Just as hope was finally beginning to eclipse the hurt and anger and disappointment, I received a cutting reminder of the harsh reality of my miscarriage.
The last day and a half have been the brightest days I’ve had in weeks. That heavy weight felt as if it had been lifted off of my heart and I allowed myself to feel hopeful again. I just felt different, like I could breathe again without aching. I felt like I could probably look at a pregnant woman and feel anticipation instead of disgust.
My phone rang this morning and I expected to pick it up and have my friend, V, on the line. Instead, as I picked up the phone, I realized it was the prenatal care clinic.
Hello, may I speak to Tasha?
I’m just calling to confirm your appointment for next Friday, December 4th.
I had a miscarriage. They were supposed to call you and cancel this appointment.
They didn’t. I’m sorry.
Not as sorry as I was to be reminded that if this hadn’t happened, I would be finished my first trimester, going in for my first ultrasound and getting to hear my baby’s heartbeat for the first time.
For days I’ve been obsessing over when I would get my period. Over a week ago, I thought it was maybe time, but day after day would pass with nothing. It would drive me crazy to hear about all of these women who were getting pregnant. Last night I heard of yet another one. She already has two kids and wasn’t even trying. She didn’t even want to get pregnant and she was pregnant again!
I broke down. I fought with my husband because I was so frustrated. I was angry because I wasn’t even back at square one, I was somewhere in the land of square negative. Having my period would be back at square one, and it was not coming. Where the hell was it? How long would I have to wait? It was killing me. I was miserable, not able to cope with all the feelings of jealousy and loneliness. I felt so alone, so weak and fragile and uncapable. My heart broke yet again when I thought about how far along I would have been by now. This would have been the end of my first trimester, a huge milestone in my pregnancy. But instead, my womb is dead and empty. When would it be ready for life again?
But finally, this afternoon, it’s here.
I’ve already checked my trusty ovulation calendar and have marked down the days that we’ll try again. I finally feel like there’s hope for me again. I feel like I can start over.
It’s not fair! I can’t handle this today. I’ve had it!
In the last 24 hours, I’ve heard of two more people who are pregnant. AGAIN. Both of them already have little girls and they are pregnant again. I’m pissed off. Maybe I’m no one to judge, but I can’t help it. One of them is an eternal drama queen – one of those people who always seems to have some sort of incredible story of this or that, someone’s deathly ill, their car got broken into again, they’re going to sue someone for something, blah blah blah. For the other one, no one is quite sure who the dad is of her daughter, and she’s pregnant again, and again with no boyfriend.
I eat well, I exercise, I don’t smoke, I have been taking folic acid every day for months, drink lots of water and carefully planned this pregnancy and I had a fucking miscarriage. I should have been 12 weeks by now.
I just remembered something while browsing through some other blogs about miscarriage.
A friend of ours smoked during her entire pregnancy and she carried her baby to term. She now has two children.
I came across another blog today which shared an article about how grief due to a miscarriage is different from other types of grief. It has a long list of items, and I found myself nodding in agreement at so many of them. You can view the list here.
I have thought many times about how this loss compares to the other tragedy of my life. I lost my dad when I was very young, only 14. I loved him – he was the sun. I was his good little helper, a daddy’s girl. We did silly little things, like keep our watches perfectly in sync. When I was little, I would greet him from the second step of the staircase when he got home from work. He would put down his briefcase and I would jump from the step into his arms. Eventually, he had to tell me that I was just getting to be too big for that. But we would always have our special bear hug.
In the weeks before his death, he was recovering well from his bypass surgery. He was told that he had lost too much of his vision, that he was now legally blind and would likely never be able to drive again. True to his form, he never accepted that and never wavered in his belief that he would recover and drive again. And of course he did. He was getting well in every way, I thought. He was fine. And then one day, I got a frantic call from my neighbor telling me that my dad was lying outside on the steps. He was still alive when I found him. His eyes were wild and bewildered and lost. He couldn’t speak. I suppose I called an ambulance, or maybe my neighbor did. The paramedics asked if I wanted to ride with them to the hospital or if I would get a ride there. Not knowing how I would get home if I went with them, I got a ride from another one of my neighbors (an ex-football player) instead. By the time we got to the hospital, it was too late. A counsellor took me into a warmly lit room with a lamp and a couch and a box of tissues. I went home.
I don’t think that the grief from my dad’s death is at all like the grief with my miscarriage. There is sadness in both, but not the same kind. There was no guilt with my dad, no sense of betrayal, no jealousy, no failure. I don’t think I was even angry. With my miscarriage, I feel all of those things and more.
I think one of the most difficult parts of having to deal with a miscarriage is that feeling that my future was taken from me. Grieving for my dad, I think of all of the wonderful memories we had together, like ice skating in the winter on a frozen lake. In grieving for my lost baby, I can only think of all of those memories we never got to have.
On the eve of the 4 week mark of my miscarriage, I am starting to feel like maybe, just maybe, there is life after miscarriage.
I’ve gone through so much during these few weeks. Feelings of remorse, anger, bitterness, loss, and of course, that sinking and seemingly never-ending sadness. Most of my emotions are to be expected, but I have known at times that what I’ve felt is wrong and evil. The feelings of jealousy have at times been intense. Every time I saw a pregnant woman, I would wonder why she could do it and I couldn’t. I would wonder why she’s better than me. Every time I would see a child, I would clench my teeth because my dreams of a child were shattered. Did I just never notice how many children are in the world before? How is it possible that everyone is so much more fertile than I am?
The worst thoughts have come when I’ve thought of two people who were also 8 weeks along when I was 8 weeks, but they got to keep their baby and I didn’t. For a split second, I would wish upon them what I am having to go through because it’s not fair. Why can’t I still be pregnant? Why couldn’t it have been them instead of me? And then it hits me – that huge wall of guilt where I wonder how I could possibly wish this on anyone? Then I would feel awful for even having that thought crossing my mind. I’d push the offensive thoughts from my head and the guilt settles in on me.
Luckily these feelings of wrath and guilt have started to fade. The jealousy is certainly still there, but I don’t know if that will ever go away until I’m holding my own little baby. Most days now are better than the last, but I know there’s still so much inside of me that I still need to deal with. I’m still haunted my the flashes of memory of the night we found out our baby was dead. But that’s for another post.
I miss being pregnant.
Every day, I wake up and think the same thing: I wish I was still pregnant. Then it usually goes away, and I get out of bed and go to the bathroom to get ready and my mind is filled with other mundane thoughts. Still, at all sorts of times during the day, but mostly when I am alone, my mind drifts back to the baby I no longer have growing inside of me and I’m overcome with feelings of sadness and loss. I feel robbed, like something was taken away from me that I was meant to have. It makes me angry and frustrated, but at the same time sad and lost. Why didn’t I get to meet you? I already loved you and I’ll always miss you.
During my pregnancy, I would often wonder if it was really real. I wasn’t showing yet, and I was not experiencing any morning sickness, so I would question if I was really pregnant or not. I would wish that I could just get an ultrasound so I could see it and know that there was really something there. It drove me nuts that I would not get that first prenatal visit until December 4th. It was a day that couldn’t come soon enough. I find it extremely sad and ironic that the ultrasound I so badly wanted ended up being the most devastating news of my life.
I did the strangest thing when my bleeding was becoming heavy when my miscarriage was starting to happen. When I looked sadly into the toilet and saw the clumps of blood, I cried and said “I love you.” I know that is weird and crazy and sick and embarrassing, but I did. Am I disturbed for thinking this way? To say “I love you” to nothing but tissue and blood?
The last couple of days have been extremely difficult and emotional for me. It’s been nearly as bad as the first few days after the miscarriage. M has suggested a couple of times that maybe the extra emotions are coming because of hormones. Maybe I’m going to have my period soon and we will be able to start trying again. Last night and today I’ve had a bit of cramping, so I’m wondering if maybe he’s right. It’s so strange to be looking forward to my period because all my life it’s been a nuisance. But now it would mean that my body is healed from the loss, even if my heart is not.
One of the most difficult things for me has been the feeling of having to start all over again. It’s like those 8 or 9 weeks were a waste. Time lost. When we saw the doc after my miscarriage she said we could start trying again in December. December!!! It seemed like an eternity away. I am not known for my patience, and under these circumstances my desire for getting things started again now were overwhelming. I didn’t want to wait that long. I couldn’t wait that long.
I’ve read in a few places that your period will likely return in about 2-4 weeks after your miscarriage. For me it’s been just over 3 weeks now. The pregnancy hormone has to go back down to a low enough level for you to ovulate again before you have another period. I’m really hoping that it’s happened for me and that some time next week I’ll get my wish.
I was never a “baby person”. I was never one of those women who oogled over babies, had to see the baby, hold the baby, make cutesy wootsey sounds to the baby. Growing up, I never wanted to be a young mother. I would always say, when I turn 30, I’ll think about it. Then when I turned 30, I’d say, yeah, sure, I’m thinking about it. I think a lot of people would be surprised that we planned this pregnancy. There were just other people who seemed more into the whole starting a family thing. But we were ready. It was our time.
I went off the pill in June, with directions from my doc to wait a couple of months before actually trying. I also started taking folic acid every day. I had been eating healthy for over a year (not pregnancy planning related, just trying to be good) and exercising regularly. I was playing hockey a couple of times per week, plus going to yoga. I was healthy and in good shape. I was reading articles online about trying to conceive, looking at ovulation calendars, planning out when I was going to put M to work on some baby making. He would make jokes about how confident he was in his sperm. Mid-September rolled around, with the days that I had highlighted as our best chances and we gave it our first shot. (This was the site that I liked the most for finding my most fertile days: http://www.ovulation-calendar.net/) A couple of days during that week, I complained about cramping and M would joke that say that I was definitely preggers. He would send me emails at work and call me mama.
On a Friday near the end of September, the waiting was too much for me. I was due to have my period the following week. We decided to go for it and just buy a pregnancy test to see. As I stood in the aisle, I checked out the variety of boxes and chose one that said “Know 4 days sooner!” I was about to walk away when I saw a pink box that said “Know 5 days sooner!” That was all it took to get me. I grabbed the First Response and was on my way. We waited until the next morning to do the test since it says that the first pee of the day is the best one to test with. Before I went into the bathroom, we made a pact that we would close the door and not look until the full 2 minutes was up. I unwrapped the package and read and re-read the instructions even though I had read them numerous times the night before. I followed the instructions, carefully placed the stick on the counter, and closed the door to wait. It was a fairly quick two minutes as we lay together on the bed, wondering what we would find on the other side of the door. As the two minute mark arrived, we walked hand in hand to the door. I opened it and blinked.
Two pink lines.
Clear as day, no doubt about it. There were two pink lines. I was pregnant. Gleefully, we hugged and kissed. We took a picture of the pee stick (weird, I know, it was my idea not his) and a picture of my still flat belly.
Over the next few weeks, we talked excitedly about our baby. We had already chosen names for a boy or a girl. We went to Babies R Us to look at baby furniture and other items we would need. Upon arrival, M truimphantly parked in the “Expectant Mothers” parking spot. I protested since I was only a few weeks in and not showing in the least. He said he didn’t care. I was an expectant mother and we should take advantage of the prime parking spot while we could.
I had a nightly ritual of looking at several Week By Week guides to chronicle the progress of my baby. http://www.whattoexpect.com, http://www.babyzone.com/ and http://www.babycenter.com were my favorites. I would excitedly report my findings to M, who smiled with amusement at my descriptions of fruit-sized embryos. (At week 5, it was the size of an orange seed, at week 7 a blueberry, at week 8 a raspberry…) It saddens me immensely to think about this now. My little blueberry is gone. The little girl I had dreamed about holding in June won’t be there. I know, I know it can still happen, but this baby was so real to me. I already loved it.
We had planned to tell my mom I was pregnant on my birthday. We had picked out a card. We were going to tell her that her baby was going to have a baby. We were going to tell our closest friends the weekend after that. It was supposed to be the best birthday ever for me – the excitement of telling my mom on my birthday had been building up for weeks. Instead, it was one of the saddest days of my life. It was so incredibly difficult to pretend to not only be fine, but to be happy. I thought it would be such a happy time for all of us. Christmas was going to be wonderful as we announced the news to everyone.
It was supposed to be perfect. But I had a miscarriage instead.
I would have been 11 weeks today.
Every time I see a calendar, my eyes go automatically to the Thursday. That used to be the best day of the week. Another milestone of a new week with more exciting developments. And now I dread them. They’re just another reminder of what’s gone. Will I ever be able to look at a calendar again?
It was October 22nd (a Thursday, of course) when I found out I had a miscarriage. The day before I had noticed a bit of spotting and told my husband, M. He said not to worry and just to keep an eye on it. He assured me that I would be fine. That day, the spotting continued. It was bright red. I closed the door to my office and called the doctor. When I told the receptionist what was happening, she suggested I come in to talk to the doc. A few hours later, I was sitting on a bed at the med-ray clinic, with M beside me, holding me tight, as the clinic’s doctor said the words I already knew were coming. There was no heartbeat. I know that I was already crying when he told us that I was having a miscarriage. How could this be happening?
It has been three weeks since that day. Sometimes I’m OK. Sometimes I’m not. M has been an incredible source of support for me. I don’t know how he does it. I know it hurts him, too, because we were both so excited. I feel like I was stupid and naive to have thought it could have all been so perfect. I got pregnant immediately on our very first month trying, due on June 3rd, which was exactly the month we were hoping for. Everything was going so well… I wasn’t really sick. I wasn’t really tired. I used to look at myself naked in the mirror and smile at my belly, thinking, wow, my body was made to do this! And now whenever I think of my now-empty belly, I wonder over and over again why it had to be this way. I’ve tried to be strong, think positive, all of those things that you’re supposed to do after a miscarriage. It just doesn’t work all the time and I wonder: Will I ever be happy again?
So many thoughts and questions run constantly through my head:
How could this have happened?
Did I do something wrong?
Did my baby ever have a heartbeat?
Will I ever get over this feeling?