I could be having a miscarriage right now. The hard part is – I don’t know. I don’t know if everything could possibly be okay, or if my baby has already stopped growing. I don’t know. The ultrasound tech doesn’t know. The doctor doesn’t know. Nobody knows.
This could be what is called a “missed miscarriage”. It’s possible that the baby has died, or really never even was, yet I still feel pregnant. I am still nauseous, still exhausted, still having food aversions and cravings. I still “feel” pregnant, and yet I should be about 8 or 9 weeks and the little blip in the gestational sac was measuring 6 weeks and 3 days, and there was no heartbeat. But the doctor didn’t want to call it either way yet, and scheduled another ultrasound in one week, and then if there is still nothing, then “we’ll make a decision.”
That could possibly be the hardest decision of my life. And this next week could possibly be one of the hardest weeks of my life, too.
The Possibility of Miscarriage
Right now I don’t know if I’ll be holding a tiny baby in my arms come January, or if I’ll be back in the office next week looking at a blank screen. I don’t know if I’m going to start to have symptoms and pass the baby like I did in my last miscarriage, or if it will have to end in surgery. I don’t know. And the not knowing is killing me.
The thing is, I have made peace with the outcome either way. If the pregnancy continues, I will be okay. If I miscarry, I know I will be okay, eventually. I happened to have a counseling appointment a few hours after my ultrasound this morning, and I was amazed at how well I am dealing with this right now. Have I cried my eyes out? Of course. But I am at peace. Because for me, I know that the God I believe in knows what’s going on – and that he will sustain me either way.
I share this in the midst of my “not knowing” because I know there are mothers out there that go through stages of “not knowing” with pregnancy every day. When the doctors can’t give you any answers, and you have to continue to wait, it’s absolutely heart-wrenching. Because you don’t know whether to start the grieving process, or to continue to hope, but also you’re afraid to hope because you’re afraid of disappointment.
A few months ago, I had the words “take heart” tattooed over my heart. Every time I start to lose heart and despair, I remember my tattoo and its encouraging words. This is my message for you, mama in the middle of a “not knowing” stage. Take heart. You can be okay, regardless. It will hurt. It’s okay to hurt, and it’s healthy to hurt. Take time for yourself, and give yourself grace and know that anything you’re feeling is okay. You don’t have to feel any way or another – however you’re feeling is okay.
Be There for Yourself
My counselor brought something up not too long ago that has helped carry me through this difficult time. People have come and gone throughout my life, and I’ve had friendships that are hot and cold. I was feeling a little abandoned by some of my support system, and I was despairing. But she said “I can think of someone else who has stuck around.” I looked at her, not understanding. She inclined her head toward me, and I realized it. Me. I’ve stuck around. I’ve been there for myself. I was there for myself during my last miscarriage, I’ve been there for myself as a mother, I’ve been strong for myself through many episodes of depression and anxiety, and I can be there for myself now.
Be there for yourself, mama. You can do this. You can get through the “not knowing” stage and face the outcome, whatever it may be. It is hard…it is incredibly hard. But you are capable of so much. Lean on your partner, your friends and family, your faith, whatever else it is you have to lean on, but don’t forget that the person who knows you best – you – are also there for yourself, and that she is strong.
Take heart, mama. You’ll be okay.