Wednesday, September 14, 2016

I Stole This Pen: The Story of my Miscarriage

I stole the pen that I am writing this with on the day that they confirmed that I had lost my third child.  Yes, I stole it.  And one more.  It seemed like the only reasonable thing to do.  I sat in the doctor’s office waiting for my doctor to arrive and saw it sitting there.  And I knew, that is what would help in that one painful instant. 

My doctor was late.  She wasn’t even really my doctor. My typical doctor, who I like, was out of town when I began spotting and so I had been dealing with a perky little doctor who had told me that she was “cautiously optimistic” even after spotting and poor HCG numbers that barely rose because we had seen my little Baby Three still had a heartbeat and was measuring right on schedule at 6 weeks.  I’d had to wait quite a while for her since she was late for our appointment due to being at lunch.  I was so thankful that my little one still had a heartbeat, and was busy calling my husband that I didn’t really think about her being late.

A week later I sat in her office once again, again waiting for her to come in for our 11 am appointment.  I had come from the facility across the street where they had confirmed my worst fears, and what I already knew after a week of pain and loss like we had never known before.  I already knew that my little one was gone, that Baby Boy Three had left me.  They really only needed to tell me how long until I would be stuck in the dreaded limbo of losing him slowly, over several weeks until I had the small hope of at least feeling normal a few minutes of the day.  I was hopeful that it would be over soon, and that I could maybe forget for a few minutes that I had survived something so horrible I couldn’t think of it, even as it was all that I could think of from waking to fitful sleep.

She was over 20 minutes late this time.  My wonderful neighbor Karen was watching my boys for me, and I longed to get back to them, to my wonderful sons who were so full of life, and she was late yet again, for what? They had been dealing with this too, although they didn't know I was pregnant at the time.  I had so many blood tests that even Judah at two would point at the hospital as we approach and say, "Mom, Boo Boo," and will sometimes point at my arm where I was often bruised and say the same.   

I sat in that tiny, impersonal room hot with rage that I was not being given this small dignity, longing for someone, something to blame when I saw it. I think I wanted them to suffer in some small manner, not for my pain, but for not seeming to understand that when a woman sat there vulnerable and bleeding, the least that you could do was be on time to tell her that her baby was dead and gone. Someone had died, but they were treating it like any other appointment. 

I had been so inconvenienced in what seemed like a cruel way, that I wanted her to be inconvenienced as well.  I eyed the small victory I could have once again.  Then, if she needs to write something down she won’t have a pen.  Somehow in my grief this made sense, although it roundly ignored that there were plenty of other pens around in the facility, probably in her own pocket.  It also ignored that a poor nurse would probably be blamed for the lack of writing utensil in the room as a way that she had not kept things equipped. 

I reached for the Papermate and quickly stuffed it in the front zipper pocket of my purse.  I looked at the desk and realized there was another pen there, and I grabbed it as well and snugged it next to the other. Now all they have in this room is a highlighter. I looked at the clock one more time and saw that it was now after 11:30 and I had enough.  I didn’t believe that there was anything new that they could tell me.  I already knew, my little bean was gone.  I walked into the hallway, planning on telling a nurse that I was leaving when of course, there was my doctor, leaning casually against a wall and chatting with someone else.  

"Oh, I am just about to come in and talk with you, Carrie."  I gave her a look that communicated some of my doubt and then I returned to my room to talk to her.  She didn't need to use a pen during our brief conversation in which we discussed what had happened and the need for still more blood tests and an instruction that maybe we would need to schedule a D&C (we didn't) but that this would all help me "Put this behind me." 

A month and a half or so has passed since I physically got back to normal, but I don't think I will ever go back to being the person that I was.  I kept thinking through all of this that I wanted to come away from this more loving, more compassionate, and more of the person who deserves to be a mom to my wonderful boys, here and in heaven.  And my baby wouldn't want me to live my life continually in mourning.  

I also kept praying for my friends who have been though similar situations, those I know of, and those I don't know yet.  So many of my friends have miscarried further along, too many have had stillborn little ones, or babies that have lived far to brief on this earth.  Over the past year I have been praying for the ability to love the women around me better, and to really care for friends of mine both near and far.  I just never thought that this was the way that it would happen.  Although I knew with PCOS I would perhaps have to deal with this someday, I never guessed that it would be the thing that would help me to understand them better, and give me more insight and opportunity to love them more, to love all of you more.  I think that is the best way that I can honor my little Baby Three.  

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