Better and Better

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Told by: Stephanie

In 2001 I became pregnant for the first time. My father had been in and out of the hospital for most of 2000 and 2001 so I didn’t think much of it when I missed my first period in July. I figured the stress was getting to me but then when I had no period in August, in addition to some queasy feelings and exhaustion, I decided to buy a pregnancy test. I told my mom that I had missed two periods in a row and that was unusual for me. So she sat in the bathroom with me while I took the test. I could only imagine her own heartbreak at knowing her daughter might be unexpectedly pregnant. The test came up positive and as soon as I saw it I burst into tears. I had been dating my boyfriend for over a year but something deep inside of me knew that he would not be happy about this. My mom told me that she and my father would be there for me no matter what. So I went to tell my boyfriend. I remember sitting down on the floor while he was lying on the bed and telling him, “I’m pregnant.” His first response was, “Well, you’re gonna get that taken care of right? Cause I am NOT ready to be a father.” I remember feeling like it was all a bad dream. Here was this man that I loved and the one moment that I needed him to be supportive and caring and, well, all it seemed he could think about was himself. I told him that I could not have an abortion; that I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I did that. Of course, screaming and fighting matches ensued. For two solid weeks he badgered me, belittled me and screamed about how I was going to ruin his life and on and on. I continued to reply to him, “If you don’t want this then you are welcome to leave but I will not be forced to do something I do not want to do.” Suddenly, one day, he called me at work. He asked to meet me for lunch so I did. As we sat there staring at each other in uncomfortable silence he finally told me that he realized that he had to accept that I was not going to terminate the pregnancy and if I was going to go through with it then he would be there to support me. FINALLY – some reassurance! Two weeks after that I went for my first OB appointment. I had estimated that I was about 10 weeks based upon last period prior to my appointment. I had been having mild cramping off and on for about a week before my OB visit, but most of the books that I read had said that was normal but if you had spotting or bleeding, to call your OB right away. I had no spotting or bleeding so I figured I was okay. I sat in the waiting room, excited to see my baby for the first time because I knew they would be doing a scan to see exactly how far along I was. The nurse called my name and I went into give a urine sample and as I was doing that I felt something more warm than just urine. I looked into the toilet bowl and there were streaks of bright red blood. I immediately ran out and told the nurse that I was bleeding. She rushed me to the ultrasound room and the tech came in to do the transvaginal scan. As I lay there I knew, I just KNEW that this was over but there was the tiny of tiniest hope that maybe I was wrong. The tech looked at me sadly and turned the screen around so that I could see for myself: “I am so sorry but it appears you have a blighted ovum.” I looked at the screen and saw the sac and could see where it was attached to my uterus and that it looked like it had started dividing but then just stopped. I asked her what “blighted ovum” meant and she told me that basically the sperm and egg meet – the egg attaches but something happens that stops it from developing. I began to sob – this little creature that I had fought SO damned hard for and wanted so desperately was gone before he or she even began to live. I numbly made my way out of the u/s room and was taken to an exam room where my OB came in. He told me my options – to let the ovum pass naturally or to have a D & C. He said that he personally recommended the D & C option because I was young and wanted to have future children but if I wanted to miscarry at home that was up to me. I chose the D & C because I worried about future fertility. I drove home sobbing. I called my boyfriend and he said nothing – actually, he sounded like he gave a sigh of relief which hurt me straight to the core. My mom was the next person I called. I sobbed as I told her and she cried with me over the phone. Then I went to her house and curled up on her bed while she held me and told me that we would get through this. My poor father, we had told him nothing at this time because I didn’t want to stress him out since he’d been sick so much. My daddy found out about my pregnancy the same time I told him that it was over. He hugged me so tightly and told me it was all going to be okay. The doctor had scheduled my D & C for the very next morning. My mom and dad went with me but my boyfriend told me he was going to work. I was still hurt – he acted like this was no big deal, and I guess in a way, it was a gigantic relief for him. I sat in the waiting room of the outpatient center waiting to be called in to get started when my boyfriend showed up. I was stunned. I couldn’t believe it. I asked him what he was doing there and he said he’d come to support me. They took me back and the next hours are a blur. The doctor who performed my D & C did come out after I woke up and told me that I would be able to get pregnant again when I wanted to. She also gave me a card with a name and number of a counselor if I needed someone to talk to. She is a wonderful OB/GYN and is currently my GYN. The days after my D & C were tough. The worst was what people said to me: “You’ll get pregnant again.” Um, okay – jerk. “It wasn’t really a baby so at least you don’t have to live with that.” O.o “You should consider this a blessing in disguise.” That came from my boyfriend’s sister…*eye roll* “At least you don’t have to worry about getting fat.” That one came from my boyfriend’s friend’s girlfriend. What was really tough was that my best friend was about as far along as I was. I could not stand to be around her while her pregnancy progressed along normally which broke both of our hearts. But she understood and let me come around her again when I was ready. It will be 11 years this year since this happened and it’s still hard to believe it’s been that LONG. That boyfriend and I broke up in 2004 which was a good think as he was quite an emotional and verbally abusive guy and he cheated on me. Do I regret my loss of my first child – yes – yes a thousand times over. But I also know that my life would be vastly different today had I had that first baby. I was able to get my act together and finish school and buy a house and become a productive adult. I know that had I stayed with my ex and had that baby, well, I am not sure that I would have been successful at any of that. And that’s what I think is bittersweet about this – I wanted that baby so much but I realize that maybe, just maybe, there was a reason that my first pregnancy ended the way it did. Funny thing though – in August of 2010 I missed my period, felt tired all the time, queasy, breasts ached…and I thought to myself, “uh-oh.” On August 13, 2010, I took another home pregnancy test and found out I was pregnant again but this time I did not burst into tears because I knew that my current boyfriend would be supportive of me and not abandon or threaten to abandon me. And I was right – he was thrilled when I told him. He reacted in the supportive, loving and happy way I wish my ex had. What was so ironic was that my new baby would be due in the spring like my first baby was supposed to be. On April 18, 2011 our son was born via C-section and delivered by the same OB who had seen me the day I found out about my blighted ovum. It was the best day of my life and we are now a very happy, very loving family.

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