Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Miscarriage Story

A week ago was September 3rd. That day has particular significance for me. That was the due date for my first pregnancy. The one that ended in miscarriage. I wasn't sure I was going to write about that experience, but I have been feeling particularly down and think that perhaps it will help to share what happened. At least to get it out of my system. For now.

Do I even need to bother with a warning? Just in case...

Warning: This is a very sad post. I discuss my miscarriage and resulting D&C. If loss like this upsets you, skip this post. I'll understand.

I know people who have had multiple miscarriages, and at times I feel fortunate that I had only one miscarriage (so far). But it was still a devastating loss to me. After trying on our own for two years with no success, it took us 3 medicated IUI cycles to get pregnant that first time. All those months of disappointments, and finally, a fertilized egg that actually implanted!

I still remember how we found out. My MIL and FIL were up here visiting, but Londo wasn't ready to tell them that we were even trying to conceive. We had taken the day off of work to spend with the inlaws, however my appointment for the pregnancy blood test was scheduled for early Friday morning. I snuck out of the house, successfully avoiding my inlaws, had my blood taken, and was back in time for breakfast. I think Londo told them I had to go help my mom with something so they wouldn't suspect anything.

After breakfast, we headed off to the DC museums. We saw the American History museum and then met my dad downtown for lunch at the American Indian museum. After lunch, we went around the American Indian museum. I was getting tired from the full day downtown and went outside the gift store to sit on a bench. That was when I got the call. After receiving the good news, I motioned Londo out of the store and told him. As we left the museum, we told his parents, and included the whole tale about our trouble trying. Everyone was so happy.

For those who don't know, when you are getting fertility treatments, you get your blood taken and measured for the pregnancy hormone every few days until you reach a certain threshold, and then you go in for weekly ultrasounds until they are satisfied the baby is growing, has a heartbeat and seems fine. After three more blood tests that all looked good, we went in for the ultrasound and saw the egg growing. The following week, Londo couldn't make the appointment, but since I was only 6 and a half weeks along, we figured it would be too early to see a heartbeat so he wouldn't be missing anything major.

There was a heartbeat. But it was slow. I did not know what that meant, but the ultrasound technician who had been so cheerful the week before was very reserved when she told me. The doctor came in, and I'm sure he explained what it could mean, but I don't remember now what he said. I do know that I was still unsure how bad a sign a slow heartbeat was. Of course I googled it when I got home, and I found out the likelyhood that the baby would make it was very slim.

The next, Londo was sure to come to the appointment with me. The doctor was in the room for the beginning of the ultrasound. There was no heartbeat at all. The doctor put his hand on my knee and said "I'm sorry."

Londo and I were devastated. We had tried all week to hope for the best, but I had tried to prepare for the worse. Let me just tell you, nothing can prepare you for looking at a picture of your baby inside you whose heart is no longer beating. I cried. They gave me and Londo time to get ourselves together, and we left. Later, I talked with our nurse over the phone about what it would mean and what we should do at that point.

We decided to wait and see if it would "pass naturally." After a week and a half, it still had not "resolved" itself. I don't know how this might sound to anyone else so please excuse me if this is at all offensive, but at that point I couldn't stop thinking that I had a dead baby inside. My dead baby. (Excuse me while I take a minute to collect myself... Okay.)

We decided to go ahead and have the D&C so I could start recovering and we could move on. The D&C sucked. Everyone was wonderful and understanding, afterall the procedure was done by the people in the fertility center. Londo was the most wonderful, being supportive and trying to keep me in good spirits, even though I know he was as upset by the whole thing as I was. I was unconscious when they did the procedure, but I was awake when they wheeled me into the room, got me on the table, got my legs in the stirrups and strapped my arms down. Sucked sucked sucked.

I don't think recovery took more than I few days, but I was emotionally miserable, physically uncomfortable and hormonally whacked out. I. Was. A. Mess. I got better, and we did start treatments again, which resulted in our second pregnancy and subsequent birth of my precious baby girl.
I don't remember the dates of these events exactly. We found out we were pregnant in December. We found out the heartbeat stopped in January. I had the D&C in January. (We took a cruise in March to help get away from it all and feel better.) But I don't even try to remember the dates. The only date I know for sure was September 3rd, the baby's due date. Every year on and around September 3rd, I am reminded and feel down at the loss of my first baby. The baby who wasn't.

24 comments:

Michelle said...

I am so sorry you went through this. I think people often don't understand that miscarriage is and feels like a death in the family, and involves that type of grief. My cousin recently suffered a miscarriage and I was really suprised by the clueless things apparently well-meaning friends and family said.

HeatherY said...

No words can truly bring any comfort when you mourn a loss of life. Thank you so much for sharing that. (((Hugs)))

electriclady said...

Oh, honey. I'm so sorry. I hope writing about it helped you, at least a little.

Kristina said...

Hugs for you and Londo. I haven't heard your story in depth until today. I keep deleting every line I come up with because they are all inadequate in expressing how I feel.I think Pumpkin is a lucky little girl to have parents like you. I am uncomfortable saying your pain has a "silverlining". I think its unfair and just plain sucks. I also think it makes me see your parenting of Pumpkin in a new, richer light (I was already in awe of your abilities)I think that maybe a little of the careful and deliberate consideration you put into raising your daughter comes from the struggles you have faced. All children are precious, but I don't know if every parent realizes, to the extent you do, what a gift they really are. You take such great care of your
giggly, little climber.

egm said...

I've been there and back three times, and I know how much it hurts. I hope writing about it will bring you some relief.

limboland la la said...

im sorry woman, i'm really crying for you. i never knew what it meant to love a babe till now,

Jan said...

November 19 and July 10 for me.

I can't tell you how sorry I am that you had to go through this -- that anybody does, really. It's just a crummy, crummy deal.

I felt exactly the way you described about carrying around a dead fetus inside me. I went through it twice (the second time it was twins) and both times I scheduled the D&C as soon as I could.

I very definitely feel that I didn't fully grieve my loss until after I'd had my babies. I think it wasn't until then that I even knew what I was grieving.

All I can do is hope and pray that this time around things go better. Take care of yourself.

z said...

Hugs.

heSaid said...

This is extremely sad to read about, but I cannot imagine how hard this is for you to talk about.

I feel that the real benefit of having a blog is to share your story with others that are like you. That involves good and bad. We as a part of the Internet/Blogging community are here for you. I put RSS on per your request, who knows what else us Internet Folk can do for one-another. (And don't take that last comment in-appropriately)

- Dana said...

:-( That is strong of you to share your story. It's so very sad. Your sharing give us all a little insight into something so private. I had a friend at work go through a similar thing and I didn't know how to react or what to do. What was the best thing a friend or someone close to you did/said that made you feel (even just a little) better?

La folle maman said...

{{HUGS}} and more {{HUGS}}

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

Caramama, I'm not sure what I can say that isn't woefully inadequate. Hugs to you on this difficult anniversary.

AmyinMotown said...

I'm so sorry. I know so many people who've been through miscarriages or later losses, and it just sucks. It's a sadness that doesn't go away. My MIL had one between my husband's next-oldest brother and him, and when I was pregnant the first time she talked about it a lot. And it had been almost 40 years at that point.

I'd like to know what's helpful too. I just try to tell people I am sorry it happened to them, and dial down my own kid talk.

Don Mills Diva said...

I have tears in my eyes. It's probably a date you will always remember but I hope the pain lessens just a little each year...

professor mama said...

March 15 for me.
We never saw a heartbeat. I began spotting at 5 weeks, and as I was driving to my 6 week ultrasound, I began bleeding heavily. Passed the yolk sac into the toilet at the doctor's office. I stuck my hand in the toilet, got it out, wrapped it up in a paper towel, and drove home. We buried the yolk sac in our yard.

I got pregnant again two weeks after that (no conception problems here), and spotted again at 12 weeks. I remember getting in the tub, lying there for over an hour, and talkedtalkedtalked to that baby, begging him to stay. He did. He's 5 months old now.

Thanks for sharing your story. It's important to remember, regardless of subsequent births. It was a life, a part of you. Though I did have a morbid thought the other day: I was looking at my son, and I was actually okay with the miscarriage, because if I hadn't had the miscarriage, I wouldn't have him.

Colleen said...

I've long-held the belief that mothers that lose their babies like this eventually meet them...either they are born to life later, or the mothers are met by their little angels in Heaven.

Regardless, you will always feel connected to that baby and that date. I also hope that the raw pain lessens for you.

Laski Gal said...

I am so sorry for your loss. There are no right words for something like this except to know that heartfelt thoughts are with you . . .

Take care . . .

ImpostorMom said...

I'm so sorry.

Rudyinparis said...

Oh my God, I am so sorry.

Thhinking of you.

Jezer said...

I'm so sorry. I hope that writing about it has helped you find a little bit of peace and comfort.

Jezer said...

I mean, I hope you find MUCH peace and comfort, I'm just not so optimistic to believe that great loads of it come at once. In other words, {hugs}.

MommyEm said...

When this happened, I felt so clueless on how to console you as a friend, so I went online and found an online support group for advice. Many posters said this: recognize a miscarriage for what is it, a loss of life. Say that you are sorry that it happened and offer your support. No advice, no "it was for the best," basically no comments about what it meant for the mother. I hope that I said that then, and I will say it again - I am very sorry for your and Londo's loss, and as you know, I am always here for you.

Shellie said...

Oh, how miserable! Hugs and more hugs!

JAB said...

wow (followed by awe-some silence and appreciation for feeling and sharing a major part of you!)