The past month has been a complete whirlwind and I have surprisingly chosen to share the story...
September 25. The best day of our lives... or so we thought. Gregg was in the kitchen unwrapping our take-out lunches and I was standing in the bathroom in disbelief. I shuffled out to meet him holding the most wonderful news in the palm of my hand. I raised it up so that he could clearly read the word Pregnant. We were ecstatic, shocked, amazed, excited, thrilled, overjoyed, shaking, nervous, nauseous ... you name it. Finally, after over a year of trying, and just a few days before our infertility testing was to begin, we were pregnant! We soaked that moment in for hours and eventually days.
After realizing we couldn't eat we wrapped up our lunches and just sat together discussing the most amazing news we'd ever had to share. Who would we tell? How and when would we tell our families? When would I call the doctor? It was the best Saturday ever.
We played with a few ideas and finally settled on how to tell our parents. We were so excited. They had no idea that we had been trying to get pregnant, it was to be a great surprise. We decided to make up signs. We sat together at the dining room table with a bunch of markers and crayons and created our masterpieces. Mine read, "I'm Pregnant!" and Gregg's read, "It was me!" We then took a picture of the two of us smiling and holding our signs and printed two copies - one for each family - and we decided to wait a week to tell them.
I placed one copy in a benefits enrollment booklet and told my mom that I had questions and needed help. When she leafed through the pages she found it - and she was over-the-moon. She kept asking, Is this real? My grandmother started to cry, she was overcome with happiness - I'd never seen her like that. And my father gave us congratulatory hugs and handshakes. Everyone was just thrilled.
We placed the other copy in a little box and wrapped it up to give to his mom. He handed his dad some Necco wafers and said, "This is for you" and gave his mom the present saying, "and this is for you." Within seconds we heard the scream of joy and his mom came rushing out to hug us tight and give us her congratulations. His dad, sister, her husband and his family were all very excited and it was a really happy moment. We felt like a weight had been lifted now that we let our families in on our big secret. What a great day.
My first appointment with the Doctor went well. I had all of my blood work done and naturally the pregnancy confirmation. I was then set up for our first ultrasound. It fell during the week of Gregg's vacation so he wouldn't have any trouble coming with me. We were unable to see the heartbeat yet because we were only six and a half weeks. I don't know why they scheduled it so early but we were excited anyway because everything looked good. She did mention that I was measuring a little small and suggested my dates might be off. Knowing that my dates were 100% correct I was a little bit confused. Unfortunately it became crystal clear to me this past week.
Last Friday night I started spotting. I have read and heard that this is perfectly normal and a lot of women go through it during early pregnancy. Over the weekend it continued and seemed to get a little heavier. On Monday I called the Doctor and made and appointment for the same day. I was unable to see my own doctor but a midwife was available. She immediately told me that she would be "unable to help me today." I was less than thrilled about that. I wondered why they wouldn't have just set me up with an ultrasound appointment. She went on to tell me that she would order an ultrasound for the next day and she urged me to bring someone with me. She continued to tell me that miscarriage was extremely common - instead of telling me what I hoped to hear, that my bleeding was normal.
That night I didn't sleep a wink. I had cramping and the bleeding became even more consistent. I was now convinced that I was having a miscarriage. I couldn't stop crying while trying to get ready for the appointment. I was nauseous and shaking. Gregg met me in the parking lot and when I saw him there I began to cry again. The unknown was tearing me apart.
We were called in for the ultrasound. The tech asked me if I wanted to see the screen and I knew right then that we had lost the pregnancy. I told her no and I looked as far away as possible. She said nothing other than, "You're gonna wanna speak to someone before you leave." She left the room with plans to arrange a visit with the midwife again, since my Doctor wasn't in. I looked at Gregg and said, "That's it." Those were the only words spoken as we walked back out into the public waiting room faced with the upcoming official bad news after just having our hearts broken. We fought back our tears for about fifteen minutes as we watched pregnant women and newborn babies breezing past us. I broke down and ran to the ladies room.
The midwife explained that it was a miscarriage and that at seven and a half weeks the pregnancy was still only five and a half weeks. It never progressed. We were completely devastated. I didn't even know what questions to ask. I hadn't prepared myself for this. We walked out to the parking lot and went our separate ways. Gregg had to drive his truck all the way back to work to get his Jeep and come home. I called my mom on my ride home because it was her birthday. We had plans to go to lunch and shopping but instead I gave her the heartbreaking news. She insisted that I go home and rest which is what I did. Gregg was there shortly after and we both immediately went to sleep.
I put away my pregnancy magazines and books, tucked away the congratulatory cards that we'd received, crossed out my upcoming ultrasound and check-up appointments on my calendar and began to process everything slowly. I thought back on the conversations that Gregg and I had - about ideas that we had for the nursery, to-do lists and even where we would keep all of the baby food and bottles in the kitchen. We were just so excited.
I am currently on day nine of this miscarriage. I have had hardly any sleep, some horrible -and at times agonizing- cramps and sadly, a constant reminder of our overwhelming loss. We know that everything happens for a reason and we know that this doesn't mean that we won't have a healthy pregnancy in the future - but that doesn't make it any easier. We are surrounded by loving families with lots of children, pregnant friends and birth announcements. And many of these friends had to struggle through the same unfortunate circumstance.
Disappointment is never easy. Having elation ripped out from underneath you is much like a balloon being deflated. What was once full and healthy becomes empty and pathetic. It is hard to remember the feeling of such great joy. But we have faith that we'll have it again some day. We only hope that it doesn't take another year to achieve.