This past week has definitely been the longest, most emotional week of my life. It all started last Monday when I noticed some brownish spotting on the toilet paper. Of course, my first reaction was to freak out, but I told myself to stay calm and monitor it. Brown blood indicates "old blood" and I wasn't cramping or anything. By late Monday afternoon, it had stopped. But, on Thursday it started again ...but again I monitored it. I thought that perhaps because Jaimie and I had had sex the nights before the bleeding it was just caused by rubbing or something.
Friday morning, however, I really started to worry ...when I wiped there were small bits of tissue mixed with the blood. It was almost as if I was starting my period. So Jaimie finished up the job he was on and came home and took me to the ER. From there, things just snowballed. The nurse couldn't find the heartbeat with a Doppler (which, of course, she tried to reassure me could mean the baby was a mover), I was poked and prodded everywhere, and the ultrasound tech was as quiet as a grave. It was this last one that made it start to sink in for us. If everything was ok, the tech would have showed us a heartbeat and the baby right off the bat. But she went along to take nearly 50 pictures without saying a word. And when Jaimie asked her questions, she deftly avoided them by saying "Because of liability, I can't tell you anything because the radiologist needs to see the pictures."
Finally, after more waiting, the physician's assistant returned and told us that I had a miscarriage. For being 12 weeks along, my hormone levels should have been in the 60,000+ range, but were only at 3,000. The fetus was also only measuring 8 weeks. So, not only do I find out we lost our baby, but we find out this happened a month ago. And of course, a ton of horrid thought pass thru my mind: if the people at the first ultrasound had been actual doctors and nurses, we would have known this a month ago; and when we told friends and family, our baby had stopped growing.
It has been the most devastating moment of my life thus far. Jaimie and I just held each other and cried.
We spent the weekend trying to recuperate emotionally and physically (for me, anyway). I was amazed at how not even an hour after we found out, my body kicked into gear and I started cramping and bleeding more. It was like it finally had the confirmation it had been waiting for. For a month, my mind has thought I was pregnant and kinda kept it going. The same pants I wore yesterday did not fit me last Monday, but were only slightly tight yesterday. It makes me understand how hypochondriacs can make themselves so sick. If they believe something so much, their mind can trick their body into being sick. Well, mine tricked me for a whole month before signs showed otherwise.
Everything reminds me of what we've lost ...TV is definitely not something to watch after you've had a loss like this. It's bad enough the things your own mind comes up with, but seeing commercials and shows with babies just hurts more than I ever thought it would. The morning before I went to the hospital, I had won an auction for a maternity outfit that I now won't need ... I have books from the library and newsletters in my email inbox ... and I just bought a bottle of cocoa butter lotion to help with stretch marks. Now I feel so lost ... and every time I think about or see these things, I feel so sad and angry.
One in five women have a miscarriage, and despite that that was my biggest fear after I found out I was pregnant, I never thought it would happen to me. Jaimie and I just keep reminding ourselves that it was nothing we did ...he keeps telling me how proud he was of me for taking care of myself so well. But I can't help it when those little evil thoughts like, "Maybe my bath water was too hot," "Did I drink one too many cans of soda?" "Did we jostle the baby around when we were having sex?" pop into my head! It's so hard not to blame yourself, but I am lucky enough to have the love and support of Jaimie and all my friends and family to remind me that there is nothing we should have done differently.
Yesterday I had an appointment at an OB to talk about getting a D&C done. I go in tonight to get something placed in my cervix to help dilate it, then at an ungodly hour on Wednesday morning Jaimie and I will head to the hospital for the procedure. As much as I'm not looking forward to this, I know it's for the best. When Jaimie and I decide to try again we won't have to worry about anything that was "left behind" that could harm the next baby. And as scared as I am of this happening again, I do wish we weren't going to wait so long to try again. But Jaimie wants to "do things in order" this time. 'Screw order!' I say. =D But next time, I'll be on his insurance and he says we'll go to the doctor every day to check on the baby.
So that is where things stand at this point. Like many healthy young women, I never thought I would ever have to experience a miscarriage. It's awful how many doubts it can put in an already worried woman's mind ...but now I understand so much better the pain, grief, and loss so many women face every day when they lose their unborn child. It is nothing I would wish on anyone else.