It’s wild to think that without all of our losses we wouldn’t have Chloe. She is exactly who we needed to create our little family.
In 2020 after being married almost a year and together for 10 my husband and I decided try to start our family. We had been living in South West Qld but had put our transfers in and were moving back to South East QLD. In October (1 month after trying) I got what I thought was my period but two weeks later I started randomly bleeding, I did a test and it was positive. Panicked by the blood we contacted the local hospital. A beautiful OBGyn gave us 3 options 1. Implantation 2. Miscarriage 3. subchorionic hematoma. It was later confirmed through repeat HCG bloods. We lost our first pregnancy at almost 6 weeks. I had one night of extreme cramps and bleeding. I remember sitting in the shower vomiting and feeling the cold sweats. It was one night and it was over. Our first pregnancy was a loss before we could even get excited about it. We were shattered but optimistic that this would be a minor bump in our road to becoming parents. How wrong we were.
We then had a break over Christmas because it was a bit of a shock and we were moving back to the coast. I was keen to just get to know my cycle (I had only just had my Mirena removed before we got pregnant in October). In March 2021 we tried again and we got pregnant straight away. I found out on the Friday before my 30th birthday celebrations. Ecstatic we told friends and family straight away. Unfortunately the following Monday I woke up to bleeding. I had to advocate for repeat HCG bloods. The gp I saw was adamant a scan would suffice. The blood tests revealed another miscarriage, this time labelled a chemical pregnancy. The 2nd miscarriage was a lot easier physically but exponentially harder to process emotionally. Following the 2nd loss we were very fortunate that my GP and OBGyn don’t believe in waiting for 3 losses to investigate and sent me off for a myriad of tests, all coming back normal.
In June 2021 we got pregnant again. As it was our third pregnancy, after two losses, my ObGyn wanted it to be monitored more closely. We had early repeat HCG bloods and a scan at 6 weeks that looked good. Then at our 8 week scan the heartbeat was really slow. My OB fit us in 2 days later and by then the the heartbeat could not be detected. Numb is the only way I can describe the feeling of being told there is no heartbeat. I remember the moment so clearly. I was given a choice on how to manage this miscarriage and I chose to have a D&C. I had the D&C in August 2021 and the embryo, placenta and tissues were sent off for testing. Initial histopathology came back normal with hydrops of the placenta. I was really keen to try again so I was doing pregnancy tests to see when my HCG was back to negative. I didn’t get a negative. After 4 weeks I contacted my OBGyn who referred me for bhcg and a scan to see if there were retained products. No retained products but a uterus full of cysts. I had a partial molar pregnancy and ended up with persistent Trophoblastic disease.
For 5 months I had weekly blood tests to make sure my HCG was dropping and the disease wasn’t turning into cancer. We weren’t to get pregnant again until I was cleared. This was one of the toughest times of my life mentally. I was finally cleared in January 2022. Meanwhile we had built and moved into our new home. My cycle didn’t return until April. The trauma of the molar pregnancy and 3 losses messed with my mental health along with my cycle. We were tentatively optimistic when I got another positive pregnancy test in June of 2022. Initial scans and blood tests all came back positive. Then at 9 weeks pregnant my OB confirmed yet another loss, our baby had no heartbeat. I had another D&C in August (almost exactly 12months to the day of my last one) and the pathology of that embryo came back triploidy - my egg had two sets of chromosomes. This baby was never going to be able to survive with 3 sets of chromosomes. The gender was confirmed to be a boy.
4 losses was a lot to comprehend in 2 years so we decided to have a break from trying. I stopped tracking my cycles. In October of 2022 I felt off. I decided to do a pregnancy test but I couldn’t look at it, I made my husband. They were the strongest positives I had ever seen. I feel awful saying it but I wasn’t really excited at all, I was terrified. We didn’t tell anyone this time, in fact for the first 10 weeks I almost pretended it wasn’t real. (Difficult when the exhaustion is next level and you are throwing up everyday) We didn’t discuss my pregnancy at all until we received the NIPT results. We were having a girl and for her sake I decided we should embrace her existence. From a physical stand point my pregnancy was pretty perfect. A little bit of nausea and vomiting, the usual aches and pains but physically I loved being pregnant. I had an anterior placenta so I didn’t really feel movement until I was around 20+ weeks. My husband felt the first movements around 24weeks. Fortunately she was an active little thing and her movements were many and consistent. Emotionally it was extremely difficult. The prenatal anxiety hit me like a truck. Every scan and OBGyn appointment I would dread.
My OBGyn was incredible throughout and I decided for my own piece of mind I would have a planned c section at 39 weeks. Well our little rainbow girl was a bit eager and my waters broke and I went into labour at 36weeks. We arrived at the hospital at 6am and by 8.01 she had arrived. My c section was so calm and such a wonderful experience. At 36 weeks, Chloe was considered premature so she she was taken to special care. I don’t think anyone is truly prepared for their baby to be taken away and hooked up to machines. Her NG tube still bothers me when I look at photos. We didn’t get skin to skin until an hour after she was born but I don’t feel like we have missed out on anything. After an hour and a half i was taken back to the ward and we had to leave her. This was by far the hardest part of having a baby in special care. Having to constantly leave her behind. My c section recovery was so much easier than I had anticipated and I truly believe it’s because my baby was in special care. I was up on my feet and shuffling to be with her multiple times a day. I was also surrounded by beautiful nurses and midwives and under the care of an incredible OB who ensured I kept up with my pain medication. Despite Chloe being in special care, and physically recovering from a c-section, I was absolutely euphoric. Prior to Chloe’s birth I heard a lot of birth trauma stories and stories of postpartum anxiety and depression settling in after the baby was born but I didn’t hear many stories of positive c sections and losing anxiety after they arrive. The second she was born my anxiety lifted. I could see her, feel her and know what was happening with her. I have been on cloud 9 for the entire time she has been here. It’s wild to think that without all of our losses we wouldn’t have Chloe. She is exactly who we needed to create our little family.