How do I write about this? Does anyone really want to read about it? Does it matter? Do I write for others or myself? Will I be seen as attention seeking if I don’t just get over it & move onto more positive posts & writings?
So here I am. This post will include TMI & triggers in regards to miscarriage. Please feel no obligation to keep reading. Because often I write for you, but this writing is for me. Writing is therapeutic for me & quite frankly the thought of people never knowing our little babe existed is impossible for me to accept.
I have PCOS – Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. The short explanation of this is, I have extremely irregular periods – which effects me hormonally/emotionally, my face breaks out, it’s difficult for me to lose weight, & having PCOS makes it difficult for me to get pregnant.
I got pregnant with Solomon only after taking fertility drugs that made my body ovulate.
So when we found out I was pregnant with baby number four, I was kind of shocked. We had managed to get pregnant without the help of drugs & I was already 8 weeks along!
Shortly after we found out about the baby, I started bleeding. Which of course was concerning. No one else seemed concerned about it. More than one medical professional told me that a lot of women bleed most if not for their entire pregnancy.
An ultrasound was ordered to find out my exact due date & to make sure all was well.
There it was a little heartbeat. Baby was okay. 9 weeks pregnant at this point & I sighed with relief. We took announcement pictures @ the pumpkin patch & were all ecstatic.
The bleeding continued. I had a regular physical scheduled on Monday, but my Dr ended up taking some blood & checking to see if my cervix was still closed. She told me to get in touch with my OB because she was unsure of the reason for the bleeding.
My OB had me come in for my appointment a week early. By the time my appointment on Wednesday arrived I was beyond anxious. The bleeding had picked up a bit & I started passing very small clots. I was concerned. Beyond concerned, I prepared myself for the worst.
I laid there in the OB office as she did the ultrasound. Ready, if there really is such a thing to hear the horrible news. But instead, she saw the baby moving! She saw the heartbeat! Baby was okay. A sigh of relief. She also saw a small pocket of blood between the uterus & placenta. This is called a subchorionic hemorrhage. Apparently, they are pretty common, my doctor told me this, & Mama Google backed her up. Women with much larger “pockets’ had delivered perfectly healthy babies. So it was just a matter of time. I had to wait for the pocket to essentially drain. Doc said that it did put me at a higher risk for miscarriage, but there was nothing that could be done to prevent it from happening.
Based on all my research I was actually pretty at ease. I felt like crap. I was exhausted. But I wasn’t AS worried because they say once you see a heartbeat your chances for miscarriage are dramatically less.
I was cramping, uncomfortable, & miserable…but it wasn’t for forever, I kept telling myself. Come May this wouldn’t matter.
I sat in the bath, dreaming of the first moment she would be in my arms. How soft her skin would be. Her sleepy little yawns. Sitting on my couch, with her in my arms, overflowing with gratefulness. None of this discomfort mattering anymore. She was worth it.
No, we hadn’t found out the gender yet. The chances of us having another boy were pretty good. But I couldn’t let go of the name Hadassah. Very similar to how I felt when we were pregnant with Solomon. I remember thinking that if he wasn’t a boy we would need to have another baby, because our family needed a Solomon. [a name that wasn’t even on my radar when we became pregnant] This is how I felt about the name Hadassah. The rest of Team Awesome agreed! We all started referring to her as Hattie, even Solomon, would point to by belly say BABY! & I would say, Hattie? & He was would say, Hattie!!! It was soooo cute.
Hadassah means compassion. I prayed for God to give us His compassion. To keep our baby safe & healthy.
Then Monday morning came. I suddenly woke up a little after 7am in pain. I made my way to the bathroom, where the pad I was wearing was filled with blood.
My heart sank. The Dr. had said to call right away if this happened.
Clots were coming now, much bigger than before. So. much. pain. The feeling that something needed out of me. Either I had a giant poop or the alternative, I was laboring.
Nothing came. Just pain, pressure, & blood.
I made my way to the shower, not wanting to wake anyone & maybe somewhere deep down chiding myself for being so dramatic.
The water ran over my body bringing very little relief. The warmth comforted just the slightest making me not want to leave it, but I knew I could no longer stand. I sat on the shower floor & began crying. Knowing something was very wrong.
I passed a small piece of placenta & my heart sank further. I called for Nathan. He didn’t hear me. I cried. I called. Alone. As my body began pushing something so precious out of me that I so desperately wanted to hold onto. The words that came out of my mouth were lyrics to a song: Say the word and I will. Set my feet upon the sea. Till I’m dancing in the deep. Oh, peace be still. You are here so it is well. Even when my eyes can’t see.
I managed to get back on my feet & make my way back to the toilet. Hope fought hard to win the battle maybe this was just the pocket of blood coming out. But still, nothing came. Just pain & pressure.
I decided to wash my hands & go lay back down. As I stood & took the few steps toward the sink, I felt a gush, & sat back down.
This whole process took just over an hour, so the house was now waking up & Nathan was tending to Solomon who had gotten into a box of Fiber Bars the day before causing him to have had an epic blowout diaper. Poop covered everything. So a half-awake Daddy was trying to bath him & clear bedding while I yelled from the bathroom that I needed a bowl. I thought I was going to hurl.
Gideon brought one to me & looked at me concerned. I thanked him & told him to go.
& then out came the sac. I quietly cried, no, please no.
I placed the sac in the bowl. Then the thought came again, maybe its the blood pocket & baby is still okay…just maybe.
As I examined the sac though…I saw our precious baby. Little arms. Little head. Little hands.
The tears stopped almost immediately. I was in shock.
My Mom called in reply to a text I had sent & I told her what was going on, she started crying & was thrown off by how calm I was.
Then I decided to go lay on my bed…as I stood I got really dizzy & as I fell onto the bed I told Gideon to tell Daddy to come right away.
As I laid there, my head cleared.
I had messaged the Dr earlier & after they followed up with me I was told to go to the ER & to take the “tissue” with me if possible.
Nathan arranged for his Mom to watch the Littles & got G ready for school.
I wouldn’t move.
He gently tried to coerce me to get dressed.
I don’t want to go, I sobbed, over & over again.
I don’t want to go, please don’t make me go, I don’t want to go.
But we went. I had to.
So he wheeled me into the hospital, because every time I stood, gravity did its job, blood would flow heavily & the pain would greatly increase. I sat in the wheelchair in the waiting room for close to two hours, with my baby neatly wrapped in a napkin inside of a Ziploc bag in my lap. We sat next to a young Mom & her adorable 11-month-old little girl.
Finally, I was called back, registered, & wheeled to a room.
Ultrasounds with no heartbeats.
Exhausted but unable to sleep.
After a miscarriage, they have to make sure the entire placenta leaves your body. If a piece is left in your body, it can cause major infection, & even death. So the ultrasound was to make sure that everything was cleared out that needed to be. Essentially they have to make sure your uterus is as empty as you feel.
One of the Doctors asked if she could look at the “tissue” & when we unwrapped our sweet babe, her eyes got big. She had never seen a babe come out fully intact inside of the sac like that.
Each time I’ve had a baby, there is this pride when showing them off to people. Letting others hold this precious thing I carried & grew, it’s unlike anything else. This was the feeling I had. The Doctor asked if it would be okay to have another Doctor come in & see. Being that it wasn’t something you see often, or in her case ever. At that moment I wanted her to march every Doctor into that room & see our precious babe. Yes! Bring them, let them see, she existed, she was real, she wasn’t just “tissue”, you can see her body, she was not imagination, or just “something” that happens, she is real. I resisted saying all of this of course. The other Doc came in & they looked at her, marveling at her, & then thanked me for sharing her with them.
The decision then had to be made what to do with her body. I didn’t want to leave her but also didn’t know what to do with her when we got home.
We made the decision to plant her with a lilac bush on her due date in the spring. They gave us some things to wrap her in & a container to place her in.
I asked the Dr if I could have some more pain meds, she replied: you can have anything you want babe. & I couldn’t help but think how untrue that was. Because I wanted to not be there, wrapping my small babe up to take home & bury.
But I guess another dose of morphine would have to do.
This is not the end of the story, but the end of this chapter. I will write more about the days & weeks that followed, maybe even the months if I feel compelled. I’m writing about it all for me, yes. But to also let someone out there know they aren’t alone. & to provide a small window for those who’ve never been through this, to be able to understand just a little more than they did before.
The Mess in Me Honors the Mess in You