Mom to “Baby B”
November 15, 2012
My life changed forever the moment I saw those two pink lines. My life changed forever again 7 weeks later when we found out that our first child had no heartbeat. I can honestly say that it was the worst day of my life so far. Although it is hard, I hope that sharing my story can give people an honest look into miscarriage and can help someone else who is going through their own loss.
Words cannot express how excited my husband and I were to find out that we were to become parents (EDD: 6/15/2013). We dreamed about that day for a long time. Overall, my pregnancy progressed easily, but I honestly couldn’t shake the fear of something going wrong. Even still, my husband and I grew more excited as time went on and we had planned a huge reveal to our families for Thanksgiving. Two days before our first OBGYN appointment (a week before Thanksgiving), I became concerned because my pregnancy symptoms seemed to be disappearing. By the day before, they had vanished completely. I knew in my heart something was wrong, but I was hoping that I was just being paranoid/dramatic. I told my husband my concerns and we agreed that we would just have to wait and see.
The morning of the appointment (9w5d) I began having very light cramping. I told the RN and the doctor my concerns instantly. While doing my physical exam, the doctor mentioned that my uterus was small, which I realized later was a sign. I was thankful that she rushed the exam, but it felt like an hour waiting for the ultrasound. The moment we saw our baby on the screen, our heats sank. Instantly we knew the baby was small and there was no heartbeat. I just kept thinking that this can’t be happening, that I am really losing my baby. My worst fear had been realized. I just started crying and I remember the doctor squeezing my shoulder and telling me that she was sorry. The doctor said that the baby was measuring only about 6.5 weeks, meaning I could have lost it anytime within the last 3 weeks.
Leaving the ultrasound room was horrible. We had to pass happy families with obviously pregnant women and I had tears streaming down my face. I was so hurt that that wasn’t us. We got back into the room and we discussed the options. I elected to take medicine (Cytotec) to induce because I had no spotting and the thought of passing the baby during Thanksgiving celebrations was horrifying. I also felt desperate- the thought of my baby dead within me made me panic. The pain after taking the medication was horrible. The doctor warned me that the medicine was 4 times the strength that they give full-term women to induce labor, but I didn’t expect what I felt. I had constant cramping with waves of extreme pain. I wanted to go to the bathroom, but due to the cramping I couldn’t even straighten my body out of a fetal position. Thankfully after an hour and a half, the pain medication kicked in and I had some relief. That’s when I tried going to the bathroom and I felt it come out. When I looked down at the toilet paper, I saw the clear sac with the visible greyish/brown cord, perfectly intact and very visible due to lack of blood (my doctor told me that this is extremely rare that no blood/clots hid it). My horrible curiosity got the better of me and I started looking for the baby. Thankfully, I stopped myself before I could find it. It was the worst moment of my life placing the sac into the toilet, knowing that my child was probably still inside, and flushing it down the toilet. I felt like a monster, discarding my baby like it was nothing. Part of me still does, but at the time I didn’t know what else to do.
Telling family and friends was difficult, especially since we had well planned exactly how we wanted to originally tell them about our happy news. At first I felt like such a failure. I was horrified and so scared when I learned that the news had instantly spread throughout my husband’s family the day it happened. I was so embarrassed and ashamed for everyone to know. I was afraid of the judgment. Now that things have sank in, I’m ok with people knowing, but I worry that our baby will never be thought of, loved, or prayed for like other babies in the family. Even though I carried it only 9.5 weeks, I want our child to be acknowledged like any other. It kills me because I know it probably won’t be to anyone but my husband and I. In some cases, I have really appreciated the support we’ve received. In others, we have been left disappointed with some people’s response. Some of the things people have said, completely meant to be helpful, have ripped through me like a knife. Yes I know we are young and will probably have more children, but we loved and wanted this child. I know the baby is in a “better” place, but we could have provided it a great place to grow as well. I hate hearing “you will be a mom” because I consider myself a mom, just my baby is in Heaven. To me, this will always be my first child, just not first born child. And I’m sorry, but no matter what the reason was, I will never agree with my baby’s death, even if there was something developmentally wrong. I would have devoted my life to my child, despite whatever problems it may have had, and I would have made sure it felt loved despite those things. Out of all the responses, I think the lack of acknowledgment has been the worst. I try to tell myself that maybe they just didn’t know what to say, but it hurts. Someone else said it best when they said, “It’s like you’re the only one that cares that a baby had even existed and died.”
It’s been about a month now [at time of submission] and the past few weeks have been a roller coaster. At first I was full of pain and tears. Then I was full of anger. Now I think I’m in a mixture between sadness and numbness. So many thoughts have rushed through my mind. Of course the biggest one was “what did I do wrong?” I honestly tried my best: I stopped biting my nails, I took my prenatals religiously, I was trying to eat better, I was exercising and had given up sweets. But what had I done or not done to cause this? Did I stand too close to the microwave? Did I eat something bad? Did I stress too much? Was it just God’s way of laughing at me, knowing I wanted it so much? I have always been one of those women that knew I was meant to be a mom. I have known it and desperately felt it ever since my youngest brother was born. I feel like I have waited so long for this moment, only to have it unfairly cut short. I can’t turn on the TV without seeing some pregnant celebrity or a commercial with an adorable baby. Facebook is no better, with so many constantly posting pictures of their bumps or little ones. It drives me crazy when people complain about their pregnancies. I would give anything right now to be bloated and uncomfortable. I’m haunted with the thoughts of what our baby would have been like. Would it have been smart? Sarcastic? Left-handed? Looked like my husband? I hate that I will never know. I hate that it will never experience what the world has to offer. I hate how much my heart hurts. I still don’t understand why we lost our baby, but with time it has gotten easier to accept that it probably wasn’t anything that I did or did not do. I have no reason to feel guilty. If love could have saved my baby, it would have lived forever and that’s what I need to focus on.
Physically, things have been difficult as well. I took a second set of medications a few days after I passed the sac because I had not been passing any of the blood or clots and I kept reading how much you are supposed to pass. Within a few hours, I had been losing so much blood and so many clots at once that I should have gone to the ER. I was becoming tired and dizzy and literally could not leave the bathroom. I refused to go to the ER, not wanting to make an already horrible situation worse, and just tried to drink fluids. Eventually it subsided and I was able to sleep (Note: I do not recommend this to other women). A week and a half after the miscarriage, I was instructed to take a pregnancy test to confirm everything was out (I advise women in my situation to have a blood drawl instead because it is a kick when you are down to try to look for a negative test after everything you have gone through). Surprisingly, mine was still positive. Therefore, for 3 weeks I had to get blood drawn every 3-4 days because my hormone levels were not dropping. Two weeks after the miscarriage, I was still measuring about 5 weeks pregnant. My doctor scheduled a D&C after 3 weeks and gave me one more blood draw for them to fall before she wanted to move ahead with it. Thankfully, they dropped by half that week. Even now, I am still cramping, have on and off spotting, and am sore if I press on the area. And I’m still waiting for my hormones to get down to 0.
Like probably most women in my situation, I’m terrified to have another baby. I know what the doctor said, that one miscarriage doesn’t predict a second, but how can I be sure? I thought that I was almost 10 weeks, so close to being “in the clear”. I am angry for my next pregnancy because I want to be able to enjoy it, but how can I not be paranoid with fear? I’m also afraid of forgetting this baby, afraid my husband and our families will forget, and that this little one meant nothing. Only time will tell but I have to trust that everything will be ok.
For women going through it now, or who may go through it, I will tell you that I’ve found some support in reading others’ stories online and in talking to other women who have gone through it. In a way it is completely depressing, but in other ways, I feel connected with others that can take the words right out of my heart and express things that I was feeling but just did not know how to say. It has helped get rid of the shame and guilt. Pregnancy loss, whether miscarriage or stillbirth, is so taboo and rarely talked about and I think that only amplifies that shame we feel. We need to talk. We need to share our stories. My husband and I also bought an engraved box to keep our treasured memories from this pregnancy (my pregnancy journal, pregnancy test, a onesie I had bought for my husband, letters we wrote to the baby following the loss, ultrasound photos, etc). Having the box gives us the security that we will always have our child with us. God may have our baby in His arms, but we will always our baby in our hearts.
You can contact Kendall at: KBasore517@gmail.com