Well, it’s been a week. The hardest week of my life.
On Tuesday, October 27th my husband and I walked into an appointment excited to hear our little ones heartbeat. Excited to find out the sex in just 3 short days and excited to see little arms and legs with teeny tiny toes and fingers. We walked in excited parents. We walked out devastated shells; two people who had been absolutely crushed.
When I think about putting pen to paper, explaining everything that has gone on; the things I’m feeling, thinking and muddling though, it seems like I could go on forever. When I actually sit down to write…nothing.
The blank paper looks exactly how I feel; empty.
Joy had slinked right through our fingertips.
If you’re anything like us you’ve had to face the questions:
“when are you guys going to have kids? You’ve been together a while already!”
“What’s taking you so long to start a family?”
And my personal favorite, “do you know HOW to make a baby?”
But there was absolutely nothing more painful than hearing the technician say ”there’s something wrong with the baby,” and feeling the air being sucked out of the room as she left to get the doctor. Nothing worse than looking into your husbands eyes to see the hurt and emptiness. Nothing worse than feeling as though YOU did something wrong (whether that’s a justified emotion or not, it’s how it feels).
There is nothing worse than wanting so desperately to make a baby, a product of you and the only other person in the world you could ever imagine walking through this journey with and seeing your work just fade away.
In America 10.6 percent of women face infertility issues (stat from the CDC website) and if they choose to start a family they’re greeted with a tremendous amount of planning, tracking and meticulous record taking. Planting a little bundle of joy is not as easy as everyone made it sound in high school. You know, “have sex once and you will absolutely get pregnant.” Realistically, there’s a lot that has to be just right for the magic to make the bean...
First, you have to wait for the red moon at low tide, when unicorns and mermaids surface for just mere minutes. Your body temperature must be at a perfect 98.6 degrees and you must be having an outstanding hair day. If all of these things do not happen at the precise moment the firecracker releases the spark, you my friend, have a dud.
Obviously, the above is not completely true but it is true that several things have to fall into place for conception to occur. Otherwise it’s like an awkward encounter at the bar where one person is a little tipsy and gung-ho for a wild night while the other is sober, ready for bed and completely annoyed by the advances of the boozed up party goer.
There is a HUGE difference between consciously making the decision to not have kids and your body telling you, you CAN’T have kids. It's a whole different ball game and the ump of that game doesn’t give a rootin toot hoot that you’re ready for the home-run.
Weeks turned into months and months into almost a year. Doctors’ appointments, an array of different tests and procedures and several (expensive) trips to the local fertility clinic and there was a bun in the oven.
If you have to go the route we had too you might find yourself a bit overwhelmed and disappointed. My heart was broken at the idea of not being able to truly “surprise” my husband. We were going to the fertility clinic, tracking my cycles and taking Femara, a drug used for breast cancer patients but recently introduced as an ovulation medication. We EXPECTED to get pregnant. The surprise was gone. Every negative pregnancy test was a jab to the heart and a suction wand to the bank account.
Then the miracle positive pregnancy test popped up in an outhouse in Mansfield. The multitude of negative tests had me conditioned to believe every test was going to be negative. I thought nothing of taking another "negative" pregnancy test in a wooden outhouse surrounded by animal poop posters.
We told only our parents and a few friends who knew what we had been going through. We waited to make it "Facebook Official" until after our 11 week checkup. The magical bean had a strong heartbeat at 165 and everything appeared to be progressing perfectly.
Then the tsunami came.
A routine sonogram at 13 weeks revealed a very tiny baby. Too tiny to be 13 weeks and no flutter, no heartbeat.
In a matter of minutes our world shattered and neither of us could breathe. Neither of us knew what to do, what to say, what to think or how to respond. There had been no blood, no pain, no indication anything had gone wrong. Morning sickness, extreme exhaustion, food aversions, I had had them all during the roughly 2 weeks that our baby had passed.
Options were none. Surgery was scheduled for the following morning.
And here we are.
No one knows why for sure.
They can speculate about Rh negative and Rh positive blood types, chromosome issues, developmental issues, and the list goes on and on but the worst part is they can’t tell you it won’t happen again.
It’s doesn’t matter how many different people tell you you’re not the only one to go through this. It’s irrelevant. This was YOUR baby. Your blood, your tissue, your little human. Gone.
Besides the emotional impact of having a miscarriage, you’ll have to deal with the hormonal and physical damage as well. You may not have birthed a full-term baby but your body doesn’t know that. Postpartum, mood swings, bloat, headaches, tenderness, etc. can all become a part of your rocked reality only you don’t have a little bundle to remind you why you feel the way you do.
You'll have days when you feel okay but you'll have days when you cry...a lot. Or maybe you won't, everyone grieves differently. Me, I cry and sometimes for no reason at all other than my eyes can't stop and my heart hurts.
I'm not sharing this to upset anyone, or seeking sympathy. I'm sharing this because there might be someone out there going through the exact same thing and I want them to know that even though it feels as though no one else could possibly understand their journey through miscarriage, they are not alone in their loneliness or their grief. Their pain is unique but their emptiness universal to any mother who's lost a child.