Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Little girl, you're in the middle of the ride

Last Tuesday Nate and I went to our second appointment at a reproductive specialist. It seems my body has had a more difficult time recovering from miscarriage this time around. I had told my other doctors and nurses that I felt like something was up. I knew nothing was seriously wrong, but I also knew something wasn't right. The only option they gave me was to go on the Pill. That seemed counterproductive so Nate and I decided it was time to seek a specialist. Luckily our Bishop was able to give us a fabulous recommendation.

Most doctors don't even want to talk to you until you have had a minimum of three miscarriages. According to doctors, two miscarriages is normal. Plus, you have a 75% chance of having a healthy baby! I was told that the first time I was pregnant when I felt like something wasn't right. Then I was told that after I had miscarried and was nervous about getting pregnant again. I was told that when I got pregnant a second time and felt like something wasn't right. And then I was told that after I had miscarried for the second time.

I have taken statistics. I understand that I have a 75% chance of having a healthy baby. But after being in the 25% group twice now, I'd like to increase my chances any way possible.

Meeting with a reproductive specialist is not easy. Besides all of the awful tests, they ask you questions that feel deeply personal. Going in there I was on the verge of tears. Luckily the doctor was amazing. He was funny, but never joked about anything baby related. Before I went, they sent me a million forms to fill out. One of the forms asked me to write about all of my concerns. I was really grateful for this because it gave me the opportunity to express everything that was on my mind. And the doctor addressed all of my concerns--the physical, the hormonal, the emotional.

We left that first appointment with a prescription (not for birth control), a lab order, and, most importantly, hope. I know that sounds cliche, but it's the truth. For the first time in a long time, I felt like we were making progress toward what we wanted so badly.

I have always been fairly reluctant to seek out medical advice. But if you are in a similar situation, I would encourage you to find a doctor you really connect with. I think that means different things for different people, but don't be afraid to keep trying until you find a good match. It has made a huge difference for us.

There is another aspect of this experience that I have only gone as far as to briefly mention on this blog. It often seems too personal and I have difficulty finding the words to describe it. But it would feel disingenuous not to say anything on the subject of my belief.  

Several weeks after my first miscarriage, I found myself asking, Why? I knew several girls who were all expecting within weeks of my due date and watched as their pregnancies continued normally. (Let me clarify something here: I never, ever wished my experience upon another person. I wanted each of them to have a healthy, happy baby; I just didn’t understand why I couldn't do the same.)  

I have experienced disappointment or loss at other times in my life, but I have always been able to explain it. Usually, a better job or house or boy would come along and everything would make sense--the whole one-door-closes-and-another-door-opens philosophy.

But I couldn’t find a logical or comforting way to explain away a baby. The thought that the next baby would be “better” just didn’t feel right. And the medical explanations—the baby wasn’t viable—just seemed to make it worse.  Finally, one day I decided that asking why was a path I just couldn’t allow myself to go down.  

And that might seem weak, but it was honestly a lot harder to stop the questioning than I had expected. I was trying to move on from a situation that I felt I didn’t have any answers to. In some ways it felt like the entire experience had happened for no reason at all.

And then over time I started to feel better about things. It was almost like a fog lifted. I could see that Heavenly Father was just as much involved in this process as we were. And even more importantly, I knew that He wanted what was best for all of us—me, Nate, and our baby. He was in complete control. I realized that even if He had given me an explanation from day one, that probably wouldn't have changed our experience very much.

I’d be lying if I said that I don’t still have hard days. But on the hard days, I have found comfort in the following wisdom:

As much as I have struggled to express my feelings about this experience, that quote seems to do it so well and so simply. Miscarrying is hard because no one really knows what to say. It isn't a topic that people talk about a lot, and I don't know that it needs to be. But it shouldn't be something that can't be talked about. This is a very personal experience, but I wanted to write about it for others who are also experiencing it. Or for those who know people who are experiencing it. All along, my sister has been one of my biggest blessings because she had three miscarriages herself. I feel like I can call her and she won't judge me for how I'm feeling--whether it's sad, angry, or hopeful. My cousin-in-law Tricia has also been amazing. She has never had a miscarriage, but she has listened to me and offered extremely helpful information and advice (as both a nurse and a friend). I'm so grateful for both of them, as well as so many other friends and family members who have been so kind and thoughtful.

It was also important to me that I wrote about this now when I'm in the throes of it all. I've noticed that often we share difficult experiences when loose ends have been tied up neatly and the lessons have been learned; from the perspective of post-happy ending. I'm confident there will be a happy ending, but it could be days, weeks, months, or even years away. (And it won't even really be an ending. As insurmountable as having a healthy baby feels right now, it's really only the tip of the iceberg. Then I have to get down to the business of raising a human being!)

I wrote this because I want to remember how it felt to have hope in the midst of uncertainty. I want to remember what it felt like to be here--in the middle.


Shannon said...

I'm so sorry you're going through this. Stay strong!

Danny & Desirae Sommers said...

Thank you for sharing this personal trial with us. Remember we are always here for you and love you very much. Your post was so wonderfully written and I know that things will be brighter soon. If you need anyone to talk to, I am here. I may not be the wisest or sane, but WHATEVER you need, just ask.

Danny & Desirae Sommers said...

Thank you for sharing this personal trial with us. Remember we are always here for you and love you very much. Your post was so wonderfully written and I know that things will be brighter soon. If you need anyone to talk to, I am here. I may not be the wisest or sane, but WHATEVER you need, just ask.

Margaret said...

Sometimes I think God has graced us with this amazing ability to forget (forgiveness, birth, etc.). Other times, I think it has kept us from progressing. If we remembered everything, we'd be so much more grateful. We'd stop repeating the same mistakes over and over (eating a can of Pringles in one sitting before dinner). I'm glad you caught this inexplicable moment at this time, even though it must have been so difficult to write.

Alisha Erin said...

Thank you for sharing this, MC. I don't know what this experience is like, but we all face situations at times where a "why" can't be answered and some added words of hope for those times are always welcome.

Ty, Steph, Bris, Big T said...

M.C. If I could hug you through the internet I would! Consider yourself ^hugged^. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. That isn't easy.
Much love!

Brenda said...

MC, you are so sweet, please know that you and Nate are in our prayers and I am still fasting for you on Sundays. Love you guys!

Lindsay said...

Can I click a "like" button on this blog? ;) M.C. Your wisdom, patience, and honesty is such an inspiration. I wish you the very best with love.

David and Shalynna said...

I've been meaning to comment, but just like emails, I have been waiting until I could sit down and really write something heartfelt and meaningful. Well, I'm at a loss for words now. You are just such a great inspiration to me. I agree 100% that it's a good idea to write feelings down in the midst of a trial because writing about it after won't capture it all. I love you a lot. I know great things are in store for you and I'm so excited for it all to take place!

Thanks for your cute email. I adore you!

Joanna Galbraith said...


I really appreciated this post. It is so important to have hope. Because this is such a taboo subject, I think most girls going through it feel so alone. And when you talk to other people who can't relate, many times they'll say something offensive or try to give you advice. But you're not alone. And everything will work out. The hard part is just being patient. You'll have a beautiful babe in your arms someday. Thanks for being so strong and being willing to share your feelings during a difficult time.

annie leavitt said...

well written. so well written.

Hannah Frank said...

I really like this post, MC. As with the others, I love how you took the opportunity to be hopeful and optimistic in a trialing time. That's an admirable thing.
You are a wise friend, and are going to make for one wise Momma!
I hope the appts bring back even more hopeful results. Our bodies can be such mysteries sometimes!

lindsay b. said...

You seriously continue to amaze me with how wise and strong you are. Your words are beautiful.

Amanda S. said...

M.C., I know you wrote this like 2 years ago almost, so this comment may be kind of random. I was searching through your blog to find the posts you wrote about miscarriage, because I thought they were so good. I read this today and it reminded me of them: http://freshly-picked.com/stories-of-the-start-and-end-a-miscarriage/

In reading through your other posts, I realized how I miss reading your blog in general! You are a great writer!