I fully intended to do another “important person” post this weekend. I really did. I even have a great story about how my ex-husband read the post about him (First Love) and sent me a wonderful response, better than I could have ever hoped for.
Then Friday night I noticed I was having pain. Pain that was really familiar, but didn’t seem right to be having. The post D&C bleeding had been gone for just under a week, so it was a big shock to wake up Saturday morning to find blood. This was clearly the start of the next cycle.
I was not even close to prepared for this so soon. My doctor indicated that it would be 4-6 weeks post D&C before I should expect to see anything. 23 days. 23 days to the first sign of bleeding again. 23 days isn’t 4 weeks, and it wasn’t even 7 days from the point at which the LAST bleeding stopped.
I’d read that the first post miscarriage cycle is really hard emotionally, because it’s like re-opening the wound. It’s bad enough to have to go through it once, but the first cycle after is sort of like “yep, you’re really not still pregnant.”
I was texting back and forth with a friend last week and she hadn’t realized that not only did we not have any more embryos, but we are not prepared for a fresh cycle either – our donor is no longer available and a fresh cycle is more than we are prepared to pay for or save for at this point.
She asked me if I was devastated. My answer was that I don’t think I’ve even really processed that part of it yet, I’m still working on the loss. But it’s coming I know.
The beginning of my closure will be the tattoo I’ll be getting this month. I’ll post pictures when it’s done. I knew I needed something permanent to mark all of this. I feel like the pain and healing from the tattoo will provide me with something tangible to mark this time and move forward.
I think the hard part for me about opening the wound again so soon is that I’m just numb right now. I’ve cried, a lot. Asked why. Lit candles for them in honor of them. I think about them every day. Wish for something different. And there aren’t any answers. Nothing that makes any sense or makes me feel any better.
So seeing blood again? Almost feels like a continuation of the miscarriage rather than a new cycle.
Some friends of ours sent me a great article that talks about miscarriage and how American culture acts like miscarriage doesn’t exist until you are someone who has one, and then all of a sudden you find out this person and that person and that aunt and co-worker have all had them. Why are we so afraid to talk about it? Why is it so taboo? Whether you believe life begins at conception or not, the loss of a pregnancy, however early, is damaging emotionally. I don’t know anyone who has been through that isn’t deeply and forever affected by it, and it doesn’t matter if the pregnancy was planned or unplanned.
My recovery nurse had been through one herself, and told me that it may be a very long time before I feel ok again, and I may never truly be ok about it. I can honestly say I never want to be “ok” about it. But I do want to find a space to tuck it away, to not be stabbed by it every morning. To be able to choose to think about it rather than have everything be a constant reminder.
Time heals. But healing is a choice too. We can choose to sit in our pain, to continually open the wound ourselves, to put ourselves in a position to let everything be a constant reminder. To never be able to to be happy for pregnant friends or look at a new baby. I can’t say that the first new baby I hold won’t rip my heart out, or that the next “oops” pregnancy among my friends won’t make me cry. It’s not about shutting off the emotions, or pretending it never happened. It’s just about accepting that it did happen, and it’s going to hurt, and allowing myself those feelings so I can work through them to the point of peace.
Even a wound that gets re-opened will heal again.