I began the week pregnant and digesting after a week of positive pregnancy tests that I may actually be pregnant. I began the week with morning sickness and several other pregnancy symptoms. I began the week that after a year of trying, digesting that we had actually gotten pregnant. I began the week with the final pregnancy test sitting in our bathroom as a reminder of the joy that was coming.
Then Tuesday morning I woke up and had severe pains. I thought it was just constipation as the bleeding hadn't started yet. However, as Tuesday progressed, it became more and more obvious. I was miscarrying. The pain, the blood, the foggy state I was in - I was now in the statistics of woman who will miscarry at least once. My labs came back early Wednesday morning to confirm the truth, that there was no denying.
A year, a year of trying. A week and a half of hope. Now an unknown future. It's amazing how much can change in the blink of an eye. The future is always unknown, but there is something about the knowledge it is truly unknown, makes it an incredibly scary place to be.
Tuesday mid-afternoon my boss sent me home. I got home and Jared met me and hugged me. I don't remember much of Tuesday beyond us sitting together. At some point in Tuesday or Wednesday he looked at me and said "I'm just glad you're ok". We talked about the fact that we were just starting to get excited. And I looked at Jared as he took care of things, supported me, comforted me, and realized how grateful I was to be married to his man.
During this time we also let our families know that instead of the exciting announcement we were looking forward to, we had to share the sad news. We were in the midst of a miscarriage.
Wednesday morning I let my staff know - I wouldn't be in I was in the midst of a miscarriage. I wanted them to know. I didn't want any wondering or secrets. But I also wanted to normalize talking about this. Because it happens to more people than we realize. And the people who have come to me to let me know they understand or even if they don't but they just want to be with me, it's amazing. Our tribe has really showed up for us this week. From texts, calls, to feeding us, praying over us, a bag of 8 packs of unreal gems (the m&ms we can eat) arriving at our doorstep, flowers, cards, just sitting and crying with us, and more.
It's been 5 days since joyful news turned into grief. It's been just 5 days since we became part of the approximately 20% of pregnancies to end in miscarriage. We weren't far along, but it's still grief. And after a year full of grief, at times it can seem overwhelming. My body went through trauma and it just feels tired. Really tired. As an Enneagram 2, I have had a hard lesson in saying "I'm sorry I just can't help you right now" this week.
We were able to get in with a wonderful fertility doctor early Friday morning. It has been a year of trying and no viable pregnancy. We knew that the possibility of seeing a fertility doctor was in our future. It just became a reality this week. How differently a week can end than how it began.
At the end of Thursday, when most of what would come out of my body was finishing, a rainbow appeared. The brightest rainbow I have ever seen. We were with our small group for the first time in over a year (yay for everyone being vaccinated!) at a couple's house who live on a lake. And hope came before our eyes. I don't know what our journey will look like towards a family. But I have peace and hope in our God and Creator. Whether its our own genetics rainbow baby or adoption, we are open and hopeful for God's plan for our family and whatever it may look like.
I just hit that awful age of 35 for women trying to get pregnant... we know what's attached to that number- the words "geriatric pregnancy" or "advanced maternal age". We both have work ups and testing in our future. We're thankful for a doctor who looks at the whole picture, and even though we eat healthy with all our dietary restrictions already, he's suggested a few more. We now have a specialist on board who can walk through us. We don't know why we miscarried, and may never know. But we want to do what we can to have a family.
I share today, not for attention, but to normalize talking about this. To normalize workplace knowledge of hey, people are going through stuff. To normalize talking about loss and grief of all kinds. To normalize talking about God's hand in modern medicine and the gift it is to have scientist and healthcare professionals day in and day out striving to understand all areas of health and advancing medical care. I want to help normalize talking about starting a family in your mid-thirties or even later. Normalizing talking about the tough stuff - not just talking about it but being honest about it. Facing the tough stuff is the way we are all going to become better and stronger and healthier human beings. Strength isn't pretending everything is ok all the time, strength is facing the tough stuff with raw honesty and feelings with our trusted people.
One of my closest friends gave me words of wisdom and said "take it day by day and if that is to much, go to hour by hour, and if that is still to much just try minute by minute". The tears come and go. The sadness comes and go. The peace has different strengths at different times. My friend let me know that at times, it may hit you when you least expect it. Facing it is tough - walking through it is tough, but it is far better than stuffing it all down. I'm beyond thankful for my rockstar husband, family, friends, work family, and faith. One step at a time we'll continue on this journey. Taking the risk that everything can change in the blink of an eye.