Becoming a mother after several miscarriages
I am sharing this very personal chapter of my life in the hopes that I might give a light of hope to women who have gone through multiple miscarriages just like I did 19 years ago. With the right doctor and the right therapy, you too could have children just like I did. Please don’t give up. I am proof that you can have healthy babies after having several miscarriages.
My story began 22 years ago when I met my husband and even though my first pregnancy happened while we were dating, we knew that we wanted a family and were elated when I got pregnant seven weeks into our relationship(we were both 29 years old). I remember that I missed my period by a day or so and I knew that I just knew that I was pregnant. We bought a home pregnancy test, followed the directions and anxiously waited the 5 minutes or what ever amount of time you are supposed to wait and there it was a + sign on the stick, POSITIVE!. I was jumping for joy. The following day, I made an appointment with my gynecologist. I was lucky to get an appointment that same week. My brain was going a 100 miles an hour wondering if it would be a boy or a girl, the due date, baby names, etc. My than boyfriend and now husband decided on how we would determine the name of the baby(s), we came up with a name decision maker being “if it’s a boy I choose the name and if the baby was a girl my husband would choose the name. While at my doctor’s office, he confirmed the pregnancy. He used the little spin wheel to figure out the due date based on my last period. He did a sonogram in this office but the sonogram showed nothing. He said that I might be earlier than what we thought and asked me to come back the following week. The following week, I went back to his office for another sonogram and this time he was able to see a tiny little dot in the screen which he said it was the baby but was not able to see a heartbeat on the screen. He warned me that this might not be a viable pregnancy and that most likely I would have a miscarriage. He told me what I might be experiencing over the next few days, which I have to admit, was scary. I went home upset, sad, disappointed and had so many question, what did I do wrong or not do. After a follow-up visit, my Dr. Cardenal said to stop trying to get pregnancy for at least three months, to give my uterus time to heal.
After the three months were up, we got pregnant again. I had no problem getting pregnant, I was very fertile. Because of my previous experience, I wanted to see my doctor right away, so I went the following week. The doctor confirmed my pregnancy and did what he does best, give the mother to be the due date. He did a sonogram and saw the baby and the heart beat but he did warn me that the heartbeat was weak. He then said that he wanted to see me next week to check the heartbeat of the baby. However, during the weekend, I started bleeding along with experiencing cramps. I called my doctor and put me on bed rest until the following week. The following week, I went to see him and he confirmed that I had indeed miscarry once more. Miscarriage the most horrible word that a mother to be can hear.
This was my second miscarriage within 6 months or so. I had just turned 30 and I was starting to doubt my ability to become a mom. Being that this was a second miscarriage, my doctor wanted my husband and I to do some tests, he wanted to make sure that my husband’s sperm was good and that my body was not rejecting his sperm. Which I really don’t know how that can happen as I was getting pregnant. The doctor also explained that in some instances, the human body will reject a pregnancy as it thinks that the fetus/embryo is a foreign body and the body will attack the cells, thus getting rid of the pregnancy. After the tests came back good, there was nothing we can do, pray and just let life take its course.
This time we decided to wait another three months, got the green light from my doctor to try again. I got pregnant once again almost immediately. Seeing the positive test results should be a cause of elation but being that my last two pregnancies ended suddenly, I was not able to be happy. I didn’t want to get emotionally attached this early on. I went to see my doctor and he did a sonogram, yes, I was pregnant but very early on. Unfortunately, once again my pregnancy ended at 7 weeks just like the others except this time, the pain was unbearable. My doctor decided to do a DNC at the hospital to help alleviate the pain as he said that I will probably be days in terrible pain whilst my body got rid of the pregnancy. The bleeding was so heavy that I thought my uterus was falling apart. I got the DNC and went home to recuperate, which took a few weeks.
I went for a follow-up a few weeks later and I was so glad that I did as I was able to get a glimpse of hope. My doctor had sent the tissue that he had collected while performing the DNC. My miscarrying was due to circulation problems which did not allow blood flow to the uterine walls. He gave me specific instructions on what the course of action would be, which I intended and did follow to the T. I would be starting on a progesterone therapy that it is used to strengthen the uterine wall and once I have passed the third trimester I would be on a baby aspirin regiment throughout the rest of my pregnancy until a few weeks before the delivery. I now knew the cause of my miscarriages, of course, it doesn’t make it better but at least I knew how to prevent it with the help of a caring doctor.
After 6 months we decided it was time to try again, as soon as I missed my period, I did the home pregnancy test which was positive, I started the progesterone suppositories the same night. Went to see my doctor as soon as possible. He confirmed my third pregnancy, even though that thought of miscarrying was always on my mind. But somehow, this time, I felt as if I had control. Also, my faith had a lot to do with my state of mind. I prayed daily, I went to mass as often as i could to pray for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. I was not out of the woods, because I had three failed pregnancies, my pregnancy was considered a high risk pregnancy. Therefore, I had many restrictions. Had weekly doctor visits, which I loved as I got to see how much my baby was growing from one week to the next on the sonogram machine that I had to come know so well. Finally, I reached the three-month mark, and started on the daily baby aspirin. At this time, I was enjoying my pregnancy, It was wonderful to watch my belly grow, feel and see the baby move.
My first-born arrived at 41 weeks of gestation, I was blessed to have a beautiful and healthy baby boy. I had my first miracle baby.
After 2.5 years we decided to go try for a second child, being that I had a healthy pregnancy with my first-born, I never once considered doing the therapy again, so I got pregnant and soon after miscarried again. In total I miscarried three times before I was able to have my second child. I had to do the same regimen as with my first child. My second child came into this world weighing 8.3 lbs. Although, he was born with a heart murmur, he was healthy and beautiful. The heart murmur closed on its own at 6 months which is a normal occurrence in some babies.
My family will forever be grateful to my OB/GYN Dr. Juan Cardenal for the two miracles that he helped bring into this world. I had the pleasure of being his patient for the past 25 years until last year that he retired.
These are our precious babies….who are no longer babies
So to the women out there reading this post who had several miscarriages and might be considering giving up, I ask that you do not give up. Find a doctor that you feel comfortable with, by now, the progesterone and aspirin regimen might be widely known but if your doctor has not brought it up, bring it up to them. You can now find information on the web about the progesterone and aspirin therapy to help prevent miscarriages. I am proof that this therapy work. I wish you all good luck and remember that you are not alone, there is a community of us women who have gone through the same and can understand one another.
Please feel free to leave your comments or if you have any questions, I will be more than happy to answer them.