So I’ve already shared the story about finding out I was pregnant. That day was crazy! Despite being completely freaked out…it was a special, surreal moment and a happy memory that I will cherish in my heart forever; you can find that blog here.
When we got pregnant, we just expected a healthy baby to follow 8 months later.
Never did we expect what was to come.
We had our first ultrasound at 7 weeks and got to hear the sweetest song of our baby’s heartbeat. It is bringing me to tears now just thinking of that moment, I’ve never heard anything more beautiful in all my life. It sounded like a little hummingbird; it was amazing and really drove home the reality of carrying life in my womb. There was a little mini person inside of me – wow! The tech said everything looked great and Baby was progressing as expected. After leaving the ultrasound I literally craved hearing that little heartbeat again! We got our first and only ultrasound picture of Baby that day.
About two weeks later I started having some minimal brown spotting. I wouldn’t even call it spotting, it was more like brownish discharge. Our doctor assured me it was probably nothing so we tried not to worry; though this continued for a week.
We lost our little nugget at 10 weeks, nearly two months after finding out we were pregnant. The day of the miscarriage hubby and I had a pretty heated argument at like 2 am. I went to the bathroom during the fight and discovered what was light brown discharge had turned bright pink. The drive to the hospital was silent and in my heart I prayed for my little nugget. But I feared the worst.
I will never forget walking into the ER lobby. I remembered the times I’d walked into that lobby before…in particular I thought of my grandmother who had died just 3 years before in that same hospital. I remember thinking to myself “bad things happen here”.
I go up to the check in counter and tell the receptionist I need to be seen in the ER. She asks for what and I say “I think I’m having a miscarriage”. Cold. All business. Straight up. I asked her to make sure I didn’t get picked up by any doctors I knew, I had shadowed several doctors in that very same ER and now on the other side as a patient I just wanted privacy.
A resident picked up my case, he did his workup and sent me to the ultrasound. The same tech who did our initial ultrasound just 3 weeks before was there that night in the ER, but during the exam she wouldn’t make eye contact with me. I looked over to the screen to see my baby. I could make out his sweet little face, with his head and nose fully formed and recognizable on the screen. I looked desperately for the little flicker that was supposed to be his heartbeat. It wasn’t there. I was pretty sure it wasn’t there. The techs are apparently not allowed to say anything when they do an ultrasound, so she silently wheeled me back to my room in the ER. But she didn’t have to say anything. I already knew my baby was dead.
Hubby was waiting intently, when he asked about the ultrasound I didn’t tell him what I saw. I didn’t want him to worry in case I was wrong. We waited and waited. Held hands. He put his hand on my forehead as I laid in the hospital bed. And we waited. I started getting anxious so he flagged down a nurse for an update..she said they were waiting for the attending doctor to come by the room. My heart sank, I knew the protocol. The resident who originally was over my case wasn’t coming back. That’s how it goes at that hospital whenever there’s bad news to deliver.
“There was no heartbeat detected on the ultrasound”
The attending Doctor on call that night came and gave us this blow: I had experienced a missed miscarriage, one where there are no symptoms. Other than the spotting, which my doctor said was nothing to worry about, I hadn’t had any symptoms. I managed to say “Yea, I knew it” before bursting into tears.
I couldn’t breathe. In that moment, I could not breathe. Hubby grabbed me. The instant they told me my baby’s heart wasn’t beating anymore I felt my own breaking. It physically pained me. They offered me a pelvic exam, I declined. I just wanted to go home.
Hubby went to go get the car and I waited in the ER lobby. Bad things happen here. The receptionist who checked me in came from behind her desk and asked “how did it go back there? Is the baby okay?” I shook my head no and she hugged me as I cried on her shoulder. She was so sweet, more supportive than the doctors and nurses I dealt with.
We cried the whole way home from the hospital and when we pulled up to the house we sat in the car and cried some more. Then I realized I was still carrying our dead baby inside of me and began to freak out. I’m talking kicking, flailing and screaming. It was awful.
I went to sleep crying and woke up crying. Later that morning was my aunt’s funeral, which was especially hard because we were also mourning our personal loss. No one knew this except my parents. At the funeral my cousin came up to me and asked was I pregnant, she noticed my bloated belly. I looked at her and my eyes teared up thinking about the fact that I was technically still pregnant, I felt so silly.
That was probably the hardest part. Knowing that my sweet baby had died but still having to carry it inside of me. It was still in there. I still experienced pregnancy symptoms. My boobs were huge. I still had a mini baby bump beginning to form. My body didn’t want to let go of this pregnancy just as much as my heart didn’t. I carried Baby for a week after finding out it’s heart had stopped. That was…torture. The purest form of torture.
The appointment that was originally scheduled to find out the sex of the baby was now a pre-op appointment to confirm the loss before moving forward with the D&C. In my heart I prayed for a hail mary: Maybe there were twins and we only lost one. Maybe the ER doctor was wrong. Maybe God started my baby’s heart up again. I looked over to the ultrasound screen to try and make sense of what I was seeing. I silently begged Baby to just take one last picture for mommy. Please. But instead, I saw nothing. Where there was once a beating heart, a brain and other organs, arms and legs…was nothing but “tissue”. I asked the tech “there’s nothing in there, is it”? She looked at me and said “It looks like the baby just kind of…disintegrated. That happens sometimes, it’s really sad. I’m sorry”.
Oh. That’s all I could say. oh. Hubby wasn’t there for that, but thank God he arranged for my mom to go with me. Thinking of my unborn child “disintegrating” within my womb…that was a hard pill to swallow and I’m just glad she was there to support me.
I was back at the hospital a few days later for the D&C (for the uninitiated, this is a procedure to remove fetal tissue if a woman’s body does not pass the baby naturally, I’ll blog more on the D&C later). I went into the operating room 11 weeks pregnant and woke up not pregnant…Only there was no beautiful bouncing baby to show for it.
Baby was just…gone. All plans and dreams, anticipation and expectations…unfulfilled. Little Nugget’s soul came and changed my life forever with his existence, and then turned it upside down when he left. This was the worst time of my life and the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure. It was extremely sad. And it was extremely lonely.
In the months immediately following the loss I didn’t want to talk about it, or anything else for that matter, with anyone. There’s such a negative stigma associated with pregnancy loss, and unfortunately that perpetuates the loneliness of those parents that experience it. I am working to overcome that stigma; which is why I blog now. I’m hoping that sharing my story will free up some momma out there to tell her story as well.
I invite you to share your story in the comments section. Miscarriage is different for everyone, I want you to feel free to tell me about it and discuss it here. Comment below!