I know I normally write observations of my life from a wildly witty, smart, quippy sense of humor, but today is not one of those posts. After being inspired by Jeniffer and Melissa of http://sistersncloth.com/ and their “Remembering Our Babies” week, I have decided to share the story of my first pregnancy.
This is meant to be therapeutic for me, so come back next post for the funny-hahas if you so desire.
6 years ago, on Oct 10 2005, I was scheduled to have my first sonogram. It was a Monday. I had my first OB visit the Friday prior, and everything was looking great! My then fiancé, later ex-husband, Danny, took me to our sonogram appointment. We had been engaged for 4 months before finding out we were expecting, which was a huge shock since I was on the pill. After the initial freak out, we became excited at the idea of becoming parents, even with the less-than-ideal timing in our relationship.
That Monday morning, we arrived at the radiologist’s office. It was a very early appointment so I wouldn’t be late to work that day. I was 9wks along. As I stared at the screen in front of me, we could see the little baby in my belly. The sonographer was pointing out the head/bum and then suddenly got quiet. She then switched to a trans-vaginal sonogram. Danny and I knew something was wrong, but the girl couldn’t say anything.
She left the room to go get whoever COULD say something. I didn’t move. She returned with a doctor-type person, who explained there was no heartbeat.
I had miscarried.
I couldn’t talk. Just stared in shock. I was 20, surely I was healthy enough to have a kid? Neither of us had health histories that would suggest miscarriage. I had no symptoms of miscarriage, could they be wrong?
The doctor-type left us, but the sonographer stayed behind. She explained that she had 2 miscarriages prior to having her first child, and then one more before her second child. Sometimes it just happens. I asked her questions, to which she answered personally. I’m so thankful we had her that day, because she helped tremendously.
I called my boss to explain I wouldn’t be in and got an earful. I told her about the miscarriage and still got no sympathy. I truly don’t understand how some employers cannot see their employees as anything other than drones. My sonographer saw me upset by this and called my boss and explained a few things in only the way a woman standing up for another woman can.
Seriously, that woman was my angel that day.
The rest of the day was a blur. I cried, but without feeling (I know this probably makes no sense, but it’s the best way I can describe it). We saw my OB, who explained that a miscarriage happens in 1 out of 5 pregnancies (a fact that is far too little known) and that sometimes a miscarriage in the first pregnancy is my body’s way of “cleaning the pipes” (he actually said that. crude, right?) and suggested I schedule my D&C for that day.
I think this is when it all caught up to me, because I started hyperventilating. I’m still in shock that the baby is no longer alive. I’m terrified of doctors. Outside of my wisdom teeth extraction, I’ve never had a procedure performed on me. Did I really just lose my baby? What’s happening?!
I opted for a D&C that Wednesday, to give me some time to come to terms with everything.
By Wednesday, Oct 12th, I was ready. I felt like a walking tomb. I had become at peace with the passing, but needed this step to happen so I could begin healing. That morning was a blur. I was checked in at an out-patient facility, given an IV of something ridiculously awesome as they wheeled me into the room *(apparently I said “what’s the street name for this stuff” rather loudly as I was being wheeled around the corner…my mom heard me. oops. But truly, that stuff made me not have a care in the world), being asked to help the nurses get me on the procedure table, and then…blackout. I woke up and asked for apple juice and crackers.
Next thing I know, I’m home. And the healing begins.
All tests showed that the miscarriage was a normal, spontaneous miscarriage. Later, I had a dream about a little girl calling me mommy. I like to think that was my child letting me know everything was ok. We named her Aurora and said our goodbyes.
The months following the miscarriage were difficult: I was envious of anyone successfully carrying a child, felt the need to warn anyone announcing their pregnancy as soon as the stick turned blue, feeling at fault, feeling relief to a certain extent (I was 20, after all), but mostly…just sad.
What helped? Friends. Family. And a little baby named Ruby. She’s the niece of my former husband. I was playing with her one day and she made me laugh pretty hard. In that moment, everything was ok again. Strange, I know, but that’s what did it.
My life has changed leaps and bounds from that week. I think the experience changed a lot of how I look at the world. Since then, I’ve been married and divorced, and now remarried. Matt and I welcomed our son, Asher, into the world last year, and I was terrified the entire first trimester of a miscarriage.
I still think of Aurora often. Especially in October, especially this week. Because of her, I think I’m a better mom to Asher. I constantly thank God for the blessing of this child in my life. A blessing that I wouldn’t appreciate the same way, had it not been for my first pregnancy.
Life is interesting in that way, I think. You’re hit with the unexpected to strengthen you for things down the road, to give you more perspective. For this, I am grateful.
If you got this far…thanks. It’s nice to be in a place where I can finally openly talk about it. 🙂
Until next time, y’all.