The past two weeks have been the worst of my life so far. It’s incredible the amount of pain your heart can endure and still survive. I can’t even begin to describe the pain. There are times when I have no idea how I’m supposed to go live my life and how all these women who I now know have had a miscarriage have made it through. I’m getting there one day, sometimes one hour, at a time. They say you never forget it, but it gets easier with time. Part of me can’t wait until it’s easier, until I’m able to come up for air. But another piece of me knows this is where I’m at right now and I have to feel the pain.
I just want a baby. My baby. And now I’ve lost two.
Here’s how the past two weeks have gone:
I continued to feel pregnant the past two week. Extremely exhausted, sore boobs, nausea and eventually started actually getting sick most mornings. This was all great and an answered prayer when we thought I was growing a baby. But it just became another reminder of what I no longer had. It was incredibly hard to feel pregnant when I knew that I wasn’t anymore.
Scott and I decided to just wait out the miscarriage naturally. After all, naturally must be the best way for my body to deal with it and the best way to getting me back to normal so we could try again. It was hard but we thought it was the best way.
I had some bad stomach pains (like bad gas or diarrhea but without the actually products of those) last week that Scott and I ended up calling the nurse line about. We didn’t know if it was part of the pregnancy/miscarriage or just normal GI pain. The nurses talked to the doctor and let me know that it was probably nothing but if it got worse I should go to the ER and that I should see an OB/GYN soon so that they would have an ultrasound to go on. At the time we had only had the ultrasound done at our infertility clinic, so my regular OB didn’t know what was going on for sure.
We decided to see the first available doctor on the 29th. I was worried after looking him up because he was older and a surgeon so I assumed he was going to push us down the D&C path when we weren’t sure we wanted that.
We went in on Tuesday and to our surprise he was a WONDERFUL doctor. He took 15 minutes explaining everything to us on the ultrasound so we would understand that there was no possible way they ‘missed’ something. There was a baby at some point, but it was now long gone. After the ultrasound he came back and spent another 20 minutes explaining all of our options and not pushing any one on us. He was incredibly kind and patient with us. Scott and I decided to talk about it further at home, but take a prescription for some heavy pain killers with us in case I started miscarrying naturally. He said there was no reason I needed to feel the extreme pain that would accompany the natural miscarriage since there was no baby there. He also reminded us that it could take up until 12 weeks for my body to figure it out and miscarry on its own (another 2.5 weeks). He explained about the D&C procedure and did say it’s what he would recommend but that it was totally up to us and he would support any decision we made.
After leaving the doctor Scott and I decided to wait another week to see if it happened on its own and then decide further from there.
Scott left for work and I called one of our wonderful family friends who was an OB/GYN nurse and taught nursing for a long time. She’s someone I completely trust and respect and I was hopeful that she would be able to give me some advice since we really didn’t know what the right way to do it was. I went into the conversation thinking she would tell me to do it naturally at home.
Once I started talking to her she told me that she has had two miscarriages as well and both were finished with a D&C. She told us all the reasons she had done hers that way and they all made sense to me. Instead of miscarrying alone at home where I wouldn’t know what a normal amount of pain and bleeding was (and potentially needing to go into the ER where they would recommend an unplanned D&C) I could be at a hospital at my own decision where the doctors and nurses would be able to monitor me and know exactly what ‘normal’ is. The D&C was my most pain free option and would also complete the miscarriage the fastest. I wouldn’t need to wait and check my underwear for blood anytime I felt a slight cramp at work. I wouldn’t have to feel pregnant for another 2.5 weeks when there was no longer a pregnancy to support.
After talking to Candace I talked to Scott and he was fully on board. We would try to schedule the D&C at the doctors soonest availability. Once we had decided we just wanted to get it done.
I called and left a message for our doctor and he called me back and was incredibly encouraging. He said he didn’t want to sway our opinion when we were making our decision, but the d&c was the option he would have (and did do) with his wife. He said it was the most humane way of completing this awful thing that happened to us. He moved his schedule a little so we could get it done the next morning at 10.
We checked into the hospital the next morning at 8 and they got me to my pre-op room. My nurse (and everyone I encountered that day) was incredibly kind and sympathetic to my condition. She told me that any tissue remains from the procedure would be respectfully cremated and buried at ‘baby land’ at Lakewood Cemetery by Lake Calhoun (plot 39). This made me incredibly sad and happy. If I had miscarried at home there wouldn’t have been a way to do this. I’m so happy we now have such a restful place to go remember this baby that we had and lost.
Scott was with me until I left for the operation and was such a great support. We said goodbye to our baby and Scott said a prayer thanking God for the life we had and asking for guidance during the surgery.
The anesthesiologist came to talk to us and said he and his wife had been through the same thing so he knew exactly where we were. He walked me through the procedure and then left. The nurse anesthesiologist came to bring me to surgery and Scott went down to wait for me to finish and meet my mom so he could leave for work (he was only able to take a half day, and I was told I’d be sleepy the rest of the day anyways). The nurse game me some relaxing drugs that made me feel like I had just taken 3 shots of vodka quickly and they all hit me at once. Everything around me seemed to be delayed by a few seconds. They brought me to the operating room and attached monitors to me and that’s the last thing I remember. I woke up in no physical pain but an extreme amount of emotional pain. My body felt empty. And that was incredibly hard to take (I’m sure the anesthesia wearing out also contributed slightly, but I still remember with a clear head the feeling I felt when I woke up). There’s no way I can think to describe the pain. Before the surgery I had told Scott he could leave once he knew I was ok, but once I woke up I was sad he wasn’t there. He was the only other person that would feel the same way I did in that moment. Our baby was gone for good.
I had some cookies and coke and then another incredible nurse (who had also had a miscarriage) checked me out and had me take a few steps to make sure I was doing ok. She walked us through the post op instructions and discharged me. An elderly volunteer wheeled me down to my mom’s car and we went to my house and watched movies/tv until Scott got home. I had some bad cramping so I took some drugs and used a hot pack which mostly helped. My mom left and Scott and I cried on the couch for a while. Eventually we turned on the tv again for distraction and Scott fell asleep. We went to bed and I cried myself to sleep.
I went to work for half the day yesterday so I would have some distraction since Scott had to work. It was a good distraction for the most part. We went to my parent’s new house for New Years Eve and I felt kind of numb to all the celebrating and fun everyone was having. We knew we didn’t just want to stay home and cry, but it was difficult being with happy people as well. Thankfully, everyone there knew what was going on so it was ok for me to sit back. Also, there were 6 amazing dogs there… which always does a heart good.
I don’t know where I go from here. Before I was just waiting for the miscarriage to happen and then I said I would let myself grieve (I didn’t want to grieve for a month waiting for the miscarriage then have to greive again when it happened so I tried to push it off). Now that we’re here I just want to escape again. To push off the pain for another time, when I’m more equipped to handle it…. But I know there isn’t ever going to be a good time to feel and work through this pain. I need to feel it as it comes and cry at every milestone that comes with it. Every moment I had imagined being pregnant for is going to be painful and I have to let it be. Seeing pregnant women that I was at the same place with is going to be hard. Seeing pregnancy announcements pop up when they are past my due date are hard. There are going to be a lot of hard moments coming up this year. I’m dreading them, but know they have to come.
I lost a baby and I’m going to be in pain for a while. It’s another reminder to be gentle with everyone you meet… you don’t know who’s heart is broken.