One Monday in January of this year, my husband came home to a little piece of white plastic with two pink lines on it. Once it sunk in that he wasn’t looking at a positive COVID test, our lives immediately changed.
I found out I was pregnant really early, which was exactly what we wanted so I could adjust my lifestyle accordingly.
I don’t only mean giving up wine. Do you realize how many rules there are for pregnant women? I followed those rules to a T. No hot baths. No soft cheese. No retinol creams. No sushi. No runny eggs. No more than 200mg of caffeine a day. Not a single bite of raw cookie dough. Ever the overachiever, I changed to natural deodorant and physical sunscreen. I suffered through a splitting headache because I didn’t want to take Tylenol unless I was dying. I googled yoga poses before doing them to make sure they were safe for pregnant women. At 9 weeks, I had blood work done for noninvasive DNA testing. At 10 weeks, I was scheduled for my second ultrasound. The sonographer began the ultrasound and, maybe two minutes later, said, “I see the egg sac, but no baby. When was the last time you had your hCG tested?”
What do you mean, no baby? The baby was there four weeks ago. And my hCG levels? The pregnancy hormone? I didn’t know. She ordered blood work and then left. Just like that.
I had the results from my blood tests in my email. We’d received the results earlier that same day, but hadn’t reviewed them because we wanted to look together. Before even leaving the exam room, I pulled up the results. We were having a boy! No chromosomal abnormalities! The sonographer must be mistaken!
After several days of torturous pregnancy purgatory, another ultrasound, and even another doctor’s office, it was confirmed. No baby. My body simply hadn’t realized it yet. It was a missed miscarriage. We were devastated. Destroyed.
Since I hadn’t had any miscarriage symptoms, I was scheduled for a D&C – dilation and curettage. My body had failed me, but it didn’t even fail me correctly. In less than two weeks, I had gone from resting after morning sickness to resting after surgery.
For days, I replayed coming out of anesthesia over and over in my head like a movie. I was hysterical. My governor was completely absent. I sobbed with zero regard for volume. I cried for my baby. My baby boy. The entire hospital ward knew that I was supposed to be a mother. I remember the nurses sweetly explaining that this was due to the anesthesia wearing off, and then I must have fallen back asleep.
For those that I may have scarred for life that day–I am scarred, too.
It’s been over two weeks now, and the grief comes in waves. I bought an opal necklace in his memory. It would have been his birthstone; I’ve worn it every day. Some days are seemingly normal. Other days, I walk through Target and stop to stare at a tiny outfit with tiny pants and tiny suspenders, and I struggle to hold it together. Don’t think for a second that our son wouldn’t have been forced to wear tiny suspenders for Easter. He would have.
People don’t talk often talk about miscarriage, but when they do, it’s to reassure you that it’s not your fault. It’s to remind you that it’s common. There was nothing you did that caused this. This doesn’t mean you won’t have a baby. Your body didn’t fail you, it did exactly what it was supposed to do. You know you can get pregnant! That’s so important! You’ll get pregnant again!
If these things are true, then why don’t people talk about miscarriage?