By Darla Halyk of New World Mom
At 5 1/2 weeks pregnant, I had a miscarriage. Actually, I didn’t know I was pregnant until having the miscarriage. It was a substantial period — and I was trying to get pregnant again and wanted to make sure all was okay with my innards — so I went to see my doctor. My doctor informed me it was normal for women to miscarry this early in pregnancy, and most women aren’t aware it’s even a miscarriage, mistaking it for a late and heavy period. He explained I may have some spotting and abnormal menstruation over the next couple months, and it was perfectly normal. Nothing to worry about.
The next few months I did just that, had abnormal periods and spotting. I went on with life as usual. My son was just under two then, so life was busy. Occasionally I would have some cramping around the time I was supposed to have my period, which was nothing new. My menstruation cycle did seem lighter. But as my doctor said nothing to worry about, all of this was normal.
That is until around two months after the initial miscarriage.
That morning was like any other. I woke up with my handsome son, made him breakfast and started our day. Around lunch time, I began cramping abnormally. The pain in my back was intense. I put my son down for his nap and laid on the couch, hoping for it to subside.
It did not.
Thinking it was gas or I was going to get my period, I went to the bathroom. The toilet filled with blood and, in the mix, there was a baby. There is no way to explain the horror I had at this moment. A baby —almost fully developed, and the size of a tomato — floating in my toilet, dead.
If I was the screaming type, I am sure I would have screamed, but I did not. I panicked and ran around my house like a fool, and then I called my then husband, and my doctor. My doctor asked me to scoop it from the toilet and go to Emergency right away.
Wait…go to Emergency with a dead fetus and an almost two-year-old? How the hell am I supposed to pull this off?
I don’t know — that day is still very much a blur — but somehow I did. Somehow I pulled it off.
After seeing my doctor and having the fetus studied, my doctor determined it was the fraternal twin of my first miscarriage.
Mind blown! I mean, how could I have not known I was pregnant?
My doctor scheduled a D&C to clean out my uterus. (A very common practice after a miscarriage this late in pregnancy.)
I feel the need to explain how very traumatizing this moment was for me. I still have so much trouble calling the fetus a baby.
After having the D&C, I was told much the same after my first miscarriage. There could be spotting and abnormal periods, and since this miscarriage was so late, my hormones would take a month or two to get back to normal.
I went on with my life — I mean, how could I not? I had a very active two-year-old, and we all know life stops for no one, especially not toddlers. I had bouts of depression and sadness. I had lost a child and had no idea how to deal with it, especially under the strange circumstances in which it had happened.
Gradually getting back into the swing of things, life returned to normal. I was having all the typical symptoms my doctor had said I would but couldn’t get past how exhausted I felt. Yet we had just bought a brand new house, and I focused on new beginnings.
When it came to the moving day, I hadn’t had much help and started to feel overwhelmed and drained. My body hurt more than it had ever.
Moving an entire house with a two-year-old, I didn’t find it strange to be exhausted, but my face had an odd color to it, my whole body ached, and I just couldn’t find any energy to do anything. These symptoms had lasted over three months. Things needed to change, and I desperately wanted to know what was happening with my body.
I scheduled an appointment with my OB-GYN. He ran some tests, asked me a few questions about my mental state after the miscarriage, and I told him mentally I felt fine. There was a concern that I may have Lupus or some other autoimmune disease as I seemed so drained, and so he scheduled me for an appointment at a hospital the next day.
That was Friday.
I played ball over the weekend (and made a sweet diving catch in the outfield, I might add) and woke up Monday to a phone call from my doctor. He sounded a little nervous as he asked me to come in and see him; I was frightened he had found something awful — cancer awful. I packed my son up and headed to his office.
As we waited in the exam room, I could feel my heart beating through my chest, but my doctor came in smiling — which confused the hell out of me. He asked me to sit down and gave my son a book to look at while he was talking. The words that came from his mouth floored me. “You are pregnant.” I smiled, and just as I was about to speak, he interrupted me. “Thirty-one weeks pregnant,” he said, like it was normal.
What the fuck?! How the fuck am I thirty-one weeks pregnant? You did a D&C, I just had a miscarriage, WHAT THE FUCK>! I drank this weekend; I smoked cigarettes. I haven’t taken care of myself. I just moved a whole entire house!
Here’s where the story gets weirder.
My doctor went on to tell me I was pregnant with triplets, one of which must have been a fallopian pregnancy.
Wait, it gets better.
The D&C must have been what helped the baby and placenta move down into the uterine cavity and attach to my uterine wall. He said, “That is why you have been so tired. You are pregnant. Really pregnant.”
Thirty-one weeks pregnant, having gained no weight (an insignificant amount) and not taking care of myself posed some potential problems, if you can only imagine.
After having an ultrasound, my doctor told me there may be many issues with the baby I (all of a sudden) was carrying. Most worrisome was the heartbeat was weak and the ultrasound unclear. Conceivably this baby may not be fully developed and could very well not survive the birthing process. If. At. All.
Holy shit, this was more than I thought I could take on. What the fuck was happening? Not to mention I had to tell my then husband we were going to have a baby in nine weeks. I was lost.
The doctor scheduled me for an amniocentesis (a huge ass needle in your belly), and I was terrified.
After telling my husband and most of my family that I was thirty-one weeks pregnant, my then husband and I kind of sat back on the news. It was as if my body took over and my belly finally popped. He would lay his head on my stomach, and we would desperately wait to feel the baby kick. There was never a lot of movement; it was hard to deal with. We often wondered if I would have to go through the birthing process and have an undeveloped child or, worse, a stillborn baby. We were never reassured the baby would be healthy.
Ten days after finding out I was pregnant, my water broke….while watching T.V. on the couch.
TEN FUCKING DAYS!
I went to the bathroom and realized this was it. Too afraid to say anything to my husband because we had only ten days to deal with the fact that I was going to have a baby, I walked around for a bit. Then I went into labor. Every. Minute.
Shit, this is happening.
When I told my husband this was it, he did what all men do: PANICKED. We hadn’t even packed a baby bag. Who would? We had only known we were pregnant for TEN DAYS. Luckily we had our son’s baby stuff in the house from when we moved. We quickly packed a bag and called my doctor. He sent us to a high-risk pregnancy hospital in another town.
Upon our arrival, it seemed the entire hospital knew who I was. I was strapped to every machine in the hospital, and I was told I was most likely going to deliver a malformed baby…but I pushed that girl out with all I had.
After 15 hours of labor —and the fear of God — I gave birth to my miracle child. A healthy baby girl we named Rayne. (Not only is rain a miracle, but it is also my absolute favorite smell: Rain in the summer.)
She is a fighter and has always been strong. We are lucky she has graced this planet with her presence, and she often asks about her brother, the one we lost. We tell her the story whenever we can. We tell her the story often.
This post originally appeared on New World Mom.
About the Author
Darla Halyk is the mom of a teenage boy and girl. She studied Business Management at Simon Fraser University. Soon after receiving her degree, she married and quickly got pregnant with her first child. Deciding to stay home with her kids instead of returning to the workforce after the birth of her son, she become an SAHM, but not your average one. The gig lasted until the kids were school-aged, and her marriage ended in divorce. Darla has enjoyed writing since she was old enough to hold a pen to paper. Currently, she writes for her blog at NewWorldMom — bringing a fresh, honest and humorous take on parenting, women’s issues, relationships, divorce, and life, in general. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.