Saturday, March 12, 2022

A Miscarriage Memorial, Hashimoto's, and my Husband Got Hit by a Car

Warning: sad post and a little long. I am usually a pretty upbeat person, but sometimes certain things happen in our lives and we need a little time to recover, and they change who we are. We all grieve in our own way. I think it's important to journal and share, if you feel comfortable doing so (originally posted September 23, 2018)

Back in March of 2018, I had a miscarriage. I was 46 years old and excited to be pregnant with my sixth child with my wonderful husband. Our other kids were 8, 10, 13, 14, and 16 at the time. They were also excited, as were our friends, our families, our neighbors. I had waited a couple of weeks after my period to take a pregnancy test because my periods had been irregular about once a year. I just figured this was that once-a-year period that went long. One Friday, I took a pregnancy test and was excited to see my nausea and exhaustion now had a reason!

Wonder Woman and Bravehart; I'm holding baby #6 and he's holding the pregnancy test!

Sadly, the next day I started to bleed, right after the Brookside St. Patrick's Day parade. I wish I had taken a pregnancy test sooner just to have the idea of this child in my mind and heart longer! I'll spare you the heartbreaking details of the next seven days (at least in this post), but I lost the baby.

In August, I had a dental cleaning with my new dentist. She felt my thyroid area, something I don't remember my old dentist ever doing. She said it was enlarged and I should get it checked out. I said something like, "That's crazy. My doc checks me every year and even does my TSH levels. I'm fine."

Then I started to think. I checked my numbers online from previous years of TSH levels and found them to be a little high according to current standards (6.12 last December). My doctor always told me to just let him know if I was ever more tired than usual. I had been telling him for years about my hair falling out, palpitations, joint issues, trouble focusing, acid reflux, but the puzzle pieces were not put together. At least, not enough to order more thyroid blood tests. I'm not sure why some doctors are so reluctant to order blood tests. 

Then I found some articles online about thyroid issues causing miscarriage.

I got angry. I got very angry. I blamed my doctor. I blamed myself. I blamed our current medical system. I shut myself in my husband's large closet and cried so the kids wouldn't know what I was doing.

I lost a human person from my womb. It was a process that took seven days while I was also homeschooling 5 kids and keeping a household together (did I mention that on March 12 my husband was hit by a car while riding his bicycle as well, so of course his care was on my mind?). It was traumatic. I would not wish it on anyone.

But like I said, I am a happy person. I don't like to be depressed or down and I fight it all I can when I feel it coming. So for some reason, I went to Google and looked for miscarriage memorials. I wanted something heavy that I could pick up, not a plaque to hang on a wall. Something I could visit and talk to, like a grave. I found this seller on Etsy, who not only sold me this stone for a reasonable price, but also offered comforting words.

Our baby's stone (I wasn't very far along but we called this baby a girl since we have 3 sons and 2 daughters; I laugh when I think about hopefully getting to Heaven and meeting this child and a boy asking why I called him Olivia!!!). My comforting miscarriage memorial stone. 

I thought this might help to comfort some other grieving families, whether their grief is from losing a grown child, a teen, a young child, a stillborn baby, a miscarriage, any situation.

I put the stone under a lovely tree on our 8 acres. Tomorrow I'm going to move it so it faces the garden and the pond. I might even bring it inside or closer to the house in the winter. I immediately felt some peace when this arrived in the mail. I felt like I had done SOMETHING during a time in my life that nothing could be done. (Update: in 2021, my husband put our new Mary statue in front of the house with this stone right in front of it)

I pray for anyone who has ever lost a child.

*I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's autoimmune disorder after asking my doctor for 3 more thyroid blood tests, and then there was also a sonogram on my thyroid.

**March 12, 2018 is the date I chose to memorialize our baby because that's the day we went to the doctor and no heartbeat was heard. After that appointment, I drove the 45 minutes home alone, journaling and crying, and my husband drove back to work.

I packed up the kids and was on 71 highway heading to take my daughter to her theater class in Leawood with Christian Youth Theater when I got a phone call from my husband's phone, and a stranger was on the line.

My husband had been hit by a car while riding his Cannondale bicycle after work. He was riding where a woman was turning into some shops, and the sun was in her eyes. She hit him and he went up and over her car.

I quickly changed lanes to head down to Brookside to pick up my teen son, who was working doing lawn care, because I felt like we should all be together.

I believe later that night at the emergency room, where we rushed as a family to see my husband, was when I possibly lost the baby, but I'm just not sure because (TMI and a little macabre, but when you go through something like this, the details become very important to recount) the hospital had toilets that flushed automatically. At this point, I had no definitive results from the sonogram or the blood tests.

Edited in 2022 to add: 
All this happened on a Monday. Tuesday I put on a brave face and had my mom and aunt over for a visit. I just didn't feel right. I should not have had visitors but felt like I should tough it out. 

Wednesday we went to our homeschool coop, and I toughed it out there as well. I believe I then ran by the doctor's office for another blood test.

Wednesday night I passed a large amount of "tissue." Then I packed up some of the kids and drove to Grandview to pick up my older kids who were at a Theology of the Body for Teens class at a friend's house. On the way, my doctor called to let me know the blood test showed that the HCG levels were extremely low and that the pregnancy was lost. 

I parked at the bottom of the hill of my friend's house, looked to my left, and saw my friend Mikki's huge white van. We both got out of our vans and I told her what happened. I'll never forget how she just held me while I sobbed; what a true friend. She has since had a baby, her ninth, and I could not love that little muffin more 💗

Four years later, Mikki and I are on the co-op committee together and she jokes that we sometimes share a brain on co-op matters when things get busy. Our kids are friends and hang out together on different levels. Two of her teens went to the homeschool Prom with two of my teens last year, and two of them are going together again this year. 

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