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My Body's Surprising Reaction to My Miscarriage

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Photograph by Twenty20

It was supposed to be a happy time, as we were expecting a third baby to join our family. I'd had a miscarriage not long before that, at around four weeks along. Because it didn’t feel real and it was so early, I didn’t look at it as losing. I was somehow able to look at it as more of a malfunction. We’d try again. Then I was gutted.

With this next pregnancy, I was measuring small. But other than that, I felt like I normally do when pregnant: awful! I was violently sick, hugging the toilet multiple times a day. I was exhausted and even starting to have cravings. It was real this time.

As our 12-week appointment approached, we were so excited for the sonogram pictures so we could share the news with our family.

Once at the doctor, the ultrasonographer moved her tool around on my stomach as I watched the black-and-white screen in front of me, waiting to see something. I waited. And waited. I don’t have a medical degree but I knew what I was looking at—an empty womb.

The silence was almost audible. Sadness and confusion washed over me. I wanted the woman to say something, anything! I asked her some form of “What’s wrong?” but she couldn’t tell me. I sniffled and wiped my face, unable to keep my crying a secret.

She exited the dark room with a very quiet “I’m sorry” and left me with my thoughts. I tried to be positive because I was, even at that very moment, still nauseated. I’m so confused, I thought. The doctor entered the room and said, “I was afraid of this because you were measuring so small.” There was no comforting tone and no supportive words.

“Wait, so it’s true?” I asked.

“Is what true?” She stared at me blankly.

I would have to be the one to say the words. “I had a miscarriage, didn’t I?”

I bawled because now I was angry on top of sad, a heavy combination of emotions. “So, why am I still so freaking sick?” She confirmed there was no baby but my body thought I was pregnant. I opted for a D&C procedure so they could do a biopsy and give me some answers.

Once I returned to a cognitive state the sorrow came back, but now it was accompanied by peace.

I remember every feeling I felt the day I had the D&C, and how I yelled at the male nurse who woke me up from anesthesia, telling him to let me sleep twenty more minutes. The more I came to, the more I realized I wasn’t pregnant.

Once I returned to a cognitive state, the sorrow came back, but now it was accompanied by peace. I don’t know how, maybe it was because the morning sickness was magically gone. More than anything I was grateful the doctors were able to remove the tissue. The biopsy came back and confirmed it was a partial molar pregnancy (MP). I had never heard the term. The peace I felt after the D&C suddenly left my mind and I was annoyed as hell. Of course this would happen to me.

I felt like my plumbing was broken. Tissues were growing in clusters like cysts but they weren’t making a baby. I had no idea this was going on inside of me because, again, I had felt like it was a normal pregnancy. I had no pain or spotting and had been experiencing my normal symptoms. The pregnancy tests and blood tests all showed my HCG levels were high. The way I saw it, other than “measuring a bit small,” there were no warnings until that ultrasound. It was sudden, it was surprising and it was devastating.

The headache didn’t end there. Now I would have to go to the hospital for blood work every month for six months to make sure the mass didn’t grow back and my HCG levels stayed low. If your body continues to think it’s pregnant, those tissues will continue to grow. I had to wait and watch my body, so very aware of my emptiness and constantly reminded of the ordeal.

I’m thankful that things did return to normal. Some MP patients end up needing strong medication or chemo to kill the tissue. We’d wait a year before trying to get pregnant again.

Not all miscarriages are the same but they do leave you feeling empty inside. Time helps but the experience becomes a part of your story forever. Some close to me knew I had a loss, but not many knew all the details. Experiencing this type of miscarriage shook me, scared me, scarred me and terrified my husband. But now, when I look at my kids (including our rainbow babies) and their little fingers and dimply thighs, I truly believe in miracles.

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