Things have been pretty quiet on the blog front lately – I’ve wanted to blog but just needed some time. Time to process life and what’s gone on with us. Time to decide if I was going to share what’s been going on and how much to share. Time to realize it happens more frequently than we realize because no one talks about it. Time to grieve the baby we loved so fiercely but won’t get to hold in our arms here on Earth. Time to heal.
We always planned for our babies to hopefully be around 2 years apart. I nursed Carter for a full year and kept waiting each month for my cycle to return and each month it didn’t appear. I was slightly concerned as the months passed but turned to my friend Google and felt slightly reassured that it was normal for one’s cycle to not come back while nursing. Then, about 3 weeks after stopping completely with nursing, on Mother’s Day of all days, my cycle returned. Ironic Mother’s Day gift, huh? With Carter, we got pregnant the second month we were “trying” so I assumed that would be the case with baby number 2. The first month of trying, I counted down the days until I could take a pregnancy test – I think it was 7 days before your cycle. We were in Michigan at my in-laws so I snuck off to the grocery store to buy pregnancy tests – Adam wasn’t even clued in at this point. I took the first test and it didn’t return any results – no positive, no negative – nothing. I figured I would wait a few days and see if it was just too soon. We got back to TN, still no cycle, so I took another test. This one returned a question mark. Ok, what does that mean? So now I have a blank test and a question mark. A few more days go by, no cycle. By now I’m well over a week late so I know I have to be pregnant. I stopped by the drug store on the way home from work and bought more pregnancy tests. This one was clearly pregnant! I was so excited and plugged the dates into my phone to figure out our due date – St. Patrick’s Day! I’ve never been a fan of the green holiday but now it took on a whole new meaning. I came up with the perfect way to surprise Adam – at this point I had told him about the 2 unclear tests and that I assumed I wasn’t pregnant – so he was in for a surprise. I ordered a Dairy Queen Ice Cream Cake (his favorite) and had a giant four leaf clover put on it. I hid it in the microwave and as I was feeding Carter dinner, asked him to get something for Carter out of the microwave. He opened the drawer and was so puzzled as to why there was a cake in the microwave.. then it dawned on him. Then he put all the pieces together and realized we had baby #2 on the way. We had a fun evening and weekend talking about our future family of 4 and how surprised our families would be with the news. At this point, I was already 5.5 weeks along.
That Monday, I was headed to STL for work for the day. It was my first time getting to fly up on the Corporate jet and I was looking forward to the direct, hassle-free one-hour flight. It was going to be a long day – I had to get up at 4:30am to make the 6am flight. I had an all-day meeting at the Corporate office and then was flying back late Monday evening. When I woke, my stomach wasn’t feeling the greatest but I had bad “morning” sickness with Carter so I assumed it was beginning with this pregnancy. The flight went perfectly and I rode with one of my favorite co-workers who also flew up to the Corporate office. We headed into our meeting and didn’t stop for a break for several hours. She and I went to the bathroom and my world stopped. I knew it was too much blood to be pregnancy spotting and I knew it wasn’t my delayed cycle. I literally had blood everywhere and nothing with me – no change of clothes – nothing! I was only there for the day. Thank God I had on a long cardigan because that’s the only thing that made it so that I could make it through the day. Before going back to my meeting I called my OB office and left a message with my doctor. Her nurse called back shortly and asked me several questions and then said she would call me back. They wanted me to come in the next morning to have lab work done and then the labs would be repeated in 2 days to see if the HCG levels multiplied. I pulled myself together and went back to my meeting as if everything was fine in the world. On the inside I was dying and trying not to panic. How could this possibly be happening? What could I have done to make this happen? Why was this happening? Why was I 400 miles away when this was happening?
My work day finally ended and I caught an Uber to the airport. I seriously debated asking the Uber to take me by Target but didn’t know how the logistics of that would work and gave up on the thought. I was still bleeding pretty bad and going to the bathroom pretty often to keep an eye on things. I was at least able to get pads at the airport and just kept counting down the minutes until I would be back in TN. I finally got on the plane to Atlanta and we took off. Mid-flight I could tell we were slowing down and then an announcement came on that we were being diverted due to weather – really? Would this day EVER end? I prayed over and over they would say we were diverting to Chattanooga but no such luck – we landed in Hunstville, Alabama close to 10pm. I gambled on being able to get a rental car and jumped off the plane when given the chance. I got the last rental car and booked it to Chattanooga. I had to return the rental car and get my car at the airport and finally got home a little after 1am. I was so glad to be with Adam after such a nightmare of a day.
Tuesday morning I went for the lab work and then went back Thursday for a repeat of the tests. Friday I kept waiting for a call with the results but it never came. Over the weekend, Adam and I convinced ourselves that it was just a delayed cycle – that maybe I was never pregnant and it was just a false positive. By Monday, I had pretty much convinced myself that had to be the case. Monday morning my doctor’s office still hadn’t called so I called them. I spoke to my doctor’s nurse who gave me the numbers and they had decreased between tests so I knew in my heart what that meant. I asked her for clarification on what it meant and she said she’d have to call me back? Really??? I kept my phone glued to me for hours waiting for the return call. She finally called back around 6pm and I didn’t have my phone with me – I had given up that she would call back. She left a voicemail confirming I had had a miscarriage – WHO LEAVES THAT ON A VOICEMAIL?! My heart broke into a million pieces all over again. Just hearing it made it real.
I called Adam and relayed the message and then I called my mom. It was so hard to share the news – she never even knew we were pregnant and now I was calling to tell her we had lost our baby. To know you have the most precious gift and then it’s gone in a heartbeat is just devastating. No matter if you’re 6 hours, 6 weeks, 6 months pregnant – the joy of knowing that baby is coming is robbed of you. You grieve someone you’ve never met but had such hopes, dreams and plans for. Your heart breaks not knowing what caused it or why it’s happening. The fear is immediately there of will this happen again? Will I get pregnant again? Is something wrong with me?
The next day I had two doctor’s appointments unrelated to the OB/baby. In both appointments the topic of “could I be pregnant” or “when’s the second baby coming” came up. Both times I wanted to rip their faces off and scream “do you know what I’m going through!?” to them. We are all victim to it – we innocently ask “are you planning to have kids?” or “do you want more?” as topics of conversation – but never again. You literally never know what someone is going through and what they’re dealing with. I cried the whole way home from the second appointment. I just felt so broken.
I had a follow up with my OBGYN a few weeks later and repeated the lab work to make sure everything was back to normal. She assured me the odds of miscarrying again were highly unlikely but it still lingers every day in the back of my mind. She advised to wait 1-3 cycles before trying again. It’s also an unknown on how long it takes the cycle to return once you miscarry. Your body has to heal and reset. So every day waiting for my cycle to return was another harsh smack in the face and reminder of not being pregnant. Every day we are one more day away from trying. Every day I have the fear of can we have another baby – can we make it back 6 weeks – can we make it past 12 weeks.
Knowing I had a miscarriage just feels like wearing a scarlet letter – I just feel damaged. I feel like a part of my heart will always be broken. I feel like I will always carry this second little baby in my soul and wonder about it and know it would have been here in March. I hug Carter a little tighter and kiss him twice as much. If he’s the only baby God blesses us with then we are blessed with a wonderful, sweet, loving boy. Going through this is something I never expected or thought would happen but it does. It happens more than we think and more than we realize. Women and moms are strong and we have to be there to support and encourage each other. Miscarriages happen and they happen often – but it doesn’t make it any easier to experience or even talk about it – it’s personal and it cuts to the core. It’s a scar that will be on your heart forever. It’s a reminder when you fill out paperwork at the doctor’s office – how many pregnancies – how many viable. It’s there in the endless pregnancy announcements friends share on Facebook and celebrities announce in the news. You’re happy for those experiencing the joy and heartbroken for yourself all over again.
It’s there – it’s always there. To all the mommas and soon-to-be mommas experiencing this – you’re in my thoughts and prayers. ❤