March 1 my husband and I found out I was pregnant.
I called the doctor, and my first appointment was set for March 31. It was the longest wait of my life for that first appointment. An even longer wait in the waiting room. They were running behind, and I had to wait an hour after my scheduled appointment time to see the doctor. The doctor started the ultrasound, and I immediately saw the look of concern on her face as she scanned and scanned some more. I could see what she saw. Two babies. No heart beats.
My son had a twin. It died before 12 weeks and I miscarried the one baby. When I went in for the first appointment, they saw the same thing as the most recent pregnancy, two babies and no heartbeats. I had to go back two weeks later, which is when they saw my son’s heartbeat. They gave me a 50% chance of carrying my son to term. I was on bed rest for three weeks, but my son survived. He is a healthy and thriving toddler today, full of mischief and joy. Because of my history with my son, the doctor wanted to see me again in a week. She made it clear that, although they wanted to see me again, she didn’t think that this pregnancy would have a happy ending.
One week after that first appointment she confirmed that the pregnancy had ended. They gave us three options.
- Dilation and curettage
- Take Cytotec to induce quicker miscarriage
- Wait it out naturally and come back if I hemorrhage
I had to have a 12 week D&C with my second miscarriage. It was traumatic, painful, and not anything I ever wanted to replicate. Cytotec, while used often by obstetricians, has a frightening and not nearly discussed enough history of uterine rupture and maternal death when used on pregnant women. It’s just not a drug that I am comfortable using, when given the choice. That left me choice number 3. A choice I am still waiting for an outcome from.
And so I sit, staring at my computer screen, dead babies still inside me, trying to find the right words. I want to write something meaningful, something that will bring other women peace or understanding. But, I don’t think that there is anything that truly can be said after a loss. Miscarriage carries a special kind of grief that only a woman who has had a miscarriage can understand.
Waiting for the pregnancy to physically pass, I’m left with a hole in my heart for the babies that I will never hold. But it’s more than just the physical and emotional trauma of loss. It’s first words never spoken. Birthdays never celebrated. Graduations never attended. It’s the hope and joy and expectations for a life filled with memories of the beautiful child growing inside of you suddenly ended. No explanations. No reasons. No warning. Just over.
It has been two long weeks of waiting. Two weeks of anger. Two weeks of sadness and depression. It has also been two weeks of realizing that in the midst of personal tragedy, I am blessed beyond belief.
Two days after the doctor confirmed the miscarriage, two huge, beautiful bouquets of flowers arrived at my door from three friends that I love dearly. Their thoughtfulness, their recognition of my loss, their simple notes of “We love you and we are here if you need to talk” left me in a puddle of tears. Just knowing that other people knew about, and cared about, my babies that will never be has made the pain bearable.
I have had two weeks of cuddling my two beautiful children, whose presence makes bearable, but doesn’t take away, the pain of miscarriage. But because of them, I keep going. They need me, and for that I am forever thankful.
I have had two weeks of seeing my husband’s strength, as he holds me while I sob uncontrollably. Even though he too is grieving the loss of the babies. Emotionally, he feels the loss of the pregnancy just as much as I do.
Two weeks of trying to figure out where and how to go on from here. How do you move on after something like a miscarriage? It’s something I am learning how to do each and every time it happens. What I have learned is that you can’t move on from a miscarriage. The sadness stays with you always. It just becomes less acutely painful over time. You can only move forward.
You learn to live with the memory of what could have been but will never be. You find ways of keeping their memory alive, and you live. You just have to move forward. One day at a time, one step at a time. I am so blessed to have the support system I have. I am able to lean on family and friends who love me and will help me through my loss.
After my first miscarriage, I had baby feet tattooed onto my right foot. I felt like I needed some sort of physical proof that my baby had existed. Though they lived only a short time inside of me, I wanted the memory to stay with me forever.
After the second miscarriage, and the loss of my son’s twin, my husband and I planted two apple trees in our front yard. I wanted to have something beautiful that would bloom and give back to the world year after year.
I haven’t yet decided how I will move forward after this miscarriage. I probably won’t decide until it’s officially over. I still haven’t had the time to process it like I need to. I haven’t moved on, but I am moving forward.