On October 14th I found out. The sun was brilliant that day. We were off-work and didn’t have plans. I told him and we hugged in the kitchen. I told him I was excited and happy. He said, “I am too.” We spent the rest of the day smiling at each other the way you do when you share a secret with someone. I felt warm and delicious on the inside. We made plans for the day and let Simon bring a friend to the pumpkin farm. We started to settle into the idea of four. We smiled. We ate cinnamon donuts and drank apple cider on a picnic bench. Long lines and big crowds didn’t bother us on that day. We hugged each other more than usual. My pants felt too tight. I was tired. I still drank my morning coffee, just not as much. I smiled. We came home. Simon wouldn’t nap. We smiled at each other thinking of future arguments with future people. We went to the park. We spent a lot of that day in the sunshine smiling.
I started to think about rooms and furniture and moving things around. I was thankful I hadn’t spent any money on new fall clothing since I would just be getting bigger. I went to Target and bought Tylenol, new vitamins and tea. I got out the name books. I told Gabe some of the names I liked. This time, he liked almost anything I threw at him. I could tell he was happy. I was happy. I read some new books to Simon about babies. He has always loved babies but it seemed like he was loving them more that weekend. He started carrying his baby around, patting him and telling him it was okay. We hadn’t told him yet, but it seemed like he already knew.
After two blissful days of a perfect fall weekend, I prepared myself for getting sick. I knew it was coming. This time I was ready for it. I waited to feel nauseous and bitter and exhausted. It didn’t happen. I hoped for it. I felt tired but thought it could be from switching from coffee to tea. Some comfort came when I would wake up at 2am, then 4am, then 5am, and finally get out of bed at 5am. Insomnia was a symptom I had with Simon. This time waking up in the middle of the night was comforting and annoying. I hadn’t felt much else to prove I was pregnant. Waking at all hours of the night reassured me that I was.
Then things happened to my body that made me think, “this isn’t normal.” In one week, 2 blood tests and an ultrasound, I was right. To get through the week I focused on work and the “baby” I can see, on the outside of me. I waited to hear back about results. I didn’t get great answers. I got some soothing music for the car. Each night I would wake up one less time than the night before. I knew it was slipping away. I listened to a relaxation cd. I ate salads and watched my sugar intake. I felt like I was failing a test. I feel like I’m failing a test. I tried to believe in miracles and searched for evidence of them on the internet. I started Googling things like “6 weeks, no heartbeat, low hormone rise, success stories.” (There aren’t many of those out there, you know.)
The morning that I woke up only at 5am, I cried hard in bed for two hours. I’ve never cried like that before. Gabe held me and said all the right things, and I could tell he was angry at the situation, angry for me since I couldn’t find any feeling but despair to latch onto.
Mornings are the worst, when I’m awake and alone, and staring at the clock wishing it were earlier than what it is. Wishing I felt sick, wondering what I did, what I could have done, what I didn’t do, and knowing it probably has very little to do with anything I could control.
Then one morning I woke up at 7am. The following morning I woke up at 8am. And I just knew, it was over.
As it turns out, there is a lot of waiting that comes along with figuring out whether or not a pregnancy is viable, finding out whether or not it’s’ going to “stick” requires more than blood tests and ultrasounds. It requires time. And that time drags and drags and 7 minutes feels like 7 hours.
What was exciting and then sad became scary after an ultrasound. And two dr’s discussed whether or not they should wait until my scheduled surgery to “open me up and see what it is” that is in there. A mass was growing and it could’ve been ectopic. They opted to go ahead and do it. After a dr.’s appointment I was instructed to go to the hospital- do not pass go. I was asked repeatedly what I ate that day, and at what time. “A piece of cornbread and a cup of tea, at 10:30am” I responded each time they asked me. It sounded like I was Oliver Twist.
I barely knew what was about to happen, but I had faith that all of the wondering would be over soon and it was. Hours and hours later, after Gabe helped me pack my clothes into a brown paper sack at the hospital and I was wheeled off to what I called the “FasLube” version of operating rooms, an ectopic pregnancy was taken out of me. My tube was taken too. I didn’t talk to the dr. afterwards. He talked to Gabe. Gabe was perfect. He held my watered down grape juice while I sucked it down and he opened my graham crackers as we sat in recovery, waiting for my blood pressure to rise as they pumped me full of enough fluids for me to function/stand up and leave the hospital.
I came home, I felt odd but fine. All weekend I was tired and drugged and tired. I slept. Gabe waited on me hand and foot and kept Simon at a safe distance. I could hear them playing downstairs. I could hear them talking about me and my “three boo boos” (incisions) that Simon wanted to see and kiss. He snuggled with me in the mornings, and Gabe did everything right, as always.
I foolishly went back to work just three days later, thinking everything would be fine. I got myself and my kid ready to leave, I paid the sitter, got a latte, packed his lunch, remembered my library DVD’s and when I got to work I just felt….awful.
I can’t explain it. I tried to immerse myself in Excel and statistics and busy work but none of it mattered. I could feel the tension of co-workers and I couldn’t stop staring at people with babies who I see everyday and I just thought of holding those babies and how I don’t have one and it made me incredibly sad.
So I gave myself some time to ease back into work. I took it easier and asked for a few hours here and there this week to help me get back into full fuction mode.
I guess I’m fully functioning now. Day two, 8 full hours of work. Incisions are healing, everything’s physically better. But occasionally I’ll get a feeling that a little black rain cloud is over my head and nothing matters for that time- not a damn thing can take my attention away from the self-pity and sad and nothing that I’m feeling.
But it comes and goes.
I suppose people aren’t supposed to talk about these kinds of things. It’s a strange kind of embarrassing to miscarry, and even stranger to know it was ectopic, never would’ve survived, but still for days I spent time loving something that wouldn’t ever be. I don’t know how to get through things without talking about them or writing about them, so I’m sorry if you came here for a funny story.
So onward- it’s been hard to focus on much else these days. Not much seems to matter other than what I can manage to accomplish in a day. I’m not feeling hard-pressed to do anything specific. Sometimes I just want to get by without an emotional outburst. Other times, if I feel any sort of emotion about anything, I consider that progress. I need to move things along- I owe my kid a monthly letter. I have work to do at work and at home.
But I didn’t feel like I could just pick up and write without sharing something very big and sad that happened to us lately.