Alright. It’s time to talk about it – the elephant in the room. Because as much as the past two weeks have been busy, I’ve also spent a lot of time allowing myself to be sad and a little lazy.
I had a miscarriage two weeks ago.
There was much debate in our house about whether I should put this out on the internets. I mean, it’s kind of a personal thing, right? And really, we don’t want sympathy, because we are still so lucky. (We’ll accept a few prayers on our behalf, though!). But, in the interest of this blog being an account of our lives, I feel compelled to share, even if it’s not quite as rosy as our usual adventures in homemaking. I thought that maybe some of you have gone/are going/will go through similar things, and if I can say anything that would make you feel better about it – even if it’s just to let you know that you’re not alone – then my mission here is done.
We found out we were expecting on December 5th, the morning of our annual Christmas sweater party. I took the test, and together, J and I eagerly awaited the results. We were surprised and thrilled to find out that it was positive. I was on cloud 9 all day while cleaning and preparing for our party. It was hard not to call everyone I knew to tell them the good news, but we thought we should get confirmation from a doctor first.
Jason nicknamed the baby Inkster.
For me, it was easy to be pregnant – I wasn’t sick and was able to get the extra sleep I needed. It took a while for it to sink in that we’d really be parents. Yikes!
We told our families on Christmas. Since we were meeting with all of my extended family, we thought it would be a good time to tell everyone, even though we knew it was kind of early to be announcing the news. Also? I didn’t really even consider that I would have a miscarriage. I mean, it was something that would happen to other people, but not us. I know that seems like kind of juvenile thinking – of course there are risks to any endeavor in life, and typically, I am pretty good at calculating those risks. But in this case, I had my eye on the prize – a happy, healthy baby – and didn’t even dream that there would be an alternative outcome.
We made Jason’s parents a picture calendar with a message written in on our due date.
For my family, I made a scavenger hunt – complete with rhyming clues! The last clue was:
Shepherds and wisemen
traveled from afar,
you’ll find your DIY gift
with new parents under a star.
And then, the family rushed toward my mom’s nativity scene to find Jason and I under a star-shaped sign that I made from yellow paper that read we’re having a baby!
It was exciting!
And then, last week, all hell broke loose.
I’ll spare you the gory (seriously gory) details, but it was 12 hours of physical discomfort, sadness, and confusion. We weren’t surprised the following morning when the doctor confirmed that we miscarried.
We were sad, of course, but ultimately we felt fortunate. (Is that crazy or what?) Because it could have been so much worse. I was lucky to avoid surgery, and am lucky to be healthy. Jason and I are lucky to have the support of each other and our families and friends. We were lucky to not have had an early ultrasound – this would have been so much tougher had we seen a little heartbeat. If the embryo wasn’t viable, we felt lucky that they went wrong sooner rather than later, before our attachment to it grew.
Having said this, there’s still that little sting of why did this happen? Why me? Why us? Will we ever be able to have a healthy baby? At the time of the miscarriage, I had known of maybe 2-3 people who had gone through such an experience. It seemed that giving birth to a healthy baby was the most common end to a pregnancy, and that miscarriage was a rarity. Online, we found estimates that 20-30% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. In real life? Almost everyone that we’ve told about it has gone through a similar experience. That was hugely comforting for us – that other couples and families have been through the same thing and were still able to have healthy full-term pregnancies.
It’s also been helpful to us to stop dwelling on the why us and start thinking about the positive things we can take away from all of this. We have also learned so much in the past two months. We’re more prepared to become parents. We’ve found a doctor that we trust. I’ve begun paying more attention to eating better and exercising more (and am persuading Jason to do the same). Jason and I have begun to seriously talk about how we want to raise our future children, and what values are important to convey to them. And, if/when we’re blessed with a baby, I think we’ll appreciate the miracle of a new little life even more than we would have in August.
And this whole experience has reminded us how lucky we are to have each other. My husband is the perfect match for me, staying calm when I was freaking out, running to the store for -ahem- supplies when I needed them, driving me to the doctor and staying in the room with me to make me feel better. I only hope that I was (and always am) able to be there for him in the ways that he’s been there for me in the past week.
So, that’s that. We’re disappointed that we won’t have the pitter patter of little feet (or, realistically, the crying, diaper-changing, and constant feeding of a newborn) next August. But we’re hopeful that once we’re ready to try to start a family again, things will fall into place and we’ll have a happy and healthy little miracle.