my OB/Gyn encouraged me to start a family soon because
endometriosis almost always worsens over time.
My partner and I started trying
to conceive. Two cycles later we felt blessed when we were pregnant! My
pregnancy preceded normally, mild morning sickness, tiredness and breast
tenderness. I also felt intermittent period like cramping which I called about
and was told not to worry. I booked my first prenatal for the 11th
week, although this seemed late to me.
During my 7th
week I noticed that my breasts were not growing larger as quickly as they had.
In my 9th week I felt very ill and had diarrhea and a general feeling
that was not good.
The next day I started spotting bright red blood. I was terrified
although I knew that many pregnancies had spotting and was considered almost
I went to the ER
for evaluation and treatment.
We were seen very quickly and the doctor did a pelvic exam. The news was
good. My cervix was closed and the hormone levels right.
I requested an ultrasound but was told it would be inconclusive. I was
told to go home and have bed rest for four days.
We went straight home and to bed, and I stayed there which seemed to help, as the bleeding grew darker and eventually almost stopped. I called my OB's office first thing Monday morning. The receptionist said that sounded good but to come in for a follow up the next day.
The next day, my OB told me that I was probably miscarrying. My hormone levels were actually low and the only way to confirm the miscarriage was an ultrasound that should have been performed at the hospital. At the appointment I had a vaginal ultrasound that was slightly painful and caused the bleeding to increase. She told us very kindly that there was no heartbeat and the fetus was two weeks too small. I felt as though the world crashed and started crying within minutes. I cried all the way home. My partner was very supportive although I do not think he knew what to say or do either.
As soon as we got
home I went for a long walk with my dog to encourage the miscarriage to start. I
did not know if that was the best thing to do but had been left without any
decided quickly that I wanted this to occur naturally if possible as I had
already had surgery less than six months earlier.
With in a few moments of walking the bleeding started with mild cramping.
It felt very much like a period.
I ended up vacuuming my house and tidying up, as I wanted to keep moving
to encourage things along. Approximately 4 hours after the ultrasound the heavy
bleeding and cramping pain began. It was very painful and the cramps made me
“huff huff” with my breath.
They seemed to come regularly every two minutes or so and lasted for
about a minute and I could usually feel large amounts of tissue and blood pass.
Approximately 20 minutes into this I felt very cold and “shaky” and vomited.
I called my partner during this stage as I was very scared and wanted to go to
We ended up
waiting in a crowded waiting room for over four and a half hours.
This was a very trying time as babies and pregnant women surrounded us.
I tried not to show any feelings, didn’t cry, and we kept walking around
the hospital to keep things going.
I soon needed a change of pads and asked the nurse for one as well as
what the baby might look like.
She was kind and told me it would look like blood clots, probably no baby
to be seen. I asked her if I should save what I passed because I had read in
books to do that and she said no, just to come and tell her. I felt better and
went to the washroom to change and saw what I felt was the fetus--it did look
like a blood clot, the size and shape of a bean with white bits showing here and
a half hour later I was overwhelmed with this panicky sensation that I did not
want to leave my baby in the garbage can.
This lasted for quite awhile. My partner reasoned with me that the
garbage had already been changed and it was okay to feel that way but there were
no other options.
Towards the end of
the four-hour wait after watching people who looked less ill than me go into the
treatment area I started crying and it was hard to get myself under control
minutes later we had a room and shortly after that we saw the doctor. My
boyfriend remarked I should have done that two hours earlier.
When the doctor
came into the room, he did a pelvic exam and said that he was pretty sure I had
passed all the remains as I had stopped bleeding by then, so we could go home
and follow up with our OB.
I asked if I needed the D&C or if it was okay to wait it out
said it was probably fine at this point but to follow up with my doctor the next
day and not eat anything until I spoke with him just in case.
I felt groggy and
weak, so I called my OB. He said this was a common occurrence and if I felt okay
I could rest for a few days and follow up with him in two weeks.
I felt uncomfortable with that but agreed and hung up.
The next day I
felt ill and tired and just horrible.
I called my OB and told the receptionist I thought I needed an
the next morning the cramps were almost unbearable so we went to the emergency
doctor said it was old blood (it wasn’t) and put me on antibiotics and to
follow up with my OB, the one I could never get a hold of.
I did the ultrasound that afternoon although this time they would not
release the results, but promised to send them to my OB.
The cramping and
bleeding worsened until I passed a lot of tissue in the late afternoon. It was
frightening and painful but I guess I knew what the ultrasound had said.
I could not get hold of my doctor and could just not face going back to
the ER. My antibiotics were making me ill so I stopped taking them.
I tried all week to get in touch with my OB because I was frightened and missing
classes and needed a letter from him.
On Friday I went and saw him and finally got my ultrasound results (a full week later). I told him about the tissue I passed and handed him a list of questions he hadn’t been available to answer. He said that I probably was fine and answered my questions. At the end of the visit he said “I’ll see you when you are pregnant again,” which really hurt me. I felt the entire time I was left to go through this on my own.
I wish this were the end of the story, but a full month later I learned from my general practitioner that I still had pregnancy hormones and he thought there was retained tissue from my miscarriage. He then referred me to a different OB/Gyn at my request for follow up. I was desperately trying to catch up in a hard computer course at college and began fearing I would have to drop out entirely.
My new OB/Gyn was very kind and understanding. He gave me a full exam, an ultrasound and then performed a D&C in his office to remove the fetal sac that was remaining. He also talked to me and Adam about the problems with our medical community that we had been exposed to. The D&C was horrible and VERY painful because I do not respond well to local anesthetic. It was very quick, though, and although it left me feeling pretty yucky, sore and emotional all over again for almost two weeks, it was necessary. At my follow up appointment a week later an exam and blood work looked good so we can finally put this behind us. We plan to start trying to conceive again after two cycles and this time will have an excellent OB/Gyn to support us during whatever the future holds. We hope that is a healthy pregnancy ending with a healthy baby.
What I have
learned from this experience is to take charge of your own health, even though
it is very hard to do so during a time of crisis. Feel free to demand good care
if you feel you are not receiving it.
You may email Cassandra at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our first pregnancy started out on a great note. We conceived the first time we tried, and we knew how lucky we were that "it worked." The doctor confirmed that I was pregnant, and we did all of the necessary tests.
In between six and seven weeks I started spotting. The doctor advised me that, as a precaution, I should stay home from work and relax for a couple of days but not to worry because any brown spotting is not dangerous and was, in fact, very common.
On Saturday morning I stood up but had a very intense cramp that was strong enough for me to have to sit down again. After a few seconds it went away, and I went to the washroom. When I got there all I could see was blood, bright red blood everywhere. I immediately screamed for my husband to come and help. He called the hospital and told them what was happening and to see if I would have to wait a long time to be seen if we came in. They said that if it was a miscarriage that they couldn't help me anyway so I would most likely have to wait. We decided to get in the car and drive to a neighboring small town because we knew we would be seen right away. On the way there I felt two big gushes of blood come out of me.
The doctors saw me right away and did an internal exam. He said my cervix was still closed, however, it was not as tight as he thought it should be. He said he felt that I was indeed having a miscarriage, that there was nothing they could do to stop it, and, unfortunately, I would have to wait to see my own doctor and order an ultrasound on Monday.
On Monday I had to go in alone. They would not let my husband come in with me. I told the technician what happened on the weekend and that she wouldn't find anything because I'd already lost the baby. A few minutes later she said, "Did the doctor say you had a miscarriage?" I told her yes.
Then she said, "Well, You're still pregnant!"
I asked her if it could have been twins and I lost one. She said that is rare but it is a possibility. Since, I hadn't had an ultrasound earlier, I had no proof that I'd been pregnant with twins.
The rest of the pregnancy was difficult, but on July 22, Kathleen Marie was born. I wouldn't understand that I had indeed lost a twin until the next pregnancy.
A year and a half later We became pregnant again. When I was 14 weeks pregnant, I started spotting (brown, just like before). The doctor said not to worry. I was the right size, everything felt fine, I was feeling pregnant and being sick so not to worry.
Christmas Eve morning I woke up to bright red bleeding. I immediately called the doctor and said "I'm coming in and I AM HAVING AN ULTRASOUND TODAY -- I DON'T CARE WHAT DAY IT IS. I AM NOT GOING THROUGH THREE DAYS OF UNCERTAINTY AGAIN."
I went for an ultrasound, again they would not let my husband come in, and the technician would not let me look so I knew that was a bad sign. They could not see a heartbeat or a "fetus." He said that the fetus had probably died several weeks before, but my body had continued to think I was pregnant and continued to nourish a placenta. He said we could schedule a D&C or I could wait and hope it happened on its own. I was terrified of the thought of a D&C and it was Christmas, besides I thought of what happened the first time and so we opted to wait.
On Boxing Day, just before dinner, I started getting some cramping and the bleeding had gotten worse. I figured this was par for the course so I didn't say anything to our hosts (who up until then had avoided the topic like the plague anyway.) While we were eating, I began to realize that these cramps were happening at regular intervals and that they had gradually gotten worse. I then said to my husband, "I'm in labor."
Things progressed to the point where I was having to do 'labor breathing' in order to get through each contraction. The bleeding all at once started to get much heavier so I thought we'd better go to the hospital. I had a contraction that had lasted about 45 minutes with no let up, and I was in tears with the pain. It was unbearable.
In a matter of seconds, this long, unbearable contraction climaxed (for a brief second or two) and ended. Immediately I felt three huge gushes which, in an instant, threw me back to sitting in the bathroom some two years before. It was exactly the same sensation. I said to my husband, "Oh my God, this is it. This is exactly the same. We've lost another one."
There's no way they can tell me that my first pregnancy wasn't twins. That big cramp and the gushes were the same!
Once inside the hospital I was examined and as I stood up so that I could change my blood-soaked clothes, I could feel a big 'something' coming out of me. I couldn't control myself any longer. I thought for sure it was the baby coming out and I was bawling. I could see a 'clot' about the size of the palm of my hand before the doctor whisked it away to pathology. She later told me that it was most likely the placenta.
We were told to wait three months until we try again. I wanted to try right away because I think that having another baby is the only thing that will make me feel better. Because I now know that I've lost two babies already, I am seeing a OB/Gyn to monitor me more closely. He has guaranteed me that we will start earlier ultrasounds next time I get pregnant so that if there are any problems we know right away. I probably be terrified anyway, but at least I'll be able to see the baby progress on the screen and have some sense of peace.
We have named our two babies and my husband and I each wear a pendant with their initials on it, and we will plant something in the spring to remind us of them. We now hold onto our belief that we have two very special angels that we will see some day.
Mother of Kelly and Gabriel
You may email Mel at email@example.com
As I sit down to write this, my heart is broken. Today would have been our daughter’s due date. Chloe was born 4 ½ months into my pregnancy.
My husband, Rick, and I tried for over a year to have a baby. Our doctor eventually ran some tests and put me on Clomid. We tried that about six months without success. We just seemed to have one disappointment after another. Eventually, our doctor referred us to a fertility specialist. We tried Clomid again for another three months with an intrauterine insemination. Still no success. We then switched to Fertinex. The second try with Fertinex, and we were finally pregnant. We were so excited. We couldn’t wait to share our good news with our families and friends that had supported us the last two years.
My pregnancy was pretty uneventful. I felt great. No morning sickness at all. Then at 16 weeks, I started spotting. I immediately called the doctor. I was told to stay off my feet, lay on my left side and do nothing. We were both so scared. I couldn’t believe this was happening. The bleeding stopped the same day. I didn’t start spotting again until the end of that week. This time I went into the doctor’s office to hear the heartbeat. It was very strong. Again, I was told bed rest for a few days. The bleeding again stopped the same day. The following week I started spotting again, called the doctor and they scheduled an ultrasound for the same day. We went in, heard the heartbeat, and the ultrasound was fine.
They could not find any reason for the bleeding. We were so glad we had the ultrasound. We didn’t know it at the time, but this was the only time we would see our child alive. We even remembered to bring a videotape with us to our appointment. We had a very active child.
Two days later I had my regular check up and was told I could go back to work, just take it easy. The next day, I started bleeding more heavily. I called the doctor again, and was told to just stay in bed. I was so emotionally raw at this point, I could not stop crying. I could not understand why I was bleeding when they couldn’t find anything wrong.
Early the next morning I woke up with cramps, lower back pain and more bleeding. I woke up my husband, and we called the doctor. He suggested we go into the emergency room if we felt the cramps and bleeding were bad enough. We went in, and heard the heartbeat right away. That seemed to ease our minds a little, but we were still so scared. The ER doctor did a vaginal exam. We were told everything was fine. I was sent for another ultrasound, everything was fine again. We were then sent home, with instructions for bed rest. We just prayed that everything would be okay.
The next day, late afternoon, the cramps, back pain and bleeding started again, coming every few minutes. This time they were much worse. I was so scared and so uncomfortable, I just couldn’t stop crying. We called the doctor again, and he suggested that it might be a kidney stone or kidney infection. He told us to go to the hospital right away. This was our first pregnancy, so we didn’t realize I was in labor, plus it was too soon. By this time, I was in so much pain, and I was nauseated. Rick pulled me off the bathroom floor and got me into the kitchen just as I threw up and my water broke. Rick called 911 for help. They wanted him to get me to the hospital on his own. We didn’t realize until I started to undress that we had lost our child. We both just screamed when we saw our daughter. I was just hysterical. Rick was able to wrap her in a towel and get me to the floor before I passed out. He called 911 again, and they sent help. I was in shock. Rick was too, but he was so strong for me. I don’t know what I would do without him. He never left my side.
The hospital was very sympathetic. They did whatever they could to help us. Our hospital has a support program called Resolve Through Sharing for parents who have lost children. One of the nurses cleaned our daughter up and brought her back for us to hold. They wanted us to have a better memory of her than what we had already seen. We then named her Chloe Jo. She was so small, just 6 ½ ounces. Rick and I just cried and held our Chloe.
I was then scheduled for a D&C right away. The hospital arranged to have a memorial service after my D&C. Rick’s parents and sister were there and my sister was there also. My parents were in Oregon and wouldn’t be home for several days.
When we went to the doctor for a check up after losing Chloe, we were told I probably had an incompetent cervix. Also, there was an inflammation in the placenta. We also found out that when we were in the ER and they did the vaginal exam, I had already started to dilate. Unfortunately, we were never told any of this. If only the doctor would have told us, maybe we would have made it to the hospital sooner, and I wouldn’t have delivered Chloe the way I did.
In the past few months, I have met three wonderful women who have also had miscarriages. We meet about once a month to just talk and give support to one another. I’m not sure where I would be without them. It has been good for me to talk with my new friends and know that they understand.
So here I am now, five months after losing our daughter. I think I am stronger, but I’m still sad and still ask why. I will probably never know the answer to that question. We started trying to have another baby last month. The waiting is hard, but somehow we manage to get through it. We just pray for God to give us the strength to go on. Chloe will live in our hearts forever and she is never far from our thoughts.
Laura, Chloe’s mom
you may email Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org
and Edward Montalvo
I had a miscarriage a few weeks ago in January 2000. This was my second pregnancy, and once again I lost my little boy, this time at 19 weeks.
This was especially hard because after our first loss, where the doctors found no baby in the sac, my husband got thyroid cancer and spent a lot of time in surgery and treatment. When he was finally cancer-free for two years, we were told we could try again.
I had an ultra sound at 17 weeks and saw the baby. Everything was fine, so at Thanksgiving we told everyone at the dinner table what we were thankful for. Needless to say everyone was overjoyed and close to tears of happiness for us. Then, right after the new year, everything came crashing down.
delivered the baby in the emergency room, and the doctors rushed him out of the
room. They said he had some facial deformities, perhaps caused by chromosomes.
I feel so shameful now that I couldn't even bring
myself to see my little boy, although my husband briefly saw the baby.
were told to have an autopsy done to see what the
cause was. I'm scared to even read this report when it is available.
Our family keeps saying to try again after awhile and this was God's plan, but I'm not ready to hear this now. Soon, I hope, but not now.
may email Lisa at email@example.com
After five years of trying to conceive, we finally had two healthy children, so it came as a complete surprise to us to learn that our third baby had died at about 16 weeks. I had felt very faint movements at around 15 weeks, but they did not increase, and so I was a bit anxious when we went for our 18-week ultrasound.
The technician was very kind, and after taking all the measurements she broke the news to us that our baby had died. She showed us his head and where his heartbeat should be. The news was devastating, but one thing was clear to me. After being given all our options I knew I could not undergo any of the procedures that were offered. I would wait until the baby delivered naturally. My husband agreed, and we spent the waiting time planning.
We wanted to deliver at home, so we would have lots of time with
him and not be rushed. We decided to have a small service for him, feeling that we needed to share
his short life with our friends, and to do for him
the same as we would do for our other children. Since we are military and have no connections with the city in which we now live, we decided to have
the body cremated, so we could later take him and bury him where we eventually settled down. These decisions were so difficult, but I am
thankful for the time we had in which to make them, and am glad we did things as we did.
We spent about four hours with him. I will always treasure the memory of holding his hand as I slept. This is something I have done with all my newborns, and it was very special to be able to do this with Isaac as well.
Though we will never know with certainty what took Isaac's life,
circumstances point towards a cord accident.
We are now anxiously awaiting the arrival of our new baby girl, and plan to
name her accordingly: Kathleen Hope. We are so thankful for this new baby and praise God daily for giving her to us. But we will never forget Isaac,
and hold his memory very near to our hearts. My five-year-old daughter often talks of her brother Isaac, which warms my heart and helps keep his memory
alive. We know that one day, when we are all together in Heaven, our family will finally be complete.
Update: Heather's baby girl was born on March 4, 2000. Both Mom and baby are doing well.
My husband and I had tried to conceive for two years and finally went for infertility treatment. Our first IUI (where they insert sperm into the uterus) was a success.
When I was 29 weeks along, I began feeling mild cramps all day. Everyone at work told me it normal. I went to my doctor anyway, and she could not find his heartbeat. My husband met me at the hospital and they tried to find his heartbeat with their monitors. Everything was silent.
They rushed me down to ultrasound where my OB met us. They turned the screen, but I could tell by their faces that he had died. I screamed and cried. I told God to take me instead. We went to labor and delivery and my husband called our families. I was given medication that made me very sleepy. My son was born only four hours after the ultrasound.
The doctor placed him on my chest. He was so warm. She wrapped him in a blanket, and I held and touched him. My husband also held him. The doctors and the nurses were very kind. They called the priest and he blessed our son. We all prayed together. A leaf with a tear drop was placed on our door so the staff knew our baby had died.
Since his death on September 15, 1999, we have started to try again to
conceive. The doctor said his death was a result of a placenta abruption, so are hopeful that it will not happen again. We named our son Jared William and we will always love and miss him.
You may email Jared's Mommy at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can visit Jared's memorial page at www.geocities.com/jenna0713
My pregnancy seemed to go without problems. In the last month or so, I kept having to go in for extra tests, but no one really said why. I tried not to worry even though my gut feeling told me something might be wrong. On June 22, 1998, my girlfriend insisted on coming with me to the doctor's office. I was only a week away from the due date and wanted to push the doctors to induce labor. I know now that God made sure that she was with me that day because my husband couldn't be.
I went to the sonogram room, and we didn't see the baby's heartbeat. The doctor asked when was the last time I had felt the baby move. I told her this morning. I asked if my baby had died and she replied with a very soft yes. All I could do was cry. I couldn't believe we had made it this far and that my baby wasn't going to be here with me.
As we drove to my house we tried to reason that maybe the baby is okay and that they made a mistake. As we pulled up, I saw my husband running outside with the bags we had packed for labor and delivery. I told him to go back into the house. When I got to the top of the stairs, I had to tell him the horrible news. I remember him crying and saying that they must have made a mistake.
We went to the hospital that night. The nurse was very sympathetic and asked me if I wanted to hold the baby after delivery, if I wanted pictures of the baby, if I wanted the baby baptized and if I would like to spend time alone with the baby after it was born. I remember answering yes to all her questions and that she told me I needed to do all those things for closure.
At 7:00 p.m. I was induced. At 11:53 p.m. I delivered a 5 lb, 5 oz baby girl. I saw nothing wrong with her, and I asked myself why didn't they just take my baby before? So what if she was only a week early? We named her Celeste Josephine. I remember my husband on the phone with his brother while holding the baby telling him how beautiful she was. He held her for an hour before they came and took her away.
June 24, 1998, was the last day I got to see my baby at the funeral home. We spent a hour with her, then had to leave her there. She looked so beautiful with her headband on and her pretty pink dress. I put a baby duck in her coffin and her first car keys.
My husband and I discussed having another baby many times but we wanted to wait at least six months. I felt like I had done something wrong with God that I was being punished. I went to church almost every day to ask for his forgiveness.
My husband and I were constantly fighting and at that point didn't even know if my marriage was going to last. I thought that I was having a nervous breakdown; I became very introverted and constantly had panic attacks. I couldn't leave my house and would never be able to be alone. I finally talked my husband into letting me get online. When I did I found all kinds of outlets and people who have gone through the same thing as me.
I am very happy to say that I did become pregnant again in December 1998 and had a beautiful baby girl on August 31, 1999. Her name is Lourdes Celeste.
You may email Celeste's mommy at email@example.com
I have experienced many kinds of losses--a neonatal death, first trimester losses, and a loss of fetal heartbeat at 13 weeks. In all I have been pregnant eight times, with two wonderful sons aged five and three, five angels, and one currently on the way.
When I found out that I was pregnant for the first time, we were thrilled! We were young and never thought that anything would go wrong. In fact, everything went fine with the pregnancy. It wasn't until after he was born that I became concerned. His lips were bluish, and he didn't want to suck. Hunter James died 18 hours after he was born to HPLHS. We were devastated, but we still longed for another child. My husband didn't want to try again right away so we waited about a year.
We found out in May of 1993 that we were expecting again. I was thrilled but reserved at the same time. I went to the doctor right away, and everything looked good. I switched doctors to be closer to home, but when the new physician examined me, he said I was not pregnant. I assured him that I was.
He sent me for a blood test which indicated that I was about six weeks pregnant. I should have been about eight weeks at that point, but I just blew it off. I went home that night to find that I was spotting. I called the doctor, but he coldly told me that there was nothing that he could do. He told me to go to bed and to go to the emergency room if the bleeding got worse. I did end up in the ER that night and had a D&C the next morning. It brought back all of the feelings that we had when we lost Hunter. We were wondering what we had ever done to deserve such pain.
Again, my husband wasn't ready to try again right away. I told him that I had to. We waited only three months. I was uptight until the end, but finally, finally, our son was born August 24, 1994. We named him Forrest. Our next pregnancy also went well, and we had another boy named Chase. We thought the nightmare was over.
However, our next pregnancy ended quickly, at only 7 1/2 weeks. We had started this nightmare all over again. The doctor said that we could try again right away.
After eight months of trying, we learned we were expecting in May of 1999. This time I was taking progesterone. Everything was going well until my 13-week appointment. The doctor couldn't find the heartbeat. She said that it was early and that I should come back in a week. I went back in a week and she still couldn't find the heartbeat. She sent me for an ultrasound. Our perfect little baby was still! No heartbeat, no movement. I was shocked. We had Forrest and Chase with us in the doctor's office, and they were confused.
A midwife finally came in and gave us very few answers. She told us that the doctor wanted to do a D&C the next day. I wasn't ready for that. I went home and we cried together. We had to tell Forrest. Chase still didn't really know what was going on. Forrest had a lot of questions that we couldn't answer. I called the doctor the next day and asked for another ultrasound. I was hoping for a miracle. We went the next day but nothing had changed. We scheduled a D&C.
On New Year's Eve, we found out we were pregnant again. It was wonderful! I was so happy! This couldn't happen to us again. I made an appointment with the doctor right away, but began spotting immediately. Two days later I miscarried. I was six weeks pregnant. My doctor referred me to an infertility specialist and he started testing. He is testing for immune problems and chromosomes. None of the test results are back yet, but I am pregnant again. I am only about two weeks into this pregnancy. I am terrified that we will lose this baby too. I am not even happy this time. I can't be until I know that everything will be okay. I just pray every day that God will allow us to have this baby here on earth with us.
You may email Stephanie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie lost this sixth baby right after she wrote this story, in February 2000, at six weeks.
We currently have two women who are expecting babies to write in their stories for this section. Their babies are due in early spring, and we hope to have their stories ready this summer. Several of the stories written here ended in a success, see Heather's Story and Celeste Josephine's Story.