I had started this post in the usual manner. A bit of sarcasm because of my own uneasiness of this subject.
That may have been my coping mechanism over the years. It is not something that you find easier to share over time, that your baby part’s were thought to be broken and your losses need more than one hand to count.
I was about half way done with this post and my husband offered to give it a read over and shot me that look only psychics and spouses can read.
‘This is not how you should tell your story” he says with convince just seeping over his face.
“You don’t want to hide behind wit and satire with something as serious as this. Just because people didn’t share positiveness with you, doesn’t mean you have to do the same, for heaven’s sake you did finally have a kid after 6 losses, when most would have just…given up. Maybe you could be positive, just a little bit.”
And so went my finger to delete.
My first miscarriage was reality shattering in so many ways.
I had heard of it, that word, but it was something that happened so rarely, so quietly you never really knew about it.
I recall the scene from The Hand That Rocks the Cradle, where one of the main pregnant characters is all huge and distressed and then blam, an accident.
A force that ends everything. A cause and an effect.
I, and everyone around me, thought my cause was environmentally related.
I was naturally drawn towards mechanics, I think because it’s in my nature to not feel vulnerable and weak. Cars and engines are a trade that so many people are highly intimated by, yet so fundamentally easy to understand. I was sucked into the automotive world and didn’t want to leave.
I went to school and like any good ASE Certified tech did, I also paid my dues, which most professionals these days think they don’t have to do. A life of non-stop oil changes in a couple of different lube shops, until I found the brave full shop that is willing to take on a newly-minted, 18 year old, 5’2″ woman mechanic.
It was a great relationship, with a even better mentor. I learned more there in a year or so, then I ever could of payed for in school.
What made this fairy tale lose it’s glittery made-for-t.v. ending?
Oh you know…the usual culprits when you are young, dumb and whatever other adjective you can use to describe an apartment full of co-ed dj’s and party kid’s living just minutes from a college campus and mere miles from the mighty freeway on-ramp to… Seattle, Portland, maybe even Canada back then.
Yea, young love, one night made for a few extended weeks of delusional lust. Then a moment of reality.
That test I bought, even the other four, they all say something that I really wasn’t able to comprehend. I was pregnant. Well, it’s okay, I have a great job, I am strong and I just bought a bunch of kitchen and cleaning supplies.
The first month was horrible, but manageable. The father had great drive, just not at the whole working to make a life of drive. He was content making minimum wage, so this put a larger strain on me, as I was trying never to be on welfare, the way my mom raised me.
The comments and remarks started to come in gradually at first, then started to pour. You shouldn’t be working here, its unsafe and chemical exposure is too high! Coincidentally, that is the same time it happened and none of those warnings were from my doctor.
Maybe it had something to do with the fact I was seeing my mother’s OB/GYN, who had delivered my youngest brothers or maybe it was the fact he was a huge birther-player in our hospital city we have here. Whatever the reason, he felt it was important to let me know that I was young and I could always have more.
Like I could always just buy another, from him even because his planner was open nine months out. When I pushed for tests, I was rejected, as “these things happen.”
A relationship had began to form from this aftermath and it encouraged me to cease the job that was thought to cause this unanswered question. As my hands became unrecognizable to me because a lack of black grime and an increase of growth of my nails from prenatal vitamins, history repeats itself, again.
Now I know I am broken. It’s obvious.
I went through a similar routine, except this time we choose to skip the 911 call and made a trip to the ER ourselves instead.
Triage. If you know this term, then you understand its purpose. If you don’t, however, you know how infuriating it can be to be told there is more important things to be done by doctors at this time.
There is nothing that can be done to stop a miscarriage at 9 weeks, so go home and let it pass.
I remembering lying there, watching him hastily scratch Spontaneous Abortion #2 on his paper and saying ‘Better luck next time…” On to my next quota or patient, I mean.
Just let it pass, like it was some biological fart or something.
Third time is a charm, right?
The only positive to come from the entire event that followed the third loss is the realization was that this was most likely not the person I wanted to be losing things with. It is in your worst times things can look clearest. I decided to live life for me for a while.
Then, I came across my star-crossed lover and we met at the end of that beautiful, fake-orchid lined-aisle.
History continued to repeat itself again, which only really ruled out one fact. It wasn’t my previous boyfriend and anything to do with his little swimmers, which I had really, really been hoping for. Now the major Dr. search had begun. Finding one who didn’t judge on my physical attributes was exhausting and then decoding the insurance hieroglyphs was a new education in it’s self.
The new doctor was older than my grandfather and I wondered to myself why he was even still working. He must have made his retirement gold by now. He was a recommendation of my friend, a childhood friend who lives very far from the doctors office, so that was a great sign to me. His office was filled with books, I mean to the roof. As a learning addict, I was in awe. He sat me down and asked if I had ever has a hysterosalpingogram? “What, no I currently only speak English.” Then he pulled down one of those massive books and skimmed along til he found the page in mind. I think you have one of these conditions, so let’s get testing!
I gathered all the pamphlets and directions his nurses handed to me and headed out to my truck. What if these test prove nothing or worse, what if they prove that I am broken. It is a thought that can deter the strongest of people. I began to understand why people didn’t open test results and stuffed them away in a drawer.
The wonderful day came and believe me, I threw up that morning.
My familiar old friend, the ultrasound machine. We have met many of times. In doctor offices and clinics and of course the ER, but this time was going to be different. This time it was going to be blinding ray of light instead a dark screen of nothing.
It was like a movie, I watched totally fixated and the answer just appeared on the screen. As the reactive dye was plunged into my cervix and then into my uterus (can you just imagine?), the text book image I was expecting to see was not what I saw. I saw a nose like structure, a long dividing piece that was really thick towards the end. There was not a whole lot of discussing this find with the patient, just a rush to get quality pics and the right nurses to begin a consult process. I was so confused. I got dressed and was informed that surgery was going to be scheduled for few days out. Go share your great news.
The one thing that was forgotten, was the most essential to do before setting the date at the operating hospital, A Catholic hospital, of all places.
I was checked in and getting IV’s in when one of the nurses at the hospital came running down the hallway, with a chart in her hand. “Positive Pregnancy Test, She has a positive test here!” My head was whirling. How could this happen. My husband looked at me and sympathized with my thoughts. I dressed and left. There was no surgery to happen, instead I knew what was in my future.
After discussion with my doctor and his nurses negligence (in my opinion) due to the lack of a pregnancy test, he proposed a chemical abortion, to speed it along, so I could go back to the hospital and get the surgery. It sounded like such a remedy to him, as I recall. I completely see the factors that make it seem efficient. Then again…
I got the prescription and stared at them for days. I couldn’t take them. I am not really a religious person, but it just seem so wrong. Of course I miscarried soon enough, as expected.
I decided to give it all a break and I focused on work, as a school bus driver and as a step-mom to my husbands two kids. My doctor had also retired, which made it seem daunting to start the whole process over again. To make things even more untouchable I was not covered for the surgery anymore.
I was still yearning for my own child, but unsure I wanted anymore pain.
Then one morning I threw up the tea I had been drinking on my break. I knew. I knew this was the start of that horrible movie. Just the beginning credits, just enough to bring recognition. I didn’t want to tell a soul, I even had difficultly telling my husband, because I knew the outcome. Pain.
I just waited for it to come, waited for my body to reject what wasn’t right.
Instead, the days continued to add up. They turned into weeks and weeks. I felt more of the telltale signs of pregnancy. I was completely distraught. Why is my body doing this to me? My visit with my new maternal-fetal specialists and all their fancy, super-sophisticated equipment would explain it all.
Apparently, every other time that the egg implanted before, it had done so on the septum. The septum has no vesicular bodies or blood flow on the surface of it, so the un-nourished embryo would spontaneous abort. Natures way, you know. But this time, the egg found a much better neighborhood to grow up in. Much better dining and much more room to grow. All around better living.
When comparing my old ultrasounds to where the egg implanted, I (and any medical professional I discussed this with) were in awe that this happened. I understand statistics and respect faith, but what I think in my heart, what made this happen for me, is that I never gave up.
Note: My 10.04 lb child, Hayzen broke that septum and it was removed with his emergency c-section clean up. The picture above shows my second child, Dalylah, born also to c-section, with no complications.
I hope my story will help you make your own decisions about your health and your body, maybe inspire you to not give up, even though the outcome looks so bleak.
I couldn’t imagine, for one second, what my world would be like, had I given up.