Tuesday, June 24th was the worst day of my life. I try not to quantify days too often, especially because they then live in infamy within my mind, but I can say, without a doubt and considering all the events that have happened thus far, it was the worst. This isn’t to downplay other horrible events, like the passing of a loved one. However, the pain I felt both physically and emotionally had not been experienced by me thus far. I didn’t plan on telling everyone. However, secrets never stay secret the moment you tell someone. I didn’t want everyone to know, including even all our family, because it was my news to keep, my news to share, and my news to grieve. Since word has spread, though, I feel like I must explain. I had a medical miscarriage almost two weeks ago.
My husband and I went in to have the first ultrasound for our baby at nine weeks full of feathery hope, and the ultrasound specialist discovered he was too tiny for how many weeks I was and had no heartbeat. We could see him on the screen, but there was nothing to hear. Our hope had suddenly been plucked of all its feathers. We then had to wait over fifteen minutes for the midwife to explain the situation. No matter how much reassurance that it was nothing Hans or I did, it is impossible not to feel responsible for that little heart no longer beating. No matter how many times the midwife or others tell me that I can get pregnant again (and I, too, have told myself this plenty of times since this happened), I can’t stop thinking about the baby that won’t be.
As my husband and I were getting assaulted by information and papers, we were told that I would have to induce the miscarriage since my body had not done this on its own. I could wait longer to see if my body eventually got with the program, but if we waited much longer and nothing happened, I would have to have surgery (D&C) to clean everything out. We opted for the pills over waiting or surgery. While I still think this was the best option, those eight little white pills led to what made the day that much worse.
When the first four pills are put inside, they induce a type of labor to abort everything within the uterus. In twelve hours, I was to put the last four inside as well to make sure everything was cleaned out. The midwife warned that I would have “labor-type” pains and possible diarrhea and vomiting. And I did. For four hours, I suffered from pains that I can only believe are just like labor. I took codeine that didn’t even touch the pain and that wouldn’t have even mattered since they came back up thirty minutes later. The pains were so bad that I was writhing in pain either in the bed or in the bathroom and could only pray for it to be over quickly. These were much worse than even my worst migraine, and days afterward I still felt sore and achy from them. They finally ended after four short hours, though. I started to only have cramps like a difficult period instead of horrific, “labor-type” pains and just had to suffer everything coming out for the next few hours. The midwife explained that I would bleed for a few days and then spot for two weeks afterwards, which has thus far been true. I also experienced some difficult cramping four and five days after the initial experience. What made this even worse was that every time I went to the restroom I was reminded of what was no longer inside of me. I am still having trouble sleeping and even resting. I cannot concentrate on reading. I burst into spontaneous sobs. The physical pain is just a mere annoyance now, so the emotional pain is hitting me hard.
Since Tuesday, June 24th, I have yet to talk to God unless pleading with Him to take away my physical pain. I usually talk to Him daily, but I’m angry. I’m frustrated. I’m hurt. And like with most things, I need something or someone at which to point my finger. How could He let this happen? How could He grow my hopes in something so precious and then so callously take it away, leaving behind a gaping wound? I have temporarily lost my island in the raging seas, and I’m not even trying to find it right now. But He is still there. He has remained unchanged through all this, and despite my wavering feelings, He is still persistently loving and constantly reaching for me. He has even blessed my husband with a positive career change amidst all this turmoil. Perhaps the knowledge that He is still pursuing me will be enough to help me reach out when I am ready.
I talked a little about this is my previous “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad” post, but now that it’s in context, perhaps this will make a bit more sense. On this worst day ever, my husband and I decided to stop by a favorite breakfast spot on the way home. He was doing his best to make me smile, and with what we knew was in our future with the medical miscarriage, we decided I really needed a good meal before starting the pills. It struck me as our waitress waited on us that people never know what’s going on under the surface of the people they encounter every day. Our waitress was just doing a friendly job to a couple who were eating breakfast, but we had just heard the most hurtful news just a mere hour before. I looked around the restaurant and wondered what others may have been dealing with, what secrets they were keeping. It was one of those moments where the world suddenly got bigger than just my own small life.
After getting through the initial, horrific physical pain, I went on Facebook just for something to do as I lay in bed. I was accosted by a post about the dangers of allowing abortion in our country, yet another post about how a man at Cumberland Mall may have intended to leave his toddler in the car for eight hours, and numerous posts about how certain people were just having such a rotten day because of the weather, someone didn’t call, etc. To say the least, I was disgusted. My goodwill towards humanity had run dry during my pains. It wasn’t the fault of the people posting on social media. If anything it was my fault for looking when I was already emotionally raw. It was just poorly timed on my part to visit the dark void that can sometimes be Facebook. It was like the poorly timed showing of Harold and Maude in my college “Movies in the Classroom” course when I had just returned from a funeral after my uncle’s suicide. I should have just said no to watching the movie. I should have just said no to looking on Facebook.
However, it did lead me to think about how flippant we are when we post certain things. The person who posted about the evils of abortion was just doing so out of a political motivation. He had no way of knowing that I was, in essence, aborting my own baby. The person who posted about how she was just having the worst day because it was raining and then later on another post about her terrible day because people were not responding to her texts or calls had no way of knowing that someone in the family was actually experiencing a terrible loss. The woman who posted about it being a bad workday and to make matters worse she now had to go to the dentist had no way of knowing that I would have gone to the dentist every day for a year to avoid what I just experienced. We have no way of knowing how what we say is taken by others. We have no way of knowing how what we post may color the way others now look at us. We (including myself) post out of a selfish reason to be heard, no matter the content, and are narrowly thinking of only our small world that revolves around us. We forget about the big picture. We forget that words have power.
Am I writing about this for sympathy? No, at least not consciously, but I do suppose there is the selfish reason of writing this just to get the pain out and on paper at least for the time being. I am within my own narrow world of suffering. I suppose it’s a good thing I felt compelled to write this because it’s a topic that isn’t written about hardly ever. It is an event in at least 30% of pregnant women’s lives, and yet it is hardly ever discussed. Few people understand both the physical and emotional ramifications of a miscarriage (including myself before this happened), and yet it is something that the 30% carry with them always. It is not something that a woman gets over easily and soon forgets. What do I want the reader to take away from this post? A better understanding of what women go through during a miscarriage; sympathy towards others is hardly ever negative. A minute break from their busy lives to look around at the other people and appreciate what these people may be going through today. An understanding that what we put online affects every reader to some degree. I don’t need your sympathy. Reading this is sufficient.
If you’re interested in another’s experience with miscarriage and attempting to get pregnant, check out this link to a blog by my dear friend.