Going through a traumatic life experience while married can either bring you closer or tear you apart. Nothing prepares you for suffering a miscarriage; it’s just something you have to learn to cope with day by day. Unfortunately, losing our baby was the straw that broke the camel’s back and ultimately ended our marriage.
Our relationship was struggling to begin with. I stayed because we have kids together and mom guilt is a bitch. After 18 years with my husband, I was committed to the whole thick or thin part of our vows, but after nearly two decades together and four kids later, our marriage was hanging on by a thread. Going through the trauma of a miscarriage made things exponentially worse.
The physical pain alone was crippling. I thought I had appendicitis. The sudden onset of pain brought me literally to my knees. After suffering through the pain for a while at home, I finally conceded and called for help to get to the hospital. My husband agreed to stay home with the kids while I sought medical attention. I couldn’t bear the pain any longer and through gritted teeth and muffled screams, I called for an ambulance.
The hospital was a blur. When I got in, they waitlisted me because I didn’t have obvious signs of trauma. Eventually, I was set up in a room; they sent me for a sonogram and took blood. The external sonogram didn’t show anything abnormal but my bloodwork came back positive. I was pregnant… or at least I had been.
I was sent home and told to follow up with my OBGYN the following week. My physician told me I was likely suffering an early miscarriage and would need to see my obstetrician on Monday. They couldn’t do anything for the pain because there was a chance that with bed rest, the baby might survive, however unlikely that might be. When I got home to my husband, he was very emotional at the prospect of losing a child, but I was incapable of offering sympathy to him because of the pain.
The next morning was torture. I couldn’t move from the bed because I was in agony and finally, towards the afternoon, I relented and called the doctor. I explained my symptoms: unbearable pain, bleeding, swollen abdomen. He was adamant I come to the emergency room immediately. I gathered my phone and insurance cards and my husband dropped me off at the emergency room entrance.
It wasn’t just a miscarriage, it was an ectopic pregnancy. Things moved very fast once I was back in the emergency room. My blood pressure set off all sorts of warnings and I was whisked back into a room. The pain was torturous and I was left to deal with it alone. A sonogram showed I was bleeding internally because of an ectopic pregnancy that had ruptured through my fallopian tube. Because of this, I needed emergency surgery. My dad came to the hospital to be with me and I gave consent for a blood transfusion. Right before I was taken into surgery, I saw the eight-week-old embryo on a sonogram.
Recovery was a bitch. Although my dad was there when I went into surgery, I came out of it alone. My room was on a floor of women who had their babies, but I was in the back with a window facing the side of an adjacent building. I spent the day after surgery alone to suffer through my physical and emotional pain. I talked to my husband and he said he was sorry but that’s about it. He picked me up the next day to go home.
I wanted him there with me but I didn’t want to talk about it. The surgery removed both fallopian tubes and any chance of having more kids naturally along with it. The ability to create life was taken from me to save my life. Obviously it was a choice I would make again, but it was hard to come to terms with the finality of it all. I wanted him there, but he didn’t understand that I just wanted his quiet support and love. I needed to work through my own pain without having to worry about his.
The end was obvious. A week after my surgery, I was finally able to move around normally. I had random episodes of uncontrollable tears and he got angry. My husband couldn’t understand my grief and he couldn’t empathize with me. Our worlds drifted even further apart. He resented me for not opening up and I hated him for not being what I needed. It was the nail in the coffin of our marriage. We filed for divorce less than a year later. He had a baby with another woman and I live with the scars of my last pregnancy.
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