Waiting It Out

So I warned you! This is a melancholy post (though I am not feeling as melancholy as I thought I would, since today has been a sort of good day).

Sad song and sad lyrics and possibly triggering for anyone who’s suffered miscarriages or infant loss. Stop here if you need to.

Last year, this past weekend (and it was actually a year ago today, the 5th of May—just a Sunday instead of a Monday) was the weekend I went to the ER for spotting with my first pregnancy, what ended up as a blighted ovum.

It’s not a particularly interesting story. I was trucking along for nearly two weeks after my BFP at what I thought was 5w5d, feeling happy and nervous and everything all at once, and I had spotting. I called my mom who told me to call my doctor, that it was probably nothing but to make sure. The office told me to go to the hospital since it was my first and they hadn’t done a scan yet (they were concerned about an ectopic) and my dates said I was almost 8w. Five hours later and I had a readable HCG and a sac, but no fetal pole.

The damn ER nurse, even though she was the sweetest, told me not to worry. That it was probably fine. That I was wrong on my dates. She congratulated me.

The week following the ER visit they did more blood work and another scan. The HCG was rising minimally. The scan showed the sac never changed. I had a third one the following week…no change. The doctors were really nice in allowing me the time and the confirmation that this was no mistake, the sac wasn’t growing, and there was no baby. I had the procedure done on May 23rd, less than a week before J came home.

I sat in the ER the night of the spotting with my phone buzzing beside me. My husband J was calling me. He had left for a month-long training session in CA for the military and was calling to see how I was before he went to bed. I didn’t answer. He’d been gone 4-5 days, he’d called me every night, and I’d always answered. I didn’t answer this time. I didn’t want to worry him if it was nothing. I texted him later and told him I’d fallen asleep on the couch and had my phone on vibrate. Told him I’d talk to him later that day (since it was 2AM when I got home).

That was one of the hardest parts of the whole thing, was J not being there. The last thing I wanted to do was worry him, distract him. We had been trying to get him into this training for a year, and they’d finally had room for him. I didn’t want him distracted or upset by the miscarriage, so I kept it a secret from him. Slowly let loose a phrase like, “Well nothing is certain until an ultrasound” or, “As far as I know, everything is okay.” The week of the procedure, I told him I had some bleeding and went to the doctor and they said there wasn’t a baby. I made it sound as minor and painless and emotionally-detached as I could. I grieved alone, after we got off the phone, every time. It killed me to be lying to him. Even toward the end. It wasn’t until he came home, on our wedding anniversary, several days after the procedure, that I told him everything. That we grieved together, crying in each other’s arms.

I didn’t know it then, but that day in the ER was the start of the hardest part of my life. The last year has been a nightmare, to say the least. When I came out of the clinic on the 23rd, I really felt like this was an isolated incident. A moment in time. I didn’t know it would be the catalyst for something way worse.

And I didn’t know it would hurt more. I’m not saying a blighted ovum is any less painful, or traumatizing, or significant. But the pain I felt when I found out that first pregnancy was over was a tenth of the agony I felt going in with my second on Christmas Eve and finding out that little jelly bean of a baby that had been wriggling around with a beating heart only a month before was dead.

I don’t know if any of you are familiar with Imogen Heap. She is one of my favorite music artists, within the last ten years or so anyway. She has a song called “Wait It Out” that I swear (haven’t found proof) must have to do with miscarriage. If it’s not, then this is just another amazing way that music has the ability to touch different people for different reasons. I listen to this song at least once a week. Especially when I’m feeling particularly down. I had it on repeat for most of this weekend, whenever I was in the car or relaxing at home.

I’ve included the lyrics and embedded the video so y’all can have a listen. It paints the whole picture of miscarriage, of infertility, of waiting, of loss, so perfectly. What happens moving forward from those first few horrible seconds of realization, what fills the time…

I miss you, baby-that-could-have-been. ❤

Wait It Out” —Imogen Heap

where do we go from here? how do we carry on?
I can’t get beyond the questions
clambering for the scraps, in the shatter of us—collapsed
it cuts me with every could-have-been
pain on pain on play repeating
with a backup makeshift life in waiting

everybody says that time heals everything
but what of the wretched hollow?
the endless in-between
are we just going to wait it out?

there’s nothing to see here now, turning the sign around
we’re closed to the earth ’til further notice
a stumbling clichéd case, crumpled and puffy-faced
dead in the stare of a thousand miles

all I want, only one street-level miracle
I’ll be an out-and-out, born again
from none more cynical…

everybody says that time heals everything
…oh in the end…
but what of the wretched hollow?
the endless in-between
are we just going to wait it out?

sit here cold? but we’ll be long gone by then
in lackluster, in dust we layer on old magazines
flourescent lighting sets the scene
for all we could and should be being
in the one life that we’ve got

…in the one life that we’ve got…

everybody says that time heals everything
but what of the wretched hollow?
the endless in-between
are we just going to wait it out?

sit here…just going to wait it out?
sit here, cold…just going to sweat it out?

…wait it out…     

6 thoughts on “Waiting It Out

  1. I am so very sorry about your losses. I cannot even imagine how difficult it must have been for you and your husband. ❤

  2. There should be a “I Hear You” or “Beautifully Written” button in addition to a like button. My heart goes out to you as one who knows at least a bit of your pain. I pray you have your rainbow.

  3. Oh hon. I’m sending you the biggest hug ever. My second and third miscarriages are almost a mirror image of what you described with the blighted ovum and then getting pregnant again and thinking everything was okay only to find out weeks later the heart stopped beating. No one should ever have to go through that, but to go through it alone is unimaginable. How you managed to go through that by yourself, is truly amazing. You are a such a warrior of strength, and it shows how much you love your hubby that you didn’t want to tell him and worry him. I’m in awe of you. Beautiful song. Thank you for sharing. Big hug!

    • Yeah… 😦 Like I said, any type of pregnancy that doesn’t progress…chemical, blighted ovum, ectopic…it is still a loss. I’m not minimizing that. But holy crap, if I thought I was broken with that first one, I was even more devastated the second time. 😥 I’m sorry you had to go through that as well. Isn’t it miserable? Thinking that the first miscarriage was just a blip in the system? One of those 25% of women who has a miscarriage before having a healthy baby? I thought that SO strongly right when I hit 8 weeks and had my second ultrasound, and then boom. A month later, it was over. And the truth came out. It wasn’t a mistake. It was a sign of something bigger. It sucked.

      Going through it alone was tough. But my husband is such a sensitive guy, and he really loves me so much. He has done a lot for me in the 8 years we’ve been together, and he would’ve known how I was handling it. He would’ve either felt guilty for not being home and would’ve left the training early and not finished, or would’ve been so distracted that he wouldn’t have passed his tests. He would’ve failed out. After all that waiting. I couldn’t do that to him. It was so hard to lie, but I had to. And I was so worried when he came home that he’d be mad, but he understood. He knew if he were in the same situation, if I were away at school or something and he’d been in an accident, he would have done the same thing. He would’ve kept quiet for a while, or maybe told me a version of the story that didn’t seem so bad (kind of like I did). So I was relieved about that. But it was a hard month. 😦

      Thanks for the hugs. I’ll take them. And thank you for the comment. 🙂 ❤

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