No one broke their arm.
Instead, I had a miscarriage.
I know, I know. I didn't tell you I was pregnant.
I will tell you now: I was pregnant.
For three and a half weeks, I thought about babies and childbirth and baby names. I thought about Clark with a baby brother or Alice with a baby sister or what if it was twins? I was due in May and could already imagine what it would feel like to be very pregnant in late Spring. I was tired and sick and and my pants didn't button. I was very happy. But I'm not pregnant anymore.
On Friday I found myself in a position I had always feared. I was pregnant and bleeding. Losing a baby is one of those things you just don't know that much about until it happens to you. On Friday morning when I woke up, I didn't know a thing about it. Today I know too much.
Miscarrying a pregnancy is not cut and dry. Just like labor, it depends on a lot of factors and could go many ways. I was prepared for the emotional aspect. I knew it would be sad and depressing and that I would feel helpless and all of those things turned out to be true. I was not, however, prepared for how much physical pain it involved. In talking with friends I have learned that it isn't always this way. You might cramp a little. You might cramp a lot. You might be like me and crawl into the bathtub crying and then make your husband to drive you to the E.R.
So there you are, thing number one I wish I had known ahead of time: it can hurt really really bad. Like labor bad. Really bad. Gosh I wish I had known that.
Saturday I went to the E.R. and it fairly traumatic. They handled me in a sort of clumsy and frantic way. They did things that were unnecessary and painful. I am glad Saturday is over.
Today I went to the O.B. for a little check-up and it went as well as that kind of appointment can go. She said she thinks I've passed everything (sidenote: I had no idea how much "stuff" this was going to entail and oh my, it's a lot, and it's really sad and surprising to have to see it with your own eyes) on my own and she reminded me that I do not have an increased chance of miscarrying again, the risk is always one in five.
One in five, huh?
It's so sad. It's so hard.
Now that I'm on this side of things I feel a kindred kind of pain, a pain that has grown a little bigger every day since Friday when this started. As the reality of not being pregnant anymore grows, so does this unshakable feeling of sympathy for everyone I know who has ever had a miscarriage. It's like this great big sad shared experience so many of us have. I didn't want to be on this side of things, ever, but I am and I feel like I understand many of my friends who have been here just a little bit better. For that I am grateful.
The only other positive thing I can say about any of this is that Luke and I have really handled it together in a way that I can't remember handling anything else. We are in shock not that we lost this baby, but that our other babies are so perfect and amazing and we are so grateful for them. It isn't that we weren't grateful before, it's just that we appreciate the miracles that they are so much more. For that I am also grateful.