Two weeks ago I had Covid, and I also found out that I had a miscarriage. It sounds kind of weird to say I “found out,” because how could I not already know, right? Yeah, I know. Trust me.
If you read my last fertility update post, then you know what’s been going on over the last few months of trying. And you know that we still have only tried IUI just the one time so far. So, how could I have had a miscarriage in between that?
Well, because I was actually pregnant. That’s how.
I can’t say that I was completely surprised, because intuition is strong, and our bodies know what the hell is up. And, the truth is, I felt that the negative blood test we got in Nicaragua was wrong from day one.
However, the mind also does its thing, and denial can be powerful- so, I was convinced that my doubt was coming from a place of just not wanting to believe it to be true. Not that it was actually false. Does that make sense?
Needless to say, the test was wrong. And about 4 weeks later, I had a miscarriage at 6 weeks along.
I Had A Miscarriage
Let’s just rewind a little bit to see how I got here.
So, we tried in April, tested in May and got a negative result. The period I had after the first try was sorta weird. Like not a FULL period if that makes sense.
Okay, so you know how you can get a build up of symptoms before your period like bloating, cramping, crankiness, all that fun PMS stuff? Well, I had that times a million because I’d also been taking hormones for the IUI. My boobs were like twice the size they usually are, I felt so bloated and just kinda….gross.
When you get your period, that usually feels like a release of the symptoms. At least it is for me. And this period had no such relief. Not only did my symptoms persist, but I actually felt WORSE. I was throwing up almost every day, and felt extremely sluggish. But I had spotted, so I assumed I was not pregnant. I considered that my period.
I was convinced that the symptoms I was having were a strong reaction to the hormones.
And I know I’m a sensitive little bitch when it comes to ingesting ANYTHING, and the mental health stuff I was experiencing was exactly like the hormonal depression I had coming off of birth control all those years ago.
Next thing I know, I get my period AGAIN- two weeks EARLY. This is not normal for me at all. Never in my life have I had a period two WEEKS early. I’ll spare you the details of it, but let’s just say this one was more of a bloodbath. Also, very unusual for me. I also felt a lot more pain than usual, and was extremely fatigued.
The one good thing about it was that when it was over, I finally had that release feeling- like I was back to me. It was the first time I felt this little ray of hope again, rather than this swallowing abyss of nothingness that is depression.
I still chalked it up to my flow just being out of whack from the hormonal treatments, and didn’t even consider that it was possibly a miscarriage. I had completely accepted the fact I wasn’t pregnant by that point. Keep in mind, this is 6 weeks in the making.
A week after the miscarriage, I had to teach my last retreat in Peru, which I found incredibly difficult. Yes, I finally had the relief of my symptoms, and was no longer plagued by daily puking and fatigue. And yes, I could see and feel that little glimmer of hope again. But, I was still really struggling. The depression didn’t just burn off overnight.
It all makes a lot more sense now in hindsight.
Anyways, I spent two weeks in Peru, and had the best possible time that I could in that sort of mental health state. When I got back to Florida, I was hit with Covid about two days later. Probably from the travel.
This time around with Covid was pretty mild. Two or three days of a fever, body aches, headaches, nausea. You know how it goes. But Alix and I still took the caution to quarantine, because me getting this damn virus had already delayed our travel plans- and if she got it, then it would delay our plans even more.
We were flying out to California for the summer, and planning on staying the first 10 days at my parents house before moving into our own rental. My parents are in their 60s, and my mom got super sick last time she got Covid. We clearly didn’t want to risk bringing that shit into their house, which is why we were so psycho about quarantining.
The isolation sort of resulted in a dark night of the soul kind of experience. I think it was a cumulation of a lot of things, really. And then having the time and space to just sit with them all, and finally process.
During isolation, I had a call with my new fertility doctor that I’m seeing here in California.
In reviewing my chart and tests sent over from the Florida clinic, I told him I didn’t want to use hormones this next round because I’d had such a strong reaction. He asked what I meant by that, and I explained my symptoms.
“I completely respect your decision not to use hormones, and you can do whatever you’re comfortable with. However, do you think that those symptoms might have been from the pregnancy? Not the hormones?” He asked cautiously.
On a side note, the fact that he respects my choices and doesn’t pressure me is one of the reasons I’m so excited about this new doctor. That’s huge in this world, trust me.
“Um, what?” I was clearly baffled.
“Yes, your chart shows here that you had an early pregnancy,” he went on to explain how he could see that from my hcg markers in my blood.
You know when your mind runs through everything in timelapse kind of speed? That’s what happened, and it all made sense. The symptoms, the monster period, the timing of it all.
I fucking knew it. And I thought I was crazy all along.
What’s even more wild is that I was still so convinced I was pregnant after that initial blood test, that I took an at-home pregnancy test the day of my miscarriage. The symptoms were just so persistent that I couldn’t understand why else I’d be puking every day.
The test was negative.
I started bleeding an hour later.
It was such a strange feeling to hear this doctor tell me something that my body had already known the entire time. I felt vindicated and saddened all at once. And I felt like the spell broke, in this sudden realization that no, I’m not crazy after all.
I also felt a lot of anger towards the first clinic.
The mistreatment I experienced there deserves its own post. For now, I’m focusing on filing a complaint in hopes that this doesn’t keep happening to women patients there.
Still diligently quarantining, Alix asked me how my virtual appointment had gone from the hallway. I told her to come here, I wanted to tell her something.
She stood in the doorway, still abiding by that arbitrary 6 feet away rule, and I told her what the doctor said through tears. Her face crumpled, and she rushed to me.
“I don’t care, I don’t care. I have to hug you right now,” she said as she threw herself onto me.
She stayed at the end of the bed rubbing my feet as I processed. We both cried, and hugged, while trying not to hug for too long.
I remember writing in my post about our failed IUI that I felt like I was grieving, which didn’t make any sense, because it was never mine at all. That feeling of grief stuck with me over the last 6 weeks. I couldn’t shake it.
What was worse than the grief was the feeling that I was being dramatic.
That I was too sensitive. Or, that I was downright crazy. We tried once. It’s not that unusual for it not to work the first time! What’s the big deal?
I would berate myself for my feelings, trying to stuff them down, or hide them altogether. But the pain poured out of me, like when water boiling so hot pushes the lid off the top, and leaks out the sides.
If you read that first post about our failed IUI, then you’ll know that I said I felt my feelings, and that’s what helped them to pass so quickly. And that was true at the time. But the thing I didn’t realize is that I was still in survival mode. I had to teach a retreat 4 days after finding out that negative result. I thought 4 days was enough time to “get over it,” but it wasn’t. It was just the only time I had.
The truth is, I’d been in a state of depression ever since that day, but I was also trying to act like I wasn’t because I was ashamed. It felt like my emotional response was too big for such a minor experience. What my mind didn’t realize was that my body knew exactly what was going on, and it was trying to communicate that to me through emotions- but I shamed them away.
By the time I found out what my body already knew, I’d already gone through the full grief cycle.
In some ways, finding out about the miscarriage felt more like a relief than anything. A relief that, no, I’m not crazy. And a relief that it’s over.
There’s something to be said about the fact that we get to start over in my home state with a brand new doctor, a brand new clinic, and in one of my favorite places in the world. There’s relief to be found in new beginnings, as much as there’s nerves and fear.
Truth be told, it’s scary to consider trying again once you’ve touched the pain of loss. It’s scary to willingly put yourself through that again. And it’s scary to let this little being who’s not even here earthside yet crack you open into the most uncomfortable vulnerability yet.
But then there’s hope.
And there’s the image of their little face staring back at you. Or the image of Sandia licking their tiny toes. There’s the imagined sound of more laughter in our home, and the imagined sense of deeper love between us.
That’s what keeps you going through the fear.
Plain and simple.