Today turned out a heck of a lot differently than I'd planned. I had a completely different blog post all written up and ready to publish. I didn't do it, but I will give you a little taste of it.
Is it weird to document a miscarriage before anything has really happened?
I've had seven weeks of uncertainty and I'm ready to get it over with, no matter the outcome. I started the grieving process on Sunday and I'd like to be done with it as soon as possible.
Nice, huh? The past few days have been rather beastly. Well, it's really been the past seven weeks but the last four days have been the worst. The kind of conflicted emotions and confusion I've had running around in my brain since Friday have been maddening.
Let me back up a little bit and give an idea of what's been going on. Ever since Maya was born I've wondered when it would be time for another baby. My monthly cycle has always started back up four weeks after delivering a baby. Not so with Maya. This time I had a nine month break. And it was glorious. As soon as my cycle started again I started to really feel like that meant it was time to add another baby to the batch. In June I talked about it with Eric and we decided to wait until we were at least finished framing the houses and until his raise came through in July. Looking at Eric's benefits package showed that the insurance is only limited benefits and not major medical. Dang it. The total maternity benefit is a whopping $250. No, I did not forget any zeros on that number. $250. We thought it would be best to wait for Eric's raise so we could afford to pay for a major medical plan.
When it came time for the raise (late July) Eric was informed that his company was not giving any raises until at least the end of this year/beginning of next year. We did not upgrade to a better insurance. A few weeks after that I found myself sitting in the bathroom looking at two pink lines and realizing that it really must be time for a new baby, because we would be having one regardless of whether or not we intended to have one so soon.
After a week of shock and utter terror about how to pay for the child I was able to just be happy to be carrying a new baby. I'd been happy about it before, but the shock and terror were mixed in, too. I got one week of peace before the fear started to set in.
At six or seven weeks along I'm used to a small amount of brownish discharge. At six weeks it was reddish discharge and a lot more than I've ever had. I couldn't quite tell, but it also looked like there was a small amount of tissue in the toilet. I'm a wait-and-see kind of girl, so I decided to let nature take its course rather than going to the doctor. When nothing else happened I figured it was just jitters at something I hadn't experienced before.
Several more weeks continued like that with little scares here and there, such as the loss of 11 pounds of weight. That was also out of the ordinary. I put the first OB appointment off until I was 11 weeks along because I wanted to delay all the lovely exams (pap smear, breast exam, pelvic exam, and blood work) as much as possible and also have a better chance at hearing the heartbeat. I expected to hear the lovely sound at that appointment. It was not to be. However, my doctor is awesome and I got to skip everything except the pelvic exam because I had them all so recently with Maya. I was really disappointed not to hear the heartbeat. I had expressed my concern for losing the baby to my doctor. He told me we could wait two weeks and try again or we could order an ultrasound. I chose to wait because I simply don't have the money to pay upwards of $350 for an ultrasound.
I waited as patiently as possible for the next two weeks. I fully expected to hear that sweet heartbeat. I was once again disappointed. We decided not to wait another two weeks and not to do the blood work. An ultrasound seemed the best option, even if we couldn't afford it. After seven weeks of fear and uncertainty I was ready for it to end. I'd bounced back and forth between believing the baby was alive or dead, real or not, that I was just tired of it. If the baby was alive that would be great. If the baby had died then I wanted to get everything in motion so I could start moving forward with life.
The weekend was brutal. I felt strongly that the baby had died or had never been viable and my body was clinging to it. That happened with my first pregnancy. By the time this morning rolled around I was livid that I hadn't heard back about the appointment that was supposedly scheduled for sometime during the day. Good thing I called a third time or I would still be waiting and miserable. I spent a lot of time crying on Monday night. I was grieving and angry; I didn't want to have to go through this again. At least this time I knew that I would be able to have healthy children and I already have two that run me ragged.
Even though I only ended up with three hours of sleep last night, the day turned out beautifully. I did not expect a good time with the ultrasound. I was prepared to hear them tell me the baby had died and to wait in the exam room while they called my doctor so we could decide what step to take next. I stared at the ceiling while my mom held my hand (Eric was not able to get away from work). They said nothing that made a lot of sense to me until one told the other (who is in training)to measure the heart rate. My spirits soared as I thought, "Measure the heart rate? That means there's something to measure!" When they didn't say anything else I squashed my hopes by telling myself that it was something standard that needed to happen whether or not a heart beat was present. A minute or so later one of them said, "Your baby does have a heartbeat!" And then I cried. The relief that washed over me and the enormous gratitude that a viable baby was growing inside me was overcoming. I've been on the table and heard that my baby has died. I don't ever want to do that again. Words can't express how blessed I feel to have another healthy baby growing.
So now I'm back to my usual self. I'm happy, though a bit headachy from lack of sleep and the loss of LOTS of tears over the past several days. I'll take it. The first 13 weeks of this pregnancy were pretty terrible, but it looks like the second trimester is starting sweetly. I feel like the luckiest woman in the world.