Because you know what? We are built strong, mommies. Like, Ford Tough. And life is sometimes very hard indeed. And our resiliency can be measured by our ability to laugh at life's absurdities and appreciate each moment of happiness we're lucky enough to get - even if it's slightly inappropriate or has to do with beavers.
We found out we were pregnant in July. Isn’t it funny how couples say WE are pregnant? That’s just about when it ends, though. You don’t really hear anyone say, “WE feel like we are going to throw up here at Five Guys ” or “OUR boobs really hurt because they are so ginormous”. Well, in our case WE found out we were pregnant. We were on our way to the beach and staying a few days at my parents’ house. So when the little stick said “oh, even yesser”, WE told our family, including the grandparents, brothers, sisters and most importantly, our precious little one, the divine Miss E.
Miss E is seven years old. So people have been wondering about us for a long time. Are they going to have another? Can they have another? Do they want her to be an only child? You know - all of the precious and charming questions people might think but should never, ever say out loud.
When we got home from vacation I really started to feel the blissful effects of pregnancy. The nausea and tiredness kicked in. We went to the doctor and were so excited to see our first ultrasound to determine how far along WE were. Miss E even went to the appointment. It never even crossed our minds that everything would be anything less than perfect.
We went in to the ultrasound room and the technician decided to greet us with a friendly statistic. Did you know that 1/3 of all pregnancies of women over 35 end in miscarriage? Wow. I am 36. Nice to meet you, too. She started the ultrasound and due to my former career in veterinary medicine I could roughly read the scan. While pregnant with Miss E we scanned my belly at work so much it is a miracle she was born with only one head. But there it was-- a big black empty balloon. Yes. Empty.
So we decide to wait two weeks and do another scan. After all, we weren’t planning or trying and my record keeping is less than stellar. The whole ‘exact date of last menstrual cycle’ was more like I think it was right before the time we drank too much red wine… At this point all we thought that it was too early to see anything. And my pregnancy test was definitely positive.
Fast forward two weeks. Two very long weeks. We returned to the ultrasound room. The scan began and there it was. The big black empty balloon. Only now it was three times the original size. More space – filled with more empty.
This, my friends, is what is known as a blighted ovum. I know, I’d never heard of it either. Your body thinks you are pregnant and continues to “build the house” -- but nobody’s home. So then a decision has to be made - have surgery or wait. A miscarriage was inevitable but we didn’t know when or where (most likely in the aisle at Target). Surgery could be planned but required general anesthesia.
I chose to wait. And wait. And wait. Five weeks later, yes - five weeks later, I miscarried at home.
This experience has taught me many things. Like what not to say to someone who has suffered a miscarriage or lost a child:
- “You already have sweet Miss E.”
- “There will be other babies.”
- “How soon can you try again?”
Since it happened, I have logged plenty of hours on Facebook and catching up on seasons of my favorite shows (conveniently living in my DVR) and have baked roughly 600 loaves of breads, cookies, and cupcakes. I have also spent plenty of time consulting the internet to find out why. Why did this happen? I eat organic. I cut caffeine the moment I found out. I spent my entire beach vacation reading Dr. Oz’s YOU: Having a Baby. I had a textbook perfect pregnancy with Miss E. I was not simply satisfied with my doctor’s explanation that these things just happen and they are common. What I found- they ARE common. There are so many women out there who have gone through this very painful experience. The sisterhood no one wants to be a part of.
xo, Ella Bean
Today is February 17, 2012. I am tearfully and joyfully typing these words: Ella Bean just had a healthy, chubby, adorable baby boy. They are well and happy. And all those who know them are thrilled and grateful this amazing day. I thought you'd want to know.