This story is about one of my own personal recent experiences at the dentist...one that I chose to believe that others, that have suffered a loss, may have experienced as well. I hope this helps someone out there.
Part of my Journey
On April 20, 2018 I received the news that all my blood work had returned to normal and I was officially "done" with my miscarriage. What a strange call to get. It was one of many. One of many calls that would, once again, bring back the haunting memory of finding out that there was no longer a heart beat growing with me.
This is definitely not THE blog post, I mean...it's a part of it I guess but just a snippet of what I want to tell the world - just a little piece. Here's the thing...I started journaling soon after we found out that we lost our 2nd baby...I was writing letters, notes, memories, questions, etc. but it just is never enough. I know I do not need to share my story with the world but I want to. There's something inside me that is just telling me to WRITE.
I have so much content to share regarding my miscarriage journey and I have no idea how it's going to unfold. Apparently, it's starting with a post about gingivitis....yup - that's right. Why? Because...I have no friken idea - it is what it is. No one can prepare you for "the call" and my heart goes out to anyone that has felt this gut sinking feeling (if it was gut sinking for you)...but what I do know is that I had a weird series of emotions that I sometimes thought I was done with and through other life events would just come creeping back in.
The Challenge That I faced at the Dentist
A recent example of one of these life events that seems to have been causing a challenge for me is sitting in the chair at the dentist...an already vulnerable place to be. I thought this is just something so silly to write about but I started this blog partially because I was always googling things during pregnancy that made me feel alone, that I wrote in such detail in hope that I would find someone else out there with a similar helpful story.
Here's the thing...we found out about the loss of our baby on February 20th - we were 12 weeks. When I got "the final call" it was April 20th...that is 2 months that it took to pass everything (I chose to wait), no longer feel pregnancy symptoms and finish all the blood work. Here's the thing...going through a loss can be such uncharted territory for some - I GET IT. When you are pregnant and things are going smoothly, it's not uncommon for someone to ask something like "how are you feeling" and you can respond something like "oh I'm doing so great but my gums are super sensitive right now and bleeding lots" - they can they say something like "oh yes, that's normal it happened to me".
When you have recently been diagnosed as having a missed miscarriage and those that once knew no longer know what to say...no one asks about your gums anymore because well - we assume that it has passed? That it's over? That you just can't ask about symptoms anymore? Again, I need to mention that before my miscarriage I felt like I had no idea what to say to others that had lost...well I am here to say right now that for me (not everyone feels this way), I still needed to talk about my symptoms even after the diagnoses, I will wanted to let people know how I was feeling and talk about my weird cravings that were ever so prominent but instead...I just thought about them or wrote about them. Gingivitis is something real that can happen during pregnancy and can sustain in your body postpartum even from a miscarriage. Here are some tips that helped me overcome these symptoms:
1) Please talk about your loss if you need to
If a public setting is not something you are comfortable with then you can definitely write about it or find online groups that can support you. If you are okay in public then when someone asks how your morning is going, maybe you feel like saying "well, we recently went through a miscarriage so my mornings have been a little difficult".
So back to my story - As an example, when the dentist asked me if anything had changed for me physically over the past year...I said "nope, nothing" finding no courage in my response I started to bottle up the fear of everything that just happened over the past couple months and broke in a tear. The assistant stopped and asked if I was feeling anything in my mouth and the dentist stopped...I said no why? They then said well we can see a tear...they stopped, I stopped and said I was fine. The dentist then proceeded to ask if I was okay and I said that again, I was fine. He stopped a 3rd time and said no you're not. I let him know (with more tears) that I had a miscarriage and that my gums were still sensitive and I felt terrible when he told me that I needed to floss more because according to me I was and working so hard at it but that darn pregnancy gingivitis. Something I could have done here is emailed the dentist prior to my appointment to avoid any conversation I didn't want but also include their sensitivity talk when it came to flossing and not doing a good enough job.
2) Know that it's normal for situations like the dentist and those black cool glasses to bring up this traumatic event again
I definitely feel like everyone that goes through a loss will deal with it differently; however, I also know that if someone is feeling as though they miss their baby every day and with ever inch of their being without ever knowing them...then it's also normal. Hellen Keller's quote below is something that has helped me overcome this tragic feeling and even as I am writing this and reading the quote...my heart is sinking a little just knowing I will have to wait till I'm in heaven to meet my baby.
Last but not least, slowly work on your gingivitis.
3) Small consistent improvements lead to larger progress
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