Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Great Sadness

Michael came to pick me up in Alabama and we cried all the way home.  That night, while I was grateful to be home, I didn't want to go to sleep for fear that I would have to wake up to the sadness all over again.  But this sadness was indeed my life now.  Waking, sleeping, working, traveling...this was my world. 

The doctors recommended the D&C surgery.  While the idea of surgery was scary, I wanted this process to be done.  I wanted to move forward.  The idea that my dead baby was still in my womb is a thought that still haunts me today.  I needed to move forward.  I wanted to be free.  I wanted to get as far away from doctors as I could.

Unfortunately, the night before the surgery, the miscarriage started to happen naturally and I began to bleed uncontrollably. I called the on-call doctor who told me to come in right away. So at 1:00 am, Michael drove me to the emergency room.  I remember thinking I may faint because of all of the blood loss.  I couldn't imagine what would happen to me.  As I checked into the ER, the nurses put me in a room with a big absorbent pad. Then, for the next 3 hours, I was left there to bleed.  They did administer pain medication for the cramping (gee, thanks), but as I lay there in my own blood - not knowing whether the baby had already miscarried - I realized that I would never be able to erase this experience from my memory.  

The doctors told me that surgery was a success (as much as you can call it that) and I was sent home later that day to recover. Physically, I felt relieved.  The baby was no longer part of my body and I was ready to be "me" again--whoever that was. Later, the doctor told us they were able to determine that the baby had Turner's Syndrome. This condition (where the baby has only one X chromosome, rather than XX or XY) was among the leading causes of miscarriage. Turner's is not inherited, but spontaneous. Once again, nothing that could be fixed.

My friends (who are the best in the world, by the way) brought cards and flowers and meals.  However, the funny thing about miscarriage is that only those that are really close to you know what happened.  It's not like I wanted to go on Facebook and say, "Hello world!  I'm going to take a break from reality because I lost something that can never be returned.  I feel like a failure and want to hide away in a dark hole for the rest of my life."  Unfortunately, that doesn't happen, so the rest of the world thinks you are "fine," if not shirking some responsibilities given your change in emotional well-being.

It's a silent suffering and now when I meet a woman who has experienced a miscarriage, we all agree that it is a horrible club that we wish we weren't a part of.  Still, there is a bond among women in this club.  It's a sisterhood.

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