On recovering: six weeks after my miscarriage.
September 21, 2011

It took two full weeks for the last of the congratulatory cards to arrive in the mail, and each one was followed very closely by cards filled with condolences.  I opened every envelope and set the cards on the coffee table.  Stop doing this to yourself, my husband said.  We put the cards in a stack and tucked them away.

Donald bought me a box of key lime truffles for our anniversary.  I had one that night, two the day we found out we were pregnant, and another on my birthday.  When Aurora died, I asked Donald to please pick up comfort foods at the grocery store.  Pumpkin seeds, cashews, canned tuna, peaches, cherries, and chocolate.  He frowned when I listed chocolate.  But you have key lime truffles, he said.  I said that dead babies aren’t key lime truffle material.  He took Charlotte to the grocery and picked up everything on my list.

When he came home with the bags, I nibbled a bit.  It was half-hearted at best; by then, I’d lost interest in food.  I would get through the entire day and realize that I’d eaten only a peach, or only a piece of toast, or not eaten at all.  My head throbbed.  My joints ached.  My milk supply dwindled.

One of my later blood tests took place at eight o’clock in the morning.  Donald and I woke up at six and were out the door at seven.  When we got there, Donald bought breakfast for himself and Charlotte.  They stayed downstairs while I had my blood drawn.  It should have taken five minutes.  Instead it took nearly an hour.  They had to call in a phlebotomist because my blood pressure was too low, my veins too small, my arms too bruised for the nurses to feel comfortable.

My veins collapsed.  Over and over again she eased the needle in, and over and over again she convinced my body to relinquish some of my blood.  She added partly-filled vials together until she was certain she had enough.  Forty minutes to fill slightly less than a single small vial.  I joked that it would have been faster to papercut me and squeeze it out drop by drop.  I was queasy and light-headed afterwards.

The phlebotomist laid me down on the floor and said, Sarah?  I’ve been looking over your charts.  With such low blood pressure, I’d recommend afternoon appointments for future blood draws.  You lost a lot of blood.  It takes a month or two to recuperate from that, so you need probably eat before you have any more blood draws.  The thing that really worries me, though, is that you’ve lost quite a bit of weight since your miscarriage.  It isn’t uncommon to lose your appetite when you’re going through something like this, but I need you to keep an eye on it.

Total, I lost twelve pounds after the miscarriage.  I don’t really pay attention to my weight, so I had to go to friends’ houses to use their scales to track my weight.  People began worrying, but I was eating – I just wasn’t hungry enough to eat more.  And then one morning I woke up weighing 103 pounds and I was unfathomably ravenous.  Twice I woke up hungry in the middle of the night.  A month after the miscarriage I finally began to gain the weight back.

After five and a half weeks all of the bleeding finally came to a halt.  The overwhelming exhaustion waned.  The soreness subsided.  Last week, for the first time in over a month, I had enough energy to spend an entire day doting on my captivating whirlwind of a daughter without feeling winded or needing a break.

Momma sick?, she asks now.  Momma missing sister Rora?  Charlotte make Momma happy?  It breaks my heart to hear her soft little voice so genuinely concerned.  Looking at her, I realize just what this miscarriage has done to our family.  You always make me happy, I tell her.  Always.

A few weeks after we lost Aurora, Charlotte found an illustrated dictionary of dinosaurs that I had when I was a kid.  She recognized an incredible number of dinosaurs and knew them by name.  THIS, I told Donald, this is key-lime truffle material.

She always is.  I just wish I knew how to communicate that to her.

*** In other news, if you click here you will see the name/symbolic necklaces I’ve been considering.  I’d love to know what you think.


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  1. By Naomi on September 21, 2011

    hugs

  2. By on September 21, 2011

    Jude always has a way of filling my world with sunshine. any time I feel stressed or particularly overwhelmed with any number of things, just sitting back and taking in the simplicity of his life is enough to recharge me.

    I’m glad to hear that while it’s still probably difficult for you, that you’re at least back up to key-lime truffle kind of days :)

  3. By Melody D. on September 21, 2011

    I hope you start feeling more yourself.  I have five soul- sucking miscarriages.  Each one takes a little more of me away.  I find a lot of comfort though in our son.  That child of ours is so amazing, he’s a ray of sunshine.  He sees the world so beautifully and innocently.  When I feel down, I try to look at things from his level and it helps.  Enjoy your little one.  She’s pretty awesome too.

  4. By Alicia S. on September 21, 2011

    I think about you guys all the time. I’ve never met a mother who better communicates affection to their child as you. I bet it isn’t that she asks because she doesn’t know, but because she likes that you’ll remind her. :-)

  5. By Emily on September 21, 2011

    Beautiful and heartbreaking post at the same time. I crazily respect your openness and honesty momma!

  6. By Cynthia Krajcarski on September 21, 2011

    She knows, Sarah.

  7. By Lindsay on September 22, 2011

    I may only know you through your blog, but I have no doubts that you’ve communicated this to her better than you can even imagine. I know that Charlotte knows the fervor with which you love her. You are being so strong throughout all of this and I admire your strength, your honesty and the mom that you are. <3

  8. By Fisher Price Swing on September 22, 2011

    It’s good to know that you are better now. Stay strong and healthy… not only for yourself, but for your lovely girl too!

  9. By on September 23, 2011

    Sarah, I say this with the utmost respect. You have to take better care of yourself. Charlotte needs you, she needs your milk. Getting so run down you are really risking your health. I remember a post called something like “the baby that is here” where you realized that while you will always love the first child you miscarried, Charlotte has captivated your heart. The family that is here, Charlotte and Donald need you more than the child you miscarried needs you. If in your grief, you can’t remember to eat, someone needs to make sure you do.  I hesitated for days to post this fearing that you might be offended but my worries overcame that concern.  Please be well.

  10. By Sarah Christensen on September 23, 2011

    Mitzie - I’m not offended.  I’m taking better care of myself now than I was at the beginning.  When Donald and I realized how quickly I’d lost weight and how much I lost, we focused on making sure that I was weighing myself and eating and drinking enough.

    I think this is a very different loss than my first.  It was much, much worse this time.  The first few weeks were like a black hole and it took time for me to care about getting better.  I’ve never heard of anyone falling into post-miscarriage depression, but if that exists, it would probably describe pretty perfectly how the first few weeks went until I was given the misoprostol.  It wasn’t until the whole thing was over that I started to bounce back.

  11. By on September 24, 2011

    Glad to hear you are more aware of your needs now. And I agree with you about the post miscarriage depression. The sense of loss combined with the wildly fluctuating hormones is enough to sink anyone.

  12. By Maryta on September 27, 2011

    Wonderful and heartbreaking post. Thank you very much.


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