My name is Alexia Bronson and I have a story that I am sure many women can relate to. Miscarriages are something some women unfortunately experience in life. Some stories being relatable, others unique in their own way. Regardless of your story, the hurt is all the same. I would love the opportunity to share the stories of my two miscarriages, as well as what I learned about why they were happening. Perhaps my story is one some can relate too or learn from.
The story of my first miscarriage is taken from a blog post that I personally wrote. Following, I will tell the story of my second, as well as my fertility issues/answers.
Blog post from February 5th, 2017:
“There was one early morning, January 15th 2017 to be exact, I was at work and had begun to feel some cramping. I went to the restroom and noticed light bleeding. Immediately I left because it wasn’t something that I was willing to chance. Milton, my husband, left work and met me at the hospital. We were sent from the emergency room over to the OBGYN. I got in to see the doctor and she performed an ultrasound. As she was looking at the screen, she was far too quiet for far too long. I could tell there was something she was looking for and wasn’t able to find. She finally spoke and explained that she wasn’t seeing what she had hoped she would, and the sac that the baby developed in was starting to collapse. Meaning that I had not miscarried yet, but it was going to happen soon. On the screen, what was supposed to be a black circle, looked like the shape of a black peanut.
I couldn’t bear to look over at Milton. I knew that his heart had been broken, just as mine was, and I couldn’t stand to see that look on his face. The doctor left the room for a moment and I sat there staring at the floor, not knowing what to say. Milton walked over to me and held me. Neither of us knew what to say to one another, we just cried.
The doctor came back in the room. She assured us that this happens. 1 in 4 pregnancies miss carry and it was nothing that we did or didn’t do. We are healthy, my reproductive system is healthy, it just wasn’t meant to be this time. We knew that God had a plan, he had a plan for that baby, and he had a plan for us.
Unfortunately, we were not able to leave immediately after the meeting with the doctor, we had to go sit in a waiting room for an hour so I could get some blood work done. Longest hour of our lives, sitting there, holding each other’s hand, fighting back our tears, trying not to draw attention to ourselves. My number finally gets called, but being a military hospital, I had to go in alone, Milton was not able to come with me. I get in the room where people are getting their blood drawn, sit down in the chair, and I am surrounded by baby pictures all over the walls. I broke down, all the tears I had been bottling up came pouring out. The guy taking my blood was freaking out, thought I had a fear of needles or something. When he was done, I rushed out of the room back into the waiting room where I spotted Milton. He saw me crying and immediately ran over to me. He put his arms around me and rushed me out of the room. He calmed me down and assured me that we were going to be okay.
That evening we talked about how we were feeling, let out our emotions, and spoke from the heart. We were both heartbroken but we were thankful that we had one another. Later on that night, about 9 o’clock, my cramps had worsened and I was bleeding heavier than before. I went to the restroom, my stomach tightened up. Looking into the toilet, I immediately knew what had just happened. I opened the bathroom door, eyes filled with tears, looked at Milton and he immediately knew as well. He calmed me down, held me tight, trying so hard to be strong for me. We called a friend whose mom was a delivery nurse and she guided us in what we should do next. Milton and I said a prayer, we said out loud, “we will meet you in heaven one day, and we are greatly looking forward to it.”
As time passes, we continue looking to the future; keeping our spirits high and enjoying one another. We know our time will come, and it will be on Gods terms. We are praying that we are blessed with some news soon. Milton leaves for deployment come March, we would love to get that good news before he leaves. If not, we know that it wasn’t in Gods plan for us to have a child at this time in our lives. All in all, we are happy, excited for the future, thankful for all that we have been blessed with, and will continue to focus on our careers.”
A short 2 months later, we received another positive pregnancy test. At this point, Milton was due to deploy in just a couple days. We were trying to conceive before he left, so we were overjoyed when we found out that “We did it!!” Neither of us wanted to go a whole 7 months not being able to try for a baby. Milton left and a couple of weeks later I headed home to Florida to be with family. I was home for maybe a week and I began to notice that my breasts weren’t tender anymore. Ignoring it, I guess out of fear of what that could mean, I kept it to myself and went about my day. The following day I began having those cramps again. I spoke up to my mom and asked if she would go to the emergency room with me. We arrived at the hospital, they ran a bunch of tests and the doctor returned to the room hours later and said, “It looks like you might have a miscarriage.” I remember feeling so pissed off that she used the word “might”. I held on to that word “might” with every once of my being. Once I arrived home the cramps started to worsen immensely. I made myself fall asleep so I wouldn’t have to sit in pain thinking about what was most likely happening and how I was going to tell my husband who is deployed in another country. I woke up to exactly what I had expected to, a trip to the bathroom followed by a lot of blood.
Neither my husband nor myself really knew the best way to cope with this one. Our first miscarriage we had each other to lean on. That wasn’t the case this time. I can remember feeling like I just wanted to be alone. I was there, in my sister’s apartment- I originally planned to stay for months- but all I wanted to do was go back home to Tennessee and be alone. There I could cry in private without having people feel sorry for me. So that’s what I did, I went home and I dealt with it myself. I didn’t talk about it much with Milton, what was the point? He was there and I was here, no reason to keep talking about it and make him feel down every day while enduring all he was outside of his personal life. So we said what we needed to say and that was that, didn’t speak of it much at all after that.
As for me, I told myself I can either sit here in my house alone, with my husband deployed, eat ice cream every night, not go to the gym, and get severely depressed, all for my husband to come back home to a completely different person than he left. Or, I can look past this rough time, pray that God gives me strength, work on myself in everyway that will better me, be an even stronger woman for my husband to come home to, and in the end, feel SO much better about myself that I was able to overcome this and not let it bring me down. Yea…I went with option two!!
That’s one thing that I always practice within myself, that you are in full control of your mind. You chose how you are going to handle situations, you chose if your going to be sad, happy, disciplined, strong, or weak. It’s all completely up to you! Your thoughts can break you down, or you can allow them to build you up. It’s your choice! Anyways, I went back home to Florida and ended up spending the best four months with my sister. Four months that were completely irreplaceable and I was so fortunate to of had that quality time with her while my husband was away.
When it was time for me to get settled back at my home in Tennessee, I decided that I would try and see if the OB in the military hospital would consider running some fertility tests on me to see if something was wrong. That way, if something wasn’t right, we could fix the problem before my husband got home and try again to hopefully have more success.
The doctors heard me out, and although they don’t typically do that testing until 3 miscarriages had taken place, they went ahead and did it for me anyways. The way this works is they start out with the big picture and chip away and chip away, weeding factors out, until they get down to what the root of the problem is. They first started with an ultrasound (pelvic and internal) making sure that my reproductive organs are in proper health. Everything was fine there!
Next, they performed a test called a hysterosalpingogram, nope I did not spell that wrong, but an easier way to say it is an HSG test! How this procedure works is you lay on an x-ray table, and with a catheter, they inject a dark colored dye up into your uterus. With the x-ray machine, they can watch this dye travel up your uterus, down through your fallopian tubes, and all the way over to your ovaries. What they are looking for while this is happening is any blockage, so if the dye comes to a stop, OR if the dye is going around something that is in the way. This is actually very neat to watch, only took about 5 minutes, however it can be a bit painful. Anyways, this test came back all clear!
The final fertility tests that they ran on me was blood work, lots and lots of blood work. Now, this is where it really paid to do my research prior to this appointment. I wanted to be sure that when I got to the lab, that I was going to get every possible outcome tested, because I knew something was wrong, and I was going to find the answer. I ended up going in with a giant list of things I wanted them to test for, and they did!
Two tests came back abnormal with my blood work. That was my cardiolipin levels, it turns out I have what is called “Cardiolipin Antibody Syndrome.” This basically means that I have little blood clots in my blood making it impossible for me to stay pregnant. The blood clots get blocked up when trying to enter into the placenta, preventing blood to get to the fetus, then resulting in a miscarriage. The fix to this was blood thinners, that’s all! The second test that came back abnormal was my AMH levels (anti-mullerian hormone). What this means is that the cells my body produces, that eventually turn into my eggs, are not good quality cells, resulting in poor quality eggs. Another way to look at this, I have the ovaries of a middle-aged woman, meaning they are aging very quickly as if I am in my 50s, producing eggs as if I am in my 50s. This is something that I was born with, it was going to happen simply because it was in my genes to be that way. There is nothing I did or didn’t do to cause this to happen. This was where we were told that we may need to go through IVF to have a baby, however when your AMH levels are as low as mine are, doctors typically will turn you away for IVF.
We went forward with scheduling an important with a fertility specialist to talk about 1) AMH and what we needed to know about it, and 2) possible chances of doing IVF. Surprise surprise, the day before our doctor appointment, we find out that I was pregnant! We decided to keep our appointment so we can talk about what can be done to try and prevent this miscarriage from possibly happening. He prescribed me hormones (estrogen and progesterone) to be taken the first trimester, he prescribed folic acid, and he prescribed the blood thinners. I was to start baby aspirin asap, and then at 12 weeks start lovenox (a shot that gets injected daily to the belly/hip region).
Boy were we thankful for him! Pregnancy went as smooth as pudding!! Although I was considered high risk, for the fact that I had the blood clotting disorder, I still had a very easy pregnancy. My husband and I now have our rainbow baby, Ava Rae Bronson, who is now 10 weeks old! I could not imagine my life without her!