If you haven’t read my last three posts this one will come out of left field so you may want to read, “I May or May Not Be Pregnant…” and “I Am Okay” and “The Am I or Am I Not Update” before reading any further. Then again, this one is pretty self explanatory so it may or may not be necessary. 🙂
Well, it happened. I started spotting on Friday afternoon and continued spotting until Sunday. Sunday afternoon was when the cramps and real bleeding started, followed by what I can only assume was the actual “miscarriage” late in the day on Monday. It wasn’t unbearable, but of course it wasn’t exactly comfortable either. It mostly just felt like a heavy period, something I had become very accustomed to prior to my weight-loss, at the height of my PCOS and subsequent infertility. I felt prepared, and I’m thankful for that. Of course I was hoping for celebratory news at my follow-up ultrasound appointment, but I also knew that the doctor was confident that the pregnancy was already over during my ultrasound last week. So I didn’t feel shocked at the first sign of bleeding. In fact, the relief of knowing that I didn’t have to decide whether or not to have a D&C was the overwhelming emotion.
It’s funny how the brain works during times like these. Mine has been all over the place, making me feel a bit bi-polar with all of the highs and lows throughout the process. The one thing I have done consistently over the last few weeks is to check in with myself to make sure I’m being completely honest and not just working overtime to preserve my heart. So far so good. Every time I check in I feel like I’m being truly authentic, allowing myself the think and feel freely. I wanted to share with you the various thoughts that I have had over the last few days as a way let you “in” so-to-speak. I’m going to list them in no particular order. So here we go, here are the high and low thoughts of the past few days…
Why is this happening? Is it something I did? No, I know it’s not my fault. Am I too old to have a child? Did I do too much damage to my body by being so severely overweight for so long? Was there scar tissue from the IUD? Phew! I was SO NOT READY to be pregnant, what a relief! Now I can lose the 10lbs I’d gained before I got pregnant, plus the other five I’ve gained since! Did my body know something was wrong from the very beginning? Is that why I never really felt confident talking about being pregnant? I never felt attached to the pregnancy, never really got excited– was that me protecting myself against this exact thing? Am I broken inside? Are these feelings normal? I feel guilty for not being more sad. This would have been much harder if it had happened 5 years ago when I was so desperate to get pregnant. Should I even have children? If I don’t feel desperate to have a child, do I have the right to even have one? My lack of sadness is making me me feel guilty. There are so many women out there who are currently desperate to have a baby. I remember that feeling. Having a baby is the most selfish thing any of us can do! Babies don’t ask to be born, we decide for them. I shouldn’t have kids. I wonder what our children will look like? I bet they’d be pretty cute and super smart. Were my jeans too tight? Did I not take enough vitamins? I should have started taking vitamins sooner. Did I lift something too heavy? Bodies are smart. My body was smart enough to miscarry a fetus that wasn’t properly developing. If I get pregnant again and carry full-term will I have a “normal” and “healthy” baby? What if I have a child who ends up with disabilities? Or a drug problem or needs me to pay their rent when they’re 30 or bail them out of jail when they’re 18? These are all of the reasons we decided not to have children almost five years ago now, because there are no guarantees! Should I have announced what was going on or kept it to myself? I’m glad I shared. I wonder if I’ve miscarried before and didn’t realize it? What if I have one of those pregnancy disorders and just don’t know it yet? I will probably have to go through another miscarriage before that’s even an idea on the table. I don’t want to get pregnant again. I’m glad I had a miscarriage, now I don’t have to worry about the health, life or future of my baby for the rest of my life. I wonder when I’ll get pregnant again? I really do NOT want to worry about trying. I want to get through another race season and finish what I started last year, I’ve got some goals I want to accomplish. I am not getting any younger, my childbearing years are limited. I can race later. I really want to have a family. Brett and I would be great parents. I wonder if he’s doing okay with all of this. He says he’s fine when I ask him but would he share with me if he wasn’t? I should just have my IUD replaced. I wonder how long it will take me to get pregnant again?
See what I mean about being all over the place? I’m sure this is completely normal but miscarriage is rarely talked about so I can’t be sure…which is why I’m sharing.
If there’s one thing I have learned over the last few weeks it’s that I am not alone. Women have come out of the woodworks to share their stories with me. Complete strangers have written to me and shared their heartache, wanting me to know that I am not alone. This has been extremely comforting. Most of the stories have ended with successful pregnancies in the end, or eventual success after several attempts, while others have not had success yet, but share that they have not lost hope. They are stories meant to provide me with hope as well as friendship, love and support and for that I am truly grateful. However, there’s another side to this that I find incredibly puzzling. I am also hearing stories from FRIENDS, some of whom I have known for YEARS, telling me for the first time ever, that they too have had miscarriages which make me want to shake them and say, “Why am I just now hearing about this for the first time? I never even knew you were pregnant back then!” It’s like I’ve been let into some secret club or something.
NO MORE SECRET CLUB!
I know that many people wait until the end of the first trimester to announce pregnancy because that’s supposedly when it’s “safe” to assume it’s viable, but what the crap? Why is it so bad to announce you’re pregnant and then, if necessary, announce a miscarriage? Most people wouldn’t hesitate to announce their grandfather’s passing or the loss of any other LIVE person for that matter, yet for some reason we are afraid to announce the loss of an unborn baby? I don’t understand this. It’s not something to be ashamed of. It’s not something that needs to be dealt with alone, without the support of SO MANY other women who have been in the same shoes; women who can and will show the most amazing love and support, the way only other women can.
Why does miscarriage seem to be some deep dark secret that women keep to themselves until they hear of someone else experiencing one? I cannot for the life of me understand why we feel the need to keep something like this buried so deep down. Is it shame? Embarrassment? Fear of judgement? Someone please tell me why! Why would anyone want to go through this in secret, without the love, support and understanding from others? There’s so much love and support out there to be had…if you just let people in.
Miscarriage does not equal failure and is far more common than we realize. In fact, according to the US National Library of Medicine, among women who KNOW they are pregnant, 15-20% of them will miscarry. That’s one in FIVE women! How many women do you know? I’m sure you know at least five of them! Right? So why don’t we talk about it when it happens rather than waiting until we know someone else had one first?
This is me announcing… “I HAVE HAD A MISCARRIAGE! I AM NOT ALONE!” And if you have had, are currently going through, or ever have one in the future, I want you to know that you are not alone either! WE are not alone!
So what’s next for me? I’m not exactly sure. Brett and I made a promise to each other back before I had my IUD removed that we would not actively TRY to get pregnant…ironically because we did not want to ride that monthly “am I or am I not?” emotional roller-coaster (though we never expected to ride THIS one! Ugh!) So who knows what will happen in that department. I think I’d actually like to actively NOT try for a few months so I can work on getting some of this weight off that I have put on over the last few months and regain the strength that I have lost since the epic shoulder injury of 2014. I’m looking forward to being able to participate in all of the whitewater activities during the I’mperfect Life Retreat in April and maybe, just maybe I’ll be able to get to that Olympic Triathlon and Spartan Trifecta that never happened last year— though I do hope to get pregnant before either of those things could realistically happen in 2015. 🙂
As for today, I am celebrating three things happened this week…
1) I FINALLY got the I’mperfect Life Making Progress Challenge launched. It’s about damned time!
2) We unexpectedly got a new puppy, who I‘m over the moon in love with! Isn’t he adorable?
3) I GOT NEW HAIR EXTENSIONS! (if you’ve been with me for a while you know how excited I am about this. I have REALLY MISSED my ‘stensions!) I will post a picture on my facebook page today or tomorrow.
Thank you again to everyone who has provided so much love and support over these last few weeks. Whether you’re my family, close friend or complete stranger– you have touched my heart and I’m grateful to have you in my I’mperfect Life. <3