The fog is lifting, I can see the way through
I wasn’t going to write about this, I didn’t even want to deal with what was going on, let alone talk about it.
After an amazing evening with some insightful messages and one of my besties; and after admitting it to myself, I said it out loud to her.
“I’m just now starting to come out of my grief stricken depression.”
“I know you are, and I know you were but I also knew you needed to do your own thing, so I never said anything about it.” My friend said to me, with such love it made it easier to talk about.
I said it to someone over the weekend when we were casually talking about babies and our kids growing up, and she was very sympathetic and said something that is so true.
“We don’t talk about the sad feelings, we don’t talk enough about grief”
We tend to just sweep the sad feelings under the carpet, or we tend to try and brush them off, not talk about them or we try and fix them, try and make ourselves rush to feel better faster than we should.
I remember just recently I was helping my mother cook food for our family and put down my 6 month old nephew, he wasn’t having any of my mom’s techniques and she pushed me in to rock and comfort him to sleep. As I look into his beautiful sleepy face, nuzzling his soother back and forth, I completely lost it, I cried. I couldn’t handle the feeling of wanting, needing and knowing that had I not miscarried, I would be rocking my own baby to sleep. I sobbed as he drifted off, and I wept as I held him. He’s such a cute amazing baby and I love him so much, it wasn’t an angry cry, just a sorrow filled grieving one, mixed with the love of his beauty.
I wish I could have just let it all out but I quickly realized that I couldn’t go out and just cry in front of my family, so I forced myself to stop and wipe away the tears. My mom saw but didn’t say anything and we just went on as if nothing was wrong.
I held it in for quite a while, and when we were on our way home, talking to my husband, I got it all out and cried for a long time. I needed to cry, it had been so long for that release. He just touched and rubbed my leg as we drove home.
We had been trying for another child for a few years, going to the doctors and finally getting a referral to an obstetrician I felt encouraged that I might get some answers and help.
At the beginning of August last year, I went in to the OB and he scheduled me for an ultrasound, my last cycle was super super light and that was abnormal for me. If the ultrasound was clear we would do a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG).
I did the ultrasound on August 9th, 2014, and the ob office assured me it would inform me of any results. I didn’t hear back within a few weeks so I naturally assumed everything was okay for the (HSG) so I called and tried to book one, but the dr was on vacation so I was to wait until my next cycle and call back (the did not mention the results from the ultrasound so I assumed all was ok).
At the end of August, if you remember from my post about the big dig, I rushed myself to the emerge department the following an exerpt from that posting:
“About the end of August, just after our summer vacation, I went to the hospital with acute chest pain, arm tingling, headache, dizziness/vertigo, light-headed. When I got to the hospital my BP was 140/89 and my resting pulse was 129. Normally my BP is 120/70 and my resting pulse is around 80. I waiting for 6 hours before being seen, apparently they called my name earlier but I didn’t hear them. I find that odd as I was sitting right next to the door for the emerge triage room. So, I think they mixed up the papers. The Guelph General Emerge room, is always packed and there is always HUGE wait times. The nurses there are amazing, with the odd grouch here and there. They got me back into a room and my pulse and BP was still up, same with the pain. I got very dizzy and was thankful for the bed. They did every test they could, and everything looked okay, they gave me a bunch of fluids and my pulse came down. I still had the pain in my chest and vertigo but all the tests told the doctors I wasn’t anything major, it wasn’t a heart attack or a stroke, but he was referring me to a cardiologist. So, sitting in the hospital for over 11 hours didn’t result in any answers; except I wasn’t having a heart attack or a stroke.”
I even remember asking the dr in emerge if it could have been cycle related as I had a really painful cramping, very heavy clotty menstruation and I bled out onto the bed. He dismissed it.
As the months went on, my periods were getting worse and worse, more clotty and painful, and finally after the biggest clots and period I’d ever had, I went to my general practitioner doctor on Feb 20th (6 months after that emergency visit). I told her what was going on with my cycles, that I had thought something was seriously wrong. Then she said something to me that took my breath away.
“Well, you were pregnant in August, I’m reading it here in your ultrasound results”
“what… what do you mean”
“5-6 week gestation with implanted focus”
As she read those lines I went into shock.
I couldn’t breath and I needed to get out of her office, I told her I never knew and that I never received the report from the OB.
Her face went white and she told me, she was ‘cc’d’ on the results from the OB and that she/her office, most likely thought I was following up with the OB as my last pregnancy was so dangerously high-risk.
What was going on with my body was its own way of expelling the fetus etc over months at a time, and that day that I went to emerge, I was having a miscarriage (that is why when I went to the Heart specialist he told me he was 100% clear nothing was wrong with my heart).
No one knew, no one told me that I was pregnant and I didn’t know. I was in shock.
My husband sleeps during the day because he works permanent nights, so I called my mother, weeping, sobbing, shaking, trying to tell her what was going on.
I checked my work mail on my phone and I had to get back to work to do a web posting. God was watching me because I don’t know how I drove, parked my car and walked up to my work. My boss stopped me and told me I need to update something right away, and I was sobbing in complete convulsions and explained to him what happened, I really just wanted to go home but I needed to do an update.
I just sat at my computer in auto mode, I did the update through tears. Then I reached for the phone and called the OB office.
I was very teary and very upset.
I explained to her what had just happened and that I needed to get an appointment asap with the OB, she told me he was on vacation that whole next week, but that she would send me for an ultra sound to make sure everything was expelled, and nothing was remaining. Scheduled me for the first available appointment for him upon his return and a pre-booked HSG for the first day he was doing them.
She also told me there were no records of the ultrasound, that they never received it from the Lab. I asked her how was that possible when the requisition came from that office? and I had called back to make appointments after that and nothing was mentioned about it? what if I had gone through and had an HSG scheduled with that missing ultrasound??? The only answer they gave me was that the lab did not send the results back to them, and only to my general practitioner. That they didn’t have it on file.
What happened to me was an unfortunate clerical mistake.
Fortunately, all the tests came back clear from my uterus, no scaring and no tubal damage.
I took two days off work, and although I could have used more time, I didn’t feel like I could take more than that. I spend the two days lying, crying. SOBBING. Thinking that I had a baby for 9 weeks, and then I didn’t. After years of trying, then nothing.
I felt anger and rage. I felt sorrow and longing. I was in shock and grief. I was just trying to be honest with what I was feeling and knowing that there was nothing I could have done to save him or her.
The following few months, I have spent in what feels like moments of happiness (with my daughter and family) through large time frames of depressed state of morning, loss and nothing. I’ve been struggling.
Every night after work I come home exhausted, my husband goes to get my daughter and I am so grateful for our time together that it is all about her until bedtime. Then, I would crash on the couch. I didn’t want to do anything so I would drown my depression into Netflix series after series. Not talking, just laying there, watching the tv.
I spent some time looking for answers, could I have helped? could I have done anything to prevent it? I should have called and forced answers? I should have called and checked up with the ultrasound…..I would get teary and talk about trying again and what my options really were. I asked close friends for advice, looking for answers.
What are my options?
I can’t do hormone therapy because my risk of a stroke would increase to about 1/500. If I got pregnant again I would need to take progesterone during the first months to help the implantation. I would need to go on heart medication right away as this is what my OB thinks happened, my BP skyrocketed, causing almost like a mini-stroke to miscarry. My body doesn’t do pregnancy well. So, the risk for stroke is even greater with a second pregnancy. Do I really want to risk having this happen? I don’t want to die.
Is it okay to have one child, I mean I know its okay, but will I be okay, will she be okay being an only child? I feel so much guilt about this, it is insane how much guilt I have.
We are very much open to adoption, we wouldn’t be able to afford a closed adoption. We agree that we would love to open-adopt a little boy or girl. When the time is ready for our family, we will most likely adopt. We have read a little bit about the process and have started talking more about this, if you have any information please message me! I’d love to learn more about how this works, the process and how we can start looking into it deeper than we already have.
Why do I say that I’m coming out of the grief stricken depression?
I feel motivated to do things I love again. I’ve made plans to start new things, like roller derby. Something I have wanted to do for years and years. I’ve started to take pleasure in how I look again, wearing make-up when I go out and wearing my jewellery again.
I feel more motivated to be not sitting at night and out doing things, being more active and creative.
I’m writing this, I always come to writing when I need to get things out. It always makes for great therapy.
I know that I will always be sad when I talk about my miscarriage and when I think about it. That will never go away. Its not dark anymore and the fog is lifting, I can smile when I see a pregnant lady and not fake it, I can look at babies not tear up.
I recently came across this post about what not to say to someone who has had a miscarriage http://totallythebomb.com/5-things-not-to-say-to-someone-who-had-a-miscarriage its all true.
The best thing you can do is just say “I’m sorry for your loss, I love you.” Check in from time to time and just be there for them, listen to them talk and just be beside them.
My hope is to open up the dialogue and talk about something that a lot of women don’t talk about enough. Miscarriage, loss, postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, postpartum psychosis, depression, sleep-deprivation, going back to work, trying to work full time while coping, from all sides, from every angle. Not one person is the same and not one person will have the same experience but we can all talk and share and open the communication to help the healing.
I have vowed to start my visual drawing and writing journal again, and I’ll be pleased to share as I go along with that.
In closing, I feel, grief is not a one way street, it is not something you can rush and it can last a very long time, years, but whatever you need to do, talk about it, feel it, and connect with loved ones. Find help if you need to through your doctor. Take time to find things in your daily life that you are grateful for, appreciate the small things. Your life is full of amazing things, just choose to find them.
Today I am grateful for coffee, sleeping-in cuddles with my daughter and kisses from my husband.
p.s. Always follow up with your test results, never trust that a doctor will call you. Advocate for yourself and your health.