The week before Memorial Day was probably one of the worst weeks of my life. I had spent a week in Seattle for work, piecing together a fairly complex project. Shortly after I arrived, I began spotting. I was worried about it, but was assured by many people (doctor included) that this was sometimes a normal side effect of early pregnancy. I had no choice but to continue on.
A day later I was able to get in for an ultrasound. I dated much earlier than anticipated, which was my first indication that something was wrong. However, we were able to see the heartbeat so that felt very promising. I’d not felt more connected to anything until that moment (and that was even more so than after seeing all of my positive pregnancy tests). By the time Friday rolled around, I breathed a huge sigh of relief when my co-worker and I finished this huge giant project. As a way to celebrate, we all decided to go to the movies.
In usual fashion, I decided to make a run for the bathroom. It was there that my spotting had escalated into full-blown bleeding. I was almost positive that I was going to bleed through my pants. I get to the ER and am rushed right away into a room. The pain as so agonizing. I had not had cramps or pains like that for a very long time, since I was on the pill. I gritted my teeth and tried to deal with it, repeating to myself that sometimes women just happen to bleed during pregnancy and that everything worked out for them. I tried to pass the time by watching Star Trek. About an hour into waiting, I had a sudden urge to go to the bathroom.
The blood came flooding out of me, and out dropped a small sack about the size of a golf ball. At that moment the pain subsided, but I knew what had happened. I peeked around the door and asked if a doctor needed to see what was happening, and was assured that it was not necessary. I literally cried and said goodbye in that ER bathroom and returned to my hospital bed. They conducted a few ultrasounds and ended up not seeing anything, so I had indeed passed my baby. I was given a few pills to help progress the passing of tissue, but had decided to give it some time. I felt like I had passed so much at the ER that certainly, the worst was over. Once I got back to my hotel room, I ordered pizza. I felt numb and incredibly sad at the same time. I tried to go to bed as soon as possible so that I didn’t have to face what had happened.
The next day, I cramped like no other. I was also passing tons of blood. What I was feeling were contractions. In addition to the shedding of tissue, my uterus was also contracting back to its original size. It felt uncomfortable. I was still big like I was pregnant, but I wasn’t pregnant. It was just a depressing time.
After I returned to Denver, I headed to my OB-GYN to confirm the news and to repeat the same story. I was tired of replaying it in my head, let alone having to actually talk about it. My final ultrasound showed one more major clot that still needed to pass. My doctor was very apologetic, and cleared me for any and all training.
Later that week, I was scheduled to run the Rock n Roll San Diego race. I was registered for the full marathon, but was half marathon ready. I couldn’t bear to think about having to actually have full-blown conversations with people. I knew how they’d look at me with concern, and that they’d be unsure of what to say. I didn’t want to put them in that position, and I certainly didn’t want to talk about it.
I decided at the last minute to go anyway. I knew that staying home alone that weekend wasn’t in my best interest.
Since my miscarriage, my body has been trying to regulate all of the hormones. Immediately after the miscarriage I was gaining weight at a steady clip. I felt like I was exploding out of my clothes. It’s been about six weeks post-miscarriage and I am finally feeling more like myself.
All in all, I felt pretty let down by my body. It literally only had one job to do, and it failed at that. This cascaded into all of the other stressful situations I was being put into at work and in my personal life. I decided at that moment to go ahead and run my race to the best of my abilities, knowing I would feel awful both mentally and physically. I also promised myself to continue racing and training throughout the summer, primarily so that I’d have something to look forward to.