The Baby, The Miscarriage, and The Mom
The Baby, The Miscarriage, and The Mom
I am blessed. When I look at my family, my home and my life, I know that I am blessed. I give my gratitude to the powers that be every day. However, there are moments when I just can't say thanks, when I question my purpose on earth. There are moments when I question everything.
My husband and I are thankful for our vibrant, intelligent and spirited son. I became a mother after a flurry of quick decisions. I had a burning desire to have a baby. I knew my husband (boyfriend at the time) was the person I wanted to raise a child with, and we were ready.
One September afternoon, we decided to have a baby, and two weeks later I was pregnant. I didn't think getting pregnant could be so easy. I had a rather uncomfortable but normal pregnancy. Nothing about having all your internal organs shift out of place to make space for a small human is comfortable.
The hardest part of my first pregnancy were the challenges that came after. I was laid off from my job. I had a newborn, and I suffered from an undiagnosed case of post-partum anxiety. Saying that first year was rough is an understatement. With support from a good doctor and my family, eventually the fog cleared, and I started to enjoy the blessings around me.
Three years later, my mommy senses start twinkling again, and the desire to have another baby grows fiercely. It came out of nowhere. I always thought I only wanted one child, so the desire to have a second one was new for me to process. I was also laid off and recently married. It wasn't the right time.
My husband, who already had two children, was not as happily on board with this new desire. Even though I wanted a baby, it didn't mean we were ready this time around.
I was not happy with this realization, but after some time I understood my husband's rationale, and we decided to wait.
Because I just went through a difficult moment in my life and I wanted to ring you up to date before I dive into the rest of this story.
The pregnancy symptoms appeared a week into my new job and after a birthday trip for hubby. I knew something was up so I took a pregnancy test which I thought came back negative (when they tell you to wait 3 minutes you should wait). About an hour later, my husband asks me if there is something I want to tell him. Of course, I say no.
He then brings me the test which had been positive. Span to me happily freaking out. It was not the "right" time, and it wasn't planned, but we were pregnant.
I was suddenly so happy. I was genuinely chipper all day every day. Every part of me wanted this baby. Then October 1st came.
On October 1st, I was six weeks along and feeling good. I had my first ultrasound. My husband couldn't go but that was okay, he would be there for all the other visits. Something didn't feel right about the day. Now that I look back, my chipperness just wasn't there that day. I pushed away from the thoughts that something might be wrong. I had a healthy pregnancy before, and this would be no different.
I met with the sonogram specialist and watched her face intently. I asked her if everything was ok. She didn't say a word, just kept staring at the screen. I urged her to tell me what was going on and she wouldn't even look at me. In the end, she asked if I wanted to see the doctor today or to wait.
I looked at her like she had three heads. Of course, I wanted to see the doctor. Clearly, something was wrong.
The doctor came in and said we don't find a heartbeat.
She said, "We don't find a heartbeat. We see signs of the pregnancy but no heartbeat. Either this is an early pregnancy, or you have a miscarriage."
She said, " We can run some tests to find out. We can also work on taking care of the lost."
I was in awe, shock, fear and utter sadness. A miscarriage. The doctor was speaking to me in such a cold and routine manner. "These things happen," and "it's not a big deal" were the messages I was getting.
"These things happen," and "it's not a big deal" were the messages I was getting. #miscarriage #miscarriagetalk
No big deal? What?
I possibly have a miscarriage, and you are treating me as if I have a routine yeast infection.
I cried in that office out of anger, frustration, and loneliness.
I sucked it up after. I left praying that my pregnancy was just at an earlier stage than we thought and my baby would be ok. I spent the day with friends.
The next day I woke up in incredible pain. I couldn't even get up from the bed. I felt this intense cramping sensation that took over my back, legs, and uterus. What I was feeling wasn't normal. Something was incredibly wrong.
I spent the day in bed trying to relax. However, at some point, I went to take a shower and then it happened. I lost my baby. The baby I was so happy and excited about left me. While standing in the shower, I cried in a way that I never cried before. I cried so hard I went numb.
My husband took me to urgent care. The doctor there confirmed my miscarriage. He spoke to me like a human who was starting to mourn. He showed me compassion and understood the difficult emotions I must be going through. He then sent me home to rest.
It's only been two weeks out, and I think about the baby every day. I still find myself holding my stomach from time to time hoping I'll feel something move. It's been a lonely experience, however. Not because people aren't' caring or supportive but because I am mourning the loss of someone no one but me met. I try to say goodbye, but nothing I do feels right. I don't feel like I'm honoring the soul that was to be my child.
So for now, I acknowledge the feelings I feel. I allow myself to cry when I need to. I allow myself to go numb when I need to. In this way, I let the general flow of life guide me through my healing process. I don't think I will ever forget my would be baby and I will always be that baby's mom no matter what.
*An extra thought: I share my experiences with the two doctors I met with over that weekend because I want to bring to light how important it is to find doctors you trust and support you in the way you were supporting. The first doctor I met with was still new to me, and I felt as if she wasn't going to be a good fit moving forward. The second doctor was a complete stranger to me, but if he had a private practice, I would so be in his books! Feeling safe and heard at your doctors is a right, not privilege. Find a doctor that meets your needs.
**One more extra thought: October is Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month. As I looked for support on how to heal from this loss, I found very few stories of women sharing their stories. I share mine in the hopes that a woman reading this will know they are not alone. If you need to talk to someone about your experience feel free to contact me, elly at chooseyoulove.com.