I Just Starred In A Carrie Remake

If you read my last post, you know that I was wondering if I might miscarry on my own before my scheduled D & C.

Yeah. That happened. And people, it was not pretty. It was like I was starring in my own personal horror movie…and I was not one of the lucky ones who survived.

I started miscarrying in one of the stalls in the bathroom at work. That was obviously awesome. As I was losing ridiculous amounts of blood and God knows what else, I could hear the click-clack of heels on the lobby floor and the sounds of women talking about absolutely nothing.

I texted Tim and he hopped in a cab to pick me up. When we got home, it got worse. I started feeling lightheaded, so I called the on-call midwife and she told us to head to the ER.

By the time I actually got into the ER triage, the front and back of my shorts, and the bottom of my shirt were soaked in blood. My shirt? Seriously? As we walked in the nurse said, “What are you here for?” Then she took one good look at me and said, “Oh.”

All told, we were in the ER for seven hours. They did an ultrasound at some point, which revealed that the miscarriage was incomplete. They suggested I keep my scheduled D & C appointment the next morning. I was crushed. After all that, I still needed surgery? No. Just no. Honestly, I think I ended up completing the miscarriage after I got home from the ER, but I got the procedure anyway because I wanted to be sure.

The D & C went smoothly. That was a week ago. Sometime in that week, I noticed my perspective on the whole I-can’t-believe-that-happened-and-then-I-still-needed-surgery-holy-shit thing was changing. Because here’s the deal: when I first found out that my baby had died and my body didn’t realize it for weeks, I felt duped. I felt like I couldn’t trust my body. How could the life inside of me have passed on without my body recognizing it? I remember thinking I just want to be able to trust my body.

I think the fact that I ended up miscarrying on my own was my body’s way of saying, Hey dude, you can trust me. I asked and my body listened. I’m taking that as a win. And yeah, I still needed the D & C. But you know what? That’s ok, too. It was closure. I don’t ever have to wonder if there was something left over that might have caused an infection down the line.

I’m not going to lie: I’m devastated. I wish none of this happened. But it did. And I made it through a week. If I made it through one week, I can make it through another.

Now my heartbroken mind and my trustworthy body are going the only place we can go: onward.

Saying Goodbye

I got word on Monday that my pregnancy was officially non-viable. Much to my dismay, they couldn’t schedule a D & C procedure until Friday. I started spotting yesterday, though, so perhaps I will miscarry naturally before the procedure. Or maybe not. More waiting.

While I wait, I’ve been eating a lot of Doritos. You know, grazing from a family size bag that has been open since Lettie’s birthday party in July. Amazingly, they are still not stale! The miracle of preservatives, my friends. Two nights ago I had Doritos and a half a piece of chicken for dinner. Last night, Doritos and one sliced-up bell pepper. Tonight? The possibilities are endless. A Dorito sandwich, perhaps?

Also while waiting, I named the baby. Tim and I named him Gabriel, which means “God’s able-bodied one” or “God is my strength.” Mostly, we just like the name, but the meaning is lovely. It’s a nice thought to picture baby Gabriel chilling with the Grand Creator, or maybe floating like a light through the universe, making it a brighter place. Of course we can’t say for sure if the baby was a boy, but I believe that it was.

I’ll likely never know why this happened, at least not in this lifetime. I will make peace with that at some point.

But not right now. Right now the only thing to do is to go through it.

Chance of Heartbreak: 99%

I thought long and hard about whether to post about this. Even though I’ve discussed everything on here from ovulation to childbirth to the death of my mom, this somehow feels more personal—and certainly more raw. I still don’t know if I’m making the right decision, but when it comes down to it, I want to share. I don’t want to sit in silence with it.

Several weeks ago I got a positive pregnancy test. It didn’t take very long at all—in fact, we had barely started trying. I was so excited. I couldn’t wait to come on here in a few weeks and tell you all how easy it was the second time around. Everyone likes happy endings, right?

I was much more laid back with this pregnancy. I even had a cup of full-caff coffee every morning! I was determined not to be an anxious wreck for 9 months again. And when some of my pregnancy symptoms started to decrease slightly, I barely gave it a second thought. Every pregnancy is different after all. I wasn’t worried. This little soul came to me so fast that it obviously wanted to be born. And so it would be. End of story.

I saw the midwife at what I thought was seven weeks along. She said everything seemed to be progressing normally. She suggested I get a dating scan to make sure she had my due date right. I made an appointment for that, but the soonest they could get me in was in two weeks.

Those weeks passed uneventfully. This past Wednesday I went in for the scan. As soon as the tech placed the wand on my belly, she said, “I don’t see anything.” Right then I knew something was terribly wrong. Then she told me that maybe I was just earlier than I thought and she would have to do an internal scan.

Finally, after waiting a long time for the doctor to arrive, she did the internal scan. The room was dead silent. I couldn’t even see the screen because they had it facing away from me. The only things I heard the doctor say the whole time were, “measure that” and “that’s not a fetal pole.”

Then he told me that he did see a pregnancy present, but it only measured 4.5 weeks. I was supposed to be nine weeks along by that point. He said that he was 99% certain that I had miscarried, but never expelled the embryo. Then he advised me to come back in a week to be sure. I knew in my heart that there was no way I could only be 4.5 weeks pregnant, but he said that it was worth a week wait to be 100% sure. So I scheduled another appointment for the following week.

I later called my midwife, who suggested I get blood work and have my hcg levels tested. If the levels dropped over 72 hours, that almost certainly meant miscarriage. I went on Friday for the first draw and the second draw will be tomorrow morning. By tomorrow afternoon, I should have a pretty good answer. By Tuesday, I will hopefully know for certain.

So here I sit, wondering how I’m going to get through the next few days. Wondering how I’m going to process the news that I will, with 99% certainty, receive tomorrow afternoon. There is a 99% percent chance that I will drink a huge glass of wine tomorrow night. A 99% chance that I will be wondering, for a long time to come, how this life inside of me could have died and I never even realized it. A 99% chance that I will be wondering how to heal my broken heart.

Letter to My Little Lady: Listen Closely

Mom hugs.
Mom hugs.

Dear Little Fish,

There might be times in your life when you feel lonely. It can be a hard thing to feel. Right now I think I can stop you from feeling lonely just by picking you up and holding you tight. That is one of the beautiful things about you being so little—I can still give you most everything you need. But as you get older and go out into the world, you will have different hopes and needs, and a hug from mom might not be the cure-all it once was. Which is why I want to tell you something:

You may feel lonely, Fish, but you are never alone.

You are so incredibly loved. You are loved by me, your dad, your grandparents, your aunts and uncles, your friends at school. As you get older, the list of people who love you will only get longer.

But here’s something else: you are not just loved by the people in your life. You are loved by the whole universe. I swear it. And if you’re loved by the whole universe, there’s no way you can ever be alone.

Don’t believe me? Just step outside and listen. In the fall you can hear it in the crackling of leaves underneath your feet, in the pitter-patter of the chilly rain. In the winter you can hear it in the silence underneath the falling snow, in the icy gust of the cold wind. In the spring, just listen for the rush of the rising river, the chirping of birds returning from the south. In the summer, tilt your head to hear the leaves swishing in the trees, the sigh of flowers soaking up the sun.

You have to listen carefully, but you can always hear it. It’s the mantra of the universe, playing on repeat: You are beautiful. You are loved. You are perfect just as you are.