Yesterday I found out someone I know, who previously had a miscarriage, is pregnant. And I was relieved to discover all I felt was happiness and excitement for her. Very shortly after my miscarriage I learned that a guy I went to high school with, and whose wife last year delivered a son so prematurely he didn't survive beyond the day, became a father. Even though I haven’t seen him in 15 years I cried tears of joy for him. My sister in law has been a gigantic source of comfort to me over the last month plus, she has suffered two miscarriages herself. Four days ago she gave birth to her second daughter and I can’t wait to get my hands on that little baby in a few weeks. Miscarriages or not, I don’t think her pregnancy would have bothered me. She was well into her 2nd trimester and really showing when I got pregnant. Early pregnant women and later pregnant women feel like two different species. She was so far along we never would have felt like pregnancy peers.
These are the only pregnancies or births that I have felt uncomplicated joy over since I lost my pregnancy. And of course, it feels like everyone in the world is pregnant but me. Don’t get me wrong, I am glad these women are pregnant and I equivalent pray (that’s what agnostics do, right?) their babies are healthy. But I’m so jealous I can’t bear it. I’m eaten up by it, and I hate hate hate myself for it. I know I’ll shed this bitterness when I get pregnant again, but I want to be rid of it before then. It will be easy to celebrate pregnancy when I’m part of the gang. I want to feel un-conflicted joy for people in my life before that, both for me and for them. The selfish part of me doesn’t want to be hateful and small; naturally it makes me feel even worse about myself. And the less selfish part of me really wants to be a support for people I care about.
It doesn’t seem right that I can feel joy for those who have suffered a loss, yet I can’t be purely happy for people whose only crime is not miscarring. And I certainly don’t think experiencing a miscarriage or similar loss makes one’s pregnancy more valid. I am glad and relieved many women have not and will never miscarry. I am grateful for their successful pregnancies and so happy for them. There is just an unwanted companion emotion that accompanies my happiness for them, it is my selfishness and jealously and rage at the unfairness of life. That companion emotion is overridden when I consider the losses suffered by those people I mentioned who are pregnant or who have recently become parents. And if I’m honest I’m not being completely altruistic when I feel joy for them. I also feel hope for myself. If they can have pregnancies and babies after their heartbreak, well maybe so can I.
I’m deeply ashamed of my feelings concerning expectant women, and I thought long and hard about if I should post this at all. But unless I’m a complete psychopath it stands to reason that other women recovering from a miscarriage have felt similar things. If a woman who has recently had a miscarriage stumbles across this blog maybe it will help ease her guilty conscience to discover she isn't the only one having ugly thoughts. And maybe writing about these feelings I wish I wasn't having will help me move past them.
Yesterday afternoon I got the results of the blood test. My HCG levels have gone down to 33, but they aren’t going down fast enough for my doctors to be satisfied. On Monday morning I need to get more blood drawn. Then later that afternoon I need to return for a shot of Methotrexate, which will evidently kill the remaining placenta cells in my uterus. On Thursday I return for a blood test to confirm the drug worked, so if this is successful we are now looking at next Friday as the all clear day, exactly 7 weeks from when I found out I’d probably lost the baby. If things had gone as planned I’d be far enough along to know if it was a boy or a girl. At this point I’ve waited so long for this to be over another week doesn’t make much of a difference. See how philosophical I’m getting? Perhaps this never ending story actually will have an ending.
Photos by Ellie Leonardsmith
The last photo is one of my all time favorites because it captures exactly who we are together.