** I know this may be hard for some to read. Please know that I truly apologize if this miscarriage post triggers anyone. But for my well being, I need to talk about this. **
Two Little Lines
That’s all that they are. But these two little lines herald the beginning of a series of life changing events. And upon seeing these two little lines any woman feels a flood of emotion that could break the Hoover Dam. Whether it was planned or completely surprising, I do not think that there is a woman on Earth who is not rocked to her soul when she finds out that she is expecting. It is in our very nature. And I was no different. First there was surprise, then followed joy, then followed apprehension.
To be honest I am terrified about another child to our family. I don’t know how Squeak will adjust and I don’t want her to feel neglected because of the new baby. On the same token, I also want her to share in the happiness that are siblings. While it may not be true for everyone else, I wouldn’t trade my siblings for the world. Petty fights and all.
I teased Hubs when I found out. I tested and then promptly put Squeak in her bath. He came in and I jokingly asked where his mind was. He predictably assumed that I was going to give him terrible news because he can be a pessimistic turd. (Don’t tell him I said that, haha!) His first reaction was the same as it was for Squeak. He immediately got so very serious and then he hugged me. A sign of solidarity for this new family adventure. For one month we were on Cloud 9.
I should have known and subconsciously I feel like I did. Our first dating ultrasound did not bode well. While pregnancy is wrought with uncertainty, I was positive of my dates and how far along I should be. At 6 weeks, I measured around 4-ish. It was so small that the computer wouldn’t give an approximate gestational age. Of course, we were placated with, “you just may be earlier than you thought” or “your dates could be off” or “the embryo is just smaller than it should be”. I was rescheduled to come back in 10 days to repeat the process. I would have bet money that I saw a heartbeat, a little flicker of hope, but none of us could be sure.
To say that I didn’t cope well was an understatement. I was anger and foul to boot. I racked my brain for any reason why the pregnancy was not what it should be. Maybe, I had a much greater reduction in appetite than the first time around. I assumed that it was because I had worse nausea than before. Maybe I drank too much coffee or didn’t sleep enough. What if my dates were wrong? As I state I knew my dates, even if I conceived later than I thought, then I should haven’t gotten my positive when I did. Even if I was a week off, there still should have been more than what there was.
The next day I received a call from the tech and the radiologist had confirmed that there was not a fetal pole. For those who are not in the know, a fetal pole is “a thickening of the margin of the yolk sac of a fetus during pregnancy”. Sure, there are cases where it is not visible via ultrasound until 8-9 weeks. Still there was hope, but I couldn’t allow myself to cling to hope only to break my heart later. Maybe Hubs’ pessimistic personality is wearing on me. But truthfully, I began to disconnect emotionally from that conversation.
The Downhill Slide
I tried in earnest to convey the severity of the situation to him. The next day sealed it. That evening the beginning of the end started and I spent my weekend waiting for the pain, but it never arrived. Being as this is my first experience in pregnancy loss, I have no clue as to what I’m doing or what to expect. And retrospectively, I was very numb to the entire experience. I did cry, but I never really lost my shit like I thought I would. Even explaining it to my nearest and dearest, I felt that I was unemotional and separate from the event taking place in my body.
Honestly, at the time, that upset me more than anything else. I felt like a terrible human being. Maybe I didn’t deserve this pregnancy because I was unable to mourn its loss. I was crippled with doubt in my ability to bring another child into the world when all that I can think about is the welfare of Squeak. I’ve had some lows in my life and in my self-esteem, but this was a blow that I didn’t know to brace for. Hindsight being 20/20, I recognize that I am still going through the stages of grief. So I do find solace in the fact that I am indeed in mourning.
I did have the luxury of miscarrying at home. It is a luxury because it never got painful enough where I felt I needed medical attention or had to take anything for pain. There are countless others that had to try to cope in the sterile, cold environment of a hospital or clinic.
The Bad News
A few days later we found out what I had already known, things were not okay and my body had jumped ship. The process was almost over, there was only a small amount left that would either pass or absorb back into my body. Simple, easy, over and done.
Mourning my Miscarriage
The five stages of grief are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. I feel like I completely skipped denial and went straight into acceptance. The only piece that I could even consider denial was reflecting back to what I thought was a heartbeat. That dim flickering symbolized a tiny flame of hope that I had in my heart. And that didn’t really hit me until I started this post. Maybe I didn’t skip that step after all.
I knew in my heart that if it were to happen, there was little that I could do to stop it. Hell, to be honest, there was nothing that I could do to stop it. As I stated previously, I was foul and I was angry and I snapped at almost anything.l Not the best coping mechanism, but I have always had a short fuse and it is something that I’m proactively working on. I felt like I had the right to get angry though. Mad at the world, mad at the universe, mad that God would allow this to happen. I needed to be mad and had every right to be. I did eventually get over it and bypassed Bargaining completely.
I knew. Even if I didn’t want to admit it. Even before the whole process had began. I knew that for whatever reason I wouldn’t be able to hold onto this pregnancy. I think it may have been a subconscious mechanism that helped me to let go when I didn’t have hope. It is definitely in my nature to react more along the negative spectrum when I’m faced with a crisis. I’ll get mad, fighting mad, and want to punt little old ladies in Wal-Mart (but I don’t because I’m really a nice person). Poor Hubs, he put up with my foul mouth better than I would have if the roles were reversed. But on the topic of being mad I would like to quote Daniel Tiger: “It’s okay to feel mad sometimes. Little by little you’ll feel better again”.
Now to those of you that sang it in your head as you read it, please know that we need to be best friends. I sing more Daniel Tiger than should be legally allowed.
Getting depressed over this whole ordeal came out of left field. I don’t have history of getting depressed and I was not prepared. Normally, I have to take a moment and be dramatic while simultaneously being the appropriate amount of butthurt. This was not that. This was I have completely lost my appetite, I am currently in a week long (so far) episode of insomnia, and I would very much like to just cocoon myself away. I feel like I have single handedly destroyed my self esteem that I had been trying to rebuild over this past year. There isn’t a thing in the world that I want to do aside from curl up with my kid and hide. This hit me the day before Thanksgiving. How the hell am I supposed to be thankful right now?
(Of course I am thankful for my child and my family and my health. But none of that negates the fact that I have had a loss and I am not okay right now.)
I’ve no experience firsthand with depression and if what I’m experiencing is anything like what others go through, I am truly sorry. No jokes. No comments that you just need to get over it.
From what we can tell this was not a blighted ovum, but it was very similar. I had hoped with everything that it would have been one. A blighted ovum is a fertilized egg that just fails to develop. In my mind, the thought of it helped me to cope because it would have been a pregnancy that I lost, but not a baby. For whatever warped reason that gave me some comfort. However, it was not a blighted ovum by the clinical definition because it did develop a yolk sac. From there it just stopped. Don’t know why, but it did. Found out all of this the Tuesday before Thanksgiving so that is probably why I ended up losing my shit. Makes sense to me.
We are currently awaiting the results from the radiologist to “officially” say what we were told at the office. From there I think I have another follow up appointment just to verify that we’ve got the all clear. Hopefully, I can skip it because I just want to be done. I was told to take a pregnancy test at home in another week to see that the hormone levels are dropping. If it isn’t negative then I am positive I’ll end back up in the office again.
There isn’t any real concern about my nor his health. Once this process is completely over we should be able to try again in a few months. I’m kind of grumpy that there is now going to be more of an age gape between Squeak and her sibling, but hey, if that is my only issue, then I’m doing better than I was. Truthfully, I am terrified to try again. Hubs does because he wants a chance at a son. (If you got offended at that last sentence you’re not alone because that set off a spectacular argument.) Do you ever get over the fear of it happening again?
There is No Right Answer
I appreciate that I had such a strong support system during this time, but I’d like to add a few words of caution for those that may support another during a similar event. A lot of what is common to say is not okay to say. And believe me when I say I am not trying to be an asshole and the logical side of my brain understands your words, but just hush. Seriously, a hug will do more. I am not a big fan of sympathy when it is directed towards me and that feeling is quadrupled when I’m in an emotional state. Just don’t.
A Silver Lining
During our first follow up I was generally grumbling about the situation to the ultrasound tech (who is an absolute doll and I love her even in the bad times). Well, I ended up making a comment that I offended myself with. While I do not remember the exact quote it was along the lines of I was mad with God. Terrible, right? I know! I am utterly ashamed of myself.
Now hear me out though. I am not mad with God Himself. I do not think He did this to spite me. There was a short period of time where I did think that it could have been karma for some past misdeed, but I know in my heart that isn’t true. These things happen. Miscarriages happen. And it is a tough pill to swallow while you’re going through it. We left the doctor’s office and had to make a business stop that ended up taking 2 hours. In reality it was only about 40 minutes, but 40 minutes in a parked truck with a screaming toddler in a thunderstorm is an eternity. Besides, unless I’m looking at a clock I have no concept of the passage of time. That being said, I am beyond foul by the time Hubs comes back.
We end up back on the road and decide to make a pit stop for dinner. I didn’t want to eat, but I knew I had to and I had hoped that it would ease up the Grumpasaurus Rex sitting on my shoulders. Nope, it didn’t touch, but as I looked up in I saw a rainbow. Rainbows have always made me happy and they are beautiful, duh. The eye catching part of this rainbow was that it was whole rainbow. From end to end I could see the spectrum of it across the sky. It has been years since I had seen one so complete.
Then it dawned on me that this was my neon sign in the sky from God. He was telling me that after we weathered this storm that we would get our Rainbow baby. I choked and with tears in my eyes I had to pray and apologize for being this upset and for letting my faith waver. I may be apprehensive now, but I know that we will be blessed with our Rainbow soon enough. We have hope that tomorrow is a brighter day. So instead of Squeak being promoted to Big Sister, she has been promoted instead to Sunshine baby. For those that may be unfamiliar with the term, a Sunshine Baby is a child born before a loss. There is Sunshine, then Clouds, and hopefully a Rainbow.
I am still mourning my loss, but each day is getting easier. A huge thanks to all of the kind words and support that I’ve received from my nearest and dearest. Lots of love and sincerest prayers to those who have had your own loss.