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Friday, August 3, 2012

And then our bubble burst

Sometimes the only way for me to process an experience is to write about it.  When my mind is full of thoughts, I take one out, write it down and place it on a shelf next to the other things I've written.   The weight is transferred elsewhere, to a place I can visit as I please but is less present than the thoughts pushing their way to the front, wanting their turn to make it on the page.

So here we are and here I am, about to tell you a little story, in more depth then anyone needs to know. It's not a pretty story but it's one that some of you share with me.

A week ago I had a miscarriage.

I was only 5 weeks pregnant.  We had only been celebrating for 5 days but I still feel the sting.

Taupo-Christchurch 448
Christchurch, New Zealand 2010

The previous Sunday, before B came home from a trip, I snuck into the bathroom and took a pregnancy test.  Actually it was the third test I had taken in less than a week.  Despite the fact that it was unlikely those expensive little sticks could actually tell me I was pregnant a week before my expected period, I took the first one 7 days before anyway.  Of course, it was negative.  So I took one a few days later and again, it was negative.  I waited to take the 3rd one because I had a book club meeting in the morning and I knew that if it was positive I wouldn't be able to keep a secret and my whole book club would know before B.

So there I was trying to hide from Peanut as I peed on a stick (I mean, I don't want to find him trying to pee on any stick he comes across) and I just knew it was positive.  When I saw that double line I just smiled to myself, did a little jig and went about my day.  That evening, when B, Peanut and I were all in bed (as part of the pre-bath routine), I handed the test to Peanut, who handed it to Daddy, who said thank you and then something along the lines of "What the.... are you serious... is this real.... really?!...." followed by a lot of laughing and a little more shock.

I have it all on video and can't decide whether or not to delete it.

We spent the next 5 days planning and dreaming.  Well, one step closer to the planning and dreaming we have already been doing.

On Friday we were moving out of the apartment, just wrapping things up when I noticed a little blood on the toilet paper after I went to the bathroom.  I spotted with Peanut so I didn't worry too much.  It was a busy day with us moving out of the apartment and moving in with my parents.  B headed in to work and I headed to my parents where we are living for the next few weeks.  When we go there I went straight to the bathroom where I was greeted with more blood and some clotting.  I knew then.  I told my dad I had to make a run to the restaurant (as we hadn't told anyone about the pregnancy) and headed to see my doctor, calling B along the way.  That's when the cramping started.

It was odd, standing in line at Kaiser, stopping to get blood work done, exchanging smiles with the receptionist and waiting in the lobby while I was losing our baby.  The world keeps moving around you as things slowly unravel inside you.  I calmly answered 20 minutes worth of questions before my exam.  So you say you are bleeding?  Yes.  Heavily?  Um, yes, I think so.  What is your family's medical history?  What is your breast cancer history?  What do you do on every second Tuesday after a blue moon in autumn?

I think I was mostly numb by then, or maybe it was just denial.  No, it couldn't be denial, I think being a good patient is my default.  I was flying on autopilot.  I know how to be a nice, calm patient under a variety of circumstances.

When I finally rolled back for the exam, the doctor told me there was a lot of bleeding and the nurse went to get... whatever it was that she got to clean up the blood while I stared at the ceiling and thought about how I needed to shave my legs and wondered if I should apologize for my hairy legs and flakey toe nail polish. I was still calm and smiling politely when I answered questions.  I believe I very calmly said, "Damn, I thought so, I thought I felt a lot of blood.  Sorry, are you sure you want to do this exam now?"

"Yes, you're about halfway through your miscarriage."

New Zealand
Waitomo, New Zealand, 2010

That's when the tears came, sliding silently down my face.  When she looked up at me, I watched her face contort in slow motion.  I had been so calm she didn't realize how upset I would be.  I watched her blink back tears and then apologize to me as she placed her hand on my prickly knee.  I apologized for crying and told her I already knew.  Hearing the word miscarriage was all it took, really.  Sometimes reality really sucks.

She told me I could take something to complete the miscarriage or I could let it run it's course over the next week or two.  All I could think was that maybe it wasn't actually happening and I didn't want to kill the baby.  But it was happening and I was sitting in the pool of blood to prove it.  I think she read it on my face because she did an ultrasound to show the clotting in the uterus.  When she left I asked her for a pad and wondered out loud how it's possible that in this day and age they still hand out pads the size of airline pillows.  How can this be?  Someone answer me!

At the pharmacy I couldn't stop crying and I went back and forth between wanting to escape and wanting to tell the lady looking questioningly at me, that I was losing my baby.  I was about halfway through losing the little one I only found out about 5 days earlier.  I wanted to call B but I knew I would fall apart right there in the waiting room.  The pharmacist gave me something for the pain and paused when he read through the medicine.  I watched his face sink as he looked at the words partial miscarriage and pending miscarriage. He kept apologizing as I cried into the paper towel he brought me.

I called B from the car and he gave me what comfort he could in the middle of his shift.  I headed to my parents knowing that I couldn't keep what was happening a secret.

I was pregnant but now I'm not.  Right now, as we speak, I am having a miscarriage.  The bleeding should stop in a week or so.   Next week this will all be over.  Next week we will not be picking out names or crib bedding.

I stood in the bathroom, looking down at the toilet and it's contents, and wondered if my baby was in there.  Just the size of a sesame seed.

That night was the worst.  The blood and pain a constant reminder of what was happening.  The next day I woke to go to work and remembered that I wasn't pregnant.  I was only 5 weeks along and still it hurt.  I can only imagine what it was like for friends who have lost babies much later on.

Each day things become more final, more a part of the past and less a part of the present.

I read the email that said my labs are normal and feel detached.  Now my body no longer recognizes that I was pregnant.  Is this a good thing?  I suppose it is.

 I want it all to stop.  I don't want to see the blood anymore.  I don't want the reminder.

I'm glad it happened so early.  I realize that things probably weren't as they should have been and so my body did what was best.  I just don't want to think about it all the time.

 I don't mind talking about it with friends, I don't cry every time I think about it anymore, I just don't want to think about the why and what ifs.

For now I want to have some down time.  I want to think about the house we're moving into, about getting back into shape and creating the healthiest body I can, about swim lessons with the Peanut and date night with daddy.  For now I want to rest.


  1. Dawn and Craig, I am so sorry to hear this news. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. I admire your courage in sharing your pain so eloquently and so publicly. I hope that the support of your family and friends helps you through this difficult time.


    Cousin Joanna

  2. Oh my . . . you give me ache and sad and more sad and helpless . . .
    yet you write with real and beauty and truth . . .
    sorrow . . . for you . . .

  3. I don't know what to say except that my heart goes out to you. I hope you get all the hugs you need at this time.

  4. I'm all misty for you. I'm so sorry. A hug from blog world-- and someone else who has been there. As usual, you tell this in such a beautiful way. Makes me feel like I'm right there with you.

  5. I am so, so sorry, girl. :( I lost our first baby at 6 weeks, and once you miscarry you're just never quite the same. BIG {{{{hugs}}}} to you, friend.

  6. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I have followed you through your wedding, Peanuts birth, and his first years. I feel as though I know you even if it is 3000 miles apart:) Hugs and kisses (and prayers) to you, my friend.

  7. Thanks for your candor and graceful writing about something so personal and heartbreaking. So many, including me, have been in that place, and yet everyone's story is preciously unique. Thank you for sharing yours. I'm glad you are counting your blessings as a way to heal.

  8. I'm so sorry, Dawn. I can't even begin to imagine how you must feel. Just stopped in today to check on you, I've taken the summer off from blogging. {{Hug}}

  9. I'm so sorry Dawn. I've never experienced this but can only imagine the immense disappointment and feeling of loss. Big hugs friend. Praying for you.

  10. Oh Dawn, I am so so sorry for your loss. My heart truly breaks for you. I will be praying for you and your sweet family... I know there isn't anything anyone can say to make it feel better- just know that I am thinking of you. {HUGS}, friend.

  11. I peek in your blog when I get a chance, and I always look forward to pictures of your cute little Peanut, and I love reading what is going on with you. As I read this, this was all too familiar to me, as I had two miscarriages before my eldest was born. I was in the first trimester both times, and I still remember feeling like I was in a daze. The feeling was so surreal. I know exactly what you mean about being at the doctors, and feeling like "life" is moving along with everyone else, while yours is at a standstill. Even though you only knew of your pregnancy for five days, it is a loss, and it is something you will never forget. Of course, the pain isn't like it is in the beginning, and you will have so much more compassion and understanding when someone you know goes through the same thing. I'll be praying for you, and your husband. It is devastating, but you can get through it together. BIG HUGS!!

  12. I am so so sorry - I remember how surreal it felt going through this and you feel so all alone because the pregnancy was still un-announced.

    My heart aches for you. I'm so sorry for your loss.

  13. I wouldn't be here if my mom hadn't miscarried the first time. All of us who are here on this planet really won the lottery of a lifetime just by being born. I feel bad for my sibling that didn't make it but I'm sure grateful that I had my chance to live and love.

    Take care of yourself. You've already had one beautiful baby. You'll have another someday. I'm hoping for a girl! Hugs.

  14. Oh sweetie I am so sorry. I have been right where you are and I remember the heart pain like it was yesterday. We will be praying for you and B.

  15. thank you for being so open and sharing this. there was a reason this happened and God would never leave you broken hearted or give you something you couldn't handle.

  16. Ahhh sweetie, I have no words. I hope you can feel my hug all the way from the mountains and sense the tears I am shedding for you right now...



  17. I am so sorry for your loss. When my firstborn was 4 years old (he's 11 now) we found out we were pregnant at 5 weeks and were so excited we told him he was going to be a big brother. A week later we too miscarried. I was devastated. Just four months later, we surprisingly got pregnant again & it took. She's a beautiful 6 year old today & we have a a 3-year daughter too. Sending hugs & prayers your way today.

  18. I went through a miscarriage last year - in a week it will be one year exactly. We were only 5 weeks along and had only known for a few days. My heart aches for you and I'm crying for your little baby and you. I will be saying prayers for peace and an ending to the bleeding. I wish there was more I could do for you.

  19. I don't know what to say.. except I am so sorry. I do understand, more than you know. Sending hugs through tears.. I know this is hard! ♥ -Tammy

  20. Oh Dawn , I am SO sorry and quite a wreck as I read this. I can't imagine. My heart goes out to you guys. Hang in there. Love you!

  21. I'm so sorry Dawn. You are amazing and courageous in all that you do - and in sharing this. Keeping you in my prayers!

  22. So sorry to read about your miscarriage. I cried while reading your post. You're in my thoughts. I've been following your blog ever since I read about it on a Weight Watchers message board. You are an amazing woman. Hang in there.

  23. Oh Dandy, I'm so so sorry. I'm hugging you from afar. Much much love to you three.

  24. I hope this is not inappropriate...I just commented on the post after this one, since I came to it first, and then read this one...I, too, am so sorry for your loss. It is a very difficult thing to go through (I had three). I just wanted to say something to acknowledge this, after leaving the other comment which was so upbeat. Take care of yourself. I know you have a great support system...let them love on you.

    1. Thanks Christina, your comments are always appropriate and appreciated :)

  25. Oh Dawn and Craig, I'm so sorry. Marie


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