Today is the due date of what would have been our first baby together. I actually can hardly type those words without my heart aching so heavily it physically weighs me down. You see, you never really ever understand the pain of a miscarriage loss until you actually go through it. And you never ever forget the pain, I am convinced. And you especially don’t forget it on the due date of the child’s birth.
I feel sad today but the sadness is amplified after finding out, about two weeks ago, I miscarried again. I wish February 25 was only about the birthday of a child that only lived for 10 weeks inside of me. The child that I wonder if I will meet in heaven. I wonder if it was a boy or girl. I wonder if the child would have had Rick’s smile. Or my eyes. I wish I could mourn this loss and remove the now increased pain, the tearing up of my heart just so I could focus on child number one. I wish.
But that isn’t the case. Instead, it’s two losses I mourn today. Two children, siblings, that weren’t ready to enter the world. Two children that God called to heaven sooner than I had hoped. Today I am mourning, with my body suffering, in ways that I didn’t know existed. That I didn’t expect. The type of mourning that I sometimes wonder how a person could actually be strong enough to go through this.
Three weeks ago I received the positive sign on three pregnancy tests. And five days later, on a beautiful Saturday morning as I was preparing for a party at my home (with non alcoholic champagne and all), it happened. A miscarriage. I knew it immediately. I wept in Rick’s arms. I knew it.
Sparing you all of the details (though you may consider the below a lot of details, trust me. There are around 150 more details that I am leaving out because as Sweet Brown says, “ain’t nobody got time for that!”), here is the summarized play-by-play, according to blood work, tests, exams, ultrasounds, speaking with various doctors and nurses and a. lot. of. waiting.
It goes like this: Visit doctor after a lot of bleeding. It’s a chemical pregnancy (wtf is a chemical pregnancy? Pardon my French.). Take a pregnancy test at the doctor’s office. It’s negative (five days ago it was positive, three times). I drink wine that night. Get my arm poked to test HCG (pregnancy hormone). Wait. Nurse calls the next day. HCG levels are higher than expected. Need another round of testing. Get my arm poked again. Wait. The HCG doubled (which is on trend with what a normal pregancy is). I might be pregnant. There is hope. I wait. Get my arm poked again to test HCG. They lower. It’s probably a miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy or you could be fine and it’s a normal pregnancy. Oh, really? I’m sorry, but when did the bad news bears become OBGYNs? Ugh. Get my arm poked again. I wait. I dream I delivered a baby boy and seconds later the nurses let him die. Doctor calls the next day while I am at work. The levels went up. Need to get an ultrasound and a D&C STAT (at least it’s cool they used the word STAT in it’s true context). I weep at my desk. Colleague walks in, I’m embarrassed, I explain and I leave the office. I arrive at doctor’s office. Get an ultrasound. Weep as it brings me back to the last time I was in the ultrasound room and we received the “there is no baby” news. I sit. I wait. Exam was “good.” Ultrasound confirmed no uterine pregnancy and no ectopic. Yes, I am typing this correctly. Remember, bad news bears. Too early to see either. Scratch the D&C. Get my arm poked again for HCG. Wait a day. Test results come back and levels went up. D&C for real this time. I get the surgery. I wait. The surgery was primarily for ruling out the possibility of ectopic pregnancy. Doctor calls. No pregnancy cells were confirmed via the D&C so they deduce I have an ectopic pregnancy. Need to get injection of methotrexate STAT (yes, the word STAT was used a LOT during this process). Ectopic pregnancies can be deadly if not caught. But before injection, have to get HCG tested again, among other tests to confirm my body can handle the drug. (Methotrexate is a drug used to treat/kill off cancer so to say it’s strong is an understatement.). I get poked for the 85th time in two weeks. And I wait. For two hours at the hospital. Results come back, my tests were good. Go to Prentice women’s hospital to the unit where pregnant women go and the first question I get asked is “how many weeks are you?” I may have called the receptionist something not nice in my head. I sit in the hospital for six hours and have nurses, doctors and medical students come in. Oh yeah, they invited Kirsten, the cute med student in because my case was “a doozy” and they wanted her to learn from it. Awesome. At least I am furthering Northwestern’s OBGYN program. Get injections and get strict orders of: no drinking, no working out, no travel, no sex and the list goes on. They should have just directed me to curl up in a corner and sit there until this process is over which at this point could be a week or three months.
So that’s where I am. I am drained. In pain, emotionally (physically I am fine, thank God). In shock. Trying to mourn the first loss. But now mourning two. Right now, all I taste is bitter with minimal sweet. I am trying to pray but I have asked many people to pray on my behalf because right now, I’m not even strong enough to do that. I know God knows. I know Jesus is mourning my loss with me. I know and believe God’s plans are perfect. I know I will grow from this. I know God is good.
It’s just my heart that isn’t quite there yet. And that’s okay, for now. When we suffer, often times during the suffering we cannot see one ounce of light (and we BEG to get out of the pain). We can’t imagine that what is happening could lead to amazing things. And I think God does this on purpose so that we lean on Him to help us through and to remind us that we can’t do it alone (very humbling). For me, there are moments of my life when I suffered (first marriage, divorce, post divorce, first miscarriage, to name a few) and I have those times to look back on to ask myself: Was God faithful? Yes. Was God’s plan better than mine? Big fat yes. Did I learn something? Yes. Wisdom is a gift. Did I grow from the experience? Yes. Was I able to help someone else as a result of my suffering? Yes.
And this is where my hope comes from. Sometimes our plans have to fall apart for God’s plans to truly unfold. It’s time to let go and let God do some work.