After experiencing a miscarriage last year (gosh, was it really last year because it still seems like yesterday), there were many emotions running through my brain after seeing that positive home pregnancy test back in October. Immediately, I started to worry. After all, everything started out perfectly normal with the last pregnancy. My doctor reassured me that they would be more active with monitoring this pregnancy, and when I called to set up my first blood work appointment I admit it was difficult to feel excited.
With my husband, things were very quiet. I think we were both apprehensive about even talking about the pregnancy much in the beginning. We knew things were going well, but it was so different than the first time where we wanted to shout from the rooftops that we were going to have a baby. We just kept this secret to ourselves and hoped everything would turn out okay.
Then...the spotting started. Just like last time. I came home from school one Thursday night and noticed some light spotting. I lost it. I called my husband and got in the car and drove to my friend's house. She suffered a miscarriage around the same time as me. I sat in her house and just bawled. I felt like besides my husband, she was one of the only people who could relate to what I was feeling in that moment. I called the on-call doctor at my OB, who told me I could come in for an ultrasound the following day (Friday), and that I should keep my ultrasound scheduled for 5 weeks 6 days on Monday. I can remember telling my friend, "What is it with our luck?" It was the most agonizing night. I just laid there awake and worrying about the pregnancy and wondering if I could emotionally handle another loss. We had been lucky to get pregnant pretty quickly, and the thought of losing another baby just devastated me.
The next day, the doctor confirmed that there was a little baby in there, along with a yolk sac. There didn't appear to be any bleeding or tears or abnormalities, but it was still early for a heartbeat. Since I never saw a heartbeat with the first pregnancy, I still felt pretty down but tried to remain optimistic.
On Monday I had an ultrasound scheduled with an ultrasound technician. She looked at the ultrasound from the Friday before and told me what she would be looking for and reassured me that we probably wouldn't see a heartbeat yet. But, to my surprise, his little heartbeat was visible right away on the screen, flickering away! I was beside myself! Afterwards I ran into the hallway screaming. My husband and I felt so relieved to have finally passed a milestone marker that we missed with the first pregnancy. At that point, we finally allowed ourselves to talk more openly about the pregnancy and to feel some relief.
Around 17 weeks, I started to feel him move! All of a sudden, things became very real! Instead of having to wait four weeks to hear his heartbeat, now I could feel the proof of our little guy wiggling around inside me! Of course, the panic set in as soon as I went two days without feeling anything at all. I went in to my doctor where she found the heartbeat right away and assured me that I wouldn't feel consistent movement for a while. Again, if I had known that I had an anterior placenta I probably wouldn't have gotten so worried.
If you are going through a pregnancy loss or struggling with infertility, know you are not alone and that the worry doesn't ever really completely go away once you are pregnant and that's okay. They call pregnancies after a loss "rainbow babies" for a reason. This baby really is the rainbow after a storm. It's the ray of sunlight after a pretty dark few months that we're lucky enough to experience...and boy, I am sure grateful.