It’s not every day when one can say they experienced every emotion on the spectrum, all in one day. And thankfully so, because that is a heck of an exhausting experience.
One such day for me was the day I discovered I was having a miscarriage. Happiness, excitement, shock, sadness, denial, guilt, anger, and much more…I went through it all that day.
It started off as a beautiful day. One that I’d been looking forward to ever since my husband and I decided to have a second child. We were blessed with a miraculously wonderful, slightly sassy, but always kind and loving, 3 year old daughter. The journey up until this point had been blissful and magical, and we had no reason to think things would be any different moving forward. We meticulously planned and attempted to strike a balance between anticipated insurance costs and anticipated coverage needs. Only to discover a few weeks later that things were not to be per any of our plans.
I’ll never forget the moment the ultrasound technician told me we were done and that I could get dressed. I knew something was wrong.
Moments later the doctor informed us that I was miscarrying, explained what a “missed miscarriage” was, and started discussing our options. All I remember is feeling numb. Like I was in the middle of a really bad dream and wanted to wake up but couldn’t.
Things quickly went from bad to worse, and the downward emotional spiral continued for several long months. Among the plethora of emotions I felt in the first few weeks, denial was the strongest. I was so certain that my love for my baby and my faith in all things good would be enough to make a miracle happen.
My body wasn’t making it any easier to accept the new reality. I still felt very much pregnant – nausea, fatigue, frequent visits to the restroom, you name it. As hours turned into days and still no physical signs of a miscarriage, I dangled between despair and hope. I decided I needed a second opinion. If miraculously there was to be a heartbeat, I had given the baby several more weeks to develop, which was more than medically necessary.
There was no miracle. I didn’t hear what I wanted to hear. But this day became my first step toward acceptance. It was a very spotty acceptance at first, with faint glimpses of it every now and again thrown into overwhelming denial, but a step in the right direction. While still an emotional wreck, this doctor’s visit gave me enough information to make a decision about what was physically best for me and our future as a family.
As difficult and seemingly impossible as it was to accept reality, it was an absolutely vital step toward healing. I was still heart broken, downright angry, and depressed. The road to healing was long, rough, twisted, and with new challenges and the lowest of lows along the way. But I knew that I could no longer hide, ignore, or wish these feelings away. I had to face them head on, embrace them even. As I often say when it comes to big, daunting problems that wouldn’t go away – can’t go over it, can’t go under it, can’t go around it, must go through it.
I chose to step into the dark and find my way out before the darkness consumed me. I inched my way out of it – one day, one hour, one breath at a time. And it all started with the one thing that I was so reluctant to do – accept the ugly truth that my baby was no more.