Tuesday, April 04, 2006

One Year Anniversary (Looooong Post)

I don’t remember the date I found out I was pregnant. I’m not very good with dates like that. I can’t even remember the date I got engaged, for heaven’s sake. I remember the due date, though. October 3, 2005. Being pregnant was all I could think about, I was obsessed with it. I was constantly sneaking peeks at pregnancy webpages at work. I was bursting to tell people, but I wanted to wait until my first trimester was over. Which turned out to be a very good thing.

At about eight weeks I had very light spotting for a few days. It scared me a lot. I frantically searched online, and conveniently found the answer I wanted - that it could be trouble but was most likely nothing. My first prenatal appointment was the next week, on a Thursday. I asked Dh to come with; I was nervous and wanted him there with me.

As the nurse practitioner did the ultrasound, I could tell almost right away something wasn’t right. The uterus was like a big hole, and the baby was tiny, too tiny. She switched to the vaginal ultrasound. She said, “Something’s wrong - nice big uterus, small baby.” (No shiz something’s wrong.) Dh didn’t understand. “What kind of wrong?” he asked, smiling. I could just be not as far along as we thought, but she thought it was probably a missed miscarriage. Now Dh wasn’t smiling. She measured the baby, 6 weeks (it was supposed to be 9.5 weeks). I did a blood test that day, then was to come in 2 days later for another blood test. If my HcG levels were falling, the baby wasn’t alive. I knew that the results would be negative.

I am so glad Dh was there. I don’t know what I would have done if I had been by myself. I started crying at the doctor’s and I didn’t really stop for a long time. He was wonderful.

I cried and cried. I asked Dh to call my office and tell them I had a family emergency. Dh asked me what I wanted him to get me. I had been trying to eat very healthy foods only. But I wasn’t pregnant now - screw it! I asked him to get me a pizza and some McDonald’s fries. And I asked him to call our mothers. I couldn’t bear to tell people, not when the news was so very fresh to me.

I hadn’t realized how much I wanted that little baby. Dh held me. He didn’t know what to say, so bless him, he said, “You’ll get pregnant again, you’ll have a baby.” I beat my thighs with my fists. “I don’t want some baby, I wanted this one!” I cried more.

Dh came back with the pizza and fries. We watched a couple of episodes of Alias. It took my mind off what was happening. I felt numb.

Rainbow called that afternoon. We had plans to go out that night with JDub. She asked me how my appointment had gone. So I told her. I cried, and she called me sweetie, which I still think is kind of funny. She asked if I still wanted to go out, and heck yes I did. Rainbow and JDub are two of my very best friends. They gave me hugs, and love. They only asked a few questions, and let me control how much it was discussed. And I was able to forget for a little while.

I don’t work Fridays, so I didn’t have to worry about work until Monday. I honestly don’t remember that weekend. I’m sure it sucked.

On Monday I was supposed to call the doctor for the results of the blood tests. I didn’t want to call from work, so I went to Sister B’s apartment. When I told her, she was absolutely shocked. She didn’t think something like that would happen to someone young and healthy. And of course, she had had no trouble getting pregnant and her daughter was already a year old by then. The nurse told me my level was falling. I had had a few days to get used to the idea, so I took the confirmation pretty calmly. I wanted to let my body do its thing. She said if I hadn’t miscarried within two weeks, they would need to do a D and C.

I went through that week in a haze. I felt kind of despondent, knowing the baby inside was not alive. That weekend we had plans to go to Dh’s parents for his brother’s missionary farewell. Something told me to bring the ol’ maxi pads.

Friday on the drive over (it’s a 5-hour drive to my in-laws), I started having very sporadic cramps. I started spotting Friday evening. By Saturday afternoon, the cramps were still sporadic but stronger and more frequent. The nurse and nurse practitioner had both been pretty vague about the actual miscarriage, and I hadn’t been able to find very specific information online either. So I didn’t really know what to expect. The nurse said, “The pain will be less severe once the product of conception has passed.” I remember that sentence specifically because I wanted to snort at the term “product of conception.” And then later looking back I wanted to really snort at the fuzziness of the phrase “the pain will be less severe.”

Saturday afternoon I talked to my mother-in-law about the two miscarriages she had had. It was interesting, but I don’t know how helpful exactly. Her miscarriages took place about twenty years ago, after she already had four children. It would have been nice to have someone near me who had miscarried recently, and in their first pregnancy. I think that makes it a whole different ballgame.

By Saturday night I was in a lot of pain. Dh and I were cuddled on a sofa in his parents’ basement watching a movie. When the contractions (yes, that’s what they were at this point) came, I would grab his hand and make him push really hard on my uterus (he could push a lot harder than I could, and could get better leverage). It helped relieve the pain. After a while, watching the movie became pointless, I was hurting too bad. I went up to our room. I think that not knowing what to expect was kind of good in a way, because I just gave up to my body and didn’t try to think about what was happening. I ended up on my hands and knees on the bed, breathing through each contraction. And crying. It hurt a lot. The contractions were only 2-3 minutes apart for a while. They eventually lessened somewhat and I went to bed. And actually slept. I’m not sure how I did that, probably another blessing from above.

I think I woke up from the pain around 6 or 7. Slept fitfully until my mother-in-law woke us up at 8 to get ready for church. Dh hopped in the shower. I was getting changed, when suddenly my body said, Push. So I did. Maybe I should have let my brain kick back in first, ha ha. Not the smartest thing to do, push when you are naked in a bedroom, on carpet. I lunged for a pad and was able to get it under me. I crouched over that pad for some long minutes, really only 3 or 4 minutes. Luckily for me, Dh doesn’t take long showers at his parents’ house (their shower is tiny). I stayed pretty calm until Dh came back in. Then I lost it. There were some blood drops on the carpet, and I was most worried about that. You know how your brain gets in those situations, all weird. I was worried it would stain. I don’t think Dh completely knew what was going on, then he looked at the pad and said “Oh my gosh” in this 'holy crap' voice. Then he was super calm and fantastic. He cleaned the carpet, which was of course fine, and just generally took care of me.

And I still went to church. Only 15 minutes late too. The Playa’s mom was there. Another gift from God. Her daughter down in Provo had just gone through a miscarriage, and she hadn’t been able to go down and take care of her. We held each other for a long time. I don’t think she knows even now that I had just started miscarrying that very morning. I should probably tell her what a help she was to me.

All Sunday I had very painful contractions. I figured out that after two such contractions, I should go to the bathroom to avoid mess as much as possible. I wasn’t much fun at the farewell for Dh’s brother.

As if this hasn’t all been TMI, well I’m not just typing this up for you, Gentle Reader, it’s also for me. And it’s also for some girl out there who just found out she is going to miscarry and she wants to know what the freak is happening to her. There were clots like you would not believe. Huge clots. But I didn’t see the baby. It was too tiny, I guess.

We drove back to our house Sunday night. Monday I was back at work. For some reason, it didn’t really occur to me to not go to work. Me. Who loves to skive off work whenever she can come up with a good reason. Monday wasn’t bad anyway. By that point, I would call the pain “cramps.” I think by Wednesday the cramps were gone. But I was still bleeding.

Here’s how my periods work: they last a full 7 days, occasionally even 8 days. But the bleeding is only “heavy” the first 3 days. (Heavy in quotation marks because it’s not really heavy.) By day 6, I just wear a pantiliner. Yes, my period is that light. So the bleeding from the miscarriage was kind of freaky. It was bright red, for days and days. And lots of blood too.

The nurse said, No sex until you stop bleeding. We wanted to know how come. She explained it in such a vivid way: “Your uterus is basically an open wound right now.” Yeah, that pretty much killed a desire to cheat on the “no sex” rule. Though it sucked, because I bled for about 10 days.

Finally, finally I stopped bleeding. I went in every Friday to get my HcG level tested. When it was back to zero, we could start trying again. That only took a month. Technically we were supposed to use protection in the meantime. Um, yeah.

Fast forward to October 3, 2005. I took a pregnancy test. It was positive. I burst into tears. Now that baby is squirming around inside me and will be born in about two months. The most powerful feeling I had through this whole experience was the sensation that I was in God’s hand. That he knew the big picture, and was protecting me. I felt that so powerfully. And finding out about Baby Girl on that baby’s due date was one more sign of His love. I was so bowled over about being pregnant (yes and scared too) that the significance of the date didn’t even occur to me until a day or two later. It is simply no longer possible for me to doubt God’s love for me.

In November Dh and I sat with the same nurse practitioner and I held Dh’s hand so tightly and we watched Baby Girl’s heart pump-pump-pumping away. And I think even he was a little misty-eyed.


Katie said...

I love you kiddo. (wipes a stupid, fat sentimental tear from her cheek)

PS I got the tickets to Portland in June. Am SOOOOOOO excited you see you and baby girl!

Hannah said...

I found your blog through GFF. Wow. What a powerful post. I'm so sorry you had to go through that, but I'm thrilled that you have a baby girl on the way! I am waiting any day (any minute) for mine to decide she's ready to come out!

girl from florida said...

I'm sitting here with tears streaming down my face. Thank you so much for sharing this story. God works in such amazing ways. I can't believe it was exactly a year to the day from the first due date... What a blessing.

Chas said...

It is amazing how God knows exactly what is best for us. I just had a baby girl, and I am so grateful. As grateful as I am for her, I still look back to the beginning of my pregnancy when I was pregnant with her twin...that baby didn't make it. It's beyond scary to miscarry one baby and have to constantly worry about the baby you're still carrying. Ugg..it doesn't do any good to remember how many women go through this when it's happening to you.

Isabel said...

I read this yesterday and was amazed at how beautifully you were able to express your thoughts and feelings.

You are so brave to have gone through this and even braver to share it with us.

Thank you!

alana said...

That simultaneously broke and warmed my heart. I am so pleased to hear about your soon-to-be born healthy baby girl with her healthy baby girl heartbeat. That was a beautifully written post.

AnnaBana said...

Wow, thank you so much for sharing your story. My sister has had 3 miscarriages (she has 2 kids) and I don't think I ever realized what she went through physically... makes me wish I could have been there for her a little better. Since I've been pregnant, I understood more about what she went through at least emotionally. Anyway, I'm rambling, but thanks for sharing. And congratulations congratulations congratulations on your baby girl!

Claire said...

Just found your blog through a friend of a friend of a friend, etc. Thanks for sharing your story. We're thinking about getting pregnant and it's good to know it's not all wonderful all the time. Also had a friend who miscarried, she was the only married one of us at the time and we didn't really understand, but this helps. Good blog, too, I had a peak around. Good luck with your baby girl!

butterfly_chic26 said...

You don't know me, and I just was looking at other peoples sites, and stumbled onto your site. I just to say that was a very touching and emotional post. And I do believe that God works in mysterious ways. And congradulations on the new coming baby.

Ashley said...

That was incredible. Thank you for sharing it with not only yourself---right there in front of you---but also with us.