I Miscarried an Unplanned PregnancyOct 15, 2020
I miscarried a pregnancy I didn’t plan for. And I need to talk about it.
I recently learned from a man who looks at the structure of your face and can tell your personality type that I am a type that processes through sharing.
I was advised to keep close friends around who listen to me, and I laughed. I’ve been sharing my life with thousands of people on the internet since I was 19.
So when I took that positive pregnancy test while visiting my parents in New Jersey on September 29, I wanted nothing more than to tell the world. To process through writing and sharing. But based on everything I’d heard about the first few weeks of pregnancy, I decided to refrain from posting.
And here I am, 15 days later on October 14, in a hospital bed, writing out the announcement of a surprise, unplanned pregnancy at the same time as I announce this surprise, unplanned loss of it.
I don’t know when I’ll share this. Not yet. Maybe tomorrow, who knows. I owe Curtis the time he needs to process as well, I need to ask him when he's okay with me making our lives so public, something I keep reminding myself.
He’s done everything I could have asked for throughout this. I love him so much for that.
Anyway, I took the pregnancy test after being 5 days late for my period and having thrown up a few drinks I had with my friends the weekend before. I keep thinking—could it have been the drinks? The doctors assure me, no. It’s a chromosomal abnormality. Nothing you did. I don’t know what would be worse. Knowing I was at fault, or knowing no answers at all.
Coincidentally, Curtis was flying out to meet my family for the first time that weekend. We decided to share the news. Coming just a month after my sister shared her pregnancy announcement with us, and the fact that Curtis and I had only been together for 4 and a half months made it a shock. But everyone was happy.
We’d talked about kids. We knew it was something we both wanted in the future. So when it hit us so suddenly, we tiptoed around it, each wondering what the other was thinking. But we were both thinking good things. That this was sooner than we’d thought it would be, but that it’s what we wanted with each other eventually.
And we all know that I never play by the rules. I always jump in headfirst without a plan and figure it out as I go. My friend Erin and I joked about how even my pregnancy was on brand for me.
We flew back to California, and had a week of setting up doctors appointments, downloading all of the apps, watching the embryo grow from the size of an apple seed to a sweet pea.
Then a week ago today, 8 days after the positive test, I woke up to spotting. I immediately panicked, while everyone I spoke to assured me this could be normal, and without any other symptoms, everything was probably fine.
That started the series of blood tests. One test, then two, then three. My hCG levels weren’t doubling, but they were still rising. Doctors started mentioning possibilities of miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy...or the possibility that everything was fine.
No answers. We were in limbo for 7 days. Curtis was still watching YouTube videos about supporting women through pregnancy until I finally told him 2 days ago that my gut knew something was wrong. That I didn’t feel pregnant anymore even though my boobs still hurt. It just felt like a knowing, but one that I wouldn't let myself fully trust.
This morning, my doctor called. She said that my levels were still rising slowly, and they wanted me to come in for an early ultrasound on Friday. I told her the spotting had stopped. I gained hope for the first time in a week.
Two hours later, I was sautéing veggies for lunch. I was preparing for a coaching call. And then I was doubled over in pain from cramps.
Bleeding started. And then small clots. I called my doctor, she told me to go to the ER. Curtis left work to bring me. He couldn’t come inside because of COVID. He waited in the car.
I waited for almost an hour to be seen. Then the nurse took more blood. Then the doctor came in to do a pelvic exam. He said he could see the fetal tissue, that it looked like I was in the process of miscarrying at that moment.
He pulled some of the tissue out. It was uncomfortable. He kept saying “I’m sorry this is happening to you today.”
I kept thinking—“I wouldn’t want it to happen tomorrow, either.”
They took me for ultrasounds.
More tests with my feet in the stirrups.
More blood drawn from my arm.
And 7 hours later now, I’m still here. Alone in the hospital room. Waiting for a RhoGAM shot. Apparently only 10% of women are Rh negative and require this shot, so it takes a long time to run the tests and get the supplies when it's unexpected like this.
I’ll need to come back in soon, to make sure there’s not another simultaneous pregnancy occurring in my Fallopian tube. Who knew that was a possibility? Both a miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy at the same time. I didn’t, and apparently it’s rare, so the doctor said it’s probably nothing to worry about.
And then he looked at me and said he was sorry that it was happening to me today, again.
Some part of me had a feeling that this was coming for the past week. And this post has been writing itself in my head. I’ve been judging myself for my reliance on sharing parts of life that are usually so private. But I can’t help thinking that there is purpose behind me of all people having a miscarriage in October, the month of pregnancy loss awareness.
And within 2 weeks of such high and low emotions, I’m suddenly thrown into this percentage of women who have experienced this loss. And I know that one of my new purposes will be to help women feel less alone.
There’s another side to all of this for me, too. I’ve mostly heard of heartbreaking miscarriage stories from couples who had been married and trying for years. Who shared about how deeply their baby was wanted. Who imagined the face of their baby before it was conceived.
I’d seen my baby’s face in a meditation exactly one week before I peed on the stick. A message came through so loudly and clearly—You Are A Mother. I wrote it all down in my journal, I'll share pictures of that in the coming days. I thought it meant that when Curtis and I decided we were ready, it was meant for me. Not that it was already beginning.
But we didn’t plan for it. And what did that mean? Do we feel less sad than married couples who’d loved each other for years? Why do I think it’s necessary to compare, anyway?
What did this mean moving forward? In the past 2 weeks, I’d realized I was going to be a mom, and I wanted it. I wasn’t just wrapping my head around it, I was excited for it. Thrilled by it. And now that’s gone. And it would make no sense to try again right now. A pregnancy after 5 months of dating is only acceptable when it’s a surprise, isn’t it? And we’d be better off when we had bigger apartments, got married, had deeper discussions around our beliefs on everything from gender reveal parties to circumcision, both of which only came up as topics between us once we saw the two pink lines.
Trying again right now isn’t reasonable. And it doesn’t make sense. And that breaks my heart.
I’m going to be a really good mom someday, and Curtis is going to be a great dad. I’m going to continue sharing more about this experience and my feelings as time goes on because I know it will help me process and heal, and I hope it offers comfort to others, too.
I have the best family and friends both here and home in New Jersey, and Curtis’s family has been so supportive too. I’m grateful for all of you. And I'll end by saying that we're okay. Really sad, really exhausted, really confused...that's all part of the human experience. I have a feeling it will all start to make more sense as time goes on.
Thanks for reading.