Saturday, March 8, 2008

All done, for now

What a week.

Monday was tough. Emotions were very up and down as we came to terms with what has happened. To be honest, though, I haven't felt anywhere near as bad as I'd always imagined a miscarriage would make me feel.

Technically, it was a "missed miscarriage", which is where the embryo (or foetus, depending upon the stage of pregnancy) dies but the pregnancy continues. This is probably less traumatic than a "threatened" or "incomplete" miscarriage, where bleeding occurs and the contents of the womb are naturally expelled, because somehow you feel a bit more in control; you know what's going on and when things are going to happen, and recovery time is quicker. Waiting for your pregnancy to draw to its natural conclusion during a full miscarriage must be very traumatic, and often this results in surgery anyway to ensure that all contents have been removed in order to prevent infection.

We are very lucky that we were able to seek private health-care. Had we not, we probably wouldn't have had a scan at 8 weeks and found out that the pregnancy was over before bleeding occurred. At least this way it will all be over before our honeymoon. I can't imagine anything worse than suffering a miscarriage whilst away from home on your honeymoon.

I think another reason why this has been less traumatic is because we were fully aware of the chances of something going wrong within the first few months. We know many people who have lost babies and in far worse circumstances. As such, we hadn't started really thinking of this pregnancy as being an actual baby. We still grieved for the lost dream of our October baby but less so for the actual embryo which was yet to become our child in our minds. It's hard to explain and I hope it doesn't make me sound cold but I guess the baby we were grieving for is a baby we might have had in the future had things worked out, rather than something tangible in the present. I have talked this point over with both Toby and a pregnant friend who were of the same opinion but somehow it's harder to put into the written word.

One positive that has come out of this experience is that it has reminded me how happy I am with my marriage, my home and my life. This is an amazing revelation for me after periods of homesickness and feeling mentally weak. It has reminded me that I am a strong person, and not only that, I am happy, loved and emotionally supported. The past 14 months have been very up and down and, at times, emotionally challenging. Strangely, this has been one of the easier things to deal with, perhaps because it is out of my control. I have to accept that this has happened and move on. I feel incredibly positive about the future and have so much to look forward to. Whilst I was looking forward to becoming a parent, a baby is not the be all and end all of my life right now. It would have enhanced my life to have a child but at this stage I certainly don't feel my life is empty without one. I am looking forward to time as a married couple with Toby, sorting out our house, getting our business off the ground and following my passions, including yoga and writing.

One thing that does concern me with regards to how well I seem to be coping, is that at some future time this might all come back to haunt me. If I don't deal with my grief now then perhaps if I have another miscarriage in the future it will hit me twice as hard. Or maybe I will be extremely paranoid during the first months of my next pregnancy. Or how will I cope if I find out there is some genetic reason why Toby and I shouldn't have children together? Or what if one of my friends unexpectedly tells me she's pregnant?

However, I don't feel like there is much I can do about that at this stage. I have tried my best to stay in touch with my mind and body and I can honestly say that whilst I have the rare moment of sadness, usually centred around silly things, like our baby won't be born in 2008 and I had imagined that as being a nice, pregnant number, or I won't be a mother before I'm 33, despite all that I am actually okay and there's no point moping around just because I think I should be sad. If something triggers some sadness related to this in the future then I will deal with it then.

Well, I started this post with the intention of giving you a summary of my week, how I've been feeling physically and emotionally, how supportive Toby and my friends and family have been, and what my experience in day surgery was like, but instead I went all philosophical and analytical. Now I'm tired and want to go to bed so perhaps I'll pop back later to let you know what the last few days were like. 'Til then, good night.

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