Natalie R’s Story

I wasn’t a stranger to miscarriages prior to my losses. After all, I’m a rainbow baby myself. My Mom lost twins in the 2nd trimester, and I always remember her talking openly about it.  

My husband and I had gotten pregnant quickly with our now almost 4 year old son in 2018. It was soon after we got married and during the time we took a cross country road trip. Our little man was born without any complications throughout my pregnancy. He is our sunshine baby, and I am forever grateful for that experience.

Fast forward to a little over a year later, my husband and I decided we were ready to start trying for our 2nd child. We knew we wanted to expand our family and for our son to have at least 1 sibling. After months of “ let’s just see what happens “ I wasn’t particularly worried. I was working overnights at the time and sleeping very little. I automatically placed blame on my overnight shift for me not yet becoming pregnant and my body being “ out of tune “. By the summer we began trying more aggressively- ovulation sticks, inputting my symptoms into fertility apps. I decided if I wasn’t pregnant by my 31st birthday I would go to my OB for a fertility workup.  

Well that 31st birthday came around and I went to my OB. She sent me for bloodwork and everything came back completely normal. I still just assumed that because of working overnights it was somehow preventing me from becoming pregnant.

Just two months after this appointment in March of 2021 we found out I was pregnant! We were over the moon. We told our son and immediate family right away, I bought all the cheesy big brother shirts and books. I always knew in the back of my mind that it’s so early, it’s not a guarantee but I was elated. I had first trimester sonograms confirming the baby was looking good and I received my genetics/gender bloodwork at 12 weeks. Once we hit our “ safe mark “ of 12 weeks, we shared the news with our friends and extended family.

Only a few short days later of sharing our news, I had a scan scheduled. I remember laying down so excited to see the baby. It would only be a few more days until we received our bloodwork back with the gender and genetics. As the tech started the sonogram, I remember seeing the baby. Why was there no sound? I assumed maybe she needed imaging first. After a few minutes I felt she was frantically trying to get images and I asked her if everything was okay. She paused and I knew I was about to get bad news. “ I’m sorry honey, there’s no heartbeat”. I was shocked, confused, and even questioned if there was a chance she could be wrong. I couldn’t fathom that I had lost my baby- I had a small bump, I was nauseous, I never had any bleeding or cramping. My OB explained to me what a missed miscarriage was. She told me my body still thought that I was pregnant even though my baby had passed probably a week or more prior.

We decided on a D&C as I was scared at over 12 weeks what a miscarriage at home would look like. Because of awaiting covid results and pre-surgical testing, I had to wait four long days while knowing my baby was dead inside me. When I went for my pre-surgical testing, I wasn’t prepared for a form titled “ perinatal disposition “, where I would have to make the decision on what to do with my baby. It provided me with comfort that the hospital worked with a local cemetery and had a special place where they buried miscarried babies under 20 weeks.

A few days later, I received an e-mail which included our bloodwork results. Our baby was a genetically healthy baby girl, Autumn Grace. Finding out the gender made my loss feel more real, but also made me feel validated in my feelings that this was a real loss.

Just two months after our loss, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I got another positive pregnancy test. I happened to take one out of habit because I was so used to testing as soon as my period was approaching. I instantly had a bad feeling. I bought several boxes of different brands of pregnancy tests- each one showing two lines and the digitals very clearly saying “ yes “ or “ pregnant “. I had somehow come up with this theory that it must have been left over hormones from my previous pregnancy, even though I had a period afterwards. This time, I only told my husband, best friend and Mom. Something in my gut told me this didn’t feel right.

Just a few days later out of nowhere I began having severe left sided pain. I called my OB practice on-call, and they said I would need to go to the ER to be evaluated to rule out an ectopic pregnancy.  After speaking with an ER doctor and getting bloodwork he came back to tell my HCG should be in the hundreds to thousands at this point, but it wasn’t. Between the low HCG and the sonogram, I was told it would likely not be a viable pregnancy. I vividly remember the doctor telling me “ but you never know, the HCG either has to go up or down “. I left feeling defeated and confused. Shortly after, I started bleeding heavily.

Later that week I had a follow up visit with my OB. She confirmed for me what I already knew, I had another miscarriage. Given my now two recurrent losses, she decided to send me for RPL bloodwork. I found out I have the MTHFR mutation ( which can cause blood clots and is common in woman with recurrent pregnancy loss ) , which she felt was likely the reasoning for my miscarriages. She suggested I keep trying to conceive and should I have a third miscarriage, I go see a fertility doctor.

From this point on, I was in every forum, facebook group, read books, listened to podcasts. I was determined to educate myself on miscarriage and infertility. While I adore and respect my OB, it didn’t sit right with me to wait around to potentially have another miscarriage. It had already taken us over a year to become pregnant with our daughter. After further educating myself and connecting with other loss moms, I decided to make an appointment with a Fertility Dr.

We had out first appointment with “ Dr.A “ in September of 2021. My husband and I immediately felt like this was the right decision to see a fertility specialist. He obtained infertility bloodwork, genetics for us both, and my husband completed a semen analysis. Our genetics bloodwork both came back as normal with no concerns, and my husband’s semen analysis was good. However when it came to my AMH, he informed he that it wasn’t horrible, but “ not robust “ for my age. We had decided that we would pursue a medicated cycle with IUI.

After several unsuccessful cycles with IUI, we were left feeling defeated. I felt like I was living at my fertility clinic with the weekly visits, sonograms, bloodwork and procedures. In December of 2021, we met with my Dr. again to discuss next plans. As we were approaching almost two years of trying to conceive, we decided in January we would begin IVF. We both felt confident and strong about this decision, and I felt emotionally and physically prepared from all the research I had spent time on over the last few months. At the end of December, I received a call from the clinic that my IVF had been approved by insurance and my Menopur would soon be on the way to begin at the start of my next cycle in January.   

It felt nice to take a cycle break before starting IVF, as we were both beginning to feel overwhelmed. In the beginning of January, I got covid. My husband joked that it would be an absolute miracle if I had covid AND I happened to get pregnant naturally, just before we were about to start IVF. I didn’t even think twice until two days later when I decided to take a test. It felt like the biggest shock of my life to see two bright pink lines. I sobbed. I couldn’t believe that I was pregnant for the third time within 1 year. However unlike with my second miscarriage, I felt very calm and that things were going to be okay. I truly felt like this was a miracle. 

For the next 9 weeks I followed with my fertility doctor, I had weekly sonograms, bloodwork and everything looked great. I still couldn’t believe it when I graduated from my fertility clinic and returned to my OB. Just like with our baby girl, we decided on genetic/gender bloodwork testing around 12 weeks. I had a lot of conflicting feelings surrounding the gender. I of course wanted the chance to have a baby girl, but I had an immense feeling of guilt that it would just be replacing her. If I had a boy, would I always be disappointed that I missed my chance to have a daughter? I then of course had even more guilt because all we wanted was a healthy baby.

We have never felt so blessed to find out we were going to have a healthy baby boy. Our little guy would get to have a brother.

I was named after my great grandfather after my Mom suffered her two recurrent losses. We decided to name our baby boy after my grandfather ( his great grandfather )as he is a rainbow baby just like I am. I’ve started each day of this pregnancy with gratitude, and feeling so blessed for this gift I was given. I know how blessed I am to have a healthy pregnancy and a rainbow baby due in just a few short weeks. 

Natalie is standing on the beach with the rainbow skirt spread in a circle on the sand.
Nataie is standing on a beach wearing a white top and the rainbow skirt.  The water is in the background.

Nataie is standing on a beach wearing a white top and the rainbow skirt.  The water is in the background.  The skirt flows behind her.

Nataie is standing on a beach wearing a white top and the rainbow skirt.  The water is in the background.

Nataie is standing on a beach wearing a white top and the rainbow skirt. Her husband and son are with her.

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Natalie R Story Pin | Pregnancy Loss Awareness

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