I guess I never thought it would happen to me. Who does, really?
It’s not that I think I’m above the laws of nature or immune. The inevitable cosmic statistic must strike and I was struck.
I viewed miscarriage as a hidden thing that no one wanted to talk about. I think knowledge is power. Being too afraid to ask my dear friends who have suffered a loss of a baby, I wanted to share my experience with you. I hope my story can be of help to someone else.
Sam and I were excited to learn that we were pregnant a few weeks ago. We couldn’t believe it. Another one? Awesome! The kiddos will be so close in age!
Honestly, my emotions were wavering from joy to despair: Joy in that I would be bringing another life into the world and despair in the process that would get me there (morning sickness, heartburn, and all the other glorious effects).
I hadn’t noticed that specific implantation pinch that I had felt with my first pregnancy. I did however feel dull cramping daily since I found out I was pregnant.
Containing the secret was unbearable. We planned a visit from our home in Charleston to our hometown in Kansas for a friend’s wedding. It was two weeks away from when we found out. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops and announce it immediately to family. Sam suggested that we wait until we get to Kansas before announcing it. That way, we could tell everyone face to face.
The day before our flight to Kansas, we had our first baby appointment. The pregnancy was confirmed at about 5.5 weeks. We set up two more appointments for the first ultrasound and for meeting my Doctor. Blood was drawn and a goodie bag was given!
The flight was great to Kansas and we told our family as soon as we could. Our family was just as excited as we were.
I had been feeling a bit irritable and just ‘off’ feeling since we arrived in Kansas. I assumed it was just from jet lag and rushing around taking care of business here in town.
Sam and I agreed to announce our pregnancy on Facebook soon after we told all our family about it. We announced it last night and have received an outpouring of congratulations and well wishes. We were humbled and even more excited!
This morning, I woke up feeling a bit tired. Feeling frisky, Sam and I decided to jump in the shower real quick before Daphne woke up. We then had errands to run. I went to have a cup of coffee with a friend at a coffee shop. Sam picked me up an hour after that and we dropped him off to head up to Kansas City to have a bachelor party for our friend who is getting married. I came back to the house and put Daphne down for a nap.
I went to the bathroom and did my business. I wiped, stood up, and turned to flush. Something unusual caught my attention in the toilet: Blood. I froze.
After looking closer, I saw a bit of stringy blood. I wiped a bit more and more blood came. My heart immediately sank.
I couldn’t remember bleeding like this from my first pregnancy. I called Sam and told him. I tried calling a few people for solace before reaching my sister. She encouraged me that it could just have been a little bleeding from having sex earlier in the morning (4 hours previous). I halfheartedly agreed. I just knew that the blood wasn’t supposed to be that color (bright red) and there wasn’t supposed to be that much. I knew in my heart something wasn’t right.
After calling my Doctor’s office located in Charleston and receiving an answering machine, I figured I would just wade it out and maybe it was indeed just a little blood from sex. Maybe.
I went down to the basement and laid down for a few minutes. I knew I needed to be seen by someone. I was too worried and just wanted to know if everything was okay. The Emergency Room was the only thing to be open. I was still getting a bit of blood when I wiped after using the bathroom. Time to go get it looked at.
I called a few people to see if they could watch Daphne for me while I went to the ER but only was able to reach my mom. She immediately agreed to meet me at the hospital.
I scooped up Daphne from her nap and we drove to the ER. I walked in and began the checkin process, giving my details to the assistant on duty. My mom soon after walked in. We were escorted to a room in the back by a very kind nurse named Jerome. He asked basic questions and left to get the Doctor.
Dr. Swisher came in and we discussed my symptoms. He made clear a few of the possible outcomes: It could be bleeding from sex, a miscarriage, or a tubal pregnancy. He told me the course of action that would include blood draw, a pelvic exam, and an ultrasound.
The blood draw was first. A couple of kind nurses came in to draw my blood. I hate getting my blood drawn. I was fine and I kept myself distracted but made the fatal error of looking over at how much blood she drew. At first sight of that horse needle, I began getting lightheaded. I became very dizzy and nauseated. I laid back and calmed myself down.
Mom, Daphne, and I waited in the room for an hour.
Next came Dr. Swisher and another nurse for the pelvic exam. They did a few swabs and he checked my cervix. I could see that their tools had blood on them.
I joked around with the nurse a bit afterwards. She was very kind.
We then waited another 30 minutes.
The nurses came back to tell me that they were ready to roll me down to ultrasound. I was feeling okay at this point—positive and hopeful that I was okay.
We rolled through the hospital and arrived at the Radiology Department. The nurse there tried an external ultrasound but soon after decided to do an internal one.
She checked me internally with that long microphone-looking probe and clicked away at the screen. She didn’t say anything or comment on the pictures she got. When she was done, she took away the probe and I caught a glimpse of it covered in blood. I knew. I knew then.
She told me she was going to go send the results away and that she’d be back. I sat in that sonogram room for about 15 minutes alone. In the dark. Bleeding, still. I began to feel lightheaded and laid back for a bit. I noticed the bleeding was picking up and looked down to see blood on the bed and sheets. I called for the nurse and said “May I have a towel to clean up? I’m really bleeding here.” She grabbed some for me and told me that she was gonna get me back down to the ER.
We rolled back to my ER room in silence save for the squeaking wheels and rhythmic thumping of the wheels on the tile.
I was rolled in my room and I began to tear up. I knew I had miscarried. All evidence pointed to it. I was still bleeding.
I held Daphne a bit but my abdomen was feeling tender. Mom held her and played with Daphs for me while I tried to relax. I was feeling nauseated and lightheaded.
We waited another 20 minutes before a new doctor came in. Dr. Swisher’s shift was over and another man came in. He sat down and asked if the ultrasound technician told me what she saw. I said that she hadn’t.
He said that the ultrasound technician did not see a gestational sac present in the uterus and that I had passed a few blood clots during the sonogram. He said that I was miscarrying. He told me “It’s nothing that you’ve done or did. Things like this happen.” I looked in his eyes and could see how painful it was for him to tell me. He genuinely was sorry to have to break the news. He told me that he ordered a Lab for me to come back on Monday to have my pregnancy levels checked and that they would want for my numbers to go back down to O. He asked if I had any questions. I asked “What now?”
He told me that it will run its course and that if I bleed more than a pad in two hours to return.
He apologized and left.
Mom came over, hugged me, and told me she was sorry. I held Daphs for a few minutes. They left for the lobby and I sat in that hospital bed waiting for a nurse to grab me a menstrual pad. After all, I had arrived at the hospital wearing a thong—I would need something to help out with the bleeding. I waited about 10 minutes before Jerome came back with a pad for me. I went and cleaned up in the bathroom. I passed a lot more blood clots.
I sobered up in the mirror and signed my discharge paperwork. I looked down and saw “Miscarriage” as reason for being in the emergency room and my heart squeezed a bit. I never would have imagined this.
With paperwork in hand, four hours later, I walked down the corridor of the hospital emergency room ready to face the world. The doors opened and I saw my mom and niece who was holding Daphne. I smiled. I was so thankful for them being there and helping so much.
It happened so fast. We woke up this morning with a baby in the future and realized this afternoon that it wasn’t happening.
How do I feel?
I feel crampy.
I am bleeding and passing clots.
I’ve still got the hospital tag on my wrist and I’m bruising from the spot the nurse took my blood.
I feel sick to my stomach.
I am devastated, to be frank.
I consider myself to be a rather insensitive person. That trait is not something I’m proud of, but there it is.
I never realized the full weight a person bears after a miscarriage. I always told myself that if I were to miscarry that early or at all, it wouldn’t be such a big deal because I wasn’t far along.
I was bitterly wrong and I admit shame.
We’ll never know that baby or get to hold her. We won’t be able to snuggle her close the first few hours of her life. I mourn the loss of a future with my baby.
“You weren’t that far along. It’s not a big deal.”
You’re right about the first part. And yes, it is a big deal. A huge deal. A large elephant sitting on my heart and chest, squeezing out tears and deep breathed sighs.
“You can get pregnant again.”
Yep. You’re right, we can try. It does not negate the pain and confusion of what I am going through right now.
“See? That’s why you don’t announce pregnancy early.”
Yep, I sure learned my lesson. Sure taught me. Whether we are going through a joyous moment or a sad moment, I wanted my friends and family with me every step of the way. We all get through life together.
To be honest, I am not thrilled about attempting to gather up all the glitter that we threw up into the wind. The glitter has only had a day or two to spread. Still, it will be hard to recapture the news.
Through all of the unexpected things that have happened to me in life, I am learning many things.
I won’t be the same because of this, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.