“While this may not be approved by many, I need to let everyone know what happened to help me heal. As my therapist said, ‘Sometimes we just need to tell our story.’
In May of 2018, I unexpectedly found out I was pregnant. Four months before my wedding, having already picked out my dress, I found out I was expecting. I was only at this doctor’s visit to find out if I had a congenital disorder (another plot twist) due to out of the normal labs.
However, after my doctor convinced me he wasn’t crazy and turned the screen to show me the tiny fluttering heartbeat of a 6-week-old fetus, he also told me it was too slow and believed I was having a miscarriage. He instructed me to go home, gave me the ultrasound photo, and to come back in a week to do a repeat ultrasound to find out if I was still pregnant.
There are no words to describe what it is like to drive around, go to the grocery store, go to work, etc. and wonder if today the day will be, I am no longer pregnant. While this was by no means perfect timing and most definitely this was unplanned, every day I wondered about this baby. Every day I looked up nursery themes, didn’t even think of having a glass of my favorite wine, went back to my saved list of ‘Future Baby Names’ in my phone and really tried to pick one this time. Every day.
Until the day before my return visit.
I sat at home with my then fiancé and knew something wasn’t right. The cramps were TERRIBLE and the pain in my lower back was worsening. I couldn’t hold back the emotional pain and the physical pain and began to cry from it all. I knew this was it. I’m a nurse, and in nursing school we learn that if a pregnant woman says she has to poop, check for that baby! And TMI, I felt like I was going to poop my pants.
My poor, sweet Alex had no idea how to help (and what 24-year-old boy does?) but decided to run me a hot bath hoping it would ease the pain. I sat in the hot water for about 30-45 minutes before the cramps subsided and I decided to move to the bed, watch TV, and hopefully fall asleep awaiting my appointment in the morning.
About an hour into our show, I had to use the bathroom. I can’t describe this moment effectively unless you’ve ever felt it, but I SWEAR I felt the baby leave my body. I not only physically felt the pregnancy sac pass (a strange feeling in itself) but also in an instant I felt not pregnant.
The next day, Alex and I went to the OBGYN and confirmed I was, in fact, no longer pregnant. But this was only the beginning. I am apparently just not meant for easy, and I was diagnosed with a heart shaped uterus, or bicornuate uterus. This meant while one side of my uterus was filled with the pregnancy sac, the other filled with blood. My doctor informed me I would be bleeding for a while, potentially a month or more. I would also need routine blood draws to make sure my HCG (or blood levels that determine pregnancy) would go back down to zero and repeat ultrasounds.
And so it began. Every Friday I would go to the same lab technician to get my blood drawn. Every few weeks I would go back to the OBGYN to do another ultrasound to make sure all of the contents of the pregnancy were leaving my body and I stayed strong. Alex and I told next to no one of the pregnancy to begin with. For while, this was our secret. How do you tell people about something this big, but also tell them in the same breath it’s not a thing anymore, and also that you have no answers or explanations? So, we didn’t.
I could only stay strong for so long though, and in August I had a mental breakdown. Absolute crying in the bathroom floor, questioning God, angry and sad tears breakdown. I WANT a baby. Sure, not now – but being a mother has been a dream of mine my whole life. Not only was it a dream, it was also something I never thought twice about. I never imagined I would face a miscarriage, face possible fertility issues thanks to my new heart-shaped uterus issue, and face something as terrible as this. I was a month away from marrying the man of my dreams. I had a plan to go back to school, we’d buy a house, and within two years we’d announce at Alex’s 28th birthday party that we were expecting. It wasn’t supposed to go like this, I wasn’t supposed to experience loss at 23-years-old. I wasn’t supposed to have to deal with this. But yet here I was, on my bathroom floor sobbing, dealing, and experiencing it.
If you know men, and especially my Alex, you know they don’t do emotions or hurt well. Especially with someone they love. Alex didn’t want to talk about it because to him it was never a real baby to begin with, and the pregnancy was over before it ever began. He knew I was upset, so why would he want to talk about something that so obviously upset me? While I understood his approach and reasoning, I NEEDED to talk about it. I needed him to tell me he was upset. That he was a dad for a week, and how that hurt. How we were a family of three and now two again, and he understood my pain. But we didn’t talk. We told our parents only about the loss and tried to move on by silently shoving the issues under the rug.
Meanwhile, I strolled through Target picking out baby books, onesies for holidays like ‘My First Halloween’, and hating every baby I saw. I wish I could tell you I was exaggerating, but if I saw a baby, I avoided it like the plague. Scroll past photos so quickly I couldn’t even tell you who posted it. Another pregnancy announcement? Unfriend. I don’t want to be a part of your happy pregnancy life and monthly bump photos. I don’t get that, so I don’t want to see yours. I hated anyone and everyone who had what I didn’t, what was ripped away from me so suddenly. I would refuse to refer to any baby I knew personally by name, instead calling all babies ‘it’ in conversation. I am a logical, practical person however, and I grew to hate myself for these thoughts. Every time I would get angry at a stranger and their baby, I would think, ‘Samara, seriously? You can’t be mad at that baby you don’t even know it!’.
I became angrier, moodier, and shut down more. Until finally I found a light at the end of the tunnel in a mentor who I look up to greatly, who told me she had experienced tragedy as well, and how much going to see a therapist had helped her.
After finally mustering up the courage to go (5 months later), I am looking forward to emerging from this fog. I still deal with the constant dislike of babies. However, I’ve learned this is called reaction formation. To protect myself from getting hurt again, my brain has taught me to avoid babies. If I don’t have to see one/hold one/touch one, I can’t feel sad. I hope to learn how to cope with this through counseling. Not forgetting the baby, I lost, but being hopeful for future babies of my own as well as feeling happy towards others experiencing pregnancy and their own babies.
I don’t share this story to hope you feel bad for me or anything of the sort, but to take the weight off my shoulders from bearing this tragedy for so long alone. Writing the words down helped me cope in such an enormous way, but keeping them saved on my computer won’t get me any farther than it has so far. Sharing them will help lessen the burden.”
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