We knew we wanted our kids a couple years apart, we had already lost a pregnancy to a blighted ovum, we had already had a rainbow baby. We wanted to try for our last child. Our son was almost 2. We got pregnant the first try.
I was already considered high risk, I have uterus didelphis and my first born had an omphalocele. Along with some worrysome genetics on my side, and a list of diagnoses, my doctors check me constantly. They always said to me “call as soon as you get a positive test” and I did. I felt like something was off this pregnancy, I was sicker than I had ever heard of someone being. I remember messaging my MFM’s nurse asking for help controling it but was written off as morning sickness. I remember seeing a video of an instagrammer who had a molar pregnancy… I was so worried about how similar our symptoms sounded. We had an ultrasound at 7 weeks. Things looked “off”. The placenta was a mess, there were some concerns. My OB came into the ultrasound room, which scared me because we usually went into a different room to consult with him after. He explained it looked like a partial molar pregnancy. He wanted to wait a week and a half and rescan at 9 for both of our peace of minds. When 9 weeks came I was a complete nervous wreck. The partial molar was confirmed, no heartbeat could be found and they scheduled me for a D&C not a week later, followed by medication to help make sure everything was removed.
I went in, in the thick of the pandemic, to meet with my MFM. We started by going over the DNA. Though fertilized twice, baby was “all girl” he said. I didn’t know how much hearing that would hurt. They explained to me if my hcg didn’t drop, these cells could spread anywhere, even the brain. And though they were on the easier side to treat, it would involve chemotherapy. And not trying for a rainbow baby for at least 6 months after hcg hit 0. Even then the risk for another molar pregnancy was much higher now. We went back to ultrasound to make sure all of the overgrowing placenta was removed and we found that some had grown back. Another D&C was scheduled. Months of blood draws to check the HCG, which started astronomically high. Ultrasounds to make sure nothing grew back, and a constant reminder that there wasn’t a baby. It felt like we were going so far backwards that we’d never safely have a child.
HCG hit zero, we named our little girl Loralai Rose, my little rory rose.
My doctors were amazing about checking in on me, encouraging therapy, one insisting on it. They were always checking on me. It was hard to talk to my family, I didn’t want to talk about it and I needed time to absorb what just happened, I needed time to grieve. Quite a few of my family members got upset about how withdrawn I had become. I tried to explain but it was so hard to put into words what I was feeling and going through. Some got mad, some still are. At some point I knew I needed to protect my peace and heal with my husband, the babies infront of me and the friends and family that vaguely understood, or didn’t but respected that I needed to heal. And healing is what I tried to do. I was confused, why did I keep collecting the rare diagnoses, why couldn’t I just have a baby without a loss or without a severe defect I had felt like I gave her. Why couldn’t I just be a 25 year old pregnant mom with no more complications. I was mad and extremely sad that we’d lost another baby. I was sad that I had lost part of my naive outlook. I was sad that in its place was so much anxiety about what the future held.
I don’t think I ever knew I was ready to try again. I knew I wanted my babies close in age, I knew I wanted a last child. And I knew my doctor understood more than I did, so when he called and said hcg is zero, wait 6 weeks, test one more time and we were cleared, I knew I’d go to my husband and ask him for our last child. And I did.
We didn’t get pregnant right away, not even close. I took a month before we started trying just for a break. No pokes, no cancer scare, attempting not to think about pregnancy (though it didn’t work.)
We started trying. Month after month, negative after negative. 8 months after hcg hit zero we finally got a positive, with some implantation bleeding. And then some more implantation bleeding that terrified me. I felt so sick again. It was so similar to the partial molar I remember googling (I know, terrible idea) how common a subsequent molar pregnancy is. And it’s not as rare as the first.
I prepared myself for the worst at the 7 week ultrasound, but there was a baby. And the placenta looked okay. I didn’t believe it. I still don’t fully believe it.
Every appointment (and boy, there are a lot) I ask, what are the chances we didn’t catch something? How high risk is this pregnancy outside of me being a high risk person? What are the chances of miscarriage this week? Or something else? My OB knows I am FULL of anxiety, so he makes a point to tell me how healthy everything looks and how excited he is. My MFM, however, tells me how nervous he is sometimes and I don’t know if it validates my anxiety or scares me.
We’ve already DNA tested, ultrasounded multiple times, checked different measurements, rainbow baby boy is now here in my arms.
We did have an unexpected NICU stay in the same nicu we pulled our daughter from, but hes here. He’s home. He’s sleeping in my arms as I type this, still a newborn. And I’m so grateful for his strength.
Now every year around my lost babies birthday I light a candle all day, I’ll order a cupcake or a treat for them and tell them I love and miss them and wish I got to know them more. I don’t think it ever gets easier, I think anxiety is there for every loss mom. I think it’s just important to celebrate each little win while you have your baby with you. Appreciate the time you have and the milestones you hit. And don’t feel bad about bringing your lost babies with you throughout your life – I struggled with that one, now I have an angel baby necklace that I never take off. A little something to keep her with me.
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