My world has come to a dramatic halt a few times in my short life so far, and of course not every time has been bad! When my husband got down on one knee and asked me to marry him and the whole world stood still – dramatic pause. Standing over the bathroom sink staring at the two little lines that showed so quick on the fourth positive test I had taken that night – dramatic pause. Those are the times we talk about. We talk about how much we cried before we could manage to say yes to the man of our dreams before kissing him. We talk about the look on his face when you tell him he’s going to be a dad and that little sparkle of hope in his eyes. We hold on to these moments so tight and we tell them to anyone who will listen over and over because all too often we have more negative pause than positive. While I’m sure I’m no different than you, I’ve had quite a few of those not so happy pauses too. Three of those times lead me to write this. They’re probably different than the times your world sat still while you tried to piece it back together, but I feel like each story is important to talk about, so here are mine.
The first time I think is important to talk about happened in August of 2014. I DID NOT want to be pregnant. That’s probably why I waited and made excuses not to take a test for a month and a half after my missed period. Finally I wandered down the hallway in clinic I worked in and requested a blood test. By four thirty that day I got a call telling me I was pregnant and had an appointment the next day. Due to my stubborn waiting I was told I was already almost 10 weeks along. Dramatic Pause. As a million questions bubbled in my head all of a sudden I knew for certain one thing: I wanted to be a mom. I wanted it more than I had wanted to move out of my small hometown. I wanted it more than I had once wanted my husband to marry me. I wanted it more than I wanted to be a nurse. That want has been my reason for almost all the choices I’ve made since then. The next day at my appointment they talked to me about how I was feeling. I panicked at the thought that really I felt no different physically. They told me what to expect to feel, and then they got out a doppler to check the fetal heartbeat. After the longest five minutes of my life, the nurse gave me a tight smile, and told me she was going to get the doctor to preform a trans-vaginal ultrasound because the baby “must have it’s back turned.” The doctor came and shortly and confirmed what I had realized was my biggest fear – my baby had already died. The next events were honestly a blur. There were many people that came to talk to me. Nurses and doctors explained to me what was to come and repeatably asked me if I was okay. Soon after though I started bleeding rather heavily due to the sudden stress, but because of the bleeding they wanted to do the D&C right away. I was awake but medicated for the procedure as they hallowed me out, or at least that’s what it had seemed like to me. I don’t remember much, just the long drive home and wanting my mom. My life had changed forever.
The second time this happened I was in a much darker place. I was no longer in the military, I wasn’t working yet, and I was back in that hometown I once couldn’t wait to leave. March of 2015 I had what I thought was just the worst cramps because of a new birth control I had just started. Until that night when heavy bleeding turned into passing the tiny human I didn’t even know I was carrying. After a few panic attacks and a lot of crying I called my doctor that morning and she confirmed what I already knew. Thankfully no further medical intervention was needed and the physical recovery was short lived.
The last time my world shattered around me was a week ago. Friday April 8, 2016. I was so excited for this day. I had so many amazing things going on. My husband and I found out that we were due October 27th, right before my favorite holiday. At our 8 week ultrasound the baby measured 7 weeks, 5 days, which is normal because of my long cycle. The doctor was blown away by how strong our little alien’s heart beat was. I was in love with every little thing going on in my body. I was in love with my morning sickness and foggy brain, sore breasts, random crying and anger. I was in love with feeling my stomach get tighter. I will always be in love with that baby. With hope filling my head and my husband holding my hand we went to our second ultrasound appointment. She showed us how much our little one had grown. He looked so much more human. You could even see a little profile had formed! He was so perfect except for one thing – he no longer had that strong heartbeat we had heard before. As I’m writing this it’s still hard to comprehend. I would love to tell you it gets easier after having gone through it before. I would love to tell you it gets less devastating. That would be a lie. April 8, 2016 was the worst day of my young life. Over the next few minutes my doctor explained that I would get to be asleep for the procedure and that this time they would figure it out. Monday morning at five o’clock in morning Aaron scooped me into the car, helped me check into the hospital, and stood by my side as long as the doctors allowed him before they took me back to take my almost perfect little alien.
No one talks about their miscarriages. No one tells the emotions you feel or the pain you’ll go through. No one tells you about the emptiness you feel after they tell you the procedure went well. I’m here to tell you you can talk about it – and you should! That loss is a part of me. I miss my babies. I never held them. Until the last I didn’t even know about them for longer than 24 hours, but they were mine. They lived inside me. They doubled in size within me week after week. I love them. And as I struggle to type this through tears I hope you know that its okay to miss something you never really had and that you are strong.