As I silently wait for the lines to appear, I can almost hear my heart thumping; like it wanted to get out of my chest. It’s almost dead silent inside the bathroom. I was perfectly aware that I’m holding my breath as I sit still in the toilet seat holding the home pregnancy test, while my dog Sachi keeps pounding the bathroom door, wanting to get in. As if he knew something remarkable is happening. Then the first line appeared, followed moments later by the faint second red line. I was confused. Am I pregnant or what? Did I put too much pee on it? I’m pretty sure I read the instructions well. Partly disappointed, I cleaned up and went to my room. It was a Thursday morning and I skipped work that day. The past couple of days has been a drag, like I’m literally dragging myself to work ’cause of my terrible headaches like it’s about to split my head in two. I told a friend that I might be pregnant ’cause I’m a week late, no appetite which is extremely unusual for me, and all these terrible headaches was just too much. I was told to buy a home pregnancy test and so I did.
Few weeks prior, I was organizing a wedding event in Tagaytay plus it’s been a hectic month at work (I was juggling two jobs at the same time. Not so great though! haha) so I thought it’s probably just me being over-fatigued, and being pregnant is far from possibility at this point because of too much stress and running around here and there. I told my friend disappointingly that I’m probably not pregnant since the second line is really faint, but I was surprised when she congratulated me instead and told me I am pregnant! That same day I went to the hospital to have a pregnancy test. This time it’s a blood test so there’s no denying the truth. And there you go, I am pregnant indeed and the moment I read the results I almost hugged the person next to me hahaha
By the time I found out, my boyfriend JC just left a couple of days ago for work and won’t be home until 6 months after his contract finished. Telling him the big news via videocall is not so ideal and not the way I imagined it to be, but what are we gonna do right? But I know he’s been very eager to have a baby and just seeing his reaction when he found out is the best. I’m so excited, but at the same time I’m also extremely terrified cause he’s away, and even though my siblings and friends are here with me, still I wanted him to be right beside me in every step of this pregnancy journey. Both of my parents are also working abroad, so yeah, it helped with the freaking out stage. Distance sucks, but I respect his career and I know he’s really good at what he does, and it’s for our future. I’m so thankful for the kind of man that he is, and now starting a family together is all that matters.
Before I got pregnant, my siblings and I were being constantly asked by our parents when will we give them grandchildren, and we would just laugh at it. I remember seeing on facebook these cute videos of parents being told they were gonna be grandparents and that they were so surprised and so happy and all and I thought, wow, I’m pretty sure my parents are gonna react the same way.
But nope. That didn’t happened.
Let me tell you about my old school Filipino parents; both my parents were raised by solid Catholic Spanish era foundation. So can you just imagine how furious they were when I told them I got pregnant before even getting married. They even thought it’s somebody else, and that they’re being pranked. OMG right? haha It’s like hearing their most horrendous nightmare came true. It’s as if I’m a teenager who got knocked up by some guy somewhere and left forever all by myself. By the way, I’m 29 years old. In some cultures, I would have been thrown out of the streets by now just to be pregnant! A one particular uncle of mine even wrote me a lengthy message on facebook about how I’ve disappointed my parents and many people because of me being pregnant. And that got me to the edge. I got mad at my parents that time, because I felt like I’ve been treated as a child and I’m their daughter and that they should have been on my side. And I was furious with this uncle, who had no right whatsoever to tell me how I should and shouldn’t live my life and tell me how such a disappointment I am in the eyes of my parents and many people. I understand my parents might have been shocked, but for him to react that way? Seriously, he didn’t even had any part of my upbringing ever! Boy, did he just lost my respect for him.
So, hurtful words were told back and forth between me and my parents and I decided not to talk to them for quite some time. I just wanted to go through this pregnancy as peaceful as possible, away from the shitty drama and all. Until one morning, we were having a meeting and suddenly I felt an excruciating pain in my belly and I was rushed into the emergency room. It was one of the most terrifying days of my life, I was so scared for my life especially for the little one inside of me. Apparently, it’s an acid reflux caused by this stupid mcdonald’s hot chocolate I had that morning. It was nothing serious, but damn, that really scared me to death. My siblings told my parents about it, and that incident changed everything. Turns out, they are much more excited about this baby than I am haha The incident also scared them and since then we patched things up and everything went well between the three of us.
I found out I was pregnant when I’m on my 5th week and I had an ultrasound right away. My little pea was perfectly healthy, we found the heartbeat right away and seeing her for the first time on screen really just lifts my heart. How is it possible that I’m carrying a miracle inside my body? I’ve had doubts before about my “essence of being a woman” and surprisingly it’s happening to me. It’s actually funny that I’m referring to it as “her” just ’cause I’ve always wanted to have a girl and JC is perfectly fine with it. After my 2nd ultrasound, which was during the time I had a hospital scare, I found out that I have a cyst on my right ovary. The doctor advised me that we would just monitor if it grows any larger otherwise, we would have to remove it. But she told me it’s normal for women to have this kind of cyst and that the baby is safe and there’s nothing we should worry about at this point. It was during my 8th week, and little did I know my baby stopped growing just days after I just had my ultrasound…
I was often wondering to myself how come I didn’t have any nausea, morning sickness or any vomiting whatsoever. Call me crazy, but ever since I found out I was pregnant I wanted to feel that I’m pregnant. I wanted to experience all the signs and symptoms of having another human being growing up inside your belly. I just wanted to feel it all, the good and the bad things. My next ultrasound was in three weeks so I deliberately took good care of myself until that day. We were all so excited that we even made arrangements for my room/nursery, I asked a couple of friends to help me install an air condition inside the room, paint the walls and change the flooring etc. I even resigned from work, and wasn’t accepting any projects so I can concentrate on my growing belly and my health.
And so the day of my scheduled ultrasound came, it was June 27th. The day was extra special since it’s our anniversary. It’s been a week since Jc and I last talked, it’s understandable given his work wherein most of the time they’re across the ocean and there’s no signal. So I went to the hospital and to my greatest surprise the doctor said my baby has no heartbeat.. I was supposedly on my 11th week, turning 12th and the doctor told me that my baby stopped growing during its 8th week. I was dumbfounded. There I was lying on the bed, with lots of questions rushing inside my head. I asked the doctor if it’s a miscarriage, she couldn’t utter a word. Until she wrote these painful words on the screen : NO CARDIAC ACTIVITY. She told me to just meet with my doctor and she will explain everything to me. I didn’t know what to do. All I know is that I wanted to get out of there as fast as I can and call my doctor about what happened.
I got out of the hospital and the rain was pouring hard. It’s as if the whole world is crying with me. As I was rushing to my car, the tears were unstoppable. My entire body was shaking and I cried like I’ve never cried before… I texted my doctor about what happened and she told me to stay put as she’s also on her way to the hospital. I called my parents, they were crying with me, dumbfounded as I was. How did it happened? How did I lose her? Is it because during my 7th week I was so mad at my previous boss and we had a fight? Or is because I went out of town with my friends and went swimming? But if the calculations were right, I already lost my baby during those times? But how?
My doctor said the probable cause of my miscarriage is due to chromosomal defect which is normally detected during the 8th week of pregnancy. My body didn’t showed me any signs of miscarriage, no bleeding, no abdominal pains, no nausea, etc. so I was completely clueless that my baby has stopped growing inside me. This painful fact has been so hard for me to hear but I know in my heart there is nothing I can do about it. The next day I went to a different hospital to have a second opinion, and I was glad that my doctor didn’t find me insane for wanting a second opinion. At that point I wasn’t really expecting that my baby has been miraculously brought back to life, I just wanted to be sure. The doctor said the same thing, and that I had a missed abortion as the previous findings. He told me somewhat they consider this incident a blessing in disguise, since my healthy body stopped the embryo from growing because it has abnormalities in it, and that I shouldn’t be worried about my next pregnancy for it will surely turn out to be fine.
I was advised by my doctor to drink cytotec so I’ll be able to start bleeding, and since abortion is illegal here in the country, the medicine is not being sold in public pharmacies. I had to go to the hospital’s OR and ask for an Ob resident to get the meds. The next day I started feeling an intense pain in my abdomen and as I went to the bathroom, I already started bleeding. A part of me wanted to delay everything ’cause I still want to feel my baby inside of me, cradle her inside my womb. But then reality suddenly hits me hard that this is really happening, the bright red blood indicates that my baby is really gone. And I just started bawling like a baby… That same night I was rushed to the ER and I was admitted immediately. My doctor visited me that night and told me I’m scheduled for a D&C the next morning to be performed by her. All of these things has been happening all of a sudden that I haven’t really had enough time to reflect on what has happened…
The next day I was woken up by an international phone call. Not really recognizing the number, I thought it was my mom checking up on me. Then I heard JC’s voice on the other line. Telling him about how I lost our baby is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through.. I explained to him everything that has happened, and that I was scheduled that morning for a D&C procedure. I can hear it his voice the disappointment, the shock, but he’s trying so hard to hide it from me so I won’t have to worry about a single thing. I know it’s hard for him too, it’s also his baby. We’ve been blessed to have chosen to experience this life’s miracle, and even though it’s only for a short amount of time, the happiness it brought us was priceless. The great thing about JC is that no matter how awful the situation is, he always finds a way to make me laugh and make me feel at ease. Our conversation was cut short and the next thing I know I was taken down at the operating room and the rest has been a blur…
I’m currently back at home safely, with the loving care of my siblings and my sweet dogs and they helped me a lot in coping with my loss. Maybe some of the people are wondering why do I have to elaborate this story? Well, aside from the reason that writing has helped me every time to cope with anything that’s been going on in my life, this is also my way of reaching out to other women who has experienced the same loss I’m going through right now. For some reason, having a miscarriage is like a voodoo that nobody likes to talk about, it’s like a diseased topic that we should avoid, but we have to talk about it. We have to face the fact that tragedies like this may happen to you, to your sister, mother, friend, wife, girlfriend. We have to let our friends and family know that we are suffering. And I wanted others to know that they’re not alone in this tragedy, that I too, am going through the same thing. It’s hard enough to lose something so important to you, but to feel incapable in finishing the task to care for another being, makes you feel so little about yourself… and I wanted someone to tell me that it’s not my fault. That I am capable of nurturing a baby, and carry it for all the world to see that I’m growing a miracle inside of me.
I know it’s a process, to completely heal. My heart is broken but I know my love for life and my will to live has not. It’s been a terrible, whirlwind week but I know me and my family will come out strong in this and face every trials together with the guidance and grace of God. I may have lost my baby, but that doesn’t mean she won’t be a part of me, because she’ll always be. She knows that she is loved from the beginning to the very end, and that she will always be my baby and she’ll always be a part of the family.