Some of you know, but most do not, that I've had a miscarriage. So many women - like 20%! - have miscarriages and never speak of them. It's like some miserable secret we feel we need to keep inside. I don't know why that is, but even I've felt like it's something I didn't want to share. Because it's sad? Because 3 years later, it still makes me cry? I don't know. But I'm going to share it now because I think it's important .
My husband and I decided that when we started having kids, we were going to have them fast - and we did. #1 was born in September 2011 and by May 2, 2012, I was pregnant again. I never dreamed there would be an issue, so I told EVERYONE. And everyone told everyone else. And everyone was so excited, especially me. My babies would be born 15 months apart, just like my brother and I. My baby's due date was December 31st. How exciting to have a New Year's Baby!? We talked names. I was feeling great. Maybe too great, which should have been my first clue that something was wrong. But I was just too happy to be worried.
When I went for my 8 week ultrasound and the tech said it looked like I was only 6 weeks along, I was so confused. I knew I was 8 weeks because we timed it. We used a calendar to track everything. There was no mistake in my mind that I was 8 weeks along. So my doctor was very straightforward with me. If I was sure of my dates, then there was something wrong with the fetus and I would most likely miscarry. And I just had to wait it out. OK. So, that's basically torture. Just going through life waiting for your unborn baby to die. It was miserable.
A week later, I started spotting. And I freaked out. I called my doctor immediately and she had me come in. There was nothing she could do. I just wanted to talk to her. She told me she wanted me to come back in 2 weeks for another ultrasound to confirm the loss. 2 weeks??? There was no way I could wait 2 weeks to know. So she reluctantly said I could come back the next week.
I cried the whole way home. It hadn't even happened yet, but I couldn't stop crying. I didn't know what was happening to my body. I didn't know WHY this was happening. I knew I didn't do anything wrong, so what the heck?! Why us?
When #1 was small, he never ever slept. So my parents helped us out one night a week from the time he was 6 months until he was just about a year (and got too difficult for them to manage), and he would sleep at their house so we could get a few good hours of sleep. I was so grateful that they had him when I finally miscarried. I don't think I could have cared for him.
I knew it was coming. I'd Googled and Googled, but couldn't find any specific information about what was actually going to happen. I'm so tempted to put every detail in this blog so others might know what they could expect, but I honestly don't know if my experience was just like anyone else's, so I'll skip the graphic details for now. But if you want to know - ask me and I will tell you. Every. Single. Detail.
But basically, terrible back pain and then a lot of mess. I had to take Tylenol to handle to pain. And thankfully I made it to the toilet to keep the mess in check. And right after I flushed, I had the most terrible thought and it still breaks my heart to this day.
I flushed my baby down the toilet. I didn't even think about what I was doing - just habit. But if I could go back, I would search and search and search until I found that tiny little 9 week baby and keep him or her with me forever. Because that was my baby and it should be with me. I still regret this. It makes me so sad.
And once it's "over," it's still not over. It took me 2 whole weeks to fully recover from this. It's like an extra period that lasts way too long. And you know what I did to help myself get over it? I went on a diet. I joined Weight Watchers. Still bleeding from my miscarriage, 2 days later, I started walking. I lost 10lbs that next month. I didn't know what else to do. I had to keep busy. I had to stop my body from revolting against me again.
It was over by mid June. July rolled by. Still sad, but feeling skinnier :) I don't know - this was a big comfort me at the time. August 4th was #1's Baptism day. After an exhausting day I woke up at 1230am with a horrible pain in my abdomen. I don't know what about this pain told me "take a pregnancy test." But I did. And it was positive. I lost my baby on June 1st. August 4th, I was pregnant again. And I was scared shitless for the next 36 weeks.
Anytime I felt something weird, or didn't feel something at all, I'd freak out. I bought myself a fetal doppler to check for her heartbeat. This only scared me even more, because really a shitty $60 doppler from eBay isn't going to be accurate, so anytime I couldn't find the heartbeat or it seemed to slow, I'd panic and call my husband. He told my doctor who made him take it away from me at 16 weeks. I never saw it again. And it was for the best. But I still worried over everything. EVERYTHING! It's so hard to not be scared it can happen again. Because it can - it happens to women over and over and over. It's a horrible reality of having babies. Not all babies are going to be "had." And, it's heartbreaking.
Did you know that a baby that is born after a miscarriage is called a Rainbow Baby? The beautiful phenomenon that happens after a storm. Well, after everything - the pain, the confusion, the tears - I was so grateful to have my Rainbow Baby. If I hadn't been through this, I wouldn't have her. So while it was so sad to go through, I can't dwell because I've been blessed with not one, but TWO beautiful babies since this tragedy.
2016But I won't forget. I even have a memento of the experience. It's weird and gross, but I have it and it brings me comfort. If you want to know what it is, I'll tell you, but I won't put it here because it's definitely odd. Even my husband thinks so.
This is MY experience with miscarriage. Everyone's experience is their own and everyone has to deal with it in their own way. Don't talk about. Do talk about it. Cry. Don't cry. Whatever your process is, go through it. But just know, if you NEED to talk about it, there are people you can talk to. I found comfort in my husband and other moms I knew had been through it. I'm finding comfort in writing this blog (and don't think I haven't cried all over again). There are tons of groups on Facebook and Baby Center that will offer information and support. There is also October15th.com, which is a site dedicated to this topic and lists a ton of resources and even remembrance events by state. You can even talk to me. I'm no expert on anything, but I'm a good listener.
Oh, the ramblings of an exhausted mama...
I'm off to enjoy the rest of the day tear-free (HOPEFULLY!) with the most beautiful 12 month old in the world.
Until next time,