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When Something Goes Wrong

by Allison Hutton
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For many women, pregnancy comes and goes. Although it is an unforgettable experience, most women find pregnancy to be uneventful. However, there are some women who face issues and conditions during pregnancy, that aren't common. When something does go wrong, how do you cope?

Once you encounter a complication in pregnancy, you are never able to relax again. Every twinge, ache, or odd feeling will lead you to believe that something is going terribly wrong. With all four of my miscarriages, they occurred at exactly the same point in the pregnancy, with the same onset of symptoms. I could literally look at my calendar and calculate when a miscarriage was going to begin. As terrible as that sounds, it is the honest truth. So, when the cause of my miscarriages was diagnosed, and I was pregnant with Hannah, I still worried. But, days, weeks and months passed, with no complications. She was, very much, an "uneventful" pregnancy. I imagined that this is what most women experienced, but due to my history, I had a difficult time enjoying the early part of pregnancy. I was constantly rushing to the bathroom, to see if any bleeding had started. When she was born, happy and healthy, a rush of relief came over me. I was thrilled that the doctors were able to find out why I was losing my pregnancies, and enabling me to carry a happy, healthy, full-term baby.

When I found out I was pregnant with our second baby in April of this year, I expected much the same experience as with Hannah. I begin my daily injections of Heparin, and was careful not to overdo it (very hard with a toddler!). My beta Hcg levels were rising as they should, and everything was going along as my doctor had hoped. On Mother's Day, I noticed I was spotting. I couldn't believe this was happening, and tried my best not to panic. My parents were in for the weekend, and I didn't want to upset them. After they left, I called my doctor, who asked that I go to the hospital for an immediate check on my Hcg levels. My doctor put me on bed rest, and demanded that I take it easy. Thankfully, everything was fine. However, I found that I had begun "preparing" myself for the worst. The spotting continued on and off until I was 10 1/2 weeks pregnant. There was no known cause, and it stopped as quickly and unexpectedly as it had started. I am now 4 months pregnant, and have had no problems since the earlier episode.

Compared to what some women face, my situation seems rather mild. I have a friend who had such a severe case of hypermesis; she was unable to eat anything (liquid or solid) throughout her entire pregnancy. She was fed through a feeding tube, connected directly to her stomach. Luckily, her baby girl was born healthy, but my friend endured a great deal of pain and discomfort through her pregnancy. Through all of our troubles, scares, and confusion, it definitely helps to talk with others who have been in the same (or similar) situation. For me, on-line message boards became my support group. I found that, in talking with others about my fears, I was better able to cope with the complications I was dealing with at the time. Often times, seeking out support from friends and family will not give you the peace of mind you are so in need of. I know that, as much as my Mom wanted to help, she couldn't begin to understand my concerns and fears. She insisted I leave the "medical" situations up to the doctors, and just try to enjoy my pregnancy. Although she had the best of intentions, all her advice did was make me wonder if I was being overly paranoid.

If complications arise in your pregnancy, seek out support. You may know a friend of a friend who went through the same thing. Perhaps there is a local support group in your area. Of course, there are many online forums that offer message boards and special/topical chats. Don't feel that you need to handle the fear and pressure on your own. Look for support, do your research and don't be afraid to ask questions. By becoming an informed patient, you will better be able to understand the realm of your complications, and your doctor may feel more comfortable going into greater detail about your condition. You are almost guaranteed to locate what you need on the Internet. Good luck.

My name is Allison Hutton. I was recently introduced to the Baby Corner by Elizabeth Geiger, and have found it to be a wonderful resource for those trying to conceive, those who are expecting, and those who are already parents. I am a stay at home Mom to my beautiful daughter, Hannah, and wife to my wonderful husband, Daniel. After a long journey battling recurrent pregnancy loss, we welcomed our daughter into the world on St. Patrick's Day, 1999. Motherhood has been the most challenging, exhausting, and rewarding job I have ever had! In my "spare" time, I enjoy freelance writing about issues dealing with pregnancy, parenting, infertility, and women's health. I hope to provide some insight to pregnancy, as well as information that can be difficult to find on the web. I look forward to becoming a part of the Baby Corner, and hope to make a difference, no matter how small.

Allison is a contributing editor for The Baby Corner as well Editor of Pregnancy after Miscarriage at Suite 101.

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