This is not one of those times that I am not going to reassure you and comfort you.
It will not matter how many times I say the words, “I am sorry” and I am sure if you are anything like me, you do not want to hear “I am sorry”. Then you don’t have to stumble across some unemotional response like “it’s okay” and it’s really not.
The truth is, many people are uncomfortable with the entire subject and have no idea how to bring you comfort so, I do not expect you to do it for me.
So, now let me tell you my comforting story with no comfort and no happy ending. Let’s just get it out, miscarriage, miscarriage, miscarriage. Enough said?
Now, lift your head back up, along with your eyes, and pass your shame somewhere else because not talking about my miscarriage will only make me feel worse. And maybe sometimes we need someone to be absolutely outspoken for others that don’t like to feel uncomfortable.
So, let’s start with the shockingly, unexpected, happy pregnancy that we recently went through.
When we saw the tiny heart beating at one hundred fifty-two beats per minute on the Ultra Sound monitor, we were in awe.
Some people were happy and others told me directly not to get my hopes up until after the first trimester. Why, you ask? Well, apparently after the age of 35, women are at high risk of a miscarriage. Still blows my mind! We didn’t tell a lot of people because I became fearful something horrible would happen.
Also, the blunt and shameful truth is that I had an abortion at the age of 17 and an induced miscarriage in my late 20’s. This put me at risk of miscarrying. I have seizure disorder and tachycardia (in layman’s term, a fast heartbeat), along with other minor concerns that are irrelevant to this story.
I stayed active, ate all the right foods, and continued work. Then I started to get extremely fatigued.
I am the type of woman that has no problem getting up at 6:30 every morning and go go going until 11:00 p.m. I started to exhaust about every two hours. After much frustration, I started to rest, nap, feet up, and chill. At seven or eight weeks, even being pregnant, this felt abnormal.
By week nine I already gained almost ten pounds, my hair was falling out at a rapid rate, and I could barely finish a day without laying down four or five times! It became a routine to wake up at 8 a.m. and ready for bed by 8 p.m., with naps! This didn’t feel as if it should be normal for a pregnancy.
Then the doctor called. The lab results for my thyroid came back abnormal and I was to speak to the specialist when I saw him at the end of the week.
There is no way possible that I am able write this next paragraph with comfort and eloquence but I can get straight to the point.
When the Ultra Sound appeared on the screen, I did not see a heartbeat. I knew what I was looking at.
What I did see was what appeared to be the fetus laying on his or her back, silent, almost as if he was sleeping.
The tech left the room and I broke the news to my partner. I needed to prepare him and start to prepare myself even though a small part of me wanted to be in denial and be wrong. Maybe the baby was sleeping!
The doctor came in and started to ask questions. I answered, knowing what he was going to respond to my next question. I asked, “is the baby okay”? He proceeded to tell us that the baby’s heartbeat stopped and it appeared to be a genetic defect.
A genetic defect! What does that even mean!?
I lifted my right arm over my eyes and reached out with my left hand. I was reaching for my partner but he was in so much despair that he could not move.
The doctor left the room and I attempted to find comfort in my partner. I knew immediately that there was going to be an issue between us as a couple when he was unable to reach out for me. I don’t think for one second that he didn’t want to. I saw the pain in his eyes.
So, me being me, I put my big girl pants on and decided I had no choice but to deal with the hand that I was dealt.
After my D&C, I was now a pregnant woman without a baby. Most of my symptoms still walked around with me, including the weight gain and fatigue.
The truth was, I did not want to tell anyone about the pregnancy or the miscarriage. I did not want to hear “I’m sorry” over and over again. It felt like an empty apology with the attempt to understand something not everyone can grasp. I am not sure the last time that I have felt so uncomfortable.
I continued yoga, martial arts, work, and did not alter any of my daily routines but I could not shake the fatigue, lack of concentration, or the random bursts of crying. For the first time in my life, I was dealt something that I did not know how to handle.
The emotional impact was an unexpected shock to me because I have never grieved before. I am the type of person who accepts things as they come and move on, not this time. I felt anger, blame, sadness, guilt, and depression.
At first, I blamed the miscarriage and the crazy emotions on hormones until my partner expressed the same symptoms. At one point, I thought his depression and blame were more intense than mine.
When I arrived home, his bags were packed, and he left me. The next day we spoke, he told me that he felt that I wanted him to leave and he felt as if I was pushing him away. This was very confusing because earlier the same day, I cried in his arms, telling him how much I needed him.
When he arrived home, he expressed the sadness and empty feeling our miscarriage was causing him. I did my best to comfort him but it was very hard to comfort while I was in my own pain.
The grieving continued and the fighting between my partner and I became uncontrollable. We pulled each other close. We pushed each other away. Our relationship became broken and it took a lot of work to put it back together. I cannot stress enough that talking, really talking and listening to your partner, is the most important thing in a relationship.
Men are often forgotten when it comes to a miscarriage. Our miscarriage was not my loss. It was our loss. It affected me, my partner, my family, my friends, and our baby. It is a human matter and not talked about enough.
I Am Katrina. 11.26.19