What To Expect When You’re No Longer Expecting.

August 19th, 2009

It’s been four weeks since I had my D&C and four weeks, two days since they told me they could no longer find a heartbeat. And, get this: I’m still pregnant. My hCG levels are at 79. They dropped a measly 61 points over the last 7 days. I still have pregnancy symptoms, yet no baby—no growing belly.

For lack of a better phrase? This is bullsh*t.

That means I have at least another two weeks of feeling pregnant. At that point, I can hopefully move on (at least physically).

What you may not realize about “having a miscarriage” is that it’s not just the act of losing a baby. It’s a long, drawn out process where you spend months waiting for your body to get back to normal again; it acts as a constant reminder of what has happened. And that’s just the physical aspect of it. The mental part may linger on forever.

So, for anyone who has ever thought, “Hasn’t she moved on? She can try again!” It’s not nearly as simple as one might assume.

Toby and I have not yet decided if we will ever try again. Neither one of us are strong enough right now to deal with what we just went through. I’m not sure I’ll ever be willing to face the possibility of having it fall apart again. And that’s what it’s all about, facing the possibility. Because the innocence and excitement I had regarding pregnancy is gone.

But say a woman does want to try again after having a miscarriage. Many doctors suggest waiting at least one menstrual cycle to do so, most suggest waiting three months. If a woman is above the age of 35, she is likely feeling pressure to try again right away. For many, that opportunity may not present itself until six months down the road.

So, has she moved on? No. Don’t ever ask a woman that. In fact, don’t even think it.

I’m frustrated. I’m angry. I’m sad. I’m ready to move on from this, put it behind me to some degree and my body won’t let me. This miscarriage is all I have been able to think about specifically because I’m still technically pregnant. I still have the bad taste, the excess saliva, the heartburn. I still have the mood-swings of a pregnant person. (If you need proof of that, see this post.)

I am idling, watching the days pass by like a run-on sentence in search of a period. Literally.

Never have I felt this frustrated, sad, and pissed off. I feel like stomping on every petty complaint I’ve ever had, ridiculing it for its juvenile nature.

I’m not the same person I was a month ago. I’m not sure I’ll ever be that person again. And I’m not sure if I miss her or if this new person is the better protector. Either way, I’m frustrated.

She’s frustrated. Whatever.

I know that tomorrow will be better. And I know that someday I’ll feel lighter. But for now I’m idling and frustrated.

And pregnant.

Edited to Add:

Just when I thought the day could not get more emotionally charged, I get a call from my doctor with the genetics report.

Believe it or not, it made me feel better. I now have a little more closure.

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13 Comments »

13 Comments on “What To Expect When You’re No Longer Expecting.”

  1. Kristin said at 1:41 pm on August 19th, 2009:

    I wish there was something I or “we” or anyone could do to take your pain. And while I don’t know you, I would gladly sit for a minute, an hour, a day holding your hand, letting you rest on my shoulder or hugging you if I could. You and your family are in my prayers as you breathe in and out as each moment passes.

    xo

  2. Cynthia said at 2:05 pm on August 19th, 2009:

    I hope your heart heals. Let your husband, Em and your kitties help in the process. And there’s no such thing as too many tears…..
    Sending you hugs, and hugs, and more hugs.

    Cynthia

  3. Athena714 said at 2:58 pm on August 19th, 2009:

    The same thing happened to me after my first miscarriage. It took thirteen weeks for my HCG to zero out. I know how frustrated you are. Isn’t it bad enough that you lost your baby and now you have to go through the repeated blood tests which are telling you you’re still technically “pregnant”. Ugh. I am so sorry that you are going through this. It is bullshit.

  4. Amy said at 4:12 pm on August 19th, 2009:

    Mine went down so slow that when they scheduled me for my d&c and I went for my pre-op at the doctors office the doctor said he was going to check one more time for a heartbeat just to be sure because my numbers should have gone down way more than they had. Needless to say I stopped breathing for a good minute hoping that by some miracle they had all been wrong and my baby was still there…it was all unnecessary torture….I agree with Athena it is definitely all bullshit.

  5. mihow said at 7:31 pm on August 19th, 2009:

    Thanks, you guys for your kind words. Today was a bad day and I reacted this way. It’s been a long month. Things are better but sometimes I regress and just get mad. Today was that day.

    The genetics report brought to light some really useful information that was actually positive given the circumstances. I’m grateful today ended on that note.

    I’ll just have to gather some patience to deal with the physical stuff. NOT my strong suit!!

  6. Trish said at 7:56 pm on August 19th, 2009:

    If anyone ever tells you to just get over it, kick them in the crotch, ok?

    I’m so sorry you are going through this. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. Every emotion you describe, I understand. You just want it to be done and overwith. You want to TRY and move on, but it just won’t let you.

    Be angry, be sad, express it. I hope you come out on the other side of it soon. I assure you that you will. It just feels like you’re in this friggin endless tunnel from HELL. Maybe you won’t feel like your old self again, but you’ll be closer. There will always be the “event” that broke your heart in two. That piece will be missing forever. But you are still you. Only a little more aware of what you can lose at a moments notice.

    I hope your body cooperates really soon.

    Hugs to both you and Toby.

    Trish

  7. Kate said at 8:09 pm on August 19th, 2009:

    Hi Mihow– Just wanted to let you know I am thinking of you. I think I mentioned before that I had a couple of friends go through this at 12 weeks. One now has two beautiful little boys; the other is back on the horse after taking some time off. I hope you too will find some peace. I don’t know how I’d feel in your shoes.

  8. MommaA said at 8:32 am on August 20th, 2009:

    It is really brave and helpful of you to post this. As I’ve mentioned before my mother, cousin & close friend have both endured this and I had no idea that the pregnancy symptoms and things continued after the DNC; I ignorantly thought after the procedure the only thing they had to battle was the emotional side. I’m sure your helping alot of people by sharing this information.

  9. quiltcat said at 10:02 am on August 20th, 2009:

    The thing is…your physical symptoms will resolve themselves on their own; you can help by getting enough sleep, eating well, trying to move more, blah blah blah. The emotional healing will take time and patience. I’m sure no one would be cruel enough/stupid enough to expect you to “just move on” after a miscarriage??? I don’t know whether this will help, but a friend of mine had 5 miscarriages between the birth of her first daughter (now working her first job after college) and the birth of the second (now learing how to drive). I don’t know how she and her husband had the courage to keep trying, but they did…and that second daughter is an amazing blessing in their lives. This is not to say that you and TobyJoe shouldn’t decide that it is just too painful to risk again…that’s an entirely reasonable decision… Blessings and hugs and wishes that the pain will lift some more.

  10. Michele Chaves said at 10:52 am on August 20th, 2009:

    You’re stronger than you realize. All your feelings are totally valid and you can have them for as long as you want to have them. Don’t add more pressure than there already is. Just work through it in your time, however much or little time that is. You will be ok.

  11. Loralee said at 11:29 pm on August 20th, 2009:

    Anyone who tried to put a time schedule on grief has NO CLUE what they are talking about.

    You are under no obligation to feel better or hurry up your grieving process to make it more comfortable for everyone else.

    You lost a baby. Miscarriage or stillbirth or baby loss, childhood death or adult death, they are ALL wrong and painful. It is the worst loss there is. Trust me, I know.

    HUGS>

  12. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls said at 1:22 am on August 21st, 2009:

    I had a miscarriage with my first pregnancy, 9 years ago now. And you are so right – you never completely get over it. And it takes months to get back to ‘normal’ if normal’s ever what you really even get to. It’s sad and devastating and it sucks, big time. Especially when you still ‘feel’ pregnant – and every time you see a pregnant woman, or later on see a baby about the age that yours would have been.

    I know for me, there was never any question of not trying again – and four months after the D&C, I did get pregnant again. But instead of feeling joyous and excited, I was so anxious and scared for almost the whole 9 months that I still feel like I got gypped out of the ‘joy’ of being pregnant, even though everything went well and our oldest daughter was born a year and a month to the day after we found out there was no heartbeat with our first baby.

    I’m so sorry that you are going through this and I know there are no words that can help bring comfort right now, so I’ll just send a lot of ((hugs)) your way.

  13. laurie said at 7:37 am on August 21st, 2009:

    I am reading blogs again after a long break, so am learning things are going on with people that I didn’t know about/missed on Twitter.

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

    I owe you an e-mail about my hood. I look forward to the chance to talk with you. Also I am a good listener. I can swing either, honestly.


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