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It was one week. One joyous beautiful week that came and went far too soon. Some may say that’s not nearly long enough to form a bond with anything, but it was. Maybe it wasn’t a bond that many understand, but some do. Some understand that it was a strong bond associated with the hope of a bright, chaotic future.
I called a set-up my first appointment one week after seeing that positive reading. I fumbled over my words, still in shock that it was really happening for us. I set the appointment up for a week later as the doctor I hoped to meet with didn’t see women until they were six weeks along. I was only four weeks and five days. And four weeks and five days is all I will ever have of that pregnancy.
Not even an hour later, I miscarried.
It started slow and built up to the most emotionally and physically painful days of my life. There are no words that can accurately describe the feeling of loss that I had during those first few days. No words that can make sense of the hundreds of questions that circled my brain as I cried.
Something happens when you first see that positive pregnancy test, I think. You either realize that the best thing or worst thing in your life is going to happen to you. For me, it was the latter. And as if I had no control of my line of consciousness, we started talking about everything baby related. The nursery, names, how we’d tell family members, how perfect the timing was. Our conversations spanned well beyond the nine months of pregnancy, all within a week. So when the loss happened, I didn’t feel like I was just losing the past nearly five weeks. I felt like I was losing the next year and then some.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many tears I cried. Or how many tears I held in because I just couldn’t handle them coming out. I was so grateful for the fact that I worked from home and could easily take the next week to work when I needed to, but more so – grieve.
Day one was hell. I felt like the world had crumbled around me. I prayed, despite the fact that I’m not religious at all. I had no idea what else to do and have never felt so lost. My mood swept through the entire negative spectrum of anger to sadness to defeated to jealous to isolated to completely broken. And the loneliness? Oh, the loneliness was absolutely the worst. The empty feeling that replaces the feeling of being pregnant is the worst form of torture I could imagine.
I apologized to Nathan more times than I can count. I deemed myself a failure. I blamed myself for dozens of things that, I now know, were well beyond my control. I slept okay, mostly out of pure exhaustion, until 3:23AM on day two and then cried myself back to sleep on Nathan’s shoulder.
Day two was better and worse, varying from acceptance back to anger and back again. I started doing intermediate yoga – moves that were beyond my skill level – because I needed something physical to handle the emotional struggle. Those 30 minutes were the only 30 minutes that day I didn’t feel like my life was completely falling apart.
I slept worse and again, woke up at 3:23AM on day three. My mind raced now, wondering why now? Why 3:23? I never wake up then. I wondered if this it when it started to happen on day one. It seems silly and illogical, but your mind aches for answers of any kind after this happens.
Day three was the better. Something in me changed. A drive that I had never felt before that was followed by bittersweet acceptance. I understood what had happened, despite the fact that I didn’t understand why. I spent most of my three days researching miscarriages, why they happen, how to prevent them, infertility following them, etc. And I found answers to all of my questions other than one. The one that will probably plague me for the rest of my life. Why it happened, I will never know. But on day three, I understood it. I understood that no matter how badly I want that answer, it was out of my control.
So I focused on what I could control. And all I could think of was my body. I had control over that. Over my state of mind and over my physical well-being. And I needed that control. I craved it, after having absolutely none the past few days.
I did yoga again that day. I pushed myself a bit harder, wanting to give up halfway through because I “just couldn’t do it.” I pushed through, did it anyway, and felt more alive than I had in week at the end. I ate better, took my vitamins, relaxed, read, and did more for myself this day than I had this entire year.
It was then that I realized that this was the only way I was going to make it through this and not let this miscarriage define me, our marriage, or our journey to have a family.
Day four I cut my hair. I had been thinking about it for the past month, but that thing in me that had changed nudged me to do it that day. It was just giving myself bangs so I didn’t do anything too crazy, but it felt liberating. I felt like I was shedding the skin of a broken woman.
Day five we fought. I was angry. While my anger was not with Nathan, it was directed at him that day and it consumed me. It was incredibly painful. What we swore wouldn’t come between us, did just that and it made me feel even more helpless. We made it through it, stronger and closer than before. But it felt like a stepping stone in us moving forward.
Day six through eight passed as if nothing had happened. We barely spoke about it and instead, I just counted down the days to day ten.
Day ten was when it was confirmed by the doctor. It was our final step in our grieving process.
It’s day twelve now and it still hurts. I told Nathan that I don’t know that the ache will ever go away. They say that time heals all wounds and while I believe time will lessen the ache of all wounds, for me – it will not fully heal. That wound will always be there, sometimes a little more fresh than others. There were always be a spot in my heart for what could have been no matter how much time passes.
I don’t write any of this for pity – we have a stronger marriage now and I know that this happened for a reason. I write it because it helps me grieve. Maybe it’s my final step 2.0 in my grieving process, I don’t know. But getting it out there and seeing how much I’ve grown from day one is empowering. And I also write this because I hope that maybe it helps someone out there. Someone that goes through what I went through. Someone that suffered the same tragedy that I did. Someone that deserves to see the ray of hope that I see.