I found out I lost the baby on Friday night. I had the miscarriage on Saturday night and I did not return to work until the following Wednesday. I didn’t want to explain to people what happened. I hated explaining things over and over again. I didn’t want to be treated as if I was frail. I wanted to forget about what happened when I was at work.
One of my co-workers told me he and his wife lost their first child. “You take care of these kids as if they are your own until you get your own. It will happen. I think it is just something that is so new. We lost our first child and now I have a four-year-old.”
When I returned to work, many of my co-workers shared their experiences with me. So many woman I knew had miscarriages. One woman told me she had a miscarriage in between each of her three children. Another woman told me she had four miscarriages. I could not believe it. It helped me to hear other people’s stories. It also helped me when people told me how sorry they were. I remember the first day I back to work; I was waiting for some of our kids to get off the bus. A woman who used to work in my classroom gave me a hug. I didn’t even know how she knew about the miscarriage. Sometimes people don’t know what to say and sometimes you don’t have to say anything at all. Even though it made me sad to think about my baby again, I was glad that that person cared enough to check on me and see how I was doing.
A woman in the classroom next to mine was pregnant at the same time. Her baby was a week further along than mine. It was so difficult for me to be around her. Every time I saw her, I thought about how far along she was. I thought my stomach would have been that big, and my baby would have been doing this. It was difficult.
At first, I didn’t want to talk about the miscarriage, but I learned that talking about it helped. Looking back, I am glad I had support. I had friends calling me up who had experienced miscarriages themselves and people telling me they were praying for me. It all helped in the long run.
One of my friends from my high school youth group called me. She has had two miscarriages herself. We talked for a while and caught up on each other’s lives. I think the last time I talked to her I was in college. We talked about her miscarriages. She said after the second one she went to a fertility doctor.
I liked this idea, but Devin did not. He said, “You need to stop looking for something or someone to blame. It happens, and you are not the only one who has experienced this. You will make yourself crazy.”
My friend said, “A fertility doctor helps you get pregnant and stay pregnant. Then, after you get pregnant, you meet with the doctor once a week until the end of your first trimester. They do an ultrasound at each appointment.”
I loved this because the doctor could have told me I lost the baby at 7 ½ weeks, and I would not have had to wait until almost 12 weeks.
I went to a fertility doctor, but it didn’t work out. We talked about what types of tests we would do and when we would do them. I never went back. The doctor wanted to do tests on both Devin and me. Devin was not willing to do the tests. I became pregnant with Zelda after this appointment, so there was no need to return.
I prayed a lot during this time in my life. I used to think life was like a bunch of ropes that had knots tied into them at different spots. The ropes represented different things in your life such as family, finances, school, and relationships. The knots are times in your life when all of these things seem to be good. Everything is as it should be. My philosophy used to be to rely on the knots. I had faith that God would help get all of my ropes together into a knot, but I relied on the knot. When things were calm, I seemed not to need God as much. I seemed to forget Him. Then the ropes would come undone. I was closer to God at the times in my life when things were not in order. When things were in order, I would forget God and then, because I had forgotten my focus, things become undone.
During the months after my miscarriage, I was grieving; I was not depressed. My husband thought I need medication, but I knew why I was sad. If it were not for my faith and my relationship with God, I don’t think I would have been able to get out of bed in the morning. Sometimes I would wake up from a great dream. I would dream I was still pregnant or had just become pregnant, only to wake up and find out I was not.
I tried to keep my mind occupied. I went back to work after two days. I cleaned my house. I even went through my closet and dresser pulling out things that didn’t fit; or I didn’t want anymore.
I blamed myself. I know that it was not something I did, but I needed to find a reason or something to blame. The doctor said the baby was 7 weeks and 2 days old. I kept looking at my schedule book at that week trying to find something that had happened that would have caused this, but I couldn’t find anything.
I went though my prenatal vitamins making sure they included the correct amount of vitamins I needed. I also research a lot. Was there something I ate that did it? I had to accept that the pregnancy had not not progressed the right way. People say things happen for a reason. I am one of those people too, but I could not understand the reason here.
Today we can find out we are pregnant early, we also lose a lot of babies. My aunt called me about week after my miscarriage.
“I wanted to wait to call you. I wasn’t sure if you wanted to talk to anyone, but I wanted to give you some time.”
I was glad she called. I had so many questions about my mom. Did she have any problems any problems with any of her pregnancies?
“Your mom and I had no problems. I know that Maryanne was exhausted when she was pregnant with you, but that’s it. I remember one time, before we knew she was pregnant, we were gardening, and she said she was tired and going to lie down. This was in the middle of the afternoon so we knew something was up.”
My aunt told me that when she was pregnant with my cousin, she had to wait until she missed her period by 7 days to take a home pregnancy test. My cousin had two miscarriages, and one of her babies died before she could hear the heartbeat. The doctors thought she miscalculated the date of conception or something like that, but that was not the case. If this had happened years ago, my cousin would have not even known she was pregnant.
We were told that we had to wait two cycles to try again. I bled for about two weeks after my miscarriage and then my cycles started again. I was told that they would not be normal. My period came in November just as I thought it would and I figured that it would also come as expected in December. I was expecting it on December 21, but it did not come. I waited a little and then thought I may be pregnant again. I took a test, and it was positive. I remembered what the nurse told me before.
“You cannot have a false positive. The test detects signs of the pregnancy hormone. If you have it, then you are pregnant.”
With that knowledge, I assumed that I was pregnant. I went to the doctors to have a blood test to confirm the pregnancy.
The next day they called me and told me, “The test is positive but it is a low. This means that either I am very early in my pregnancy or I had another miscarriage. Come in on Monday for another test to see what the hormones are doing.”
My heart sank. I called my cousin and told her. When I got the results from the next blood test, it confirmed that I was not pregnant. The doctor then suggested that I continue to have blood tests until my hormone level reached zero. Why didn’t they offer this when I first miscarried? I would have never had the false positive.
She said, “Your hormone level has to reach zero before you can ovulate. This may not be another miscarriage it may just be from your first pregnancy.”
I was not to sure if she was saying this comfort me or if it was true, but for my sanity I agreed with her.
It was a very difficult holiday season. I did everything I normally did. I baked cookies; I set up the Christmas tree and sent out Christmas cards. Keeping my mind occupied helped me get through the season.
Things seemed to be okay for a while and then I got a Christmas card from one of my cousins. It said “Merry Christmas Devin, Nancy and baby.” I didn’t want them to feel bad about this card; they didn’t know I had lost the baby. It reminded me of my baby and of the feelings I was trying to suppress.
People say the suicide rate rises during the holiday season. If you are not happy during the holiday and people expect you to be, the season can be difficult. It is also a time to be with family and it can be painful for people who do not have family or people who have experienced a loss.
I cried on the way home from Christmas dinner. That’s when Devin suggested again that I talk to a doctor and that I may need medication. I was against this right way. I kept telling him that what I was feeling was normal. I was grieving but I guess he didn’t want to deal with me grieving. You can’t take anti-depressant drugs when you are pregnant, and I wanted to get pregnant again right away. I didn’t feel better until I found out I was pregnant with Zelda. It was my second chance to be a mom.