350 days later

It’s been 350 days since the hardest day of my life. Since I spent most of a day in the emergency room. Since my birthday.

That day changed me forever. It rocked my world in ways I could never imagine. I thought about writing this up and posting it on my birthday, but I really want to get this out now, in hopes that I will be able to actually enjoy my birthday, instead of being enveloped in sadness.

I’ll never forget peeing on that stick Monday morning, 5 days before, and it came up pregnant. I was only 4.5 weeks pregnant and was shocked to see the obvious “PREGNANT” on the little screen. I had never tested positive before 6 weeks with my other two kids. We had been talking about having number 3 and we knew it was the right time. I was ecstatic! Another baby meant another round of feeling kicks, another round of tiny newborn feet, another round of breastfeeding. I looked forward to every moment. I also so this pregnancy as the chance to possibly heal a small part of my heart that was broken with the birth of my daughter. I couldn’t wait to tell our friends and family.

Thursday I started spotting. I knew it could be nothing. I had spotted with Will at 7 weeks and he was perfectly fine. It did worry be slightly, but I just brushed it off knowing that my body would tell me if I need to become more concerned. And then Friday morning came and the bleeding wouldn’t stop. I went to work praying it would lighten up, praying that it would stop, but it only got heavier. I *secretly* talked to one of my c0-workers whom I had told earlier in the week that we were expecting again about what I was dealing with. She told me I should go to the ER now. I hadn’t told our family we were expecting, much less called my OB, so the ER was my only option. I didn’t want to go. That meant that something could be seriously wrong and I didn’t want to face that possibility.

I called my boss to let her know what was going on (fyi: that’s not how you want to tell your boss you’re pregnant) and she volunteered to take me to the ER since she was almost to the office.

I called my husband to let him know what was going on – he offered to meet me at the hospital, but his job was very strict about absences and I knew his presence wouldn’t change anything. He check on me throughout the day and we texted a lot.

Then I had to call my mom. I had plans to have lunch with her and my brother that day for my birthday. I was going to tell them our news at lunch. I had been looking forward to that all week! And now I had to call and tell her I was on my way to the ER instead. She was finishing up at an eye doctor’s appointment and told me she would be there as soon as she could.

I wasn’t at the hospital yet and this wasn’t at all how I wanted things to go. I just kept thinking “everything has to be okay.” I didn’t even want to entertain the thought that there might be something going terribly wrong inside of me.

We arrived at the hospital, I was checked in and then triaged. Nothing too special or out of the ordinary for an ER visit.

And then my mom finally arrived. I was grateful my boss took me to the ER so I didn’t have to drive, but I just really wanted my mom there. She asked me how I was feeling. I told her what was going on and I could tell by the look in her eyes that she was worried and concerned.

We were finally called back to a room. I changed into a gown, the doctor came in and the the dreaded pelvic exam was done. She told me she was very concerned with how much I was bleeding. All I could think about were the different stories I had read about where women had profuse bleeding in the first trimester and went on to have beautiful babies. In that moment, I wanted nothing more than to be one of those women. We then had to wait for the blood results. I knew approximately where my HCG levels should be at 5 weeks pregnant. I knew the number I wanted her to say….and it was the 16 that she later told me.

My heart sank. At that moment I knew it was over. 16. That number dashed all of my hopes and dreams right there in that ER room the sliding glass door. I knew this was really bad. I knew that because I took a digital test my HCG was at least 50 earlier in the week. I just went numb. It seems to be how I cope in the face of a crisis. I had the same reaction during the chaos of my daughter’s birth.

I just wanted to go home, but I still had to endure an ultrasound consult that ended up taking 2 hours. That was difficult to endure. Two women probing at my abdomen, looking for something that wasn’t there. And then I had a vaginal ultrasound. That was a first for me. And not a first that I wanted to take at that moment. It was uncomfortable and felt like it went on forever. I just wanted it to be over. Due to the nature of the ultrasound, I could literally feel the life pouring out of me. I’ll never forget that.

I finally got back to my room. My mom had gotten me some lunch, which I was really grateful for since it was around 2pm. We waited and waited and waited for the doctor to come back in. Finally we were both fed up and my mom went to find someone to find out what the hold up was. A couple of hours later we were finally discharged.

I was just numb. I didn’t know what to feel or how I should feel. I was sad….but I also felt guilty. I felt guilty for feeling sad about this. I mean, I hadn’t even heard baby’s heartbeat yet. Did this even count? I had friends who had lost babies halfway through their pregnancy. I mean that certainly counted as a miscarriage…..but did mine?

I knew all of my feelings would work themselves out….I just needed some time….and I was about to get plenty of it.

It’s funny how God works sometimes. I spent that horrid day at the hospital on Friday and Sunday we were leaving for our family vacation in Florida. I absolutely hate that I miscarried our baby, but I thank God that it wasn’t while we were on vacation in a different state.

Saturday was hard. I had a million things to do to get ready for our trip….and I had to do them all while dealing with the aftermath of the day before.

God knew I would need the time away. He knew I wouldn’t be ready to face my co-workers and the looks of pity I would receive. The timing of all of the events surround the miscarriage was amazingly perfect.

Our vacation was just what I needed. The ocean is incredibly healing. We had a lot of down time, so I had time to think and pray. My husband made sure I had some time to myself too, which I really needed.

I came home still not really understanding why this happened. I don’t know that I’ll ever understand why. I just have to trust that God has a bigger plan for us.

We took a cruise with my dad, brother and his girlfriend in April. We sailed from New Orleans to Cozumel and back. The cruise was the week I would have been due with our baby. Like I said, God’s timing is impeccable. God knew that I would once again need time away to try to heal, to gather my thoughts, to let the ocean carry away some of my sadness.

I wondered in the weeks after what life would look like a year after the miscarriage. Would we have a baby by then? Be pregnant again (we’re not)? I believe life is exactly what it should be for us right now.

I don’t know why this had to happen ON my birthday. I really wish it could have happened some other day. I don’t think I’ll ever understand the significance behind that. I know every year for the rest of my life that my birthday will be a reminder of what I went through on that day in 2013.

My friends and family rallied around us in the aftermath and for that, I am so grateful. I know I am part of the 1 in 4 women who experience a miscarriage. In my head I’ve named our baby Gabriel. I know they’re in heaven and one day we’ll meet. For whatever reason, it wasn’t our time to welcome another life into this world.

Now I just pray for guidance. I pray that God’s timing and plan will be revealed to me. And if we’re supposed to be blessed with more kids, that we’ll know when the time is right.

If you’ve had a miscarriage and feel the need to talk about it, please don’t hold back! People will support you! If you feel you don’t have any support and need someone to talk to, you can e-mail me at chelsea.kaster@gmail.com.

 

Peace & loveā™„