Out Like a Lion

March … in and out … like a lion. Where do I begin?

I’ll do my best to keep this from being too long-winded. Forgive me if I fail. Two days after my last entry here, at around 9 a.m., I was watching the previous night’s “Biggest Loser” episode, having my whole grain, low fat, healthy breakfast with Malcolm. Our quiet little world was about to turn upside down, for the second time in 7 short days.

You see, exactly one week prior, I had been to my doctor and confirmed that, of all inconceivable things … I had conceived. Yep. ME. This 40 year old chick, once assumed barren, long time sufferer of PCOS, who has never required birth control in her entire adult life. The impossible miracle that I have quietly (and not so quietly) prayed for since the day Malcolm and I said our vows in a little white church in western Wisconsin had come to fruition. I’d taken two home tests, and one official one at my primary care physician’s office – and I was 3 for 3, baby – all positive.

I was officially PG-13, and it was officially the best day of my life.

We decided to be selective about who we shared the news with, as we knew the pregnancy was considered higher risk due to my age and the PCOS. Our family doctor was very excited for us, and was very reassuring and positive with us. It was hard not to be completely elated and spilling over with joy. So, we told my mom (who had suspected I was knocked-up when I shared my symptoms with her), my dad, Mal’s mom and stepdad, my siblings, our trainers, and Mal’s two close aunts and uncle. Oh, and a cousin. We told them the news with guarded optimism, and shared our concerns, this being my first pregnancy. They didn’t seem too worried, and in their excitement, might have let the news slip to the hairdresser and maybe a member or two of their congregations at church the following weekend.

I tried to be cautiously optimistic, but my optimism ran ahead of me, too, as it often does. I immediately joined online mommy communities, signed up for newsletters, ordered books from Amazon, started writing down and researching names. My “future mommy” badge was on, and pinned through the skin of my chest and, into my heart. I was so ready for this, and before I could even understand it, was truly, madly, deeply in love with this little five week old soul within me. And one could tell at a glance that Malcolm was, too.

It is quite amazing how immediate our transformation was. Without a second thought, we stopped eating anything that closely (or vaguely) resembled junk. We went in to talk to Trainer Herm and Trainer Sharon about a workout plan ( a huge deal for Malcolm, as he had been avoiding the gym like the plague.) I QUIT coffee, and Diet Coke. DIET COKE! QUIT! Cold turkey. This, I have not done since I picked up this habit in 9th grade. Insert miracle, and, *poof*, this bad habit was gone. I was locked in; I was BEYOND ready for this.

Then … the hard part. Hard, because I have not wanted to share or talk about this. And writing about it, every bit as hard as talking.

The following Tuesday (March 15th), I woke up at about 4 a.m. to use the bathroom, and discovered some heavy spotting, almost like I had started my period. I was instantly in terror, though I tried to put on a brave face. I woke Malcolm and told him, and we tried to get back to sleep. The spotting lightened up right away, and I’d had no cramping or other symptoms of concern, so when we called the OB nurse, she thought we’d be fine to wait and see the doctor on our first scheduled appointment that Friday. She also gently confirmed that if, for instance, a miscarriage was occurring, there is no medical method to stop it. Not exactly news that would make your heart soar. She told me to rest until Friday, and call if anything new to report.

So, I skipped my workout that day, and basically vegged. I didn’t feel right at all. I didn’t know if was nerves or something else, but I could feel things weren’t right.

Fast forward to Wednesday morning (March 16th), watching The Biggest Loser. I was still not feeling my best, but I was hungry, so I took that as a good sign. There had been no bleeding overnight, so that was encouraging, too. Then, in the midst of having breakfast, I felt a strong urge to go to the bathroom. My heart instantly went “dark” … I felt like I was starting my menstrual cycle, but couldn’t tell if the cramping was from needing to have a bowel movement, or if it was from my uterus.

I went to the bathroom, and …. I bled. I cramped. This time there was clotting. I can’t describe with words the emotion, the pain, the heartbreak. The feeling of pure loss. I knew my little one was gone.

Mal was a trooper, and called the OB nurse to describe the events that took place. The doctor could see me that morning, but after what we had witnessed, we were fairly certain it wouldn’t make a difference. I chose to stay home to let things occur naturally, as I had no fever, excessive bleeding or pain. I needed to mourn privately.

We saw the doctor on Friday, and he confirmed the miscarriage, but ultrasound showed there was still either tissue, fluid, or both that remained in my uterus. I was in no mood to have a medical procedure that would “suction” anything out of me, so I opted to let things happen naturally. The doctor told me to give it a couple of weeks, and then take a pregnancy test to confirm the miscarriage was complete.

Yesterday was the two week mark, and so as instructed, I took a test. It didn’t occur to me how my mind would deal with seeing another positive pregnancy test. Guess I should have thought of that prior, because it was positive. Which then, got me into a loop of searching the web for information on misdiagnosed miscarriages, and the like. Being as how it is nearly impossible to find actual medical research or studies on the subject, I know that I am setting myself up for another heartbreak by clinging to this unrealistic hope. I then become disappointed in myself, and frustrated with the eternal optimist within me. I feel like any sensible outsider looking in would think I was practicing unhealthy behaviors, but hey, unhealthy behaviors have been kind of my thing, right? (Yeah, weak joke.)

So, tomorrow I am back into the OB office for another visit to follow up. I am so concerned that they’ll suggest a D&C, which I will firmly have to refuse until I have another ultrasound. I was early enough in my pregnancy that in my mind, it may have been too early to see a viable pregnancy via ultrasound. And yes, I have read many a story like this one, that has me rethinking and questioning everything.

I feel in limbo, and hope tomorrow brings some much-needed answers and resolutions. This month has been a lion. I feel like I’ve been to the funeral of my spouse, or my parents. I have moments of strength, and moments of weakness. I am on an emotional see-saw, and while the highs have been great, I am ready to move forward. Now that I know that I can get pregnant, there is nothing I want more. I’m not giving up.

To my friends, my family – if I have been distant of late, I apologize. I am grateful for all good thoughts and prayers, and believe it or not, I am so grateful for this short-lived blessing that has changed my life forever. The healing isn’t easy, but I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything.


5 thoughts on “Out Like a Lion

  1. Jenn – I had NO IDEA. Thank you for being brave enough to share this story! I am newly married (June of 2010), and although we haven’t started trying to have kids, I am so scared for something like this to happen. Although it might seem silly, I take so much comfort in knowing I can reach out to people like you – thanks again for being so honest. ❤

  2. I’m weeping. Seriously. I’m not a man of faith these days, but I am praying like no other for you, malcom, and that at home pregnancy test.

    I was reading this and Tonia told me about a friend or a friend who went though the same thing. It turns out she had originally had twins, but lost one. She never had the D and C. 8 months later she went in not feeling well and gave birth 24 hours to a premie baby boy.

    Stick to your guns, and look for answers. I will be thinking about you and Mal.

  3. Huge hugs!! I thought this might have been what was up. I was not going to push or pry, just gebtly let you know i was thinking of you. I am sorry you are going thru this.
    If you need a friend call me! Need a lunch date, a shoulder, just anything call me!! I am here for you both!!

  4. Pingback: Hope « See Jenn Transcend

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