this is a post i never wanted to write. in fact i’ve written in and deleted it at least 20 times. i have even written and deleted this sentence a number of times.
i am sharing this with you today because i have felt a calling to share my life with people. and it’s not fair if i only show you the best, brightest and funnest parts. because behind it all sometimes there is some terrible, dark and awful painful parts.
i feel like the past few months i’ve been writing on here keeping things very surface level with a very protective paper mask over it all. because life, despite all of the lovely things and blessings lately has been somewhat of a dark place for me.
today is hard for us. today was the date that joey and i were supposed to be parents.
this was the day that was supposed to change our lives and that our worlds would be rocked. we were suppose to experience a love we never even felt possible or even human. but God had other plans for us and for our first baby. on december 26, 2015 joe and i lost our first baby just shy of 12 weeks. i hate saying lost because that implies it can be found. miscarried seems to casual you misplace your car keys. i struggle to put into words the absolute breaking of my heart.
i’m sorry to put this all out there so abruptly but i’ve been holding it back for a while. it has been such a long drawn out couple of months that some days i think i’ll be fine and the next i’ll be crying in the stall of a barnes and noble bathroom. it’s an unexpected grief that lingers and hides in the shadows and sneaks out at the most inappropriate or vulnerable moments. but i couldn’t bear to delete the date the doc gave us out of my phone. almost like after today it’s supposed to be over and i’m supposed to be 100% back to normal. and some days i do feel like my old self. those days are good days.
let me start from the begging.
remember back in november when i posted about having insomnia? not once did it cross my mind i could actually be pregnant. pair that with my birthday dinner at salt of the earth and nothing sounded good to me. i picked the goat cheese out of my salad. let me repeat that: i picked the goat cheese out of my salad.
i didn’t really think anything of it because i was so tired i though meh maybe it’s just stress from not sleeping. i woke up in a cold sweat the morning after my birthday.
no. way. i thought to myself. it was maybe 4am but i had a test in my nightstand. i snuck into the bathroom and took the test. nothing. woah that was crazy , tossed it in the garbage. decided to finish getting ready and went to use the bathroom one more time before heading out. that is when i see it in the garbage… two. pink. lines.
i didn’t panic. i didn’t react. i heard joe getting up for work. i put it in a ziplock bag and put it in my purse and went to work. i pulled it out in my office (door shut of course). those two pink lines were still there. i texted a pick to my friend leah with the line “does this mean positive? or am i reading the directions wrong” one text back “dude you’re totally pregnant”.
i put it back in the baggie and into my purse. i went to my first meaning of the day which was my leadership development training. we’ve been working on me being less emotional in the workplace. all of a sudden it hit me like a ton of bricks. there is a person growing inside of me and my life is about to change. i burst into tears the entire meeting. blaming it on some work situation. the mentor was not too pleased with my reaction. i went back to my office, grabbed my purse and headed to family fare. i bought 9 tests of all different kinds. went to leahs house and waited. 5 minutes later… “hey friend either these are all wrong or your pregnant”.
how could this happen? don’t get me wrong i know how this happens, i know how babies are made. but how?! after all these years of not trying (and still not really trying) did this happen. maybe it’s the faux trying? the subconscious trying? either way it happened. selfishly all i could think of was everything i hadn’t achieved that i wanted to before kids if we even had them. we didn’t discuss kids lately. holy crap how is mr. financial planner going to deal with this.
i didn’t know what to do. i went into an all out panic. a panic about myself. i called family fare and i ordered a cake.
“what do you want the cake to say maam”
“ummm…ummmm….. congrats you knocked me up”
” I need the cake to say, congrats you knocked me up”
“seriously. white, with black icing.”
i went to pick up the cake and all the ladies from the bakery were laughing and saying congrats. all i said was congrats youre the only ones who knows.
i went home put the cake in the fridge and waited for joe to come home. when he did we ate dinner and hung out for an hour when i told him i had dessert. i asked him to hold the box while i got plate. of course he opened it. and sat there in shock for what felt like eternity.
“is this for real”
“yea…. you suprised”
We both sat there and laughed like…. holy shit this is for real ready or not. and from then on it was joe me and our secret. from the very beginning i knew i wanted to keep it a secret until we got the confirmation and thumbs up from the doc.
we went in for our first appt and got the yep yer pregnant information and were sent on our way. those first few weeks were special. we had this secret between the two of us and you start the mental planning, the coming up with names… what room the nursery will be and of course what theme it will be decorated in.
a few weeks later i woke up to go to chicago for a conference and notice a little spotting but didn’t think anything of it because everything i read said totally normal. it continued on here and there throughout the day and just kind of went away so i thought no big deal. the more time that carried on the more we planned and prepared. like i said, those first few weeks were really special and something i will never forget or get to relive again for the first time. and that just makes me so sad.
a few days after the chicago trip the spotting started again. this time i called the doctor. gave her the details and she said it was fine, typical no worries call if it looks like this.
one friday night i went to use the bathroom before meeting my family at a griffins game and it was bad. there was a lot of blood. i walked out and the color must have drained from my face because it drained from joe’s too. call the doctor i said. we explained what was going on and headed to the hospital. we told my family i came down with the flu. i was in no pain which was weird because when i started spotting the second time i started googling signs and symptoms of miscarriage and while some matched up i felt no pain. i was hoping and praying that was a good sign.
we got to the hospital and they monitored my levels checked me out and everything looked fine. the nurse on duty thought i just looked earlier than i thought i was. in my head i said not possible. we were together in the same state two days in a span of 4 weeks. there is no way. she disagreed and said if i was going to miscarry it would most likely be that night. absolutely devastated we headed home. i woke up every single hour checking, evaluating, praying and pleading. every hour that passed with no new developments i would thank God and praise mystery baby for staying strong.
night slowly turned into day and nothing had happened. we laid low the rest of the day taking things in stride. the hours seemed to crawl on yet nothing seemed to happen. we went back into the hospital had more blood work done and another ultrasound and got the thumbs up. my hcg levels seemed to be steady and the ultrasound still showed a tiny little blob on the screen. the doctor called and said i was going to come in for yet another ultrasound in a few days with more blood work. joe was supposed to leave with my dad and brother to texas elk hunting. i felt this calm that nothing would happen while he was gone. and if it did he could fly home. he left and i didn’t leave my bedroom for like 3 solid days. until i had to go in for more tests.
the doctor called me with the results. things were progressing but not like they should. i asked her to give it to me straight. i can handle it i want to know. my husband is in texas i have to know if he needs to come home. she said you have about a 30% chance of this being a viable pregnancy. i felt like that scene from dumb and dumber where mary swanson tells lloyd he has a one in a million chance and he refuses to see that as a bad thing. i thanked her for her time and she said they are going to keep monitoring me and would have the office call me tomorrow to set an appt. i thanked her for calling me so late at night. and texted joe since he didn’t have cell service the conversation with the doctor that had just taken place. we both agreed it was time to tell my mom and dad. my dad already knew something was up anyway. i texted my mom (it was almost 9:30pm) and i told her i needed her to come over. i also clarified that i am not in any danger but we need to talk.
i opened the door and she knew right away. “you’re pregnant. i know it. it’s going to be fine you are going to figure this out” i will never forget the moment when she realized something was wrong and i had to finish and tell her that something was. i gave her the entire run down of the story, how many times we’ve gone to the doctor and the current analysis. i also needed her to come with me the next time.
the next day the office called and scheduled an appt. we went in and had another ultrasound. the nurse tech said there was a small amount of growth which was promising and my hcg levels had also rose a bit which was also a good sign. i texted joe “good for now” hopefully giving him some piece of mind. we went home and the doctor called saying there had been an error and she didn’t want me to come back that early but she was going to prescribe some medication to up some of my other levels that seemed to be lacking. irritated about the scheduling error but still grateful for a call back i headed to walgreens around 10pm to get what i needed.
every now and then the spotting would continue and i would praise and pray when nothing happened and still nothing happened. joe eventually came home and a few days later we went to another appt.
the techs face did not look good. i could see her expression. “this is not a surprise to me” i told her. “i know that something is wrong. i would like to see the screen.” there it was still there looking unchanged. she said there hasnt been any growth since last week. at this point we should see heart, formation etc etc. we didn’t. that seemed to me to be pretty much game over. she said the doctor would call and follow up within the next few days.
at this point we figured this was game over for us and decided to tell joes parents the news and fill them in with what has been going on. add that moment too to the list of worst moments in my life. you can’t help but think of the “should haves”. This should have been a really joyous and fun night. but it’s tainted and its bad news. and i don’t want to say it out loud.
but then we got a call from the doctor… the baby still grew. not by much but it was still growing and she (and we) did not feel comfortable doing anything if there was still signs of life. we alerted all of our friends and family that knew and told them this bizarre update. expectedly so getting our hopes up but trying really really hard no to.
we went in again a week later for a follow up and for the first time nothing grew, levels were slipping and signs of the true end were coming. i was given a few options. i could try and let it happen naturally but they would only let that go about another week or i could take a medication that would make my body release it or go in for the procedure. for some reason even though there was no “sign of life” i just couldn’t do it. i opted to wait a few days, then try medication and if I absolutely had to i would get the procedure.
i waited nothing. i took the medication a few days later… nothing. i got another prescription and set a surgery date. nothing. my surgery was set for after christmas a few days before the new year. christmas came and went and we were at our last party of the season when towards the end i started feeling a little funny. no pain just something wasn’t right. i grabbed joes arm and as seriously as i could said “we need to go now. no time for goodbyes” told my mom I would text her in the car.
that night it happened. we officially miscarried our baby. i am grateful for no extreme physical pain as i’ve read and heard some terrible stories. if i could have taken a baseball bat to every window in the house i would have. i wanted to break everything i wanted to scream i wanted to pull my hair out. i was pissed at my body. my body that didn’t do the one thing it was genetically made to do. it had failed me. i was furious and angry but all i could do was sit there.
i called the doctor the next day explaining to her what had happened went in to get my levels tested and they were about half of what they were before. making it official official. they were going to continue to monitor my levels until they were down to at least 10. that took about a month and a half before they would officially call it a day. twice a week i had to go in for blood work. we had a followup appt where we could ask all the questions we wanted.
that is when the doctor busted out some new news. we found an abnormality with your uterus.
part of me was like seriously?! the other part of me was like thank god an explanation. i was told i had septum that divided my uterus that they think the baby latched on to and didn’t think it could grow. they would eventually want to surgically remove it but first i would need to get my blood drawn again to make sure i was down to at least 10 and then i would need to get this weird ultrasound thing but first levels.
i went in for blood test. mind you by this point it’s end of feb. i didn’t hear anything for three weeks. no follow up, no report. i finally called my doctors office (i called every day after the first week of not hearing anything) and asked if my doctor had died or something because this is ridiculous all i need is to make sure my hcg levels were back down so i could move to the next step. FINALLY another doctor called me back. maybe it was her non apologetic tone for keeping me waiting or her saying “bet you wish you would have just had the surgery” that made me want to crawl through the phone and punch her in the throat. i can’t remember what i said but it was much more restrained than i wanted to be because i needed the answers that she had.
i finally got the second test scheduled. had i known how bad that was going to hurt…. i’m glad i didn’t know how bad it was going to hurt. i sat there in the same room i was in for what felt like the last ten years until a doctor with shaky hands and circle glasses came in and explained the test to me. catheter ok. liquid stuff to fill uterus ok. should feel pinching ok.
I yelled holy shit and joe almost fainted. that was the worst pain i’ve ever felt. ever. but it was over and soon we should have the information we needed to move forward.
doctor said surgery was recommended. i had the answers i needed and was not about to get surgery from an office that dropped off the face of the planet for three weeks. i took my charts and dignity and found a new doctor.
i met my newest doctor about 2 weeks later and gave her the explanation of everything we went through. she agreed that if in fact i do have this septum it’s a good idea to get rid of it. she wanted to have an MRI done first though just to make sure.
MRI was done in early may. came back not clear enough. surgery moved back. second MRI scheduled and another waiting game. i just wanted to get this over with and move on with my life because technically we were supposed to hold off on trying, and it was just not knowing what was going on with your own body. again.
doctor called back within a week with the news that first doctor was wrong and there was no surgery needed. i have some abnormalities but nothing that would be associated with miscarriage. surgery was cancelled. a wave of relief washed over that the physical nightmare was over.
that was finally in may.
now were just left with the what could have beens and broken hearts.
the more i tell people and talk about it the more i realize we are not alone. 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. that is a big number. it’s something that changes you. changed me. i struggle with the anger, the why me, the what could have/should have beens.
i saw a “meme” on facebook that said “you cannot truly understand life until you are holding it in your arms”. it had a happy mama draped in white dress holding a happy healthy new born in her arms. I typed a few expletives that i never hit post. but honestly looking back you can understand life in so many ways. I would argue that you can understand it more when you love something you have never seen so much more than you love yourself, your worldly possessions, anything and everything you have. you can understand life when you’ve experienced someone losing theirs.
this day is hard. this year has been hard. i’m grateful for a good family, good friends, and a loving husband. each day we make a decision to get out of bed and face the day. refusing to surrender to the darkness and to pick ourselves up and get out each day.
a dear and heartfelt thank you to my friend leah mullett of leah mullett photography for taking these pictures of joe and i. I will treasure these.