November 19, 2016: (n.) the worst day of my life.
In October 2016, over a year after trying to conceive with no luck and already having given up on trying, my husband and I found out we were expecting. I remember the influx of emotions. What we dreamed of was becoming a reality. We were finally going to be parents. Immediately, my mind raced with ideas – nursery themes, bump picture ideas, pregnancy announcements.
I immediately booked my appointment with our OBGYN. Because she knew we were full of anxiety, she got us in for an early ultrasound at 5 weeks. The tech was able to see the sac, and the yolk. The doctor explained to us that there was no heartbeat, but that it was typically normal at this time. She booked us for an U/S exactly a week from then.
We went in for that ultrasound full of hope. I walked in, heart racing, but thinking: This could never happen to me. What are the chances? (Little did I know, they were 1 in 4.) Waiting for the U/S technician to look around was the longest 15 seconds of my life. She was unable to give me the news, but she did not have to say anything for me to know it was not good news. As I put my clothes back on, I remember sobbing and my poor husband tearing up as well, trying to console me. As my doctor was not in office, I was scrambled into another room to speak to another doctor to confirm the dreaded news I already knew. This doctor could not have been more insensitive. He threw statistics at me, and mentioned: The great news is, now that you got pregnant, we now know you are able to get pregnant. (Two years and one failed IVF cycle later, joke’s on you, doc.) I left the doctor, called out of work, and drowned my sorrows in food and sad music.
I felt like what we had so desperately tried for was given to us and ripped from us within seconds.
That same week, a nurse call me to discuss my need for a D&C. She also explained to me that it would cost us $1600 with my doctor. I explained to her that this was not affordable to us. She recommended we try to miscarry naturally, and offered me an address to our local abortion clinic, which offers a D&C for $400. A week later, we had not miscarried.
I remember hearing so many hopeful stories of a heartbeat not appearing until 8 weeks. I scheduled an appointment with my mom’s OBGYN. My husband and I, again, were so hopeful. Yet again, disappointment. There was no heartbeat, and our baby stopped growing at 5 weeks.
I scheduled my D&C for November 19th. At this point, I was numb. I had zero feelings, and wanted all recollection of this pregnancy to be done and over with. My husband and I, to alleviate the situation, laughed and joked on the 40-minute drive up there. Upon getting there, it was apparent I did not belong. The clinic was full of teenagers, laughing. Some were with a parent, others with their boyfriends. Some came with a friend and were gossiping. None discussing what they were here for. I wrote my name on the list and waited to be called. My husband held my hand firmly. We sat in silence.
Once my name was called, I asked if my husband could accompany me. I was told he would have to wait in the lobby. Tears brimming my eyes, I kissed him and went in. I paid the $400. I was then scrambled into a room, where a nurse quickly took my vital signs and asked me to remove all my clothes and cover myself with a blanket they provided. I was then escorted, still wrapped in a blanket, to a line of women. They were all wrapped in blankets. They were all in line for the same purpose. In all their faces, I read a hint of fear. As the line gets closer to the room, I could hear the noise. It almost sounded like a vacuum.
It was then my turn. I went in and immediately sat in the chair. An IV was placed in my arm, where the anesthetic would eventually put me to sleep. The doctor asked me some questions. To one of them, I remember tearing up and explaining it was a miscarriage. He attempted to console me, clearly uncomfortable, and told me it would be quick. I woke up from the procedure, not even realizing it had already been completed.
I was then escorted to yet another room for “recovery.” It was a tiny room with two recliner chairs. A girl sat on the other chair, asleep. I was sat in the chair, offered water and a heating pad. The cramps were almost unbearable. About 10 minutes later, I was allowed to leave.
I sobbed the entire way home, barely able to tell my husband about the experience.
While the procedure was quick and almost painless, I was left with an unbearable feeling of pain, disappointment, and emptiness. Nobody knew what we were going through. We hadn’t even told our parents, as we were waiting until at least 12 weeks to tell our families. Holding this secret, and then the pain, brought me into a horrible depression. I blocked out the hurt for weeks. I went out with friends, went on dates with my husband, until I couldn’t anymore. I broke.
This day truly was the worst day of my life. But I know that the day I’m graced with the ability to be a mother, I will only cherish my role that much more.
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. In honor of this, I decided to tell my story. This is such a taboo topic nobody talks about. But, the reality is, 1 in 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage – a mind-boggling statistic I had to learn about as I found out my baby had not made it. Spread the word. Tell your stories. I hear you. I hurt for you.