As quickly as our lives were turned upside down with the news of our recent pregnancy we were again thrown for a loop when we unexpectedly visited the doctor’s office last week.
I started experiencing a slight amount of bleeding on Monday, February 27 and really tried not to worry about it. The nurse that we had met with earlier told has told me that I could expect it and that a little bit of spotting was very normal in the first trimester. I mentioned it to Hoss but with the same explanation… I am not going to worry about it. This whole idea of “normal” bleeding was something that I just couldn’t wrap my head around though… how much is normal? what color is normal? how long will it take to go away, normally? As much as I tried not to worry, I was worried.
I pray, often… specifically to Mary and St. Christopher more than anyone else… and they heard a lot from me over the next few days, probably more than they had heard from me in the last year. The bleeding stayed about the same on Tuesday and I was “not worried.” I went to dinner with a friend and tried to stay busy and out of my head but by Wednesday, things just won’t getting any better. In fact they were getting worse. I met Hoss at home after work that day and we took Wilson for a walk through downtown. Behind the mask of my dark sunglasses, I told him through teary eyes that I didn’t think this was going to end well and that I wasn’t finding a lot to be hopeful for. He encouraged me to call the doctor and I said I would, knowing that I really didn’t want to.
Earlier in the day, I had talked to my sister Katie about her experiences during pregnancy and she encouraged me not to worry and that it sounded pretty “normal” but that I should call the doctor. And that night after my walk with Hoss, I called my other sister Betsy who had unfortunately been through a miscarriage in previous months and described what was going on to her. She was comforting and threw in the part about it being “normal” (there’s that word again!) and that I should call the doctor. My symptoms were not very similar to what she felt when she experienced her loss. (You can read about her strength here: Pain. Loss. Hope. Seeing life in a new way. ) I was crying and scared but I decided to finally listen to everyone and call the doctor.
I had never met Dr. Russell and her voice was comforting on the other line. She said that things sounded “normal” but that I should come in the next day just to be sure. The office called me at 8:00 AM the next morning and we scheduled an ultrasound for 2:00 PM. I went to work and Hoss and I met at home to drive to the appointment together. I didn’t say much on the 25 minute drive to the office but I knew that this visit would change our lives forever. Either we were going to see the first picture of our baby or we were going to leave knowing that it wasn’t the right time for us.
We left with the pain of knowing that it wasn’t the right time for us.
Baby Best measured at only 7 weeks and I was 9 weeks and 2 days pregnant. After several attempts Dr. Russell was unable to find a heartbeat and apologized for our loss. Again, her words were soft and caring but this time they hurt like a knife. She left the office and gave us a minute to process the information… I immediately just wanted to get out of that room. We both cried and hugged and waited for her to come back to tell us what to expect next.
The next few days were heart wrenching. Crying came from a place of loss that I didn’t even know existed. It was deep and hard and I think for the first time in my life, my heart honestly broke a bit. The physical pain started soon after and I took as much pain medicine as I could because if for nothing else it made me sleep and feel numb. The numbness allowed me to smile at a few funny parts in a movie or when Wilson was being extra cuddly but it didn’t help the fact that I was broken and bleeding and hurting.
The physical process of the miscarriage was not as traumatic as I expected. There was no excessive bleeding and the cramping was painful but I managed… and honestly by Sunday, I was feeling a little more like myself. We got up early, went to church and lit a candle for the baby that we will never get to meet on this earth. My husband was a life saver. I told him a few times that when he was around I seemed to cry more… but the truth was that it just reminded me of the family that I felt like I let slip away. I only had one job for the few weeks that I knew I was pregnant, take care of that baby and I felt like I failed. In hindsight, I think I wondered from the beginning if everything was okay because of my lack of obvious pregnancy symptoms.
It’s only been about a week since we got the news that it wasn’t meant to be but I am back to work and physically feeling pretty great. I saw Dr. Russell yesterday who told me that everything looks good and that I “did great” through this whole process. I am answering my phone again and feeling a bit more social but emotionally, I am still struggling. I know that I can put this behind me and bury it deep inside and move on but this pain is different, I don’t want to forget it. I don’t want to forget that for 7 weeks, I carried my first baby. I want to learn to live with the loss and find the strength that I need to do so. I know I have it in me…
Good things come out of crappy situations all the time and while I don’t believe I have learned all that I will from this experience yet, one things was made even more obvious… I am married to the perfect man. I would not have been able to get through this without him and our only 6-month-old marriage continues to strengthen with every road block we encounter. Thank you, Hoss for being my strength when I don’t have it in me and for constantly reminding me that the sun will shine on us again.
I am so sorry that I will never get to look into your eyes and tell you that I love you. Always know that your dad and I wanted you before we knew you were real and that your short time with us left a strong mark on our hearts that will remain forever. It’s comforting to know that we both have a little guardian angel looking down on us. Until we meet again little one…