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What happens now?

by Tracey Phelps

19 June 1998

Here's my story:

I am 28 years old and yet to be a parent. My husband and I had been trying to conceive for only about 6 months when I took a home pregnancy and found out that I had become pregnant. We had experienced a similar incident earlier in the year when I had gone 35 days in between menstrual cycles. Of course, after this was writing down my period every month and keeping track of the number of days in between each one. So, when June 10, 1998 came and I realized that I hadn't had a menstrual cycle since May 6, I decided to try a home pregnancy test.

Along with many other numerous false alarms, the test indicated negative. So, I waited a couple more days. Still nothing was happening with my body. By this time, I really frustrated and wishing that my body would just do something. I decided to try another test on Sat., June 13. I couldn't believe it, it indicated POSITIVE. I ran to the bedroom and asked my husband to confirm it. We both were so happy! We couldn't believe that we were finally going to be a family. I called the doctor right away on Monday and had an appointment with the nurse practitioner. She gave me a urine and test and confirmed what we had joyously discovered a few days ago. She told me that I was about 6 weeks pregnant and gave us a tentative due date of February 10. We knew that we shouldn't tell very many people, but since it had been confirmed at the doctor's office, we assumed that everything was perfectly okay.

The next night, June 14, I noticed some bleeding. I really didn't think anything about it, because the nurse had just told me the day before that it was not uncommon for some spot bleeding to occur. I went to bed and had a good night's rest. When I awoke the next morning, I was just struck with horror at what I saw. I was covered with blood on the inside of my thighs, down to my knees. I screamed for my loving husband's attention. At first he starred in horror as well and then rushed me to the bathroom to get cleaned up. I panicked! What do we do? Do we call the doctor? Do we go to the hospital? I decided to call the doctor. He asked me if I was just spotting or was it like I was having a period. I explained to him that it was like I was having a period. He then went on to inform me that it sounded as if I were going to have a miscarriage. I completely broke down and had to hand the phone to my husband. He explained to my husband what was happening and that we needed to see the nurse as soon as possible. The doctor had already explained everything to the nurse by the time we got there. She supported the doctor's decision, but since my husband and I were so distraught, she recommended that we do a blood test to confirm this.

We left the doctor's office, holding each other and crying on each other's shoulder. I spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon suffering from severe bleeding, cramping, and lower back pain. I kept trying to convince myself that the blood test was going to come back with good news.. When we finally received the dreaded call, the nurse explained the fetus's hormone count was at 32. For being 6 weeks along, she told me that the count should be over 800! She needed me to come back for another blood test to indicate that the hormone count was going down more. This is where I am today; I will be taking the other test in just a few short hours. I was glad that the nurse gave us reading material to help try to understand what is happening and how to cope with it. We have had much needed support from many of our friends and family. Just like many couples that have experienced the same tragedy that we just did, our first instinct was to find someone or something to blame.

There's no one or nothing to blame. For some unknown reason, things just didn't work out. I planted a pussy willow tree just yesterday and named it "Baby Willie". The tree actually came from a bouquet that my husband had given to me a few months ago. When I went to throw the old flowers out, I noticed that the pussy willows had grown roots. I kept them in a vase thinking that I would eventually plant them. When I looked at it yesterday, I knew what I had to do to help me cope with my pain. That is why I planted the tree. It really did help. Our biggest fear is "what happens now?" We have been told repeatedly that everything will be fine and that I could ovulate and become pregnant again in 2 weeks. The thought of this actually scares me to death but gives us a sense of hope. I hope that others can share and relate to my story. We are keeping all of our fingers and toes crossed.

God Bless You and keep the faith!
Tracey

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