In January 2021, I came off the birth control pill & started to adjust to normal cycles. By May, everything had regulated and I started tracking my cycle and ovulation in June. Our very first cycle tracking LH, we conceived and we were so excited!! I told our family immediate family, got over excited and went to Target to create a registry. I had no expectations that this pregnancy wouldn’t have resulted in a child.
However, about a week or so after my first positive test, I had some bleeding and swollen glands. I went to the emergency room, panicked & was told there was no gestational sac & my HCG was a 7 at that point. The pregnancy was a chemical pregnancy. I followed up with my OB the next day and asked for some testing, something just didn’t feel right. She diminished my concerns and told me no testing until 3 losses.
In August, we tried and conceived again. My HCG was low & my progesterone was low. The OB told me this was likely another chemical pregnancy but still wouldn’t do any more testing to get to the root of the problem. I reached out to a fertility clinic with the most incredible reproductive endocrinologists who immediately ordered extensive testing – 13 tubes of blood!! They started me on daily aspirin, folate, and a high quality prenatal.
While waiting on the test results, we conceived again in September. The fertility clinic ordered HCG / progesterone tests. The anxiety was overwhelming! The first two tests were great, our numbers doubled and things were looking up. I began to have some cramping, my heart dropped. The third HCG showed a drop, yet another loss was coming.
The doctor called me at 8pm the day I started bleeding with news that my anticardiolipin antibodies came back slightly elevated indicating Antiphospholipid Syndrome. I was so confused, how can I have a clotting disorder while never having a blood clot? He suggested heparin right away for the next pregnancy but I was hesitant to start shots and risk bleeding. October came, we conceived again & this resulted in another chemical loss while I was traveling for work. In November we retested and the anticardiolipin antibodies were positive again. I knew the only way I’d have a child was through use of blood thinners. Despite incredible fear, we planned to try the heparin for the next pregnancy.
Sure enough, in January 2022 I had a positive test and we started heparin right away. Today, I am still pregnant and due in 3 weeks with my rainbow. I recognize that even at this point nothing is guaranteed. I’ve consistently said “if everything goes well and we bring him home…” .
The first trimester was terrible. I cried every day, just waiting for bad news. Every ultrasound I still feel anxiety. The second trimester was a bit better but loss stole the joy of pregnancy from me. In my third trimester, we see a high risk specialist weekly and it has helped put me at ease. I still worry, I still think of the worst case scenario, I still hope for the best but expect bad news. Pregnancy after loss is so challenging emotionally and physically. I am grateful that I’ve come out of this experience stronger and my marriage has survived. I hope to have my rainbow home safely by the middle of September.
My rainbow came home mid-September after a preeclampsia diagnosis, a 72 hour long induction and 4 hour labor that nearly took my life. The labor & delivery & postpartum phase was a trauma of its own, but everything was worth it for this smiling boy. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat!
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