Monday, October 15, 2012

Shatter the Silence

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In November of 2010, we were blessed to learn of a surprise pregnancy.  Although unplanned, our baby was not unwanted.  Our elation was short-lived; however, when I woke up to cramping less than a month after finding out.  I never imagined that I would have any problems.  I had two children, both planned pregnancies that progressed just fine.  It was apparent as the day progressed though that something was wrong.  It was a weekend, but I called our on-call doctor anyhow.  There is nothing that can be done though, and I was told to rest and come in on Monday.

We went about our weekend .  It was our Christmas shopping/tree decorating weekend and I didn't want to ruin that for the boys.  On Monday I headed to the doctor.  I had a lot of pain on my left side - sharp pain that was more than cramping.  They did an ultrasound and confirmed a miscarriage.  I knew already, but hearing it made it real.  For most, this is where the grieving and healing can begin.  For me, it really was just the beginning.

When you have a miscarriage, the doctors like to follow your hormone levels to be certain your body actually understand you are no longer pregnant.  For most, this only takes a short time.  For me, it went on much longer.  Each week I had to return to the doctor to have blood work completed.  Each week I was reminded of the loss I experienced.  Of the baby I would never hold.  I remember feeling pregnant still.  Cravings.  Nausea.  Mood swings.  I remember feeling unable to talk to anyone.  Putting a smile on my face because it didn't seem right to talk about it, especially over the holidays.

I would have been almost 14 weeks pregnant when the unthinkable happened.  I went to the bathroom as I thought I had a stomach ache but barely made it there.  I almost passed out sitting down.  The feeling got worse very quickly and I was taken to the hospital via ambulance.  The ER staff  determined I had a rupture of my left Fallopian tube and was suffering from a lot of internal bleeding.  I was rushed into surgery where my tube was removed and the bleeding stopped.  Thankfully, there was no permanent damage to the remaining tube and my body finally began returning to normal.

Through all of this I never have felt so alone.  I felt as though my body was broken and that no one could understand my pain. That no one would want to hear about it.   It took almost a year for me to even begin talking about it.  A year of being unable to think about a child I had never met without shedding tears.  Then I told someone about it and the next day was a little easier.  Every day since has been a little easier and all because a good friend of mine encouraged me to get it all out.  I wrote down every word, every feeling, everything I could remember and I sent it to her.  She didn't judge me or pity me.  She didn't pretend to have the answers or tell me it would be okay.  I don't remember the exact words she said to me because they don't matter, what does matter is she listened.  (Thank you, BB!)

October 15, is National Pregnancy and Infant Awareness Loss Remembrance Day.  Every single day, 2000 women lose a baby due to miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, or infant loss in the US alone.   This day is for spreading the word about pregnancy/infant loss and raising support for those who are affected by it.

Today, I want you to know if you have experienced a pregnancy or infant loss that you are not alone.  That you need not grieve alone.  Do not be ashamed or afraid to talk about your loss.

Today, we remember.
Today, we grieve together
Today, we shatter the silence.

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