I wrote this post about my miscarriage on December 7th, for Small Fry last month but am trying to keep the best record of life here as I can, still as well, so wanted to move it over and add some more details. First of all, my boys were so wonderful. Of course Russ included. The handful of people knew that I was pregnant were so supportive and excited for me. It felt as real as any pregnancy. There were some sacred and special moments where I felt someone was nearby looking over me, wanting to join us, but knowing that they needed to wait, that the body they'd be joining wasn't right. Maybe another boy, that I think of often.
My doctors weren't sure if I was miscarrying or if we just had my due date really, really, wrong so there was a full week of blood tests and going back and forth to appointments. It was a roller coaster. The first appointment they couldn't find a heart beat, which at 8 weeks isn't totally uncommon, but more importantly, the sac looked absolutely empty. They thought maybe I was only 4 weeks so they ordered HCG tests. (I had a positive pregnancy test at 5 weeks, so I was totally skeptical, but after a blessing from Russ saying something to the effect of "Your faith will determine how this goes" trying to be faith-filled. Got my HCG test back and the levels were super high. Like either I was carrying 4 week gestational twins, or my body was still pumping HCG into this Blighted Ovum. They had me do the test again the next day, only 6,000 units higher (instead of doubling every 48 hours like it should.) And then again in 48 hours only 1,000 higher. Basically they tested me right as my body started to taper the hormones off. Then we had to determine what to do: D&C, let it figure itself out, or take Cytotec to induce labor/miscarriage. I opted for Cytotec. I laid in bed for a whole day and was lucky that the event wasn't too uncomfortable. I feel really, really grateful that it was Blighted Ovum. That there wasn't a body to mourn. It was just a genetic precaution, and something that happens all the time whether we know it or not. I'm glad I was gently let down in that way.
Here's the boys at one of several trips to the hospital that week, so sweet:
and the post I wrote:
Earlier this month I found myself staring at a big screen TV's image of my empty womb. "Where is the baby?" I trembled, expecting to hear that horse galloping heartbeat and a tiny adored bean. I went to my 9 week appointment solo, as I insisted, because I avoid being high maintenance at all costs, and assured my husband that he was more needed getting our boys dressed and fed at home (instant regret on that one.) As the OBGYN and Midwife talked at me of next steps, possibilities, statistics, its-not-your-faults, my mind drifted off. My thoughts were dark and treacherous, and then in an instant shards of light broke through. Like those montages in movies, a slideshow of events shuffled in front of my eyes. While someone, I believe to be a loving Heavenly Father, whispered to me, "I could not protect you from this, but Emily, look at your life." My little family's happy and healthy smiles, our able bodies working hard toward learning, goals and dreams. I had taken for granted something so basic yet critical as my family's health and safety for the past several years. Families all over the world fight for the things I rarely gave a second thought to. I was instantly filled to the brim with gratitude. I stifled back sobs not just for this empty sac, a Blighted Ovum, but for the miracle that two healthy children, ages 3 and 4, truly represents. I can't conjure up a memory where I have felt more loved or protected than at that moment in the most unexpected of situations. It didn't always stay with me through the long weeks since, even walking from the exam room to the elevator felt bitter and lonely. Happy framed pictures of women with bulging bellies seemed to be mocking me with every step. That day I joined the quiet ranks of women, who 30% of the time they try, have to mourn the loss of what and who might have been. It scooped out another level of compassion and understanding that I could not arrive at any other way and will Take It With Me into 2015. So now, saying see ya later! to a roller coaster of a year, there is definitely One Thing I'm Leaving. And that is the complacency I settled into that life is anything other than a wonderful miracle. An adventure I am so fortunate to be able seize every day. Living in a place with the freedom to do and say what I feel, to spend my time at home, to share my ideas with you, to feel safe in my own skin, is a luxury that I don't want to take for granted in 2015.