Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Miscarriage is an awful word
I debated whether or not I even wanted to share this. Is this too personal or too much information? What it boils down to is this: I know that reading similar stories to what I am going through right now has been comforting in some strange way. There’s something about knowing that someone out there is feeling (or has felt in the past) the same way that I do right now, and understands the feelings… it makes me feel normal. So, between that and feeling the need to explain to you all why I haven’t been myself (aka MIA) the past week:
Today was supposed to be the day we would hear our baby’s heartbeat…
But that won’t be happening.
Let me rewind a little bit…
I always thought that when we were ready to have kids, I’d stop birth control and BAM we’d be pregnant. As soon as Mike gave me the, “Okay I’m ready.” That would be it and 9 months later we would be holding a little baby.
Yah, that’s not exactly how it works.
Last summer, Mike and I started praying about when we would have kids. We knew it would be soon. I was ready whole-heartedly, but was waiting for Mike to be 100% in as well.
October rolled around and my brother and his wife announced that they were pregnant. It took EVERYTHING in me not to burst into tears. I was so happy for them, but at the same time I was broken-hearted because that was what I wanted for US. Well, Mike and I re-evaluated and I was overjoyed to hear him tell me he was FINALLY ready for us to start a family. I dumped my birth control into the garbage can and we began the TTC journey.
The first few months were a ‘bummer’ when it didn’t go as planned, but after a few more months went by my heart began to ache. I started to become fear-stricken with the “What if we won’t EVER be able to get pregnant?” To worsen the pain, it seemed like everyone else’s husbands could just look at them and they’d be pregnant. I lost count of the people that announced their pregnancies after about 25. No joke.
Please don’t take this the wrong way. I don’t want any of my friends to think I wasn’t happy for them, because I was. I was sincerely excited for each of them but then it would hit me like a punch in the gut and my heart would break for us. I would hold it together through the excitement, but then when I was alone I would burst into tears. Why was it so easy for everyone else? We’re doing everything by the books. Charting, taking temperatures, and even the use of a fertility monitor. Why wasn’t this easy for us?
I had to sit next to my pregnant sister in-law at work for her full 9 month pregnancy and hear everyone oogle over her growing belly every. single. day. (Heather knows i don’t mean this in a bad way… it was just an extremely challenging time for me). I was SO happy for my brother and his wife (and SO excited about my little niece). It was just the most painful daily reminder that we WEREN’T pregnant. There were days that it took everything in me not to burst into tears.
People would constantly the ask painful questions like, “When are you guys going to have kids… I mean you’ve got to keep up with your brother now.” Or offering up unsolicited advice like, “You need to wait x-amount of time before you have kids.” Or worse… women complaining about their pregnancies and/or their own children. My heart ached. I would kill to be in their shoes.
Month after month I would think, “this is it – this is THE month” only to pee on a stick and be filled with heartache when I saw “not pregnant” light up (AGAIN). Each time I would have to re-watch my husband’s heart break… see his dreams for finally being able to start working on the nursery that he had plans for, absolutely crushed. He was FINALLY ready to start a family and it just wasn’t happening.
I really truly believe that God was (and still is) teaching us patience and trust. We prayed and prayed for 9 months for a child, my cycle would be wackier and wackier… a 43 day cycle down to a 35 day one… then a 28 day one back to a 30 then a 50 day one… talk about ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE.
4th of July came. We were having friends over for dinner, and I had been cramping all day. I KNEW aunt flow was on her way, but I did the responsible thing and ran upstairs to get my shower and took a pregnancy test (just in case). I thought I’d see my “negative” like I’d seen at LEAST 2 1/2 dozen times before, and then I’d toss it in the garbage and move on with the night with a Margarita in hand. Well, I peed on the stick, and thought I might see the FAINTEST squinter appearing. Hubby and I weren’t sure if something was actually there or not, so we waited until the next morning.
5 am came around and I had been tossing for at least 30 minutes. I couldn’t stand it anymore; I LEAPED out of bed and took another test. It was still a faint line, but definitely more defined. Mike was STILL in disbelief so I pulled out a digital and took that one which confirmed it in big. beautiful. letters:
We were in shock and then we were elated… Absolutely elated! We were finally pregnant. Really truly pregnant! Our hearts were SO full of joy and excitement!
The next 3 weeks were pure bliss. I spent hours on Google searching all things pregnancy related. I bought a book about pregnancy that I couldn’t get my nose out of and I even started a pregnancy scrapbook. I researched the top baby registry items, picked out a crib that we loved, found nursery inspiration for both genders using pinterest.com and ohdeedoh.com. We took multiple trips to Babysrus and Pottery Barn Kids just to wander around… it was a blast. We were SO excited. Mike was JUST as excited as I was… He spent his time coming up with projects that needed to be done, ordering wood flooring to install in the nursery, planning the layout of the room. We were loving life.
Until last Tuesday came. I woke up to spotting and my heart DROPPED. I called the doctor and they assured me that everything should be fine and long as it was light and their was no cramping. They said to call them if the bleeding got heavier. Tuesday went on and the spotting would stop and then re-start again, but I didn’t have any cramping. It was one rollercoaster of a day and I felt extremely fearful. I just prayed that the spotting would stop.
Then Wednesday came (I was 7 1/2 weeks along) and I woke up and used the bathroom and saw the horrible sight of blood. Lots of blood. There is no worse feeling in the world. I began cramping and knew something wasn’t right. I cried and cried and prayed that everything would be okay. Why us? Why would we have to wait SO long to finally get pregnant and then it all end this way? Why?
I called the doctor and they told me to come in immediately. The doctor did an internal exam. She looked concerned but when she examined me and saw that my cervix was still closed, she said, “ok good.” She told me that she had bleeding in her first trimester and knows how scary it can be. She ordered an ultrasound be done an hour later so that I would have peace of mind and know what was going on one way or the other.
Well between the two appointments, I started having the most intense and painful cramping. I began bleeding. Even worse than before. The pain was worse than anything I had ever experienced and deep down I knew what the end result was going to be. I was scared. Absolutely terrified.
We went back to have the ultrasound done and I was doubled over in the waiting room chair from excruciating pain. The ultrasound tech did the ultrasound and said NOTHING. She took a TON of pictures but didn’t say a word to us. I knew though.
We were sent into the doctor’s office where she closed the door, handed us a box of tissues, and confirmed our worst nightmare.
Our baby wasn’t going to make it.
Turns out our doctor had been pregnant with twins and the bleeding she experienced was her miscarrying one of her babies. “Miscarriage” is such an awful word. It implies you did something wrong, when in most cases that is the opposite of the truth. Our doctor assured us that there was nothing we could have done, that the issue was a chromosomal issue that is just fluke. It didn’t make me feel any better but it was nice having an empathetic doctor who had been there before.
Now, Emily and I have never actually met in real life (we have visited each others blogs over the past few months & twittered)… for whatever reason, I felt the need to email her and ask her for advice knowing that she had once been in the EXACT same place as me.
It’s really hard for people to understand the feelings Mike and I are feeling when they haven’t been in our shoes. No one I know has prayed and prayed for a baby for over a year, FINALLY got pregnant to feel beyond overjoyed… and then have it GONE. In. an. instant.
Emily encouraged me to write about it, even though opening up and being this vulnerable is the last thing I wanted to do. I’m a very private person who doesn’t like to talk openly about emotional things. However, I decided to do it, and strangely have found it therapeutic in some odd way. So, thank you Emily for being so compassionate and for giving me the courage to write this.
Things I’ve learned in all of this (so far):
- We may not have ever seen our baby, but from the second we saw “pregnant” on that stick, we loved our baby whole-heartedly. Emily wrote on her blog a quote that her mom used to tell her, “Grief is the price you pay for loving.” So So true. We loved our baby. We always will. There is nothing wrong with that. It will always be a piece of us.
- I have a gem of a husband. This whole situation has put into perspective what an amazing man and husband Mike is. He has been so sweet and supportive… I just love him to pieces. This past week, I’ve had moments where my heart feels like it could literally burst with my love for him. Mike will make the most incredible father one day. I know that for certain.
- Our family & friends have been so supportive, Mike and I are so blessed to have such support and love around us. My mom immediately drove up to come to the aid. She did laundry, cleaned, and helped us get back on our feet. To those of you who have showered us with your love and prayers (you know who you are): thank you.
- My employers and co-workers have been so sweet through everything. My boss told me to take as much time as I needed and allowed me to stay home for the rest of the week to get me through the weekend. I received text messages from the girls in the office, and had flowers on my desk from sweet Philomena (thank you). I realize how blessed I am to have such caring co-workers that are like family to me.
- Last, but NOT least… God WILL get us through this. I know it. We have a peace that surpasses all understanding (not to say that our hearts don’t still ache, because they do), but we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. We are clinging to that promise.
So that’s it. That’s all I wanted to say. I know that it is wordy, but for the sake of not having to re-hash the situation with person after person I wanted to explain everything here. It’s extremely difficult to talk about, and I’ve always been much better at writing my feelings than putting them into words.
So if I’m a little sporadic with my posting, you’ll now understand why and please just bear with me. And if I haven’t returned your calls / text messages you’ll now know why.
Thanks for listening. Love you all.