The biggest thing I learned with my missed miscarriage in August, is to trust my intuition. The second biggest thing was that we didn’t follow the “12 week rule” (we started announcing to close friends and family quite quickly), and I’m glad we didn’t. I don’t think we will for the next pregnancy either. In my healing and learning, I’ve also found out that I had a chemical pregnancy in June of 2019. But that’s a different story.
I knew something was wrong. We got pregnant quickly after just 5 cycles, the test turned positive on Father’s Day in June. I spent all of July with a sinking feeling in my gut – my initial enthusiasm about the pregnancy had almost disappeared. A week before I started to miscarry, I told my spouse that something was wrong. He’s of the optimistic sort, and told me that no matter what happened we would be okay. My ultrasound that week when I should have been about 9 weeks showed a 6 week embryo – and the technician argued with me that I could have just implanted later than I thought.
I could rant about that clinic and technician for days. Their substandard of care complicated my life more than it should have, and they refused to print me a picture when I asked for one. I could rant about our medical system here in Canada (no, it’s not “free”), because I was forced to spend more time than I should have experiencing contractions in the Emergency waiting room, only to be told that they couldn’t say for sure if I was miscarrying, but to go home and rest. They kept calling it cramps. I kept correcting them – early pregnancy loss comes with contractions. I’ve had my fair share of cramps (thanks to endometriosis) and cramps is not accurate.
My miscarriage did not go smoothly. After initially passing the first sac on August 6th, I barely bled. A week later I felt the second sac pass, and if you know you know – you can FEEL it pass out of you. Still barely any bleeding. After some tests, it showed that I still had tissue remaining inside of me.
I did my first round of Cytotek at the end of August. I’m SO glad I had not started listening to other peoples stories at this point, because I was terrified just from the nurse telling me to not skimp on the meds (I was offered narcotics and anti-nausea medication). I think she must have had first hand experience with miscarriage – she was so adamant about taking more than just Advil or Tylenol. Everyone who is unfortunate enough to experience miscarriage deserves a nurse like her, she was one of the few medical professionals who was actually helpful during the process.
I took the Cytotek, and nothing happened. I had some twinges, a few cramps, but not really any increased bleeding. Not the pain that I’d been told to anticipate.
After my body didn’t react to that first round, I did another round at the beginning of September, this time it was the supposedly stronger two pill combo. Another weekend where we planned to do nothing since I was expecting to be bedridden, but again – nothing happened. I started to take my body’s lack of reaction personally. I couldn’t process everything until I was out of it, and I felt stuck in it.
I wound up with a D&C on September 15th, about 6 weeks after I first started to miscarry. I was exhausted, my heart and spirit felt broken. It was one thing to lose the pregnancy, but the fact that I couldn’t get my body to just cooperate and do what it was supposed to destroyed me.
There’s a plethora of details I didn’t include in this. I struggle between being too brief and giving too many gory details. Because it was gory, it was gruesome. It cut my heart into ribbons, and it took me a long time to start binding those ribbons back together.
I’m on my second cycle since my D&C. My last period was so needed – I finally watched my body do what it was supposed to do, for the first time since the beginning of my pregnancy in June. I never would have believed before all of this that a painful period could be cathartic – but it was.
The bad days are fewer and fewer now, but my advice would be to accept them the same way you accept the good ones. Sometimes the grief grips my heart so hard I can’t breathe. But I’m forcing myself to take it one day at a time – there’s still lots of hope that my next pregnancy will result in a healthy baby coming home with us.
I need to include two special shout outs with this.
The first, to B, my legal partner in crime. You’ve supported me every step of the way, and lifted me up when my heart was too heavy to let me stand on my own.
The second is the beautiful human who I am so glad to call my longtime friend, as she took these gorgeous pictures for me. The minute I told her about this, she was on board. Funny enough, she was also the first person I told I was pregnant this past June, and there’s a good chance she’ll be the first I tell next time I’m pregnant. Thanks for everything, A.
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