Back in 2001 my husband and I had been married for three years and I had graduated from college two years earlier. It was an exciting time for us as we had decided to move away from my husband’s hometown so he could pursue a wonderful job opportunity. The new chapter in our lives had us thinking about the future and about the possibility of having children. Growing up I’d always wanted to be a wife and mom. My mom had stayed home with my sister, brother, and me and I always admired that and hoped to do the same with my children. We decided that with the move and new job it would be a great transition time for me to stop working and have a baby. I was 24 years old and healthy and never imagined we’d have any problems. I didn’t know of anyone in my immediate family who had had trouble having children, and to tell you the truth I just never really thought about it happening to me.
We lived in an apartment in Texas that first year after our move and the following summer we began looking to buy a house. Right about that time was when we got the wonderful news that I was pregnant. Making it even more exciting, my sister had just discovered that she was expecting her second baby. Things were falling into place. I started seeing my new doctor and everything seemed to be going along fine, at first. We had all those grand moments where we shared the news with our families and friends and got to see their reactions. It was such a great time for us and I sort-of look back on it with envy. Yes, I’m envious of myself – the innocence, the excitement, the anticipation, and the newness of it all, all the things I feel that I’ll never get back now that they’re gone.
At the time of my first ultrasound I was uncharacteristically optimistic, even when the doctor said the baby looked “really small.” No one seemed worried and we all chalked it up to late ovulation or wrong dates or something like that. After all, my blood work looked good, so we scheduled another ultrasound for the next week. That day in May of 2002 we saw our baby for the first time: that tiny 4mm “bean” and a beautiful little heartbeat. We were so relieved! Except that about a month later I started spotting, and I felt in the pit of my stomach that something really wasn’t right. By this time we’d found a house and were in the process of getting it all fixed up while finishing up the lease on our apartment. The next few days were a whirlwind of ultrasounds, exams, blood tests, fear, worry, and disappointment. Our doctor finally told us that I would miscarry. I just remember thinking that at 11 weeks along I thought I’d done everything “right.” I couldn’t believe that our baby had died. I had no idea what to expect next and I was terrified. I made the decision not to have a D&C and just wait it out. For my own reasons I think I made the wrong decision for that time in my life. I don’t always think a D&C is the best option, but I realize now that it’s the one I should have chosen that time. I spent the next week and a half not knowing what would happen or when it would happen, and when it finally did it was almost more than I could handle. I went to the ER at 4 am after hours of intense pain and when I finally made it to a bed I had already passed everything and it was over. It was July 6, 2002 and my first miscarriage.
When I look back at the bright, cheerful, floral-covered journal I started as my “pregnancy journal,” I read about how sad I was that we had devoted a total of 6 months to trying for that baby and then going through the first trimester. All that time had been lost. Six months now seems like just a drop in the bucket. I was so scared to try again, and I guess something about reading that makes me feel a little brave. I did try again, and again, and again, and again, and again. I’m still trying and I still haven’t given up.