(Warning: Graphic details ahead!)
Has it really been two weeks since my last post? Seems like two days with everything that has been going on. Our week in North Carolina turned into an exercise in grief and loss. First D and I had to cut short our visit in Atlanta to stay ahead of any hurricane Katrina-related storms. Then Tuesday we weathered through a day with no power, no water at my in-laws house as the remnants of Katrina blew through. When the power did come back on, it was almost as if we were glued to the TV unable to turn away from the horrible devastation on the Gulf Coast. One day with no power, no water a small penance for what was happening there.
The loss got personal on Wednesday however. Mid-morning I started bleeding a little bit and when it didn't stop even after I lay down for awhile, I called my OB in St. Pete and he said I needed to go to the ER. Where, to my horror and disbelief, I found out that I was miscarrying our precious baby. Loss and grief don't even begin to describe what I felt and am still feeling. I called M who made arrangements to fly up a day early on Thursday to be with us. The ER doctor at Haywood Regional Medical Center was very compassionate and wisely made arrangements for me to see a local OB in the morning just to confirm what was happening. Unfortunately, the next morning (Thursday) I woke up feeling like I was in labor. The cramping/contractions were so severe I couldn't stand up. By the time my MIL got me to the OB I was bleeding heavily and couldn't really walk. So I ended up having emergency surgery - a D&C - under general anesthesia. With M not there. With D in the waiting room with my MIL. With me crushed under a black hole of loss and sadness.
Even after seeing my own OB back here in town and being reassured that it was just "one of those things" and we could try again as soon as we wanted to and yes, my age (almost 39) is a risk factor, but only in the 20-30% range since I already have a healthy baby, I wake up every morning not really comprehending that I'm NOT pregnant, that it really did happen. And have to cope with the fear that it could happen again. The one beautiful thing is D, who I am so grateful for. I can't imagine what it would be like not to have a child to hold during all of this and my heart breaks for women who miscarry on their first pregnancies, or who may have miscarried several times, or who may be waking up every morning wondering if they'll ever be able to carry a baby of their own.
I am fortunate to have two close friends who have been through miscarriages who understand how it feels and the emptiness you feel. They reassure me that it's OK, really, to feel like you're not over it yet. I wake up in the morning thinking, it's been two weeks (exactly two weeks today) and I'm still sad and depressed. I'm not over it. Is that OK? Shouldn't I have snapped out of it by now? No, I guess not. I am surprised at how many other women that I know have said that they also had one (and in a lot of cases, gone on to have more children!). It really is just something that we (as women) don't talk about. I don't like talking about it because the grief and fear is so personal and overwhelming that I ache and could just cry and cry all day thinking about it.
So, we are trying to resume our normally scheduled programming of preschool and playdates and parties and grocery shopping. We eat our meals, although sometimes a bit later than usual, and we walk the dog and I email my friends. I think it's called getting back to normal.