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Samantha's Pregnancy Journal

Introduction
Meet Samantha

Samantha

Hello. My name is Samantha and I feel very blessed to be writing this intro and my updates to come. To be honest, I had wondered if I would ever get this far but let me start at the beginning.

My husband, Ben, and I met a little over 9 years ago while we both attended college in New Hampshire. I knew I wanted to be with him the moment I saw him, even more after my roommate claimed "mine" at orientation. We became good friends and then started dating a few weeks into classes. We married on our first year anniversary and moved across country to Arizona shortly after graduation. From then on it had been just him and I. We had no family or even friends when we moved but I think we kind of liked it that way. We moved all over the Arizona desert and after 5 years decided it was time to add to our little family. Knowing I had a family history of cystic fibrosis, we met with a genetic counselor and was tested for CF and a few other genetic disorders. All came back normal so then it was on to making a baby part.

It took just two months to get pregnant and we were ecstatic. We announced right away and even told cashiers at the store the good news! My first appointment was to be at 11 weeks. I ate everything a pregnant woman is suppose to eat, I took my vitamins, I exercised lightly. I was on top of the world but a few days before my appointment I had a bit of spotting. My midwife said I could go to the ER to get an ultrasound if I was worried. I took it easy for the rest of the day but by dinner time I was getting a bad feeling in my gut so off we went to the ER. Many hours of waiting, blood tests, ultrasounds which they didn't let me watch and finally we were given the devastating news. "I'm sorry but there is no heartbeat." My baby had died 3 weeks earlier and my body was just now understanding what had happened. I was told I could have a D&C but decided to go home instead. Almost as soon as we got home I started to miscarry.

We were told it was "just one of those things" and that there was no reason to think it would happen again. As soon as my period returned we tried again. Two months of trying and we had new found hope. Happy but a little nervous we announced. A week later I miscarried without warning. We waited over 6 months to try again but got pregnant quickly there after. We told friends and family that maybe the third time was a charm. We had an ultrasound at 7 weeks and saw the flutter of a heartbeat though the scan couldn't pick up a rate. Baby looked good. We waited three weeks for our next appointment and were hopeful. After trying for what seemed like forever to pick up a heartbeat on the doppler without success we were moved to an ultrasound room. By now I knew what I should have been seeing, a 10 week old fetus wiggling around with a heartbeat but the baby was small and still on the screen. The flutter we saw three weeks earlier was gone. By the size we were told baby #3 died right after our first ultrasound. Shocked and heartbroken yet again we went home. A few months later and we tried a fourth time. One week of joy mixed with fear and it was over yet again. We didn't even have time to tell everyone and it was gone. Four miscarriages in two years. I couldn't believe this was my life.

I had finally had enough and demanded any and all tests to find out what was happening. Finally when I said something was wrong, doctors believed me. Multiple ultrasounds, blood work, a hysterosalpingogram and finally an answer but not one we or even the doctor ever expected. Balanced Translocation of the 9th and 12th chromosomes.

Two of my chromosomes broke apart and jumbled up when I was conceived. After much research as my doctor didn't really have any answers, we found that though I am normal when I conceive and give my DNA to my children sometime (all the time so far) I don't give the right amount to them. They get too little of one and not enough of the other. Because the places where my chromosomes broke hold a large amount of information, my four previous pregnancies ended because they just didn't have enough DNA to make it farther than they did.

Most people with my new found condition do have healthy children either naturally or with help from science, some don't have any issues trying to conceive at all and some never have a healthy child. The new club I belong to is diverse and full of heartache but with online BT groups I have new support. Having belonged to the pregnancy loss community I already had a heads up for the BT community but there is so much more medical jargon.

It's been 5 months since our diagnosis threw our already crazy life into another tailspin. Pregnant again and with new hope as I get farther along. My hope is that this journal lasts for a good 27 weeks more and I get to post a birth story in March. Hope.

Thank you,
Samantha

misc: I'm 27 and my husband is 34. I'm currently training to be a loss doula and my husband has aspirations to become a professional brewer. I want to share my story because I know I'm not alone and maybe I can give someone hope.

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