Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I am finally ready to talk about it...

I don't even know where to begin with this post. I have started it many times this month {well, really since I started the blog} but I always wind up deleting it because I feel so vulnerable putting all of my emotions out there for the world to read.

:: deep breath ::

One year ago this month, I had a miscarriage.

:: deep breath ::

I don't know why it is so hard to admit this sometimes. Even after a year it is still so hard to talk about. I finally decided that I wanted to do a post about my miscarriage because this blog is supposed to be about me {my life, my thoughts, my emotions} and my miscarriage is a VERY big part of me! It has made me a stronger person, and I truly feel that one day when I am holding my newborn baby I will think to myself "I am a miscarriage survivor!"

Here is my story.

About a month after my husband and I moved to Austin last August, I realized that my period was late. At the time we had both just accepted new jobs and were still in the process of settling in so, we were very busy and I guess it just slipped my mind that it was overdue. We talked about how strange it was for it to be late since I have such a normal cycle, but we didn't think that I was pregnant at all because I was on the pill. {As a side note, I have been on the pill since about a year after my husband and I started dating so, I have been on it consecutively for about 8 years.} We had never really experienced this before since I was so regular so, we decided to give it until Thursday and if it didn't come then I would take a pregnancy test. Within those few days, the symptoms kept piling on.....I had sore breasts, I was nauseous, and I was extremely tired! By Thursday I still had no signs of my period so, I went and bought a pregnancy test. I waited until my husband got home from work and went into the bathroom. Again, we both thought that it was going to be negative and that I was just stressed or something which was causing it to be late. As soon as I finished {peeing on the stick}, the lines appeared instantly. I just remember sitting in the bathroom shaking not knowing what to think as those 2 pink lines stared back at me. I mean, I have always wanted to be a mother, but we weren't trying....we hadn't started our new insurance yet.....this wasn't what we had planned.

I picked up my pregnancy test and proceeded to exit the bathroom. As soon as my husband looked at me, I just started crying. I was so excited on the inside but scared of what he thought and how we were going to handle this wonderful surprise. I think that through my tears I said "it's positive" and we just stood in the living room hugging. The rest of that night was a blur to me....it was nothing like I ever imagined it to be. I always pictured the day that I found out I was pregnant to be filled with excitement and phone calls to family, but I couldn't lose this feeling of being so nervous and scared.

We decided not to tell our parents until it was confirmed. Being that we had just moved to Austin, I had no doctor so, I immediately began researching doctors and made an appointment. Of course she could not see me for almost a month so, I went to a clinic just to confirm the pregnancy. The results came back positive and, as the doctor put it, "you are definitely pregnant." We were so excited to hear the doctor say that and went out to buy baby books to read about what I should be eating and so on. Our little surprise was starting to feel more real, and we could wait to tell our families. We knew that we would be able to figure out the insurance and new job, as long as we were together....and we couldn't be more excited about our little family.

I didn't want to tell our parents on the phone so, we waited for 2 weeks until we went home. Our parents were beyond excited to hear the news and of course they went out and bought us little goodies! We decided that we only wanted to tell them and our siblings because we wanted to wait until we went to our official doctor's appointment and had an ultrasound. For some reason that scared, nervous feeling that I had when I found out was still lingering in my gut so, I really wanted to see the baby before we told everyone {as it turns out, I am happy we didn't make a big announcement}.

The week of my appointment I started spotting, and of course turned to the internet to research {this is not always a good thing}. I was never spotting bright red...it was more of just a light brown {sorry if this is TMI}. All of the things that I read on the internet said that this was ok....we felt a little relieved but I still had that feeling in my gut. The morning of my appointment my husband and I showed up at the doctor's office eager to see the baby and meet the doctor. They took us right in for an ultrasound, and I immediately knew that something was wrong. The ultrasound tech was so talkative and friendly while she was setting everything up and then as soon as she started I could see the expression change on her face. She told us that she wanted to discuss some things with the doctor so, I could go ahead and get dressed and meet them in the exam room. As I was getting dressed my husband and I did not say a word...I think we both knew that the news was not good. The doctor came in and explained that things weren't looking like you would expect at 9 weeks. She was very honest in that she thought that this was not going to turn out to be a successful pregnancy...at the time it seemed harsh, but I am very grateful that she did not sugarcoat it and get our hopes up. I did some bloodwork that day and then came back again 2 days later for more. She kept saying that she hoped that the bloodwork would come back great and prove us wrong, but that we really needed to expect the worst. That Thursday seemed like it was lasting forever while waiting to hear the results. I was trying to put on a happy face at my new job, but it was so hard to focus. I got a call that night from my doctor saying that my HCG levels had decreased since Tuesday's bloodwork. She explained what that meant and that she would give me the weekend to think about my options {a D & C or natural miscarriage}. I think that my husband and I just sat on the couch holding hands in silence for the rest of the night.

We both called our parents to briefly tell them the bad news as we were still in shock that what we thought had been confirmed. The next morning I woke up and began naturally miscarrying on my own. Out of this horrible situation, I am so grateful to have been able to miscarry naturally so quickly. I went in for a follow-up the next week and had passed everything on my own.

I will always remember the joy I felt on September 10, 2009 and the pain that followed on October 9th. I lost a piece of myself that day.

What I have learned from my experience is that there is nothing that I could have done differently and that God has a plan for us. It took me a while to realize this and it is not always easy to accept. I am not saying that I don't I still struggle with it...I struggle everyday. My husband and I were brought even closer together through our loss but have handled it very differently. He prefers not to talk about it, and I like to talk about it because I don't want to forget it. We experienced the loss in different ways so, of course we mourn it differently. I experience something physically and emotionally, whereas he was only emotionally vested in it.

I am scared that my experience has taken the joy out of pregnancy. I am not going to want to get excited when I see those pink lines again, but I try to keep telling myself that I cannot do that to my body or my mind. You have to think positive and enjoy the moment even if you have fears in the back of your mind....if I don't do that I know I would regret it.

Though we are not trying to have a baby right now, I know that God will give us one when he thinks that we are ready. We will make great parents one day...I just know it!

I hope that none of you have to go through this, and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. I any of you can relate to me, I would love to hear how you have overcome your loss.

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Neely said...

I am so sorry! I cant even imagine. Prayers with you.

Poekitten said...

I am so sorry for your loss! I haven't miscarried but my cousin, who is more like my sister, has 4 times. Thankfully they have 4 healthy children with 1 more on the way. I hope that this experience doesn't take the joy out of your next pregnancy. Also, the one thing she told me that has stuck with me is that it's ok to grieve. You lost a baby. Grieving is natural. Blessing to you!

Rebekah said...

I'm soo sorry you had to go through that. When you do eventually get pregnant, I pray that God gives you peace over that baby!

Stevie @ Home is Where My Heart is said...

I'm sorry to read about this, I can't imagine the pain you felt going through it all.

Just remember, that ALL things work out for good with God, and ALL things are possible. Don't EVER give up hope that you'll have a beautiful, healthy child someday.

I had been trying to get pregnant for over a year with my husband and it wouldn't work. I got so frustrated and kept thinking I was infertile. Then God showed me that I was thinking the wrong way. I wasn't believing Him for my baby. Thinking I was infertile was believing the enemies lies.

I started praying every single day "thank you God for my healthy baby" over and over again... and after a couple months of this, I found out I was pregnant without even trying. I'm 15 weeks tomorrow.

It was such a shock but I KNOW that it was God. I thanked Him for my baby that didn't even exist yet and when we call things that are not as if they are, they will come true in our lives.

From the sound of your blog, you have faith in God, and because of that I KNOW you will have a baby someday, and God WILL heal you from the pain of losing your first pregnancy!!!



Miss Southern Vol said...

Ohh my goodness this brought rolling tears reading this post. That is one of my biggest fears one day is miscarrying! Just as a woman you feel its your body and your job to protect that baby! I can't even imagine. My heart truly goes out to you!!

ClassyMommy said...

Hi Jenn,
I've never commented on your blog before, but you brought fresh new tears to my eyes as I read your post. I am so sorry for your loss, I also have suffered a miscarriage. Fortunatley I was very early in my pregnancy and I also was able to miscarry naturaul. I have a 14 month old that was also a huge help in my healing process. I had never believed it would be that hard to go through and it was horrible. As women we are strong and we make our self's move on, even though the hurt is still buried. And things like this make us even stronger! I just kept telling myself that, "this wasn't meant to be, something wasn't right, and God has a plan". You are so brave to write about it! Don't let this suck the joy out of your next pregnancy. Again I am so sorry, my heart breaks for anyone that has had to experience this.

Christina said...

When I was 19 I was engaged to be married and got pregnant. The pregnancy was such a wonderful thing for us. It was certainly earlier than we planned but a blessing nonetheless. When I three months along I went for testing and I got a call at home on a Saturday morning. It was my doctor's office. I knew that it couldn't be good if I was getting a call when the office was closed. It turns out that my AFP levels were off the charts. Your AFP levels can determine downs syndrome. That week I went for more testing and level II and III untrasounds where they can see so much more than you could imagine back then. After all that, the doctor told that there was a 80% chance that my child could have downs sydrome. If I was willing to take an amnio test then they could confirm it 100% but there was a 1% chance the test could harm the baby. Sorry for all the percentages but they are still all fresh in my head all these years later and they are slightly important...to me anyways. After all the ultrasounds, they determined that my baby girl (we were having a girl) had a whole in her heart and it appeared as though she had stopped growing at about two months gestational time. Due to the seriousness of the situation the doctors offered me the option of an abortion. It is legal when there are this many things working against you regardless of how far along you are...in RI anyways. I refused because I could never go through with an abortion regardless of the situation. They continued to offer it to me and at times tried to push me into it but I stood my ground. By the time I was four months along, they told me that the baby only had a 5% chance of living. They tried to push the amnio test on me several times again but the math was simple to me. My baby has a 5% chance of living, by doing the amnio that removes another 1% and I could not live with myself if I was the reason for her not making it, besides it didn't matter to me if my baby had downs sydrome or not, I was keeping her. If it's God's will then it will be. I was going to allow this pregnancy to go full circle, come what may. God would see me through it.

When I was 5 months pregnant I got into a HUGE fight with my mom. I was hormonal and emotional. I was mad because she wasn't throwing me a baby shower. I told her that she had no hope for the baby at all. She told me that I was in denial of the outcome. I was not in denial. I knew what could happen, I knew my chances and the percentages but I also knew that I had a 5% chance that my baby would make it and I was choosing to hold onto that 5% chance. I was fully aware of the 95% too, I just didn't want to dwell on it. My baby deserved that much.

I have to post this in two because it's too long...sorry ! To be continued...

Christina said...

At 28 weeks pregnant on Dec 17, 1993, we took a trip to see the Rockafeller tree lit up in NY. I had always wanted to see it and since I had been so depressed, my husband took me to see it. It was 4 hours from our house. We got there at 12:05 and missed seeing it lit. They apparently shut off the lights at 12:00 or did back then anyways. So we headed back home and it was then that I felt something gush out of me. We stopped at a rest stop and I was bleeding. We went home, I washed up and went to the hospital.
By the time we got to the hospital I was in so much pain. By the timing of my pain, my mother determined that I was in labor. The doctors put me on the contraction machine and monitored me. They determined I was not in labor so they could only give me over the counter pain meds until they could determine why I was in pain. The pain was the most unbearable pain a 19 year old should ever have to endure. I remember specifically saying to my mother "if this isn't labor pains then I never want to go through labor because I can't take anything worst than this." Time passed on with me beggging for pain meds. I actually ruptured veins in my legs from pushing out on the hospital bed with legs (they are daily reminders of what I went through). I had the urge to pee so my mother asked if I could walk to the bathroom and the nurse said yes. I remember standing up and feeling like something had just fallen out of me. I told my mother and she buzzed the nurse. The nurse yelled back that she was trying to get a doctor to get me some pain meds and my mother yelled back that it's too late for all that, the baby was coming out NOW. The nurses and doctors came flying into the room and found me standing with my legs held closely together and crossed at the ankles to avoid from the baby falling out. They lifted my legs onto the bed and the baby came out onto the bed. Everyone was in shock, including me. My mother looked at the doctors and nurses and said "not in labor, huh?" and just kept caressing my head.
The nurses took the baby quickly out of the room and the doctor came back in to tell me that there was nothing that they could do, she was gone. They brought her in for me to hold. She was so tiny. She had stopped growing at the very beginning of my pregnancy and only weighed 1/2 oz. She was the length of a toothbrush. My Bianca Chanise was born and died Dec 18, 1993 and I celebrate her each year. She would be 17 this year, and 17 years later it still breaks my heart. My children know they have a sister (I have three now) and they know the story. She is a part of our family and always will be.
My biggest shock was being told that I had to arrange a funeral. That was one thing that I had not been prepared for and knocked the wind out of me. That whole experience made realize how strong I really was. I also knew that God was with me the whole time. I never questioned why it happened the way that it did. I knew the risk and I made my choice. I am happy that I chose to go through the pregnancy because I know that I did all that I could do.
I was told that I had miscarried and the labor was my body's way of getting "rid of it". The doctor really said that to me !
I am sorry that this is so long but it's one of those things that can't just be expressed in a few words. I really do feel your pain. Faith is what helps you through it.
I am here if you ever want to talk.

Lindsay said...

((hugs)) I can't imagine how incredibly difficult that must have been for you and your husband to go through. I think you are very brave to share it.