02 June, 2016

Looking back: After a Miscarriage

The average miscarriage seems to last around 2 weeks. I guess I'm just an above average person, because my body was determined to be above average in bleeding as well. I called my doctor after a couple weeks of the mess and they didn't seem phased. They simply told me to keep going to the hospital to do lab work so we could see when all of the hcg hormone was out.
That's great, but these blood draws were costing just under $100 each and I didn't feel the need to go in every week only for a nurse to call the next day with the same news, "It went down by a bit again. I'll send in a requisition for next Thursday." (It seemed to always land on a Thursday.
When I got fed up with being poked and prodded, I finally asked if there was another option. "Well, you could take a home pregnancy test every and then when those start coming up negative, we can go back to the blood tests."
The cost was a fraction, but the pain was undoubtedly heightened. I hadn't put two and two together. I didn't even think about the fact that with heightened hcg levels, I could totally fool a pregnancy test. That's one of the worst things someone who has just miscarried can do. Take a home pregnancy test with the result being "pregnant" even though you know it's fibbing.
Spring break rolled around and the bleeding finally decided to conclude. (Read: spring break is in April. The miscarriage started in February. Blood poured the entire month of March plus some.)
The doctor's office called one last time with a cheery, "You're good to start trying again!" and I felt relief. They did not, however, prepare me for what came next.
The week after spring break, I had a field trip (and night performance) of patriotic extreme with my fifth graders. Between the exhausting school day and the even more tiring night show, I noticed the beginning of a real period. Hooray. I was normal again.
Cue the next day. My students were taking a math test. I started to feel uncomfortable. I poked my head in my neighbor's door and asked her to watch my little angels while I visited the bathroom. (The joys of teaching.)
Upon reaching the bathroom, I felt a familiar feeling. I was bleeding in a scarily similar way to when I miscarried. I wasn't sure what to do. It was too much blood for me to resume being a nonchalant school marm and I had made a mess of my clothes (thank you, black pants for not showing anything).
I rushed back to my amazing teacher (friend) across the hall from me. I cleverly avoided showing my face to the secretaries in the office as tear began to flood. My miscarriage never gave me much pain (for which I am extremely grateful and lucky) but the emotional memory was coming back in a way I could not control.
I beckoned my friend out of her classroom and quickly explained what was happening and that I had no idea what to do. This is why I chose to move to a new school with her. She is so loving and understanding. She has been one of my biggest supports throughout this emotional journey. She went into action, grabbing my bag out of my classroom and then shepherding me down to the office. She had a few quiet words with our main secretary and then pushed me out the door with said secretary. (Much to the horror of one of our aides watching from the sidelines.)
I was walked to the secretary's truck and she calmed me down as she drove me home. (I did insist on having a towel between my blood-soaked pants and her truck's worn seats.) She eventually got me to laugh during the twenty minute drive as I apologized profusely for living so far away.
She dropped me off and even came back a couple hours later with dinner for husband and me. I have amazing co-workers.
The heavy bleeding concluded that night and I felt relief after doing research. The first period after a miscarriage is no joke, people.

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