(Mis)carried away

[Edited to add: I need to put a disclaimer here to clarify that this story doesn't end well. Please read to the end before you congratulate me. I don't usually write disclaimers but I'm doing so now in order to prevent myself from deleting this post entirely.]

Monday was craziness over here people.  The main event?  A positive pregnancy test.

Over the past few weeks I'd felt carsick, nauseated, unbalanced … you know the drill. Usually the teeter-totter ends when I finally break down and buy a box of pregnancy tests, take them all, and even though they're all negative bite my nails until I finally get my period so I can finally know for sure and move on with life.  This happened only last month! And just the other day I wrote a snarky post about a lady at Costco calling me pregnant … and dang it all if she wasn't RIGHT!  I peed on the test and those two lines popped up and WOW.  There it was.  Life was changing again.

I was so ready to eat crow, to write an apology letter to Rude Costco Lady.  Excited even.

Dear Rude Costco Lady, 

I'm sorry that I raised my eyebrows at you and rolled my eyes when you assumed I was pregnant.  You see, I thought I was just fat and not pregnant. However, I stand corrected and now assure you that I'm not just fat and am in fact pregnant.  My apologies, you were right, I was wrong, la-ti-dah.  

Signed, 

Lady At Costco Who Turned Five Shades of Purple When You Rudely Asked If She Was Pregnant.

Yes, it's soon to have another baby, but we love surprises (We even dared to pray for a surprise baby once! I am so serious!)! And what about the half-marathon?  And what about coaching this fall?  And woah girl what about those last 15 pounds you said you were gonna lose?  And what about this and that?  Gotta tell you I kinda stopped caring.  I had stars in my eyes.  I was so in love with the idea of having another baby the whole morning sickness/exhaustion/fatness of it all became irrelevant in its inconvenience.  We decided to tell our families and a select group of friends immediately.  We wanted to know that whatever happened, that we'd have support.  

We'd had a miscarriage before and told few people (our parents, siblings, a only 2-3 close friends) … and then suffered in the silence of it for months.  We didn't know how to talk about it and no one knew how to talk with us about it.  I even have a "secret" blog that I've never mentioned here before (I say "secret" because I know some of you very well know of this blog and have been kind enough to maintain its anonymity) because I didn't know how to talk about it openly anywhere - even the anonymous "www" – without falling apart.  I really honestly never thought it would happen to me in the first place.  I felt alone.  I retreated into myself and never mentioned to anyone else – with the exception of my doctor and maybe one new friend (we moved just a week after my D & C) – that I'd ever had a miscarriage.

For whatever reason, miscarriage isn't something that people generally bring up.  Have you noticed that?  And so it's very easy to go along and never talk about it and suddenly you start feeling like you're the only one.  Because it's still with you. Other people are getting pregnant and delivering perfectly healthy babies – such as crackheads and 16 yr. olds – and you?  You're barren.  You've suffered through the unbearable loss of a baby and no one can tell by looking at you. Once in a while someone will admit that they had a miscarriage and it seems like then (and only then) others suddenly blurt it out that they had one too!  Or their sister had one and it was awful! And all the sudden you realize that it happens.  A lot.

When I got pregnant with Sydney we decided we wouldn't tell a soul until we'd made it past the "danger zone" of 12 weeks and seen a heartbeat on a sonogram screen. 
In isolation I puked my guts up, hid my expanding waistline, quietly gave up my beloved Diet Cokes and sushi runs praying that no one would notice.  We thought it would be best to wait so that "just in case" we wouldn't have to go back and break the miscarriage news to everyone again.  It seemed like a good idea and we wanted to be more than cautiously optimistic. We spent the holidays with our family without a whisper of the baby that was to come.  In truth? It robbed us of some of the joy you should be allowed over such a thing.  But we felt it was more important – for ourselves and everyone else – that we wait.  We didn't want to cause a fuss over nothing.

It was my hope that soon I would have happy news to share with the world.  When we got the positive test we decided that this time?  We were going to be open off the bat. That we would tell our family and circle of friends so that "no matter what happened" we'd have support. We'd done it alone with the miscarriage and the early stages of my pregnancy with Sydney and we knew it would be too hard and that we'd need help and encouragement. From past experience we could assume that I'd be physically challenged (I am not the best pregnant lady) and keeping up with Sydney and my jobs would be too much to keep it a secret, even in the beginning. 

I honestly didn't think that it would go the other way.  I honestly thought there was such a microscopic chance that I would miscarry again because I've already had one that we could bank on this one.  The statistic about one in six women miscarrying their first pregnancy went through my mind like some sort of insurance policy, and who knows where I even heard that statistic?  I certainly have no idea.  It made me loosen up a little bit.  It seemed like our turn for a little good luck.  The last few years have been so hard I really thought we'd get to sit some heartache out for a change.

So we told our families the happy news.  We called and emailed our friends and asked for their prayers and support.  We were so excited and everyone was so happy for us.  It was awesome.

Dammit.

Yesterday afternoon I went to the bathroom and when I wiped there was blood.  We immediately scheduled an appointment with a new Ob/Gyn (who delivers at the same hospital where Syd was born and also happens to be the chief Ob/Gyn at that same hospital.  Reviews of his skill and bedside manner have been glowing from all and he is the perfect doctor for us.  We LOVE Dr. G).  By yesterday evening the bleeding sped up and continued into this morning much like a menstrual cycle.  Last night we sat on our back stoop and bawled our eyes out.  I knew what was happening.  Blurbs from What To Expect When You're Expecting about slight bleeding during implantation couldn't comfort me.  This was the end.

And so we went to see Dr. G this morning.  He worked us in without an appointment.  He took 30 minutes to talk with us about what was going on and to get to know us better. He was patient and kind.  He seemed interested in us as people, not just as paychecks (God bless you, Dr. G).  He explained all the possibilities, good and bad.  The bad (and what I expect)?  That this could be a chemical pregnancy, which as I understand is a very early miscarriage.  On the other hand, Dr. G said that sometimes pregnant women have what appears to be a menstrual cycle and can also still be very, very pregnant.  Only a blood test will tell.

And so we wept and squabbled over something stupid as we walked across the street to the lab with the word "stat" written on our orders.  People looked at us like we were crazy.  The technician took blood and asked me who my doctor is and when she heard my reply she threw up her hands and said "Oh he's WONDERFUL!" We will know tomorrow with certainty what is going on.  This was not the closure I was hoping for.  Part of me wanted Dr. G to just pat me on the shoulder today and say, "I'm sorry, it's exactly as you suspect.  But it's going to be ok."  But he didn't.  Because he is smart and he has probably seen everything, he's being honest with me (which as you can guess I ADORE).  And I'm smart enough to know my own body and realize that I'm getting my period right now and there's zero chance that I'm still pregnant.

I'm writing this with the intention of saving it as a draft indefinitely.  This is what loss does to me … it is the bringer of silence in my life.  I desperately want encouragement. I want someone to tell me that it's going to be all right, no matter how it goes.  I want someone to tell me that they understand what it's like to have their hopes crushed.  I want to know that there's someone else out there who feels like life isn't fair and they're always getting the short end of the stick.  I don't want anyone to say shit like "Oh this is God's plan" or "Everything happens for a reason" or "There will be other babies." Because right now?  I'm tempted to crawl into the hole of despair.  I want to kick life in the nuts. I am so freaking sick of nothing being easy or straightforward.  

The nurse from Dr. G's office will call me tomorrow with the blood test results and I quite honestly am holding out no hope whatsoever that I have a chance in hell of still being pregnant.  But it's still there.  That little glimmer.  That little voice in the back of my mind is saying "maybe. maybe?" and I want it to shut up.

And so this is me being open.  This is me not allowing myself to silently implode.  I guess it's progress.

Whatever it is, it sucks.
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20 thoughts on “(Mis)carried away

  1. Mindi Jentes says:

    Oh honey, I love you. I know you’re so pissed and frustrated and ready to just scream and punch God! Just do it! Let it OUT!!!! I’m so sorry you’re hurting so deeply. I feel your pain and will gladly go to bat for you in anyway I can. In the meantime, grab a pillow, punch it hard!, cry even harder, and HOLD OUT HOPE!!! A lot of the time when we think positively our bodies respond in kind. Try it. I know it’s really hard right now, but if nothing else, you’ll feel better about it all. I’m heading out to go camping tomorrow, but I want you to call me IMMEDIATELY when you find out the results. GOT IT!?!?! I’m serious. I’m here for you and willing to be your shoulder whenever you need it. I can also be your “china doll stand” holding you up when you’re crushing under the load. I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you earlier. The kids had a huge concert at the church tonight (that I was the music director for) so I spent the day decorating and then prepping for it all. Anyhow, I seriously didn’t blow you off. I prayed for you all afternoon and evening. Hang in there, Manda. I’ll talk to you tomorrow!

    Love you!
    Mindi

  2. Elizabeth says:

    Oh Manda. I am so so sorry.
    I just can’t even imagine how hard this would be. I think I would feel all of those same things.
    I am thinking of you and hoping against hope.

  3. kelli says:

    (de-lurking)
    Thank you for sharing this… i’ve watched too many women in my life go through this kind of hurt, and it sucks. it does. i wouldn’t wish it on anyone, and my heart hurts for you and your husband as you walk through this shadow-time. for your sake, i’m thankful that it sounds like you’ve got more folks around to support you now than before. i’ll be praying that they may be God’s means of grace to your hurting hearts.

  4. Caroline says:

    Oh Manda,
    I will be praying for you today. Not just sending nice thoughts because those do nothing for you. Our God is a mighty God!!Whether the answer is positive or negative. He is mighty!!

  5. Ellie says:

    (*delurk*)

    Thank you for having the courage to post this, however long you may decide to leave it up.

    You’re so right – people don’t talk about this enough and I think we miss out on support because of it. We never know that anyone else has gone through it until we go through it ourselves. A few years ago, I felt so alone until I did some lurking on the internets, and quietly talked to my friends, and found out that it can be heartbreakingly common. By sharing this, you may just help a random lurker feel a little less alone in the same situation.

    I don’t know if it will help, but I can tell you all those things that you’re wanting to hear – it will be all right, no matter how it goes, and life sometimes isn’t fair at all. It sucks, and it’s not easy. Take strength from all of us who’ve gone through it (_including_ yourself), and tell the world to screw off for a while if you need to. Life could use a good kick in the nuts, if you ask me.

    I’ll be adding just a little more supportive energy to the pool for you and your family. Take good care.

  6. Nora says:

    Not sure if I’ve shared this with you before, but I’ll share it again if I have. Bethany was about 10 months old when I became surprisingly pregnant and miscarried within a few days. We hadn’t told anyone. We had an appointment to end our preg. chances in the future and definitely were not planning on a baby, yet we were absolutely devasted. I don’t think I’ve EVER seen Brian so upset in my life.

    I’m so sorry this is happening and I’m praying for you and John to have peace in this storm. God bless you…

  7. anne nahm says:

    I wish I could give you big hugs right now. I’m sorry you are going through all this stress and pain.

    I not sure if this is helpful or not, but someone else I read wrote about also having a miscarriage this week. She wrote about feeling isolated as well, if you are looking for someone to read:
    http://mihow.com/articles/2009/07/22/as-tears-go-by/

    I wish I could make it better. Super big hugs.

  8. K @ ourboxofrain says:

    I am so so sorry that you are going through this, with the horrible uncertainty to boot. You may remember that in August 07 (pre-blog, but blogged about later), at 7.5 weeks, we were told that we were likely going to miscarry our much-wanted baby, as the baby’s heart was beating but didn’t look right. We ultimately did lose him or her.

    The period of uncertainty before the final devastating blow was almost as bad as the final outcome. I too was unable to hold on to any hope. We hadn’t told anyone yet (not even family), which made it a ton harder. I think you’re wise to put it out there — the rest of us can hold on to hope for you, praying for the best and also praying for you and John to have the strength to get through this, no matter the outcome.

    Thinking of you.

  9. Rachel says:

    Well, I am in tears now.

    Manda, I am so sorry. I will pray for you that the results of the test come back normal.

    The BS “everyone” says that “God never gives you more than you can handle” just isn’t true. This is more than anyone should have to handle. I am sorry you are waiting for answers right now.

    Give Sydney a big hug and just love on that precious girl today.

  10. rian says:

    I’m so sorry. I know that you have read my blog in the past so you know that I know exactly how you are feeling. Life is so hard and so unfair sometimes.

    I know when I got pregnant after my first miscarriage I never thought it would happen to me again.

    I do also know many stories of women who have bleed and gone on to have the baby. So I am hoping for you today when you can’t hope for yourself. Praying for you and your little baby.

  11. C. says:

    I will keep you in my prayers, Amanda.

    I’ve had my hope crushed before, and I know what it’s like to want something so desperately, but feel like God is looking at you and saying, “Hahaha! Really?! No, of course you can’t have that, you big dummy. In fact… here, I’ll pretend to give it to you, and then harshly swipe it away. Boom! Lesson learned. I’m the almighty.” And you’re there on bended knee with hands outstretched, sobbing uncontrollably and asking Him “why?” At the end of the day, so little of this life makes sense. There are certainly times when I have to work damned hard to convince myself that it IS a comfort in life and in death that I am not my own, but belong body and soul to my faithful savior Jesus Christ.

    I’m learning in my counseling classes that, when dealing with significant loss, it’s very important to talk about it, to flesh out your emotions, and to do something to honor what you’ve lost. Working for a day at a charity in honor of your baby, for example.

    Again, I’ll be thinking about you and praying for you and your husband.

  12. Liz says:

    This sucks, Manda. Sucks. I’m proud (proud? impressed?) of you for talking about it when talking about it is hard. I don’t want you to climb in a hole. I want you to come over and we’ll play with Sydney and eat chocolate ice cream and go to the beach and have a picnic lunch and point out the unicorns munching on grass in the clearing. That’s what I want for you.

    But instead, I’ll send you love and prayers and hugs and hope.
    xoxo

  13. Michelle says:

    I’m so sorry that you have to go through this. But, it’s extremely brave of you to post your experience for other people to read about. I am sure that many people will benefit from reading this post and knowing that they are not alone. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Raven says:

    I don’t know if this is the “right” thing to share or the right time…but when I was a kid, my mom had a miscarriage. She was far along, in maternity clothes, with her huge belly and then one day it was just all gone. She’d had so many miscarriages before that one that were so excited to make it past to make it through. It was such a devastation and one that none of us truly got over (she never tried again).

    I’m glad we knew about them all though, that she had us to help her and support her and that she hadn’t suffered it alone. I can’t imagine what a dark place that was for you, in the first time.

    *HUG*

    We are here for you.

  15. Rach says:

    Life ISN’T fair and I AM always getting the shortend of the stick. Feel better? Nope didn’t think so BUT at least you KNOW that you’re now not alone in not only your thinking but also your experiences.

    We’re coming up 10 years ttc and have had 4 miscarriages, 3 within 18 months, the last being last February.

    What you’re feeling is totally expected AND normal, let it flow you will feel better for it. It won’t be instantanous but it will eventually happen, it’s still to happen to me yet and thats because my friends are crapola and I’ve had no one to talk to about it.

    To get over something as major as miscarriage, you NEED a support base that you can lean on, friendly ears and shoulders that welcome your tears. I truly hope you have that IRL, if not you defo have it in the blogosphere.

    Miscarriage DOES need to be talked about, out in the open more, it’s not something to be ashamed of it’s natural it happens and hiding it away will not make it go away.

    Reach out for support hon because you’re not alone…there are far too many of us who can relate.

    xxxxx

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