Mom to Baby M
Miscarried: February 15, 2015, Expected Due Date: September 10, 2015
I managed to take a shower as the blood dripped out of my body and spiraled down the drain. It will take two hours for a cab, the voice on the other end of the phone stated. Admittedly, I should have called for an ambulance, especially since we were in the middle of another New England blizzard with zero driving visibility. In my mind though, that would have made the experience that much more of an emergency. This was not an emergency. At least, I didn’t want it to be—even though, intellectually I knew that I was losing the life inside of me with every passing minute.
I trudged through the six or so inches of snow on the ground towards my car. Incoming call. I answer. What’s wrong? The voice asked. I’m bleeding. I think I’m losing the baby. I tell my friend through the tears streaming down my face. I’ll meet you at the hospital, she said.
I don’t know how, but I managed to drive myself to the emergency room. For two miles, the only people I shared the road with were the snowplow drivers. I’m almost 11 weeks pregnant and I’m bleeding, was all that I could manage to say to the receptionist before I broke down sobbing and wiping away my tears with my scarf.
I was immediately brought into a room where I was given a gown, poked with an IV needle, and asked what seemed to be 100 questions in a matter of minutes. Yes, I called my midwife. No, I did not do anything out of the ordinary today.
No, the baby’s father is not involved. Yes, I have health insurance. Yes, I called my brother and friend who will be meeting me here. No, I have not had an ultrasound; it is scheduled for next week. As I answered the questions, a short dark-haired doctor approached the bedside. She tried to assure me that although I was bleeding heavily it did not mean that I was losing my baby. She tried to comfort me, but I knew what was happening. I knew that my body had betrayed me in the most unimaginable way.
The ultrasound technician had the unfortunate responsibility of giving me the news. He maneuvered the instrument inside of me and everyone in the room studied the monitor desperately looking for signs of my baby. This is not a viable pregnancy. Pause. Sometimes I hate my job. I’m sorry, he said. The words stabbed me deeper than anything that I had ever experienced in my life. I held my friend’s hand and we both cried hysterically. Not only had I lost my baby, I had lost her nephew.
As I was being rolled back into the room, my eyes met my brother’s eyes and without words, he knew what happened. I asked him to call my mother and then I asked him to call my sister. They both cried. I felt like I had let them down; my body disappointed them. They would never know their precious nephew, their precious grandson, the baby that was (and is) missing from my family. Our baby.
I squat over the stainless steel toilet in the bathroom of the emergency room and couldn’t help but think that although I couldn’t see it, I was going to flush by baby’s little body down the toilet. I cried more, said a prayer, cleaned myself, and pushed on the handle. I bled heavily for hours; six hours after my arrival I left the hospital. I left without the one thing that I had wanted for years.
As I write this piece, seven months removed from one of the worst day of my life and almost a month past what would’ve been my due date, I can still recall the smell of the emergency room, the black-rimmed glasses the ultrasound technician wore, the discharge nurse uttering in a faint whisper as she removed the needle in my arm how unfair it was that I was going through this. Details that remind me of how things are not the same anymore and how they will never be what I thought they would. Even the tiny scar on my right hand left by the IV needle is a daily trigger of the life that lived inside of me that did not survive.
I still feel like I disappointed those around me. The people who knew I was pregnant were more excited than I was to welcome baby M into their lives. Although I never had a formal ultrasound taken with a picture as proof, I know it was a boy. And, just like that it was gone; never happened. There was no baby shower, no diapers and wipes, no acclimating my dog to the little human who would wake him up in the middle of the night.
I shared my experience with those around me who I knew would support me. Some tried to comfort me, others just prayed with and for me. Today, most do not talk about it for whatever reason, but it is unfair of me to expect others to feel the huge sense of loss that I feel everyday. Although I still feel like I disappointed many, I no longer blame myself. I pray for the opportunity to feel another life grow inside me—even the nausea will be welcomed! I have not lost hope of that possibility with a new supportive partner. My rainbow baby will come one day, not to take the place of the baby lost, but rather, to fill my life and those who I love with new hope, new love, new adventures, and new perspectives on what is important in life.