I confess that before this week I lived in complete and utter ignorance when it came to miscarriages. I was under the naïve impression that if it happened fairly early on, that everything just came out in a rush, all at once, and then it was over with. I pictured it kind of like when a woman’s water breaks before she goes into labor – messy, but very little physical pain.
When I first began bleeding this week, and I knew what was happening, I called my doctor’s office and also spoke with several friends who had had miscarriages in the past. They all told me the same thing: it’s like a heavy period. And since I’ve had some pretty bad periods in my life, I thought I’d be able to handle it just fine. I thought I’d be back at work on Thursday, or at the latest Friday. Well, maybe for some people it is like that. But for me, it wasn’t even comparable.
When this all started on Tuesday, my body didn’t hurt too badly. I spent most of the day in bed just because I didn’t feel up for anything else. On Wednesday morning I was still planning on going back to work the next day, so I got up, took a shower, and got dressed. Almost right afterward some pretty bad cramps hit, so I changed out of my jeans and into some PJ pants and crawled back into bed. It was at this point that the heating pad (which is now practically attached to me) made its first appearance and I began popping ibuprofen like candy. I spent that day sleeping, reading, and watching HGTV with my mom. Between her and my husband I didn’t have to leave my bed for anything other than to go to the bathroom.
Since Wednesday had been harder than I expected, I went ahead and called in sick to work on Thursday. I still thought that the worst had passed, but at 1 a.m. on Thursday I was woken up by the most terrible pain I’ve ever experienced in my life. It steadily increased for two hours until I was crying, writhing, and wailing. The only sentence I could get out was, “God, you have to help me,” which I cried over and over. I felt like my insides were being ripped out of my body. We considered going to the ER, but I had a feeling the pain would pass, and it eventually did. I slept for a couple of hours before more cramps woke me up, although these were bearable in comparison.
Thursday morning was spent bedbound, and although I felt better, I was eventually persuaded to call my doctor. She called in a prescription for Vicodin, but at this point I didn’t think I’d need it. I thought that surely, this time, the worst was over.
David had been home with me this whole time, but he happened to have a doctor’s appointment himself that afternoon that he couldn’t miss. He wanted to pick up my prescription for me before he left, but it wasn’t ready yet. I was feeling good, so I let him go. The next hour was one that I wish I could blot out of my life, but I know it will be seared on my mind forever.
The pain came back suddenly, even worse than before. I don’t know how I did it, but somehow I managed to drive myself to the pharmacy, pick up my prescription, and drive home. I am proud that I did this without fainting, getting in a wreck, or vomiting all over my car. It was by far the hardest task I have ever had to do, because I felt like I was going to explode. I thought I was living the last moments of my life.
I barely made it in my door and to the bathroom before my body accomplished what it had been trying to do: push my baby out of my body. I will never forget the plop it made in the water, or the way it felt sliding out of me. I didn’t realize it would be so big. I thought it had already gone, and I wasn’t prepared. I cried and cried. I said goodbye again.
After that, the worst of the physical pain really was over, although I was not free of significant cramping. I made a conscious decision that I wasn’t going to throw up, took a Vicodin, got into bed, and called my sister-in-law because I couldn’t be alone. She came over as soon as she could and spent some time crying with me and praying for me. After I had grieved myself dry, we lay there together and relaxed. I knew that I had just lived through the worst day of my life so far, and it could only get better from there.
Today I’m recovering. I have very little pain now. I was able to shower, dress, and do a few chores already today, and plan to make a trip to Target with my sister-in-law later which I am really looking forward to. I don’t have to go back to work until Monday, and even then my manager told me to only come if I’m really ready. I’m still quite weak and have very little appetite, but I’ve turned a corner.
So that’s the ugly story of my miscarriage. I didn’t realize I could live through such pain. Before this, I thought I wanted to have a natural childbirth. I still like that idea, but if it is anything like what I went through this week, I don’t know if I can do it. I want to get pregnant again as soon as I can, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared, because the possibility of this happening again is always there.
Before I go get back on my feet, get back into life outside my bed, and start writing about more normal subjects, I just want to thank everyone for being there for me. I can’t count the number of comments, e-mails, texts, and phone calls I’ve received, from family, close friends, acquaintances, and people I’ve never even met. Some just to say I’m sorry and offer whatever words of encouragement they can, and others to share their own stories with me. I want you to know that I treasure every single word, and anytime I hear from someone it lifts my spirits.
With God’s help and with all of you, I know I can do this. I’ll be okay.
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