The Miscarriage Scarf

When I told my therapist that I was knitting a miscarriage scarf, she told me to call it something else.  “Memory Scarf” or “Bean’s Scarf”. (Bean is what we called the baby)

And I will admit that my therapist is usually right about things, and does a great job of calling me out on my bullshit.

But we had a miscarriage.  And I knitted a scarf while I was waiting for it.

I can’t bring myself to call it anything else than what it is.  It is a miscarriage scarf.

On December 29th, we had a 2nd ultrasound- which showed an empty gestational sac.  We had an ultrasound the week before, which showed a small sac, and we were told then that there was a 50/50 chance of it being viable.

The doctor was so sweet.  Hugged and cried with us.  She gave me three options.

  1. Wait it out.  My body will eventually end the pregnancy, maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, maybe two weeks.  I would continue having pregnancy symptoms until my body miscarried.
  2. Go have a D&C.  A surgical procedure to end the pregnancy.
  3. Take some medication now that will make me miscarry.

I just wanted it over with.  I wanted some control.  I thought about the D&C, the thought of just going to sleep, waking up and it being over was actually appealing.  But she said there would be a longer healing time, and likely would be an extra month or two before we could try again.  So opted to take the cytotec, and initiate a miscarriage at home.  I would have a long weekend due to New Years, and it was a low week at work.

The cytotec goes inside, vaginally.  4 pills.  She said I would probably start bleeding in 2-6 hours.

Mary took the day off work, and we went home.  I texted some friends that I knew had been through something similar.

One friend, said that she had a D&C for one and for another, miscarried at home.  She mentioned that waking up from surgery just made her feel empty- that miscarrying at home helped her process it.

Oddly, she was right.

I asked her, “What does one do while waiting for a miscarriage to start?  Knit a scarf?”

“Knitting a scarf might be nice” she said.

Truthfully, I had already started a scarf.  Every woman does a few weird things when they get pregnant- I knit.

But I felt like I needed to work on it while my body lost the pregnancy.  I started the scarf when I just found out we were expecting, and I’ll finish while the pregnancy ends…

The thing I wasn’t expecting- is the feeling of guilt.  Not because I did anything wrong that caused a miscarriage, but that I elected to take the medication to end the pregnancy when it was determined to no longer be viable.  That Catholic guilt is some serious shit.  A part of me feels as though I had an abortion.  And even though I am very pro choice, I feel guilty for ending a pregnancy with medical intervention, even though I know that the pregnancy wasn’t viable.

Things effect you differently.  Friends who announce their pregnancy, and their baby is due at the same time ours would have been.

I wont go into the details of what having a miscarriage is like.  The bleeding lasted longer than I thought, however the pain wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

After the miscarriage, I noticed my milk came back in- but EJ still refused to go to the breast.  I tried to pump for about a week, but stopped when I came to terms with the fact that EJ wasn’t interested.  Honestly, processing the loss of a breastfeeding relationship is actually harder than processing the loss of a pregnancy.

I am fortunate to have an amazing wife and village of friends I can turn to.  I’m actually, in some respects, thankful to have an opportunity to connect with women who have had similar experiences.  To be able to have another level of understanding and empathy.  I am hopeful, that obviously I am still able to get pregnant. I know that everything happens for a reason.  That this is just a step to get to the child this is meant for our family.

But what’s been most healing for me, is just saying, frankly, unfiltered, what happened.

We had a miscarriage.

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