Thursday, September 27, 2012

Blighted Ovum (Empty)

Originally written on September 26, 2012

Two months ago I had a (very) positive home pregnancy test. I was tired, I was gaining weight, my breasts got sore, and I was so, so hungry. These feelings continued for two months straight and as time progressed, I got more and more excited about the little life growing inside of me. What if it's a girl?! What if it's twins?! Fuzzy baby sleepers, awwww. Henry is going to be so happy! We'd say, "Henry, you're going to be a big brother! Do you want a brother or a sister?" And then he'd happily tell every stranger, "My momma has a baby in her belly, isn't that awesome?!"

Last night on my way to class, I started bleeding. 

I knew something was wrong but I tried so hard to stay positive. Dr. Google told me I was probably fine; that because my bleeding was brown and spotty with no cramping, everything was going to be okay. Today I went in for my first ultrasound with the highest of hopes. I squeezed Garrison's hand hard and cried hard as the ultrasound technician began to examine me. She smiled the entire time even when this image flashed bright in our faces:

And I knew. I just knew. There should be something in that dark area. I could feel my heart shattering. The technician held my hand and spoke to me in sympathetic words that I was not even capable of hearing. The rest of the appointment was pretty much a blur full of hugs, shoulder rubs, and sympathetic words. I have never cried so hard. I was shaking and wondering how life could be so unfair and cruel. One morning I'm preparing for a pregnancy and by the afternoon I'm breaking open a box of tampons? I purposely hadn't announced my pregnancy for this very reason but when I made that decision, this moment right now was only a mere glimpse of an impossible nightmare. And now here I am, crying and wondering why and how I ended up here.

The doctor later told me that I had experienced a blighted ovum. According to the American Pregnancy Associated, "A blighted ovum (also known as “anembryonic pregnancy”) happens when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall, but the embryo does not develop. Cells develop to form the pregnancy sac, but not the embryo itself". My body was producing HCG and the uterus was growing, but the egg had never formed into a baby! It just took my body a while to realize that there was never a pregnancy. Apparently a blighted ovum is the cause for over 50% of all first trimester miscarriages, which is crazy because until today I had never heard of this phenomenon. 

While this experience has about drained me of every emotion, it's not all bad news. Blighted ovums do not affect your future chances of getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy. It helps me to know that there was never a developed baby and what started out as a group of cells had some huge abnormality that your body was able to detect. There was nothing we did to cause this and nothing we could have done to stop it. We can start trying for another baby as soon as December. 

And now there's nothing I can do but wait. Wait until my body decides to pass the tissues of the little life that almost was and cry out of frustration and a broken heart. I have an appointment next week, where they will perform another ultrasound and then talk about the option of a D&C (a procedure where surgeons open the cervix and remove the tissue). I guess I'll know more later. Until then, I just want to sleep and snuggle Henry until he can't stand it. Never ever have I been so thankful for the amazing boy that we have already been blessed with. When something in a pregnancy goes wrong, you really realize how lucky you are to have a healthy, happy child. 

Hours after the appointment and this all feels so unreal. My worst nightmare came true today and I just can't wrap my head around it all. I'm thankful for Garrison who was strong during the appointment, when I couldn't be. I'm thankful for my sister who is here to help me physically and emotionally. I'm thankful for Henry's bright smile and his carefree nature. I'm thankful for family and the support of my friends. Without all of this, I don't know how I could function right now. 


rachel said...

Oh Allie. I'm so sorry, my friend. Hugs to you.

Gemma said...

Oh allie I'm so sorry.
I've experienced a few miscarriages which isn't the same but I feel your heartache.
Sending you massive (hugs) as I know words wont help you now.

Look to the future and you can try again soon.


Jess said...

I'm so sorry. I'll pray for you.

Anonymous said...

I've been through the same 5days ago.I still can't believe one moment you think you pregnant nxt you not,how do I get through this

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