Friday, September 9, 2011

Grow Your Family Series: Life after Miscarriage

Today's post comes from my long-time friend, Angie who blogs over at Don't Mind Me, I'm Just Talking to Myself.  She is a stay at home mom of 2 very exciting little boys and a wife to her best friend, Garrett. 

Having walked with her, and cried with her, and prayed with her during those weeks after her miscarriage, I know how difficult a story this is to tell.  But it was during those dark days that watching her, I learned so much.  I knew I would be remiss in my duties as a blogger if I didn't allow her to share her story as a part of this series.

So without further ado:

Hi! My name is Angie, A.K.A. Leah’sfriendfromcollegethathassomehowmanagedtostayconnectedvialongdistancewhoisnowastayathomemomandisborderingoninsanity, whatever’s easier for you.

Anywho, after 2 years of blissful marriage, my husband and I decided to get busy making a baby. Getting pregnant was not a problem for me (knock on wood). We weren’t crazy about it. No charts, no ovulation tests. Just a rough idea of when I would be ovulating and sure enough 2 months in…tada! Knocked up. And the pregnancy was ideal, if not perfect…all the nausea you could ask for during the first trimester, then the 2nd trimester energy burst, then the 3rd trimester GetThisBabyOut!...Nary a hitch. No complications, no major concerns, no problem!

Fast forward a year: Mommy gets the baby bug….again…bad…so, I made an appointment with my OB, get my IUD removed (best invention ever!) we wait a month or so before trying and whaddaya know? 2 months after that…tada! Knocked up yet again!

Everything was going totally fine. It was still really early, but the nausea wasn’t really there as much, but every pregnancy is different, so I took it as a blessing. At 7 weeks, I decided to announce it, despite the fact that it still didn’t feel real to me. I guess I thought that maybe if everybody else knew then it would feel more normal.

My 12 week appointment was fast approaching and I was so anticipating that little heartbeat! But then half way through week 11, I woke up and went to the bathroom only to discover some bleeding. To be honest, I still wasn’t overly concerned. I knew that lots of women bleed and spot through out their pregnancies and even my own sister had bled and spotted during one of her pregnancies. I still call my doctor’s office about it, and they made an appointment for me that afternoon for an ultrasound.

When we arrived, they tried to do the ultrasound the regular way, but with it being so early on, they couldn’t really see much. We moved on to the more invasive – internal ultrasound (delightful). And that was when the technician got very, very, very quiet.

And then the words that NO one wants to hear “We can’t find the heartbeat”.

Thankfully my husband was there, by my side the entire time, because I was completely and utterly devastated.

Surely, they must have been wrong.

But, no, there was no doubting it.

The baby was only measuring 7 weeks when it should have been 11.

And apparently, the bleeding was due to the fact that the placenta was already pulling away.

I just wanted to go home.

I will spare you the heart-wrenching details of the next few weeks.

But I can tell you - there was a lot of crying involved. I could (and would) erupt at any point without warning.

The guilt was overwhelming.

The despair was almost palpable.

But eventually, I realized that it wasn’t my fault.

In our case, miscarriage seems to run on my mother’s side of the family and she suffered through 2 miscarriages herself.

At the time, I didn’t think I would ever be ready to try again. But anyone who has been there knows that somehow a few months later that changes.  I was ready.

Just as before, it didn’t take long at all to get pregnant, but this time, I was a nervous wreck.

I was suddenly very OCD about taking my prenatals (could NOT skip a day) and most definitely my hypothyroid meds (a gift from my first child), kissed coffee goodbye, etc, etc.

I was high strung, but tried not to be (you know, stress and the baby and all that)…thankfully the nausea and fatigue this time around was just as strong as with my first, so that was a huge comfort to me.

To be honest, that first 12 weeks was the longest 12 weeks of my life.

And this time at my 12 week visit, I was able to hear my baby’s heartbeat. I have never heard a sound so sweet a sound as that precious little “thump, thump”.

Alas, the comfort of that visit only lasted about 24 hours (okay more like 24 minutes) and then the stress came back. Full force. Then there was the next appointment and I heard the heartbeat again and I could breathe again. On and on it went, until I finally started to feel those little flutters and got the daily confirmations that baby was okay.

In the end, you’ll have to trust me when I say that that baby ended up being more than okay!

He was quite cozy in there and decided to extend his stay by 2 weeks so was a very robust and healthy 8lbs 15oz at birth….yeah. And today, he is an energetic, loud, lovable, clingy, happy 16 month old – my Chunky Monkey.

For those of us who have suffered miscarriage, I think it’s important to know that it is completely normal to be scared about trying again. It’s completely normal to be terrified all the way through your next pregnancy, too. Sometimes, you just have to fight the fear and work through it. And for us who have suffered that loss, there really is no getting over the fear. It will always be there.

I’m not currently thinking about trying again soon, but maybe a couple years from now.

And, I’m already nervous and debating whether or not I should start taking the prenatal vitamins NOW…just to be sure…

If you have recently suffered a miscarriage and are still in that tornado of emotions, know that you are not alone. From someone who has been there: There IS light at the end of that horrific tunnel.

And yes, there is LIFE after miscarriage.

And that makes it worth it all!!!

1 comment:

Fearfully. Wonderfully. said...

of course this post touched me in a deep way. Thanks for sharing it. :)

My heart always leaps when I see families with children AFTER miscarriage.

Oh how I long for more hope. Even after as many as we've had. I still long for hope.