I guess its the beauty of the blogosphere. You put yourself out there, 100% for all those who care and are kind enough to stop by for a read and in an instant your story changes. Just when we were on top of our mountain, elated to spread the news of our second baby on the way, I am so devastated to share that I suffered a miscarriage this past Wednesday. Words cannot really begin to describe the emotions you feel when you know that your world has changed in an instant. It has truly been one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with as a woman and mother.
I had not been feeling well the last few days but I honestly didn’t think anything of it and thought it was just par for the course during my pregnancy. But at that moment when you see what you know you shouldn’t that’s when my heart dropped.
Rob held me as I spoke with my OB/GYN, Dr. Simpson, who told us to come to her office right away. He stayed positive throughout the car ride and we listened to Christmas carols and I remember thinking to myself that maybe, just maybe this is some freak thing that’s just happening to me.
We were led to the ultrasound room right away and Dr. Simpson reminded us that we had seen a nice healthy heartbeat at our initial visit and that was a wonderful, positive sign. She said that usually there is about a 90% chance that you will not miscarry after that little heart starts beating. Sadly we soon learned that we were part of that 10%.
It is with tear-filled eyes that I even begin to think or write about these next few moments because I never even imagined it would be this hard. I remember the moment we saw the baby again and I remember Dr. Simpson desperately trying to find that little heart beating. She tried for what seemed like several seconds, silently working while Rob and I waited unable to take a breath. She finally was able to capture the best possible image of the baby and sadly the little heartbeat had stopped.
I tried to catch my breath but instead my eyes filled with tears and my heart was shattered. I remember looking over at my dear, loving husband standing, staring at the screen in disbelief with tears rolling down his face. We were equally in shock and silent. I remember thinking and trying to speak to ask her to just check one more time, thinking surely she was wrong.
I would have been 12 weeks along on Saturday, December 1st, which also happens to be our five year wedding anniversary. The baby, however, was measuring 8-9 weeks along so most likely the baby had passed a couple of weeks ago.
My Doctor’s colleague came in as a second set of eyes to confirm our worst fears. This was something they always did, she said, which I really appreciated because I thought maybe she would find our little beating heart. But instead of a beating heart she was able to give us one last picture of our little angel.
After a moment I was able to get myself and my thoughts together to ask what happens next? I had absolutely no clue. I learned I had two options. First I could have a D&C surgery on the following Monday which basically entails the doctor surgically removing what they call “products of labor” from your body. You are put to sleep with anesthesia but it’s an out-patient surgery. Option 2 was called expectant management labor, meaning you let your body do the work. The downside to this is that you can’t predict when it will occur and it can often be quite painful. My doctor described it as a mini labor and from experience I can now say it is exactly that.
My choice immediately was D&C. I said very quickly to her, ok we’ll see you Monday! We walked out feeling confident about our decision, knowing that hopefully there would be little pain and wishing this would all be over very soon.
As we walked to our car I said to Rob, tears streaming down my face, I wonder if they will be able to tell if the baby was a boy or girl? It’s all I could think about at that moment. We got in the car and began calling our families to break the news. It became more and more unbearable.
We spent the rest of the morning breathing fresh air outside during a long walk and enjoyed a nice lunch together. We later went home and took a nice long nap. I cant even begin to describe how emotionally exhausted we both were. Little did we know what the evening would bring.
At around 7:00 pm Wednesday evening, unexpectedly my “labor” began. My body did, in fact, do all of the work. It was painful. It was long. It was horrific. I cannot begin to tell you the love and gratitude I give to my husband for being there during every second of such a miserable experience. He experienced every ounce of those moments with me and he was there through it all. That is pure love.
At around 11:00 pm the pain and everything involved had gone on too long and Dr. Simpson sent me to the ER. After multiple doses of serious medication my physical pain finally subsided. A sonogram later determined that most of my “labor” was successful, but I am still planning to have my originally scheduled D&C surgery Monday morning to make sure everything will be perfect the next time around.
After a lot of thought I’ve realized that, although it may sound odd, I am so very grateful for the experience I’ve had over the past few days. After we scheduled my original D&C surgery I had so much anxiety over the fact that I would still have a few days with my little baby inside of me and then I would simply walk into the hospital on Monday, go to sleep, have a surgery, walk out, and that was the end. Instead, I saw everything I needed to see without having any unanswered questions; and I think in retrospect it gave me the closure I needed to move forward.
I’ve heard several instances of women having a miscarriage and while my heart was heavy for them, you really have no clue what they have just experienced. I now know I’ve sometimes said all the wrong things to someone who has miscarried a child. My story is honest because I felt the need to write it down and each day as I’ve written a little more I’ve found it to be quite therapeutic for me. Others may have different ways of coping through their grief. Overall I think it’s best to just provide love and hugs. That’s really the only thing that’s helped me over the past three days. My hope is that those of you reading this will now know more about the experience of a miscarriage and hopefully can provide the right words for someone when they need it.
My primary reason for writing this was first and foremost to mark a moment of birth and loss for my family. That was our baby and we saw its little heart beating hard and strong. God, however, has another plan for him or her but I am now the proud mama of an angel which is one of the biggest honors a mother could ever ask for.
It still stings emotionally and that will probably linger for a while. My body feels empty. My closet is full of maternity clothes. My Christmas cards with “baby Gish” on the front just arrived and need to be dealt with. But all of that stuff will get handled eventually.
In the mean time, I’ve had lots of kisses and held my precious Tommy a little tighter every minute. I pray for our sweet little angel and know God has a wonderful plan for our future.
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.”