Ryan and I had been trying for a third baby for 9 months before we finally got our positive pregnancy test. Our story is a sad one.
On May 16, 2015, the test finally had two pink lines. Very faint ones, but they were there. I was hopeful, still not totally convinced the "test" line wasn't an evaporation line. It seemed that the endless months of negatives had given me a more cynical outlook. Despite having very early symptoms, not the usual ones, but weird dreams and a heightened sense of smell at barely 3 weeks, it was a complete shock. I couldn't believe it. I would take 3 more tests over the next 5 days just to be sure. They were all positive. It started to sink in, we had finally done it! We were finally going to have another baby! The joy and hope for the new life growing inside of me began to blossom. Would it be another boy? A girl this time? Born early or late? I was due January 25th 2016. We had names picked out for either gender. We were READY! We immediately told our family, I knew the risks, but I thought we were safe. I had had two perfectly healthy pregnancies before, this one wouldn't be any different. And in the off chance it was, I thought, at least I'd have a support group. Plenty of shoulders to cry on if the devastating day came.
Monday, May 25th 2015, just 10 days after the first positive test, I started spotting. I woke up to use the bathroom at 2am. My immediate panic soon subsided as I read online that it can be perfectly normal to spot in the 5th week of pregnancy. We had been intimate the night before and that can cause harmless spotting at any point in pregnancy. At 7am when I woke up for the day, there was still spotting but it didn't appear to have gotten worse. I called in to my OB's office and left a message with the on-call Dr.. It was Memorial Day after all and no one would be in until Tuesday. My sister was in town visiting and she kept trying to get us out of the house. Things to do and all that. I couldn't leave and miss the call back from the Dr., but I couldn't tell her that. I couldn't find the words. How do you tell someone that you might be losing a baby? It was all I could do to whisper it to Ryan at 7am when I saw that I was still bleeding. Sarah and I had gone to Target the day before and she bought me a package of newborn diapers and surprised me with a gift card for the baby. I couldn't tell her. I couldn't do this to anyone else, couldn't give anyone else my pain.
As the hours ticked by with no call back from the Dr., I began losing hope. The bleeding intensified. The cramping started. All I could think about was that I was pregnant yesterday. Yesterday everything was perfect. Today my world was crashing down around my feet. I never got the call. My sister went back home. We went to dinner at Maria's house. I wasn't myself. Everyone kept asking if I was ok. I wasn't, but I couldn't tell them. I had to soften the blow somehow, I couldn't let anyone else be as blindsided as Ryan and I were. I told them I was cramping. That I would call the Dr. tomorrow. By the time we got home that night, I knew. There was too much blood. It couldn't have survived.
Hope found it's way into my heart. I began to hope beyond anything that my pregnancy had been twins. That somehow, one baby had found a way to survive. That it wasn't a complete loss. Tuesday morning I called the Dr. back and finally talked to someone. It was possible but unlikely my story would end well they said. I was sent for blood work. They would take blood 48 hours apart and compare the levels of HCG. Wednesday they called back with results from the first test. There wasn't a point to getting another one tomorrow. My levels were too low to sustain pregnancy. Just like that. I was no longer pregnant. My body had betrayed me. My precious baby was lost forever. And we had wanted it so badly. The next morning I took the last pregnancy test I had, still hopeful that somehow the blood work had been wrong. The digital test flashed "Not Pregnant" at me. I began to sob. I had to accept it. There was no miracle for me. My womb was empty.
Then came the next hardest thing. Telling our family. Knowing the questions that would come and knowing I wasn't ready to talk about it. It was too fresh, too hard. I still didn't have the words. I emailed, sharing only the fundamental basics and asking for space and time to be alone. My support circle had turned out to be the opposite. Not because they did anything wrong, but because I couldn't ask them for support. They were now a suffocating circle of people that I had to relive my pain for. That I had to tell of my failure. Only two in my circle had experienced what I did and I found those were the only two people I could actually talk to, I imagined the looks of pity on everyone else's face as I told them. I didn't want pity. I couldn't handle pity. I never gave them the chance to prove me wrong.
So now I sit here, 11 weeks later, trying to find the closure I so desperately need. Trying to heal from this. I hope sharing the whole story will help. I've also ordered a necklace to wear that says "forever in my heart". I have found that silence has made me feel alone in this. It has made me feel as though I made it up. As though the baby never was. I need to make it real. I need to acknowledge the life that was lost. My baby that will never be born. I will never know if it was a boy or girl. I will never hold it. Never see it smile or grow on this earth. My world will never be the same. I will never be the same. It is still so hard to say the words out loud. I can't do it without breaking down, but I can write through my tears. I can end my silence this way. I lost my baby. One day I was due in January and the next I wasn't. Just like that. It is sad. It is hard. It isn't fair.
I am terrified of getting pregnant again. Terrified of losing another baby. The what ifs are too much. As much as I don't want to end on such a sad experience, I don't have any guarantee that if we did get pregnant again, it wouldn't end the same way. How do people do this? How do you swallow the fear enough to try again? I tell myself we're still trying but in truth, I know we're not. I can't bring myself to really try. I'm as much afraid of trying as not trying, of never having another baby. Can I really give up just like that? Can I end with the feelings of guilt and failure and shame and terrible sadness that I feel now?
I have an 85% chance of carrying the next pregnancy normally. The odds are in my favor, but that 15% is an awfully big number.
10-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. I know I'm not truly alone, but it's something we don't talk about. It is an alienating experience. Only those who have been through it completely understand.
"Everybody be cool, it's just a normal day."
2 years ago