The weight and breadth of it

(Note: This is a blog I wrote over the course of losing our second pregnancy, and the year following, while I dealt with the emotional blowback. I am happy to say, that while forever changed, I am a strong, healthy person, with an excellent support system, and I have come out the other side, resilient as ever. I…. hesitated to share such a personal story online with people I will never know, but all I can hope is that my experience, my journey, can help some other person thru their pain. I read, and have heard,  plenty of other’s stories and it helped me feel not alone in my misery. So here it is. The unedited, unabridged, raw truth of it.)

we found out we were pregnant again in early july of 2016. We quickly did a test at our doctors office, and they announced, while faint, the test was a positive. we were over the moon ecstatic. told everyone we knew, even our local bank ladies who adore our 1st born.

we scheduled our first ultra sound, for early august, expecting the arrival of baby gillis number 2 sometime in march of 2017.

we arrived at our doctors office, ready to get into this pregnancy full swing.. this pregnancy that we had already invested month of love and what abouts and hows this going to, and two in diapers? and time to do this, and boy wasnt that amazing? and gosh. we’re having another baby.

I remember waiting in the ultrasound tech room, and hearing my husband lovingly talk about our daughter and our new one on the way. I remember the feeling of having to go out and tell him… to tell him we lost it. that i lost our baby.

It’s an overwhelming feeling of ….. Of the blood leaving your heart and roaring into your head, a raging train in an endless tunnel, a bleak black vacancy of thought.. All thought but one – it’s gone. Before it even had a chance to be anything other then an it.

 

In the back of your mind, you knew. You knew when the sonogram couldn’t find a heartbeat. When all that was there was a yolk sac and a fetal pole. When you knew you should have seen more, heard more. When the doctor started gently patting your hand and asking lots of questions. But the hope, you held onto it like a tiny star, guiding you threw the night. And when that star, that tiny pinprick of light is extinguished, your soul crushes underneath the weight of that darkness.

I’m one of the lucky ones. I have a wonderful supportive husband and family. I have a beautiful 15 month old daughter.

But we wanted this baby. We wanted it with our whole beings.

the walk out into the waiting room.. the look of shock and realization on your partners face as he sees your devastated one. the hush in the room from all the other expectant familes… the roar of silence as you can feel your face collapsing and your head nodding.

Its time to go home.

A hour passes, and you realize you’re not actually frozen in time. You get dinner ready, and all of a sudden it’s bed time. The hours pass, sometimes fast, sometimes slow… And it’s a few days later. Still hurting, still questioning. Still having lightning flashes of grief and despair. But the days are passing.

Doing certain things, feels a bit like giving up… Having that extra cup of coffee. Eating a cold deli sandwich. A hot dog when you’re feeling lazy at lunch. When you’ve miscarried a baby that your body is still desperately trying to hold onto.. trying to nurture and bring to life, every little thing feels like a betrayal to yourself. to your baby.

I had already started a baby book. I wanted it to be as well done as our little girls, and there is a section in the front about finding out your pregnant. I hurt when I see that book sitting beside our daughters, but I feel this need to get the few sonogram pictures we did get, to have it be as complete as possible, before we put it away.

But I now deeply understand why couples wait until the second trimester to announce. To plan. To really hope. Because this is agonizing.

You furiously read all the statistics. 1 in ten pregnancies end in miscarriage. 1 in 4 woman suffer at least one in their lifetimes. This early it was most likely a genetic abnormality. It couldn’t possibly be saved this early. It wasn’t meant to be.

But none of those words matter. Not to the bloodless heart. The swollen eyes. The rushing in your head.

I’m one of the unlucky ones. We found out the baby was gone thru our first sonogram… a little life that most likely had been a not life for 3 or so weeks already. My body held on desperately to this little non life for 12 more days until I was forced to take a set of pills. Twelve days of blood tests and waiting and phone calls. A pill to convince my body to get rid of this baby, To keep myself from getting sick. Because no matter what my body, my soul wanted, my mind knew better.

But it still hurt to take the four little white circles, like the waiting period after a question.

…. and again the same way, 14 hours later.

I did end up being able to get the sonogram. The office where I had my appointment managed to find the files, and print them for me. They came in a regular white envelope, with neat handwriting addressing it to me.

I placed them in the baby book, along with the super sister shirt we had bought for our little girl and used in the announcement photo.

People pity me. They see me walking and ask me in a soft voice how I’m feeling. I tell them ok, or fine, or living. I try to sound sincere, but in my heart I’m begging them to just leave me alone.

I’m fine most of the time 3 weeks into it, but something, sometimes will hit me like a sack of bricks to the back of the head. Then the tears happen again. Sometimes for a few minutes… Sometimes for longer.

Another blood test. Another phone call with more questions. Another sonogram. Whispers outside the door about vascular and membrane and never seen this. Another prescription. A 10 minute phone call to discuss anesthesia. An appointment.

a surgery.

When you have never had a miscarriage, you dont know that it can take weeks, or even months to lose the child. That you can lose some of that little miracle, but not everything that was working to keep it alive. That you can miscarry and go days and then miscarry again. How tired you feel. Bone deep.

No one tells you anything about it because no one wants to talk about it. I know I don’t want to. But I have to.

The doctor told me, my cervix is strong. Its determined to do its job. He tells me i’m awesome, amazing, handling this situation as calmly as i am….  i say, perhaps just a bit pragmatic- a curve of a grimace to my mouth… the twisted sister to a smile.

in all reality, what i am is so very tired.

we found out we lost the baby on august 17th. they preformed a minor surgery on me Sept 12th.

no one ever tells you. no one tells you anything. there is no preparation. there is only sadness and loss.

an acknowledgement that every possible pregnancy after this will be tinged with a hint of that sadness and loss… will be scary.

And that’s the most heartbreaking part of all. this will never fade, or hurt less, or not be that big of a deal… its written into my very marrow by every major event our family goes thru for the rest of my life.

 

It’s been a few months since everything happened. I catch myself thinking to myself, I would be 4 months along… I’d be starting to show, and getting excited… making a blanket and hat… recording things in our baby  book…

I know- life is so very.. fast moving? It seems like it all just happened, and yet it seems so far away. And then thoughts like that will invade my soul- bending and twisting my moment of normality into breathless sadness… tears spring up and i grab my daughter for a hug and kiss and a moment of clarity… of peace in the void i still feel sometimes.

These moments happen often some days and then not again for a few days or more…I still keep waiting for it to not hurt so much.. to not feel like is was a personal attack from this deity that everyone keeps telling me has a plan. Works in mysterious ways… blah. I’m genuinely happy for those people that that works for, but for me i just see it as…

 

ugh, stupid. so fucking stupid, all of it. When you suffer a loss like this I personally don’t want to be told its part of a plan, or that the baby is with god, or anything along those lines when i see babies being born to woman that didnt want them, or wouldnt stop using drugs and STILL GET TO KEEP THEM i’m still so angry. So fucking angry. I don’t know if i will ever stop being angry- at the world, at the irresponsible people that get to have their kids, at whatever higher power people invoke.. at myself and my own body for betraying me and this child. at the question pounding into my head, pounding into my heart, why didnt mine deserve a chance? why didn’t ours deserve EVEN A CHANCE?

i’d rather take comfort in the chaos of “we dont know why… sometimes this just Happens.”

 

I believe writing this blog is helping, even as i’m crying into the keyboard months after all this happened.

It almost Christmas now..

I tell myself it won’t hurt as much after the supposed due date has come and gone

I’m half convinced I’m pregnant.

I’m mostly convinced that I want to be.

And I’m so scared that I am having a hormonal breakdown.

The guilt is still there. The soft sigh of sadness lingers in quiet moments. I catch myself crying without knowing.

Then it’s life again, right? There is no time limit on how long grief holds on to you… no magic moment you snap out of it. It comes in waves… choppy, scary, swirling, suck the very life and breath out of you waves. And you cling. And you survive. You barely fucking survive. But you do. And I will.

 

It’s a year now.

We have, for lack of a better vernacular, moved on. It hurts a little to refer to it like this, but the truth hurts sometimes. We don’t talk about the loss that often, and when we do it’s with a different tone… one of sadness, but having found some sort of closure… as if that word is even close. No words are close.

We dodge the question of having more kids. We don’t really know ourselves what we want to do. I think for most people, the memory is gone of what we went thru. But for us, as long as its been… as far removed as it all seems, its a shadow on our hearts.

I still read other couples stories.

I still find solace in the chaotic unknowing.

I still miss the life that could have been.

But we are lucky.

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Been there… We tried for years and had 6 total IVF treatments with donor eggs and on our fourth cycle finally got pregnant and had nine beautiful weeks of Happiness before our story ended, after seeing the heartbeat at 6 weeks and coming back to our fertility doctor for what was supposed to be our graduation appointment. Because we were going through IVF everybody knew and our circle and so it was not possible to wait to tell people and honestly we didn’t want to wait. While I understand with waiting until the 12 weeks, I actually disagree that people should wait until then to tell people because if you don’t help people then you don’t get any support when it happens because they didn’t even know you were pregnant… I don’t regret for a minute telling people that we were pregnant, as enhancing our miscarriage really showed us who our friends were, and were not (not to mention how horribly my side of the family treated us, literally ghosting us).

    I am also grateful that you have set out loud that as a mother you are grateful for what you do have … all too often in the infertility world we hear from women who have been so fortunate enough to have been able to get pregnant and have a child, yet who don’t acknowledge what they do have. After $70,000 spent on infertility treatments and a two-year wait for Ethiopia ending in the program closing in that country, we have thrown the last of our proverbial eggs in the domestic adoption basket, and are hoping to god that that works. And while the multiple failures with IVF have changed me so much, the loss of our baby sucked the life out of me for so long. For us it’s been almost 13 months since I went through the miscarriage at home (misoprostol), the worst night of my life and the month of August 2016 that I can barely remember. But I wouldn’t trade those weeks I was pregnant for anything, I just hope that eventually my husband and I get the honor of being parents to a little one.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and please keep continuing to share it – there is no shame in this lost and the more we talk about it the more we help others be able to reach out when they are going through it. It’s a messed up Sisterhood to belong to, and I know that my bond with women who have also been through it is unlike any other.

    Big hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing your story as well- I believe that we all need to start being way more open about our stories… miscarriage is almost treated like an anomaly. I only regret announcing on social media because I had to repeat the bad news so often… I have no regrets telling close friends and family. Thanks again for reading and commenting- best of luck on the next step in your journey. Big hugs to you as well.

      Like

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