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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Tale from the Dark Side - Miscarriage Part 2

Following along with my post from yesterday regarding our early attempts at having a child, I am powering through our story. I know that if I don't, I will never finish it. If you didn't see yesterday's post you can find it by clicking here.

Our son Ender was born in the summer - August 2008. The moment we first saw him was the moment we fell in love, completely and utterly, as a family. It's different than the love between two adults in a marriage - it makes the world shift. Priorities immediately change, your life is so different - yet there is nothing that you would go back to. It's perfect and selfless and brilliant.

We soon fell into the sleep deprived, zombie-like state of all new parents. Especially first-timers. We were handling the human equivalent of nitroglycerin - everything had to be perfect and it was scary as heck. For the love of god do not drop that thing!

The following spring we decided to embark on a new adventure, packing up our little family and moving south, across the border, down to California. Starting a new life is exciting but it is also obviously a huge undertaking, especially with a little one. The thought of having a second child never even crossed our minds until that winter (2009).

It was not a decision we made lightly. We had two things working against us. For one thing, at almost 38 years old I wasn't getting any younger. I've been told by many good, highly respected doctors that '40' is not the barrier it used to be and is actually kind of an arbitrary number, but I'm not 25 any more if you know what I mean. Secondly, we had no idea what we would be in for regarding miscarriages because let's face it, I'm prone to them somehow. Maybe that is or isn't 'medically possible' but dammit you could have fooled me!

I'd been having (TMI coming up!) really painful, long, heavy cycles so I went in to my OB/GYN here in San Fran for a checkup. Turned out I had a large fibroid or polyp. That isn't always a deal breaker for getting pregnant, but mine happened to live in about the worst possible spot that it could, taking up prime baby-baking real estate.

Another damned choice to make: attempt to conceive and have the lump removed later or have it removed first, improving our chances of a healthy pregnancy. We elected to have it removed first because the surgery could be scheduled so quickly. I went in to have what turned out to be a huge polyp removed in March of 2010. Everything went very well and three months later we had the go-ahead to start trying to conceive.

Guess what? Another three months later I conceived and then in my usual fashion, experienced a fourth miscarriage. Surprise!

Then the strangest thing occurred. I had a shorter, earlier than normal menstruation the next month only to find out a week later that we had indeed conceived again, immediately after the fourth miscarriage. I had an ultrasound right away to rule out a tubal pregnancy and it turned out I was pregnant with a cute little sac in a nice spot, growing away as well as could be and we were given a due date of July 31, 2011.

We were cautiously happy - nothing is harder than waiting for that 12 week mark to come and go. But it did, we were ecstatic and I felt great. Other than not gaining quite enough weight, everything was going very well. I even had lots of preggy company - two of the moms from Ender's daycare were also pregnant and due around the same time. There is nothing better than being in good company while expecting. At about four months in my belly popped and I started to really feel pregnant, even having to bust out my old preggy pants.

Ender and I at the park.
4 month baby belly.
We found out that we were going to have another perfect little boy. At our ultrasound he was bouncy and reactive and had the most precious feet and hands. We already had a name picked out - he would be called Ash. He felt serene and beautiful - he reminded me of home when my brother and I had been young kids, playing in our back yard with all the ash trees, dappled in sunshine, leaves whispering in the breeze. Looking up and seeing the sunshine and blue sky peeking through. It's hard to describe it here - but that's what he felt like to me.

A couple weeks later, at four and a half months pregnant we found out that we were losing him.


The third installment will be posted tomorrow. Thank you for reading and for all the words of caring and encouragement and just plain love yesterday. You have no idea how much it's helped me to keep writing this story. 


Jean said...

Tracy, I read this and it's so honest and emotional. As I read I felt sad and then happy as you were talking about being pregnant and it going well and then that last sentence...I started crying. I'm seriously going to be anxiously waiting part 3. You are such a great writer. Your composition paints a picture and portrays emotion so well. Great post.

Tracy said...

Thanks Jean :) It was pretty hard to get out but I kinda feel better now. Was therapeutic.

Ann said...

You lost this pregnancy late! I was 12 weeks - one day before my ultrasound : (
I joked I was going to make a t-shirt that said "I had a miscarriage and all I got for it was a gut and this t-shirt" - clever huh?!!!
I also had 2 previous 6 week losses.
Hair loss, prob different for everyone, mine was about 1 month after and lasted a few week...
agree with Jean - really nicely written.

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