This is a heavy one, folks. I debated whether or not to share this story - my story of loss, but after finding comfort in the words of other bloggers I felt that I should try. For those of you who would rather skip the emotional stuff please feel free to scroll on past. If you do want to hear about something very sad, you can read my story after the jump.
I didn't plan on getting pregnant but by the time I was twelve weeks along I was more than used to the idea. I was looking forward to meeting my second baby, to sharing him with my son and husband, and getting to know whoever they turned out to be. I was thinking of names and imagining what he or she might look like. The idea of the baby was turning into reality in its slow and steady way - like babies do. After struggling with years of infertility the last thing I expected was to have a surprise pregnancy. It didn't feel like an accident though - it felt more like a miracle.
When the bleeding started I held my breath, hoping against reason that it would somehow still be ok. But it wasn't ok. We lost it. I lost it. And although I may very well have another baby in the future, that baby, the one I had been daydreaming about, planning for, and welcoming in to my heart, is gone forever. So here I am trying to get over it - trying to get better. Physically I'm in good shape, but I feel like my thick head is still processing the enormous emotional load that the last few months has buried me under.
Even now that the physical pain has subsided, now that my hormones have mostly balanced out, and the tears have stopped, I'm still not quite right. It's like I can't shake the sense that something very important is missing.
Instead of my pregnancy ending with a baby it ended with a diagnosis. The specialist we saw for the miscarriage noticed some warning signs in my history and recommended that I get tested for a blood disorder. I ended up testing positive for Factor V Leiden and MTHFR. That means I have a clotting disorder which explains a whole lot about the difficulties that I had during my pregnancy with CC and my apparent tendency to miscarry. Having a blood disorder isn't really good news, but it does feel good to have some answers and to know that there are treatments that could help make my babies safer in the future.
It turns out that CC's pregnancy was really high-risk which is a bit of a head trip. It sort of feels like finding out your kid was wandering out in traffic without you knowing. Needless to say I have some feelings to sort through in regards to my midwives and birth center. I couldn't go back there now if I wanted to (being high risk), but I don't think I would want to anyway. I've lost faith in them, which for some reason makes me feel even more sad. I suppose I felt like I belonged somewhere - to a tribe of women who had my back. They left me feeling abandoned and scared during my miscarriage and that really hurt. To be fair, their approach is supposed to be more hands-off so I can see why they don't rush women in for ultrasounds and tests every time someone is scared, but still.
This experience, and finding out the truth about my last pregnancy made me realize what I'm missing by not going to a regular OB. I'm hoping the one I find next will be a good match. Right now I feel super vulnerable. I need someone who will be both competent and kind, and someone who will respect my wishes and listen to my concerns. I'm done worrying about whether or not I sound neurotic.
One thing I've heard about over and over from women who have experienced this kind of loss is a feeling of isolation and loneliness. No one seems to talk about it - even though it happens all the time. So this is me talking about it. It's sad. It's painful. It's a long, sad, painful process that I can't really see an end to.
I'm OK, but there is a little hole in my heart that I had hoped would fill back in with time. Instead it seems to be hardening up and scarring over. I feel it every day no matter how much I try to let go and move on. I wonder whether it will be filled when I get pregnant again or if it's simply a scar I'll have to wear for good. Time will tell, I suppose. Though we weren't originally planning on having another baby quite yet, it's now all I can think about. I just want to be pregnant again. The high risk doctor gave us a plan to combat the blood problems right from the start which is very encouraging. We'll try again, even though part of me is scared to.
One of my best friends back home said something very true while all this was happening. She has been through some pretty heartbreaking losses of her own and copes with the pain by looking at it this way. "It makes sense for it to be so hard.", she says. "A baby is so incredibly good. Nothing that good could ever be free. That's why motherhood is so freaking hard." And she's right. The trials of motherhood don't start or stop at childbirth. We all go through pain. We all go through loss. Yours might be different from mine but it's always there. It's just part of the deal, and every time I smell the top of CC's hot little head I know it's worth it.