Each month we will be publishing a personal, in-depth pregnancy and infant loss story under the title “The Raw Truth.” Releasing the intimate details of our pregnancy and birthing stories is a very important part of the grieving process, and for some it is not easy to share. This month we feature a story from KS.
Submitted by: KS.
It is 2:34 a.m. I am crawling on my hands and knees to the bathroom while the hallway spins around me. The pain is horrible; I am going to pass out, I’m sure of it. I can’t get a grasp on what is happening, the blood is pounding in my ears, and I don’t understand why I feel this way. I stop to lie down in the hallway, hoping to emerge from the heavy fog and state of half-asleep. It only takes a second to remember and I am filled with a mixture of horrid grief and relief. It is the miscarriage, here to take my precious baby away and finally end the pain and suffering of the last two days.
I knew I was pregnant right away. I am an avid runner and I can tell something is different when I run, my pace is off, my breathing is different, and I can just tell. The same thing happened when I was pregnant with my first – I knew before any test would agree with me. I waited a couple of weeks and two pink lines confirm what I already had figured out. I am pregnant again!
I am thrilled and decide to do something special to tell my husband. I create a scavenger hunt with 10 clues, with the last clue leading to my home-made card with the announcement of my pregnancy. As suspected, he was just as excited.
To say that I am a perfectionist, an over-planner, and someone that likes to be in control all of the time is an understatement. 3 days after I told my husband, I had the office emptied out and ready for a nursery to be put in. I continued like a crazed woman with my to-do list. There would be no time after the new baby, so the time for projects was now! We put in new countertops, a new backsplash, repainted the entire interior of our house, and replaced the trim throughout the house. I planned out my maternity leave. I wrote out instructions for the woman I would be leaving in my place for twelve weeks. I knew what double stroller we’d buy, and had the nursery bedding narrowed down to 2 choices. I was so excited I could barely contain myself, my son was going to be a big brother, we would have kids!
One Saturday, I am heading out for a run (I still run pregnant with my doctor’s blessing, just like last time), we have a fundraiser later that night, and an actual babysitter coming. Just as I’m about to leave, I see blood – a lot of it. We call the doctor and they put me on the standard bed rest, tell me as long as there are no cramps, it might be nothing. Within an hour, the cramps start. We are off to the emergency room.
The emergency room wait is not much of a wait, they promised to get me in right away and they do. The nurses draw blood, and send me for an ultrasound. The ultrasound technician turns on the monitor and faces it towards her. I am desperate for a glance of the monitor and trying to read her facial expressions, but she’s like a stone. Finally, she whips the monitor around and points. “Right there, that little flicker – that’s your baby’s heartbeat.” I am relived to tears and my husband squeezes my arm so tightly that it hurts. The baby’s heartbeat is strong and my little baby is the right size. My mood has lightened, I think maybe things will be ok, and we are relieved and watching cartoons back in the room. Then it dawns on me, I never asked for the ultrasound pictures.
Enter Doctor Doom (as we have named him) a very nice man, with a very serious expression. The blood work came back and my progesterone level was way too low. A miscarriage is coming no matter what. They give me progesterone pills as a last ditch effort, just to say we tried everything, but Doctor Doom assures me it’s almost inevitable, and is putting me on bed rest until it happens.
I go home to wait for the miscarriage. I spend two horrible days on the couch in pain with horrible cramps, a lower back ache that I’ve never felt before, nauseous, shaking, and sweating. I was waiting, crying, not knowing, hoping, hating, praying, not eating, not sleeping, and waiting some more. It was a horrible. Finally, it is 2:24 am, on March 1st, 2010. I get out of bed, and go down to my knees; the feelings of knives in my stomach make it unbearable to stand up. I start crawling, weak and disorientated. When it finally happens, I know it’s the baby leaving my body. I stare in morbid fascination at this tiny little body, not yet fully formed. At just eigh weeks, I can only make out the baby’s head and body. I can’t look away although I’m sure I don’t want this picture forever burned in my mind. I sit on the floor and sob before stumbling into the bedroom and waking my husband. I ask him to take care of the baby because I can’t do it and I lay back down. In my shock, it never occurred to me to be clear about what I meant and he flushed our baby down the toilet, with all the dignity of a goldfish. I came unglued when I heard the toilet flush. He felt horrible and said he didn’t know what to do, and that was the first thing that came to mind. Still my heart breaks for that baby and I long to bury our baby with love and respect, and have our baby here with us at home.
The days and weeks that follow are some of the darkest I have ever known. Full of desperation and devoid of hope. I felt alone, in the deepest sense of the word. People were nice, but uncomfortable. No one knew what to say so most people offered up the usual: God’s plan, at least it was early so you didn’t get too attached, and there was probably something wrong with the baby, etc. None of which offered much comfort. I spent my days feeling crazy, like this monumental loss has just occurred in my life and I have nothing to show for it, no proof this baby ever even existed.
I have since gotten pregnant. After waiting the obligatory month like the doctor recommended, we were told it was ok to try again. One day, I discovered I was pregnant, almost four weeks along. I was excited and happy, and then I started panicking about the long journey ahead of me. I reassured myself I could do it; just take it one day at a time. But it turns out the journey wouldn’t be that long, and all I would get is one day. The very next day, my second miscarriage took place on May 21st,2010. I was at work and suddenly there was blood again and I felt the horrible dread that comes with the hopelessness. This miscarriage progressed much, much faster and by that evening, our baby was gone.
It still feels like someone has punched a hole straight through me. It’s hard to even find the words. Maybe we’ll try again, but maybe we won’t. Sometimes God says no.
I have created a memorial garden for my babies with a cross and a three heart stake for all three of my kids (one living, two babies gone). I am also releasing a balloon for my baby with one of my favorite quotes: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things, Love never ends.