Surviving Miscarriage

Surviving Miscarriage

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Every loss is unprecedented. You can’t ever know someone else’s hurt, not really- just like touching someone else’s body isn’t the same as having someone else’s body.
— John Green (Turtles All the Way Down)

It has been a month and a half since my miscarriage and I am finally able to talk about it. This has been one of the hardest experiences of my life, compounded by the fact that we had just shared our joyful news with the world. I am so grateful for the outpouring of love and support, but it was so hard for me to share such sad news. It was difficult to balance my gratitude with my desire to never leave my bed or speak to anyone ever again. I didn't want to talk about it, I made sure this message was spread, and I truly appreciate the space and respect everyone has given me during this time. I have been able to open up in my own time and on my terms. It has allowed me time to process what has happened and begin to heal. I still have bad days, but in the beginning I couldn't see a time when bad days wouldn't be my new normal.

There is part of this journey we have not shared openly. We weren't sure if we would ever share, but I have chosen to be vulnerable. This pregnancy did not happen easily. We were unable to get pregnant naturally and chose to pursue IVF treatment. I will eventually be writing a post on the IVF process, but for now we can suffice to say it involved a lot of tears, a lot of doctors, and a lot of needles. After everything we went through to get pregnant I was very nervous the entire time. I suffer with anxiety to begin with and the entire process was anxiety provoking for a normal person. Thoughts of going to the bathroom and finding blood were constantly running through my mind.

We crossed into the "safe" zone and I had finally started to relax when one completely normal Tuesday night it happened. Nick had just walked through the door from work and was switching over some laundry when I yelled for him. As I said, I suffer with anxiety so he is practically desensitized to me yelling "NICK!" at the top of my lungs. The girl who cried wolf, except, not this time. We took a moment to collect ourselves and called our midwife who said it could be completely normal, a third of her patients have some light bleeding during pregnancy. She told us we could wait it out or go to the ER. I calmed down a bit, but knew I wouldn't sleep at all that night if I didn't have an ultrasound. We went to the ER and after a dreadful five hour wait we had our answer. Our baby had stopped growing at nine weeks and she had no heartbeat. They told us there was nothing they could do for us and sent us home.

At this point I could have pursued a medical procedure called a D&C, but I chose to give my body a chance to finish what it started. If I could go back I likely would not change my decision but if you are reading this and trying to decide what to do, if you are past 7 or 8 weeks of pregnancy, I recommend you consider the D&C. A natural miscarriage this far a long was extremely difficult, and frankly, traumatizing. It took a few days and when things really got going it was as if I was in labor.

For days I didn't want to talk, I didn't want to eat, and I closed myself off from the world. I knew I couldn't stay like this forever, but for a few days I needed to be absolutely, unabashedly miserable. Eventually, I knew it was time to dust myself off and keep living, and I did, but I was still crying myself to sleep every night. The hardest part of grief is when it is time to move on and your heart is still throbbing in pain. Everyone tells you its okay to grieve, to take your time, but you can't. If you allowed yourself to truly feel that heartache you can't do what needs to be done. There are three boys to take care of, homework to be done, groceries to buy, bills to be paid. Life doesn't stop for you to feel. Eventually the pain starts to dull, but some days you wake up sad and can't shake it. Some nights you wake up over and over again from the nightmares. But life keeps going, and you keep fighting, clawing your way out of the misery. You find the light. You see that your days still have beauty in them and you keep grasping, trying to hold on, praying that eventually you will find hope to grab on to. Right now, my fingers are still trying to grasp on to that ever slippery hope, but I know in my heart that one of these days I will be able to reach out, grab it, and hold on tight.

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