Thursday, January 20, 2011

The one where we lose the baby.

# weeks pregnant: 11 weeks, 4 days
estimated weight: 156
currently: in shock

Two nights ago I started bleeding. Not much, but enough to give me pause. That coupled with some light cramping made me dial my OB. The on-call doctor advised me to call the office as soon as it opened to make an appointment for an ultrasound. When I woke up the next morning, I found I had bled through my pajamas. During the ultrasound, there was no heartbeat. They said the baby stopped growing between 7 and 8 weeks.

I'm shocked. I was just three days away from the 12-week mark, which for some reason seems like this magical point at which the threat of miscarriage vanishes completely. I thought I was past the danger zone; I had lulled myself into a false sense of security, I guess. Even as the ultrasound technician was squeezing the goop onto my belly I still thought we'd see... something. I even wondered if there might be twins, and maybe the bleeding was just because of that fibroid they discovered during my first pregnancy. Maybe it was dislodging or rubbing against my uterine lining or something.

Instead, all I saw on the ultrasound screen was a black circle. At one point there was something else, but there was no movement. When the ultrasound technician said, "I'm sorry, but I can't find a heartbeat," my husband squeezed my hand.

We spent the rest of the day taking it easy. I opted to continue letting my body miscarry naturally instead of scheduling a d&c. My husband arranged to take the rest of the day off, and we had a quiet lunch and sat on the couch holding hands while we caught up on some of our TIVO'd shows.

The thing is, I feel okay. I don't feel like it was my fault or anyone's for that matter. Logically, I know this just happens sometimes. I'm surprised, actually, at how I feel this morning. Aren't I supposed to be grieving? It's like the grief I assumed I'd feel is next to me - I can see it, but I don't feel it. Maybe it'll catch up to me tomorrow or next week or next month. I don't know. I hesitate to admit this, but there's even a part of me that feels a sense of relief - not because I didn't want the baby, but all those questions marks that I was already worrying about no longer exist (will the baby be healthy? how will we cope if the baby isn't healthy? will the baby have colic? will I be able to cope with sleep deprivation again? what if the two kids don't get along? etc.).

This morning I hopped onto a forum for women who've experienced miscarriages. I was surprised by how devastated most of the posts sounded. Many of them referred to their miscarriages as "angel babies", but no matter how I try, I cannot seem to relate to that level of grief.

I guess there's no right or wrong way to feel after a miscarriage, and maybe I should be glad that I'm not experiencing heavy grief and attachment that some others might feel. Mostly, it just feels odd and unexpected. Though I certainly have lost something, I cannot deny my excitement over the realization that I could have a large cup of coffee this morning. (Oh, Coffee - how I've missed you!)

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