I don't want the title of this post to be deceiving to you all, since I am far from feeling 'at peace' with our loss. It's not like the grieving process is over but I feel like I'm working towards closure, starting to see what some of the lessons learned should be.
As far as physical healing goes, I'm on my way along with the emotional healing. Last Friday, 10 days after our bad ultrasound (and 4.5 weeks since the baby actually died), my body was still holding onto the baby without any signs of miscarriage. I requested one final ultrasound to wipe away any false hopes that this baby was somehow still alive, that my dates might have been off by weeks, or that there was some kind of miracle going on inside me. The ultrasound that day was not emotional for me since I was prepared to see our little bean curled up and lifeless, and again the baby measured exactly 6w0d without any changes. I needed to see that last image on the screen in order to move forward and I'm glad I got the peace of mind that indeed, my baby really was gone.
Right after the ultrasound my very compassionate doctor placed four Cytotec pills vaginally, a drug very similar to the Cervadil I had during my two night of laboring Truman, in order to 'ripen' the cervix and get the bleeding started. She promised an 80% chance of the drug working but also scheduled a D&C for the following week at my request, in case my body wouldn't budge. We came home feeling a little better just knowing we had done something to initiate the process, praying that the awful waiting for the inevitable would go quickly.
I won't go into details about that evening's events but let's just say the medicine worked like a charm. And let's also say that anyone who tells you a miscarriage is just like a 'heavy period' has obviously never gone through this nightmare. I think it's better compared to actual labor as far as the pain, true contractions, and insane amount of bleeding goes and of course when you add the emotional aspect of losing a human life to the mix of this madness, it's exponentially worse than any period or any labor could be.
Since Friday I've had good and bad days, sometimes bleeding so heavily I can't do anything but hang out in the bathroom and sometimes I feel almost back to normal. I know that my body will need time to rid itself of HcG, the pregnancy hormone, and I pray that I will return to my 'normal' cycle very soon. Also, in the back of my mind, I am worried that somehow my body didn't get rid of all the 'conception products', as they are called---isn't that the saddest pairing of words ever? I do not want to go through a procedure to remove everything after going through this miscarriage naturally. I'm praying my body to do what it's supposed to do, hanging onto some sort of faith in it after a few weeks of skepticism.
Which brings me to the lessons I feel I must learn through this loss. The first is patience, one of the toughest concepts for me to grasp even before the miscarriage. I am not a patient person. I like to have things done my way, immediately, without wasting time. The word 'wait' has been on my tongue and heart more times in the past 2 weeks than ever before and I must admit that I hate it. I was supposed to be 11.5 weeks pregnant right now. But instead of that concept, now I feel like I will be waiting FOREVER just to get a period again. Just to be able to try again. Just to see another positive pregnancy test. I don't want to wait and although I know time is my friend, it seems like an enemy more often than not. If only I could snap my fingers and magically be at the place when I'm pregnant again----or better yet, holding our healthy baby number two. Isn't that the ultimate goal? Not just to get pregnant, but to have a second child. And yet, I know I must work through my grief and my emotions before getting pregnant and my body must physically heal as well. As I let my ears listen to God more and more, I truly believe He is teaching me patience through this loss. Not that I have to like the lesson, but I get it.
Another lesson of mine is that it is wrong to envy others, it's wrong to 'compete' and compare situations with other women around me. I'm not going to lie: it's difficult to have three of my closest friends due within a month of my lost due date. It's hard to read pregnancy blogs and not automatically feel like, 'Why can't this be me?' I'm obviously thrilled for my friends because they deserve the happiness of pregnancy, and they've been incredibly supportive of me as well. It's just hard to feel so far behind, set back from the rest of the group. Just typing this out it sounds so awful because having children is NOT a competition. The person that has the most babies the quickest isn't a 'winner' and where my friends are in their family time line should have absolutely nothing to do with our personal family plan. But I am being completely honest when I admit I have had those fleeting jealous thoughts and I'm fully aware that I need to move away from that mindset. God is definitely helping me out with this one, too.
The last lesson I have begun to grasp is one of gratitude. It's so easy to focus on the 'have nots' in life, spending so much time and energy on obtaining things we don't yet have in our possession. But how about being content with what we DO have? I'm not trivializing our loss by saying this but we are so grateful to have Truman in our lives. If anything, losing this baby has made me love Truman even more somehow. Being surrounded by my amazing family, including my husband, who love me more than I realize, is the most precious gift out of all this pain. Having friends who reach out to contact me, even weeks after our sad announcement, shows me that we are incredibly blessed in this life. We have reasons to be happy and content while living in the moment, not focusing on the future, and it's hard work to allow that sense of peace into my heart. But I'm trying and that is what matters.
A few people mentioned that it helps to name the baby you miscarried, in order to place significance on the pregnancy and make it seem more 'real' and important. I couldn't agree more, although naming this baby was hard and felt a little weird to me. But then, the more I thought about it, I knew exactly what we will call this baby.
You see, before we had our horrible ultrasound we were having so much fun dreaming of names for this baby. Do you remember the hilarious YouTube video of the twin boys 'talking' to each other in the kitchen? One of the twins was named Wren (maybe spelled differently, but whatev) and I just loved it. I wrote the name down on our growing list and one night Nate spotted the name. He said it was a little odd, and I agreed but replied I would like it to be a nickname, something short for a longer name. Nate thought for a second and simply stated that we should name our baby Darren. Now, obviously, there is nothing wrong with that name but it's rather odd for a newborn baby born in 2011, right? Sort of like our name-holder 'Carlos' for Truman---nothing wrong with the name, but still hilarious in a way. So of course, we started calling the baby Darren and would die of laughter each time.
I knew I wanted to name this baby Wren because of that story, although it's dripping in sarcasm. I still like the name Wren and actually, the symbolism of this baby being a little bird who flew away to heaven before we could meet him is all too perfect. I wanted to get something to remember baby Wren and found this necklace on Etsy after much searching. An adorable baby bird (a wren, if you ask me) with eyes closed, sleeping soundly, and then a topaz birthstone for November--when the baby was supposed to arrive. I figure it's low-key enough that people won't demand to know what it means but special enough to me to keep close to my heart.
We love you, baby Wren. Thank you for blessing us with your brief life in me. We'll meet again someday.