NOTE: This is an old post, from five years ago and I wanted to honor every woman and man who have felt pain from a miscarriage.
We found out today that I did in fact miscarry.
There aren’t really words to describe how I feel right now: anger, sadness, and exhaustion (both mentally and physically) are just a few of the emotions I’ve gone through these past few hours.
While I still clung on for hope that everything would be okay, I tried to prepare myself for this moment, but you can never really be prepared for the phrase, “complete miscarriage”.
This morning, after my shower, I stood for a long time just looking at myself in the fogged up mirror. I had already been in to the doctor for the lab work and was just waiting for results now. I examined my body up and down trying to figure out where we went wrong. I found nothing. I looked at my tired eyes and my long face trying to find that glimpse of hope that I had a few days ago. There was none. I looked at my belly and tried to determine if there was something still in there. In my heart I knew there was not.
I should have listened to Mother Nature when she placed a two inch blanket of snow all over Minot this morning. I should have curled up in bed and never got out. I should have known that this dreary day was just a pre-cursor to the news we were about to get. I got out of bed anyway and got ready for the lab work. My friend came over to keep an eye on Henrik while I was gone. My friend and I are very close and I love her dearly, but this morning we didn’t really know what to say to one another. She could tell I was sad and she probably picked up on my nervous, scared, walk through of what to do with Henrik if he woke up while I was gone.
The lab work was uneventful, but I felt like everyone in the room knew why I was there. When I opened the door to my house, Henrik looked up from his book, pointed and yelled, “Ma Ma”. It made my day. Usually I don’t get a greeting like that. Eric does. But Henrik didn’t stop there. He toddled over to the door as fast as he could and climbed into my arms. He buried his head into my shoulder and just laid there for a minute. He knew. He could tell that his mommy was sad. He could tell that I needed a hug. I stood there for a moment, fully embracing his love and holding back my tears. I had to be strong in front of him. When he let go I looked at him. Henrik just smiled at me. It was the nicest warmest thing I had experienced in a while.
After I got off the phone with the doctor three hours after the blood test, I was numb. I blankly said, “I’m not pregnant anymore” to Eric. As I said it, my mind raced. Seriously? I’m not pregnant? I was just a week ago, how is that possible? I heard her say that my hCG levels had gone from a 62.9 on the 9th to a 2 today. Below 5 is a normal non-pregnant amount. Really? A 2? So, I’m really not pregnant. It’s a completely different experience than having a baby, a live birth. You not only have something to show for all of the pain and blood, but you don’t even think about not being pregnant any more. You are instantly consumed by the look of your baby’s face, the coo of his voice, the smell of his skin. But today, it’s different. It’s like someone waved a horrible magic wand over me and poof...not pregnant. There’s just an empty feeling. Just a hole in my heart, there’s just nothing.
As I write this, I’m holding my son. He’s big now, and I can hardly hold him and a laptop at the same time. But I need him. I keep looking down at him, staring at his beautiful face and saying over and over, “I love you”. He lets me lay my cheek against his head. We need each other right now. We’ll need each other for a while.
Eric and I don’t know what to say to one another. Men don’t talk about this stuff. Hell, women don’t talk about this stuff. Of course we don’t know what to say. We just look at each other. We’re hurting. We’re sad and there’s no manual for this. There’s a small chapter in the What to Expect Books but that doesn’t offer much solace. “What do we do now?” He asks. “I don’t know” I reply. “I guess we just sit, talk about our feelings and over time we’ll heal”. I muster after a few minutes. “How long do we grieve?” Eric asks. “As long as it takes” I answer.
I don’t know how long it takes to heal over something like this. I’ve experienced the loss of grandparents, a friend and pets but, this isn’t the same. I made this thing that didn’t survive. I knew my grandparents, my friend and my pets, but I didn’t know this baby and yet, I still mourn for it. Why is that possible?
I do know that while I am sad and hurting, I have to continue to talk about what happened. I really don’t believe that we should keep these things quiet. We still talk about loved ones who have passed so why not talk about lost babies? We will never know what went wrong, and the miscarriage is often a mystery, but we’ve learned that life is a miracle. It’s a complicated process and to know that you’re capable of creating a human being is just an amazing experience. While I don’t think that this experience has been amazing, it’s absolutely an experience. I’ve grown stronger. I’ve figured out more of who I am. I’ve learned that I can love another child. I’ve learned that Eric and I are a team. And I’ve learned that you have to cherish what you do have. And, I really believe that there are no bad memories. While this has been pretty much the worst week of my life, I won’t look back on this week as my darkest hour. While it may be right now, I wouldn’t want to give up this experience for anything.
Thank you for all of your support this past week. I know that some of you have sent messages, some have replied to the blog and others have sent texts. Know that even if I didn’t respond, I am thankful and honored to be surrounded by such a loving group of people. Also know, that you don’t have to say anything. I know that people don’t know what to say in these situations and it’s okay, Eric, Henrik and I feel all of your thoughts, warm hugs and prayers. We’re having a family hug over here and we’re going to be alright.