October 23rd would have been the 7th birthday of my second child, assuming he or she would have been born on their due date. It seems crazy to others that I can still remember dates that pertained to a child that I never saw, never held, never felt, but I still do.
Life after a miscarriage, yes...life does go on; but, those days, and weeks, and months following are very hard. I had no problems conceiving my first child, even with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, we tried for only four months and had a very easy pregnancy. When my daughter was 3, we decided to try again; we were financially in a better place, my husband was in the Army and had great insurance, so we felt the time was right. After a year of trying, I knew it wasn't going to happen without medical intervention because my periods were almost non-existent. I was put on Provera to induce my period and Clomid to release an egg; to my surprise it worked the very first round.
I was shocked, I'm a bit of a pessimist so I didn't really expect the medication to work as well as it did for me, let alone the first round. Somewhere, deep inside of me, however, did not feel right; and even though I had an ultrasound at 7 weeks that showed a growing baby with a strong heartbeat, I couldn't shake the feeling something wasn't right. My husband had been in the "field" training throughout most of my pregnancy, so he wasn't home for weeks. At 11 weeks, I went to pick him up at the barracks and excitedly showed him the ultrasound pics of our little peanut as soon as we walked through the door. I went to the bathroom, not 5 minutes after we got home and noticed a small amount of blood. I didn't freak out, I convinced myself it was just a normal part of pregnancy and everything would be just fine. I told my husband that we needed to go to the ER just to make sure and to ease my mind. After, many hours of waiting in the ER of Madigan Army Medical Center, I finally had blood drawn and waited, and waited, and waited. When the doctor came back he told me he thought everything was just fine, to my relief, but then he told me what my HCG numbers were, they were less than the last time they had been checked nearly 3 weeks before. I knew that was not good, but the doctor kept telling me not to worry about it, it was perfectly normal; I knew enough about HCG numbers to know that was not good. They couldn't find a heartbeat, the number were down, I knew it was over, and yet this doctor kept trying to reassure me its fine; they didn't offer to do an ultrasound, just told me to see my OBGYN in the morning. I walked out of the hospital trying to hold in my tears, barely making it to the car where my husband and daughter were waiting. It was 1:00 a.m. my husband was tired and cranky and I just didn't have it in me to break down on him, especially when he hadn't been home in weeks.
After he and my daughter finally got to go to bed, I walked into the bathroom, shut the door and completely fell apart. My heart hurt, it ached so bad, I had never felt so empty and so alone in my life. I sat in their for over an hour, even when I couldn't shed another tear from my heavy eyes, and questioned why me. I made my appointment to see the OB that next morning and walking in all I could notice were the 20 or so baby bumps. I looked at each one of those women and wondered if they knew just how lucky they were. I was so mad at them, I didn't know any one of them, but I really disliked them. I looked away, and grabbed my husbands hand, meanwhile the lump in my throat was growing larger. I could feel my eyes swelling and watering, I so badly didn't want those pregnant women to see me cry, but I did. I didn't just cry, I just burst out and my head fell into my husbands lap. I kept my face covered until the nurse called for me, and once I was in the exam room I was able to compose myself. The nurse and the doctor were so compassionate which helped, nothing was sugarcoated during the ultrasound, just a simple "I'm sorry, its not good". I got to look at the screen, it was just stillness, no heartbeat, no movement, just stillness. The doctor and nurse were wonderful, they sat with me and answered every question I had, offered to listen to me as long as they needed me to. To this day, I haven't forgotten how supportive and considerate they were; it was a horrible situation, but they made it at least somewhat easier. Later that night, while having dinner at a restaurant, I went to the restroom and well I will spare you the details; at least it was a nice restroom, we were going to go to Hooters but it was packed, could you imagine that. I stood there in the stall, the lighting was dark so I didn't really see anything; I felt sick because I thought this baby deserved better than being flushed down. How do you do that? That's part of you and your husband, I had loved it for 11 weeks, I had all these hopes and dreams for this baby and its ultimate demise was to be flushed away.
I found the greatest comfort in talking about it with others; I was surprised to find a vast number of women that I knew who had experience a miscarriage and they were so willing to share their story with me. Talking about it made it real for me, they knew how I felt, they understood the hurt and pain I was going through. To talk to people who understood, made me feel like it wasn't my fault and it will get easier. I spent so much of my time not wanting to forget, I didn't want my baby to be just a blip of my life, it was precious and real and I wasn't going to make it all for naught.
I wanted to try again, I felt guilty in a way, but, I wanted a baby. I planted a flower beside my home, as a tribute to my baby, I remember walking outside one day and "talked to this flower". I felt peace, and I told it how much I loved it, it would never be replaced in my heart, and I hope its waiting for me in heaven because it's the first person I want to meet when I get there. Maybe it sounds strange doing that, but I felt ready then to move on and try again.
I guess its true, you never forget and will remember them long after it happens. Here I am over 7 years later, still thinking about the baby I lost. I had 3 babies afterwards (twin daughters and then a son), all perfect pregnancies; I still wondered if it would happen again and both pregnancies following, prepared myself for another miscarriage.
Life does go on afterwards, but for me, I never forgot. The pain and heartache eases with time, but from what I understand that ease with time is different for everyone. My only advice is to talk with those who understand, find a friend or even the numerous online groups for miscarriages. Also, do something nice for yourself; get your hair done or a facial, get out with your significant other for a nice time. It won't ease any pain, but it will help you relax and its very important for your mental health to take a little time to de-stress. I went and had my hair cut and styled differently and it helped me, because for a brief moment I thought about something else that wasn't baby related.
One last thing, you will notice every baby and pregnant woman; it will seem like every time you go out you will see 100 pregnant women. I can't say to ignore it, but, try to see that as hopeful; women are still getting pregnant, so you will too one day when you are ready. It was hard to remind myself of that; but I had to take the anger I seen for these baby bumps and see it as a positive that they don't all end in a miscarriage. Who knows, they could have had huge infertility problems or miscarriages themselves.
I don't know how much this story or advice helps, but it is something I went through and I have always felt its important to talk with others going through this.