I just had my second miscarriage.
I went in for my first OB appointment of the pregnancy at 8.5 weeks as is standard practice. With my daughter, we thought on that first scan that she looked like the cutest little gummy bear. While nervous given the last pregnancy didn’t work out, I was so excited to see that wiggly, tiny little baby on the screen.
Already at this point, I was in deep. I had:
- Peed on sticks daily for months and months, becoming an expert in all things ovulation and feeling like I’d climbed a mountain just to get to this point
- Joined the BabyCenter app July birth group and started consuming all kinds of content from other expecting mamas
- Created a shared album with a pic of my positive pregnancy test and other pics to come (only shared with my husband, waiting until the 8 week appointment to share the album with other family)
- Told many friends, family members and colleagues that I was pregnant as we cruised past how long the last pregnancy lasted and felt we were pretty close to in the clear
- Pushed through my fear of jinxing the pregnancy and got the cutest photos of my daughter in a “big sister” tee shirt on the day that our family had hired a photographer for family photos
- Fantasized and planned about a billion details and logistics about the pregnancy, the babymoon, the new nursery, my maternity leave and the siblings we’d have, 2.5 years apart, exactly the same age gap as my brother and me
I walked into that appointment buzzing with excitement to see my baby for the first time. Instead, in the span of 15 minutes, I received a whirlwind of news that left me with no baby and a cancer scare instead.
I had a rare occurrence called a molar pregnancy. It’s a chromosomal abnormality that leads to your body growing a mass of cells instead of an embryo. There’s no chance of a viable pregnancy, and instead there’s a real risk that, even after a d&c, those cells continue to grow (cancer) and require chemo to combat.
Through my research and consultation with my doctor, I was made aware that no matter what happened post-d&c, this is a very treatable condition, and I will ultimately be totally fine. That’s certainly a relief. I know I’m going to be okay.
But it is unsafe for me to try to conceive again for many months, potentially over a year, depending on the course of my treatment and recovery. And who knows what will happen then.
The summer maternity leave I was planning for… gone.
The 2.5 year apart siblings growing up together… gone.
The family of four I thought I’d soon have… gone. And quickly replaced with massive doubt that it will ever come.
So what now?
I’m giving myself some time to be sad. And angry. And jealous. And heartbroken. Because I am all of those things and they deserve a space in this process. And then… I’m putting one foot in front of the other and continuing to move forward.
With each day it gets easier. I’m spontaneously crying less… so that’s something. But my biggest fear in all of this isn’t that I’ll have cancer or even that I’ll never be able to have another child. It’s that I’ll squander years of my life, precious years of my daughter’s toddlerhood, waiting and wanting for something else. That I’ll be so focused on the next step toward recovery and trying for the next baby that I’ll be unable to fully enjoy the one I have right in front of me. And I can’t let that happen.
I know my situation is unique, but in so many ways it’s not. You’ve felt this before. The struggle of trying to enjoy life when you feel like you’re waiting for a big part of it to start. You’ve had your version of it. Maybe you’re living it now.
Waiting to land that amazing job so you can ease your financial strains and be able to contribute your talents meaningfully.
Waiting to get through this seemingly never-ending project at work so things can calm down and you can make plans again.
Waiting for your business to find solid footing so you can prove that your idea wasn’t crazy.
Waiting to find the one so your life with a partner can begin.
Waiting to get even that first positive test so you can become the parent you know you were meant to be.
Waiting for something to happen that may almost entirely be out of your control, that you feel is standing in the way of you living the life that you truly want for yourself. It sucks. It really sucks.
This isn’t a “5 Steps to Overcome…” type of post. Today, I have no advice. All I have is my story.
All I can do is share that if you are feeling similarly, I see you, I have hope for both of us, and I believe that no matter how difficult it is, our lives today are worth living fully just as they are. I can remind us that no matter what’s missing, there’s so much good stuff here already. I can tell you that you’re justified in cursing the world for its injustice, just as I am. And that you’re not foolish for holding onto hope for what might be.
I unfortunately cannot tell the future. I don’t know if or when what each of us wants will come our way. But my wish for you today and always is that in the midst of the waiting, you don’t forget to keep living.