Thursday, April 19, 2012

my pregnancy with Ember: pregnancy after miscarriage.

I read a lot after the miscarriage about getting pregnant again.
I thought a lot about never getting pregnant again.
I dreamt about babies.
I dreamt about blood and bathrooms and pain.

There are many different viewpoints on pregnancy after miscarriage. In the middle of all the opinions, it comes down to making sure your body is fully healed, and ready. Even bigger than that I think, is making sure your mind/heart is ready.
I found a few different items suggesting that getting pregnant within six months of a loss was actually ideal.
I found first hand accounts saying it was so difficult emotionally.
I found stories about how healing it is emotionally.

I don't know.
I think you just gotta do whatever you feel you need to do.
I feel like before I go any further with this story, I need to say, that every person is different. But I really believe that processing and dealing with the loss is so important. I feel like my feelings toward every single pregnancy from now will be affected by it, but at the same time, processing and dealing with the emotions of the miscarriage, make a huge impact on just how much.
Everybody needs to do exactly what they feel is best for them and their heart. This is just my story. It is not a how to or a recommendation.

I ended up pregnant again simply because, well, I wasn't taking precautions to stop myself from getting pregnant again.
But I was hugely conflicted as to whether or not I wanted to be pregnant again.
A part of me was just dying inside to be pregnant. I wanted it all back, I needed that feeling again. I remember feeling so empty and so crazed with grief. I felt so incomplete.
The other part of me was to scared to suffer another loss. Or something worse. I was too shocked from it all. Plus, I think a part of me knew that it was never going to be the same again. It wouldn't matter how many pregnancies I might have. They would never be as carefree as that first one. Never.

When I got pregnant the first time, I really sort of just thought: pregnancy, then birth, then baby. Nothing else inbetween. If I was pregnant, then in 40 weeks or so I would have a baby. Plain and simple.
I knew miscarriage happened. I knew all kinds of things happened. But I just had this general attitude that none of that really applied to me. Why would it?

Even when I miscarried I was in a ton of denial. At the ER, the jerk doctor told me in the same breath, "We call this a threatened miscarriage, and this is a twin pregnancy". You know what I held onto? That I was pregnant with twins. It was a threat of miscarriage! So that meant everything could still be fine! And I was going to have twins! Until Sunday, when the second baby came and I could no longer deny what was happening...

I lost the twins in June, was pregnant again by the beginning of August. Found out I was pregnant the beginning of September. So, pretty dang quick turn around right?
I hated and still hate the idea that many people were probably thinking "wow, that was fast...." In the sense that we didn't really care about the miscarriage at all or didn't take the time we should have, etc. etc.

All I can say about that is, unless you're the one going through it, you really have no idea. Speculate and gossip all you want, but you're probably as far away from the truth as possible.
Uggghhh, the gossip hurt. The questions hurt. The looks hurt. The wonder hurt.
But haters are just always gonna hate right?

Oh, and can I just say, if you know anyone who suffers a loss, DO NOT say to them "you'll have more children". DON'T EVER SAY THAT. It doesn't matter how many more children a person goes on to have. You want all your children, each individual one. I will never be pregnant with those twins again. In my perfect world I would be raising them right along with Ember right now. It's the saddest day dream I have.

I started charting again after the miscarriage had completely ended, just because I needed to feel like I was doing something. Anything. Like I had some knowledge left about my body.
I was very in tune with my body before the miscarriage. I knew my cycles well and I felt very comfortable navigating everything.
It's pretty well known that everything can be very different for awhile after a miscarriage while a body heals and gets back to normal. But even just a couple weeks after, I was feeling hugely frustrated and angry. I didn't feel like I even knew my own body anymore. My first cycle after the miscarriage only angered me more and I felt like a stranger to myself.

pregnant and didn't know it.
  (Early August, pregnant with Ember and did not know it.)

The second and third weeks in August, I became obsessed with getting pregnant again. Obsessed may not be the right word, it's the closest one I can think of right now. I read stories every day about pregnancy after miscarriage, religiously kept up my chart and obviously, made sure I was doing what I needed to be doing with Neil to get pregnant. A lot. I was one of those women, turning sex into a chore. Luckily it was just for those couple of weeks, and I eventually chilled the eff out, so I hadn't made Neil completely crazy yet.

After that, I started to calm down about it all again and just decided, to let whatever happens, happen for awhile. I went back and forth between wishing for pregnancy and wishing for no pregnancy. I spent many of those last summer days just trying to find some calm. Trying to feel some sanity. I always felt crazy, I never felt "right". There were many days where few minutes were spent on the couch, or the bed, curled up in a ball, just crying and begging for things to be different. There were many days when that happened multiple times a day.
You can't really describe miscarriage or worse with anyone who hasn't been there. I never got it before. But boy did I get it then. I hate that I never really knew. I hate how difficult it is to feel like you can safely grieve something like this. It's a pretty uncomfortable topic I guess.

When September rolled around, I think it was a few days after the 1st, I started noticing that I felt nauseous some parts of the day. After the third day, I decided to be silly and take a pregnancy test. I took Neil to work and on the way back into town, I stopped at a Walmart (not my favorite place, but the only thing open that early in the morning.) bought a test and took it in their bathroom. Patience has never been a strength of mine.
It was so bittersweetly positive. Not at all very dark, but there it was. Is it possible to feel like a huge weight was lifted off of you, while at the same time feeling like another one took it's place? That was how I felt.

That night, when I picked Neil up from work, I had the test in my wallet. Actually, I carried that dang test around for about two weeks in my wallet. And a couple others I took eventually joined it in there. I just liked to pull it out and look at it. I would have taken a test every morning and another before bed, every single day, if I could have. Anyways, I go to get Neil from work. And I just hand him the test. And he just nods his head. He says, "OK." I remember thinking, how very different this reaction is from the first. How very cautious and sad. No kisses. No hugs. No high fives. Just... a huge sigh followed by more breath holding. I do remember, that we both seemed happy. It was just a very sad happy. A very scared happy.

There we were, starting all over again.
And that was the beginning. Looking back and knowing my darling girl so far, it makes complete sense to me that she is the one who was in there. My strong, wise little girl. It would be a couple months though before I could really attach myself to her. I hate that I felt this way, but I was usually thinking she would have to prove herself. She would have to stick around. A part of me was daring her to break my heart and go.

Another was terrified she really would.


  1. I feel compelled to phone and talk to you... this moved me to tears. I have no words really to describe the emotions I feel, but just know that I love you and think you are so brave. I'm proud to know you and to call you my friend.

  2. I hope the number I have is yours and that you got my voicemail. :) Love you!!

  3. You have such a way with the written word. I have two sets of friends who never wanted to have children but got pregnant and then miscarried. The sense of loss that they both felt was beyond deep and sad. People said things like "you never wanted children anyway"...why don't people think before speaking? Anyway, one of the couples has one girl and the other couple has two girls and they still miss the children that didn't arrive. Just saying...
    Sue Clarke

  4. "Is it possible to feel like a huge weight was lifted off of you, while at the same time feeling like another one took it's place?"
    Damn you, Dani!! I was fine until I read that part... you took the words right out of my heart. My miscarriage was 13 years ago.