When we got married we decided to wait at least until I (Becca) had been promoted at least once at my job. That way, if I did take off time for the kids, when I started looking for work again, it wouldn’t be like I was a fresh-out anymore. We did wait for the promotion and then decided to go ahead and try for babies. I got off the birth control.
Pregnancy #1-3 (~2006):
We had three early miscarriages in a row, around or before 8 weeks, over the course of about a year. These were difficult, but we never saw if there was a baby or if the pregnancies were what they call ‘chemical’ pregnancies because I lost them before we had our first ultra sound appointments.
We did a little bit of testing to see if they could determine anything that might be causing us to lose the babies. (No problem getting pregnant, just not keeping them.) There was only one little thing that they found (I have one of the chromosomes for MTHFR, however you must have both for it to be a cause), but my OB thought that maybe I was having small clots that were causing the baby to not get enough blood. So he told me to take baby aspirin once a day when we decided to try again.
Pregnancy #4 and 5 (2007-2009):
So in the middle of buying a new house and moving across town, we got pregnant again, used the baby aspirin and successfully carried Hannah to term! We knew we would try for at least one more baby so after I had weaned Hannah, we started trying again knowing that it might take a couple of pregnancies to have another healthy baby. Benjamin was conceived in the first month of trying and we didn’t do the baby aspirin this time around.
After two babies so close in age, I wasn’t too gung ho about being pregnant again and we were having fun with the fostering. I also really didn’t ‘like’ being pregnant even though I love the beautiful children we have. So eventually recognizing how wonderful our kids are and wanting one more, I felt like I could handle another pregnancy and baby and we tried again.
Pregnancy #6 (2012):
Once again, no problem getting pregnant. And since we’d had two healthy babies I had high hopes for another safe pregnancy, thinking maybe my body had figured out what it was doing. We were able to see the baby around week 9. Everything looked good, heart beat, measured healthy. We ended up losing this baby as well. The baby’s age was about 11 1/2 weeks but I didn’t miscarry until around 15 weeks. Gory (yes, very) details can be read here. This miscarriage was much more traumatic physically for me and more real to Nate. Especially getting to see the baby healthy on ultrasound and then seeing its body during the miscarriage.
Pregnancy #7 (2013):
Looking back, this might not have been a good idea, but around Christmas time I decided that if we were going to try again, we might as well do it now instead of waiting as pregnancies when you are older carry higher risks. So we started trying again at the beginning of the year and found out we were pregnant around the due date of our previous miscarriage. Things seemed to be going well, we saw the baby on ultrasound and heard the heartbeat at the week 12 appt. Week 12 is typically considered a transition week and if you can get past it, your chances of miscarrying lower. So we thought we were in the clear. Unfortunately, the baby must have died shortly after that appointment. Details here.
Pregnancy #8 (2014):
This story is quite amazing starting with Joel being prophesied and followed by a miraculous pregnancy. I think that this will probably be the end of our child bearing story, though we will likely try to adopt in the future.
I have this page here, not to make anyone feel sorry for us, but because as we have journeyed this road we have heard so many similar stories. Miscarriage is much more common than most people think. I also think that we are counting more miscarriages now than would have been detected before. My first three, if I hadn’t had a positive pregnancy test, I would have just thought I skipped a period or was late. So, I guess I just want more people to be aware of how much a miracle life and birth really is even now with so many advances in medicine and health.
A couple of books that were given to me and I have read to help deal with my loss are: Silent Grief by Clara Hinton, and Grieving the Child I Never Knew by Kathe Wunnenberg. As is the case with all ‘self-help’ books, they are very broad and attempt to respond to a wide spectrum of feelings and thoughts. Sometimes this is good, but sometimes it brings up ideas that you hadn’t even entertained before and this can cause more grief or confusion. The best thing I’ve found is to either write out your feelings or spend time talking to someone you trust (if you spouse is hurting too, you might choose a best friend or counselor instead) and ask them to check up on you every now and then for awhile.
I have written a number of followup posts on this topic or related and can be found with the tag “miscarriage”, read here.