As I stand in my backyard, I am processing the fact that in the weeks to come I’ll have answers for which I’ve waited years and that I never imagined possible. These answers revolve around the unborn baby I lost nearly 5 years ago. I lost this baby with no real explanation as to why the miscarriage occurred and I’m flooded with emotion realizing that soon I’ll actually know more about this child. It’s surreal to think I will finally have solid closure to this chapter of my life and move forward with, hopefully, more perspective regarding the child I lost.
This journey first started only a few months ago, when I began working as a blogger for CombiMatrix. We were discussing blog topics and I started to unveil my personal story of loss from years ago. I described the constant weight I carry because of the unknowns it left. That led to their question, “If you could find out more, would you be interested?” I said, without hesitation, “Definitely!” Like many women, I have always wondered why I miscarried. Even though I will not be having more children of my own, I constantly question if I did something to cause it. During the grieving process, I was told it most likely happened due to something in the way the cells divided and nothing could have been done to save the child. Although that explanation makes complete sense to me, as a mother, it never satisfied my curious mind. And to this day I still think about that baby, especially since I’ve recently shared my story publicly through blog posts.
CombiMatrix explained to me that if tissue was sent to pathology nearly 5 years ago to run even the simplest of tests, the sample should still be accessible. In disbelief, I quickly said, “I think you’re forgetting this occurred years ago.” They reassured me that if pathology was given the sample, they typically keep it up to 10 years. So, if they could find the tissue associated with the loss of my baby, they could give me insight into who this growing child was and possibly why I suffered a loss. I developed many assumptions over the years, especially regarding the gender of this baby. I was convinced I was carrying a boy, but now I wonder, were my instincts correct? As excited as I was for the possibility to know more, I chalked this up to a wish, not a reality.
Within the days to follow, my contacts at CombiMatrix put me in touch with one of their representatives to further assist me. They just needed me to contact my doctor’s office and have a simple form filled out. I will admit, much like the first stage of grief, I was in denial. I didn’t want to get my hopes up. After some time passed, I got the courage to call my OB-GYN’s office and explain what I was doing all these years later. Throughout the entire phone call, I found myself repeating, “I know this seems crazy!” Once I got all the forms over to CombiMatrix, it was in their hands to do the rest. They started tracking down the pathology lab that was used during my miscarriage. I didn’t have to lift a finger while they made all the calls. As thrilling as it was to be given the opportunity, a part of me felt negative towards the process at that time, for fear of disappointment. Again, I didn’t want to be heartbroken if this wasn’t going to work. I expected the company to contact me to say they couldn’t go further, because something had gone wrong in the process.
To my surprise, every step keeps moving forward. CombiMatrix has handled everything smoothly and professionally. I am shocked how ‘easy’ the process is on my end. While they deal with a lot of the brunt work for this type of testing, as a patient I only have to wait. Although waiting seems agonizing, every step is a blessing, because at the beginning I didn’t think any of it would proceed. At the same time, as the end gets closer, I feel more and more nervous.
So here I am, now in the final leg of this race. The next step is the last one, in which I find out the genetic makeup of a little being I was denied the pleasure of meeting in person. This baby still impacts my life on a daily basis, which I find fascinating considering, at this point, I really don’t know much about him/her. I’ve found this process interesting, to say the least. I will admit I sat in denial most of the time. Upon reflection, it is much like my pregnancy with my daughter after I experienced the miscarriage. The feelings I am experiencing now mimic a lot of how I felt when I carried her in my womb. I didn’t connect with her for a long time during the pregnancy, as a way to protect myself from another devastation. I longed for her to be born so that I would know she was safe and healthy. And here, years later, I am doing the same thing with this testing process. I have not wanted to invest much of my emotions, because I was scared I would feel defeated if I didn’t get the answers I desperately long for. Yet, in the next few weeks I will have answers to questions I’ve asked myself for the last 4 ½ years and the butterflies are multiplying exponentially in anticipation.