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My Story ...

by Timmi Culver

I wasn't sure I could write this, my heart is broken into pieces. I'm not sure where to start this, so I guess I'll start at the beginning.

16 June 1998

January 1, 1998 - I had what seemed to be a light period. No big deal.

February 1, 1998 - nothing.

February 7, 1998 - nothing yet... starting to think that maybe...

February 14, 1998 - my husband is sure I'm pregnant

February 15, 1998 - at a movie theatre I started bleeding in the washroom, I was positive that I'd been pregnant and had had a miscarriage. I was sad, yet since I hadn't known I was pregnant I wasn't heartbroken.

March 7, 1998 - no period, decide to take a pregnancy test

March 8, 1998 - positive test. My husband was so sweet about it. He was the one who first saw the results. I knew that no matter what it said, he would need time to adjust. So, he got to see it first, wait 20 minutes, then tell me what it was. I was sure he was joking when he told me it was positive. You see, John had this habit of being _sure_ I was pregnant. No matter whether or not it was possible. He'd say 'Your skin feels really soft today, you're pregnant.' or 'You never eat hamburgers, you must be pregnant.' I don't know if he convinced himself I was pregnant out of fear or hope. We got the results at about 10pm and we rushed downtown to The World's Biggest Bookstore to get a book on pregnancy. I was happy yet scared. Here I was, 26 and married to the greatest man in the world. I was definitely ready to have a baby.

March 18, 1998 - we go to see the doctor. He takes another pregnancy test to be sure. It's positive. After discussing everything with him, he decides that the January period wasn't a real one and that I was pregnant way back then. My husband and I expressed concern about the bleeding on February 15th, but he said it was probably just the placenta implanting. On this visit, we got to hear the heartbeat of the baby. It was so fast! I looked at John and we both just... connected. I think this was the time when it all started being real for us. We allowed ourselves to tell people about the pregnancy. Just our families and closest friends.

April 8, 1998 - we go in for an ultrasound, both nervous and excited. I wanted to see my baby! There had been more bleeding off and on since the doctor's appointment, but, again, this was dismissed as implantation. The ultrasound tech was really nice about everything and we got to see the baby and the heart beating. It was so amazing! Then, she asked if we had come in from the emergency room. I was confused and asked why she asked that, we were just in for a normal ultrasound. She said it was because of the bleeding and there was just a lot of placenta, she would need to do an internal ultrasound. I was hesitant, but if there was something wrong, I wanted to know. She did some scanning and looking around and measuring, my husband was watching it all and didn't see anything unusual. She called in the Radiology doctor and they discovered that it wasn't just a large placenta, it was TWO placentas! Twins! The problem was that there was only one heartbeat. The other baby, they told us, had died. John and I were utterly devastated. They asked if we had questions but I couldn't say anything. I did NOT want to cry in front of people I didn't know. I waited until we were outside the hospital and I couldn't stop. I was violently ill and started grieving for my second baby. We made a doctor's appointment for the following Monday, since it was a holiday the upcoming weekend. The next day, the doctor phoned and told us to come in that day. He told us it was a blighted ovum, not a real, live, growing fetus. He assured us that the viable fetus was alive and doing OK.

May 1, 1998 - It had been 3 weeks and I phoned to make a doctor's appointment for the next week, reporting some cramping and bleeding still. The doctor still thought it was from implanting and if it continued over the weekend that we would deal with it on Monday. There had been some tissue discharge Saturday morning, but I wasn't in a lot of pain and my husband and I just figured it was a complication from the blighted ovum.

May 3, 1998 - I woke up after spending the night starting to worry about the cramping, which was getting worse. That morning there was a large clump of tissue discharged. Again, I just credited it to the blighted ovum. After a couple of hours, though, the cramping just got worse and worse. I took a shower, hoping it would make the pain abate, but it didn't help at all. I was sure that I was just being a wuss, that every pregnant woman went through this. I woke my husband and told him that we had to go to the hospital when the cramping got so bad that I was doubling over from the pain. We went to the obstetrics floor of the hospital rather than the emergency room, thinking that I just needed some medicine or something to make the pain stop, make the cramping stop. I was put in a room and the on call doctor came in to take a look. The cramps were very regular, every 3 minutes lasting for 45 seconds. Even at this point, I was sure everything was going to be OK. I mean, my mom had never had a problem with any of her 11 pregnancies so there couldn't be anything wrong with me, right? The doctor said that there was no way the baby would make it. He got another doctor who said that the baby had been dead for a week already. Since I was already having contractions, they delivered (if you could call it that) the baby in a combination deliver-D&C right there in the hospital room. My husband even had to hold the flashlight for the first doctor since the big light wasn't in the room yet.

I was numb. My little Peanut was gone. I was so mad! We'd made it past 12 weeks! This shouldn't be happening. I went through all of the stages of blaming myself, though everyone told me it wasn't my fault, there was nothing I could have done to either cause the miscarriage or stop it once it had started. Through it all, I had no idea of what was happening until the first doctor told me the baby wouldn't make it. Through the bleeding, the tissue discharge, the cramping... I just had no idea of the magnitude of what was happening. My heart is broken. I still cry every day, though I try to hide it from my husband. I don't want to make him remember the pain. It's been 6 weeks and 2 days and I just can't bring myself to go to the doctor and have the 6 week check up. I don't think I could look at him and not think of my little Peanut that's gone. If it hadn't been for my husband, I think I probably would have killed myself by now. I don't now because I couldn't make him go through losing both of us.

I know this was too long and if anyone actually made it this far, pray for me. For the strength to do what I know has to be done, the strength to get through this.

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