Latest Event Updates
I’ve had a real low point with my depression, then leveled out on the “happy” end of the depression spectrum, my car died, I’ve been driven completely crazy by work, my dog ended up with a back injury.. UGH! And obviously, I’ve completely neglected my blog.
I just wanted to make a quick post and let everyone know that I have NOT forgotten about my blog, I’ve just had a lot going on.
I have a topic in mind that I will be posting about this Saturday, so come back and check it out!
For a long time, nothing helped. I was just horribly depressed and there was nothing in the world that gave me any relief.
Now, I won’t lie to you. I’m still depressed. I live my life one day at a time, and while some days are easier than others, no day ever really feels easy. But over time, I have found some things that help me a little bit when it comes to dealing with the pain and stress of infertility and my particular situation.
The first, is writing. Probably not a big surprise there. I started this blog, after all. I like to write other things, too, though. Random thoughts and feelings, of course. But I am also writing books. Yes, plural. I haven’t finished any of them, but I’m in the middle of two. Books have always been an escape for me (along with other things). I love that when I start reading a book, it’s like I’m entering a whole different world. It’s like I’m living the life of the character I’m reading about. It’s a truly amazing feeling, and it’s one that I would love to help others have. I’ve always said that I want to help people, and I definitely do. For a while, I was looking to do that through a career in the medical field. Unfortunately, that is a dream that I have had to give up on. It has NOT been an easy thing to do, and I don’t know if I’ll ever give it up entirely. So instead of pursuing some type of medical degree, I’ve started focussing a little more on my writing. It’s something I’m good at, it’s something I enjoy, and it is something that I truly believe can help people. And it is such a wonderful release of emotion for me.
Reading is another, and it kind of goes along with the writing. Like I said, it’s an escape. My reading habits always interest people. I talk about how much I love books, how much I love to read, but I don’t do it nearly as often as others who profess such a love for reading. I think, because I am such an emotional person (there, I admitted it!), I sometimes can’t handle the emotion that books bring out of me. I end up feeling like I have this character’s emotions to deal with on top of my own, and that’s just too much.
Gaming has also helped, but I try not to turn to that much anymore. Gaming is not something that I am naturally good at. I have to invest a lot of time and effort into it to get good, and I truly hate being bad at it. For a long time, I invested a very unhealthy amount of time into games, and I have had to cut back severely to protect myself from getting to that point again. That being said, I think they can be a healthy outlet for some people. They probably could be for me, if I had more willpower in the gaming world.
Certain TV shows have really helped me also. I know that probably sounds a little funny to some. But you know that one show you watch or used to watch where you just felt like “that could be me” or “I want that to be me” or whatever? One where you connected with the characters, got to know them, and found it so easy to understand their thoughts, feelings, and actions? I do that with LOTS of shows. Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate: SG1, Stargate: Atlantis, Bones, Criminal Minds, Numbers, Heartland.. There are quite a few that I’ve really gotten into. It’s not always about feeling like that could be you, or you want to be that character or whatever, but it is always about the connection. At least it is for me. And of course, I watch things like Family Guy and Futurama and things that are just funny and make me laugh. It all creates positive emotion.
The last that I can think of right now, is art. I don’t consider myself an artist, but I do like to draw, I like to color (don’t even try to tell me it’s not artistic), I like to do crafts, and I’ve recently discovered that I like to melt crayons. Trust me, it’s fun. Just be safe if you try it.
I suppose there’s also babycenter. The people on that site have helped me through some rough times, and I have been a part of some really fun discussions and debates there. I’ve watched the women I befriended while we were all trying for our first go on to have two and three kids. Some may even be trying for number four by now. I talk to those lovely ladies less and less now, because, sadly, it’s just too painful.
I can’t say that my life is all good or that these outlets have brought me immense joy and all that. But they have certainly helped me keep my sanity intact (what little of it there was to begin with), and they help me feel just a little bit better over all.
In my opinion, it’s very important to find the (healthy) outlets that work for you. Infertility is such a drain on us emotionally and often physically as well. We simply have to find things (and people) that help us get through it. It’s too easy to give in to the negative thoughts and let the feeling of hopelessness overwhelm you.
Most of my posts up to now have been about my past. Which I think is good. It kind of sets a base for the blog. Gets my story out there and all that.
In the My Apologies post, I did talk a little bit about the present, but I think it’s about time I tell you more about my life in the present and how my infertility affects that, and is affected by it.
Life in the present is a bit of a downer because I’m not really in a good place at work or at home. I, unfortunately, don’t get enough hours at work to support myself, so I am currently living with family. I’m looking for work elsewhere, as well as constantly trying to get more hours at my current job, but things just aren’t happening for me (yet). My family is obviously great for letting me stay here, but living with family is never easy.
My infertility in itself isn’t affected by this, but my attitude about it is affected for a few reasons. And the goal of eventually getting pregnant and giving birth to a healthy baby is affected to a degree.
My attitude on my infertility was/is affected by my divorce because it makes me feel as though I have to start over. I have to go back to being single, finding a someone, getting to know the someone, deciding to get serious, possibly deciding to marry, and choosing to have babies. And beyond that, I’m back to square one as far as treatment goes. Once the decision to have babies is made (which means the someone and I have to be financially stable, stable in our homes, and stable in our jobs) I have to go to the doctor, get a referral to a Reproductive Endocrinologist (there’s no way I’ll wait the typical year), and begin treatment from the beginning.
Living with family also affects my attitude because, number one, it’s just a little depressing, which tends to make everything a little depressing. But also, it leads to me finding out more about my family’s medical history. Which scares me. Endometriosis runs in my family, as does cervical cancer. Miscarriages and still births also seem to be a common theme with us. It is terrifying. One miscarriage was bad enough to send me into a horrible depression spiral for years. I can’t imagine what more pain like that would do to me.
And obviously my job affects the goal of having a child because.. well.. money. I don’t have it. Even if I were to decide that I don’t need the someone to have a baby, I’d still need money to seek treatment, as well as be financially stable, stable in my home, and stable in my career.
So I do have the typical frustrations of being stuck in a crappy job, having a home life I don’t always love, and constantly worrying about money.. But then there’s this depressing overtone. My biological clock is just sitting there in the back of my mind, ticking away like the telltale heart (my friend, C will love that metaphor if she reads this). And my clock started really early in life.
That’s pretty much how life goes for me. I will say that I do struggle with depression and have for most of my life (as long as I can remember at least), so my experiences are not necessarily the typical experiences of other infertile people.
So this post is an apologetic one. To many people, but first of all, to those of you who have been reading my blog. I’ve had a crazy couple of weeks with work and allergies and just lots of frustration, so I completely slacked off on posting. I’m sorry for any annoyance or disappointment this has caused.
Beyond my wonderful readers (there aren’t many of you, but I love you just for “listening” to what I have to say!), I feel like I have other apologies to make.
For anyone who has suffered through years of infertility, we all know how rude and spiteful and just plain angry we can get sometimes. And for the most part, I feel we’re justified. I mean, I don’t think we have the right to go around being jerks to everyone, but we deserve to feel what we feel and it seems that a lot of the time, our feelings come off as something other than what they really are. But still, there are some things I do and some reactions I’ve had that I feel I need to apologize for. So here goes!
I’m sorry to all of the moms I pass on the street. Every single one of you. I give you annoyed looks, I judge you, I tear up, I make you uncomfortable when I stare at you and your family.. While I believe that my feelings are valid, my reactions to them often are not. I don’t want to be annoyed with you. I don’t want to judge you. I don’t want to cry. I don’t want to stare. But I can’t help it. You have exactly what I want. You have a family. Whether you struggled through what I’ve struggled through or not, you achieved the goal that I don’t feel I can even make progress on right now.
The terrible thing is, my goals have nothing to do with you. Maybe you didn’t want a family. Maybe you’re struggling with depression or anxiety because you can’t reach your own goals. It’s unfair of me to be annoyed and to judge you. And it’s inappropriate to stare at you. Just know that it all comes from a place of jealousy and misery. You might not know if I’m judging or if I’m annoyed with you, but if I stare at you, don’t be afraid to tell me to stop acting creepy.
Next, I’m sorry to my friends who don’t know what to say. I refuse to stay silent about my infertility and how it affects my life every day, but I also could be more understanding. Each person feels different things in different situations to different degrees. Even if you’ve been where I’ve been, it’s completely unfair of me to expect you to understand how I’m feeling and what I need from you. I’m sorry that I don’t just come out and tell you what I need. I spend so much time telling people “I’m not a mind-reader!” And yet I hold others to a different standard. For the record, when I talk about my loss, all I want is for you to listen and validate my feelings. I know you all have opinions on my situation, but I don’t want to hear them every time. A couple of times a year is enough for me. And thank you to the friends who already understand that (P & C – I’m looking at you here!).
Third. Men, I’m sorry you get overlooked. I know that I have done this along with many others. Whether the infertility issue lies with you or with your partner, you suffer too. I’m sorry that I don’t always think of you as being a part of the infertility community. I can’t stress enough how wrong I am to not see you that way. You deserve all of the love and support and encouragement that I get from the people around me and random internet strangers. You deserve to be noticed and validated just as much as I do. Please don’t be afraid to speak up and get yourselves some attention. You have earned it.
There may be more apologies I need to make, but I am, sadly, blanking at this point. I will add them to future posts as I think of them.
Before I publish this, I want to share with you that I am now setting up a schedule for my blog posts, to keep myself on track. I will be posting new blogs on Tuesdays and Saturdays for now. I think this schedule will work well for me, but I say “for now” in case something changes in the future and it doesn’t work as well later on.
I’m also trying to come up with some ideas to liven up my posts. I may start adding pictures to some of my posts, or committing to one post each week being a positive one, or something like that. I also have one other idea, involving giving things away to loss moms, but I want to talk to a few people first, and I want to come up with something that I could give to people in other situations as well, as I feel it would be unfair to give things only to one specific group. I’ll keep you all updated on these ideas, and if you have suggestions, please share them in a comment!
There have been a lot of them.
The biggest lesson I learned while suffering through infertility during my marriage was not to make assumptions. I mean, everyone knows you shouldn’t do it, and yet just about everyone does it anyway. But being in that situation taught me how painful it can be to make assumptions or to have assumptions made about you. Up until I was in that situations, assumptions made about me never really seemed hurtful. Stupid? Yeah. Ridiculous? Sure. Totally and completely wrong? Almost always. But when the assumptions started being about something that meant everything to me, well..
One assumption I always made, not even consciously, was that anyone can have a baby. And now I know that’s not true. I’ve met countless women who are biologically unable to conceive, and carry-to-term, a child. Of course, that’s not the only way to have a baby. There are always surrogacy and adoption, right? Wrong. I mean when you think about it, it’s not really surprising. Adoption isn’t easy. There are a lot of hoops and a lot of expenses, and in the end, it can all fall through. The same goes for surrogacy. There are no guarantees, no matter how much we want there to be.
And many people have made that assumption as well, directed at me and my ex husband. I will never forget the night that we went to dinner at my in-laws’ house, along with another couple. We had never met the other couple before, but they seemed like nice people. And then, just after dinner was finished and before anyone got up to clear the table, they asked us.. “So when are you going to have kids?” This was not very long after our loss (a few months, I believe), so needless to say, it hit us hard. My in-laws looked horrified (something that I am oddly thankful for), and I basically just sat there in silence, trying not to burst into tears. Luckily, my husband was able to respond that we had been trying. They must have sensed the tension and the pain, because the topic was quickly changed.
That situation leads me to another assumption that taught me a lesson. The assumption that asking a question like “when are you going to have kids?” is an acceptable one. First of all, the fact that we didn’t know these people makes this question a little strange to me to begin with. Add in the fact that there is an assumption being made that we want kids, and it becomes just flat out rude. And of course, there’s the assumption that we can have kids at all. Not everyone can have kids, and not everyone wants kids, so don’t ask questions based on either of those assumptions. Lesson learned.
Now this next one may not be an assumption, but it’s a lesson everyone needs to learn. NEVER, I repeat, NEVER tell a woman who has suffered a miscarriage or stillbirth that “it wasn’t meant to be” or “it’ll happen when you’re ready” or “it’s in God’s hands” or “just relax.” If there are any loss moms out there reading this, they’ll probably either be making what look like spastic hand gestures and shouting “Thank you!” or laughing bitterly and thinking “exactly.” Of course, not all of them will agree with this (or anything else I say necessarily), but the majority of those I’ve spoken to tend to be on the same page on this one. While said with the best of intentions, it comes off as “Your baby died because God didn’t think you were ready” or “the universe didn’t feel you deserved a child.” And many other things. Even when loss moms believe exactly these things, hearing them after losing a child is rarely encouraging. A better thing to say would be “I’m here if you need anything.” I can’t tell you how many times I heard “it’ll happen when the time is right.” It’s infuriating and hurtful. I lost a baby. And the only reason you can give me is that it was bad timing? Because no one every has a kid when the timing is wrong, right? Wrong. Offer support, not words of wisdom. Lesson learned.
I suppose, before I get too worked up, I should move on to assumptions about divorce. The first divorce assumption I want to talk about is actually the one I’ve heard most recently. Last week, I was told that I should take a certain number of years (or more) to heal from my divorce. While I know that this was, again, said with the best of intentions.. I’m sorry, but no. I was in an emotionally abusive, toxic marriage. THAT is what I need to heal from. My divorce was not something that damaged me, it was something that saved me. It was everything before the divorce that caused the damage. All of the anger, the lying, the fights, the controlling, the manipulating, the constant implication that I am worthless.. Those are things that take time to heal from. Getting away from those things is something to celebrate. No matter how many times people tell me that “divorce is always sad,” I will never believe it. Because my divorce was not sad. Not for me. My divorce was the start of a new life. I know that sounds really cheesy, but it’s still true. Divorce isn’t always a bad thing. Lesson learned.
The second one isn’t so much an assumption as it is a stereotype. Divorced people are bitter about love and the idea of marriage. Not everyone believes this, but it’s a fairly common stereotype. For the record, I was bitter about the idea of marriage for a while. Maybe not bitter, but for a while, I was completely against ever getting married again. Some people stay that way, but to assume that all or most of us do is unfair. I am once again in love with the idea of love and marriage. While marriage is not a must for me, I do get excited when I think about the possibility that next time around, I might actually wear a wedding dress and invite more than 12 people. If there is a next time around. If nothing else, I might just have a commitment ceremony without actually getting married, and wear a gorgeous white gown anyway.
Now this next one drives me a little crazy, so I’m sorry if that shows through too much. I’ll try to keep my temper in check. Divorce assumption number three is the assumption that divorced people can’t give good marriage advice. If you only look at the surface of that statement, then you’ll probably say it’s fact rather than assumption. But think about it. Think about everything I’ve learned from what I’ve been through. I mean, scroll up and look at even these few lessons I’ve taken away from this piece of my life. Maybe they’re things you already know, but if I didn’t know them, don’t you think it’s possible that there are others out there who don’t? And of course, this is only a fraction of what I’ve learned. Because of my experiences with emotional abuse, I am in the position to help others through that same situation. To help others get out of that situation. I have the ability to understand (at least to some degree) what other men in women in toxic marriages and relationships are thinking and feeling. I’ve gained so much knowledge from getting married young, from trying to have a baby when I shouldn’t have, from being in an abusive relationship, from getting out of that relationship, and from trying to rebuild my life afterward. No doubt there are still plenty of things that I don’t know, and plenty of areas where I need all the help I can get. But that doesn’t mean I can’t give good relationship advice. Getting something wrong the first time doesn’t mean you can’t get it right the next time or that you learned nothing from the experience. Lesson learned.
And now I’ll move on the the last topic. Infertility after divorce. That’s what this blog is supposed to be about, right?
Most of the people who make this assumption don’t realize that they’re making it. Divorce somehow changes your infertility. Unless it was your partner and not you who had the fertility problems, they don’t simply go away when you get divorced. And even when that’s the case, it doesn’t change the infertility journey you’ve already gone through. Our fertility issues were with me. Which means, I’m still suffering through infertility. Do I take pills or get shots in the hopes that it will counteract my problems enough that I can successfully get pregnant? No. Do I go to the doctor multiple times every month to let them draw my blood, do ultrasounds, and discuss my options? No. Do I struggle to save money to put toward intrauterine insemination, fertility drugs, IVF, all of the tests and all of the doctors? Well I struggle to save money, but not for those reasons. Those things are not part of my journey right now. No, instead I live my life knowing that all of those things are most likely in my future. I sit here knowing that I can’t take more than a few basic steps toward trying to have a child. I’m in no position to have kids. I don’t have the money. I don’t have a stable job. I don’t even have my own place right now. And if I want to do this with a partner, well.. I don’t have that either. I’m still infertile. When I do have the money and a stable job and a place of my own and maybe even a partner.. Then I have to start almost from the beginning again. Infertility isn’t any easier to deal with when you’re doing it alone. Lesson learned..
I’m not talking about the infertility road. I mean the road of infertility after divorce. So.. my divorce.
I can tell you if my ex husband were ever to read this, he would vehemently disagree with most of what I have to say on this topic. And I honestly he would believe with just about every fiber of his being that I am lying or exaggerating or twisting things.
My ex husband is rarely capable of thinking of himself as anything but a victim. When I say rarely, I mean that I’m not 100% sure it ever happened while we were married. Maybe a couple of times in the beginning, but for the most part, he was just a victim (in his mind).
And I’m not saying that things never went wrong for him. He had his share of unfortunate and sometimes devastating events. But I won’t try to tell his story for him. It may seem like that’s exactly what I’ve done in the paragraph above, but I am simply telling you what I saw in him with my own two eyes.
Because he had such a hard time taking responsibility for his actions, he came off as very entitled. He simply couldn’t seem to understand why he didn’t deserve certain things. He works (I use the term very loosely) for the family business. His work ethic is awful. There were stretches in our marriage where he went weeks, maybe months, without working. But his father always let him come back. At one point, his father was struggling with the idea of firing my ex, and all my ex could say in his defense (when talking to me about it) was, “but he’s my dad. I’m his son.” As if that made up for his completely lack of reliability and responsibility.
Another issue that came up between us because of his refusal to admit fault.. Since it couldn’t be his fault, it was always mine. His terrible work ethic was because I didn’t keep the house clean. “It’s so hard for me to go to work knowing that I’m going to come home to a disaster of a house.” I hated it when he said that. Not only because it made me the bad guy, but also because I never understood why he’d want to spend the whole day in our disaster of a house, instead of leaving for a while.
I will say, since we’re on this topic, that our house was a disaster. I mean a really horrible, disgusting place to live. Certainly not a place to raise children, but at the time I was blind to the fact that things wouldn’t miraculously turn around if we could have a baby. And hey, I suppose it’s possible they would have.
No matter how dirty the house was, it still never seemed fair to me that everything was my fault. And now that I’m older, a little more mature, and out of a bad situation, I understand that everything was not my fault, even if I do still struggle with that mentality sometimes.
I don’t think my ex husband ever realized (or maybe he did, which would just be so much worse) how battered and bruised and beaten down I felt. Now, when I say battered and bruised, I mean emotionally. My husband never once laid a hurtful hand on me. I may not like the guy, I may consider myself an abused woman, but I won’t lie and say the man ever hit me.
Still, living for so many years being told that every little thing is my fault.. Being told that I can’t watch certain TV shows, or read certain books.. Being pressured to go to church when I didn’t want to, being pressured to spend time with his family when I didn’t want to, being pressured to live a certain way and believe certain things.. The pressure adds up. It doesn’t go away in between occurrences, it just builds and builds and builds until you feel like you can’t breathe anymore. You feel like your body, your mind, your soul have been pushed and pressed and mutated into something totally foreign to the original you. And over time, you start to forget that original you.
Sometimes, there’s this little piece of the real you that remains unchanged. Or at least, remains true to who you really are. We all tend to change over time. Sometimes that one little piece shows through and you rebel against this foreign life. The smallest thing can keep that piece alive. For me, as silly as it sounds, it was dying my hair. My ex husband didn’t like tattoos, piercings, dyed hair, short hair, women wearing pants too often, women working out of the home (he changed his mind a couple of times on that one, actually), women working when there were children in the home. There were a lot of things he didn’t like (no, not all of them pertained to women – in fact most of them probably didn’t).
So I didn’t get tattoos, even though I wanted them. I didn’t get any piercings, even though I wanted them. I grew out my hair, I wore a lot of skirts, I only worked out of the home for about 2 months of our 6 year marriage. But I kept dying my hair. And he didn’t make too much of a fuss about it, really. I don’t think he really liked it, but he got used to it. It was one of the few ways I remained true to myself (I LOVE dying my hair). At one point, I even cut my hair short. It was a very big deal. We talked about it for days. At that point, my hair was down to my waist, and while my hair was thin, there was a ton of it. So it was heavy, and a pain to take care of. He was very much against it. At first he was even against the idea of me getting layers added to take some of the weight off, but in the end, about the time I decided that I was getting it cut no matter what he said, he asked me to just go with layers. I got it cut. It was about to my chin, and he hated it. Every time he looked at me for the next couple of weeks, he just had this horribly sad look on his face and tears in his eyes, like I had killed his favorite pet or something. But no. All I did was cut my hair.
There were little things like that here and there, that I did throughout our marriage, which I think are the only reason I’ve been able to move on as well as I have.
That isn’t to say I don’t still have my issues. Like I said, living like that changes a person. And I am still recovering and getting back to the real me.
We did spend about a year in counseling (maybe a little more or less, I’m not sure anymore) before I decided on divorce, trying to work things out. I will say that he tried to get us into counseling earlier, which is a point in his favor, I suppose. But I resisted counseling. By that time, I was so introverted, so drawn in on myself, that talking to any strangers, including someone who might be able to help, not only made me uncomfortable, but it actually scared me.
In the end, I think our counseling did a lot more for me than it did for him. While we were actually in counseling, it drove me crazy half the time. I felt attacked and like our counselor was focusing too much on me and not enough on my ex. It seemed like we kept finding problems that I had, kept working on my issues, kept trying to fix the marriage through me. And that felt wrong. Because at the time, I blamed my husband. I blamed him 90% for our problems and my unhappiness. I held that blame deep down inside, underneath the part of me that always blamed myself, but it was there.
It wasn’t until later that I was able to look back and think that maybe the reason we always talked about me, worked on me, pushed me.. Was because my ex never put himself in the position to be talked much about, or worked on, or pushed, or helped. He is (was?) an expert at finding ways to twist situations so that even I couldn’t really say he was lying, but knew that he wasn’t being truthful. It’s so difficult to explain, but I hope that you will.
So we did our year or so of counseling, and toward the end of it, I decided to move out. I wanted to see how I felt without him being a part of my life every day. And I felt pretty good. Even our counselor (who was against the separation), saw a change in me, and mentioned how happy I seemed when I was away from my husband. That was the deciding factor for me. Others seeing a happiness in me that I don’t think had been seen in years.. I knew I couldn’t stay with him any longer.
That’s pretty much it. I do want to make a couple of notes here at the bottom, though. At one point in the story, I mentioned him pressuring me to go to church when I didn’t want to. In case anyone from that church ever reads this, I want you to know.. I love you all. Every single person I met at that church was so supportive and so caring and really seemed to try to make me a part of things and care about my well-being. You guys are such wonderful human beings, and while I wasn’t usually very into going to church (any church), I am so thankful that I met all of you.
I also want to make a note about my ex husband’s family. I don’t think any of them will ever read this, but whether or not they do, I want everyone to know how much I love them, too. They are such an amazing family that has done some really amazing things. They welcomed me into their home and were always so kind to me. I truly felt so much love from them. My mother-in-law in particular is such an amazing person and she will always have a special place in my heart. She made me feel like I really was her daughter. Which, I think her other daughters would tell you, is a pretty wonderful feeling.
Nine whole days since I last posted! I’m proud of myself in some ways, ashamed in others. I didn’t think I could last more than a day (maybe not even a full 24 hours) before posting again, and I ended up not posting anything for over a week! Though, to be fair, I doubt anyone is reading my blog yet, so I suppose I haven’t really let anyone down except myself.
By the title you may have guessed (I’m talking to future “yous” who will hopefully read this one day) that today I want to expand on the miscarriage that I suffered in March of 2009. For those who have also suffered losses, this may be particularly difficult to read, so be warned. I won’t be offended if you stop here, as I know how much it can hurt reading things like this.
For anyone who hasn’t suffered the loss of a pregnancy or child, this may still be difficult to read, but I hope that you’ll push through if you can, and maybe learn a little about what goes on in the mind of someone suffering a loss and how hard it is to move on from.
**Parts of this story may be a little graphic**
So as I said in my first post, I finally got pregnant in February of 2009 after 2 years of trying with my ex husband. How I found out is a cute and funny story, so at some point I’ll expand on that as well. But for now, we fast forward to March. On the 10th, I started bleeding. It was a little more than spotting, but not much. Still, I was horribly worried, right from the start. Soon after the spotting started, I had one really strong cramp that tore through my abdomen and had me doubled over in pain. Not long after that, I used the restroom, and I felt something come out. When I looked in the toilet, there were pieces of tissue, which I now assume was my baby, along with a significant portion of my uterine lining. At the time, I was honestly hoping I had been carrying twins and had lost only one of them. It’s irrational and horrible, but I was already so in love with my baby and so desperate to have a child, that I couldn’t handle the idea of having just one baby in there, and losing it.
I was scared enough that I had my husband take me into town to go see my OB. She wouldn’t see me. Her nurses talked to her, then came out and told me it was normal and that something like 20% of women bleed and have cramps in the first trimester. I so wanted to believe them. They drew blood for labs, and sent us on our way.
The next morning, my bleeding was worse. This time I called my OB. I talked to one of her nurses, who talked to the doctor, who told the nurse to tell me again that everything was fine and I shouldn’t be worried. I still was. But I made it through the day and went to bed trying with all I had, to believe that my doctor was right.
The following morning (March 12th), I was doing okay. Throughout the day, my bleeding increased some, and I passed yet more tissue. I called my OB yet again, and went through the same process. Talk to the nurse who talks to the doc who tells the nurse to tell me everything’s okay. I have a hard time believing she was even listening at that point.
At about 10 or 11 pm on the 12th, I had another cramp that felt like it was trying to burn me out of existence. But this was supposed to be normal, right? My trust in this OB who I had never met was beginning to fail, and I was finally realizing how terrified I was.
When I called my mysterious OB on the 13th because my bleeding had gotten a lot worse, I was told to go to the ER (by the nurse, of course) because I was bleeding to much. This seemed to be all I had been waiting for. I threw on some clean clothes while calling my husband, jumped in the car, and raced down to where my husband was working. I asked him to take me to the ER at the hospital where my OB did NOT work, and he readily agreed. We got there at 11am and I was checked in and waiting in an exam room some 20 minutes later (after some confusion over my maiden name vs my married name).
Someone came and took what felt like all of my blood. Someone came and offered to get my husband some juice, and told me that I unfortunately had to stick to water, and needed to drink 2 bottles of it. An hour or so after I got there, the doctor came in and apologized profusely for the wait, and said there had been a fairly major car accident that they were trying to get sorted out. He told me that the plan was to rush my labs, do an ultrasound, and go from there.
About 30 minutes later I was wheeled over to ultrasound and was told to pee at least twice (not too hard after all the water). The point was apparently to empty my bladder. Then I got up onto the exam table, the ultrasound tech explained what she was going to do, and then.. well I’ll skip that part. Suffice it to say, it was not a comfortable experience.
She told me that my uterus was tilted, but it shouldn’t have an effect on pregnancy, and then was silent for what felt like an hour. It was probably close, actually. Eventually, she pointed to the screen and said that there should be at least a yolk sac, and she couldn’t see one. She told me that I had either miscarried, or I was not as far along as we thought.
I somehow managed to keep holding it together. When we got back to my exam room, the doctor came in and explained that based on the ultrasound and my lab results, I had miscarried. He asked if it was a planned pregnancy and when we numbly replied that it had been, he apologized again and left us to grieve.
At that point, I completely lost it. I bawled and bawled and cried and cried, and my husband held me. It took a long time for me to cry myself out, but the ER staff was nice enough to leave me in peace until I was done.
A nurse came in not long after I regained my composure, and when I asked her about the specific numbers from my labs, she looked completely horrified and said “They told you that you had a….. a miscarriage, right?” I told her they had, and I think she was thoroughly relieved that she hadn’t just broken the news to me. She told me what my numbers had been, and that’s when it became 100% real and official for me. I had the results of my labs from the mystery OB to compare it to, and the significant drop in hormones is what I needed for proof.
The doctor came back shortly after that and told me that they’d like to set up an appointment for me with one of their OBs to check on things after I finished miscarrying. I agreed and they set it up for me. They apologized yet again and told me to call if I had any questions or concerns, and said I should come back if the bleeding or the pain got worse.
At 4pm, my husband and I left the ER and went home. I went to bed and cried rivers. I kept bleeding for 3 more days. I missed my college finals. Miraculously, I only failed one class, but I didn’t care. I had started a downward spiral into deep depression. But more on that later.
I can confidently say that March 13th, 2009 was, by far, the worst day of my life. It was worse than all of the days I was raped. It was worse than the day I got hit by a car. It was worse than the day I got divorced. It was worse than both of the days that I moved back in with my parents as a 20-something adult. Unless I miscarry again in the future, or lose a child some other way, I think it will always be the worst day of my life.