The calendar tells me it’s been a week since everything happened, though most of it feels like a blur. Even now just writing that I still find I struggle to say the actual words: I had a miscarriage. Honestly, all the descriptors for miscarriages are awful: spontaneous abortion, fetal demise, losing a baby… no wonder no one wants to talk about it.
It’s been seven days and I finally feel like I am recovering physically. I’ve had two follow-ups with my doctor in the past week, one on Friday and one yesterday. I learned that my hemoglobin levels are still extremely low, but they are stable for now. A regular, healthy person my age should be sitting between 120-125 (or so I’m told). My levels as of the weekend are sitting at 84, and my blood pressure is still way on the low side of normal. My skin colour is apparently rocking a lovely grey hue, making me seem even more Caucasian than I normally do. In truth, it just makes me feel really tired. I have another 10 days to see if things start improving, but if my levels haven’t improved by next week I still might need to have a transfusion. My doctor basically insisted that I take another week off of work to heal, so I’ll hopefully be able to return by next Monday if all goes well.
They have me on these high dose iron supplements that basically taste like I’m swallowing metal the second they are in my mouth. They come with their own set of separate side effects that have just been… peachy.
My tailbone injury is slowly healing. I still haven’t been able to drive anywhere yet, but I’m now showering on my own without a spotter and can move around with much less pain. It’s still agony to sit directly on it, or adjust from a sitting to a standing position, but the pain is duller now… less like I’m being stabbed in the bum when I move.
Emotionally I’m… okay. My hormones hit like a wave on the weekend, and I go from feeling fine, to a bit of a mess with no rhyme or reason. Last night I was feeling pretty good, then P asked me to sing Baby Mine (from Dumbo) before going to bed. This has been the song I’ve sung to each of our children as babies, and as soon as I got the first line out I was sobbing and could barely finish. I’m trying to be gentle with myself and feel things as they come… but at the same time I feel like I’m desperate to just feel normal again.
I’m trying to ease back into the world a little bit and get back to feeling like “me”. I did my hair yesterday for the first time in days, and I put a little bit of make-up on today because I always feel better when I have it on. I’m still wearing sweats, but to be honest, it’s not just as a result of my injury. I looked at my closet today and all I could see were my maternity clothes. Even though I was only 13 weeks pregnant, since this is baby #4 I’ve been showing since about six weeks… and wearing maternity clothes since week #8. I still look a little pregnant and my regular clothes don’t quite fit, but it feels really unfair to have to wear maternity pants when I’m no longer pregnant. I just can’t make myself do it yet… in truth, I’m sort of hoping the weight just falls of quickly so that I won’t have to. I’ve even debated going out and just buying new pants in a bigger size for now so that I can just pack my maternity clothes away and not have to put them back on.
I just started bawling as I wrote that last paragraph… I wasn’t kidding when I said my emotions are all over the place.
I’ve spent the last few days scouring the internet reading everything I possibly could about miscarriage experiences like the one I had, and what happened after. I feel like I’m so desperate for a timeline for when I’ll stop bleeding, when the hormones will pass, when your belly shrinks, when the phantom baby kicks stop… the entire process is so cruel. It feels wholly unfair that even though you’ve lost the baby, your body still “thinks” it’s pregnant until the hormone levels drop off. In my head I guess I always imagined that once you lost the baby everything stopped, but it’s so much more of a process than I ever imagined. Really, I’m learning that there is no timeline, that every person’s experience is so absolutely individual and there’s nothing I can really do… but wait.
I was so nervous to write and share my last post. However, I can honestly say that writing it has been the most cathartic part of my healing so far. Writing out everything that happened has helped me work through the physical trauma of what happened in ways I can’t even express. I think the entire experience scared me more than I realized, and writing it out and reading it over and over and over has helped me come to grips with what happened that night. There were moments when I really was scared for my life… lifting the blankets and seeing and feeling blood seeping out, feeling so lightheaded and out of control with my body as I kept passing out, seeing the concern on my doctor’s face as he was talking to me about blood transfusions… it was pretty traumatic for me. I can’t imagine what it would have been like for M, or for my Mom and Dad who had to sit there and just watch it happen. I asked my doctor yesterday if the kind of miscarriage I had was abnormal, and she hesitated to use that word. Instead, she described my experience as “intense”. It was more that when my body decided to begin the process of the miscarriage, it took off like a freight train. What may women experience over the course of a few days, my body went into overdrive and did in a few scary hours and then it didn’t quite know how to stop.
Since sharing my experience, I have been absolutely overwhelmed by the messages and responses to it. I’m slowing wading through and I am trying to respond to them all, but just know that they have helped me more than anything else. Family, old friends, close friends, new friends–so many people have reached out to offer condolences or share their stories. Emotionally, Saturday was probably the hardest day for me. I could feel myself shutting off and I just needed some space to feel and process. Once I shared the post and the messages started coming in, I curled up in a ball on the couch with my phone and just wept as I read each one. So many people I care about have also quietly suffered through this and I just had absolutely no idea. Those messages and comments were like a lifeline for me, and they have been my light at the end of one of the hardest weeks of my life. I don’t really know how else to express my gratitude than to say “Thank you”. It feels so inadequate in the face of what you’ve all done to help me… but there it is. Thank you. You’ve done more to help me than you could ever possibly know
I want to keep writing and sharing as I go through this, as that was the most common theme in all of the messages I received–for everyone who went through this themselves or with a loved one, so many felt like they couldn’t talk about it, or had no one to talk about it with. If there’s anything I’ve learned about myself over the years, it’s that I need to talk (or write) to process. If sharing my experience helps even one person in a small way, then it’s been worth it… even if these posts have been some of the hardest posts I’ve ever had to write.
I’m going to leave it there for now… in the spirit of full transparency, I’ve been sitting on my special bum cushion in the kitchen writing for the last hour, and my tailbone has reached it’s max. I need to go lay down for a bit.. but today was better than yesterday, and hopefully tomorrow will be better than today. <3