Tuesday, January 22, 2013

One Woman's Journey Through Miscarriage - Guest Post by Mariela Amezola


Mariela like many women never thought she'd experience a miscarriage. In this post, she shares her story with us. Mariela's willingness to share is truly admirable. In her own words, "If I can help one person, then I'll be fulfilled; my experience is unique but the moral is to never lose hope or give up on your mommy dream."  

Here is Mariela's story:

My husband and I had only been trying for a month when we found out we were expecting our first baby. We were shocked, giddy, and excited. I was overwhelmed with pride and joy knowing I was going to be a mom. Over the next 10 weeks we had a couple great ultrasounds, we told family, friends, and some coworkers, and even bought the baby it's first outfit. At our third ultrasound we thought we'd be able to hear the baby's heart beat but after trying, my OB said it was still too early. I was disappointed but knew we'd at least be able to see it on the monitor. When the familiar little flicker didn't greet us, I looked to my OB for reassurance. Her face said it all but her words confirmed it, the baby's heart was no longer beating.

My OB referred us to a specialist for a second opinion. An agonizing wait and a high resolution ultrasound later, it was confirmed. I was experiencing what is known as a Missed Miscarriage. The baby's heart stopped beating for no apparent reason but my body hadn't figured it out yet. Rather than wait for nature to take its course (if it ever did) I took my OB's recommendation and had a D&C procedure to remove the pregnancy. She sent the pregnancy to a pathologist to test for abnormalities but unfortunately they came back inconclusive because the sample was too degraded.

In the days and weeks that followed I experienced some of the worst days of life. I had my husband and plenty of family and friends to lean on for support and encouragement but deep down I felt alone. At the end of the day, no one in my life could truly relate to or understand what I was grieving for. I didn't just lose a baby but all the wonderful pregnancy and motherhood milestones that so many women brag about. The only thing that really made me feel better was the idea of getting pregnant again. I knew another baby wouldn't replace the one I had lost but it would allow me to continue my journey, the one I so desperately wanted to complete.

After the required 3 month waiting period, and only one month of trying, I found out I was pregnant again. I was happy but also scared. My OB was great, recommending weekly ultrasounds to keep our minds at ease. We were cautiously hopeful but by the eighth week we were beginning to feel less caution and more hope. Unfortunately that respite was short lived. At our 9 week ultrasound we found out baby #2's heart had stopped beating. I suffered a second Missed Miscarriage and had to go through another D&C. I was sad and disappointed but surprisingly determined and focused. I put all my energy into figuring out why this was happening to me.

It was at this point that I started a series of tests and treatments. The pathology test on the second pregnancy showed a chromosomal abnormality also known as Turner Syndrome. A specialist mentioned there could be a link to blood clots in pregnancy and recommended I take one low dose aspirin every day.

I began seeing a fertility specialist who helped me understand that recurrent pregnancy loss is a form of infertility. After performing a series of exams and using my previous test results, he theorized that the quality of my eggs were closer to that of a 40 year old's thus preventing 30 year old healthy pregnancies. He recommended a minimally aggressive fertility treatment that would allow my body to produce multiple eggs in one cycle to increase our chances of getting a better quality egg. Ironically, I did not get pregnant during this hyper fertile cycle. My husband and I had had enough of the constant doctor visits and tests so we let our life get back to normal. I continued taking my prenatals, extra folic acid, and daily aspirin.

About two months later I found out that I was pregnant for a third time. With each weekly ultrasound and pregnancy milestone that I passed  I grew more grateful and thankful. I looked back at my losses and saw them as a source of inspiration. Thanks to them I didn't accept that a miscarriage or even two is common and I fought harder to ensure that baby #3 would make it. Although a conclusive cause was never found, I had a great "team" of doctors who discovered some potential reasons and helped me address them.

It's been almost a year since my little man Sebastian was born. I'll never know why it was different with him. Maybe the high dose fertility drugs cleared the "old" eggs out of my system or maybe the low dose aspirin kept the blood flowing to the placenta. Or maybe he was simply meant to be all along, after all, he's my "third time's a charm" baby!

Mariela with her adorable son Sebastian

 Finally, if you're wondering how to support a friend or relative through a miscarriage,

here is a simple run-down of what was helpful to me and what wasn't:



Helpful: Everyone reminded me and assured me that I would be a mom. Even if I didn't believe it at first, over time the repetition truly helped me regain my hope and optimism. Also, my husband and older sister told me several times they would do anything to take the pain away. This simple and selfless wish was very comforting. Make sure to constantly reassure your loved ones.
Not helpful: I sent an email to some coworkers with news and requested that they not approach me about it until some time had passed. Unfortunately, one person saw me in the hallway at work and tried to offer her condolences, I had to cut her off abruptly and walk away because it was enough to bring tears to my eyes. If someone asks you to leave them be, respect their wishes! A few weeks later, a family friend visited my parents home and put his hand on my belly asking how I was doing. I was crushed and spent several minutes with my husband and sisters trying to compose myself. Suffering a miscarriage is hard enough so ask family and close friends to spread the word so that potential heartache and awkwardness can be avoided.


Mariela Amezola shares her story with an open heart. She's offered to also provide one-on-one support to anyone who has specific questions. Please click the 'contact us' button on the blog and send us an email if you'd like Mariela's personal contact info. We'd be happy to extend this information to you!

5 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your story! It is truly a testament to your strength and perseverance not only to go through this, but to share this with everyone.

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    1. Thank you for your comment Natasha. We're hearing a lot of positive feedback across different channels today that this post was helpful. So many like you are grateful for Mariela and her willingness to share.

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  2. I went through something very similar this past year so reading your blog made me realize I'm not alone in my horrible experience. We're planning to try again in the next couple months :)

    -Aida Almeraz

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    1. Thank you for your comment Aida and for reading HerMamas. Remember that you are not alone. Good luck and have fun trying!

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Comment aka Props!