Inferior Imitator

ep·i·gone n. A second-rate imitator or follower, especially of an artist or a philosopher.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

180 Degree Turn

Obviously, I'm back.

My life has changed so much since I last posted; I met and married the love of my life and I conceived and lost a child. Most of my readers will know about the first, but not about the second, but that is what I need to talk about today.

I was at 9 weeks, 5 days when Joe and I went to the OB/GYN for the first prenatal appointment on January 16th. It had been going well so far: I had been exhausted, needing daily naps but no morning sickness. Neither Mom nor Emily had had morning sickness, so I was hoping I would have a similar experience. The exam went well, too - I had all my questions ready, and I received good answers from the doctor, which I was happy to hear because she was supportive of the type of pregnancy and birth experience I had wanted. "Let's go do an ultrasound," she said.

It was just like the first hill of a roller coaster. Long anticipation, and the highest high seeing that little shape on the screen, and the fastest drop, leaving my stomach behind when she said, "I'm sorry, sweetie, but there's no heartbeat."

No heartbeat.

I had been waiting to tell people - we had made plans with both our parents that weekend, so we could share the good news in person. None of that was happening now. It was the end of the day, most everyone had left the office, so I didn't have to see any other patients on the way out. Small blessing.

The doctor wanted to confirm with a more sensitive ultrasound, but all the techs had gone home, so I made an appointment for the next afternoon. Joe went to work in the morning, and I spent the couple hours before my appointment at the chapel, alone but not alone. I met Joe at the imaging clinic, where they confirmed my diagnosis: a missed miscarriage. I could either wait for a natural miscarriage, or I could elect a D&C. It was a difficult decision, but I opted for surgery. I couldn't start healing emotionally while I was still carrying my deceased child.

We went to the hospital the day after that, it was a relatively simple out-patient procedure. I had very little pain or bleeding and I was back at work by Monday.

Emotionally, I'm doing all right. I have good days and I have bad days. Baby bumps set me off, and Grandma accidentally made me cry at Easter, relating the story of a funeral for a premature baby from a neighboring congregation. I've had a difficult time telling people - they mean well, but the platitudes don't help. "It was God's will." "There was probably something wrong with the baby." "You can try again." That all may be true, but it doesn't lessen the loss at all. I try my hardest not to listen to the words, but to accept the comfort that is meant by them. No stranger to the grief process, I take each step as it comes, making my way to a new normal.

Joe has been wonderful. I couldn't have asked for a better partner, for a more supportive husband, for a stronger man. He knows he doesn't feel the loss like I do, but he still understands. It's terrible that we had to suffer something so horrible so early in our marriage, but we're stronger for it.

We are trying again. The doctor said it was a good sign we conceived so quickly the last time, and we're hopeful.

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