I have been sitting here in my office for hours writing paragraphs in circles and deleting them. I have so many emotions and can’t get the words to perfectly explain them, unsure of how and where to start. So, I’ll start with bluntly letting go and tell you, last week I had a miscarriage.
They say bad things happen in 3’s and if you’ve been keeping up with me and my past three months, you know this is the third experience to hit me hard. For those that haven’t been following along… On June 5th my sweet pug, Betsy passed away. She was ten years old, I had her (and her sister, Zoey, who we still have) since they were 6 weeks old. They are very much our furry children. Our family of 4 became 3 and there was no way to ever prepare us for that heartbreak. Even more so, the heartbreak and suffering of Zoey was heart gutting as well.
Exactly a month later, on July 6th I found out I was pregnant. Brent and I could not have been happier. It was exactly what we wanted and needed to fill our hearts. It was the rainbow after a dark, rainy storm. We truly thought it to be some kind of blessing from Betsey as crazy as that sounds. It didn’t heal us completely but helped big time and brought joy and excitement back into our lives. The two of us were SO excited. I quickly told family and a few of my closest friends, not ever thinking of the chance of not carrying to term, I honestly just never saw it happening to me. Miscarrying is so horribly not talked about enough that I didn’t know how common it is and how many pregnancies result in a miscarriage. So we excitedly just began planning more and more every day. Talking about names, talking about all the things we can’t wait to do and see and teach our baby. All the excited things you can imagine doing when you’re entering the next chapter in life and about to start a family, we were doing. Oh, and maternity clothes shopping… I silly enough did some of that too.
Now here is where the second storm came that followed my grieving of Betsey… it’s the not so great part of being self employed. When you work for yourself there is no one to cover you, to call out sick to, or to call in those vacation or mental health needed days off. I wasn’t able to go back to work the next day after Betsey passed, or the next day or the next. I took all the time I felt I needed and then slowly got back into my groove when I felt I was ready. Zoey, who had never lived a day apart from her actual (same liter) sister required a lot of love and attention too, that I couldn’t put aside. It lead to me fall very much behind with work. My Etsy orders were backing up weeks, but at the time it was for the sake of my well being and my family and that is mattered more to me. It came at the cost of loosing my online connection, returning a ton of past due orders, losing money and the worst part, disappointing a lot of customers. I worked endlessly and tried so hard to quickly catch up on the late Etsy orders. After a month, I was still behind, and now not only was behind because I was mourning my pup, then I was working a bit slower on catching up because, in the beginning of pregnancy YOU ARE ALWAYS TIRED. My long and late working nights quickly stopped. Then turning the corner was that storm. I had gotten 3 complaints from unhappy customers with late orders that Etsy decided to shut down my shop. Forever. This felt like either the worst break up of all time or being fired and losing 7 years of your life’s work. I broke down.
After picking myself up form the Etsy mess, I started a new website and continued to be excited about what felt like a new start at a new job and a baby on the way. I couldn’t wait to share the news about every new exciting thing happening in my life, but for that moment… it was just the new shop news of course.
A week later Brent and I went to our first doctors apt. It felt like we had to wait forever for it to come, and it was finally here! We saw the little ball of cells we created together, growing inside me and the heartbeat. We also learned that I wasn’t as far along as we thought. We thought we were at 8 weeks, but by the measurements of the baby we were 6 weeks and 2 days. TMI- but, that put our date of making the baby exactly on our first wedding anniversary! Could it get more magical ?!?! It was meant to be we thought. We left the office floating on cloud 9 with our first picture of our baby. The next day we got a follow up call from the doctor to let us know that the baby had a slow heartbeat, and she wanted us to come back in a week to make sure it picked up. Brent panicked, I kept positive thoughts. I thought it was because the baby was smaller than expected and next week the baby would have grown more and the heartbeat would be perfect by the next appointment.
Waiting for that next appointment, felt like waiting the longest week in the universe. Brent checked on me every single chance he got, mornings, work breaks and night. Did I feel pregnant? Yes. Was I still nauseous and tired? Yes. Were my boobs still sore and felt enormous? Yes. Everything was yes, yes, yes, I was 100% pregnant, or so I thought.
Brings us to this past week, Wednesday…our appointment was finally here and this is when the next worse day of my life began. We went in for the ultrasound together, it was a silent dark room, and I mean SILENT… the nurse did not say one word. I asked, “is the heartbeat ok?” and her response was, “I’m going to send you up to see the doctor”. We went back into the waiting room, and waited more with unsettling feelings.
I’m going to pause and tell you while we are waiting to see the doctor, I got an email from shopify. Shopify is the site and processor I use for my new shop. Long story short, the email was telling me I can no longer use their platform to sell my products due to not being an authorized reseller of Disney. So here I am in the worst waiting room ever, waiting to hear news about the heartbeat of our baby and trying NOT to have a full meltdown.
We finally got called into the Doctors room, but again had to wait. What felt like an hour was 30 mins… she finally came in. It wasn’t the doctor we saw at our first visit last week nor was it my regular doctor, someone completely new walked in the room. She sat down across from me and looked blankly at me and said “HOW CAN I HELP YOU?” At this moment I wanted to scream, cry, explode, combust, breakdown…but all that came out was “we’ve been waiting for answers about the heartbeat”. Now, she knew what she was going to tell us, she knew what the nurse clearly wasn’t able to tell us, she came in a room knowing she had the worst news to deliver and we had been waiting now an hour to hear and asked how she can help me as if I was at McDonalds about to order fries. She showed no emotion and told us the “the nurse was not able to find a heartbeat”. She continued to talk a bunch of words I wasn’t able to hear. I looked at Brent, bawling my eyes out and asked him to take me out of the room. She mentioned options but I heard nothing of what they meant. We left, we went home and cried together till the next day.
Brent, being the best husband he is made all the calls the next morning. I wasn’t able to even speak without bawling. I was numb. I felt like a shell of myself, watching him call doctor after doctor from outside of my body. We found out my regular doctor was out of the country and I refused to go back and see the emotionless doctors that treated us so coldly. After so many calls we found a new doctor that would see me right away. During that morning I told a hand full of people what was going on, and slowly learned how many people I knew shared the same traumatic experience. I honestly had NO IDEA how common this was. I didn’t know that I personally know people that had gone through this. It seemed everyone knew someone that had a miscarriage. I reached out to a friend that shared her honest experience with me and helped guide me tremendously. Although nothing could have ever prepared me for the day I was about to have. I had no clue what I was in for and how serious it all was. I checked in at 12:15 thinking I was going to have an ultrasound, confirm that there was no heartbeat and have a small procedure where they clean out the uterus. I was so wrong. I met with the new doctor, whom I loved. She was sweet, sympathetic, explained every option I had clearly to me. She made me feel some sort of comfort, the best she could have. By 3pm we were filling out papers and prepping for my surgery, I was going to have a D&C procedure at 5pm. I was beyond terrified. I chose to the the D&C after hearing two of my friends miscarry experiences. I originally thought I wanted to let it happen naturally. But the doctor explained that could take time to pass, days maybe weeks. We learned at the beginning of the appointment that the baby passed inside me a week ago. I couldn’t bare to know it would be with me any longer, while not living. I chose the D&C because it would mean after this day the worst part would be behind us and we could begin to heal. I thought this to be the best for me mentally and psychically less pain. Brent fully supported the decision. He did not leave my side the entire day, he moved from room to room with me and sat with me for every form and test until I was taken in for surgery. The only moment I was alone, is when I came to realize the extent of what the whole day had been and what was about to happen, I completely broke down. I just remember being in the coldest, bright room, with the sky painted on the ceiling waiting for the anesthesia to put me asleep and crying my eyes out. I saw all the machines surrounding me and just wanted to be out asap, and then I was. When I woke up it felt like 5 mins had gone by, when it was really over an hour. I was moved to recovery, where Brent found me and surprised me with cupcakes. I stayed in recovery for a while, my blood pressure was low and they needed to make sure my vitals would stabilize. I ended up finally getting released at 10:30pm that night. The longest, most emotionally draining day.
Friday I woke up no longer pregnant. Its still an adjustment I am getting used to. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t depressed. I hate that its over. I hate that I have to get back to regular life just as it was before I was ever pregnant. I hate that I sometimes feel so sad when I see a baby or a mom to be, but I do now recognize what they might have gone through to get there. I hate thinking of all the holidays I was so excited to be pregnant on and our due date March 22nd. I hate that I still think of why it happened but I will never know WHY. I hate thinking if it was because I was depressed about Bets, or stressed over work, or even the sunburn I got at the beach?? I hate that people say odd things to comfort me like “at least it was early on in the pregnancy” . 7 weeks or 7 months, no time should be discounted. I hate that I had two major losses back to back. I hate that I didn’t have betsey at home to console me after because she was SO good at that. I hate that I am terrified of it happening again. But, I am finding peace and gratitude through this at the same time. I am grateful for my husband beyond words, we endured two of the most soul and heart crushing life experiences together that connected us even stronger. Loss has forced us to create a new bond, a different kind of bond that we didn’t yet have, and how we heal each other and with each other has really strengthened us. I am thankful for my body, to have gotten pregnant, and to have take me on this whole journey and still be strong and standing. Im thankful for my entire support team of friends and family and even those that reached out not knowing what I was going through, just knowing I was have a rough time. I am working on turning all my self doubts into confidence again, and these losses into a positive perspective. I keep telling myself everything happens for a reason although I feel a slight resentment to the saying right now, I am working on believing it.
I started writing this Monday night, the first time I was alone with my feelings, and its now 2:30am, my tears are died on my face and I’m beyond tired. I felt like I couldn’t start a new week until I got this all out. I’ve never been great with expressing my feelings, but I do know it doesn’t feel good to keep them inside. I felt as if I was hiding something that has become such a huge part of me. Also, a huge topic that I now find so wild that this isn’t talked about more! Why does it feel easier to talk about this trauma than it is to tell someone about your pregnant early on? For me, I have always been a more open book type of person and I find comfort in sharing, sometimes even over-sharing. I think sharing personal stories and finding solidarity is a big part of my healing process. I never felt alone but it felt isolating as if no one that had been through this really understood how serious, sad and horrible it is. For anyone thats ever gone through this, I’m sending you a big tight hug.
We will have our rainbow soon again and Zoey will be a sister again.