the ugly truth (part 2)…

Adam and I found out we were pregnant for the second time the end of July 2005. This was great news! We were successfully able to conceive not too long after our first miscarriage in March. I was a little frightened every time I used the restroom. Doctor wanted to do an early ultrasound and found nothing, but said it was so early not to be alarmed because my quants were good. As we moved into our sixth week I even began to believe that the first one was “just a fluke”–like so many are.

We were preparing to board a plane to visit Amy and Steffan (a last hoorah before another year of teaching commenced) when I got a phone call from my doctor’s nurse. She said the last blood draw didn’t look super good, but not to worry yet. They wanted us to do an out-of-town draw. Blasted Infertility! We had a fabulous visit with our friends, but my internal thoughts were utterly consumed by my bathroom visits. Amy even asked, “are they really that concerned that it will happen again?” I couldn’t blame her for the question–especially then. She had a miscarriage and then successfully carried Mya to term. That was her experience. And, for most, that is their exact experience. It was not to be mine though.

Ironically, I started spotting and cramping the night before returning home. By the time Adam and I got to the airport, I knew something was terribly wrong. My insides were ripping apart. I remember laying on the floor at the airport unable to move because the pain was so horrific. (Adam did get us into better seats with lots of room because of it.) This time didn’t quite feel like the first. Although I was further along by a week, it should not have hurt so badly. The next morning I saw Doctor and he still couldn’t see anything on the ultrasound and my quant levels had dropped, hanging around 150. So off for another blood draw to confirm the possibility of an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy! I had all the tell-tale signs: spotting, but not bleeding, persistently low quant levels, pain on one side, and no image on the ultrasound. And get this–I started back to work, Adam left for China, and my doctors both left for vacation all within a few days of this news. Yeah, this was a winner of a miscarriage! And it gets worse…

The “fill-in” doctor was dry, rude, and obnoxious to say the least. As I was taking in the news and the options, Doctor “fill-in” told me that I needed to take things more seriously. He said that I was going to DIE if I didn’t get my priorities straight. Are you kidding me? Was he really saying this to me? I just found out that my second baby wasn’t dead–just stuck in my right fallopian tube–and if I didn’t decide to kill it, it would eventually kill me. WHAT?!?! Was this actually happening to me? After a day or so of mulling the options we decided on the least invasive procedure possible. I was barely in my seventh week and had the “luxury” of a little time meaning emergency surgery wasn’t needed just yet. I was a good candidate for Methotrexate. All I had to do was walk into the clinic, get stuck in the butt with a big fat chemo needle, and terminate the pregnancy!!! That’s all.

Luckily, the shot worked and I did not have to have a tube tied or removed. I’ve always said the second miscarriage is the hardest. Like I’ve shared with a few friends, it brought me to “that moment” where I was confronted with the thought that the first miscarriage wasn’t a fluke, that it wasn’t part of the average 25% of known failed pregnancies. I was bombarded with the what ifs all at once. What if it happened again? What if I would never be able to carry a fetus full term? What if I really was broken? 


  1. Hi Rachel, it is uncanny how many similarities there are with your struggle and everything I went through. My second miscarriage was also on a trip, in Costa Rica, I ended up in the ER at 1 am in a foreign country and was stuck there for a week because they would not let me travel. I also had to get that shot, which is mind boggling when you are desperate to have a baby to have to think about voluntarily (???) terminating a pregnancy because of the danger of ectopic pregnancies. That happened to me on my last pregnancy, the forth miscarriage. Thank you again for sharing. I tried to find your email to write directly but could not find it. You can respond to my email which is
    Take care,

  2. You know that no matter how many times I am reminded of your story, I am always amazed at your grace thru trial and your strength in affliction…

    And I am amazed at the fact that Adam seems to disappear at the worst times! 🙂 JK, A-man. You know I love you!

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