With my previous miscarriages, I never fully grieved. Don't get me wrong, each and every loss took a piece of me, but I buried the sadness. No one tells you how to grieve or how you are supposed to feel when you lose a baby at 6-9 weeks. People who haven't experienced a loss might undermine your feelings which can make you feel like your grief is invalid- especially if your loss was early on. I've recently heard many stories of this happening. It was easier for me to hide the pain and move on. But the problem with that is that it always comes back in different subtle ways.
This miscarriage was different because I knew from the beginning I might lose them. For one, I was high risk and two, at the first early ultrasound showed no fetal pole. We didn't see the second sac until the 2nd ultrasound. I didn't tell many friends or family members just because I thought it would be easier for everyone. I began to bleed 2 days before Christmas and just assumed it was a full miscarriage since it was exactly like my last 4. I tucked away my grief yet again so my daughter wouldn't see my pain during the holidays.
I looked at websites recommended from the Healing Hearts grief resources webpage, but wasn't ready to find comfort in them and other people's stories. Earth Mama Angel Baby had sent me a care package with Harmony Tea, a Light of My Heart Candle, and Healing Heart Mist which were soothing. But I knew I was about to break, so I sought out a guru to teach me how to meditate. My goal was to learn how to control my thoughts and to just be silent. There was so much going on in my world that my inner voice was soo loud. I needed peace to have the strength to face this loss.
At the time I didn't want to face the fact that I "lost" the twins- so much in fact, I put off going to the Dr. for the final check up for another month. I was gaining strength from the mediation, so I made an appointment to get checked out in early February. The ultrasound showed they were still there- undeveloped. I opted to finally take the meds they had offered me in November when we saw the fetal poles had stopped growing. During this, learning how to meditate became a chore instead of a therapy. I couldn't keep silent enough to meditate. My third week on the miscarriage drug, I began to bleed heavily which put me in the ER.
This was one of the worst experiences of my life. The staff was cruel, heartless, insensitive, jerks- I could go on. When I told them I was miscarrying I was asked, "could you be pregnant?" "what makes you think that are you pregnant?" I mean seriously! I didn't even have a Dr. look at me until 4 hours after we had been there and I had soaked through 6+ pads. When the radiologist told me the sacs were gone, I argued that no, I see them right there. Even 2 other Dr.'s looked at the ultrasound and said they were gone. Of course no one listened to me. I was sent home with nothing. No I'm sorry's, no literature about dealing with grief from a loss. Nothing.
3 days later I showed up at my Dr. and asked her to do another ultrasound- that I knew they were still there. So they did, and they were. They scheduled a D&E for the next week. I was numb/crushed that I had to go through this a third time. I have lost my other angels from 6 weeks-19 weeks and this was my first D&E. After the D&E I still wasn't given any literature or sources for grief. I have a huge problem with this and want to start something to educate hospitals and Dr.'s. Honestly, if it weren't for Earth Mama, I would have never known there were grief sites dedicated to pregnancy loss. I have no clue why I never Googled it- but I didn't.
After my surgery, I went back to work the next day. Granted- I worked from home. I started the bury the pain- again- because it was too sad and hurtful to really feel. I was learning peace then I lost them two more times. I have lived comfortably numb for the past 7 months, focusing on life and how to get through it. Trying to breathe and find peace. On their due date, I lit the Light of My Heart Candle and said the prayer included. I also planted 2 trees for them.
Mama Melinda challenged me to help with the Earth Mama newsletter that was dedicated to Pregnancy and Baby Loss Remembrance Day. I've been preparing myself for the past couple of weeks- terrified of putting my story on paper. I am a writer- yet I haven't been able to find words to describe what I went through until now. And I am forever thankful that she gave me this task. I feel like a weight has been lifted- especially since I haven't shed a tear while writing this. I want to share my story in hopes someone out there reads it and knows they aren't alone. I want to do more- but first I want to heal. Take a deep breath and carry on.
Healing Hearts page dedicated to "What Do I Say."
You can read My Story on Earth Mama's website and see my Q&A with Jhene Erwin writer/director of the short film The House I Keep.
Thank you Melinda. (and now the tears start...)