Numb. I have felt pretty much numb for the past year. It wasn’t until recently that the band-aid was ripped off to expose the oozing sore of my miscarriage.
It is ingrained in my brain like nothing else has ever been. I can still smell the gel that they put on the ultrasound wand. I can still see my husband’s tears as he hears our baby’s heartbeat for the first and what would be the only time. I can still feel the anger at the ultrasound tech, who was so joyful at our first appointment and called my baby our little bean.
Previous to this we had struggled with infertility for about a year. We finally went to the doctor and she gave us the magical pill that is Clomid. This little pill was supposed to inject life into my womb, and it in fact did so three times, although my arms are empty. I had two chemical pregnancies, which I hate that term because my children were not chemicals; they were babies no matter how small. My third pregnancy however was different; instead of the two pink lines fading they were getting darker. I was filled with cautious hope as I went to get my blood drawn. I would have to wait 48 hours to know the fate of my child and it led to more uncertainty.
My levels were increasing, but not doubling as they were supposed to. All I could do was sit and wait three weeks for an ultrasound. Fast-forward three weeks and there it was, our baby with a heartbeat. My husband is not an emotional guy, and I saw tears in his eyes at the sight of our child’s heartbeat. However, it was still too good to be true, our baby’s heartbeat was there but it was weak and it was measuring a week behind. We were sent home again to wait. Everyone around us tried to be so positive that it almost made me angry. I knew what was going to happen and I needed to just accept it.
Fast-forward another week and I undressed for the ultrasound. I could already feel the heaviness of the loss that had not yet been confirmed. That ultrasound felt like a funeral. The tech inserted the wand, fished around for what felt like forever, searching for a heartbeat. There was none. There was silence. It was the worst silence I had ever experienced in my life. She said nothing and sent us back to the waiting room to wait to see the doctor.
The juxtaposition of the waiting room was more than I could bear. So many couples sitting in there waiting to see their six month old child in the womb while I sat there with my dead child in mine. After what seemed like an eternity the doctor called us back into the room to go over our options. I chose to have a D&C because I could not handle seeing my baby if I had gone the natural route.
The whole process of the surgery is burned into my every being. I could see the pity in the eyes of every nurse and doctor that got me ready before and after the procedure. I left the hospital with empty arms and an empty heart. However I did not feel that upset at the time. I was ready to jump back on the saddle of trying to conceive. I went to more doctor’s appointments and got more drugs, but this time I did not become pregnant, and no one could explain why.
We decided to put trying on hold because we were just so exhausted and I had been accepted into the school of my dreams. I walked through the rest of the year numb. The busyness of our lives made us both numb. To be a total nerd and quote Albus Dumbleodre, “Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.” This couldn’t be more true and resonates deep within me. I had gone a year on autopilot spewing out the cliché things like, “well at least I can get pregnant” and the other hopeful things that your supposed to say, never acknowledging that what I lost was a child, my child.
I wish I could tell you that I’m in a better place now but I’m not. Right now I’m in the place of it hurting. It feels like it just happened. It feels like its still happening and honestly it may feel that way for a while and that’s okay because it matters. My child’s life mattered. Your child’s life mattered. My pain does matter. Your pain matters so let yourself feel it. Let yourself grieve.
Ashley Vargas is a wife, a dog mom, and a student of social work. She is in recovery from anorexia and now dealing with infertility. Her heart is to reach those who are struggling and hopes that her words can reach even one person. She is a blogger over at how2love.co so follow along and check out her photography on instagram at @how2loveblog