Miscarriage, a Rainbow Baby, and a Pandemic

My 2019 started out on a high as I checked an item off of my bucket list and ran the Disney World Marathon. My body completed this amazing feat, and then it felt as if it was failing me. I had a chemical pregnancy and quickly became pregnant again. I hit the 12 week mark to learn baby stopped growing at 8 weeks. I had a missed miscarriage and scheduled a D&C. I was diagnosed with a partial molar pregnancy, which happens in about 1 in 1000 pregnancies. There is fetal tissue, tumor tissue and the baby will not survive. The tumor can cause a treatable cancer if not removed and prolongs the process of trying to become pregnant again. I struggled with the loss of my baby and had the fear of getting cancer.

My mental health plummeted, my anxiety was at an all time high, I couldn’t sleep, and I was having panic attacks. With high deductible insurance, I was left with thousands in medical bills through ultrasounds and the D&C. There were reminders everywhere that I was no longer pregnant. I went to weekly anxiety-inducing blood draws to confirm my hCG levels were going down and all the tissue was removed. After 8 weeks, I was in the clear and was given the ok to try again whenever ready.

I tried to find the balance with Fit4Mom. I was leaning heavily on my mom friends, especially those who I knew experienced miscarriages. I am forever grateful to them for sharing their stories and allowing me to process my grief. I struggled to be around other moms too. Debating whether or not share my story and learning of other pregnancies, my emotions were all over the place.

The experience was life changing and had some positive outcomes. It’s extremely hard to take care of two children when you barely want to take care of yourself. This was the push for me to ask for medication. I also threw myself into exercise, with daily workouts, walks, yoga and meditation. With the help of active grandparents, my husband and I took our first kid-free vacation and it gave it a chance to take care of myself.

I became pregnant shortly after being cleared. Pregnancy after a loss filled me with fear. Getting blood draws to confirm a healthy pregnancy reminded me of all the weekly draws I had only months before. I held my breath as I waited for the ultrasound tech to find a heartbeat and confirm there was no tumor tissue. Only to cross my fingers until the next appointment that a heartbeat would continue. It was a challenge to find the joy in pregnancy and honestly, some days I didn’t.

I assumed my anxiety would decrease further into pregnancy but it stayed active throughout. The stay at home order came into place and there were so many unknowns for the whole world. I began to have panic attacks again not knowing when the virus would peak, what would happen if I contracted Covid-19, what hospital policies would be, and what things would look like for my family after. My mind couldn’t rest over so many what ifs and all the things that could still go wrong. I knew the only thing that would give me relief was a healthy baby in my arms.

My doctor gave me the option to be induced at 39 weeks and for me it made the most sense. As for labor and delivery, things were surprisingly normal. Besides wearing masks into the building, opting to get the Covid-19 test, not having visitors, and leaving when baby was 24 hours old, everything else was comparable to my other two births. I was beyond grateful to have my rainbow baby safely in my arms almost a year to the date of my D&C. It’s crazy how drastically different my life turned in a year. I stare at my baby and honestly can’t believe she’s real.

The path through motherhood is not easy. After two healthy pregnancies, I was not prepared for how hard I would struggle after miscarriage and how challenging the loss would be. It taught me the importance of keeping my mental health in check and knowing when to ask for support. Everyone’s journey to and through motherhood is different and a most of the time you have no idea what others went through for their children. I’m so glad to have my Fit4Mom family and couldn’t imagine having gone through this without them. Find your mom tribe, share your highs and lows, ask for support and build each other up while we go through this amazing, crazy stage of life together.