Sunday, November 13, 2016

Baby #3 Onboard! | A Tale of Loss, Heartache, and Success

Bear and Calla are 19 months apart in age.  They were *supposed* to be 20 months, but Calla made her appearance a bit early, as you know.  But, I love the age difference.  They play together, get along, and she isn't too far behind Bear developmentally that she can't keep up with him.  The school we hope to send them to has combined classrooms, so every other year they will be in the same grade.  I like that idea.

So when it came time to planning for baby #3, which we've always known we wanted at least 4 kids, I thought it would be great to have that 19-20 month spacing again.  So a few months before that needed to happen we started preparing to conceive.

Vitex and Red Raspberry Leaf have always been my fertility go-tos.  I started the teas and tinctures, started trying to track my cycle, eating right, vitamins... the works.  But there was one tiny problem.

Calla.

She was still nursing, and quite religiously, at 9 months old.  I still hadn't started my cycle.  Same at 10 months.  And 11 months.  It wasn't worth it to me to quit nursing her just to get my "ideal" age spacing, so we kept going and I just waited.

Then something crazy happened.  On Calla's first birthday, on March 2nd, I noticed nursing was a little more painful than usual.  Could have been in my head, but I remembered this being the first sign that I was pregnant last time.  So I took a pregnancy test.

It was positive!

We were elated that our 19/20 month age difference WASN'T out of the picture anymore.

Unfortunately, what I didn't know at that time, is that I had already lost the baby a few days earlier.  They call it a "missed miscarriage" when you miscarry but do not get the regular signs of a miscarriage.  I took a few more pregnancy tests and noticed they were getting lighter or staying the same, not darker like I was used to.  So I went to the doctor after the tests were negative for several days but I hadn't started bleeding.  The missed miscarriage was diagnosed (I was probably only 5-6 weeks along when I found out, having lost the baby just a few days before).  I waited two weeks, but nothing happened, so I took some horrible drugs and was done with it.

The doctor gave the all-clear to start trying again right away, since it was such an early loss.  We got pregnant the next cycle.

We lost that pregnancy, too.  Right around 4 weeks again.  That's normal, or at least mostly-normal, though.  Women have early losses all the time, most just don't know it because they happen prior to a missed period (commonly known in the TTC world as a chemical pregnancy).  I didn't think much of it.

Thinking I needed rest, and already past that dream 19/20 month age gap, we took a break for a cycle.  Then started again the next cycle and BAM!  Pregnant again!  This time I passed 4 weeks.  Even passed 5 weeks!  Then, 6 weeks came.  And it was over.

At this point I was frustrated and extremely sad.  Falling into a bit of a dark place.  I knew it was normal for a healthy couple to take 12 cycles to conceive a child, but we HAD conceived.  Several times.  So why weren't they sticking?  We weren't never far enough to do any sort of genetic testing, but with two healthy kids I couldn't imagine it was all because of genetic issues.  Maybe it was me?  I had the surgery to remove the fibroids, maybe there was more scar tissue than they'd thought there would be?  Maybe my progesterone levels were low.  After all, Calla came early (and tried coming earlier).  Maybe that's why that happened and why these losses were happening.

Without a specialist nearby, and a busy summer schedule, it was decided to try the most obvious approach- progesterone.  We started in my August cycle, but didn't conceive that cycle as I mentally wasn't prepared for another loss, and decided to wait.  Continued for the September cycle, and that time we got another BFP!

Only time would tell.  I waited.  4 weeks.  5 weeks.  6 weeks.  I passed them all by, still pregnant.  Finally at 7 weeks I went in for an ultrasound and we saw a single, healthy baby with a solid heartbeat.  I'd made it further than any other time, at least!

8 weeks.  9 weeks.  10 weeks.  11 weeks.  12 weeks.  All came and went- still pregnant!

I am not officially in my 2nd trimester and still have a healthy baby on board.  I've even started feeling kicks.  Sporadic and not strong enough to feel on the outside, but I know the baby is there.  And still healthy.

We didn't get our age difference again.  Calla is 20 months now.  That's OK.  Both kids seem excited and happy.  Bear keeps bouncing back and forth about whether he wants a brother or a sister.  Calla doesn't seem to understand the question yet, but gives the "new baby" kisses when prompted.  I'm sure she'll get it as time gets closer.

I am due in May.  The progesterone will accompany me through the pregnancy.  In a few weeks I will begin giving myself weekly shots.  Not excited for that, but worth it if I get a term baby.  Even more worth it if I get a full term baby!  May 24th is my due date, and if I see that day come and even go with an inside baby, I'll be beyond happy.

Right now, I'm just thrilled we made it this far.  13 weeks, 4 days and counting.

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