I'll Be Okay
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Yes, it's been a full month since I last blogged.
No, I'm not going to apologize for it.
Instead I'm going to tell you about the whirlwind of an experience I had this month. Be warned, there is blood and pregnancy terminology involved. If that bothers you, you might want to skip this particular post.
On August 28th, we found out I was one of the 0.01 percent who gets pregnant with an IUD inserted. Positive pregnancy tests at home and at the midwife office made that clear as a bell. Definitely a surprise, but we were excited to be parents again, and hoped it was one of the children whose names we'd picked out early in our marriage.
On September 9th I went in for an ultrasound. Baby was fine, IUD was low so they tried to get it out. Unfortunately they weren't able to, so we decided to leave it in. We were warned there was a 50% chance of miscarriage, but also assured that they had seen IUD pregnancies progress just fine, and they hoped I'd be one of them. So did we.
On September 11th I released a lot of bloody discharge. Midwives asked if I'd had any cramping: no. That's good. So, I went in for a second ultrasound. Baby was fine, blood wasn't a worry. Should be just early bleeding which happens in some women.
On September 16th the bleeding happened again. Cramps: no. Third ultrasound. Again, Baby was fine, but the tech thought she found a spot of the uterus being scratched by the IUD, causing the bleeding. At least now we knew the problem, but there wasn't anything to be done about it without harming the baby. We had to just sit tight and hope for it to stop.
In the middle of the night on Spetemper 18th, I woke up with cramps in my abdomen. Fear and resignation came over me, accompanied by a sense that even though I knew what was happening, it was the right thing. (I'm a very spiritual person, so I attribute this feeling to God telling me it was what He needed to have happen. I trust Him, so I was calm.)
The morning of September 19th, my baby was born. I had no idea what to expect. I kept staring at the blood clots, wondering if one of them was my baby. Then I pushed out the placenta and sac, and along with them came the IUD. It was a big jumble of tissue about the size of my fist, and as soon as I calmed down, I realized which part was the sac, where my baby would be.
I honestly didn't think twice about whether it would be weird to cut the sac and let the tiny body out. I just knew I needed to see it. I needed to hold it. I needed to find a way to have closure with that little person I had grown for nine weeks, the baby my boys had been praying for, and had nicknamed Bean.
Tears rolled down my face as I went, and without thinking about why, I kept saying, "I'm sorry, sweetheart, I'm so sorry," and "Come see Mama, little one, let me hold you."
In the logical part of my mind, I knew there was nothing I could have done differently to stop the miscarriage from happening. But the emotional part of my mind felt like a failure, that I had done something wrong, that I didn't try hard enough... of course that's not true, and I know it. But knowing doesn't immediately change how one feels.
And it didn't make the loss any easier to take.
I held the baby for a while, I took a few pictures of her (we felt like it was a girl, but it was too early to really tell). We showed her to our boys, who didn't really understand and have since forgotten, and then Brandon and I wrapped the body up and buried her outside.
After that, the hardest part was telling everyone. If I can type or write it, it's easier to take. Speaking the words is much more difficult. I'm to the point where acceptance is done and I've tried to move on, but the grief and guilt (valid or not) will hit at random times.
The other struggle I'm having is this: I feel fantastic. Physically, my body is finally back to near-normal condition after having a cold for two weeks while being pregnant. My mind is clearer than it's been in over a month. My energy levels are almost back to normal. In short, I feel like myself again.
Part of me is grateful for that. I can't not be. I've been too miserable the last month for me to feel anything but relieved. But then... I'm obviously back to normal because I lost the baby.
Sometimes my mind has a hard time separating the two things. I am devastated to have lost this baby. Regardless of whether it was planned for or risky or whatever, it was my baby and I love her.
I have to keep telling myself it's okay to feel grateful for my return to energy, and I can feel that gratitude and still be sad for my loss.
Well... I'm getting there.
If I randomly start crying in front of you, just put your arms around me and let me go. Don't ask why, don't try to speak, just let me cry.
If you have a new baby, and are willing to let me hold it, please offer. I would feel awkward asking, but it would help these empty arms a little bit.
My biggest help now, is staying busy, but trying not to push myself too hard. As long as I have something to do, my mind won't wander to the pain. But if I go too far, my body gets exhausted and I might collapse (hasn't happened yet, just some dizziness from blood loss).
Lastly, I can't express enough how thankful I am to my friends both online and in person for being so loving and supportive. Your prayers, happy thoughts, well-wishes, gifts, meals, treats, and hugs have helped more than you'll ever know.
I think that's why I'm feeling moderately okay with everything. Not only do I feel -- very strongly -- that this is an experience The Lord has comforted me in, but my friends and family have been there for me, wiling to listen and waiting for a chance to help.
Thank you. All of you.
I'll be okay.
Author of YA and MG speculative fiction. Gryffindor. Mommy. Fangirl. Wandmaker.