In The End

Here's the conclusion to my miscarriage story. If you missed anything I wrote about this subject, you can read more, here, here, here, and here. This post verges on graphic, and I'm only writing in this frank fashion so that those experiencing a similar situation can come here to commiserate, learn what they might expect, and hopefully feel less alone and afraid.

The short answer is this: It was a failed pregnancy. I hadn't miscarried fully yet, but the pregnancy was not viable.

gorgeous blooms sent to me by a dozen of my nashville friends -- making me feel so loved

When we got back from our travels, I had another round of ultrasounds and blood tests. The ultrasound experience was a mess. It hurt worse than before {probably because the pregnancy had grown a little since the first time?}, but I was still bleeding a lot, so I'll let you imagine what that transvaginal ultrasound looked like. 

Since I went in for the tests in the morning, I got the results in the early afternoon. No one was able to give me an exact answer or reason as to why this happened, but it was either a blighted ovum, or a miscarriage due to chromosomal abnormalities -- either way, it was nature's way of addressing a problem before it comes one. This baby simply wasn't meant for us.

The nurse gave me the bad news over the phone but comforted me by saying that I would be okay and this wasn't the end of my story. She also gave me the choice -- get a D&C the following week, or take Cytotec, which is basically the abortion pill, to empty out my uterus. Her recommendation was the pill, which I was grateful to hear because being put under and undergoing surgery really intimidated me. 

She called in the pills to my local pharmacy and when I went to pick them up, I was given the slight third degree. I think it's was one of this Tennessee blue law moments. The pharm tech asked me if I was pregnant and I said yes, as I had been saying to all medical professionals up until that point. She pulled the pharmacist over and I had to explain that I was already miscarrying, at which point he gave me the drugs. I paid the four bucks and change, stocked up of fluids, goo goo clusters and giant menstrual pads and packed it home. 

Alex had a big work party that night and I considered not going. When I spoke to my mom about it, she recommended having a little fun before what was gearing up to be a miserable weekend. I decided to attend and even allowed myself one glass of wine, a little treat I hadn't been able to indulge in the last two-ish months.

When I got home that night, I took the pills, installed a giant pad, and hoped for the best. I went to bed at midnight anxious but ready to have it over with. From what I read, it takes 6-8 hours for it to kick in. By morning, I was starting to feel period-like cramps. They came in waves, about 10 minutes apart -- like contractions, I suppose. I found it easiest to just sit on the toilet and let it flow during the most painful parts. Weirdly, I was mostly concerned with staining my clothes and the bed. 

While it was probably the worst pain I have ever experienced it my life, it wasn't unbearable. I guess I'm lucky to not have had much pain in my life thus far. I took Motrin to cope with the cramps, and the nurse said to call back if the pain got too bad. 

The physical pain didn't bother me, but the mood swings did. I vacillated between being grateful to have closure, to feeling despair that I might never have a child, to anger at Alex for having "done" this to me. I recognized that many of my feelings were irrational, but it was hard to control them. 

Unfortunately, my miscarriage lined up with one of Alex's biggest work weeks ever. In retrospect, it's for the best, I didn't want someone sitting at my bedside during this process, even my husband. I preferred to go through the process privately. Instead, he ordered me sushi and kept me plied with chocolate and drinks. 

dinner in bed // Bucket being all the company I needed

By Monday, the bleeding had greatly subsided and I was feeling almost back to normal. My boobs got the memo that I wasn't pregnant anymore and went back to their normal size. Pickles became disgusting to me again. And amazingly, the urge to pee had subsided.

While having a miscarriage was never on my life's to-do list, I feel totally at peace with it now. I learned so much about myself, my marriage, my goals, my body, and felt such a huge sense of love and community throughout the whole thing.

One thing that was really highlighted for me, and I think for Alex too, was my actual desire to become a parent. Everyone says there's no perfect time to become a parent, so you should just jump in. That's what we did. And seeing a positive pregnancy test was frankly a bit shocking... It was like "I guess we're ready because this is happening!" Having lost my first pregnancy put a lot into perspective. There's no way I'm going to be a perfect or full prepared mom, but I know now that this is something I deeply desire. I always knew I wanted to be a parent, but now I know that now is the time.

I'm moving forward with a renewed sense of hope. I feel so lucky that I did get pregnant, and feel so excited about the prospect of that happening. I know it sounds crazy, but I'm grateful for this whole experience.

I'm now embarking on what I'm calling my "pregnancy vacation." I'm going to drink a margarita, ride some roller coasters, enjoy some sushi and raw oysters, and wear my tightest jeans.

When I get pregnant again, I imagine feeling like I'll be picking up from where I left off -- as though it's the same baby, just a second time around.

If you read whole thing, I want to thank you for being there for me and virtually holding space for me. I also want to extend me condolences to you if you're experiencing this as well. Please know that while your experience will be different than mine, you are not alone. 


1 comment

  1. Hugs and high fives- you're really brave Annika. I love what you said about picking up where you left off- same baby, second time round. I think that will be very encouraging to others. XO- Maddie A


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