Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Breaking the Silence: My Miscarriage Story

Break the silence on miscarriage

Miscarriage is a lonely journey, but it doesn't have to be.  The best thing we can do to support each other is to break the silence about miscarriage and share stories.  Inspired by the Real Woman article about breaking the silence, I want to share my miscarriage story.  I would be honored to hear your miscarriage story and in turn, we can help break the silence. 
Following the stillbirth of my daughter Quinn, the doctor recommended waiting 16 months between deliveries.  My husband and I had the month marked in our calendar…October.  This would be when hope was restored, when we could give our dreams another shot, so we thought.  We got pregnant right away and we thought “this was it.”  “This HAS to happen.”  I had eight months to think about how I would treat a new pregnancy and from the moment I saw the two pink lines on my pregnancy test in November, I began living my post-stillbirth pregnancy mantra: live this moment. 

I was proud of myself for “living the moment” and had moments where I let myself be happy and hopeful.  I daydreamed of a new summer birthday (how novel in our family!) and reveled in the idea that Riley was finally going to be a big sister to a living child!  My OB confirmed the pregnancy and even let me see the heartbeat at such an early stage. 

However, a couple weeks later during my dating scan, the ultrasound tech told me there was a problem and the doctor confirmed - I would miscarry.  I was 9 weeks pregnant.  My world crumbled and crashed all over again.  The darkness that I worked so hard to escape after my stillbirth rushed over my body and mind, leaving me in a lifeless slump.  Again. 

I asked the doctor if we could wait a week and re-scan to be sure.  During that excruciating week I clung on to the hope that a mistake was made.  After all we’ve been through, this pregnancy had to succeed.  It was not possible for a family like us who wants another baby so much to endure another loss…was it?  However, I started to miscarry the eve before my confirmation scan and as the blood began to escape my body, so did my hopes and dreams.

I was worried I would start gushing blood with little time to take action.  However, this was hardly the case.  I had warning when it was coming and the bleeding was very slow at first.  Over a couple days it got heavier – similar to a period – then heavier still.  At this point, I was a bit taken aback by how much blood there was and it was emotionally pretty tough to deal with.  During the progression, I was still at work and it was almost impossible to survive the day.

I am grateful I was off on holiday break for the second half of the miscarriage.  The bleeding was quite heavy, including passing blood clots.  Through it all I was vigorously running and exercising as I was really worried about the miscarriage not completing fully on its own.  I have a long history with running and I thought exercise would help the progression.  Not only did it help physically but it was an emotional comfort that my dear friend running was there to see me through this dark journey. 

On the morning the embryo passed, I went on a hard, hard run.  For the rest of the day I didn’t have any contractions and the embryo passed that evening (without warning).  I am grateful I was in the loving care of my husband and in the comfort of my home when it occurred.  The OB advised I go to the hospital the next day, since it was a Saturday, and the ultrasound confirmed the miscarriage was complete.  I continued to bleed a week more, the whole process lasting about 3 weeks.  Through it all I was very nauseous. 

As my miscarriage happened days before Christmas, I had a particularly tough holiday.  Not only was it our first Christmas without Quinn, but I was fresh with grief. 

The miscarriage really broke me.  After my stillbirth and much healing, I got to a place where I thought it would be possible to have another living baby.  After my miscarriage, however, my hopes and dreams were again shattered and I dived back into despair.  Suddenly my world of “when’s” turned into a world of “if’s,” and this little word change makes all the difference.  My hope morphed from: “when I have another baby” to “if I ever have another baby,” and the accompanying sinking feeling.

I am not triumphed, however, and I can once again see the light and goodness in the world, and I appreciate this with full gratitude.  As such, I am dedicating my year to practicing gratitude, remembering that people are gifts, building my bond with my living child, and focusing on my family’s health and fitness.  However, the question still lingers…what is next for our family?  I have learned that true love exists as much in death as it does in life, but when is it time to embrace the completeness of my family even though it is forever incomplete? 

No comments:

Post a Comment