In August, I was thrilled to find out I was pregnant with our 7th baby. I am always a huge blabbermouth when I get that second line on the test. I have never understood how some of you moms can wait 3 months to start telling people! With this baby, it was different. I felt God’s leading just wait to tell everyone. Within a couple of weeks of finding out, I started to have the sad realization that this might not be a baby I would ever hold. I felt NO symptoms of pregnancy. I was not the least bit sick and I was not showing at all. I didn’t tell my family I was expecting, I hardly told any friends, and we didn’t even tell our children! When I shared our news with the few people I did tell, I also said that I had a feeling that this baby might not make it. I told one friend that I didn’t feel pregnant, just like I was waiting to lose a baby.
At 9 weeks, I couldn’t stand it anymore and asked for my midwife to send me for an ultrasound, which I never have in my healthy pregnancies. Sadly, it confirmed that our little babe had died in my womb at 7 weeks. There were a few tears shed that day, but in all honesty, it was not out of surprise. I was, in fact, relieved to know, though truly heartbroken. I was also very grateful that the Lord gave me the gift of knowing right from the start, not having to have the horrible thrown-off-a-cliff feeling of finding out suddenly. And, not having to un-tell a bunch of people was also a gift.
I was very at peace with waiting for the baby to miscarry naturally, even knowing it could be weeks, since truly this is what I had always been doing. At 11 weeks, I started to spot when Steve and I were out on our weekly date. It continued this way all day. The next morning, Sunday, we had plans to visit a very little church nearby to surprise our friends who went there. I was really looking forward to it, so we went even though I was spotting. I wore a huge post-partum pad, just in case. I’ve had a miscarriage before and (sorry for the graphic nature) I know there is a LOT of blood. I mean a LOT.
Just at the end of the service, I felt that fateful gushing start. My heart sunk as I knew I should be at home and not out in public. Fretfully, I got cleaned up as much as I could and we rushed out. As I came out of the bathroom, I found a trail of blood leading back into the hall! How humiliating!
At home, I went into the bathroom and just sat there bleeding. What would be the point of getting up? Steve came in and asked if I needed anything. I asked him just to stay with me. I realized I was losing my ability to focus on what he was saying, feeling nauseous and I had the strange urge to get away from my body. The next thing I knew, I could hear him calling my name, but I couldn’t respond or move. 15yodd called 911. I revived when they laid me on the couch and the ambulance came to take me to the hospital. My mom came to look after the other kids. Steve and my friend, Monique, were both with me in the ER. Monique is not only one of my very dearest friends in the whole world, she is also a doula and while I think doulas are terrific for births, I now know they are essential for miscarriages. I am so grateful she was there.
At the hospital, the bleeding just wouldn’t stop. The OB on call was comfortable waiting a couple of hours and trying some different things, though I eventually ended up having the dreaded D & C. It was definitely necessary at this point, since I was unable to stop from fainting if my head was even just raised up a little from lying flat. In the recovery room, my hemoglobin was tested and found to be at 75 leading to the recommendation of a blood transfusion.
I declined this since it would necessitate my staying overnight and away from baby guy (who is really toddler guy now). However, when I couldn’t stop from fainting sitting in the wheelchair on the way out of the hospital, there was no choice. Once I was settled into my bed again, I happened to bump my right breast a little and recognized that familliar feeling all breastfeeding moms know when they have not nursed for too long. UGH. My nurse called to the Family Birthing Unit and got me a breast pump. Relief.
Despite the blood transfusion, it was still a long recovery at home. I was very tired for several weeks, though I feel completely back to normal at this point thanks to the terrific care of my friends, my husband and my amazing naturopath. I am also very grateful for the hospital staff. They continue to chip away at my hard attitude toward modern medicine. I couldn’t have asked for better caregivers there.
This miscarriage was so very different from my first one, which was much easier physically, but emotionally much more traumatizing. On Monday, I will write about my plan for miscarriage recovery, which was terrific. I did find that I really fell through the cracks between the midwife and my doctor. No one ended up looking after me and it wasn’t until I sought out my own care from my naturopath that I had a good plan. I imagine that women are often in this position, so I hope to share what I have learned from my two miscarriages with you.
Have any of you experienced a miscarriage or more than one? What were your experiences?