October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and so as part of raising awareness and educating the public about miscarriage, stillbirth, and infant loss, my posts this month reflect this theme.
Although I really didn’t want to go this route, together my intended mother and I decided that if the bleeding didn’t start by the following Monday, I’d schedule a D&C. I needed to stop wondering, she needed closure on her grief, and we both needed to begin the process of putting this pregnancy behind us and looking toward the future. It had been three weeks since the ultrasound showed that the baby had stopped developing, though I had inklings of it a couple of weeks before that.
And setting a date for a D&C was all it took. I’m fairly certain that it was committing to this mental benchmark on the calendar that allowed my body to finally let go.
It was Sunday evening and the weekend was winding down. The dishes were done, Doug was settled on the couch watching soccer while working on some freelance projects, and the kids were scattered to their own pursuits. I was sitting at my sewing table, sketching and moving pieces of fabric around trying without much success to design a new quilt, when I felt the first twinges creeping up and across my low belly. Although I had not been through a full miscarriage before, it was impossible not to know was happening.
The cramping was mild but steady and I was surprised at how similar the waves of pain felt to the beginning stages of labor, which seemed like a cruel joke.
The biggest difference I could tell between the onset of labor and my miscarriage was that those initial feelings that wash over me – the involuntary part of my mind that I tune into once the physical changes start, the part of me that tells me the truth when my rational side wants to explain away the signals my body is sending - were saturated with grief and desperation rather than the wonder and excitement that comes from ending a pregnancy by delivering a baby.