I'm hoping this will be my last update on this depressing ass subject. Thank you if you've reached out to me, I wouldn't be doing this well without the support of others. I honestly mean that. After writing about my experience I had a lot of people reach out to me to tell me about their own miscarriages. It happens to a lot of women.
I finally miscarried on Monday morning. It took my body almost 5 weeks to finally let go after the twins stopped developing. I'm kind of glad it took so long. I had a lot of time to process my feelings and I can say that when the time did come, I was in full control of my emotions and I had already come to terms with what was happening. I think if it happened a lot sooner, before I was able to come to terms with it, it could have been a very emotionally painful experience for me.
When I knew I was going to miscarry I spent most of my time reading message board posts from other women, trying to get an idea of what I might experience. What I've learned is that every woman's story is their own and experiences widely differ. I'm about to talk about some TMI things, so please skip the rest of this paragraph if you're uncomfortable. I'm only sharing because having an idea of what to expect from the other women who bravely shared their experience really helped me get through this, and I'd like to lend some info to others who might need it. I've read that many women were fully unprepared for the physical aspect of their miscarriage. Many doctors don't tell women what to expect. They tell you you're miscarrying and send you on your way without information, just like my doctor did. It was up to me to do research and I'm glad I did. A lot of women have had some horrible experiences, and I was so lucky. Since I had read about a wide variety of experiences, I prepared myself for the worst and waited. And waited, and waited, and waited. Many women have reported that their miscarriages felt like labor, that they'd bleed through nighttime pads within an hour. I came across post after post about needing to pack an overnight bag for the hospital just in case you bled too much and needed an immediate blood transfusion. Since I was miscarrying twins, I thought I might be headed down that road. I didn't. I am very, very lucky. My miscarriage began at 5am on Monday morning. I had been experiencing slight cramping for about a week and that morning the cramps began to worsen and I started spotting lightly. The pain was worse than any period cramps I've had before, but nothing unbearable. At their worst, they were happening about 2 minutes apart. I was also experiencing lower back pain which is also very common. I wore a pad and paced around but the cramps lessened when I was sitting down so I chose to switch between sitting in the shower and sitting on the toilet. Around 6:30am I started passing clots, most came out when I would cough (I knew this cough stuck around for a reason) but other times I'd push them out. I was bleeding a lot, but nowhere near what I expected. I passed one large clot that was definitely a sac, it was round, about the size of my palm. It was clear like wet tissue paper on the outside with dark coloring on the inside. I knew it was one of them, so I was almost in the clear. By 7am I had passed a few more, another clot I suspected was the second (one twin stopped developing before the other so it wouldn't have been shaped like the other one). By 7:30am I had passed almost everything, I only passed one more clot around 2pm which I now know was the last of it. Throughout the miscarriage I didn't even bleed through a quarter of the overnight pad I was wearing which I did not expect. I think being prepared for the worst really made this whole experience feel much better when it was all said and done. I am still bleeding slightly, usually only when I wipe and not much shows up on any pads. I had a OBGYN appointment to confirm that all the tissue was out. My doctor first did a pelvic exam, but she didn't believe it was all out so she gave me a pregnancy test. The pregnancy test still showed up positive, so she then did an ultrasound. Luckily the ultrasound showed no leftover tissue, which can lead to infection so I am very grateful for that. I've been told I may continue to have light bleeding for up to 2 weeks, but many articles I've read online have said the bleeding usually lasts about 7 days. Since the pregnancy test is still showing up positive, I have to go back to the OBGYN weekly to get my blood tested until my levels go back down to zero. I was told that usually happens when the bleeding stops, so fingers crossed it's all done and back to normal by my appointment next Friday.
If you've experienced a miscarriage you're usually told to refrain from having sex for 2 weeks after it happens, and you usually ovulate around this time. Your period normally returns anywhere from 4-8 weeks after (my doctor said 6-8 weeks, but it varies online) and you're allowed to start trying to conceive again after your first period after the miscarriage. I don't know if we'll try again, we'll likely just let whatever happen happen like we did this time around. I know emotionally I'd be okay being pregnant again, but if I were to experience another miscarriage it may do a lot of damage to my mental health. This was a very hard experience and I would not wish it on my worst enemy.
Emotionally I'm doing pretty well. Honestly, I was kind of expecting something like this. I felt like my life was going too well. I have an amazing husband who absolutely loves me and wouldn't ever hurt me. We are financially doing well, he makes good money and I am lucky enough to not have to work at a traditional job. We have a big beautiful house. We've been able to travel many times. I know this is a horrible mindset, but anxiety does that to you. So I wasn't too shocked when something didn't go our way, but it doesn't make it hurt any less. I do have moments where I can't help but think "why us?" I try not to get in that mindset because there is no point. It won't change what happened. When I was pregnant, before the miscarriage was detected, I did a lot of research on products to buy. What sucks now is that every ad I get on social media is for babies. All of my suggested posts are pregnancy announcements. We would've been announcing our pregnancy next week. It hurts a little. I also know about 700 pregnant women, or women who have given birth within the past few months. Don't get me wrong, I am overjoyed for them. I love seeing people happy, and I know they deserve it. But the "why me" still forces itself in. I don't want anyone who is pregnant or has young children to feel uncomfortable around me. I'm okay, and I'm more than happy for you. I want to see your cute little baby. Things like this just happen and there's no changing it. Hopefully Luke and I will get to experience it one day too.
As for now, I plan on getting as much done around the house as I can in these next few months. I don't want to worry about getting pregnant without realizing it and be working with paint or other harsh chemicals that are dangerous to pregnant women. I still have a few rooms to paint and wallpaper to remove. We're replacing the floor in our laundry room so we can finally get a washer and dryer. There's a lot that will keep me busy, and I'm excited that I'm finally feeling motivated to get out of bed again.
I'm wishing with all my might that the rest of 2018 is better than 2017.
So Uh, 2017 Kinda Sucks
I debated whether or not I was going to share this publicly because of how personal it is, but these past couple of weeks have made me realize that sometimes you need support. Additionally, after scouring the internet for stories from other people and their experiences, I was comforted by those brave women more than they could ever imagine, just by reading that I wasn't alone. So I decided I'm going to share our story in hopes that it might help someone else going through a devastating time.
Miscarriages are quite common, more than likely you know many women who have experienced one. I have friends and family who have experienced them. Most don't choose to talk about it, and definitely not publicly. It is unbelievably painful, something I had hoped we'd never have to experience. It's a pain that's not comparable to anything else. But sometimes you don't get lucky. Sometimes it's your first pregnancy, sometimes it's with twins, sometimes your body doesn't even recognize it and you've been living, unknowingly, with little ones that will never grow. And sometimes you hit the unlucky lottery and all three of those things happen to you at once, like me.
I was never really sure I wanted kids, but after spending hours upon hours doing genealogy work, I started coming around to it. Everyone comes from a long line of people and I didn't want that to die out for me. Luke was ready a long time ago. After getting our house we decided that whatever happened happened. We wouldn't try, but we wouldn't not try. Does that even make sense? So we went about our daily lives and ended up getting pregnant in late October/early November. My mom never experienced morning sickness and neither did I. But DAMN did my boobs hurt. And I slept more than I've ever slept in my life. I also couldn't look, no think, about a frozen dinner without wanting to throw up. And the strangest part of all is that even though this pregnancy "ended" at 6 and a half weeks, at week 10 I still have all those symptoms.
What I'm having is called a "missed miscarriage." Before researching I thought "how in the world could you not know you're miscarrying??" But it happens. Your body does not reject the pregnancy, at least not at first. Many women don't even realize their pregnancy is no longer viable until they get an ultrasound, like what happened with us. You still have all the same symptoms you were having before. It could take weeks for your body to expel the pregnancy on its own, I'm currently on week 3-4 with no signs of naturally miscarrying. Sometimes your doctor can prescribe you something to bring on the miscarriage, but my doctor doesn't think it'll work for me since it was twins. So more than likely I'll have to have surgery, something called a D&C, in the next couple of weeks to remove them. I wanted to avoid that, but sometimes you don't get what you want.
I didn't even know it was a twin pregnancy up until a couple of days ago. I had two previous ultrasounds and no one bothered to tell me, which I guess is a good thing. I spent much of my time the past couple of weeks crying in the shower at 3, 4am because I couldn't sleep. If I had known that I had lost not just one, but two of our future children in one go it probably would have broken me. So after Luke and I had both come to terms with our fate, when we knew there was literally no hope that some positive news was coming our way, they told us it was twins. I was completely shocked, I still am. I would have never expected to be able to get pregnant with twins, and especially not during my first pregnancy. It's hard to joke about something so utterly awful, but Luke and I were just like ???? we definitely are too broke for twins.
Luke took the whole situation much better than I expected, though I have a feeling he was just trying to be strong for me. I saw his face when the doctor confirmed that there was no new growth after our last ultrasound and he was just so sad. I was certain that I had cried every tear I could but seeing his face brought on a new wave of them. I told myself before we left for that appointment that I was strong, and I wouldn't cry but that face betrayed me and the tears started again.
We're doing a lot better now. I think because we've both come to terms with it and I no longer find myself not being able to sleep. I still cry sometimes, and I know that I'll never get over this, but I'll be able to grow and learn from it. I already have. I read a message board post from a woman asking how did other people handle their future pregnancies and a poster wrote "you'll never have another ignorant pregnancy again," and that hit me deep. I'm a worrier to begin with, but I know if/when I get pregnant again, it'll be the most stressful time of my life. That's if I'm even able to carry a pregnancy to full term, which is my biggest fear at the moment. But I personally know multiple women who have lost their first pregnancies and then went on to have children, and it's only because of that that I have a little bit of hope.
As for now, we're both just going day by day. We're spending a lot of time together since Luke has off work, we treated ourselves to a new bed, and we even got a 1,000 piece puzzle to occupy ourselves. We couldn't bear to celebrate Christmas since we knew we'd learn the outcome at 9am the next day, but we're going to have a little family get-together for New Years Eve and I'm looking forward to that. If there's one thing I've learned from this whole experience it's that you need support. My family has been so good to us, and their words of support mean more than they'll ever know. The few friends we've told about this ordeal have been so kind, and so many of them have checked in on us. If you're going through something like we are, please know that there is no reason for you to feel ashamed and that you will do so much better with the support from your loved ones. You don't need to tell the world and put yourself out there like I am, but the support from just a couple of people WILL help you. If you do decide to share your story, please know that without the personal stories from random strangers on the internet, I would be in a much darker place right now and sharing your story might just bring a little bit of light back into someone's life.
Etsy Favorites: Halloween Edition
I think it has been over a year since I've done an Etsy Favorites post, but since Halloween is approaching I thought it would be the perfect time to bring it back! I'm featuring some of my favorite spooky/fun Halloween products made by Etsy sellers, enjoy!
Hocus Pocus has always been (and always will be!!) my absolute favorite Halloween movie. In honor of it airing tonight on Freeform, I'm sharing this super cute Hocus Pocus themed shirt by Creations by Bel on Etsy for $20. The fonts are too cute!
Nothing screams fall more than a cozy candle. This hickory, maple, and fire scented soy blend candle from Werther & Gray on Etsy for $19 is the perfect fit. The creators made this candle to pay homage to the innocent victims of the witch hysteria across Europe and Colonial America. Be sure to check out the rest of their candles here.
Nothing like a little shameless self-promotion, know what I mean? I'm sharing my shop's skeleton hand hair clips that have been our bestseller since 2012! Even if you don't like dressing up for Halloween, you could easily throw these in your hair and call it a day. Or, if you like to be spooky year round, wear them whenever you want! You can find them in my shop, Always Anchors, for $4.98.
I almost screamed when I saw this Macbook case from Alpha Cases. It is so stinkin' cute I can't even take it!! The cases range from $48.99-$59.99 depending on the model you need, and they even sell phone cases! Check out what else this shop has to offer here.
I can't get enough of this vintage tattoo flash style pinup girl illustration by Print With Love for $18. If you're in love with home decor like I am, this print would be super easy to style (just like this amazing photo setup!!). They also have a Don't Be Salty print that I'm definitely eyeing up.
Get your day started with this adorable witches brew mug from A Little Tinsel on Etsy for $20. Oh, I guess the coffee will help you start your day too. Check out the other mugs this shop has to offer here!
I make hair bows for a living, but I've gotta tell ya, this bat hair bow from The Anchored Albatross for $30 is hands down cuter than anything I make!! I just can't get enough of it, not to mention it has wonderful reviews! This would be a cute addition to a bat costume, or simply throw it in your hair and call it a day.
I hope you enjoyed these spooky finds! I'm going to try and keep up the Etsy Favorites feature on this blog, I'm into sending love to other small business owners. <3