I have been trying really hard to decipher my emotions this week, after miscarrying our third baby on Monday. Phrases that others have said like “it was not your fault” and “something was probably wrong” all echo through my head. My gut tells me that I am somewhere in between acceptance and denial. Accepting that yes, I know I could not control this, but still completely shocked that we have lost another child. Another chunk of our hearts is gone-just like that. A future that we had hoped to share with this new baby, someone for Owen to love and to have when we are gone, has vanished.
Then there was the physical pain that I had no way of preparing myself for. I am livid with the emergency room staff for not talking us through the possibilities of what could happen at home. I will warn you now, I am going to lay this out in hopes that this might help someone else one day going through a miscarriage. If you don’t like graphic, skip this next paragraph. Between having my mom tell me and being able to read others experiences online, those were the only two things that got me through this.
I had been spotting since I was 6 weeks pregnant. Initially going to the E.R. when brown blood appeared. They chalked it up to a bad bladder infection and another bacterial infection common to pregnant women. I went home with a boat load of antibiotics and everything should have cleared up. I was also told that some women just bleed during the first trimester. This has never been the case with my pregnancies. So I found it odd for me to experience it the third time around. After two weeks and all of the antibiotics were gone, the brown spotting was still there, but I had had a successful ultrasound showing a healthy heart beat. So we carried on thinking things were going to be ok. But then on Thursday the 14th, I found that I was no longer spotting brown, but bright red blood. Flags went off in my head and I knew that this was it. My good friend at work offered to drive me to the hospital and fortunately when we arrived, they were not very busy. She stayed with me until my husband got there and we followed the same routine as we did when I first went in for the brown spotting. We had a pelvic exam, blood work and an ultrasound. During the pelvic everything looked good, the doctor did not seem concerned. Then we went for the ultrasound. Now I’ve been through enough ultrasounds to know when things are good and when they are bad. I experienced both cases with Jack and Owen. The ultrasound tech was very chatty and she seemed a little nervous. I knew then that something was not right. When we got back to our little room we waited for the results. The E.R. doctor came in and confirmed that the baby had died, and they could no longer detect a heart beat. He said he was sorry, and that I should follow up with my OB. He went on to say that this would be like a bad period and it should be over within a week.
The next day, I went to work, because I honestly did not know what else to do with myself. I wanted to be anywhere but in my own skin. I wanted out of the situation. That my baby had died and was dead inside of me, kept running through my mind. Fortunately, I have some pretty great co-workers and an even better boss who told me to go home. I did, and I actually went right to my OB’s office. I sobbed and sobbed with the nurses who knew me well enough already. My Doctor was not in, so I saw his counter part who informed me of my options. I elected to schedule a D and C because I wanted some kind of testing done to see what had happened. I also wanted to make sure I would not get a secondary infection. She told me that it was possible I would miscarry at home, and if I did, they would not be able to test anything. She did not mention the process of miscarrying and what would happen physically. And to be honest, I was too numb to ask. After my appointment, I went home and just waited by spending time with my boys. I didn’t know what else to do.
Saturday came and went, I actually slept the majority of the day away. I don’t think I’ve slept that much since before Owen was born. Maybe my body just knew I needed it.
Then Sunday came, and that’s when it started. My body recognized that the baby had died. It was in the evening when the first round of contractions started. Up till this point, I had been experiencing light period cramps. These were completely different and I recognized them because they were coming in waves and lasting for specific times. I knew I was contracting. It dawned on me then that not only was I going to have to miscarry my baby, but I was going to do it at home. I could not take any pain meds, as the doctor had asked me not to ahead of the surgery. So I tried to remember all the baby programs I had watched before about child birth and what you are supposed to do. (I had C-sections with both boys, so natural labor was new to me). My hubby was amazing and he kept reminding me to breathe. After about two and half hours, the contractions stopped and I felt better. No increased bleeding, just back to light cramps. We all went to bed and I fell asleep that night on the couch.
I woke up at about 1:30am to more contractions. Not as intense as they were before, but definitely coming in waves. I did this until about 5am when they finally stopped again. I passed out on the couch and woke up with Owen asking to be rocked. Awesome hubby stepped in again and took care of Owen while I got some sleep.
When I woke up, I felt ok and still hadn’t begun to bleed anymore or less. I thought well maybe I will make it to Tuesday. I was wrong.
Monday afternoon my body decided it was really time to let things go. The contractions came fast and hard. I was besides myself with the pain and my poor husband could only watch me in horror as I walked throughout the house, just trying to ride out everything. Owen thankfully was oblivious and he actually laid down for a nap just at the right time. At about 2pm, I sat down in the bathroom and felt a tremendous gush. All the pain stopped, the contractions stopped. I just felt empty. And the bleeding would not stop. The main clot that I could see was the size of a soft ball. I knew our baby had to be there somewhere, but there was so much blood, I could not tell. I passed a few more clots about the size of baseballs throughout the afternoon. And I just kept bleeding. I was so sad that we would not be able to do testing after all, but I was also very relieved that the physical pain was over. I sang “You are my Sunshine” to our baby as it passed through me, just as I sang to Jack the night he died. I asked Jack to watch over this baby and to keep him or her safe for us.
The next day, we had our D and C scheduled. I told the doctor what had happened and he said that sometimes there is still enough material left inside of the uterus that you can still do some testing. I told him if he could find anything, to please do it. He said he was sorry, and I can genuinely say, I think he was.
The procedure was not bad at all. The doctors and nurses were very kind and gentle. They had sympathy for why we were there. When I woke up from being under, they brought Dustin back and he told me the doctor was able to get a tissue sample. This made me happy that at least we could get something.
Since then, my physical symptoms are steadily improving. Like I said before, I am still in a limbo place emotionally. I think when we get the test results I will be a little more unstable. Our experience with Jack really gave me coping skills that I did not have before. So I know kind of what to expect. I anticipate what people will say, and try not to take it personally when they say something out of their own nervousness. And I am sharing my story here because I know someone else along the way, maybe years from now, will be searching just like I was for some guidance on what to expect.
I cannot say that we will go on to have more children. At this point, I am willing to accept that there are things we are all good at. And for me, being pregnant is just not one of my talents. I am very, very, thankful that we have Owen. For now, I take comfort in that.
(Thank you to all of our family and friends who have stood by us throughout this week. You are all wonderful and we could not ask for better people to be in our lives. xoxoxo)