Four months: Pregnancy, after pregnancy loss
A pregnant woman is shown in this undated file photo.
Reta Ismail, CTV London
Published Thursday, March 29, 2018 12:22PM EDT
I remember the moment my son Nero was born like it was just yesterday. He is turning 5 this coming August, and as cliché as it may sound, time has flown by. He is now in junior kindergarten. And I am now pregnant with baby number 2. But this is not my first pregnancy. Like many women, I too have suffered from pregnancy loss, twice in the last 3 years, making this my fourth pregnancy.
I feel blessed every day that I have my beautiful boy because I know how difficult it is for couples to conceive and how common miscarriages, having a stillborn and pregnancy loss in general can be for expecting couples. But I didn’t know this in my twenties. I was naive, and I felt untouchable when I was pregnant with my son. I was 28 years old and after being married for only 6 months, I found myself pregnant. I had morning sickness and was exhausted during the entire first trimester. But other than these normal and common symptoms, it was relatively easy for us to conceive my son and my pregnancy and delivery were straight forward with no complications. Not the case for many pregnant women.
It was February 22nd 2016, I was just over 12 weeks pregnant, heading in for an ultrasound with my husband and our 3 year old son Nero. I remember thinking how much I wanted Nero to see his baby sibling on the ultrasound machine. But that wouldn’t be the case. After the ultrasound tech finished getting her measurements, she told me that my doctor would be contacting me next day to discuss the results. I was confused, because this wasn’t our first pregnancy. With Nero, once the technician got her measurements, my husband was called in to take a look at the baby. I knew immediately something was wrong. I told the technician that I wanted to speak with her manager, so she called in another lady and together they looked at me and said “we don’t usually discuss results with patients, but …”
They began to tell me what was wrong - I was pregnant with twins, but they shared a sack and were not developing. There were problems with their heart and their brain. I started crying and felt sick. I couldn’t process what they were saying. My husband was called in to the room and I had to share this news with him. The days that followed were just as emotional. I had another ultrasound done at the hospital, to confirm with my doctor that indeed this would not end well. I was informed that the twins would not survive; I had a choice to continue with the pregnancy and deliver stillborn babies, or to terminate the pregnancy. This shattered my heart. It was one of the worst moments of my life. Ultimately, my husband and I made a decision that was best for our family. Two weeks later, I had a D&C, also known as a dilation and curettage, a surgical procedure often performed after a first trimester miscarriage.
At this time in my life, I turned to my friends who had been through similar situations. A close friend had delivered a stillborn at 7 months. Another friend had been through a recent miscarriage. I was lucky enough to have them to talk to about what I was going through during this time in my life. A few people would try and give me a little bit of perspective by telling me at least I had my son, but that didn’t take away the pain. A loss is a loss, and people need time to heal. I had hopes and dreams for my unborn babies, and that was all gone now.
For some women, it’s difficult to talk about it, simply because it feels like you are reliving the loss. Only when I was going through this difficult time did I find my friends and family more open to discussing their experiences.
The days, weeks and months that followed were a struggle. But I was lucky enough to have an amazing support system, and of course my son Nero. Some women aren’t as fortunate. They also suffer in silence, not speaking to friends or family about their loss. For me, I found it therapeutic discussing my emotions with my loved ones. I found when I opened up to them about what had happened, they would tell me of similar stories that either they had gone through something like this, or they knew someone who had. That’s what I hope women take from this blog. It’s okay to feel every emotion during a loss and it’s also okay to speak about it.
My second loss was January of 2017. I was just over 5 weeks pregnant when I had a miscarriage. A loss, no matter if it’s your first, second or third, takes a tremendous toll on your life. This time though, I felt stronger. I had more knowledge, and that was power. I am a woman of faith, and just as I had been able to get through the loss of our twins, I was able to get through this one too. If you are going through something similar, I hope you can find the courage and strength to move forward.
I am now just over 4 months pregnant, baby is due at the end of August. The first 3 months of my pregnancy, I was bed ridden with severe nausea and exhaustion. I had to take almost 2 months off from work to cope with these symptoms. I am very fortunate to be working for a company that supported me during this time.
Every single day has been filled with anxiety, and my hormones are driving my emotions wild. I have spoken to friends who have told me how difficult the journey can be after pregnancy loss. And although I am in fear of losing this pregnancy too, I refuse to let it consume me. I have had a couple of ultrasounds so far, and everything seems to be on track. I keep hoping and praying that we stay on course and I have a healthy baby come August. My family, friends and colleagues have been wonderful during this time. I know not everyone has a good support system, but even reaching out to a counsellor or a support group in your community will do wonders.
Please feel free to comment or reach out – I would love to hear your feedback.