I thought people had miscarriages because they did something wrong. I was doing everything right, so I didn’t have to worry.
I had asked my husband to come to my first appointment, but some of his friends and his dad told him that nothing important would happen at the first appointment. They told him they would do an exam and that he did not want to be there for that. So, he didn’t come.
While I was at my appointment, my doctor asked me, “Do you want to see your baby? I could see if there is an opening for an ultrasound.”
“Oh yes! You can see something now?” I was so excited.
As I waited in the waiting room for my ultrasound, I called my husband and said, “Guess who I am about to see.”
“Can you wait for me?” He asked.
Since they were squeezing me in, I could not wait. He was so upset he wished he could get there in time, but we both knew he wouldn’t make it. Maybe next time he will come with me when I ask. It was amazing and at that point, it became real. That was the last time I saw my baby.
The baby was 6 weeks 3 days old at that point. I thought everything was ok. I saw the baby and heard the heartbeat. He or she had a heartbeat of 122 beats per minute. I did not understand if that was good or not, but since the ultrasound technician didn’t say it was bad, I figured it was good. I was wrong. That was a low heartbeat but the doctor later told me it was not in the danger zone at that point. Zelda’s heart rate was 165 beats per minute, a huge difference.
I had a doctor’s appointment when I was 11 weeks pregnant. I thought we could hear the baby’s heartbeat by use of the Fetal Doppler by then, but they could not hear it. I worried a little, but the doctor said, “You can only hear the heartbeat at 12 weeks.” I felt a little better but the real reason they did not hear a heartbeat was because it was not there.
You can now buy a home fetal Doppler. You can listen to your baby’s heartbeat at home. Sometimes I would worried about Zelda. I was afraid that I was carrying around a dead baby like that last time. I wished I had that Doppler; it would have eased my fears. When Zelda moved, I would lie in bed and wait for her to move so I knew she was okay.
The night before Halloween, I leaked a little of fluid: not much, just some spotting. I was a little nervous, but I thought it could be normal and that I was overreacting. I had heard people experience spotting and that it was normal. I prayed, “Please don’t take my baby.” I figured it was just some spotting, so I did not worry too much about it.
I was working as a personal aide at a school for children with special needs on Halloween. I was walking around the Halloween dance with my student dressed up as a witch. She had a long black dress I put over her clothes. It was orange and came with a black witch’s hat with the same lining. I was Snow White. I had used a costume I had used before and I did not understand would be a witch, the dance was nice and the kids had a great time. When we got back to our classroom at end of the day, I felt funny. I felt like I was having my period. After we got all of our kids on the bus, I ran to the bathroom. I saw that I had bled. I could not breathe. I sat there for a second trying to figure out what to do. This can’t be! There is too much blood! I knew what I should do, but my body and mind were at two different places. This was not just some spotting. It was as if I had my period. I needed to call my doctor, but my heart kept telling me it couldn’t be happening. I told myself that miscarriages happen when you are not taking care of yourself the right way. I did nothing wrong. I did everything that the books and my doctor told me to do. It could not be happening. I thought I would go to the doctors and they would laugh and say it was normal.
I thought people would blame me. I was blaming myself, but I thought of what other people would say, “You would be a bad mother, so God took your baby… Oh, Nancy miscarried; I wonder what she did wrong… Was she drinking?” I know this sounds crazy now, but these were the things that were going through my mind and many things I heard others say about woman who had miscarried.
I came back into the classroom and told my co-workers what was going on.
One aide I work with told me, “Just go! We will take care of everything here.” I was still saying that everything would be okay by one my co-workers looked worried.
They were very understanding. I couldn’t breathe. I kept telling myself that I didn’t lose the baby. I kept thinking it was just some spotting. I couldn’t bring myself to admit what was happening. I called my husband.
“What should I do?” I asked.
“What do you think you should do?” He said.
“Go to the hospital, I think.”
“Okay! Then call your doctor.”
I called my doctor, and she sent me to get an emergency ultrasound. I remember driving there drinking tons of water. They told me I had to drink 32 ounces of water before my ultrasound.
You should have a full bladder before an ultrasound. The bladder acts like a window into the womb. It is amazing how God set that up for us.
My husband was meeting me there, but when I got there, he was not there. I called him and he was lost. So we argued. He claims I gave him bad directions. Devin is great at finding his way in the woods, but not on the road. My husband doesn’t even remember that we were arguing. It all seems so trivial. I had my exam and went to change. I was bleeding so much more now. I was not in pain, at least not yet.
They wouldn’t let me look at the screen or hear anything. I asked them, “Is the volume up? I don’t hear the heartbeat.”
“Because of the nature of this ultrasound, you can’t look at the screen and the volume is down.” The technician replied. I kept praying that everything would be okay. I remember talking to the tech about how God has a plan and if something happens, and maybe this baby was not in his plan. I talked about how we would have to accept it.
After the exam, the tech told me to go to the bathroom and get changed. While I was in the bathroom, I saw more blood. I closed my eyes and prayed again.
When I came out my husband was waiting for me in the exam room. I told Devin what they had done, and that I was just waiting for the doctor. The doctor came in and told us we lost the baby.
“Well it looks like you lost this one.” The doctor said. It is something I will never forget. I heard the doctor’s voice in my head for many weeks to come. The doctor explained to us that the baby had died at 7 ½ weeks. At that point, I thought I was 11 weeks pregnant. I couldn’t believe my baby had died so long ago. I cried. My husband hugged me. I was mad at him because he was not crying. I couldn’t understand how he could not be upset. He was upset, but he was not showing it the way I was. I was so relieved that Devin was there with me when I got the news. I don’t know if I would have been able to handle this if he had not been there.
I was reminded by the tech about God’s planning, but I could not accept it. I knew she was right, but I wanted my baby.
Devin called his dad and told him. I remember hearing him tell Devin how sorry he was. I called my parents also, but I didn’t want to talk for long. I want to curl up in bed.
We drove home in silence. I could not stop crying. When we got home, I went into our room and took out one of my husband’s sweaters I loved and a care bear he had gotten for me and I lay down.
I was mad that the doctor couldn’t tell me I had lost the baby when I had my appointment earlier. Later I was reassured that there was no way to tell that the baby was dead. They would have had to do an ultrasound to find out. That didn’t make it easier.
Devin suggested should call my cousin. She has had two miscarriages herself and he said she would be a good person to talk to.
“I am so sorry. I can honestly say I know how you feel and it sucks.”
She also told me about how much pain she was in physically with her miscarriage and that I should be prepared for that. I am glad I called her, but it really did not help me feel any better. I was grieving for my child. My husband told me it was ok and that we could try again. I knew we could try to have another baby, but I had still lost this child. I didn’t want to replace my baby, and I felt like that was what everyone expected me to do.
The pain started the next day. At first, it felt like I was just having my period, but then it got worse. I was having something similar to the labor contractions I would have when I was in labor with Zelda. My uterus was getting rid of everything. It grew worse until late that night it became unbearable. I had never felt pain like that before. I know that women may say actual labor pain is much worse, but there is a big difference. When you are in labor, you get a baby. There was no baby here for me. When you are in labor, you know a baby is coming and when that baby comes, you forget all the pain. When you hold your baby in your arms for the first time you don’t tell that baby they were not worth the pain. You would go through it again. When I had Zelda, the nurse and my husband asked me if I would go through it again. I said yes.
I dealt with the physical pain first. When I was lying in my bathroom in the most pain I had ever felt I was not thinking about the baby. I was saying, “Please God make it stop.” For the first day or two after I found out I lost the baby, I really didn’t deal with the grief because I was in so much pain.
I miscarried at home so I didn’t have a D and C. Dilation and curettage is a brief surgical procedure in which the cervix is dilated and a special instrument is used to scrape the uterine lining. Most people call it a D and C. I have heard when you have a D and C the doctors can look at the baby and tell you what happened. Many people have told me they miscarried because of a chromosomal abnormality. My baby would not have been able to survive outside of the womb. I sometimes wish I had had a D and C so I could know for sure what happened to my baby and other times I am glad I did not. My doctor told me that if your body healed naturally after a miscarriage, it would be easier to become pregnant again. She told me that sometimes the D and C can leave scar tissue behind which could hurt your chances of having another baby. She seemed to think his was a rare occurrence and since I didn’t have a D and C, I never found out if this was true or not. I am just glad I healed naturally and didn’t have to worry about it.