The Unspoken Grief of Miscarriage Part II

It was early Spring 2007 and I was completely immersed in my desire to have a baby. All of my life, the only thing I knew for sure was that I wanted to be a mom. I wanted a house full of babies and laughter and siblings. When I experienced my first loss in 2006 something snapped in me and my entire life began revolving around getting pregnant. I would get that awful punch to the gut every time I saw a pregnant belly. I worked for a drug store at the time and those big, beautiful bellies were in and out of there all day, much to my dismay. Sometimes I would even dart around a corner until they passed. It seems almost silly now, but the longing for what they had was suffocating.

I got pregnant in early March 2007. I was overjoyed. This was it. No way I’d lose this baby. It’s just not possible that a miscarriage would happen to me again. The first time was surely a fluke. I don’t know if I truly believed this or if I just couldn’t bare to follow those fears down a twisty path.

I found an OB and booked my first appointment. The most anticipated one in a long line up of mostly just getting your weight and blood pressure checked. It’s the first glimpse at your baby growing inside you. You know they’re there, but seeing it on the screen makes it oh so real. And the best part is seeing that spec of a heart rapidly pumping out new life. Except there was no heartbeat. That little life that I had fallen in love with and daydreamed about had stopped growing two weeks prior. I was supposed to be 9 weeks, but measuring at only 7. My doctor came into the room and she said a lot of words, I don’t remember any of them. I snapped back with, “I want it out of me!”. I was furious. At my body, at the baby, at the whole damn situation.

Because my body had not naturally “rejected” the pregnancy I had two options. Take a lot of pills which came with potential side effects. This could also take days or weeks with no way to know when it would start or when it would be done. It would be very physically painful, similar to very intense menstrual cramps. All the while, I would be trying to work through the grief while waiting for my body to release my hopes and dreams. A tad dramatic, but the best way I could put it. I wasn’t just grieving this baby, I felt I was grieving ever being a mother. My second option was a D&C. I would be put under and the doctor would forcibly remove my hopes and dreams. This second option also came with an opportunity to do a chromosomal analysis. Hell yeah, I thought. Sign me up! Give me some answers! It also supported my earlier knee jerk reaction to get it out of me ASAP. This desire is fueled of course by my immediate need to get pregnant again.

The procedure was scheduled for the next morning. I remember riding in the car that afternoon running errands with my partner that needed to be handled and thinking this is the last day you’ll be inside me. Our last day as two souls connected. I cried and sobbed and screamed in desperation. My body had failed me. Again.

The D&C went as perfectly as having your hopes and dreams ripped from inside you can go. The doctor was able to get plenty of tissue for a sample to send to the lab. It would take weeks to get the results back. I stayed in a state of anxiety. I couldn’t focus my mind on anything else. Questions and sadness and anger and every other emotion blocked any other thought. I went through the motions but I was checked out. Would they even know something? What if something is very wrong with my reproductive system? What if this is my partner? What if there are no answers?

Part II

Weeks had gone by since my D&C and the long awaited phone call came. I spoke with my doctor over the phone while sitting in the office at my job. Every nerve in my body was on edge. She explained that the baby had three sets of chromosomes. Triploidy. The way she explained it was that when a female's eggs split during puberty instead of breaking into two new cells each with a set of 23 chromosomes a mutation occurs. Two sets go into one egg so that new egg is carrying 46 chromosomes. The leftover tissue without chromosomes is absorbed back into your body. In a nutshell, out of the hundreds of thousands of eggs I had stocked up, the one that happened to get fertilized was one that never had a chance. If I had gotten pregnant a month before or a month after, it likely would have been fine. This actually was a fluke. The relief washed over me, but was quickly replaced with my anger. Oh that anger. The denial was over, it didn’t have a leg to stand on at this point. All I was left with was intense and crippling anger.

And then all the unanswerable questions flooded in. Why that egg? Why me? Just a whole lot of big, fat why’s? The emotional pain and anguish that followed me for months to come was intolerable. I would spend my nights after work sobbing in my bed or staring blankly at the tv. I didn’t have a friend to talk to or the tools to even try to process my grief or move forward in a healthy way. I became solely focused on getting pregnant again. Spoiler alert. I did. And it was just six months later. We call that little ball of cells, Owen. That kid arrived into this world, healthy and squishy at a whopping 9lbs and 9oz. The moment I held him, the despair seemed to be a hazy memory. This was the child I was meant to have. The pain, the sadness, it was all leading up to this moment. All that pouring rain to get that exquisite, green grass in the form of my perfect and pudgy baby.

Come back soon for a happy surprise I got ten years later about this little angel baby that changed me forever.

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content warning- loss One big thing I’ve done to help me process my births is request my medical records. I’ve had two hospital births with epidurals and varying levels of interventions, an unmedicate