Loss after Loss :: Consecutive Miscarriages
Here I sit, in silence. Something I crave as a mother of two children. But the silence is deafening. It was excruciating when we had what was supposed to be one of our happiest days turn into one of our darkest. I cannot believe I am here again. I know statistically I am not an anomaly, but that is exactly how I feel, like I don’t even know my own body. For three days I have wallowed in the grief and agony of losing another child. For three days I have wanted to scream. I have wanted to run away. Monday should have been a day for celebration. After months of trying to conceive, I was pregnant. Even though I was convinced that nasty cold virus and fever surely would have meant another month gone by with no extra blue line. But there it was, on day 28 it lit up like a firework; I was most definitely pregnant.
We were cautious, as we have known loss. 21 months ago we found out we were expecting only to have it all come crashing down 8 days later. Just a few months ago we had a positive pregnancy test only for my cycle to return 3 days later. Yet both times, I was naively shocked that it happened to me. I am aware of how that sounds but truly, I was shocked. I still remember the raw pain. When we found out we were expecting again, we guarded the information. I only told a couple of people because of our past. For the first week, I didn’t allow myself to get too excited. I kept telling my husband that I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I breathed a sigh of relief when we made it through week 6 and I was already experiencing extreme exhaustion, sore breasts, and waves of nausea (none of which I experienced for my first miscarriage).
By week 7, I had thrown up once and my nausea lasted all day long … and even through the night. I tried not to get my hopes up but I believed this was a great sign of a healthy pregnancy. I kept telling myself that when I wanted to cry because I felt so ill. Then I started to get excited. I downloaded the “what to expect” app and eagerly read about my baby’s progress. I started thinking about every month of my pregnancy and what we would be doing. I wouldn’t be too far along for our family vacation so I
probably hopefully wouldn’t need maternity clothes. But I did start buying a few pieces. I even purchased some clothes for the baby. I thought this was real. I believed that our next Christmas would look remarkably different. I pictured holding my new baby while my older two awoke to find their gifts from Santa. I got so excited to share the news with my oldest, who prays for God to send us a baby. If I am being honest, he was the one I was most excited to tell. I started to think about how we would tell them, what they would ask, and how we would answer. It is amazing the planning a planner can do in less than 5 weeks.
I wish I could say I had learned my lesson, to guard my heart. But I didn’t. I dreamed of my baby and our future together trying to believe this would not happen to me again.
For both of my boys, we did ultrasounds at the 7-week mark. For this baby, I wanted my husband to come, which meant that we waited until 8 weeks, 4 days. “Perfect,” I thought … that would ensure we were even further along. And the kicker, our ultrasound was scheduled on our 7th wedding anniversary, a gift of a new baby to each other. I had my physical exam where my doctor said my uterine size was right on track and then she tried to find the heartbeat. She couldn’t. She asked if I had a full bladder (I did), so even though I knew she never had any trouble finding the heartbeat of my first two much earlier in the pregnancy, I latched on to the full bladder being the reason for the deafening silence. I went down for blood work and excitedly talked my husband’s ear off about how we were going to tell our parents after we got the pictures. Should we face time, text, call??
When the ultrasound began we both immediately knew something was wrong. We both recalled that our other two had more defining features at earlier scans, and where was the heartbeat?? The tech didn’t say much except that she couldn’t find the heart beat. Naively I kept telling myself that if my OB came in, she would be able to find it. The tech left, I was already crying, and realized we had no pictures printed. I knew then. I knew my baby was gone.
I wanted to collapse to the floor. I am not sure how I walked to my doctor’s office to discuss the options. I think it must have been shock. My options were to allow my body to recognize what happened and miscarry naturally (a process that could take weeks), take a medication to induce the miscarriage or have a surgical procedure to remove everything from my uterus. Initially, I said D&C. If I wasn’t going to have a baby, I wanted it over and I wanted it over now. But after talking to friends (my angels), I changed my mind to try the medication.
I got the boys to school, made sure my mom could come watch them afterward in case I was in no shape to do so and I took the medicine. I crawled into bed and waited. I had some mild cramping, passed some clots but overall I was never in pain nor did it seem like I had “passed” enough to consider it over and done. I cannot even believe I am typing out such a horrific event in seemingly casual words. Make no mistake, it was devastating emotionally. Even more so to find out that it is unlikely the medication worked on me. I knew that it doesn’t necessarily work for everyone but I was hopeful. So now I am on the eve of a possible D&C. I will go to the doctor tomorrow for an ultrasound to determine if my baby is still in utero. If so, I will undergo the D&C. I am terrified and relieved simultaneously. I never knew a person could experience such a range of emotions, some contradictory over the same life altering event.
Life After D&C
It is most definitely life altering. I am a different person than I was last week. My hope is that I can get closer to the woman I was before this unimaginable loss. I know I will never be healed but my prayer is that I can heal. I don’t know where I go from here. In between my first miscarriage and this one, I had a late period with a positive pregnancy test; this is technically referred to as a chemical pregnancy. My most recent pregnancy is clinical. The ONLY reason the distinction matters is for fertility reasons. The grief and heartache is there for any loss; I am painfully aware of that fact.
My head is swimming with questions, the most prevalent of which is “will this happen again?” I cannot answer that today. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to answer that without trying to conceive again. It is all terrifying. But as a person who always wants to be in control, I am going to let it go tonight. I am going to allow myself to cry over this baby I loved. To mourn the life I envisioned. In a week, maybe a month, maybe a year, I will try to seek answers to my questions. Tonight, I mourn.
Author’s Note:: I went ahead with my D&C procedure. It was painful yet healing. The first is obvious. The latter only because the physical was now over. I am still working on the emotional.