Where to even begin with this post? Since I shared mine and Andrew’s good news about the pregnancy two and a half weeks ago, life has been in a bit of a downward spiral. We’re very sad to share that on Wednesday, March 26th, we lost our baby….a little girl.
So much has happened since my last post, so it’s probably easiest to just write things in the order they occurred….
Sunday, March 16th I woke up around 4:30am because something didn’t feel right. I went to the bathroom and immediately noticed that I had started bleeding. Not a little spotting when you wipe type of bleeding, but sit on the toilet and the blood falls out of you type of bleeding. The kind that you definitely don’t want to see when you’re pregnant.
I assumed I was starting to have a miscarriage. Knowing there really wasn’t anything I could do to stop it, I cleaned myself up and went back to bed. I woke up a few hours later to much of the same situation. Lots of blood when I went to the bathroom, but no miscarriage yet. Not really knowing what to do, I called the emergency line at my OBGYN’s office. They told me that it was probably a good idea to head into the ER and get checked out by a doctor.
After multiple tests and a long day in the ER of waiting around for test results, we were finally told that the baby was fine. I had a subchorionic hematoma that had formed in my uterus and had ruptured on Sunday morning….causing all the bleeding that I was experiencing. Nothing to worry about moving forward, but pretty scary none-the-less.
I took it easy for the next couple of days. Went back into my OBGYN so he could check me over himself and was given the clearance that everything looked good.
Friday morning, March 21st. I had an early morning appointment to do my first trimester screening and genetic testing. My expectations of the appointment were to have an ultrasound checking on how the baby was developing, and then have blood drawn to look at the genetic make-up of the baby.
The first part of the ultrasound was the Nuchal Translucency scan. Nuchal translucency is a collection of fluid under the skin at the back of the baby’s neck and can be measured during an ultrasound. The technician began taking her measurements and immediately tells me that she needs to go get the doctor.
The doctor comes in and takes his own measurements. He proceeds to tell me that the fluid pocket is measuring much thicker on my baby then it should be. Ideally, it would measure below 2.5mm. Anything above 3mm causes concern for the doctors. Our baby measured 4.5mm…not very good.
He goes on to tell me that because the fluid pocket measured so thick, our baby has a very high chance (upwards of 50%) of having some sort of serious chromosomal abnormality or heart / birth defect. Because the ultrasound is only a screening test assessing whether or not you are at risk to have an issue, he recommended that I move forward with a diagnostic test to tell us for sure. Being that I was still only 11 1/2 weeks along in my pregnancy, CVS would be the diagnostic test available to me, not amniocentesis.
I was fortunate to be able to get in immediately for the test. The CVS is similar to a pap smear, just longer. Once the speculum is inserted, the doctor uses ultrasound to guide a catheter through the cervix into the placenta of the baby. He then uses a suction device of sorts to collect a tissue sample from the placenta….enabling them to determine the exact genetic make-up of the baby.
They told me they’d call me with initial test results at some point on Monday. The initial results will tell us whether or not the baby has one of the more common chromosomal defects….trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), trisomy 13 (Patau Syndrome), trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome), or a sex chromosome abnormality. More detailed results would be shared with us 2 weeks later.
Monday morning, March 24th. The genetic counselor called and gave us the devastating news. Our baby tested positive for an extra chromosome in all 4 categories that the initial test results reported on….a very rare condition called Triploid Syndrome. With Triploid, the baby has a full extra set of chromosomes. A normal baby has 46, our baby has 69 chromosomes. Triploid Syndrome unfortunately is not compatible with life. Most Triploid babies miscarry early on in the first trimester of pregnancy. A small percentage survive into the second trimester. And very few make it to the third trimester resulting in either a stillbirth, or a baby that survives between a few hours to a few days.
Wednesday, March 26th, we officially lost our baby. Because I was 12 weeks along at this point, I had to go in and have a D&C to ensure that all the contents of my uterus were fully removed. I was put to sleep for the procedure, I think more so because who would want to be awake and aware while that is happening. I spent a few hours in recovery and we were sent home later that afternoon.
Friday, March 28th. I took it pretty easy Wednesday night and Thursday, but unfortunately by Thursday night, I could tell something was feeling off. My abdomen was cramping, my body started aching, and I had chills I couldn’t shake. I went to bed hoping I would sleep it off. I was up most of the night with continued body pain and fever that spiked at 101.7. By Friday morning, I couldn’t stand up without feeling like I was going to pass out and like every bone in my body would break.
We called my OBGYN and he was able to squeeze us in for an emergency appointment later that morning. At the appointment, we learned that not only was my pregnancy a Triploid baby, but I also had something equally as rare called a Partial Molar Pregnancy. In some Partial Molar Pregnancies, a fetus never even develops….instead, an oversized placenta with grape-like growths develops in its place. In situations like mine, a fetus does develop as does the oversized placenta. A molar pregnancy always results in miscarriage as the placenta eventually takes over the baby (if a fetus existed to begin with). So unfortunately our baby didn’t really stand a chance from the very beginning.
Because we didn’t know about the molar pregnancy going into my procedure on Wednesday, my doctor didn’t really know to look for / expect extra tissue in my uterus. As a result, we also learned at my doctor’s appoint on Friday that I still had some remaining tissue from the pregnancy in my uterus that was causing an infection and resulting in the fever, chills, cramping, body pain that I was experiencing.
The tissue needed to be removed as soon as possible, so I was checked into the hospital Friday afternoon for a follow-up procedure that evening, and a night of monitoring and antibiotics to ensure the infection was under control.
I was released from the hospital late Saturday afternoon, and have been taking it as easy as possible since then. I have a follow-up appointment with my OBGYN tomorrow to make sure things are still healing as expected, and to talk a little more about what the Partial Molar Pregnancy means for our baby plans in the future. We’ve learned some things about molar pregnancies in the last few days, but should learn more tomorrow. This post is pretty long already, so I’ll talk more on that in my next post.
So that is that. It’s hard to believe that only two and a half weeks have passed. Because it’s been such an awful time, it feels more like two months than two weeks. To go from being so happy and excited about something, to so sad and devastated has been heartbreaking. I’m not going to speak for Andrew, but I definitely have felt sorry for myself multiple times over the last couple of weeks and wondered why me?
I know I joke a lot about having a lifetime “get out of jail free” card because I had cancer almost 4 years ago now, but I certainly don’t expect that to be the case. I just wasn’t expecting another of life’s unfortunate curveballs to be thrown my way so soon again. I’m trying my best to keep a positive attitude and find the good in the situation, but when it’s dealing with something that I’ve wanted and looked forward to for so long now, I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been a struggle.
As the saying goes….This Too Shall Pass. Thank you for the continued thoughts and prayers in this really difficult time.