Pregnancy Loss: Do We Ever Really Get Over It?
Posted September 20, 2012on:
Next week, I will commemorate two years since I lost my baby.
Two years after my molar pregnancy adventure, I can honestly say, no, we don’t really ever get over it.
Two years ago, I was patting my belly, dreaming about bringing home a blue bundle of joy.
Two years ago, I was on top of the world, expecting my third child.
I’d always wanted three.
If you’re new to my blog, a molar pregnancy is a rare type of miscarriage that can act like a cancer, and if untreated, can become cancer.
In some cases, it can become cancer anyway.
In September 2010, I was blissfully expecting my third child.
A month’s end, I went for my first prenatal checkup.
The exam went well; we set a due date.
Then there was the ultrasound.
I’ll never forget that moment…I never felt so unsure, so worried in all my life.
To that point.
I didn’t know that was the start of a roller coaster of an adventure that really doesn’t end.
It just gets on a more even path with fewer bumps along the way.
During the ultrasound, the doctor searched for the baby, to no avail.
I’m not sure how much time passed, though to me it was an eternity.
The doctor finally spoke.
“What I’m seeing here is not typical. I see the placenta, the sac—maybe two sacs, and one is pulling away from the placenta. I’m looking, looking, and I’m sorry, I can’t find the baby.”
That was the start of my life-changing journey.
I had a D&C, bled for several months, had all sorts of complications.
Ultimately, I endured 14 weeks of chemotherapy.
Now, when you’re going through this, and the health crisis in looming over your head, you’re not really thinking so much about grieving.
There are too many other things in play.
When you reach that magic number for negative (your HCG—pregnancy hormone level—reaches a normal range), it all rushes in like a huge tidal wave.
For me, this happened about 5 months after the molar pregnancy was diagnosed.
To some, I should have gotten over it by then.
It doesn’t help when you read stuff on the Internet that basically says you were never pregnant.
But I beg to differ.
I got pregnant the same way I got pregnant with my daughters.
There was conception, implantation, rising HCG, morning sickness, my belly was growing—and there is that little thing called a positive pregnancy test.
Not to mention, I already was in love with that child and dreaming of meeting him.
While all this was going on, it was really difficult to see pregnant women and babies—and it seemed like they were everywhere.
I couldn’t escape it.
It took a while, but I finally got to a place where I could see these people and not get upset.
I finally got to a place where there were more good days than bad, and I could be happy for people expecting a new little bundle of joy.
I could even hold a baby and be happy looking into a sweet little face.
Every once and a while, though, it sneaks up on you.
One day at church, the priest was acknowledging the altar boys—and their moms.
As I sat there, I began sobbing, thinking, I will never have a son.
I’ll never have a son—whether he’d serve in the altar or not, who knows—but there are things that I will never experience and celebrate, because I don’t have a son.
Sounds a little silly, I know, since I have two beautiful daughters and I get to experience many things with them every single day.
I recover quicker now, but sometimes it still gets me.
I’ve written a book about my experience with molar pregnancy and dealing with the loss.
However a pregnancy is lost, it’s still a loss.
I tell women that it’s a profound loss that must be grieved.
If you don’t grieve this loss, it will haunt you.
It’s something you really don’t get over.
You just learn to live with it.
That little one is in your heart always.
And you have your very own angel in Heaven.
I take comfort in that, but sometimes, I do get thrown for a loop.
I’m compiling some visuals for the book, and requested the ultrasound images from my doctor.
When you have a complete molar pregnancy, they don’t send you home with pretty ultrasound pictures.
However, those images have been indelibly engraved in my mind.
I could close my eyes at any time and see them.
I didn’t think it would upset me so much.
They arrived and I found myself hesitant to open the envelope.
Inside was a printed sheet of images and a CD.
I pulled it out, and wow, if I could have hooked up a printer to my brain and hit “print” I would have gotten the same thing.
Since so much time had passed, I’d thought my brain was exaggerating these images and they didn’t really look that way.
I couldn’t control the wave of emotion that swept over me.
I looked at the images and it was like I saw them for the very first time.
Like it was happening all over again.
I was surprised at my reaction, nearly 2 years later.
I put them away, and went about making dinner.
It was a good thing we were expecting company—I had a diversion.
I felt this intense sadness hanging over me.
My roller coaster took a sharp turn, but then got back on a straight track.
People don’t speak about pregnancy loss, and they should.
There’s no need to suffer in silence.
So I guess this is something we never get over.
That void remains in your heart and in your life.
People that have never been through this cannot truly understand.
They’ll tell you to “get over it,” and “so much time has passed.”
These are events that change us forever.
But we have to be sure that we don’t spend every moment wallowing in our grief.
Let’s do something positive with it.
Make that little one proud.
Here’s a virtual hug for you, and a little push.
Go out there and having an amazing day!