The 1 in 4: Strides for the Sweetpeas

Both of my losses were different, but somehow the same.

I found out about the first pregnancy on August 19, 2015. I took a test in the restroom at work and it was positive. I left work early to wander around the mall to find something baby-themed to tell my husband. It was so exciting. We set up an appointment with my doctor and started choosing names and things for the baby.

Two weeks later I was scheduled for an ultrasound and checkup. At that point I was about 7 weeks pregnant and could not wait to see that little dot on the screen that would be our little baby in just a few months. Only there wasn’t a dot. Just darkness. After about 15 minutes of our tech moving around for different views, it was clear that there was nothing there. We met with my doctor and she informed us that our little Sweetpea was ectopic.

I remember feeling numb, kind of like in the movies where everything around you goes blurry and you don’t hear anything anyone is saying. I received a dose of Methotrexate that day. My doctor said there was a small chance I would have to have a second dose, but that it rarely happened. I was set up for another ultrasound and bloodwork in a week to check on things.

Our next appointment came around, and after ultrasound and bloodwork we found out the first round of Methotrexate hadn’t done its job. I just remember thinking “of course I need the second shot.” I remember also thinking at least it won’t get any worse. Of course I was wrong…

A little over a week later, after blood tests showing my levels were declining as they should, I woke up in the worst pain I’ve ever felt. I couldn’t stand up, I couldn’t see straight. My husband drove me to the hospital and they took me into ultrasound to see what was happening. The nurse got the images and took me to the on-call doctor’s office. What they found out was that while Methotrexate did do its job, the result had formed a blockage in my tube. The remnants of what was once our Sweetpea had now collected in my tube, causing it to expand to the size of a baseball. He said it was “impossible” that it hadn’t ruptured. He said I was lucky to still be alive.

He took me into surgery. That whole part was a complete blur. I remember a lot of questions, a lot of pain, and most of all a lot of fear. I’ve never broken a bone, much less had any form of surgery in my life. They ended up having to remove my whole tube with the mass, as it was beyond repair. After surgery, my husband took me home to heal – both mentally and physically.

Fast forward six months…

We found out we were pregnant again! The last pregnancy had me worried right from the start. I tried to remain cautiously optimistic as we went to our ultrasound. There’s no way the same thing would happen again, right?

Wrong. We had our ultrasound and found out that Sweetpea 2 was also stuck. We opted for surgery instead of another round of Methotrexate because I couldn’t risk losing my only tube. This surgery was scheduled six months to the day from my first and went routinely as planned. Back home again to heal.

Fast forward to now…

Corey and I have grown a lot from these experiences. We’ve always referred to each other as “my other half” and that is only become truer now. We gave our two babies the names we picked out in the beginning, even though we never got to find out their genders. We think about our little Max and Scarlett every day.

Since our babies were so new, we weren’t able to see them, hold them, and we weren’t able to give them a ceremony. We don’t have graves to visit or headstones to decorate with flowers. Being able to give back to Anna’s Grace has given us a way to remember our Max and Scarlett. It gives meaning and purpose to what we went through, and being able to give other families something we aren’t able to have ourselves is one of the most powerful feelings of all.

Cori is the captain of “Strides for the Sweetpeas” team for Anna’s Grace Quarter Marathon – representing the 1 in 4 pregnancies that ends in loss. You can visit her team page or make a donation here: https://www.crowdrise.com/strides-for-the-sweetpeas/fundraiser/corifreeman

About Anna’s Grace Foundation Anna’s Grace Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supporting families in the Greater Baton Rouge Area who experience miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. Each and every day one of our neighbors, friends, coworkers, or family members will experience the devastating loss of a baby, and Anna’s Grace is there to provide emotional and financial support so that families can focus on healing. The Anna’s Grace Quarter Marathon is on March 26, 2017. For more information or to register, visit http://www.annasgrace.org/registration.

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