Sunday, August 14, 2011

I'm Not Alone

*This will be the first in a series of posts that I'll publish over the next couple of days.  They were actually written a while ago, but I wasn't ready to publish them until now.*

I'm by no means alone in this ordeal, but that didn't make it any easier to deal with.  I know this will come as a surprise to a lot of people, but here goes:

My first pregnancy did not make it to term. On March 24th, in my ninth week of "pregnancy," I had a D and C.  What this means is that I found out I was pregnant in February, but something was wrong.  The fetus didn't develop correctly, and I had to undergo a procedure to remove the pregnancy.  It was a hard time for me.  I had so many things I was supposed to be excited about - the recent birth of a niece, vacation plans, friends and family members being pregnant, friends getting married, etc.  While trying to joyfully celebrate these things, I also had to grieve the loss of the baby I thought I was going to welcome in October.

It was supposed to be such a wonderful time.  My sisters and I were all pregnant at the same time, and were all going to give birth in the same year.  How fun, right??  Three moms going through the same things at the same time.  Three little cousins growing up around the same age.  I got excited when thinking about what was to come.  I secretly shopped for maternity clothes online and started getting ideas about the nursery.  I couldn't wait until the day we found out the sex of the baby and got to share the good news with the whole world.  Before I was even able to tell my family, though, my big plans were promptly cut short.

At seven weeks in, I went to the doctor for my first sonogram.  She couldn't see anything on the monitor, but my body said I was pregnant.  The tests were positive, the symptoms had started, and the hormone levels were growing.  We thought we might've just been wrong about the timing, so we scheduled another sonogram for a week and a half later.  It was tough during that waiting time, because I wanted to believe that everything was fine.  I wanted to believe that a baby was developing inside me, despite that nagging feeling that something might be wrong.  Unfortunately, the next sonogram confirmed our fears.  There was no baby.

Meezy and I had been playing our cards very close to our chest.  No one knew we were trying for a baby.  We wanted it to be a huge surprise when we made the announcement!  What a cruel turn of events.  Now, our first mention to our family that we were trying to get pregnant was the news that our first pregnancy had failed.  We were so sad that we even had to share the news.  The reason we did, however, was because the procedure involved anesthesia and a hospital visit.  Having already started experiencing the initial feelings of becoming a mother, I knew my mom would want to know something like this was happening to her daughter.

To add insult to injury, I received a call from the hospital two days before the procedure, telling me they needed a deposit for my portion of the costs.  I was at work, trying to maintain my composure, and now I had to think about the cost of the termination of my pregnancy.  Awesome.  In addition to that, one day before the procedure, I got questions from two different acquaintances/coworkers, "When is it going to be your time?"  "What's next for you, a baby?"  Nothing like trying to hold back sobs while sitting at your desk.  Let this be a lesson, people.  Don't ask someone when they're going to have a baby.  I've been guilty of this in the past, and I didn't fully appreciate the ramifications of the question until now.  You never know what issues they're dealing with; you never know if they're having trouble conceiving; and you never know if they're about to undergo a D and C the next day!  I know it seems like an innocent question, but it can have a very, very profound effect when asked to certain people.  


The main reason I'm writing this post is because I want other women like me to know that they're not alone.  When your friends or family know that you're trying, and then something goes wrong, you have a support system to lean on.  You can be open about your feelings, and what's going on, and let people be there for you.  When you don't tell anyone that you're trying, and then your first sonogram results are inconclusive, you feel lonely.  Your spouse shares your feelings, but you haven't allowed anyone else to.  You feel upset, but can't share it.  You get sad, but try to hide it.  The reason we chose that route was because we didn't want the world to know what we were going through, right as we were going through it.  It was new to us, and we needed time to process it by ourselves.  We didn't want it to be the only thing people thought about when they saw us.  We didn't want people wondering when we'd try again.  We didn't want people asking us how we were doing.  I just wanted to be left alone, yet I hated the loneliness.  It was a conundrum.  I didn't want to talk to someone about it who I knew I would see constantly after that.  At one point, I thought about trying to find a stranger on which to unload this burden, but I didn't know how to go about it.

Because I know that I'm not alone in experiencing these feelings, this is me telling you that I'll be your stranger.  If you are worried you might be miscarrying, or recently have, talk to me.  Send me an email and tell me what you're feeling.  If I do know you personally, you can be sure that I'll keep your secret.  If I don't know you personally, use me however you need to.  If you just need to write about what's bothering you, but don't want a response, just say that.  Just putting it down in words will probably help.  If you want some reassurance that you can get past this, and everything will be alright, let me do that for you.  Heck, you don't even have to be a pregnant woman to write me.  If you feel like you just don't want to talk to your close family and friends about something, you can talk to me instead.  My email is vanweezy (at) gmail (dot) com.  Please don't be afraid to contact me.

More to come...

8 comments:

Lauren said...

Love you Janet!

humble me daily said...

Very touching post. Positive energy sent your way. Thinking about you.

vanweezy said...

I am surrounded by so much love, and feel like such a weight has been lifted by talking about this. Thanks for being there for me, ladies!

michalann said...

Hey Janet. How brave and compassionate to share your story with others! I know it will be an encouragement to others and therapeutic to you. Love you.

vanweezy said...

Thanks Michal-ann. Your words mean a lot to me. Love you too!

Monica said...

Janet - I now wish I had gotten to know you so much better when we worked together, because after reading this post, I really love you. You are an amazing woman!

vanweezy said...

@Monica - I feel the same way about you! After we became friends on fb and I learned more about your views and the things you were involved in, my admiration for you definitely grew!

The Lanyon's said...

I don't know you, but that hit home as I miscarried identical twins at 9 weeks back in June, 3 days after I told my immediate family. I too now watch what I ask as until you are in that situation you never know what someone might be going through when you ask them, "So when will you start having kids?" Feel free to contact me as well!