We had not set out to start our family this early. It was what turned out to be a happy accident. A surprise. My mom always told me I was a surprise. More specifically, my mom told me I was evidence that spermacide on its own was not effective means of preventing pregnancy. Thanks for that visual, mom. For me, it was a similar story. I had a copper IUD that made my life miserable for about a year. After its removal, my cycles were not at all on time. Plotting out safe points in my cycle to be a little careless was not as easy and fool proof as I thought, but my fiancé and I played with fire.
And I got pregnant.
It was not the smartest thing we could have done. We had both faced layoffs in the first part of the year. Just about the same time. Mine had come while I was hospitalized for a week due to exploratory surgery that turned into an emergency appendectomy. Bad timing for sure. I managed to find work at a considerably lower salary a few months later. My fiancé struggled with low wage party time work for most of the year, unable to find a good full time job in his field…or any field, for that matter. We had moved with my son from a poorly managed apartment complex to a nice, small lake house in my home town owned by a friend from high school, hoping to start our lives as a family.
Getting pregnant was in our plans, just not exactly when it happened. Still once the shock wears off and the exclamations of various forms of “Holy Sh*t…how are we going to afford this?!” had been uttered, we settled into the comfort and concept of a new addition to the family. A few weeks went by and I called my doctor to get confirmation. I had taken two home tests that came up lightly positive and I was starting to have early symptoms. My doctor took us in right away to have a test in office, talk about details, and scheduled me for two rounds of blood work in the coming week.
It only took us that week to really accept the idea that we were going to be new parents. We talked a lot about hopes and dreams. Decided when we would tell my son. Worked out when we would tell our parents. I had gotten two rounds of blood work, two days apart so as to be able to gauge how my HCG levels were progressing, as well as some other tests. I am 35 after all. My doctor scheduled me for a visit that Saturday morning to go over whatever results came back.
This would be when we will tell our parents. Once we have the concrete confirmation and positive week range that we can give them with an estimated due date. It will be a shock and they will be concerned because our financial situation is not ideal at the moment, but there is time to change that before baby comes. We can remind them of that. Work it all out. My fiancé and I had begun to argue playfully about names. We figured out where we could put a preliminary crib. We were feeling excited about this; a strange high in the reality that we were growing a life from our own.
That Saturday, we got into the car and headed off towards my doctor’s office. We were about a mile from the house when my cell phone rang. I saw my doctor’s number on the phone and asked my fiancé to answer it since I was driving and that’s not terribly safe. I listened to their joking banter at first (I have that kind of doctor…he is pretty amazing) and then I saw my fiancé’s expression change slightly. My doctor had asked to be put on speaker phone so that he could speak to me. He wanted to speak to us both.
He started out in the very clinical, doctor-type speak about how HCG shows up in blood work and how it is supposed to double about every two days. He then explained that since my first test, my blood work had show a drop in HCG. My progesterone levels reflected the same reality. My doctor very apologetically informed me that I was miscarrying.
It was early enough that I would not require any sort of procedure. My body should be able to do what it needs to do. It would be painful in various ways and I should be prepared for that, he said.
He was correct. It was unpleasant in many ways - physically and not least of all emotionally. I didn’t think it would hit me as hard as it did that I was unable to carry the pregnancy that I didn’t plan to have, nor could we really afford anyway. But it did. It was a soul crushing blow that I had a hard time comprehending immediately, and even harder time as weeks went by. That day my fiancé and I called our moms and informed them of what had happened. I was thankful for my mother’s warm and understanding heart in that moment. She knew it was a blessing of sorts that it had not carried, but felt the blow of emotional sorrow in the reality that it had not carried just the same.
The immediate sorrow and disappointment was not something I had been prepared for. But it didn’t end when the tears stopped flowing. For weeks I was in a deep state of contemplation about life. I could not understand fully why I was handed a small gift only to have that gift removed before it was fully realized. I wondered if there was something wrong with me. If we waited until after our wedding, would it be too late? What if I can’t carry ever? I had a very happy healthy birth with my son almost ten years prior and maybe that was all I would be able to do. These things clouded my head. That and the fear.
I was terrified of getting pregnant again.
I want another child. Very, very much. I really didn’t know how much until I became pregnant. But the fear of the sorrow and the sadness that comes with the loss of the pregnancy. I more or less pushed my fiancé away physically. I didn’t want to risk it. I could not endure that again.
I had so many friends who had gone through a miscarriage. To this day I wonder how they did not fall apart like I did. On forums I have read about women who miscarried late term or had still births. The strength of these women is awe inspiring. The kind of steel nerve they have to go through that and come out the other side makes me want to bow to them. Their courage, their strength, and their determination is inspiring. I can’t fathom their pain, but they walk on and keep trying for that miracle.
It’s been over two months now and I am more accepting of what happened, though still fearful. Our wedding is planned for 8 months from now. My fiancé is in the training stages of a new job. We plan to try again after our wedding. Putting a date on it has helped. But there is still a dark spot in my mind for what happened. All I can do is look to my son’s face and feel blessed. If another baby is in the cards, it will happen.
If not, that is ok too.
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