Mom to Lyla
Born at 28w6d on July 5, 2010
and Baby V
Miscarried at 12w5d on October 29, 2011
My first pregnancy in 2010 with my daughter Lyla was very scary. We found out we were pregnant in January and were so excited! Everything was good until March. I had an extreme amount of bleeding that I woke up to at 2 am one night. I was only 13 weeks. I was so scared but never gave up hope for my baby. I was in and out of the doctor’s office and E.R. that day getting ultrasounds. No one could figure out why I was bleeding the way I was, and some believed I was going to miscarry. The only explanation was that they found that I have a bicornuate uterus (heart-shaped) and maybe that was the cause for the bleeding. They could see the baby, always fine and dancing, in the right horn and a large bleed in the left horn that was about 8 cm. I was put on complete bedrest to wait it out at home. Once the bleeding subsided after a few days, I starting getting severe cramping/contractions and started passing large blood clots. I was so scared, but still never gave up hope. I remember calling the nurse and asking her about what was going on and she said that if I was going to miscarry, there was nothing they could do. That made me really upset.
After a few days, all the clot passing was over, but I was still on bedrest. I was put on modified bedrest a few weeks later because I had no other bleeding issues. It was so hard because I had big plans of getting things ready for the baby and going out and about with a cute baby bump, but I was willing to do whatever it took to get my baby here safe and healthy. I thought the worst was over, but at 26 weeks, I woke up to the blood yet again. I went in to Labor & Delivery, and once they got me hooked up to the monitors they told me I was contracting every 4 minutes. I didn’t realize that’s what had been going on…I thought what I was feeling was the baby moving because I would feel one side first, then the other because of the weird shape of my uterus. I was hooked up to all kinds of meds to stop the labor and after a few days, we were successful and I was sent home on strict bedrest once again.
Two weeks later, I went into Labor & Delivery again because I believed I was going into pre-term labor again. I wasn’t, but they kept me because my blood pressures were high and they wanted to test me for pre-eclampsia. During the night I went into pre-term labor again and was hooked up to all the meds again. The next day my tests came back that I did have pre-eclampsia and I was getting sicker by the hour. I also had an extreme headache that would not go away, and the nurse never reported to the doctor. Once the doctor knew about my headache and after several tests and consultations, the only option was to have the baby. If I did not have the baby, there was a chance I would go into seizures and lose my baby or die myself. They decided to let me labor it out because it would be the best for the both of us, but I had a 24-hour time limit. I was so scared during the whole process. There were many obstacles during my labor, but we overcame them and ended up having a baby girl on July 5 at 8:36pm weighing 1 lb 13 oz and 12.5 inches long. She spent 2 months in the NICU and had her typical NICU obstacles. I stayed with her every day pumping milk for her and doing as much kangaroo care with her as possible, so we could take her home as soon as possible. Once we learned more of my conditions, we realized how lucky and blessed we were to have Lyla as far along as we did, and as healthy as she was.
On Sept 1, 2011 we found out we were expecting again! We were so excited. We had been trying for 3 months and had gotten pregnant after our vacation, just like with Lyla! I hadn’t even gotten a period yet since I was still exclusively breastfeeding, so we were a little surprised. Right from the get-go, we started taking every precaution to be very careful to avoid any issues like last time. I never salted any food or cooked with salt to possibly avoid pre-eclampsia, and also started taking it easy and using progesterone suppositories to hopefully prevent any bleeding/contractions like last time. I had some anxiety about week 13, but we were really positive that this pregnancy would go smoothly. I was so happy when we got to week 12 and remembered that the chances of miscarrying dropped significantly, and I also knew we had only a few more weeks to go to get passed my 13 week mile marker.
On Tuesday, at 12 weeks on the dot, we went in for an ultrasound and found that there was a 2 cm bleed in my uterus. Okay, not so big, and it was at the top of my uterus and not near the baby or placenta, so all good news. I just had to take it easy. We were still positive and hoped that the blood would just absorb back into my body. Thursday evening I had felt a little funny and felt a little tingling in my belly, but thought nothing and hoped nothing of it. On Friday, after I woke up, I felt really sore in my lower abdomen and was hoping it was just round ligament pain from a growing baby and belly. After an hour it started to feel like cramping, and it was coming and going, and Tylenol did not do the trick. So, I went to the doctor’s office and got my cervix checked and an ultrasound. Everything looked great, except the bleed had doubled in size, so I was on complete bedrest. I was just happy the baby was fine and dancing away in there. The cramping had gotten worse, so I was given pain med. They prepared me what to do in any case scenario and said I would bleed, but we just don’t know when. The minute I got home and stepped out of the car it all came gushing out. I was hysterical and immediately called my doctor. She said to rest and if in an hour it was still the same then to go into the E.R. at the Women’s Hospital. So, in an hour we were on our way there. When we got there, I got an I.V. and some pain medicine for the contractions I was having. They were extremely strong, doubling me over and requiring me to breathe through them. The pain medicine helped a little, but not as much as I would have liked. I got my cervix checked and got an ultrasound and everything looked great, except the bleed had doubled in size again. So now it was about 8 cm, which was the same size as with Lyla. They wanted to keep me overnight to watch me. They prepared me for a miscarriage but I said, “No, it’s not happening, I had this same situation at the same time with Lyla and she’s here and healthy. She is living proof that everything will be fine.”
Around bedtime, everything had subsided and I was able to sleep. In the morning I wasn’t cramping and was only lightly bleeding, so I was discharged, but on bedrest. I was so happy and I missed my family so much. Around lunch time at home, the cramping/contracting started again. I was a little frustrated. The bleeding was about the same, not gushing too bad. At dinner time, the doctor said I could go in because the pains were stronger and I was passing blood clots by the handful, but the bleeding was only coming a little when contracting. I went back to the E.R. and once I got there I was in extreme pain again and bleeding a lot. They gave me an I.V. and stronger pain medicine this time, and checked my cervix and did an ultrasound and everything was even better! The bleed had shrunk by half, so now about 4 cm, and the baby was still happily dancing in there. So, they sent me home. I was so relieved and even more hopeful about everything. I was given more pain medicine to take at home and called the doctor at about 10 p.m. because it wasn’t really working for me. So I took some other pain medicine and just tried to stick it out because I knew the blood and clots had to make their way out and then everything would be fine after that.
I tried to lie down and rest but it was impossible, the pain was very extreme. I knew I wasn’t going to sleep. I was trying to watch TV and keep my mind off of it, but at the same time trying to decide if I needed to wake my husband up to go back to the E.R. At one point I felt something kind of drop, and thought, “Oh, great, here come some more blood clots.” I took my time getting to the bathroom because it was hard to walk during the contractions. I got to the toilet and tried to catch the clot with toilet paper. It came out as a big white blob as big as my two palms cupped together, and I dropped it in the toilet and started screaming for my husband to come in and said ‘I think I just had the baby.’ I told him to get my phone for me. I called the doctor and she said it sounded like tissue and told me to go back to the E.R. I asked her if I should flush the clot or what, and she said to bring it in. In the meantime my husband was trying not to pass out while I was hysterically yelling at him to bring me something to put the clot in. He has a hard time with traumatic situations and blood, so it was hard for him to move around without passing out. So, he brought me a soup ladle and a plastic container to scoop it out of the toilet, and then we put it in a paper sack. I called my mom to come over to stay with Lyla while she slept and she tried to calm me down, but I was so scared. Finally we were both calm enough to find ourselves and get in the car.
During the whole car ride my poor husband was freaking out but trying to stay calm and calm me down at the same time. I was sobbing and praying and hoping it was a huge blood clot covered in progesterone cream. The contractions had stopped, but I was still bleeding a little and passing some clots so I just didn’t know. When I got to the E.R., I ran in and screamed for help and told them that I was bleeding a lot and that I was passing some more clots. I went to the restroom and pulled the help string and the nurse came in and I showed her that I passed another big clot with white tissue in it. She told me I was miscarrying and I just screamed “NO, NO, NO, PLEASE NO!” while sobbing on the toilet covered in blood. I got up and went into the room and was begging for an ultrasound, but they had to do all the other paperwork first. I kept praying the whole time we were waiting. They tried to find the baby’s heartbeat with the Doppler, but couldn’t. I was still hopeful because I was only 12w5d and it’s hard to find still. Then they wheeled me in for an ultrasound and the women looked and then showed me the screen, and I said, “Where’s the baby, it’s in there, find it please find it.” She said, “No, I’m sorry,” and at that point I just started screaming and sobbing and my husband held me and we cried together. I just kept saying “Why?” and “It’s not fair” and “I wanted that baby” and my husband said, “Me, too,” choking back tears. The ultrasound tech gave us some space. After a while, she came back to finish but I didn’t want to see an empty screen again. She said she just needed one picture, so I told her to turn the computer screen away from me. I wanted to curl up with my husband and be home in bed.
Finally we finished with everything we needed to do, and it looked like everything had passed, so they let me go home without needing to do a D&C. They told me this all probably happened because I had too much blood in there and was contracting too much, and maybe the baby wasn’t implanted in a good spot since my uterus has a funky shape. Before we went home, I wanted to see the baby, but they said they couldn’t tamper with anything. The next day, I started itching and leaking milk, as if the hole in my stomach and heart wasn’t a big enough reminder of losing my baby.
I never expected to miscarry. It’s not fair, that little baby was so perfect and didn’t even get a chance. I think about him all the time, and even was visited by him in my dreams. I am trying to focus on things to do to memorialize the baby. He will always be a part of our family, and forever in our hearts. Until we meet again…our sweet angel baby, born too soon, straight to heaven. 12w 5d, measuring 12w7d, 10/29/11 at 11:45 pm.
A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam
And for a brief moment its glory
And beauty belong to our world
But then it flies again
And though we wish it could have stayed…
We feel lucky to have seen it.
You can reach Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org.