Monday, July 2, 2012

Probable Miscarriage

Where do I start? I guess the easiest place would be to start chronologically.

On Friday, I had my hormone levels tested. I opted for the hormone test rather than an ultrasound because I personally think it's prudent to try and minimize the number of ultrasounds in a given pregnancy. I also had my bile acids level checked, to see if my liver was starting to malfunction.

On Saturday, the midwife called to say it's highly likely that I have suffered a miscarriage. My progesterone levels are half of what they should be at this point. I'm going in for a conclusive ultrasound on Monday.

I held it together for most of the conversation, but she kept talking and talking and I finally couldn't hold it together anymore. I told her I needed to go and hung up the phone.

So many different thoughts are running through my head. I think about our baby--the size of a lime or a fig--dead inside of me. I worry about the process of getting it out. I think about how perfect the timing would have been for this pregnancy and how it would not have interfered with the process of starting my school. I could have met the baby's needs for time with its mother during that first year and met my needs for growing professionally and impacting the world. And then I get frustrated with myself for thinking about logistics at a time like this. I remind myself that we can't control the most important things in life. I wonder whether it's good to break down in front of Henry so that he sees the range of emotions we all experience as humans or whether it's too frightening for a 16 month-old who smiles as he drags his rake across the carpet. I remind myself that the rate of miscarriage is remarkably high and that it's probably the body's way of producing a relatively high number of perfect, healthy babies. I am thankful for my body. I am also thankful that I already have a perfect, healthy, happy boy. It makes this loss so much easier, and I can't even begin to imagine what my friends and acquaintances must feel when they miscarry their first. I can already see how hard it is going to be for me to look at ultrasound pictures of my friends' developing babies on Facebook. It is clear that the grieving process will take a while and it is probably that I will feel this loss forever. I think about the letter I already wrote to our sweet baby. I contemplate destroying it but instead decide to preserve the history of our family's loss and talk openly with Henry (and our future child?) about it. I start brainstorming all the reasons it's good to not be pregnant right now: I can go to the dentist and get the crown I need, since there's no baby to hurt with Novacaine. We'll be able to put more money toward our house, since I won't have to go on maternity leave. Our new house will be ready by the time we do have another baby. Again, I start to get frustrated with myself for being so practical and logistics-minded. And I start to wonder if I will be able to sustain a pregnancy again. Were my hormone levels messed up because I weaned Henry right at the start of my pregnancy? I start thinking about all the things I can do to get my body in shape to try again. I get mad that I've trudged through 11 weeks of pregnancy (the first trimester is the worst!) and have nothing to show for it. And I get sad that I have such selfish thoughts. And then I tell myself to let myself feel whatever I feel, no judgment. Then I wonder who our baby might have been.

I cry and cry.

And now the process of spreading the word begins. I intentionally told people early on because I also wanted to talk openly about miscarriage if I had one. I don't regret that decision, but it will be hard to have this conversation over and over again. I'm going to use a lot of e-mail and text.



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31 comments:

Stephanie said...

Grief is the price you pay for love

Rebecca said...

You're allowed not to talk about it too: it's totally your call and what you need to cope with this loss. When you're up to it, I recommend Elizabeth McCracken's An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination, her memoir about losing a stillborn baby. One awesome thing in the book was about wanting to pass out cards saying what happened but that she didn't want to talk about it then.

Anonymous said...

I am so terribly sorry that you are going through this. My heart breaks for you. I had a miscarriage in April and I had many of the same feelings. We also got pregnant on the first try and the due date was the most perfect timing for us and it was such a horrible disappointment to lose the baby. It is hard to accept that we are not in control and no matter how much we try and try plan everything perfectly, we are not guaranteed anything. I believe you wrote something to that effect before. I send much love to you and your family during this time.

Ellie said...

I am so so sorry that you are going through this and I'm so sorry for your family's loss. None of what you are thinking is wrong, of course you would think about the logistics, you are such a level-headed and practical person and if your way of mourning is to grieve the perfect timing, then that is up to you.

Please know that we care and we do not feel that you owe us anything and if you need to take a step back, that is fine. One of my cousins has been similarly open about her miscarriages and she just linked to her blog on facebook to tell people and it worked pretty well.

And as far as your career goes, you will be able to meet the baby's needs and your own needs for your career. It may just not look exactly how you imagined it, and that's okay.

You will get through this. As humans, we have enormous capacity for getting through grief. We are here as much as you need us, and if you want to take a step back, we will understand.

cicile said...

I feel so sorry for you.
Hopefully, you'll get better soon.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry that you are going through this!

Kathryn said...

Oh, Sara. I'm thinking of you, Matt, and Henry. Thank you for your openness about your dreams, gains, losses. That transparency is a real gift to me and to the world of pregnancy and women. It makes things hard at a time like this, but it also opens you up to connections and to the world. Much love to you. (And logistics? They're part of you and the world of pregnancy. I think it's fine to weigh them without guilt.)

cileag said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. If you haven't been given or seen Sherokee Ilse's book "Empty Arms', please check it out:
http://www.wintergreenpress.com/

It's a wonderful resource for grieving families. Sending healing thoughts.

Anthropolochic said...

Sara,

I'm so, so sorry. I can't imagine how you and your husband are feeling. Don't be frustrated with yourself for feeling or thinking any of the things you have mentioned here. It is your loss and you are allowed to feel and think what you feel and think.

I'm very sorry you are going through this. My best wishes to you.

Meghan said...

oh, Sara, this breaks my heart. I'm so sorry that you're going through this. I'm thinking of you and Matt and Henry and sending you my love. I really admire your honesty and openness. I think all of your friends and readers and the people around you appreciate it.
xoxo
meghan

Heather said...

I'm terribly sorry for your loss... and while your honesty and openness are appreciated by so many, you should take the time you need to grieve and not feel obligated to share what you're going through if you just don't feel like it some days. Best wishes as you go through this.

Sara said...

Oh, Sara - I am so so sorry. Hold on to Matt and to Henry during this difficult time!

Autumn Witt Boyd said...

My heart breaks for you. Let yourself feel whatever you are feeling, there is no "wrong" way to feel, and if part of you is mourning the logistics of the timing you were planning for, that's ok.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for being so honest about your experience and your feelings. You don't owe anyone that but it's so appreciated. Your bravery in expressing what's going on and how you feel about it will have innumerable positive echoes in the world. Blessings to you and your family.

Carrie said...

I'm thinking of you, Sara. It is OK to feel any way you feel, and it is OK to share everything or not share anything about what is going on, or somewhere in between. Just take care of Matt, Henry and you.

Kelsey said...

Sara, my heart is so sad for you and your family to go through this loss. I'm so very sorry. Anything you feel is totally OK, don't worry about "selfish" thoughts, all of your feelings are completely valid. Sending you comfort and hugs, Kelsey

Chariot said...

I'm sorry.

*hug*

Sharpiegirl said...

I am so sorry.

I know that pain all too well....allow yourself to cry when you need to. Henry won't freak out, you will be surprised at how he tries to comfort you. Write another letter to your lost baby to keep with the first one. And if your body doesn't do what it needs to go with surgery over the medication to induce the m/c. My recovery from the surgery was always more successful and faster than when I tried the meds.
Then buy something to mark the loss. I bought charms for my bracelet after each loss and I have 5 little red birds that sit on my mantle and yes some days I stand there and talk to them and it brings me comfort.
Do what feels right to you.

Abby said...

I wish you peace in this very difficult time. Thank you for sharing your feelings and experiences so truthfully and poignantly here. I would just like to say, though, that if you need a break, a time to be private and not share, I think all your readers would understand. Sending love and light to you and your sweet family.

Maureen said...

Sara, my heart goes out to you, Matt and Henry. Thanks for your honesty and for sharing with all of us. The women of Earth Mama Angel Baby have a baby loss site that may be of some help -
Babylosscomfort.com

Marisa said...

Aw, Sara. I'm so sorry. Do try to be more gentle with yourself, though. Feel what you feel without judgment, okay? People cope in the ways most appropriate to their worldviews and outlook, so practical people think and cope in practical ways. That's okay. It's all okay.

Jenny said...

I'm so very sorry. You are very brave to share so openly and honestly. Please be as kind to yourself as you would be to a friend.

Brenna said...

I'm really sorry for your loss. I would echo what others have said about whatever you need to feel being okay... be gentle with yourself. Thinking of you and Matt.

Kate said...

You are very brave for talking about this, and I'm sure your honesty will help countless people. I'm so sorry and keeping you, Matt and Henry in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

My mom had a miscarriage before having me and my brother and sister. I'm very sorry for your loss. I will send you prayers!!

-Jodi :(

Julie R. said...

No words, just hugs through the electronic universe

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly about this.

Anonymous said...

I'm so, so sad to hear this. My heart hurts for you all. Thank you for being so brave and sharing. Sending lots of love.

Nduoma said...

I'm so sorry Sara. I was really praying and hoping for you. I felt exactly the same way and had the same thought before, during and after miscarriage with first child in February. It is ok to think them. You will be ok. Hugsssss

Wishing you all the strength you need to get through this. All things work together for good. That's a bible verse that helped me through what was the hardest experience of my life till date.

Take care and so sorry for your loss.

C├ęcy said...

I'm sorry to hear you have to go through this. It is never a pleasant feeling to think of what could have been.
Please allow yourself the time to grieve. There will be rough days, there will be tears, there will be envy at the friends who are pregnant right now.
It gets better. It takes a while but it gets better.
I learned to never take a pregnancy for granted. Each one is a blessing on its own.
May your next one be as healthy as Henry no matter the timing. You are in my thoughts.

Anonymous said...

So sorry, Sara. It is so hard! And so normal to feel a huge range of emotions. I found out I had lost my first pregnancy at around 11 weeks, though the ultrasound was able to reasonably determine the pregnancy had stopped developing several weeks prior. It did take a long time for me to fully get to the point of really knowing and believing it was nature, and nothing I could have done differently or prevented. And, the following two pregnancies (two boys!) I requested early ultrasounds for my own piece of mind.
Blessings, comfort, and hugs during this tough time.

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