The exception that proves the rule

The pain you experience during a miscarriage is an unmistakeable pain and quite possibly the worst pain you will ever feel.  About four years ago, I found out just how painful it was. And if you ever wondered if you could get pregnant on the pill, guess what? You can.

I am religious about taking my pill. Of all the patients that could walk through a pharmacy’s doors, I’m probably one of the most highly compliant with my medication. So when I realized I had forgotten to take my pill for two days, I kind of panicked. It was not like me at all. And as I popped the pill to get back on schedule, something told me not to take it. I did it anyway.

About a week later I had the worst cramps I had ever had in my life – and a week before it was supposed to happen. I was on the pill after all, and that made life blissfully predictable. After a few days of this pain, I called my primary care doctor and made an appointment to find out what was going on. It would be another two weeks before he would get me in.

He asked about my general health around the time of the abnormal menstruation. “Well, I had a really bad case of the flu the week before.” This was during the time of the swine flu scare, and I have good reason to believe that is what I had had. He said that the flu can do crazy things to the body. But that didn’t seem like a convincing answer to me.

Finally he said, “You probably had a natural abortion. Was there a fetus?” He just about ripped my heart out with that one. “No. There was a lot of tissue…”  I paused.  “But I’m on the pill.”

“Like I said, flu can really do a number on you.” I left in disbelief that I had had a chemical or missed pregnancy. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense and I knew somewhere inside that is what had happened. And I hadn’t even wanted to have children at that point, but it was a strangely grounding experience. I recalled my coworker, who is highly intuitive and spiritual (in the Buddhist/hippie kind of way), who asked me flat out one day, “Do you have something to tell us? You’ve seemed happier lately.” And how I felt a little nauseous every morning when I went to get the paper, and in the afternoon when I came home from work until I ate a few saltines. And that small voice telling me not to take the pill – the same voice that made me forget to take my pill in the first place (though I was militant about not forgetting it while ill) because it had known what had happened.

I went home to break the news to my husband. And though I hadn’t wanted it to be the right time to start a family, I still felt…something. My husband felt it, too. It was an unexpected sadness. I only told one other person about this miscarriage, my friend B, as we infertilites comiserated over a glass of wine.

It wasn’t until a few months ago as I started this blog that I realized I needed to forgive myself for what had happened before I would be able to move on. And that’s when I got pregnant.

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