WARNING: If any men read this, get ready to hear about periods and female cycles ahead! Also, for those of you who may be sensitive due to past experiences, I am sorry if I come off quite blunt about things.
Time to get a bit raw here about the road before having Sawyer and the twins as it wasn’t always happy days on this end for old Al and Sylv.
After being married for a few years, my husband and I decided to take the next step and have a baby. What a weird feeling that is when you both finally get your head around it and decide “hey, let’s make a miniature human”. I really don’t think we thought about anything else and to be honest, had no idea how complicated it actually was. Why don’t they teach you in school that there are only roughly 5 days you can get pregnant?! Who knew??? (probably everyone but me). We try all our lives not to get pregnant and take those tiny pills every day at the EXACT SAME TIME for years and then when you finally decide it’s a good time to pull the goalie, it seems like you’re learning a weird new curriculum in math class that you never had any idea about.
Anyway, once I finally figured out how to track my cycle (on one of those handy period tracker apps for dummies that I think is actually called “period tracker”…good marketing) we thought we’d give it a shot. Turns out, I didn’t realize the app isn’t really a sure thing for everyone so it didn’t work right away which is when my brain, like most people started to wonder “can I actually get pregnant?” “why didn’t it work the first time?” “I’m broken.” Hormones are a special thing, aren’t they?! Ugh.
So, off I went to buy those super expensive $60 ovulation sticks which again required me to research how to use them and google how the female body worked … I clearly should have taken Biology in school instead of Earth Science. Fast forward to the next cycle and me buying a pregnancy test one morning on the way to work (because obviously peeing on a stick is best done while in the office bathroom all alone) and BAMO, I got a positive double line thing! This is usually when most people would call their husbands or cry or be SO excited but for me, it’s when I called a girlfriend first to tell her that I’m not ready and can’t do this and freaked out, all while still sitting in the office bathroom staring at this plastic test covered in pee. Again, hormones are a very special thing!
Long story short, I went home later that day, told my husband, and then started to get excited about it all. We did it! We solved that math equation! Or so we thought…
Another thing no one tells you about are miscarriages and how real they are. At 6 weeks pregnant, we went in for our first ultrasound and saw the sack and the tiny blob of a baby that we made. It was a pretty crazy experience as it is for everyone the first time. From there, we had another scan scheduled for 8 weeks to see the heartbeat as it wasn’t showing up at the 6 week scan because it was still so early.
At our 8-week scan, we saw the heartbeat but the baby was measuring smaller than normal. We weren’t told much but could definitely read into it a bit and were starting to wonder if this was a normal occurrence for people or if something was really wrong. I went back to my doctor and asked to be sent again the following week (HOT TIP: it helps to push for things in the medical system sometimes if your gut is telling you something is wrong).
That next appointment was awful. There was no more heartbeat and the radiologist came in to let us know the bad news. We had a “missed miscarriage”. Our response: “WTF is that?”
We had no idea what it all really meant at the time but needed to get out of there and go home to cry and deal with what had just happened. I had no idea what the next steps were but was referred to the maternity clinic to find out my options.
At that appointment, I had a wonderful doctor come in and explain that things were most likely not going to happen on their own and that I would either need to take pills to speed up the miscarriage or get a D&C (procedure) at Women’s hospital. “So, I still have this baby inside and have to now get some sort of procedure to get it out but can’t get in until when? Wow, work will be super fun on Monday I guess.” Again, things no one ever talks about or teaches us about in life so when it happens, it really fucking sucks to find out and learn about it all on your own.
I opted for the D&C because I was told the pills may not 100% work and if that was the case, I would then have to still get a D&C after the pills. At that point, I just wanted the whole nightmare to be over and done with as I didn’t want to continue cruising around town with this baby still inside of me so I went with the “sure thing” as it made the most sense for me at the time.
I will skip the details about the procedure but let you know that it was definitely a mind fuck and the next 5-6 weeks while waiting for my period were the longest 5-6 weeks ever. I had never wanted a period so bad just so that I could move on and start the entire “getting pregnant” process again.
I will say that I have a pretty amazing group of family and friends and have no regrets telling several people when we were pregnant, even if it was only at 4 weeks when we told some friends and family. It was the right choice for me and when the miscarriage hell happened, I was thankful that people knew instead of having to tell them later on. It also brought along a few people who contacted me to let me know about their stories that were similar or who had different types of miscarriages, etc. As messed up as it sounds, it helped hearing other people’s stories about their past because it made it relatable and easier to see how common they really are instead of just hearing a statistical number from the doctors. So for those people who reached out and were open and honest about their previous situations, if I never said it before, thank you very much for helping me get through it all a little bit easier.
Back to waiting 5-6 weeks for my period…
I finally got it and was stoked! We could try again after that cycle and I wasn’t “that far behind” my original plan. I wasn’t going to miscarry again, what could the chances of that be?!
We got pregnant again two months later and a few days after finding out, I was already miscarrying at 5 weeks, which in the medical world is called a “chemical pregnancy” as most people wouldn’t even know they were pregnant that early but we were intentionally trying and I had my cycle locked down and tracked like a champ!
My husband thought the second time around was easier in the grieving department but for me, I think it was SO much worse. I really didn’t think it could happen again and between my hormones and my body going wild, all I could think about was “my plan”. My plan of when I wanted to have a baby was pushed back AGAIN. A bunch of my friends were now pregnant and I was behind everyone. This wasn’t the plan. This wasn’t MY PLAN.
As some of you know, I am a planner in most aspects of my life so this was not an easy one to get my head around. The weirdest thing was that I wasn’t necessarily upset that I lost the baby this time around, I was upset that things didn’t go how I wanted them to go again.
This time, things all happened quickly and naturally just like a heavier period (to be graphic) as I was just 5 weeks.
Looking back on things now, I realize I was in a much darker place than I thought. I gave up trying to get pregnant and decided to take a break on that front. During this break, I was referred to several doctors and specialists as they weren’t sure if something was wrong with me or not. That all just added to the mental fucked up state I was in but again, I tried to roll with it.
I should add that going through all of this while working full time and traveling with work was extremely challenging. I would have to lie nonstop to my boss and colleagues saying that I was having “medical issues” which everyone figured were “female medical issues”. I really didn’t want work knowing I was trying to have a baby because I was in sales and didn’t want to be treated any different or not be put up for a promotion or a raise or anything else because of it. Sorry to my old boss if he is reading this… it wasn’t him I was afraid to tell but the higher ups in the company. Ah, working and procreating… what fun it all is.
Back to all the poking and prodding/medical testing I was put through…
During all the tests, diet changes and blood work, they found out that I had a thyroid problem. I won’t get into the details around this one but I was put on meds and to this day, no one really knows if that was actually part of why the past issues happened.
Enter, “THE MONTH OF ALLISON”. This is what I titled the month of December that year which I’m sure you can all imagine how it went down. There was a lot of wine consumed and a lot of fun had without caring about becoming pregnant. I finally came to terms with things and decided I would go out with a bang (no pun intended), as I knew we would be trying at the end of the month or in January so why not have a blast before.
This is where I tend to believe that when people relax and don’t stress about getting pregnant, that is when they tend to get pregnant (I know this is not the case with everyone but hear me out).
Let’s fast forward again here to mid-January when I took another pregnancy test and got a positive result. This one stuck and minus the anxiety I had about it for the first few months, it’s one of the best things that happened as I got Sawyer out of it and immediately started to forget about the brutal past. It almost erased what had happened in a weird way because I now had that baby and the timing didn’t matter. My plan didn’t matter. It was almost a year later than when the first pregnancy would have been due but it suddenly didn’t matter at all.
The world is a pretty intense and crazy place but looking back on those shittier times makes me realize that we wouldn’t have Sawyer or the twins if those miscarriages didn’t happen. I’m not usually one for weird spiritual moments but I am a believer in things such as “timing”. The silver lining for my situation in the past was that I got these three crazy amazing kids out of it all and couldn’t picture it any other way.
I realize that this was a very long story about a part of my life that could have been put into Coles Notes but I’m hopeful that it will help someone one day who goes through a similar scenario or who has gone through it in the past and never had anyone to talk to or relate to.
The moral of the story is that miscarriages are super shitty. The End.