This has been a tough year for me. There were certainly bright spots, but when I look back on it (at least right now) it’s full of dim, sharp, hurty things and I want nothing more than to fast forward my life to a time when it all just hurts a little less. I find myself begging for the days to pass, the weeks to fly and the months to blur together.
I’ve mentioned that we sold our house and lived with my in-laws & my mom for two months. What I may have left out is that right at the tail end of that my Dad died, on June 30, unexpectedly. He had been deteriorating for years, but for all intents and purposes he was stable. Until he wasn’t. We, also, had scheduled our move (without, obviously, knowing he would pass away) for 3 days later — starting July 3. To say that week was awful would be an immense understatement.
As the weeks wore on, the memorial passed and though still mourning, I was fighting my way through the fog. Christian and I decided that I would stop taking Clomid (helping us ovulate/conceive with my PCOS) for a couple of months since I was grieving, stressed and just not in the right frame of mind to be trying to get pregnant.
On August 27, Christian’s birthday, I found out — very unexpectedly — that I was pregnant (without drugs). It seems as if there would be a light at the end of this dark tunnel, after all. I immediately began having cramping (no bleeding) and very sore boobs, both of which I was reassured by the nurse at my OB/GYN office were normal.
It’s funny how finding out something like this quickly changes everything. Where would we put a nursery? What projects do we need to put on fast forward to get the house in a little better shape? What will maternity leave look like? Crap, I can’t go to one of my best friend’s weddings. Should I buy new dress pants or just wait until I need the maternity ones? What will I wear on our trip in November if I don’t fit in my clothes? Let’s talk about names. Let’s spend many, many, many hours researching pre-natal vitamins and stalking pregnancy boards on The Bump to feel even the slightest bit of pregnant camaraderie.
You get the idea. Our due date was initially set for May 3. I couldn’t wait. It was almost like having a school year baby — in in the fall, out in the spring.
After the initial positive test, I called my doctor to set up my 8 week appointment. September 23. I circled it on the calendar and methodically counted down the 26 days that would take to get there. Which, for the record, were the slowest 26 days of my life.
Christian took the afternoon off to go with me. We loaded up the car and drove to Parker (about 20 minutes from our house) where my doctor had moved her practice. After signing in, a urine sample and a short wait in the waiting room we were taken back for our first ultra sound and I couldn’t wait. My stomach was a mixture of nervous butterflies and knots — I wanted to see that little heart beat more than I wanted anything on this earth. As soon as the black and white images flashed on the screen I began searching for any sign of a heartbeat, any flicker.
I didn’t see one.
The tech told us she was going to check my ovaries, cervix etc. before circling back to the baby. But, I knew it wasn’t good. As she rounded back to the baby, you could tell. There was nothing resembling a heartbeat. She said she was very sorry, but that it appeared the baby had stopped growing about a week earlier and wasn’t showing a heartbeat.
All I could think was that she had to be wrong, this had to be wrong. How could the baby I prayed for, prayed over daily and wanted so badly just be gone? Not after the year I’ve had, there’s no way that this could really be happening. No possible way.
But, it was.
My doctor assured me that I hadn’t done anything to cause this, that most likely it was a chromosomal issue that my body hadn’t allowed to continue. After meeting with my doctor, I was sent home with Cytotec (to induce my miscarriage since my body hadn’t started on its own) as well as Percocet and Zofran to help combat the impending side effects of what was about to happen. That night, I sucked it up. We had family in town and my brother-in-law’s 30th birthday to celebrate. I went, I smiled, I broke apart on the inside.
Wednesday morning, after a good cry on the phone with one of my best friends, I made it to the office. Tried to hold it together and ended up leaving because all the emotions I was trying to hold in just wouldn’t be jailed any more and the sobs weren’t exactly conducive to a productive office environment.
I started the Cytotec Wednesday night — needing the uncertainty to end — thinking that maybe if I put the process of the miscarriage behind me rather than letting it linger I would feel better, less defeated. From what I’ve heard about miscarriage, there isn’t a good option – between DNC, “the pills” and trying to pass it naturally… no option seems to have much up on any of the others. The Cytotec induced labor like waves of cramping and a whole host of symptoms that had me very sick for the next four days. During that time I, also, had to go back in for a Rhogam shot due to Christian and I having different (negative vs. positive) blood types.
Passing your baby at home, no matter how small, is nothing I would wish on anyone…miscarriage is nothing I would wish upon anyone.
My follow-up appointment was the next Tuesday — I still had more to “pass”, but it appeared that “the pills” had done their job. I had hoped that I would feel better and more on the mend. But, I don’t. I feel more defeated, frightened and heartbroken than ever. I’m trying to process, trying to find things in my control, all without much avail.
This baby made me a Mom, though I will never get to hold my baby, watch it grow — I will always cherish the time I got to spend carrying him/her and know that we’ll be reunited one day. And, truthfully, this is what I’m holding on to and what is helping me push through.
I’m sharing this because I was blindsided by my miscarriage and felt/feel very isolated by what has happened. Miscarriage is extremely common, possibly in upwards of 1 in 4 pregnancies. Personally, I didn’t know anyone that had shared their miscarriage story, that could fully understand what I was feeling, what I was grieving. Miscarriage is something a lot of people don’t talk about – it’s hard, it’s grief, it’s uncomfortable. But, it happens and we shouldn’t be ashamed, we shouldn’t hide it in our hearts, we need to be open to talking about it.
Today, October 15, is Infant Loss and Remembrance Day. This post isn’t something I’m super comfortable putting out there, but if it makes even one person feel less alone, then it’s worth it.