A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Miscarriage in the Modern Age

When I was little, I passionately read all of the Little House on the Prairie books. I even read the later ones, THE FIRST FOUR YEARS , which most girls I knew didn't. I loved them, and the stories of a family growing and changing.
There was one part of the story I'll never forget.
Laura has a miscarriage. She didn't know she was pregnant.....and suddenly she's stricken with the pain and loss of miscarriage. She says of it, that she is surprised how easy it is to have a baby, and how hard it is not to have one.
Who knew a pioneer woman would nail it so concisely?
I found out I was pregnant over two weeks ago,when a test showed me a purple plus sign.
It explained the nausea, the ickiness,the overwhelming sleepiness. And my breasts started to hurt.
For days, my husband and I were surrounded with joy - because another little beam of light was coming to live with us and if nothing else we are baby people. We adore them. Despite the stress and the chaos and the financial burden, nothing fills our hearts like our children.
It was good news.
I told my family, breaking the "tell no one before 12 weeks" rule. I made a doctor appt.

And I was ready. Plans were starting to form and the idea of a bassinette in my room felt very real.

The Saturday before Christmas shopping I stumbled to the bathroom at 6am to pee, and blood stained my toilet paper.


I crawled into bed and told my husband I had lost the baby. He reassured me, he held me, reminded me I spotted with the other two pregnancies at this time. I remembered - Implantation - was that it?

So we waited.

And the spotting continued. I called the doctor, and they put me on a hormone to help "prolong" the pregnancy until I could be seen after Christmas. The Doctor on Call using phrases like "at your age" which made me want to THROTTLE HIM. "FUCK YOU MADONNA HAD BABIES LATE FUCK YOU - PEOPLE HAVE BABIES LATER NOW DON'T YOU DARE SAY I AM TOO OLD TO HAVE BABIES YOU FUCK WAD!"


And the spotting continued.

And got worse.

So I went to the doctor and they did a urine test. Which was positive. But, they saw nothing on the ultrasound. So we did a blood test. To test the HGH. The plan, as stated, was that if the HCG was positive (which he anticipated) that I would then come back in a few days for a second blood test to see if the HGH was going up or down. If it went down, I was miscarrying.

So I went to work.

And started to bleed for real.

Back in the day, your friends came over. They brought casseroles, and your mom could take your kids for a few days. You could grieve with your spouse over your loss. During a modern miscarriage I sat and delivered developmental feedback to employees, made schedule changes for '08. Planned for the future.

Even as one possible future leaked out onto a maxipad in my panty hose.

Over the past weekend, everything concluded itself, as my body expelled the human it tried to grow along with everything else in my uterus.

Laura Ingalls Wilder was right.
It is much easier to HAVE a baby than to not have one.


Anonymous said...

Love you

Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

I'm so sorry.

I've been there too. It blows. I wish I could bring you a cassrole. Or a 12 pack.

April Brandon said...

I too know your pain and sorrow. I would totally take your kids for a few days, if I were only closer. We love you!!!

Kiran Vennum said...

I don't know what to say. I just lit a candle for your loss.

Anonymous said...

They say that nothing worth having is ever easy, but that's little comfort at a time like this. For someone who was never supposed to be able to get pregnant, you sure have proven the doctors wrong. The crap about your age is yet another thing for you to prove them wrong about. Women are having healthy pregnancies well into their late 40s now, and you're not even 40 yet. No matter what happens, your family and friends love you and respect you for being the great mommy that you are, and we'll be here for you always. I'm sending you a big hug right now!

Devra said...

I want the number of that on-call doc. Either he is a dumbass or an insensitive prick, but either way, that doc needs some serious continuing education!

If I knew how to make a casserole, I'd bring you one. I do know how to buy shots however. We're thinking of a trip down your way later this month. I will keep you posted! : )

Anonymous said...

i am sorry for your loss. i had a very similar miscarriage in 06. i went to the doc during my lunchbreak, got the official word... and then had to go back to work. modern-ness sucks.

Unknown said...

I share in your sadness. I've put in a prayer for you and your family. Hugs.

technomom said...

I'm sorry. We just "met" but I'd bring you a casserole if I could, and take care of your little ones so you and your husband could have some time to recover.

I had a string of miscarriages every November, right around my birthday, for several years in a row. I really hate my birthday.

After the first, I didn't tell anybody but my partner and my doctor. Nobody else seemed to know what to do with the information anyway--there was just an uncomfortable silence. My mother said something deep like, "Oh." Someone else said something oh-so-helpful about how women are constantly miscarrying so early that we usually don't even know that we're pregnant. Um, yeah, thanks.

I'll be thinking about you and your husband.

Christa said...

I will say I am sorry, because I truly am, even though everyone always says it. I have lost two, and I have four beautiful and adorable living children. It was early when I lost them, but I am still a mother to six, even if I was robbed of the chance to know two of them. It's the emptiness inside, your baby is there and then they're gone, and you are helpless to stop it. I grieved and I wrote letters to the children I would never see, and I put them away with all of my childhood report cards and saved Valentine's cards. Then I shared my pain and when I did I discovered I was not alone in my loss. It was then that would begin to heal.

Grieve with your husband and cuddle your children. And on that crazy notion of your age... my youngest brother and I are 21 years apart. My mother was well into her 40s and her doctors were cheering for her all the way, and that was over a decade ago. I guess that crazy doctor (who spoke to you) just goes to show that just because someone *can* be a doctor, doesn't mean they *should*.

Good luck, and much love, even if I am only a new Twitter friend. :)


Grayson: Atlanta, GA said...

I had forgotten all about the miscarriage in The First Four Years. Heck, I'd forgotten all about The First Four Years! I'm at Little Town On Prairie with my near-8 yr. old right now, and thank you for reminding me of the post-house books. I'm going to order them now and re-read.

Having a miscarriage was one of the bleakest, strangest moments in my life. The whole "process" was so cold, impersonal, and done so amazingly poorly apparently that a week or so after my scheduled D&C, I started hemmorraging so badly, at work, that when I got up from my chair, I was literally standing in a pool of blood that had just poured out of me. It didn't hurt in any physical way, but it was one of the most terrifying things I've ever experienced.

But, as did Laura, we get up, brush ourselves on, and move on to the next thing life brings our way.

I am so sorry you went through a miscarriage.