I miscarried a subsequent pregnancy this weekend, and I’m just puttering about today – sad, sad, sad.
This blog wasn’t supposed to start like this, but what am I do to? Last week, I finally fumbled around with blog.ger, and thought, this is it… I’m-a-bloggin’ now or never!
And then this happened. All this nasty, unwelcome, heavily emotional wind blown through my windows… and I’ve got a mess to deal with, again.
This miscarriage doesn't have a comparative feel to losing Alexander. It's like apples and oranges. A child verses a pregnancy. They're very different. But bottom line right now, is I don't have either... here... alive... growing... so I'm just sad. Sad, sad, sad.
My skin will thicken up down the road I'm sure. I'll be able to say I miscarried and not choke up at the same time. I'm really quite surprised with myself. This isn't hard in comparison to what I'm already going through... but it doesn't make anything any easier.
I regret opening my mouth about "trying again". It's hard not to though. It's in the forefront of my thoughts. It’s hard to navigate through the responses. The grief is hard. Trying again is hard. It's not the same as it is for everyone else. It's not just timing the days, and taking our chances with when I ovulate. Everyone says, "you're not supposed to think about it". Trying to conceive after our loss is almost as hard as dealing with the loss itself. It's a constant reminder of our purpose behind conceiving. Our baby died. Our son is dead. We cannot parent him. We cannot hold him. We cannot have him. Our only option to fulfil our need as parents is to have another child. We're not trying to grow our family, and start with a new "first". We're trying to desperately kick start this vehicle after our last ride dead stopped at the finish line. It's exhausting, and I don’t want to keep doing this.
I had strong instinctual feelings about this pregnancy #2 ending. They weren't just fears, and paranoia's. Something told me the day after we took that positive pregnancy test to not believe it. Several nights last week I had dreams of bleeding… waking up with an understanding, and not with fear. This will end soon too...
I told my GP right away - I was booked in to see him July 30 to renew my medical leave for work - and gave him the news that I had missed my period for 4 days now, and had a confirmed positive pregnancy test at home sitting on my bathroom vanity. I was secretly excited. But I contained it. My better knowing self was being very stern with me. But all I could think was, "OK, step 1 out of 122375675265773490409404.... done. Pregnant. Now what..."
He wasn't happy. He seemed irked to have to quickly figure out what to do with me. He made an insensitive comment about my cycles, "when was your last period? or wait... did you even GET a period yet??"
I surely hope he didn't forget that February 27 was my day, and I have no baby to breastfeed, so 5 months postpartum equals AT LEAST one period. His comment was made to draw attention to the notion that (he thought) we were trying too soon. We were moving too fast. He doesn't show understanding towards my emotional state these days, and has told me in several appointments previous to this one, "just wait. give it time".
I was only aware of my pregnancy for 8 days. But of course, after our final attempts of trying in mid July, I thought of the possibilities. I thought of time lines, and "if's" and dates, and term, and seasons. I was only "5 weeks" pregnant on Sunday at the point of loss...but really it was 3 months of trying to conceive lifted off my heavy chest that now has to land somewhere again.***
We took the pregnancy test on Friday July 27th. We took it on that day as a tribute of hope to our little guy - always trying to keep him involved and significant in our unfolding future. The positive line was faint, I didn't believe it was real. D had no doubt. I told him I'd retest on Sunday the 29th with a digital test - and then we'll see. 29 holds a special place in my heart next to Alexander. He was conceived on May 29th, 2011. I know that because it was a busy month. I had a week-long meeting that month. D and I didn't see much of each other that month. To be blunt, I know he was conceived on that day, because there was no other "it" during that month. I have no idea when this subsequent pregnancy was conceived. We gave it a shot several times. But we'd know the day when we found out it was real. Once on the 27th (with doubt) and then again on the 29th. The little message on the digital test said it all, "Yes+".
Conceived in July meant a baby for late March or early April. But I wasn't thinking that far ahead. I wasn't even going to tell anyone until I looked 6+ months pregnant! I was going to hide, and white lie my way through the first trimester and a half. I couldn't live in that blissfully pregnant state, and just glow about the news. I needed to wait... and wait... and wait... for it all to be real.***
My GP called me Tuesday morning last week. Told me all my numbers were low. "Really low". He said I might have my dates wrong, because from what the blood work read, I was just a few days pregnant, and not a few weeks. I knew when we last tried to conceive, and it was weeks ago. So, no, I couldn't be days pregnant - I was weeks... and low numbers aren't a good thing.
I was upset. I felt broken. I asked him what I should do. He said nothing. "We'll keep an eye on it, and retest in September." I asked him if I should start taking medication to up my thyroid. I told him last year, my OB put me on thyroid meds right away when she saw it was low to better the chances of perfect health for the baby. I told him what medication and the dosage she put me on. He said, "oh...well, you're thyroid is MUCH lower this time." I was baffled as to why he didn't want to make sure things were starting off on the right foot. Maybe he thought a miscarriage is better than starting a pregnancy at the wrong time? I felt abandoned, and with no one to turn to.
I desperately want a doctor who wants me to have another baby as much as I do. My current GP obviously is indifferent as to whether I'm healthy enough to grow babies in the near future.
I went through the week, trying not to get too paranoid... trying not to get too attached. Something was bugging me, giving me this nagging feeling that this was all going to end. I tried to write it off as post traumatic stress, and just tried to stay in the moment. I tried not to look too far in the future. I tried not to get my hopes up. But with all my trying, I still ended up doing the majority of the above.
I started spotting this past Saturday afternoon. I started feeling really painful cramping on my left side. I knew this was the beginning of the end.***
The spotting stopped, but the cramping persisted. I wanted to check with a doctor. Make sure my ovaries, or fallopian tubes weren't bursting or something horrible due to the embryo attaching in the wrong spot. We went to emergency, just to check and see if they can confirm it’s a miscarriage, or if it's something else going horribly wrong.We waited quite a while. This wasn't an "emergency" so to speak, I just didn't have anyone else to aid me medically in this process. I didn't want to break my body. I didn't want to damage my equipment. I needed to place the responsibility into the hands of someone with a medical degree to determine whether I was going to be OK. I feel like I've lost a bit of my ability to judge "normal" anymore.
When the spotting picked up again while we were waiting in a smaller room, "next" to see a doctor, I asked one of the nurses if I could go home. I was finally in the closed off "pelvic examination" room. My name was finally at the top of the list. We had been waiting now for over 3 hours since getting through triage. But I wanted to go home. I figured it was a pretty sure thing now - blood means no pregnancy. She told me to stay. She told me the blood work might come back with good numbers, or my cervix might in fact be closed and the bleeding is due to something else... or maybe I'd need an ultrasound... maybe I'd need a D&C to clean me out. I think she misread my chart. I think she misread my "5 months postpartum" as "5 months pregnant", when I was in fact, 5 weeks pregnant.
I finally saw a doctor. He was very nice. He gave me the time I needed to cry... to tell him why I was spazzing out over what was looking like an obvious very early miscarriage. He listened. He gave heartfelt condolences - for both the loss of my son, and the loss of this subsequent pregnancy. He told me my blood work showed that I was either a few days pregnant, or in the process of approaching a miscarriage. Since the spotting was now turning into what appeared to be a menstrual flow - he said he didn't need to do a cervical exam, and that the miscarriage was confirmed. He gave the advice to wait for a period after I stop bleeding, and then if we feel ready, to try again.
So, another 2-3 months of waiting to be ready. To start trying again… again.Feels more like a sentence than a time frame.
There go my dreams. Oh, what wonderful dreams they were. That somehow I’d find a way through this loss to fast forward. “I’ll be pregnant by fall. I’ll have a baby again. Life won’t feel so hard.” Silly girl. The initial days and weeks of grieving were comforted by such thoughts. I wrapped myself up in the certainty that I’d be pregnant after the first try, and all I’d have to worry about is dealing with a postpartum body, taken out for one too many spins too soon.
Let me take a minute to flush my expectations down the toilet.
There. Now I don’t dare to create new ones.
Pregnant – check
Full term – check
Stillbirth – check
Trying to conceive after loss – check
Miscarriage – check
Now, let’s see where my laundry list of things to talk about takes it’s next turn…