Today could have been a really sad day for me, but it wasn't. I'm not sad. I'm more....reflective. There are two things that I am missing out on this August 23, 2013 day.
One thing is the Hood to Coast Relay. This would have been my 9th time running this race. It is a 198 mile relay that starts at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood and ends in Seaside, Oregon. It is an amazing event to be a part of. It is two days of little to no sleep, running 3 legs of the relay for a total of approximately 18-20 miles, standing in loooonnnnggggg lines for a port-a-potty, lots of delirious laughter, stinky smelly bodies, and extremely sore muscles at the end that make it incredibly painful to sit on a toilet for days after. Ahem. It is approximately 14,400 runners on the road and over 3600 volunteers.
But it is something that I gladly give up for a good cause. My teammates have sent me text messages with updates and posted pictures on Facebook. I may miss being out there with them, but I am gladly sitting at home with these two babies I'm carrying. I would make that trade off any time.
August 23rd. Today was also our original due date. It is very crazy to think that today could have totally been a different day. I still would have missed the Hood to Coast, but I could have also been holding my baby today, or waiting for him/her to arrive any day. I could have had the next baby in our family. Instead it will by my sister in September and a Cousin in October having their babies before me.
Today could have been, and maybe should have been, a completely miserable day. But it wasn't. I don't know why I'm not sad. I feel reflective, but definitely not sad. I do feel a little afraid, but again, not sad.
Sometimes I don't feel like I responded to my miscarriages the same as other women do. I didn't even count my first one as a miscarriage until recently. It was a chemical pregnancy. I only half way thought I was pregnant for 2.5 days. Half way because I didn't quite believe it when they told me the results of the beta HCG because I was bleeding. It was confirmed that it wasn't true 2.5 days later when I had the second beta test. We never POAS that go round. I waited for the beta results, so we didn't have any prior days of celebration. I had started bleeding the morning of the beta so fully thought I was starting my period and was in disbelief when they told me otherwise. I just never really counted that as an actual miscarriage. Until recently when I read about others going through the same thing, and knowing how devastated they were. Until my OB and the MFM doctor said it counted as a miscarriage when they asked our background. Don't get me wrong. It was emotionally challenging and hard to go from knowing we weren't pregnant, to being told we were, to then being told we weren't. At that time we were still hopeful though. We thought we had more tries left in us. Then our next IVF cycle was canceled because my body didn't respond and didn't produce the eggs.
We moved on to donor eggs, thanks to my sister. We were successful on the first attempt with her eggs! Our due date was August 23rd. Today. However, at 9w5d's, we found out that Bob was Dead. We were heartbroken. I spent days crying and hiding from family. I spent months drowning my sorrows in food. I was angry.
I think there are two major reasons why I have been able to move on and am accepting of that loss. The first is that we chose to have the tissue of the baby tested after the D&C to determine the cause of the miscarriage. Our baby had Trisomy 18. It would have been a very sick baby. Most babies with Trisomy 18 miscarry, but of those that do make it to birth, less than 10% survive to their first birthday. Knowing the reason for the miscarriage, as awful as it was, at least provided us with answers for WHY. We know WHY we lost the baby. I was really angry to be in that less than 1% category for it happening, but at least we knew why, and that gave us some peace.
The other reason I feel like today has not been such a bad day, is because I am fortunate enough to be pregnant again. Tomorrow will mark the 16 week mark. I am still fearful that something could go wrong, that I won't be able to carry these babies all the way to the end, but we have made it further than we ever have before. Our chances of a happy ending increase every single week. We might end up with our family after all. I may not be the next in line to add a baby to the family, but I am IN line.
Maybe I should have been more sad today. Maybe I should have shed a few tears. Maybe I should have locked myself in the house and stayed in bed all day feeling sorry for myself. The truth is though, that I feel like I'm in a really good place. I'm realistic enough to know that anything could still go wrong, but I'm also optimistic enough to believe that everything could absolutely go exactly right.
I haven't forgotten Bob, or the heartache we experienced at that loss, but I have been able to move on. August 23rd might always be a day that I remember, but it's one I can look back on with reflection, rather than overwhelming sadness.