Number of pregnancies: 1
Number of births: 0
It’s very hard for me to write about my experience because I’m a very private person. That being said, I don’t know if my heart can withstand all the pain and sadness I’m feeling, so I figure it’s best to try and get it out.
I met my husband 10 years ago. We dated for a long time before getting engaged, and we were engaged for a long time before getting married. I really wanted kids right after we got married, but we waited because we wanted the timing to be such that we were more financially stable, more mature, more confidant in ourselves. We wanted to set ourselves up to be the best possible version of ourselves before we had a baby. It was hard waiting, but I was so excited when we finally felt ready.
What worried me about getting pregnant is my history of anorexia and bulimia. My self esteem, especially self image, is incredibly fragile and delicate. I am overcome with feelings of inadequacy about myself, my accomplishments, and my looks. I was worried what my body would look like after I had a baby, but then I was so angry at myself for feeling like this, and kept thinking that I would never let my future child see how much I struggled; how I would lay in bed and cry when I felt like I ate too much that day, or how I would work out at the gym until I felt physically sick to assuage my guilt for eating a hamburger or some ice cream. I couldn’t handle the thought of my future child learning to self loathe based on how they saw me treat myself.
January 2015 finally seemed like the right time to start. I work in healthcare, so I’m familiar with the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy. I started prenatal vitamins a full cycle before we started trying to conceive. Once we started trying, I cut caffeine down to one 8 oz cup a day. I stopped drinking. I was very careful about exposure to radiation in the workplace. I stopped using my face cream because it had a vitamin A derivative in it and I didn’t want to chance it. I worried about the sunscreen I was using and if the ingredients were potential endocrine disrupters for my developing baby. I washed my hands like crazy to minimize exposure to pathogens. I stopped eating deli meat. I even stopped green tea because I was afraid that my prenatal folic acid wouldn’t get absorbed properly, so I stuck to water. Whenever I went out to eat, I’d bug the servers and ask if the cheese they served is pasteurized.
After one month of trying to conceive, we got pregnant. I was so happy that it happened so quickly, and so scared, because all I could worry about was miscarriage. Scheduling my prenatal visit at 8 weeks seemed like forever. I stopped my one cup of coffee, stuck with my workouts at the gym as best I could (though exhaustion prevented me from running as much). Every day was constant fear of wiping and seeing blood, but I was always OK.
Until that first appointment.
My baby measured 2 weeks behind at 6 weeks when it should have been 8. My doctor was cautious and said things could go either way. There was a heartbeat, but he couldn’t measure it. He scheduled me for a follow up in a week. He also said my cervix was friable, so when I spotted dark brown the next few days, I didn’t worry because I figured the pap smear and the transvaginal ultrasound had irritated my cervix.
But then 4 days later, the spotting became heavier, and it was red. I went to my obgyn that morning and the baby still had a heartbeat, but it was slow. He still couldn’t measure it. The baby had grown over those few days, but the bleeding was a bad sign. He said I have an 80% chance of miscarriage.
So here I am today. It is the afternoon of the appointment where I was told my baby is almost certainly going to die. My heart hurts. My head hurts. Everything inside me hurts. It’s wrong to judge people, but I can’t help but feel angry at all the women I’ve seen throughout my career in healthcare who have so blatantly abused themselves and have had healthy babies. Women who have done meth, heroin, Percocet, and smoked while they were pregnant only to have healthy babies. I just wonder why my baby can’t be healthy when I have tried so hard to do everything “right.”
I don’t care if I get stretch marks or varicose veins. I don’t care about gaining weight now. I just want to meet my baby, to hold it and love it and hopefully teach it to love itself the way I never loved myself.
I hope things work out for me and my husband after this entire heartbreaking ordeal. Thank you so much for reading my story.