You may have noticed that I’ve been a little MIA this week, and there is a legitimate reason for this my friends. I’ve been mulling over my excuses, wondering what to write, how much to share, and only now, as I type these words, do I realize that I must simply tell the truth. This is for you, my dear readers, as much as it is for myself. I suppose it is my release, a way to say goodbye, and hopefully, mentally reset myself for the joys of the future.
It was the 8th of July when I discovered that I was pregnant. My husband and I had been casually trying, so it wasn’t a shocking discovery, but it was a startling one nevertheless. It happened so soon! For many, it takes months, sometimes years, of calculating cycles, flows, temperatures, and moods. Charts are created, tests are taken, and with these considerations often come heartache, disappointment, and fear. I had been one of the lucky ones.
I was five weeks along when I discovered that I was pregnant, and the emotional and physical shift in me was palpable. The feelings experienced when you first see that positive line is indescribable – it’s such a mixture of love, excitement, hope, and fear. Frankly, my very first words were “holy shit!” which sums it up quite perfectly.
The ensuing couple of weeks were magical and terrifying. I felt an amazing connection, knowing that this tiny little bean was solely dependent on me and my body. I felt instinctively protective, and there was a growing confidence inside of me – I knew that I was going to be a great mother.
I felt healthy, happy, and things seemed to be progressing well. I know many expectant mother’s wait until after the first trimester to share the news, but, well…I’m the first to admit that I’m the least patient person I know! I was bursting with the secret that was growing inside of me, so I chose to tell a very select few, immediate family and best friends, about the good news. My first blood test was taken on the 18th of July.
I received a call the very next day asking me to come back in for a 2nd blood test. This in itself is not uncommon, but the numbers that came back (HcG levels) were. Now, I’m not at all ignorant of the pregnancy process, but this being my first, I was a bit naïve. I didn’t quite understand the meaning of low HcG levels, and amazingly, not a single doctor or midwife was available to explain it to me. I went back in for my 2nd blood test on Friday, the 20th of July, was ushered straight to the lab technician, and ushered right back out in a matter of minutes, again with no explanation. I had to beg the receptionist for my initial lab results (needless to say, I will NOT be returning to this clinic again). I received a call from a nurse practitioner later that afternoon with more bad news – my already low HcG levels were not rising properly and I was to come back in on Monday morning for a third test. With lab results in hand, I turned to my dear friend Google, and proceeded to scare myself into a frenzy.
The weekend was miserable. My days were spent reading every pregnancy website out there, searching for success stories, but mostly finding disappointment. My husband made every attempt to help me remain optimistic, but I knew in my heart that things were going downhill fast. I felt it in every nerve of my body. I started bleeding on Sunday. I was 7 weeks to the day.
I drove myself to the ER on Monday morning, and went through all the necessary tests to confirm a miscarriage. Now, Google can be a blessing or a curse and in this case, I had read so many horror stories, I became certain that I had an ectopic pregnancy. I watched the poker faces of the ultrasound technicians as they analyzed my belly (per hospital policy, they are unable to communicate results directly with me and must first report them to the doctor) and I swear I saw brief moments of sympathy and concern. By the time I was wheeled back to my closet-sized, curtained room, I was in tears, convinced that I as going to lose a fallopian tube.
The doctor came in 15 very long minutes later with the news – I was having a miscarriage, yes, but my fallopian tubes would remain exactly where they were. I was flooded with relief and sadness. I suppose that is the one good thing about expecting the worst – when you hear otherwise, it is a brief moment of fresh air. For a very brief moment, I was once again one of the lucky ones. And then the sadness set in.
Now, there are varying opinions about miscarriage. I was early enough that the bean was still just a bean, and many people may say, perhaps out of discomfort or indifferent logic, that I should be thankful that it happened when it did, or that it is simply my body flushing out something that wasn’t viable to begin with, and that miscarriage is unfortunately not an uncommon experience (supposedly occurring in 20% or more pregnancies). I’m aware of all these things, but that doesn’t make it any less painful – physically, mentally, or emotionally.
The first two days were rough. I had such a rush of feelings, but I almost felt like I didn’t have the right to them. I was hurt, I was sad, and a cloud of depression was settling over me. I just wanted to bury myself in the couch and mourn. But I was one of the lucky ones, right?
I watched as my husband continued with his grueling work schedule, stopping only momentarily to recognize my loss, perhaps not fully understanding or not wanting to acknowledge his own. And the few friends and family that were aware of the situation were hours away. They called and offered condolences and comforts and shoulders to cry on, all very much appreciated, but I remained sad, alone, and wholly unsupported and invalidated by the one person that I needed to be there.
I had an appointment with my midwife yesterday afternoon and only then was I offered a sense of validation. I do have the right to mourn; this loss is not an insignificant one. When you lose something that was a part of you, that was connected to you to some way, shape, or form, no matter for how short a period, it creates an emptiness that takes time to fill. And I have the right to take the time to fill it. It was also suggested that I do something for myself; no matter my religion or spiritual leanings, to do something to say goodbye in my own, special way. So I chose to write.
And it has helped. I feel a release and a comfort in writing this, knowing that this little part of me did exist, if only for a short period of time, and that it didn’t go unnoticed. And now I can truly take the time to pick myself back up, recharge my batteries, and look toward the future with brighter eyes.
With that said, I plan on taking this remaining week to do exactly that. I will be offline tomorrow and through the weekend, and come Monday, I will be back on schedule. Thank you all for baring with me!