A Place to Start (m/c ment)
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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Default A Place to Start (m/c ment)

    Two days ago, I found out that I had miscarried a much wanted baby. And now I'm just trying to sort out my feelings and get everything down "on paper" so that I can move on from it.

    I don't want to forget. It sounds stupid maybe, because this baby never was and never will be. But I still feel like it was alive, and mine, and I don't want to forget that it lived, it happened. So I guess that by writing all this down, I can also keep a hold on that fact.

    So here we go. A place to start.

    On Monday, October 11th, it suddenly kind of dawned on me that I hadn't had a period in a while. Stupid, because I knew that we weren't preventing; you would think that I would be keeping track of these things. But, I just hadn't really thought about it, so when it finally occured to me, I was on CD 46! So I bought a test, and that was that.

    I was so happy and excited. A little scared, sure, because suddenly it was real. We were going to have a newborn and a toddler to contend with. And how were we going to afford daycare for two of them - daycare for ONE costs an arm and a leg. But, I was also so very very excited. I quit coffee cold turkey. I started taking prenatals and a DHA sup. I started daydreaming about little babies. Hubby and I even started tentatively batting around names, making little jokes about ridiculous names as we did so. I was even looking forward to getting out my old maternity clothes in the next several months, just for a change of wardrobe.

    On Wednesday, Oct 13th I had my first visit with the NP. She gave me an over all physical, and they drew blood. Everything looked good. That was also the first day that I had spotting, but she told me that spotting in early pregnancy is very normal, and told me to just take it easy for a couple of days until we got a look at the ultrasound.

    On Thursday, Oct 14th, I had an ultrasound. They got me in fairly quickly, because of the spotting. Everything looked great. I saw the baby's heartbeat, and everything was normal. The baby was measuring at exactly 7 weeks.

    On Tuesday, Oct 19th, I had my first visit with my Ob/Gyn. He looked at my blood tests and ultrasound and said that everything looked great. I told him about the spotting, which had continued off and on, but he wasn't concerned. He even said that I was okay to keep running if I felt up to it.

    On Saturday, Oct 23rd, we told DH's sister that she was going to be an aunt again.

    On Sunday, Oct 24th, I ran/walked a 5K in the morning. I've been told that this should have had nothing to do with anything, but I'll probably always think about it and wonder. That afternoon, we told my parents that we were expecting, and then we told my cousin Shanna. Shanna talked about how she kept her pregnancy a secret from everyone until she was 13 weeks, and I talked about how I'm a blabbermouth who can't keep a secret to save my life.

    On Monday, Oct 25th, I woke up to much heavier spotting. I called my doctor's office at 8:30 am, as soon as they opened. They had me come in at 10. I told the nurse what was happening, and she seemed nervous. They moved me to a room with an ultrasound. I told the doctor (not my usual doctor) what was happening, and he was reassuring. But then we did the ultrasound. No heartbeat, no matter how hard he looked. Then he flipped a setting on the machine so that we could see blood flow. You could see my blood flowing just fine, bright reds and blues. The baby stayed black.

    Later I asked the doctor if he could tell when the baby had died. He said that it was measuring at 8 weeks 3 days, so it must have been very, very recent.

    I cried. A lot. The doctor and nurse left the room so I could put on my pants and cry in private. I sent a text to DH to call me, and wonder of wonders, he called me back right away. We talked until the doctor came back to talk about my options, none of them the options that I wanted.

    In the end, I chose to take a pill that would cause my body to miscarry. They gave me five little white pills in a paper envelope and a perscription for Percoset, and sent me home.

    I thought that I wouldn't be able to bear to tell my parents. I couldn't imagine adding their grief to mine, didn't want to have to say that I was okay when I wasn't. But then I did it - I called my mom and gave her the news. Mercifully, she said she would tell my dad and my cousin so I wouldn't have to. I'm a wimp, but there it is. I also called DH's sister. And gave many, many thanks for the fact that we hadn't yet told DH's parents. We were supposed to tell them that night. DH and I talked about it a little, whether we should tell them what happened, but my thought was that there wasn't much to tell. Why burden them with that when there was nothing that could be done.

    That night, I sat for a very long time in DS's room, rocking him and holding him much longer than I usually do before bed. I can understand that I am very lucky. I have a wonderful husband who loves me, and a gorgeous amazing little boy who I'm crazy about. I can understand even more now, what a miracle it is that he was born - that his particular combination came about through the uniting of my body and DH's, that he survived the early weeks of pregnancy, that he is alive and he is mine and to me, he is completely unique. Having him is a balm on all sorts of aches. But that thinking is also a trap, because it reminds me that the baby I lost also would have been a unique and irreplacable individual. He or she too, would have amazed and delighted me with his/her little quirks and personality. But now s/he is gone, and I'll never know who it was that I lost.

    It's stunning to me how I could only know that I was pregnant for two weeks, and yet still feel so much sadness in losing something that I only barely had. I try to compare it to losing anything else after only two weeks, but the comparisons never add up.

    On Tuesday, Oct 26th, I dropped DS off at daycare, and then I went to the grocery store to get some supplies. I wore my sunglasses inside the store, just needing a little privacy for my hot red eyes. People probably thought that I had a black eye or that I fancied myself to be some sort of local celebrity. No autographs, please.

    Then I went home, and I opened the envelope, and I took 5 pills. 6 if you count the Percoset.

    That was a good move, I think, because before that, I had some crazy compulsion to deny that anything was wrong. Maybe the doctors were wrong! Maybe! I hadn't had any bleeding for almost 24 hours, and I still *felt* pregnant. How could the baby really be gone if I wasn't bleeding and I still felt nauseous as soon as I woke up? But I know that line of thinking only leads to more sorrow and crazy making. I saw the lack of heartbeat and blood flow with my own two eyes. There isn't any coming back from that. So I took the pills.

    Then my mom called. I had been dreading this, dreading having more conversations about the miscarriage, more conversations about how sorry she is. She's sorry, I'm sorry, everyone's sorry. It doesn't change anything, it just brings my mind back to it all. Sorrysorrysorry. But then something weird happened. She told me that she was leaving work and coming to spend the day with me so that I wouldn't have to be alone. And suddenly, that's exactly what I wanted. I wanted to sit with my mom, and have someone to talk to, someone to be sad and sorry with. So she came over, and it just kind of changed the tenor of the day. It still sucked, but it sucked less because my mom was there. She made me lunch and got me Sprite when I got sick to my stomach, and we watched completely trashy daytime TV, and it was still one of the worst days ever, but it wasn't nearly as bad as it would have been otherwise. I survived.

    So now I'm here and I know that I'm going to be okay and that someday we'll try it again. I guess that will be good, but right now I can't even wrap my head around that. Trying again, like it's some test I failed, but can retake.

    But I guess I have faith that I won't always feel this way, that it will get muffled and then just be something I think about from time to time.

    Question to self: what do I do with those first ultrasound pictures? I was saving them for a scrap book, but now what? I don't really feel like I can throw them away, but is it morbid to hang on to them?
    Last edited by Alissa_Sal; 10-27-2010 at 03:01 PM.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    (((HUGS))) I've had several m/c. It is not morbid at all to save those u/s pictures. I still have every single one of mine. ((HUGS))

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    Community Host Alissa_Sal's Avatar
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    Thanks for the hugs and reassurance, ShiningLight.

    ************************************************** ***************

    For some reason, I keep thinking about all of the things that I can do now. Like, "I can drink coffee now." "I can have a cocktail at my brother's birthday party." "I can order the size 10 bridesmaid's dress for the wedding without wondering if I will have lost the baby weight by then." But the thing is, those little realizations don't make me any happier. For some reason, everytime I think of one, it makes me feel angry. "Yay for stupid freaking coffee and cocktails. That makes it so worth it.*"

    *sarcasm

    All of this is interspersed with the fact that at other times, I keep forgetting that I'm not pregnant any more. I'll think "I can totally have a bowl of ice cream before bed. I'm pregnant! D'oh." Or, I was doing this thing where every time I read an interesting/pretty/weird name or heard one on TV, I would take the name and put it in front of our last name "Brunhilda Jones?" (our last name isn't really Jones.) I find myself still doing that. That makes me mad too.

    Basically, I'm mad. Lessee, how many stages of grief can I go through in a week?

    Whatever. I don't want to write any more today.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    Drank like half a bottle of red wine last night. That was stupid. It didn't make me feel any better, it just upset my stomach and made it harder to get up this morning. I don't think I'll be going back for the other half tonight.

    Our DS (T) is such a perceptive little guy. I don't know what he's overheard, but he told me again last night that "You have a booboo on your tummy. I kiss it and make it better. You'll be okay." Yeah, he's right. I'll be okay.

    I packed up his Triceratops costume and sent it to daycare with him this morning. They are having a Halloween party this afternoon, and all of the kids are dressing up. He's so funny. We wanted to teach him to say "Trick or Treat", but it turns out he already knows the phrase. He said "Trick or Treat" and then went on to add "Smell my feet!" Thank you, other children at daycare.

    I guess not much is going on. Tonight, DH is going to some teacher's conference. He's been working with a group to help put the conference together for several months, so I'm sure he's glad that it's finally here. T and I will be on our own for dinner, so I was thinking about taking us out for dinner. Special treat.

    Tomorrow Jon will be at the conference again, but I think that my parents are going to come and get T and take him for the day. My mom said that she would double check with my dad, but probably. Keeping my fingers crossed. I could use a day to myself to clean and read and sleep.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    Over all, I had a good weekend. Saturday during the day was rough - I just felt so DOWN. Like, the only way I can describe it is that I felt like I was underwater, like trapped at the bottom of a lake or something. I was moving slow, thinking slow, and feeling almost physically weighed down.

    Saturday evening, my folks took Kiddo, so DH and I had the evening to ourselves. We decided to go out to dinner, and decided to try some place new. Turns out that we found our new favorite restaurant, completely by chance. So, that was nice, and it actually did lift my spirits quite a bit.

    Halloween was nice too. It's one of my favorite holidays, and this year was the first year we took T trick or treating, so that was a lot of fun. I took T up and down the street while DH stayed home and handed out candy, and then T helped hand out candy when we got home. He loved it.

    I promised myself that today I was going to try to get back on the horse and start taking good care of myself again. Before I got pregnant, I was working really hard on getting in shape and losing weight. Since July, I have gotten myself down into a healthy BMI weight range, but I still want to lose about another 15-20 lbs (don't worry, this would still be well within the healthy weight range) One of the things that I have actually really loved about losing weight and getting in shape is now much energy and confidence it has given me. Not surprisingly, I just feel better when I take good care of myself (I know, novel concept.) When I got pregnant, I continued to make an effort to eat well, but I'll admit that I definitely got more lax with the treats (as I've said, "I can have a bowl of ice cream before bed! I'm pregnant!") I also scaled down the exercise a bit, preferring to go for long walks rather than running (for the most part - I ran/walked a 5K the day before I lost the baby, and don't you know that I will probably ALWAYS think about that.)

    Then, for the past week, I have sat on my couch and pretty much done nothing, and ate whatever. Couldn't be bothered to care.

    So I promised myself that I would get back on that horse today. I think that the best way to heal myself (both physically and emotionally) is to start making a conscious effort to make healthy choices again. Start living my life again. Focus on my goals, rather than my sadness. So that's the plan. Wish me luck.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    I went for a run last night after work. Sort of. I pretty much took a month off, and it is amazing how much stamina I had lost already. I had to alternate running and walking, expecially up The Big Hill (this hill is a monster - it takes like 5 minutes non-stop to run to the top.) I had to stop about 3/4's of the way up The Big Hill and walk the rest of the way up because I felt like I was going to die.

    Even so, it felt good to get out in the fall air and stretch my legs. It was a perfect day for it - cool (which is great for running) but bright and clear. I want to restore my connection to and faith in my body, and exercise is such a vital way to do that. My mind felt so clear while I was out there - not stuck in sadness or anxiety or even thinking about the day to day stuff (laundry, cooking, work), just calm and clear. One foot in front of the other, and that's it. It was nice.

    It let me blow off some steam and come home and be a nicer, calmer Mommy and Wife. And I think...I think that if I were to use this loss as a reason to self destruct, in a way, that would be kind of disrespecting the child I lost. If that makes any sense. So maybe the flip side is true, taking care of myself is a way to honor that child. I don't know, it probably doens't make sense to anyone else. I guess it doesn't have to - the point is, it made me feel a little better. And that's a good thing. I'm going to keep it up.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    Ugh. Denial has to be the most insidious phase of the grieving process.

    Yesterday, I was looking at information about miscarriages online. I don't really know why. What else do I need to know? I think I just wanted to read, again, that my odds are really pretty good of having a normal healthy pregnancy next time. So then, I stumbled across the term "misdiagnosed miscarriage" which, through a series of increasingly ill advised links and Google searches led me to a web site devoted to "misdiagnosed miscarriages." That is, cases where the doctor told the woman that she had miscarried, and then some weeks later it was discovered that she had a healthy normal fetus still thriving away in her womb.

    The site was helpfully divided up into categories, including "no heartbeat, after seeing a heartbeat the first time." Just like me! I read the stories of at least 5 women, all of whom saw a heartbeat on an ultrasound at about 6-7 weeks, only to see NO heartbeat at about 8 weeks. All of them decided to let the miscarriage happen naturally, or pushed for a second opinion, and were vindicated when their healthy fetuses were detected on a second ultrasound.

    Yeah, that's totally the kind of story that's good for my mental health right now.

    Now I can think about:
    -Did I kill my baby by running that 5K (I know, everyone has told me that this could not be the case, but the timing continues to haunt me)?
    OR
    -Did I kill my baby by not pushing for a second opinion and taking the abortion pill when, in fact, my baby was totally fine and just temporarily missing a heartbeat or bloodflow...somehow.

    Yeah. Okay, but that's not even the worst part. The worst part is that THEN I started reading about how sometimes a woman will be carrying twins, and she'll miscarry one twin, and the other (living) twin is hiding behind the miscarried twin. So I started thinking about what if this time, it was twins? Twins run in my family! My mom's a twin! And the blood and clotting and everything that resulted from the pills, that was the (already) dead twin, and the living twin miraculously survived! I could still be pregnant! I even Googled the effects of the abortion pill on a surviving baby (according to internet message boards, some babies do survive the pill, and if they survive they aren't harmed by it) and also the effects of Percoset on a fetus ('cause I also took Percoset that day.) Okay, totally crazy right?

    Yep. I can admit that thoughts like that (and going so far as to do research as a result of thoughts like that) are CRAZY. And not helpful. And sad.

    And it all boils down to this...I thought that I was making my peace with this thing. I thought I was getting myself into a healthier place, running, and eating well, and journaling. And all that stuff may be good (it can't hurt anyway) but I'm not there yet. I'm still messed up enough by this that I'm sorely sorely tempted to hang my hopes on wild totally improbable internet inspired theories. I even asked myself if I should avoid alcohol on my brother's birthday, "just in case." Okay Alissa, drink or don't drink, but don't NOT drink because you think (despite OVERWHELMING evidence to the contrary) that you maybe possibly in some crazy medical mystery kind of way might still be pregnant.

    I never thought that I was the type to bury my head in denial - to believe something because I *wanted* to believe it. But now I see how tempting that is.

    I'm not well.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    Feeling slightly less psycho today. I woke up super early on Thursday with these wild thoughts in my head like "Maybe I could just call my ob/gyn and bump up my follow up appointment from Tuesday (the 9th) to today or tomorrow. That way, they can tell me once and for all that I'm not pregnant, and then I can accept it and move on. As soon as they open, I'll call them. I'm sure they won't mind moving it up a couple of days. What's a couple of days?"

    I didn't call them. Thankfully by 8:30, I was feeling more...I dunno...rational...less wild and fuzzed up. I know I'm not pregnant. It's awful, I wish I was, but I'm not. I don't need to move up my appointment so they can tell me that again. They already told me once that I lost the baby. How drawn out and painful does this have to be for everybody involved?

    I think that part of it is just that I feel like I can't talk about it to anyone. Yes, everyone who would care knows, and I know that they would listen patiently if I approached them. But, what can I even say, and how many times can I say it before it starts to wear thin on the listener? "I'm so sad. I wish I was still pregnant; I wish the baby was alive and well. I wish this never happened. I think about it all day every day." Seriously, all of that is so painful and simple and obvious - how do I even say it out loud? Who would I say it to?

    I know this is going to get better someday. I know I won't always feel as bad as I do right now. I just have to hang on until then.
    Last edited by Alissa_Sal; 11-05-2010 at 06:46 PM.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    My two week check up is tomorrow. I'm glad. I don't know why, but I guess I feel like once that is done with, I can close the book on this. Like....as long as there is still stuff to do and things to take care of, in a way I'm still having a miscarriage. But once everything is done, then I can say that I *had* a miscarriage and be done with it.

    The weekend was very up and down. Saturday night we went to a Murder Mystery Playhouse (they do dinner and a murder mystery that the audience has to solve) with Jon, my brother and his fiance, and Shanna. It was so much fun, I laughed more and felt better than I have in weeks. On the other hand, on Saturday morning Jon turned on that Pixar movie "Up" which I hadn't seen, and told me "Watch this part; it's really sad but really good." It was a montage showing this couple's life together, including when they met, fell in love, got married, et cetera. There was this part that implied that they either were expecting a baby and lost it, or were infertile. Anyway, I totally lost it while watching that, and kept losing it (like, I kept tearing up) throughout the day, including at my Zumba class. Nice. Nothing like fighting back tears in front of a bunch of women doing aerobics to latin dance music over a Pixar movie. Then on Sunday we watched the episodes of The Office where Pam and Jim have their baby (we're like a season behind.) This also brought on more chin trembling and rapid blinking. Good times.

    Whatever, I think I'm just about done ruminating about this. It feels so..."not me"....to just sit and dwell and feel bad and sorry for myself all of the time. I want to be done with it.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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    SONOFA.....

    I went to my two week check up this morning. The trauma continues. My body has not "expelled" the fetus. The cramping and bleeding and clotting of the past two weeks have just been a kind of charming side note - I am, in fact, still miscarrying. Perfect. Soooo, I guess my stupid body is as bad at miscarriage as it is at pregnancy. Perfect. Perfectperfectperfect.

    I'm so MAD right now. I don't even know who or what I'm mad at, but OH I am MAD.

    At least I'm not in denial anymore. I saw the baby again on the ultrasound, and I saw again that there was no heartbeat or bloodflow. It hasn't grown since the last ultrasound two weeks ago. The baby is really and truly gone, and at least I feel like I can really and truly accept that. So I guess that's one good thing. But seriously, how long does this ordeal have to drag on?

    The doctor told me that I could try getting a shot and suppositories of the same hormone that they gave me last time, to try again to see if they could get my body to do what it needs to do. Or I could have a D&C. This time, I'm going to go ahead and do the D&C. I just want it to be over, and I don't want any more uncertainty. I just want it to be done with. So they are going to try to get me in for a D&C on Friday.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

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