I wasn't sure if I wanted to write this blog. Ryan and I talked about it for awhile and he finally looked at me and said, "Do you think it would help anyone else? Because that is what I think your blog does. It helps people." I thought about that for a bit and I remembered some of the "harder" things I had blogged about. I blogged about two surgeries, when my marriage needed some extra help, the Birthday Ball, PCSing, bullying, deployments, wedding planning, engagement.... and whether someone said it to me directly or in a comment or an email I know they helped others. So maybe this will help someone too. I know I felt pretty alone for some of this and finding some other blogs did help me. I've had my blog for nearly six years now and this is part of our lives... the good and the bad.
I wanted to blog about our fifth wedding anniversary on May 1st. I wanted to blog about Mother's Day. But I couldn't.... not this year.
Right before our anniversary I had a feeling. I was late. We have been trying to conceive since July with out much luck. My being sick and having surgery probably didn't help matters but when this month rolled around I couldn't help but get excited as the days continued to pass without my monthly visitor arriving. On a whim I went and got a pregnancy test on my way home from work on a night when Ryan was lateman and on the range and wouldn't be home. I had gone with my friend Donna to buy Ryan his anniversary present (we do the traditional gifts if you remember, so year five is wood and he got a rocking chair from Cracker Barrel) and as soon as she left I took the test.
Not even thirty seconds later it showed positive.
I screamed. I cried. I scared the hell out of the Dup.
Ryan had mentioned me bringing dinner to him so I texted him asking if he wanted me to bring him food. He replied yes and I was pretty thankful. I am awful at keeping secrets and I knew I was about to burst. Ryan had to be the first to know so I couldn't see or talk to anyone else before him! I wanted to do something cute and special but I was on a time crunch. I found an old bracelet box that I wrapped and put the test inside with a special message.
I had to drive almost half an hour to the range where Ryan was and my heart was racing the entire time. I sent him another text saying I really had to talk to him in private about something that happened today. He agreed. I finally got there and sneakily set up my phone on the dashboard to record his reaction. I told Ryan I had an early anniversary present for him and I couldn't keep it a secret. He was really funny saying he didn't even have mine yet and he had been on the range all day and he didn't think he could properly appreciate a present at the moment. I don't have the heart to post the video itself but you can see from the below screen shots he definitely appreciated the present. I was smiling like an idiot and we both probably cried.
We were very excited. We called our parents to tell them the news but decided beyond that we wouldn't start telling people until the right amount of time had passed. Ryan had to mention it to some of his coworkers when he got back in since he was worried and telling them about how we had to have a "talk". We also agreed some of our best friends could know too. I hung out with Ryan for awhile longer before heading back home and calling my best friend Sam to tell her the long awaited news. As I was on the phone the Dup promptly hopped up on the bed with me and snuggled in on my belly.... something she hasn't done in ages.
For a very, very short time.... things were perfect.
On our fifth anniversary I woke up feeling ok, but kind of crampy. I didn't really think anything of it and I called the Naval Hospital to talk to my PCM about what to do next. They told me just to head in to the lab that day and we'd go from there. Ryan got home after I got out of the shower and we started discussing what to do for our anniversary. My stomach was starting to cramp more and more and I started to feel a little nervous. I went to the bathroom and saw a little blood and my heart stopped.
I called my mom in a panic. Was I overreacting? Was this normal? She told me to call my doctor.
I called my PCM back, choking back tears, and asked what to do. After being passed around they gave me to a nurse who had had implantation bleeding and they wanted to make sure she was the one I spoke with. I described everything and she told me not to panic and to come in and do my test as planned. She also told me other symptoms to look for if things weren't good. Ryan had to go do a height and weight thing and take a MarineNet class and we agreed to meet up after I went to the lab. When I got to the Naval Hospital I went to the lab and they handed me a cup to give a sample. I went back into the rest room and my heart basically stopped. So much blood... it scared the hell out of me. I couldn't give a sample, all that was coming out was blood and clots and it was bright red.... the color the nurse warned me wouldn't be a good sign. I came out of the bathroom shaking and crying and the technicians walked me straight to the Emergency Room.
Not where I expected to be on my fifth wedding anniversary.
In the ER things were nuts for a bit. I finally managed to give them a sample, but it was basically red. They took blood samples and my vitals and it was a lot of waiting. I texted Ryan and he told me he was on his way and he arrived just as the doctor came in to talk to me. Based on some of the tests they knew I was pregnant, but early.... but they weren't sure if it was just a regular pregnancy, an ectopic pregnancy, or a miscarriage. An ultrasound showed my lining looked pregnant, but it was too soon to see if anything was there or had been there. They also did a vaginal ultrasound to try and rule out an ectopic pregnancy since I was in pain. Naturally in between all of these there was the endless waiting of the Emergency Room. Ryan crawled in to the bed with me and held me as I cried since I was so terrified. We nodded off for a bit too before all the tests came back... inconclusive. After hours and hours.
My doctor was wonderful. He had me at ease as much as can be but I was still a crying mess, but he was great. He scheduled me a follow up for that Wednesday. He basically said if my blood work went up (my HCG) then I was still pregnant, but if it stayed the same or dropped it would indicate a miscarriage. So with a follow up appointment and prescriptions for Tylenol, prenatal vitamins and zofran, we were finally on our way. Since we took separate cars I got in mine to drive home. I hadn't eaten all day so I stopped at Panera to get some soup at the drive thru. As soon as the bag got in the car and the smell hit my nose, my stomach turned and I felt sick. I drove home with all the windows open while secretly thinking, ok, this can be a good thing. Maybe it means I am still pregnant. And then I got home and threw up just in time for Ryan to walk in the door. Poor guy. I got into bed with some medicine and a movie and essentially napped the rest of the day. I had an ice pop for dinner and then we went to bed by 8:30.
I worked the weekend. I was off Monday. I cleaned and grocery shopped. I worked Tuesday. All along I took my prenatal vitamins. I bled for another day or so, but it got lighter in flow and darker in color. All good signs. By Wednesday I was hopeful when I went for my appointment in the lab to get blood drawn.
My arm did not agree with all the needles. It is still bruised and multi colored weeks later. Ryan had duty Wednesday but he asked me if I was ok to go alone. I was. I honestly thought deep down things were going to be ok so I didn't feel the need to have someone with me. I had prayed... our parents and my best friend were sending good vibes and thoughts and prayers. I thought I was still pregnant and around New Year's Eve (my estimated due date) we'd have a baby joining us for the New Year. My appointment with the OBGYN wasn't for two hours so I went home, showered and then headed back to the hospital for my appointment before I was supposed to go to work a closing shift.
Waiting in the waiting room my heart was racing. Women in various stages of pregnancy were all around me and I kept getting that small spark of hope. The nurse finally took me back and we went over everything waiting for the doctor to come out of surgery to see me. She eventually came in and looked at my blood results.
They were down to 5. Pregnancy is detected at 25 and up. I had dropped a lot. I had lost the baby.
Even typing the words makes me start to cry again.
The flood gates opened in the doctors office as they handed me the box of tissues. I had to do another ultrasound (of course vaginally) to double check and they said most of the lining even was gone from comparing to five days ago. Everything basically had already passed and she told me I may continue to spot for awhile but it was almost over.
I basically miscarried on our fifth anniversary. I just wasn't sure until five days later.
The doctor was very kind and I basically sobbed my heart out. Both the OBGYN and the ER doctor told me it was nothing I had done, it was probably due to a chromosome abnormality and something was not right so my body naturally passed it. There was nothing I could have done differently... it wasn't my fault. Logically I understood it all... I really did. But emotionally I didn't want to hear it and continued to cry. The doctor offered to call my husband's command to release him or to write notes for us both and I declined. I left and got myself outside and called Ryan to deliver the awful news. My husband had to hear I lost the baby on the phone and I felt awful for him as I sobbed. He told me to get to the car and stay, he was on the way. Duty be darned. I texted my mom and my mother in law and my best friend... I couldn't say it out loud again at that point. I was devastated.
I sat in the car and sobbed until Ryan arrived. He held me and told me again it wasn't my fault. It was ok. I was due to go in to work but I knew I couldn't make it through the day. Ryan got a call from his CO and was told to finish one thing and then to go home with me. I decided to drive over to the library to talk to my manager and see if I could go home. I calmed myself a bit and drove up to the library. I know I could have called but again, I didn't want to be on the phone either. And I wasn't sure we were covered staff wise either.
I got to work and to the reference office and my boss wasn't there. Standing in the back hallway looking around like a trapped animal my good friend from work, Jo, saw me. She asked me if I was ok and I shook my head no. I told her I lost it not even realizing she had no idea what I was talking about. She figured it out pretty quickly as I once again sobbed my heart out, not realizing I still had tears left. We sat in the office as my manager came in and filled her in. My manager Tara is wonderful and she and Jo listened as I cried and tried to calm me as I waited to hear if Ryan could go home. I was told to take the day off, we were covered, and I was so thankful for the two of them so I didn't have to be alone. They both asked me why I went to that appointment alone and I told them... I honestly thought it would be the opposite outcome. I truly thought I would be still pregnant and ok. I stayed at work, crying with them, for maybe an hour before Ryan was dismissed. I drove home still in tears.
Most of that day I sat with Ryan on the couch and cried. And as unhealthy as it was, drank. I had a few beers as I sat there alternating between numb and sobbing my heart out. I don't really remember what else happened that day... if we watched tv or what we ate or anything. It all was in a haze. I talked to my mom, Ryan talked to his. I cried a lot. I didn't go to work the next day, Thursday, either. Ryan had to go back to work that second day and I stayed home and cried off and on some more. He dragged me out of the house that night for dinner at Buffalo Wild Wings just to distract me a bit, which I appreciate more now than I did at the time.
Ryan was worried for a bit when I said I was angry too... angry at myself, angry at the situation, angry at God even though I knew it was wrong. Sometimes it is just easier to want to place blame. I was angry at the one person who asked me if I had done anything strenuous to cause it, or if I was still on pain medication for something (and the answer was NO to both). I was angry at the one ER nurse who said "Oh don't worry honey, it was only a bunch of cells anyway. If you did lose it, it wasn't a baby." (Note: I am Catholic and we believe life begins at conception... that is my personal belief and I will not impose it on anyone else or make anyone else believe what I do... but wrong thing to say to me.) I was thankful Ryan saw my reaction and held me tightly, in a discreet way, so I didn't punch either of them.
Anger, hurt, guilt, sadness, devastation, mourning, loss, pain, heartache... hitting over and over again.
My heart still hurts. Occasionally I still cry at the drop of a hat or get hit with waves of sadness. That's the hardest. The hormones make it difficult as I go through the waves of sadness or anger. Friends, family and neighbors have reached out and made me feel loved. Some days are harder than others. Mother's Day I had to work but I fought back waves of bitterness and sadness all day.
I know we can try again. I know this doesn't mean it will happen again... I can have a perfectly healthy and normal pregnancy someday as far as the doctors are concerned. But there is always that chance... what if? What if this happens again? To be honest I do not know if my heart could handle it. I have friends and family members who have had multiple miscarriages and I cannot imagine going through this again and again.
I know it won't always hurt like this. I know it will get less painful and less difficult. But our wedding anniversary will now be tied to this loss. Maybe it won't always hurt this badly, but I will think of it. New Years Eve, my due date, will have these thoughts crossing my mind again. It hurts. I still hate those thoughts that go into my head.
I lost it. I am not pregnant anymore. I had a miscarriage. I lost my baby.
Ryan told me he tries to see the good in every situation. When situation A happened, situation B was able to... and it couldn't have had the first not occurred. But I cannot see any situation that makes losing a child ok. No good can come out of that. Even if and when we get pregnant again, it will not be a joy replacing a sorrow... it will be something separate. Yes it would be wonderful, but it is apples and oranges to me. I cannot see any possible good and I am trying so hard. I know this is where my faith comes in to play and I am trying to leave my heart open to grace at the moment. I am trying to let go of the anger and the bitterness. I am trying to heal. Even though physically I now feel ok, mentally and emotionally it is much slower going.
So, maybe this will help someone someday. Maybe you will see you are not alone, even though you feel like you may be. The hurt, the guilt, the anger, the pain and everything in between... I feel it too. If you found this because of a google search or anything, I am so sorry. I know nothing I can write here will help really, believe me, I know, but maybe it is a start. To any of my friends or family reading this and finding out the news this way, I am sorry I didn't tell you directly... it has been too hard for me to talk about out loud. I know my mom has handled telling some family for me, but I do not know for sure. I told her it was ok to mention it since I just am not up for it yet. Writing this has helped a bit (as all over of the place it is), sort of a catharsis, but I have a long way to go.