I have not posted for several weeks, but is all for good reason. On New Years Eve I began to have some spotting. My mother had told me that she experienced this when pregnant with me so I knew it was possible to be a routine occurrence, but still, this was every pregnant woman’s fear. David and I had been having one of those weeks when we couldn’t see eye to eye and had discord between us, but after my 2nd bathroom trip that night, he knew I was scared, and I told him what was happening. We spoke with the on-call nurse through my OB office who gave us the warning signs that it was the worst fear but stated that it sounded like just routine spotting.
Needless to say, despite what any RN or MD could say to me over the phone, I still wasn’t reassured and the fear didn’t go away. As the symptoms continued into the next day, and the following day, I grew ever more worried. Saturday night, I began having some fairly strong cramping and became even more concerned. David took care of me like he never had before. He went out to get me a heating pad, he texted back and forth with my mom, and he tried to comfort me every time I broke down. Sunday morning I began feeling a little better, despite having continued spotting, took another pregnancy test and it came back 3+ weeks pregnant. I was feeling confident. We went to the Panthers game that day because we had tickets, and marked the day that it was nuggets first Panthers game! We beat the Buccaneers, and finished our season 15-1. It was a great day.
Monday morning, I called the OB office to explain the issue and get an appointment. We had an appointment at 10:30 with the nurse practitioner. We went, waited, got into a room, waited, and then saw the nurse. She did a pelvic exam and told me that she was going to see if the sonographer could fit us in to do a viability test. This was both exciting and terrifying as we were either going to see our nugget and hear it’s heartbeat, or, we were going to know that our fear had come true. We went into the sonographer’s office and she began to look for nugget, take it’s size, etc. Then she told us that she didn’t hear the heartbeat and that nugget was only measuring at 6 weeks, despite me being 8 weeks pregnant. Fear, sadness, and dread entered our lives that day.
We returned to the nurse’s office who informed us that we had lost our baby and that they recommend me taking a drug to push the miscarriage along. Enter more dread. I may experience intense cramping. Dread. I would likely bleed for a couple days to weeks. Dread. They recommend waiting 2 menstrual cycles before trying to conceive again. Dread.
I could barely hold myself together walking around the office as I got blood drawn, out the door to the elevators and to the car. David had kindly asked if we should ask for an anti-depressant, which I refused, but strongly held my hand and tried to support me. I had a constant stream of tears running down my face and he was being the rock that I needed. But I also recognized that if he was my rock, he would be unable to grieve in the way that he needed. I told him this and he continued to reply that he needed to be my rock. He held it together until we were halfway home and we had to pull over and shed some of our grief. While this may embarrass him, it should not. Like I told him, sometimes being the rock doesn’t mean you don’t cry, it just means that you can hold someone up but still know when to lean on someone so they can hold you up.
We got my prescriptions (including some Percocet, thank you!) and went home. Our grief that day was the most we had experienced in our relationship, and I pray that it is the most we ever experience, but life is not predictable. We held each other until the tears stopped, and then an hour later, we were in the same spot. Each day of that week, our grief became a little more manageable, but up to this day, I have found myself crying at a split second to something that triggers my emotions on that January 4th day.
And while this was one of the most difficult times of our lives, it was also one of the best things for our relationship. I learned so much about myself, my husband, our relationship, and our support system that will stay with me forever. While I’m sure there are more learning points, these are what speak to me the most and that I can reflect on at this point in the process:
- I learned how to graciously and willingly accept help. Before this event, I would frequently deny the need for help, or inform them that “it wasn’t necessary”. That week, it was necessary and I whole heartedly accepted and appreciated the help that was given. Between my mother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and co-workers, we were kept and fed that week, which was especially helpful since I had not yet gone to the grocery store. To all of those who were there for us that week, we say thank you, thank you, thank you!
- I fell deeper in love with my husband. He was there for me emotionally and physically, comforting me and soothing me. He helped out around the house, doing dishes, laundry, etc. which before would take a lot of nagging, but was done without question. Since then, he has continued to be a help with domestic chores, and work on projects around the house. We also taught each other how to laugh again, after the sorrow we were feeling that week. Someone that can make you smile or laugh in your darkest moments is always someone you should hold on to.
- I found out just how amazing my coworkers are. They sent us an Edible Arrangement, they brought us dinner from Panera, they took care of my kids (patients), several checked in on me when I returned to work, and from what my “work wife” told me, they were constantly checking in with her while I was out. I settled in with a great group of women!
- We have amazing friends and family. My mother-in-law immediately insisted on bringing dinner night #1, my mother came down and spent the day Tuesday and Wednesday with me cooking dinner and hanging with me so David could get a break, my closest friends at work came to visit Wednesday, my sister-in-law squeezed me in for a haircut on Thursday so I could have a fresh feel, my college roommate came down Friday and Saturday, and our closest friends came over Friday night to do an oyster roast to ease our way back into socializing. We love you all and could not thank you enough.
- When you get pregnant, a common question is, do you want a boy or a girl? While David has always said boy immediately (he at least wants the first one to be a boy so he can look out for his younger sister if he has one), I have always walked the middle line. But, after having a miscarriage, I can whole heartily tell you that I don’t care if it’s pink or blue at my baby shower, just as long as my baby is healthy. Yes, it is a cliche but after this experience, it is 100% true.
- Most of all, we discovered just how much we want this child to be in our lives. We have grieved over the loss of nugget and will plant a rose bush in memory of the baby that was lost to us. But we are now a stronger husband and wife that will one day be mom and dad.
So with that, I bid this series of Pregnancy #1 adieu. You were an exciting and challenging part of our lives, but as we look forward, we are ready for #2. See you then!