I try to get out a few times a year to experience new things and get re-inspired. Three months after my leg was burned I auditioned for the Fox Television hit series So You Think You Can Dance season 11. My audition in Atlanta went very well! Out of over 600 people auditioning I was one of about 30 who asked to go to LA for call backs. They had me stick around for some extra taping. They filmed me dancing in the streets of Atlanta, on roof tops and alleyways. I even landed an interview with host Cat Deeley! This experience was just what I needed.
A few weeks after the audition I was back rehearsing. This was the busiest time of the year. We were rehearsing for three different shows and I was dancing lead roles in all three. That’s when we found out I was pregnant. The world stopped. All I could think of was the doctor telling me how hard it was going to be for me to get pregnant. I knew the drastic change in my diet impacted my odds.
Ed and I were ecstatic! Making plans for our new future, thinking of names, joking about my watermelon cravings and my super hero sense of smell. I spent my extra time on Pinterest looking at gender neutral baby rooms. Deciding brown, taupe and white for the baby room colors. My sister and I also picked out a baby shower theme. For my birthday I received all-things-baby ranging from adorable maternity clothes, pregnancy books and teas, to Babies R Us gift cards. Ed and I went to a few car dealerships to look at SUV’s since my two-seat convertible would no longer be an acceptable vehicle for an infant! We couldn’t wait to tell the world about our new bundle of joy who would enter the world September 2014.
I remember my morning sickness was so bad I had to run into the restroom during company class to get sick a few times. My demanding schedule of teaching and rehearsing wasn’t helping my complete exhaustion. But around nine weeks along my pregnancy symptoms subsided and I could finally be around food without gagging.
I had my next appointment when I was 9 weeks pregnant. Ed was with me and we were so excited because today was the day we would get to hear our baby’s heart beat!! The nurse greeted us and asked me how I was feeling. I told her I was nervous because all of my pregnancy symptoms were gone. She giggled and told me that was a good thing… When the doc came in he didn’t waste much time, he pulled out the fetal Doppler and began placing it on my stomach. After about 15 minutes of searching for the heart beat we never heard, the doctor assured us that people rarely hear a heartbeat this early in pregnancy because the baby is still sitting very low. I left a little disappointed because I was looking forward to this for 5 weeks now. Ed comforted me and suggested we make an appointment at another facility that offers early ultrasounds.
After a few days of panicking I finally made another appointment with our Dr. We got in at my 12 week point. When we arrived at our appointment I instantly loved him! He was joking with us about how he wished all his patients were like us. After about five minutes of chatting it was finally time to see our baby! I looked over at Ed with a big nervous smile as he was holding my hand. The doctor began to work the ultrasound. He was explaining to us what we were looking at on the screen. First showing us my perfect ovaries and then most importantly showing us our baby. He asked me how far along I was. I proudly told him we were twelve weeks along. The room fell to a deafening silence. After five minutes of staring at a screen that meant nothing to me, I started to get nervous. I was desperately trying to read the doctors face, not wanting to ask any questions because I thought I already knew the answer.
The doctor’s tone changed significantly when he said he would be right back. When he left the room I couldn’t look at Ed. Just the screen where I could see our baby. I was still not breathing.
The doctor returned shortly with his nurse. They again began to study the screen together and taking multiple measurements. They explained to us the baby no longer has blood flow or a heart beat. Also, the baby was measuring to be about 8 weeks old. Which happened to be the same time my symptoms had stopped. The doctor and nurse then confirmed our miscarriage.
Again, my world stopped. I couldn’t breathe but tears wouldn’t stop pouring down my face. I blamed myself.. It was because I exercised too much, it was because I work too hard, it was because I used to drink coffee, or maybe I didn’t drink enough water. The doctor explained to us that nothing I did caused this and there was nothing we could have done to prevent this. He also told us stories about how healthy babies are brought into this world already addicted to drugs. Then saying, “This always happens to the good ones.”. The doctor said he doesn’t know why this would happened to someone so young and health conscious, so he suggested I get blood work done. This way we can have a better grasp on why we lost our baby.
I will never forget leaving the doctors… Red eyed and puffy faced, my hands were filled with tissues and ultrasound pictures of our baby. It was so heart wrenching knowing my lifeless baby was still inside me and there was no way I could save her. I knew I could never look at another pregnancy the same.
My body didn’t recognizing the miscarriage so I ended up having to get a D&C. By this time I was a complete zombie, feeling absolutely numb. All I remember is being in the hospital room with my loving husband and wonderful mom, crying for our loss and my physical pain. They had to induce me, so I was having horrible contractions. After surgery I woke up feeling completely empty. A piece of me was gone. Before we were leaving, as they were helping me into a wheelchair, I asked the nurse the only thing I know “when can I return to work?”. She said whenever I feel up to it, probably in a couple days.
I returned to work the next day. Still bleeding from surgery and having horrendous cramps, I knew it was the only thing that would take my mind off everything. Plus, I was used to working through pain. When I go to work I get to be someone completely different, molding myself into whichever character I am playing. This the only outlet I knew. After a few days of continued work I received a phone call from the doctor, so I quietly stepped out of rehearsal. He asked how everything was going after my surgery. I answered his question and asked a few of my own. Then it hit me.
I had a miscarriage.
After I hung up I completely lost it. Sobbing, falling to the ground and losing all control. No one at work knew anything that had been going on besides one other dancer and my director. They tried to console me. I tried to calmed down but had to leave work early and I somehow drove home.
The next few days Ed didn’t leave my side. Knowing I needed a lot of extra support. He even took me to work with him. While I was there I finally received the phone call about my blood work. The nurse told me the results came back. There were a few things we should be concerned about and I needed to take action today. She told me I had three serious genetic blood clotting disorders: Factor V Leiden, MTHFR, and Prothrombin 20210g. Which makes me very high risk for blood clots, stroke, heart attack AND miscarriage. I was told I needed to start taking a baby aspirin and folic acid ASAP. Also, at the first sign of a pregnancy I need to inject myself everyday with Lovenox, (a blood thinner).
It was surprisingly such a relief finding out why we experienced our miscarriage. Most doctors will not test patients until they have experienced three or more miscarriages. That is three too many. Doctors don’t send patients home with untreated pneumonia saying “its natures way” or “it wasn’t meant to be”. Women are made to carrying child and there is too much science out there for this response. My suggestion for anyone who experienced a miscarriage is to get tested.
Again I continue to strive to focus on the positives in life. I feel so blessed for such a supportive husband who is there for me through thick and thin. My wonderful family, blood and in-laws. As well as My Dr and his staff!
TO BE CONTINUED “First year of marriage.”