Well, here’s a blog I hoped I wouldn’t write… again.
I very recently went through our third miscarriage and, most people had no idea we were even pregnant this time. ➡️ Don’t take it personally if we didn’t tell you. It’s just easier to wait. This pretty much rounds out why 2019 hasn’t been a great year for me. I know there were good things that happened but really, these pains just feel so much bigger and seem to cloud lots of those memories. So many fun memories are tainted by being pregnant with a baby I’d soon lose, dreaming of a baby I’d never meet, or reeling from the pain of loss.
We would have had our first “lost baby” in October. I made a cute shirt for Hannah to surprise Rob for that pregnancy. I ended up having to hide the shirt since it was too depressing to look at. I found out I was pregnant with lost baby #2 only days before Hannah’s 2nd birthday. That baby would have been due in February. We were also pregnant for lost baby #2 on our kid-free Orlando trip too. I floated in the pool drinking alcohol-free mocktails for that baby. Then our third lost baby now would have been due in June right around Hannah’s birthday. By this pregnancy I wasn’t even excited to be pregnant anymore. I was just constantly nervous and hated having to go to the doctor for constant checks. Each day seemed like I was either going to the doctor or waiting for a results call from them. It was nerve-wracking.
It feels like I’ve pretty much been pregnant, trying to get pregnant, recovering from a miscarriage, or miscarrying all year long it seems. First was in March, then July, and now November. Being yanked around on this pregnancy rollercoaster has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever experienced. I always wanted a big family and it feels so far out of reach. I feel like I have pregnancy PTSD (made that up, yes but still, it kinda explains what I mean). Every pain or twinge or stomach ache makes me think of miscarrying or that, if I’m pregnant, it’s going to start to happen again. During the last pregnancy, I just cried from laying in our bed. I laid in the same spot a few months prior and that’s where my cramping/miscarriage started for lost baby #2. The memories are vivid.
This 3rd pregnancy was different than the other two before it. My doctors were monitoring me so much more. I had more appointments, hormone checks, and ultrasounds this time. I thought for sure we’d know if something was wrong, wouldn’t we?
This pregnancy started with me going to the doctor every other day for blood draws ever since I got my first positive test. I was sad I didn’t even get an appointment with my doctor until my HCG levels were high enough. That in itself felt like a bad sign. But at this point – maybe we just caught the pregnancy early? Maybe I ovulated late? My HCG was super low first week (doubling every 2.6 days vs every 2 days) and my progesterone wasn’t high enough so I had to start progesterone pills. After that first week my HCG started to double every 2 days and, once it was over 1,000 my doc told me “congratulations – you’re definitely pregnant!” It felt like things were turning around. I must have ovulated late and caught it early – phew! It was a sigh of relief. Then, the next roughly ten days was spent waiting for my first ultrasound appointment. Longest wait ever but at least I wasn’t having to go in for constant bloodwork. Things were better it seemed.
At the ultrasound appointment we saw two gestational sacs (I was even a little excited to think we were getting blessed with twins!) only to learn that one sac was empty (most likely a vanishing twin) and one had a yolk sac. I thought, based off my period, at this time I’d have been nearly 8 weeks (but maybe more like 7 if I ovulated late/since my HCG was so low the first week). The ultrasound tech measured each sac to be roughly 5w3d. Again, this felt like bad news. To me that was too early to be right. At this point it was either that we caught the pregnancy early (skeptical) OR the baby had stopped developing. From here, all we could do was wait for another scan ten days later to compare to. When we met with the doctor he was surprised I was sad about the scan. At this point, the doctor seemed optimistic and positive. Things could be totally fine, he said.
At the second scan, the tech commented on the way to the exam room that the past 10 days waiting for my next scan must have been the longest. I commented that I hadn’t just been waiting a few days but instead months for positive news. With all the miscarriages and loss, all I had been waiting for was to hear a heartbeat.
When the tech got me all set up and started the scan it was pretty obvious it wasn’t good news. According to the tech things looked exactly like they did 10 days ago. The baby hadn’t grown. It was scenario #2.
We waited in a private room (vs the waiting room) for the doctor to call us back and see us. One of the nurses I frequently see at the office came in to hug me and offer her condolences. She’s been there for each of my miscarriages.
When the doctor called us back he confirmed that there was no change in growth and that this pregnancy wasn’t viable. He said I hadn’t started to miscarry yet because of the progesterone pills preventing it but, that it should start naturally once I stopped the pills. He also recommended we go see a reproductive endocrinologist. The whole appointment was so quick.
From here, there was nothing to do or say. We just went home and I cried. A lot. I was empty and sad and just heartbroken. Again. How many times can you suffer the same exact heartache and get back up ready to do it all over again? Is there a number or threshold? I felt like such a failure. I’m jealous of all the new baby announcements I’ve seen lately. I wanted to be the one making the announcement. I wanted to tell everyone at Christmas this year. I wanted to have the happy news to share.
I stopped my progesterone that day and started to get cramps just the next afternoon. Then the miscarriage started overnight with the worst cramps (lots of heating pad time). Then the miscarriage went on for about a week and just recently stopped. We’re going to see a reproductive endocrinologist on the 25th. Hopefully they have answers or can do something.
When I go to my appointment I plan to bring in the SDS sheets for the epoxy resins I’ve been using in my fluid art. If you follow me on here and on my other social properties (mainly insta/Facebook) you know that I started resin art about a year ago. I use a respirator but want to know if the chemicals in it could be related to my reproductive struggles. I didn’t struggle to get pregnant with Hannah (but wasn’t using resin then either) and then, each pregnancy this time I didn’t use it while pregnant but used it before and after each pregnancy. Nonylphenol is a big chemical in many resin brands and has been known to cause reproductive damage, miscarriages and birth defects. It can interfere with your reproductive hormone production too. These facts are only listed on the SDS sheets and not on the information that comes with the product when you order it. I had no idea this was a possible side effect of resin. My concern comes from the fact that, when using the resin in my art, it has a chemical reaction and is actively off-gassing, and I’m exposing myself (and my home) to that. I just want answers. I want to know it’s safe. It’s shady that the resins have these chemicals but don’t include the SDS in the product box and some don’t even have them readily available on their website (you have to email them and request it). The product has a warning on it about getting it on your skin or drinking it but none about reproductive dangers. There is nothing on the instructions sheets they come with about needing a respirator or the possible damage it can cause if you don’t use one. I had no idea about nonylphenol until a prominent artist I follow (@mrs.colorberry) educated her followers and brought the information to light! It’s just mind blowing to me. My ob-gyn wasn’t informed on what the chemical was/could do so that didn’t give me any real answers yet.
Either way. Related or not – I’m not going to use resin with nonylphenol in it until I can say it is safe to be around. I can’t risk my health or my family’s health for a side hustle/hobby. Mrs.Colorberry is selling a resin without BPA or nonylphenol and I ordered some on her USA pre-sale. Until that arrives – I am working to find other substitutes and avoiding nonylphenol like the plague. I can’t keep going through this and willingly will cut out anything that could be causing it.
Once I go see the specialist, I’ll have more to share on how that goes and what they tell me. Until then I’m just going to focus on my art (non-resin art!) and prepare for my upcoming craft fair (Nov 30th), hosting Thanksgiving, and my favorite holiday ever ➡️ Christmas! 🎄I have lots to look forward to (and a healthy beautiful baby girl to snuggle) so I just need to try and focus on all of that instead of this hot garbage ball of stress. Everything is so fresh and I still cry a lot but this is just a chapter in our story and I need to remember it isn’t our whole story.
If you made it this far, thanks for listening. For me it’s therapeutic to talk through our reproductive struggles so, more to come ❤️