Obviously, Brian and I would prefer the alternative. We would much rather be happily awaiting our baby-to-be, rather than trying to find the silver linings in this awful situation. Never the less, I have found it really helpful today to focus on all of the small positives that remain as a result of losing the baby. They are a sorry alternative, but I’d rather focus on gratitude for the good stuff, rather than linger on the loss and all of the “why’s” and the anger, sadness, and pain.
So, this is what we are left with. My list of silver linings:
I am grateful to have more time to settle into my new job. I was pretty nervous about having to take maternity leave during my first year with a new company, even though I am pretty sure my new employer would have handled it fairly.
I am grateful that I will have more time to get our finances in order before attempting to bankroll childcare. With only 28 weeks to go, the cost of going back to work was really starting to give me heartburn. We would have made it though.
I am grateful that I will have a chance to get my body healthy again before becoming pregnant again. It was a tough winter on my waistline and it can’t hurt to get a little more fit and active before the next go round.
Right now, this is pretty much all I can think of. It hurts a bit to think of anything good… It is strange to process mentally and emotionally that we aren’t actually pregnant anymore.
In the first trimester so much of the experience is mental and emotional. Despite the blatant side effects and symptoms, a lot of what grows in those first 12 weeks are your hopes, dreams, and expectations. The baby books and apps all recommend taking time each day to develop a connection, a bond with the growing baby… than, immediately when it’s over everyone starts telling you not get too attached, and that it wasn’t really a baby yet (or at all if it terminated because something was wrong genetically). Like it’s that simple.
It’s not that easy to make the cognitive leap to believing whole heartedly that a little human is actually living inside of you and will someday be a person you know, talk to, and love… it’s even harder to reverse that.
This past weekend Brian and I were excited, eager, expectant parents. As we approached 12 weeks, the end of the first trimester “risky window” we decided to begin sharing our happy news with a wider network of family and friends. It was perfect timing because we were at home in California visiting my family and some of his cousins for the week. Saturday evening, April 19th we experienced a miscarriage. It was an incredibly difficult experience (obviously) for many reasons which I want to share at some point down the road. I had begun to suspect something was going wrong earlier in the week, but we moved forward with things hoping it was all just part of the pregnancy journey.
Since I had begun writing about the pregnancy from the moment we found out, I decided it is important to still share our experience. I don’t want this to be a secret. I want to honor the experience and share it. It happened, it was real, and it hurts to know it is now over. This little spirit has moved on, but I will carry it forever in my heart.
Positive test: Feb 26, 2014
Stretching in lower abs (sharp pain across sides of lower abs- I looked it up and it is round ligament stretching).
Having to go pee often, and it seems to creep up out of nowhere!
Craving beef. I usually prefer chicken breast (and only chicken breast).
I’m winded easily (I didn’t think I was THAT out of shape).
Burping a lot.
Hot flashes (hot burning face).
Acne cleared rather than appeared at period time.
Weird new dry skin patches. I thought it was my psoriasis acting up, but it turns out eczema is a somewhat common pregnancy symptom. I got a big patch on my chest, and smaller ones on my shoulder and the small of my back.
Fatigue. I mean, sleeping on the floor behind my desk, practically feel drugged after lunch, fatigue.
How we found out:
I took the test right after getting off the phone with my cousin (more like a big brother) Jonathan. He kept asking “what else is going on?” “Any big news?” I wanted to tell him “I think I might be expecting!” But of course, I didn’t. I couldn’t stand to wait any more once we hung up the phone. I had to take a test to know for sure (and so there would be any chance of concentrating the next day at work). We had been trying for a few months, and I was counting the days until my period was officially late. The day had finally arrived.
Brian and I had decided I would test that night to put an end to my excited nervous guessing (I could barely get a thing done at work that day). Through tracking my period with an iPhone app, I learned that my cycle is usually 32 days (meaning that when my period appears to be four days late, it actually right on time). That’s something new I hadn’t realized before we started trying to conceive. Because if my longish cycle I wanted to delay testing until I was at least a little later than usual, even though I had a few hints what might be going on. I always felt a little foolish testing and getting a negative, like maybe I had convinced myself of something that wasn’t really there…
I have had plenty of “false” symptoms in previous months while trying, but this month I had a dream the week after ovulation. In the dream I was two months pregnant and I could feel my belly, big under my hands. I kept running my hands down my stomach, feeling the roundness under my shirt. I don’t remember the details of what else was going on in the dream, but over the course I became more and more pregnant. I’ve never had such a physically vivid sensation of being pregnant in a dream before.* Looking back now, in the dream I was in an elevator at some point around month 2-4 and the somehow it started spinning around, and knocking me around. I was upset in the dream and kept yelling, “But I’m pregnant! Stop!” I didn’t think much about it at the time, but now looking back after the loss, it gives me the chills.
The only other month that I had a pregnancy dream I had taken a test in the dream and showed it to Brian, telling him I was pregnant. I had 2 or 3 of those dreams that week… but then got my period that Saturday. It was not a false alarm though! That Sunday my sister called out of the blue to announce her pregnancy! Now, if all goes well, we’re going to have our babies 5-6 months apart! Crazy how things happen. We actually found out on the same day that one of our groomsmen’s wives had his baby!
When I took the test Brian was in the other room on the phone with his parents. I snuck away to the bathroom and nervously took the test. Unlike previous tests, I wasn’t left waiting long. As the liquid crept up the test window immediately a faint second pink line began to appear. I was in awe! “Is this real life? Is it all starting now?”
I stuck the test stick back into the box and hid it behind my back. I signaled to Brian asking him to hang up the phone, and when he did I told him I had a present for him. He knew right away, I could tell by the look on his face, and when I handed him the box and he took out the test we both laughed, and cried and hugged and practically jumped up and down.
Now we are ready to make plans, learn as much as possible, make appointments, and do our very best to keep the happiest secret I’ve ever held.