to better days ahead.
Saturday, December 29th was gearing up to be a pretty good day. Dave and I hadn’t had any time off together for a LONG time. This was the first Saturday in literally MONTHS that we had no engagements. We were planning on going to Fort Langley to the antique malls for the day. It’s one of our favorite things to do.
Instead we spent the day in the emergency room at the hospital. I was 9 1/2 weeks pregnant and things weren’t looking swell. After waiting and waiting for results, the Dr. told me despite what I had been experiencing, things looked fine. Just to be sure, however, he set me up for an emergency ultrasound for the next morning. We tried to reason with him, because with Dave being a pastor and me scheduled to play piano that Sunday morning, doing an ultrasound would not fit. He insisted that it would be done first thing and we’d have enough time to get to the church. I was actually quite relieved at this point. Many people that I knew had their ultrasounds at 9 weeks (or even earlier) and my doctor was only going to do my first at 20 weeks. Even when I had spoken with him about the trouble I had been having, he maintained that everything was fine and there was no need for an ultrasound that early.
Sunday morning we rushed to the hospital to get our ultrasound. I was excited because we had plans with some friends that evening and were going to tell them the good news. It would have been even more exciting to have an ultrasound picture to show.
The ultrasound technician explained what was he was going to do, and that he would recommend that I go to emergency when I had time (if the results were good) or right away (if, from what he could tell the results were not good). After the first ultrasound he discovered my uterus is retroverted (tilted backwards) which makes it difficult to see anything with a standard ultrasound (especially at only 9.5 weeks). He then performed an internal ultrasound and without saying anything else, told me that I had to go directly to emergency. Despite the fact that he gave me no exact results, my suspicions of a failed pregnancy were confirmed at that point. I had been experiencing problems from 5.5 weeks and even though I had gone to the doctors almost every week with questions he said I was fine. I think I knew even then that it wasn’t.
At that point I had to sit and wait in emergency for another few hours (I don’t know exactly how long actually…it could have been 5 minutes for all I know). Dave had to leave to go and lead worship at church (now without piano player), and so my parents joined me while I waited. The staff at the hospital was all very kind and professional, but in the end told me what I didn’t want to hear (not their fault though): that the fetus had recently died, there was no heartbeat, and I would miscarry in the next few days.
The following days need no explanation, but let me just say that when doctors say that miscarrying is just like a “heavier period”, it’s a farce. It’s not. Maybe if you are 4 weeks pregnant. But not if you are 2.5 months. (Perhaps some lady doctors need to speak with all the man doctors and tell them what it’s really like). **side note** I chose to miscarry naturally. Many people choose a surgical process called a D&C, or they take a drug called Misoprostol when they are past 8 weeks or so. I decided that since this was not a medical emergency, medical intervention was not needed. My body would do what was necessary to compete the process. **
So there it is. My crummy New Years un-celebration.
Why am I sharing this? I don’t know. Perhaps I feel like I need to explain why I’ve been a zombie for the last 2.5 months (it can be so frustrating in the first trimester when you feel tired/sick/gross/grumpy and no one knows what’s going on) …Or why I haven’t been in church for the last 2 weeks…or why I may not feel like talking to pregnant people in the next little while. Maybe it’s needs to be shared because a lot of girls don’t realize how common all of this is…until of course it happens to them and people start whispering their stories. In reality, doctors estimate that 70% of women will have at least 1 miscarriage in their life. It sucks. But it is a natural process of procreation. As the doctor at the hospital explained: there was nothing I could do, or he could do. Sometimes things don’t match up and the body says “This isn’t going to work out. Let’s try again.”
So that’s what we will do.
In the mean time, lady friends, I urge you to be more open about this. I think that so many people think it’s a shameful thing. I know for me I felt sick to my stomach when I had to email some acquaintances whom I had impulsively shared my pregnancy with, that I had experienced a miscarriage. I felt like a loser. Completely untrue…but that’s how it felt.
So don’t be afraid to share your story…or just share my story…whatever helps people realize that this is not a shameful thing. It does not make a person a failure. I don’t want to scare potential young moms…just to inform.
If anyone has any questions about miscarriage, I am 100% here to answer them and talk about it.