Life can change in a blink of an eye. Everything is so delicate. We may not realize it because our world is hard and fast but it’s not always. And in the most tragic times, we often close up on ourselves and stay quiet. We create a safe space and control that space. But as I think about this, I am reminded of an episode of the Dennis Prager show’s “Male/Female Hour.” He discusses the importance of having ‘couple’ friends that you can open up to. Often we lie or ‘vaguebook’ or pretend that the world is so perfect for us when in reality we are struggling just like everyone else. And why can’t we share? Well we are afraid someone will exploit this knowledge of us or we won’t be seen as perfect.
Something recently happened to us that made me want to shake that stigma… hard. So here it goes…
Daniel and I were expecting our first child. We were over the moon. The little bean was due 12/13/14 and if you know me, you know I love plays on words and numbers. What a cool due date. We were planning a garden or champagne or other cool reveal. But one day, 7 weeks and 6 days in, something changed. We saw blood and got scared. We called my doctor and then went to the ER. At the ER I got lots of blood drawn, a Rhogam shot (I am a negative blood type) and an ultrasound. On this ultrasound we saw a beautiful but tiny bean with a STRONG heartbeat (141). However, the doctor set expectations low. We could lose this child. There is no obvious reason for the bleeding. We spent the weekend in complete relaxation mode. As the doctor said “no pogo sticking, no sky diving, no roller coasters.” We took the advice more practically and I rested the whole time. I began cramping on Saturday and we saw red blood (a sign of miscarriage). However, we never saw much so we held out hope. We had to wait until Monday for a doctor’s appointment to do another blood draw and ultrasound.
The wait was nearly unbearable. As the moments ticked closer to the 2pm appointment, I broke out in cold sweats and nausea. We went in and the doctor, after hearing our story, sounded very positive. But then we did an ultrasound. There was our bean, no longer with a beating heart. We had lost our first child at 8 weeks. I was prescribed medication to help the process along… I could not just ‘wait’ for it to happen naturally. Sadly, the medication did not work and I had to go in for a D&C on wednesday.
Baby Haykin left us on 5/5/14. We found out that Baby Haykin was in the works on 4/4/14… you know how I love numbers.
As I reflected on my situation, I was leaning hard on my new friends from the pregnancy website I had been frequenting. They were other moms with losses, etc. The anonymity gave us the freedom to speak. And I realized, I don’t know one person (that has said anything to me) who has lost a child. Who would I call? Who, among my friends, has had a miscarriage? Who knows the pain I now know of growing a child, only to lose it before meeting them? No one. We don’t discuss this in life. And that bothers me. Because just like Dennis Prager said, if we all fake a good life to each other, we are measuring by fake rulers. The reality is, I have lost a baby. An 8 week old baby but one that was deeply loved and wanted. Daniel and I have both grieved hard for this baby to be. So I decided to put myself out there and share out grief in the hopes that if you, my friend or reader or acquaintance, are facing this, you know that you have someone in your corner that gets it. That knows what it is like to stare at your toilet paper trying to decipher what color that is. A person who knows the fear when the cramps come.
I am openly sharing this with the world so you know you are not alone. A miscarriage can happen to anyone at any time. A healthy person, a sick person. No matter who you are. But don’t be scared. Be strong.
Please G-d, we will bring so many baby Haykins into the world some day soon.