Wednesday morning I was scheduled for my first (8-week) prenatal appointment with the midwife. Jason and I had known I was pregnant for almost a month, but had only told a couple of people. We were sent for an ultrasound first, during which the tech told us gently that there was no heartbeat. Everyone at the office was very sympathetic and supportive, but at the same time, we had to focus and make decisions. We didn’t have time to wallow.
We elected to schedule a D&C for Thursday morning, because it required fewer follow-up visits and less monitoring. My GYN agreed to perform the procedure at a brand-new, off-site outpatient surgery center, which ended up being exactly what I needed. It was private and quiet.
Wednesday after work I miscarried, at home. It was awful.
I still had to proceed with the D&C, just to ensure that I wasn’t at risk for infection. I was too numb to be nervous before the procedure, even though they put me to sleep. It wasn’t until I woke up in recovery that I burst into tears and couldn’t stop.
I’m not sharing this story so you’ll feel sorry for me. PLEASE DON’T FEEL SORRY FOR ME. I’m sharing because 1) this is a Big Thing That Happened To Me, and I figure if I’m going to share small things like what I had for lunch, I should probably include the big things too and 2) it shouldn’t be a Shameful Secret, or any kind of secret. It’s not contagious.
I keep telling myself that it could have been a lot worse. I could have been 30 weeks, with a name picked out and a nursery decorated. But it’s still hard. And the hard hits at the most inconvenient and unexpected times. I went back to work on Friday but was completely useless. I cried at the copy machine. I turned on music in my office (which I never do) and tried to go through the motions of my job.
We told the children Friday night. They had been asking lots of questions about my surgery, and I didn’t want them to find out what happened from anyone but us. Hollyn said the concept of having another child made her uncomfortable, “like when my mom talks about getting a boyfriend,” but she was sympathetic. Tyler was a little outraged at first, because he wanted to be “as close to an only child as possible.” When I pressed him a bit further, he admitted he wanted to be MY only child. We continued talking about it for about 30 minutes, and then he asked, “Well? When are you going to start trying again? Now that we’ve been talking about it, I’m kind of excited.” Plus, he is PSYCHED at the possibility of getting a minivan. Jensen was sad for our loss, but happy about the prospect of a sibling.
Today I am just exhausted. Physically, I’m fine. But on the inside, I’m a burned-0ut light bulb. Everyone keeps telling me to “take it easy.” But every time I stop moving, stop keeping myself busy, I start to feel the pull of grief.
We’re playing tug-0f-war, me and the grief. I don’t know that I could continue to hold my ground alone; but I have been overwhelmed and strengthened by the outpouring of love and support Jason and I have experienced over the last few days. Jason has been an incredible partner, as always, through this ordeal, and if anything this has strengthened our relationship.
I don’t know what happens now. This may be a speed bump on an otherwise smooth road, or this may be a door closing. Either way, I feel that no matter what happens, our life as it is right now is completely sufficient. There is no baby-shaped hole in our existence; I don’t wake up every morning and wish for just this one more thing.
We’re going to be okay. We’re going to be okay.