It is such a blessing to be celebrating Grace's birthday again. She will be eight this year and time really flies. Usually at this time I will get motherly mollycoddling attacks and go through all of Grace's old baby photos with rojak feelings of happiness, regret, sadness, jealousy, longing and peace. As you know, Grace is my only child, so I definitely have more time and attention on her than if I were to have more than one kid. And don't hesitate to tell me that she is spoilt too.
That said, this post is not really about Grace at all. I will probably have to let her go when she's 80, but that's not the lost baby I am talking about. It is about my other baby. The would-be Grace, probably. This is neither a melancholy or depressing post either. Miscarriage is a very common thing to happen to couples, but people don't talk about it because it is rather sensitive. But if you are a person going through this ordeal, then knowing that many women out there are in the same shoes might just help you heal your wounds. So, what better way to share my short experience than through my blog?
Getting The Good News
It was just the two of us for about 3 years. We were married but living lives that were similar to swinging singles. Our work-life balance was as balanced as my secondary school accounting papers (Principle of Accounts was my poorest subject). In fact, it was so bad that I barely can remember what I did or what happened for 3 years. It was like living day after day without a specific goal in mind.
We didn't exactly "plan" to have children but after 3 years we somehow felt it was time. Besides, all the kaypo aunties and uncles are always asking, "When are you going to have a kid ah?" In the good old days, things were much simpler and we were young. We didn't check our health or finances or go through any kind of planning. We set our mind to do something and we did it. That was a good time.
Shortly after, we discovered we were pregnant! I missed my period for that month and didn't feel very well. I even had slight fever. So I took a store-bought pregnancy test kit and discovered that it was a positive result. Unlike those Prego announcements people make nowadays, remember this was pre-Facebook so I didn't even bother making any kind of announcement but we did tell our parents and family members. We were happy, extremely happy, at the news. I love children and although my husband wasn't the "children" type of person, he felt happy that his superior genes was being pass along (Men! /rolls eyes). We decided we would go to a gynae after a few days to confirm the results.
For the next few days we were still on a high and talked about family life and planning what we should buy and where to put the baby crib etc and then, came the gynae appointment…
Getting the Bad News
In the office we told our doctor all about it and she was happy to provide an ultrasound. However, after scanning a while, she said that she couldn't find any signs of any fetus. Naturally I was shocked. Being naive and young, I really had thought that having a baby was a given. Words like a "false-positive" just didn't make sense. I said I had all the symptoms; tiredness and nausea, all the time. So she then said she will do a blood test on me and it will be a few days before she will know the results.
It was a very sombre evening that day when we got home. In my heart I was still so hopeful that the doctor was mistaken and expecting some kind of miracle, refusing to accept the facts. Humans just never give up, do they?
The next day the worst happened, I saw my period had returned. There was no need for the results and it was a false-positive after all. You can't imagine my emotions at the revelation, I was so depressed I cried for a long time and my husband was there every step of the way trying to say encouraging things. It was so hard trying to tell my parents and his parents the news as well. Obviously it was a tough time for me as I felt depressed and kinda stupid. I tried to be brave so that it wouldn't hurt him and so we decided to pick up the pieces and move on. I guess things would have been a lot worse if we told many more people!
Getting the Ugly News
So life returned to normal. We never talked about the baby for the next few days. Suddenly after about a week, the gynae called me back and said my "pregnancy related" hormone levels were high and indicated I was pregnant for 4-5 weeks and it was actually a miscarriage. She wanted me to go back for a scan to make sure my womb had returned to normal. A miscarriage?! If anything, that made me feel worse than ever because we never thought healthy adults like us could have a miscarriage. At this point I really REALLY did not feel like I wanted to go through all the trauma again and so we lied that we will make an appointment soon and hung up the phone.
We never did go back. The clinic reminded me of sadness and depressing things. It wasn't the doctor's fault at all, I had just wanted to move on.
Things however did not go quite as planned. Truly, God has other things on His mind.
It was 4 weeks later and I realised that it was quite a while since my last period. Although I didn't know how a miscarriage will affect the normal menstrual cycle, I just had a feeling. I told my suspicions to my husband and he felt it was impossible because we had been using contraceptives ever since the news of the miscarriage. I had to drag him to another clinic to check and he was quite reluctant.
The Good News Again!
At the clinic the gynaecologist was also disbelieving. She said I should have gone for a follow-up checkup after a miscarriage and should have waited 4 weeks to return. She reluctantly gave me a pregnancy test kit at the clinic only after I complained of nausea and tiredness. And… it was positive. That was when she was surprised and gave me an ultrasound and we saw this cute little yolk.
Finally, we had our Grace. She was such a grace and blessing to us that naming her Grace was natural. Looking back, I'm so glad I didn't grief for long and she came along to comfort me, otherwise I'm pretty sure it will be hard for me to move on so easily. Sometimes it takes losing something first to make you realize that you really wanted it in the first place.
I know many other women also go through this with very different reactions but I hope that sharing my experience will encourage those going through a miscarriage to also share their stories if that helps getting over the pain.