Monday, October 5, 2015

Breaking the Silence

Disclaimer: If you feel like sharing about your miscarriages or losses in life, I support that. If you feel like it's easier to deal with alone, I support that. Each person is different, and handles everything differently, and that's OK. I have done both, silent and alone, and for me, I've learned the silence only brought more pain, shame, and guilt.
That being said, as most of you know, I had my third miscarriage last Sunday. I had a feeling when I started some heavy spotting and major cramping Friday. But I held out for hope. I was taking progesterone, which worked for me with Weston. I had blood tests, and my hcg levels were doubling and extremely high. I felt really confident in this pregnancy. I thought, some women have spotting, it's normal. Don't worry. Some women cramp. It's normal. I probably just need to drink more water and put my feet up. It's normal. It'll all be ok, and in May, we'll be a family of six. Have faith in your body. I took my vitamins. I stopped taking any medications that weren't safe. I was taking it as easy I as I could as a wife and mommy, and owner of two businesses. I really thought I had this one in the bag. That my last loss was my last loss. We wanted one more, and it was going to be such a cherished pregnancy, knowing it would be my last.

We were back in South Sioux, helping Craig's parents move into their beautiful new home. It was so fun to have family around, and moving into a new house is so exciting. The kids were even super excited to help Grammy and Grumpa. I had a lot of cramping Saturday, but pushed through and didn't overdo myself. Sunday morning I woke up with extremely heavy bleeding, worse than after I had my babies. TMI for some of you, sorry. You might want to skip the rest of this paragraph. I was soaking through a pad in about 5 minutes. Not normal. I could barely walk. Not normal. I was feeling very dizzy and weak. Not normal. I was seeing spots. Not normal. By the time I made it to the ER, my blood pressure was very low and dropping, and I was tagged for a blood blank transfusion. I had never seen so much blood loss. I was so scared, and so thankful my Mom was there (she's a nurse), to calm my nerves. The nurses were all awesome, keeping me calm, and the nurse in charge got my IV in on the first try, which never happens. I had an ultrasound, a pelvic exam, where I learned my uterus is severely tilted to the back, so much so even two Dr's and lots of pain later, they could not get any tissue out that they saw was there on the ultrasound. So, this meant I needed to have surgery.

With the other two losses, everything just passed naturally and no surgery was needed. I was really scared, and called Craig immediately and told him to come to the hospital. He didn't know what a D&C was, and to be honest, I really didn't either. They took me back to the OR immediately, because of all of my blood loss, put me to sleep, and when I woke up, I was on the labor and delivery floor. I was in a lot of pain. Physical and emotional. I really thought this last pregnancy was going to be a success. I felt like a failure. I felt shame. I felt heartbroken. It's hard for some people, especially men, I think to understand. I am a super emotional person. Most of you probably know that. And I'm a dreamer. And the minute, no, the second, I get a positive pregnancy test, I start planning. I start preparing my heart for another baby. I start thinking of  names. I think of if this baby will be a boy or girl. If they will look like me, or Craig, or somewhere in-between. If they will have Callie's beautiful eyes or Tanner's sense of humor, or Weston's little smile. I'm instantly bonded with this tiny ball of cells growing inside of me. It's a baby to me. It's part of our future. And now, all of that was gone. Again. I can't tell you how painful it is to have every single nurse and doctor ask you, "How many pregnancies have you had? And how many living children do you have?" It's heart-wrenching.

But with all of this pain, this week, God is showing me my blessings. I've been pregnant six times. I have three living children. I HAVE THREE LIVING CHILDREN. They are healthy. They are beautiful. They are funny, smart, and caring. I am blessed. I am so lucky. I have so many friends who struggle with fertility, some with getting pregnant, some with carrying a pregnancy, some with both, and some who can't have any biological children at all. I have some friends who have not had nearly enough time with their babies before they left this earth. They are all so strong. And I am so blessed.

I have the best friends. The best family. The out-pouring of support and love shown to me this week has shown me who my friends are. Who I can count on. Who is willing to stop in their busy day to leave me a note or say a prayer for our family. And this is why, this time, I decided to share it. I've done it alone, and it sucks. I've now done it "in public" and well, it still sucks, but I don't feel alone. I feel lifted up. Writing is such therapy for me, and a release. I am not a bottle it up kind of person. I definitely wear my heart on my sleeve.

If you've gone through a loss, don't go through it alone. If you don't want to share it with the world, I understand that. Everyone has their comfort levels. I'm pushing mine, I'm telling you! But I'm doing it in hopes that I can help a friend going through the same thing. Or in hopes to "normalize" talking about it, so we don't have to suffer in pain, shame, guilt, and silence alone. But talk to someone about it. A friend (me!), your spouse, your mom, your dad, your siblings whoever you feel comfortable with. And just know that it's not your fault. You're not alone.

Looking forward, we will try again, when the doctor says it's safe to. I will probably be a nervous wreck for a while. Miscarriages steal your peace. Every twinge, every little teensy spot of blood, every little cramp brings a mountain of worry. But I will get through it, I will have faith in my body, in my doctors, and most importantly in God that whatever His will is, will be done. And in the meantime, while my body recovers, I will be so thankful for the children I have, the husband I have, my friends and my family, and doctors, nurses, and medicine. And I will be praying that my 7th pregnancy is a successful one, with a beautiful little baby that might have Callie's  beautiful eyes, Tanner's sense of  humor, or Weston's little smile.