I remember when January 2 came, I thought, "Huh. It's been a month since my D&C. I survived the first month. I guess it gets easier now."
On the contrary, January was harder in some ways. It was so hard not to remind myself how many months along I would be each week had I stayed pregnant. January would have been the month where I started to show. We had already scheduled our gender/anatomy ultrasound for January 20th well in advanced, and that horrid date always sat in the back of my mind. We were under the assumption that mt doctor's office would cancel the appointment for us, but they did not. The ultrasound would be through a different office, so it was not on their radar. So I got to experience the awfulness of receiving a reminder call for my ultrasound for the baby that we had lost. Boo.
When I miscarried in December, my ob-gyn told me that the previous protocol was for a mother to wait at least one full cycle before trying to conceive again. He then explained that this was outdated and recent research has shown that not only is it safe to get pregnant again right away, it also increases your chance of conceiving. So we went ahead and continued our medication protocol. On January 8, I took a pregnancy test and it was negative. I was disappointed, but a part of me knew that it was still a bit early to try to take one. I patiently waited for aunt flo to arrive, and when she hadn't come yet, I decided to take another test. This was one January 11th. It was came out faintly positive! I was so surprised! I excitedly took another test a few hours later, and the positive result line was even MORE faint. I found this to be a little concerning, but thought I would just test the next day when my hcg count had hopefully, increased.
That evening, I had prepared to go to mutual to give a presentation to the young women. I was about 3/4 of the way into my presentation when I felt that ever dreaded gush. "Oh great, I'm miscarrying," I thought as I tried to continue to act normal. I figured I would finish my talk up, clean up, and rush home to change. I have had a very early miscarriage before, and the symptoms were simply that of a normal/heavy menstrual cycle. Only this time, it was different. After the initial gush, another one came. Then another and another and another. I could feel myself becoming completely saturated. Thank goodness I was wearing black skinny and tall boots. I looked down and realized that blood was visibily trickling down my legs outside of the pants and landing on the floor beneath me. That's when I had to every so awkwardly say, "Ummm.....I have to go....because I am having a medical problem right now." THANK GOODNESS THIS WAS JUST IN FRONT OF YOUNG WOMEN AND NOT ALL THE YOUTH.
I ran outside to drive home, but then I froze. I couldn't drive in my car. I was completely soaking in my own blood. I called Jordan and told him what was happening and told him he needed to come and bring me tons of towels pronto. Unfortunately, Jo's car seat was in MY car and our church is almost 20 minutes away from our house. Jordan said he would drop Jo off at our neighbors and come as soon as he could. While I waited for him, I tried to call my doctor, but he was in a surgery. While waiting for Jordan, I sat on the grass outside of our church building, sobbing. Blood was pouring at an alarming rate. I didn't know if I should call 911 because I besides the bleeding, I felt ok- no pain, no light headedness. I called my doctor's on-call nurse and she said I needed to get to the ER as soon as I could. That's when panic began.
My friend who is a leader in YW, and therefore was a witness to my graceful exit came outside to check on me. As soon as she saw me, she said, "I am taking you to the ER right now!" I told her not to, because I would surely ruin her car and Jordan was on his way. She replied, "He can meet us at the ER. I am taking you right now." She turned into Super Woman- she had a huge quilt to wrap around my waist, and she placed her rubber car foot rug (or whatever it is called) on my seat. Genius! She helped me to the car and drove me to ER.
When we got there, I ran into the ER, a bloody quilt wrapped around my body and mascara all over my face. I just looked at the clerks at the desk and said, "I need help!" They immediately got me a wheelchair and admitted me within 3 minutes. Jordan got there quickly. First they wanted to take my blood, as they took it, I began to feel very dizzy and kept exclaiming, "I'm gonna black out! I'm gonna black out!" Black cloudy spots blurred my vision, and suddenly I was dreaming with faint voices in the background. I soon awoke to myself vomiting all over my shirt and pants as I was being rushed down the ER hall in my wheelchair. The man pushing me was saying, "We need a room right now!" Several nurses came in to help undress me, stick those sticky metal circle things all over me. One nurse asked the other, "Don't you have a patient in the other room right now?" to which she replied, "Yes, but it's more important for me to be here." This all scared me. What was wrong? What was happening? What did they see? I also heard another nurse call out to someone, "Patient passed out, possible seizure."
I had my first panic attack. I had heard of panic attacks making people feel as though they were gonna die. Now I know that that is an accurate description. I honestly felt as though I was about to die and no one knew it. One nurse told me I needed to breathe. I felt as though all of my effort was being put into breathing. Then she told me again, "You need to breathe!" I replied, "I'M TRYING SO HARD!" Jordan and the nurse help lead me through long slow breathing exercises that seemed to help. I could hear my heart rate monitor beeping slightly less quickly, but I still felt scared and couldn't stop shaking.
After that initial scare, I felt more calm but so distraught. I felt as though this was the end of my trying to get pregnant. As Jordan held my hand, I told him, "I feel like my soul is dying."
A few ultrasounds and blood tests later, the ER met with us. He said the good news was that I did not need a blood transfusion. He explained that at the time they first look my blood, my hcg level was 12, so they could rule out an eptopic pregnancy. He removed the remaining blood clots from my body (soooo comfortable!) and after a while we were sent on our way. The next day, my ob-gyn met with me and explained that it seemed as though my body simply had an excessive amount of blood due to my previous pregnancy followed by the next one. He didn't feel as though the problems were connected, and declared that I am still able to continue trying to get pregnant.
After that, January was a bit of a blur. Mourning my former pregnancy while feeling incredibly anxious after my most recent miscarriage was hard. I was also grieving a trip to Oregon to visit my sister and her family that was originally scheduled for January.
Another thing that was difficult was the sense that my friends assumed I was ok. Talking about babies and pregnancy and breastfeeding became the topic of conversation every time we would get together (I have lots of wonderful, fertile friends who have had babies recently). It was hard to not feel angry that they felt it was ok to talk about this with me, and also realizing that they weren't meaning to make me feel awful, as well as understanding that I didn't really have any authority to control what friends talk about when we are together. It made me feel exhausted after hanging out with my wonderful girlfriends. Many playgroups ended with me crying the way home as Jo called out, "It ok, Mama. Take a deep breaf!"
Somehow we got through January. And February. and half of March. The grief and anxiety that have come with the past few months is still suffocating. Hopefully it will be done soon.