Around Christmas time in 2011, Mike and I were living with our friend Ruth. We had a sweet little apartment two blocks from Greenlake in Seattle. While we loved Seattle, we were thinking about moving back down to SW Washington when the lease was up. With the jobs we had, there was little chance we would be able to afford the kind of home we wanted in King County. We also didn’t really feel like we wanted to raise our kids in the city. Ruth had gotten me an amazing book on Urban Homesteading. It pretty much revolutionized my life. I was already into growing plants on our patio and had talked about owning chickens since I was a wee little girl. The type of house we wanted would have a little bit of acreage so we could plant a big garden and have a few farm animals. We wanted a place we could take on a journey for the rest of our lives. Seattle wasn’t going to cut it.
With moving South on our brains, we decided we’d try to start a family. I quit all of my meds within 2 weeks of that day, and by the end of January, we got a positive on the pee stick! We were SO excited! We tried to wait a little while to tell anyone, but around 6 weeks, we broke and told my parents and a few close friends. I was so happy to have a possible October baby, because its also my birth month and I was just sure this kiddo would learn to love Autumn as much as I do. Mike was also stoked because the Chinese Year of the Dragon was about to kick off, and he wanted a little Dragon baby!
Things were going pretty well. I had some of the usual symptoms but I didn’t care! It was all going to be worth the discomfort. We went in for our first ultrasound around 8 weeks. I was so excited to see the little nematode. I knew it wouldn’t look like much, but it was OURS. We made that little thing! Sure enough, there was a little tiny salamander baby in there.
“There’s no heartbeat.”
My heart crashed to the floor. I had some blood drawn earlier and they noticed my HcG was not going up like normal either. They told me I was going to miscarry.
My options were to have a D&C to remove the tissue, wait and let my body do it’s thing, or induce with misoprostol (Cytotec) and possibly be able to do it at home. I opted to try to let my body decide when to let go. After another week or more of nothing happening, no cramping, no bleeding…etc, we were getting dangerously close to a three week vacation we’d planned to visit Mike’s family and then take some R&R over in the Dominican Republic. At that point I opted to try the misoprostol because I did NOT want to be chilling on the plane and BAM. I also did not want to miscarry at my in-laws. They did not know we had been pregnant yet and that wouldn’t really be the best way to share it? Also, I didn’t feel comfortable being in the DR if I needed additional medical attention.
After a horrifying hour plus long visit to the pharmacy where they messed up my prescriptions several times and also gave me judgey eyes, as if I were trying to abort my child as a method of birth control…I finally made it home. I just wanted to get the show on the road so I could recover somewhat before having to pretend none of this happened while on vacation. I had no idea what I was in for.
The whole process of clearing out my uterus took a week or more. The first couple of days were awful. I was between the bed and the toilet and in pain almost constantly. After most of the stuff came out, I’d have a day where the bleeding wasn’t so bad, and I thought it was pretty much done, but nope. I’d be on my way to a friends or work and pass a chunk and bleed a TON while in the car and have to run to the restroom immediately upon arrival.
Finally things calmed down enough that it was just like a regular period. My emotions ran the gamut during these weeks. It WAS one of the hardest times of my life. Things have changed and I’ve had worse times now. Way worse, but I think miscarriage is a pretty hard thing for anyone. Whether it’s their first pregnancy or they have a kid already, it’s hard stuff. Unfortunately, many women have had to deal with this. Its pretty common, though most people don’t want to talk about it. I’m sure you know several women in your life who have dealt with this…even though they may not have told you.
We went on vacation and tried to have fun and forget when we could. Unfortunately, I kept bleeding. Things slowed down to a trickle for a bit, but never stopped completely. So when we made our way back to Seattle, I inquired about that. What do you get for asking questions? More shit. They did another ultrasound and found out that not everything had vacated my body, which was causing the continued bleeding. The thing I was trying to avoid at all costs (D&C) was what I was going to have.
The longest two months ever finally culminated with getting my uterus scraped out with only a vicodin and a valium for “anesthetic”. It was the most painful procedure of my life. I’ve had a broken arm set, two knee surgeries, wisdom teeth pulled like regular teeth, and had my finger smashed between a softball and a bat. The finger smash is the only other thing that came close. The emotional turmoil was probably the ingredient that sent it over the edge, but at least it was done. I would stop bleeding. In a few weeks, I was told I’d resume regular periods. What a relief. I just wanted to move on.