The reason my ultrasound measured 6 weeks instead of 9 was because I never reached 9 weeks. Not even close. I made it through weeks 1-4, and then paused at week 5. The embryonic sac floated temporarily, and then collapsed on itself. It wasn't strong enough to carry it's own weight. I began to miscarry the day of our first ultrasound. The only photo I have of this baby was after the sac had collapsed around the embryo.
Miscarriages are.... odd. They elicit a lot of emotions, a lot of uncertainty, a lot of questions... And, for me, a lot of anger. Time moved in slow motion. I don't remember when I first cried about our loss. I remember looking over at my husband, who was sobbing, and wondering Why is he weeping? Why am I not? I remember sitting down with our 8 year old and explaining to him that sometimes babies decide to stay in heaven, and that's okay; I remember him wrapping his arms around his knees and crying. I didn't cry then either. I think the momma in me knew that I had business to take care of before I could let my feelings protrude. I took 3.5 days off from work, and that's when I did my crying. I cried until I was certain my tear ducts had nothing left to cry, and then I cried some more. I cried so hard that I wanted to go back to work so I couldn't think about something - anything - other than my body failing at it's one job. And when I returned to work on a Friday, I remember people walking past me, avoiding eye contact, avoiding conversation. Good lord, I wish someone would talk to me. Someone please talk to me. Please wake my brain up to something new. Please talk to me. I thought this over and over, all morning long. At last, our market president walked up to my desk. Finally, human interaction. He said, "Courtney, we are glad you're back... but you can take as much time as you need. Let us know if you need anything." I wish he hadn't talked to me.
I immediately left the office. I needed silence. I needed chaos. I had no idea what I needed! Nothing was working anyway. This went on for several days. I missed more work; I was so exhausted that I somehow cut my eyeball open and had to get a patch; I wouldn't answer phone calls; I wouldn't see anyone; I drank many, many bottles of wine. And after 5 weeks, I realized I was still bleeding. I had never stopped bleeding. I started keeping track. Out of 70 days, I'd bled for about 50 of them. This was the miscarriage that would not go away.
I went back to my doctor and determined, with yet another depressing ultrasound, that all remnants of Baby were gone. But my body was confused. In the 2.5 months since my miscarriage, I had gained 20 pounds. My body still thought it was pregnant. My hormones were still raging. I just wanted this phase of my life to be done with. We moved to a new house and started a new chapter. But this page just would.not.turn.
I was put on a prescription for..... something. I don't remember what. It took another two weeks to get my uterus back in sync with the rest of me. And in late September, we were given the green light to start trying again. Even then, I felt like trying again was like cheating on Baby #1. How could I prepare for Baby #2 when Baby #1 literally just left my body?
I don't know the answers, and I don't know how we made it through. I can see how infertility can cripple a family, because our one miscarriage nearly sent my marriage down a crap chute. Thankfully, my husband is a saint (a pain in the hind-quarters, but a saint, nonetheless). And in mid November, we had our big fat positive pregnancy test. We are having a baby.
At 8 weeks, we heard our new Baby Neal's heartbeat - a whopping 157 BPM. My due date this time around is July 27th, 2018. We will be safe to announce this pregnancy on January 12th - the end of our first trimester... and 8 days after Baby #1's due date.
Miscarriage is odd. It's sad, it's hurtful, it's scary, it's rage; it's a million different adjectives that I can't come up with in a blog. But I guess it's true that God won't let something bad happen without also providing something positive.