Saturday, February 9, 2013

La Douleur Exquise

I've come to realize recently that I have a bad habit of not always blogging about things of real substance. I've been a wee bit lost when it came to selecting topics for my posts...not always, but many a times that bell rang true. That is, until last Sunday. Last Sunday (Super Bowl Sunday, to be exact), my life and perspective upon life and blogging in general changed almost the blink of an eye you could say. I have to admit, I really hesitated before I decided to write/ document so many intensively personal moments on my blog regarding the details of our most recent fate, but I do feel it is necessary to document the misgivings of our fresh heartache and how that has forever changed the dynamic of our family, right down to every raw and open wounded detail.

You see, I had a miscarriage. 

What a horrific word...what a horrific reality. To me, it's everything a gut wrenching, stomach churning, blanket tangling nightmare encompasses. Even now, that word [miscarriage] seems so surreal and I just assume not roll it off my tongue because then it must not be true. The word cuts like glass through my soul- like the serrated edge of a butcher's tool, leaving me with mere remnants of jagged shards of my well-being to cling to, sending shivers up and down my spine and throughout my frame. The pregnancy itself was a total surprise; not one in which we'd planned and tried and tried for in any way (like we did with Jack), but it was a very welcomed surprise. We were absolutely ELATED to say the least. We had just spread the news to family and a few close friends and were anxiously awaiting shouting the joyous news from the mountaintops and high-rise buildings alike when the timing was safe and the timing was right. Life took this unexpected turn, but it felt so incredibly right. We had even conjured up beautiful plans for the nursery and life beyond babyhood with our kids being super close in age the very best of friends. Dreams of the Thomas brothers or Thomas brother and sister up to bat back-to-back in the final innings of a baseball game didn't seem so far fetched. It was seriously going to be great and we couldn't believe the lucky hand that God had dealt to us. Everything was well...perfect. Until that damned Super Bowl Sunday. Suddenly, the melodic rhythm swirling through the background of our lives in a mellifluous harmony ceased to exist and all remnants of hopeful ideology shattered like pieces of broken glass. Our new reality was no mellifluous sound at all, it was nails down a chalkboard through the eternity of time. Our beautiful and happy-go-lucky dream was over even more quickly than it began and all other shining beacons of hope came shattering down like a crystal vase .atop a rumbling speaker at a rock concert

Let's get into the logistics of the matter before I offer up any more inspiration...however misguided my inspirations may be. I found out I was pregnant on January 18th. I was beyond exuberant to say the least. I had skipped my period and took a test, but B was walking in the door and I quickly glanced at it, thinking it was negative, and threw it in the trash so he wouldn't see because I knew he'd be freaked out. Later that weekend, I went to use that same powder room and saw the test creeping up out of the rim of the trash receptacle and for some reason, it was positively SCREAMING for me to grab it. Thus, I did and looked at it....TWO LINES...POSITIVE! I clenched my legs together and sprinted (it was a sight, I tell ya) upstairs to take another test and low and behold...POSITIVE! I brought it down to show my baffled hubby and we were overjoyed, yet incredibly anxious to say the least. Like whoa! We swung Jack around, dancing with joy, perma-grins plastered across our faces, proclaiming him to be the best big brother on the planet and then did the telling of our families thing as we could barely contain our excitement. I was already over 5 weeks when we found out, but waiting 3-5 more weeks to tell the rest of the world seemed absolutely UNBEARABLE. How could you hold in such FANTASTIC news?!? I mean, it was SO, SOOOO hard getting pregnant with Jack and then this kiddo?!? Well, it was no worries what so was just like, "POOF" here he/ she was! No effort, no nothing...just a dream come true! We couldn't believe it!  It was like, Bibbity, Bobbity, BAAAAABY!

HOWEVER, you need not forget, that most good things always come with a catch...well, at least for me they do. This excitement cannot go without saying either, that all the while, I kept having a random pain deep in my gut (well, my lower uterus to really give you the real gist of it) and I couldn't shake my mother's intuition that something was wrong...very wrong. These pains were sharp, they were intense, and they were persistent...nothing like I had with Jack. I had them constantly. I am no dummy, I am cognizant that every pregnancy is different, but this could not be defined as just a different feeling from a different pregnancy - it was simply no different matter, this was an alarming matter...something really just was not right. On Super Bowl Sunday, I started bleeding. Immediately, I knew what it was, but ever the realist, I tried a new train of thought and tried on optimism for size. All the while the nagging voice in my brain was screaming at me to wake up and face reality. I didn't listen, I dared to dream. I kept thinking, it wasn't a lot of blood so maybe it could be something else. In fact, I had practically convinced myself of it. I called the on-call doctor that night and he instructed me to be at the office the next day, he not seeming too terribly concerned either. All the while, I was floating on the USSAgony lifeboat atop the sea of anxiety and non-tranquility as I awaited for my appointment time to arrive. Sure enough, it crept upon us and my life forever changed - Low and behold, when she brought up the ultrasound, our nightmare became a reality like an earth shuddering jolt awakening us from the dream, our baby was not alive. And at that, they were fairly confident that I was having an ectopic pregnancy. What?!? Me?!? Certainly they had read that wrong! My baby...the one I had dreamed of my entire life was conceived and then died before I could even get to watch it swimming effortlessly and angelic like on the black screen?!? How could that be possible? How is this fair?!? I don't think I've ever squeezed Brad's hand harder as tears streamed down both of our faces. Our beautiful child was gone. Things after it were a blur. They took my blood to scan my hCG levels and sent me home with instructions to come back the next day because my doctor was not there at the present appointment.

Immediately upon seeing me the next day, my doctor was incredibly worried. Her nervousness was painted across her face and we could read it in her eyes. There was no time to waste. Without hesitation, she sent me over to the hospital for an EMERGENCY surgery. We had no time to plan, no time to think, no time to prepare...we were just whisked to an operating room to get the baby out of my tubes before they ruptured. All the while, the warning of losing my Fallopian tube(s) kept echoing in my head...after this surgery, children may not be a possibility EVER again. Wait...what? First my baby dies...and now I may not be able to have anymore children? I was a wreck. How was I to move on from this? Haven't we suffered enough with the loss of our child? Luckily, she did not see anything worrisome in my tubes and just did a typical D&C which is protocol for a miscarriage, but nooooo siree, we were not done yet. You see, that day was a Tuesday, so Brad and I took the next day off together so he could take care of me and we could begin to piece our shattered feelings back together. I had Thursday off as well to really heal and cope with the magnitude of what had taken place. Stupid me though, I thought I could go back to school on Friday and I did, but again, I just wasn't feeling right. Nothing could snap me out of my funk or bring back my baby like I so desperately wanted. I still was in quite a bit of pain which is atypical for me. I've had plenty of surgeries, numerous ones in my abdominal area alone, so I should be back to good at this point, but I still was hurting... A LOT. I usually handle pain pretty well and can go about my business as usual. Needless to say, it didn't help that my emotional state was very, very fragile. It must be said, though, I work with some truly beautiful and wonderful people who recognized that I did not need to be back at school yet given my delicate state and they covered my classroom so I could go home. Truth be told, that day is pretty much a blur anyway and I was so very grateful for them being in tune to my emotional and physical needs.
This now brings me to last night. I was feeling immense pain but took some medicine and went to bed. I awoke to a feeling like an elephant was sitting on my shoulders and was putting a knife through my lower abdomen. It was horrendous. I could not inhale deeply or catch my breath in general. Sitting was not comfortable, laying was not comfortable. Life in general was not comfortable. We knew what we had to do, so much to B's dismay, he drove me over to the hospital where they ran many tests and determined that I needed yet another surgery (D&C) to remove any remaining pregnancy remnants and ensure nothing was left in my tubes. It relieved a lot of the pressure I was left with after the first surgery and I am feeling much better physically, but emotionally, I have a long, long way to go.

I've spent the last few days locked in a horizon of a surreal haze. Miscarriage was something that happened to other people and something I read about, or heard didn't happen to me...or so I so I naively thought. The most I have been able to do is curl up on the floor or my bed and try to make up for the sleep I lost worrying the nights before. I know facing others will be the hardest part - I'll have to face their stories, their faces riddled with pity, and the sadness that others carry for me which is gut-wrenching. After surgery on Tuesday, I unrealistically wished B and I could keep driving forever and ever so I wouldn't have to face the very same people that I had just excitedly shared joyous news with days before because I knew they'd be let down for me and with me. I appreciate the empathy of others, but knowing it is because I lost my baby is heartbreaking. Thus, what I have to say today is not for those others who have miscarried, but for those who have not and wonder how to help and what to say. In the smallest way, I can be a bit grateful for my miscarriage because I now know what to say to other woman who have to go through it. The pain of miscarriage is unspeakable, but the words of "comfort" people try to give can almost hurt worse. It is normal- expected, even -to want to comfort someone in pain.

So I felt and continue to feel bad hating some of the things that people said to make me feel better...
And you know what? Suddenly, I felt like a statistic who made mutated fetuses and I didn't want anymore "comfort". I just wanted and still just want to be pregnant again. I cannot tell you have much it meant to me this past week when someone would simply hug me and just say, "I'm sorry". Those two words gave me more comfort than any book full of statistics or medicinal jargon ever could. Yes, miscarriage is common, but I can now speak from personal experience when I tell you that you do not feel that way when you're going through it. Support is needed, but only the right kind of support is appreciated.

I have always felt as though writing has almost been a way for me to make it through many tough moments in life. For me initially the decision has mostly been a way for me to cope through this loss but also to help update all those who I know truly care for me and my family. We've come to know so many people over the years and to be honest, it’s just so tough for us to stay in constant communication with everyone individually, especially even more so after a loss like this. Though I admit I have been more than slightly concerned to have so many personal moments publicly visible for the world to see, I have come to realize that this miscarriage and all the events that have followed it are nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, I almost feel as though it’s more important that I am willing to somehow express all the things that have happened not just for me, or for those I care about – but also for all those that may someday go through similar experiences. Maybe somehow I can help others that may be hurting so badly through the same type of loss I’ve experienced. I’m the one who’s experienced years of difficulties conceiving. I’m the one who’s now had two miscarriages. And I’m now the one who’s had 2 D&Cs – both of which were a result of this one miscarriage. And I'm the one who not only had a miscarriage, it was an ectopic miscarriage that caused my mind and body so much physical and mental turmoil that at one point, I just assumed crying all day was the appropriate solution to me feeling better.

--they told me miscarriage was common

--they told me it happened for a reason

--they told me that it was for my own good- something must of been wrong with the fetus

--they told me I'd get pregnant again

--they told me not to worry or be upset (which is quite unrealistic if you ask me)

--they told me it was God's plan

So to recap: 
Say: "I'm sorry"
Say: "I love you"
Say: "Here's a bag of Oreos and a chick flick that we'll watch together" and then hug me while I cry. 

And finally, always keep in mind that the mother (in this case, me) will ALWAYS remember the due date that never came to be...SEPTEMBER 20TH. And on that day, I'll remember the exquisite pain...

La Douleur Exquise. 


  1. Thinking of you! There are just some things we will never understand.

  2. Love you Abby...Will be thinking of you and Brad and your little Jack rabbit.