The last night I worked before my miscarriage- around a day or two before the doctor estimates my baby’s heart stopped beating- I was assisting a tech with a patient. I was bending over, doing something, I don’t even remember what, and he said to me “No, no, you don’t need to be bending over so much”. I had laughed and said something like I might as well bend while I still could.
Some techs had chided me while I did certain tasks, worried I would hurt myself. I had done my research, and lifting and bending was not going to cause a miscarriage. I always told them as much.
Then I learned the baby had died, and I spent the next twenty-seven days convinced that I was a complete ass, and something I had done while working had killed my baby. It didn’t matter that I work with a very pregnant nurse and tech, both of whom do the same thing I do every shift, were fine. I was convinced that on my last night working, by bending over and helping out, I had done something to kill my child.
I would call the last twenty-seven days a slow decent into depression and self-hatred. Then, thankfully, my doctor called on the July 1st.
The baby had Down’s Syndrome, which I learned (read: hours of Google searches), increases the risk of miscarriage during the first trimester to 50%. I read somewhere, in which of the hundred sites I visited I can’t remember, that out of 10 pregnancies in which women are carrying a child with Down’s, five will likely miscarry in the first trimester, and two or three in the second: so only two or three babies will actually be born with Down’s.
I’m still heartbroken. I still love(d) this baby with every ounce of my soul, and even if she or he (I was so happy to get results I forgot to ask the gender) were born I would not have loved them any less.
Still, it’s a relief to know I didn’t do anything wrong.
The nurse in me knew that, but the Mom in me was just filled with a self-loathing I cannot describe. I tried to remember everything I did, trying to pinpoint down the moment I doomed my pregnancy.
The doctor did say there was a translocation of genes which could have happened on its own, or could have come from my husband or me. We will have some testing to determine if we have this balanced translocation gene, and if so, the next steps we’ll have to take to have a child.
I can’t say I dread the discovery of whether my husband or I carry this gene; I know there is nothing I can do to change my genetic makeup. I have no control over this aspect of my life. No amount of dieting, medication or meditation will change it. At least, though, I’ll know.
Knowing makes all the difference.