Thursday, April 14, 2011

I Never Thought This Would Happen to Me

Posted by Andria at 5:28 PM

I don't have a clever or fancy way of introducing this post so here's the facts. I miscarried my baby. My precious baby whom was so anticipated and already so loved is gone. There's no other way to say it. It may sound cliché and naive but I NEVER thought this would happen to me. I suppose it might be safe to assume that every woman who miscarries a child says the same thing. It's always someone else but NEVER will it EVER be you. Yet, here I am. This is the story I never saw my self telling. This is the story of my miscarriage. It is long, graphic and detailed so there's your fair warning.

My Story

I'll start of by telling you what happened and then I'll share some hindsight details that are pretty crazy. On Thursday 4/7, It was like any other day except I was feeling what I thought were very mild cramps. So mild infact that I was able to ignore them. I just kept telling myself it was intestinal or something. "Surely it wasn't serious since I'm the freaking picture of health!" Well, about mid afternoon when I went to the bathroom, I saw brownish blood on the paper after wiping. The exact words I called out to my husband were "We have a problem." As a doula, I logically know that not all spotting is gloom and doom but, I think I instintually I knew that something was off. What made me decide to go to the hospital that day wasn't necessarily the slight spotting but the cramps with the spotting raised a red flad for me. One or the other can be fine but not both. Not in my mind atleast.

We got to the hospital, did the boring routine paper work and I got taken to the room for an ultrasound. My heart was pounding out of my chest. Jeff just held my hand tight and we braced ourselves. "Well, there's definitely a baby" they said. I was extremely relieved and let out a "Thank you Jesus" but, quickly my relief was taken away when the O.B said that the baby was measuring 3.3 mm's, the size of a 6 week fetus. I was 8 weeks so to me, that was a big discrepancy. He brushed it off and said it could be fine and that I might have ovulated later then I thought. I looked at him and said "No, I'm very certain of my dates." There also wasn't a detectable heartbeat which again was brushed off because the baby was too "tiny to see one" anyway. I could see that he was starting to B.S me with his "It's too early to panic." speech and how I should be focused on that fact that atleast it wasn't ectopic. I left the hospital with a very unsettling feeling in my gut. I felt that the O.B knew something I didn't and that he was trying to pacify me.

My night didn't become any better. I became less able to ignore my cramping. I kept thinking, this isn't possible. It just isn't possible. My husband kept trying to comfort and encourage me but, I could still detect the worry in his face. That night as I slept with what had become a dull ache in my lower abdomen and back, I had horrible nightmares that pieces of my baby were coming out of me. Everytime I'd wake up and go back to sleep, my dream would continue. I was tortured even in my sleep.

The next morning as I was coming to an awake state, the kind where you lay there with your eyes still closed but you're not actually asleep, I was praying that the pain I was feeling was still from my nightmares and that once I was fully awake it would be gone. It wasn't. The cramping was there and it was worse than the day before. I felt my heart sink and my mind was racing. I was afraid to get up to use the bathroom for fear of what I might see. When I finally did, there of course was the spotting except this time it seemed not so brown but, a bit more on the red side as if it were fresher blood. I tried telling myself that I was imagining it.

And Then It Happened

As the afternoon wore on the cramping became more intense and then I felt it. That first gush. Complete terror set in and I could hardly breath as I made my way to the bathroom. I was breathlessly and rapidly whispering "no, no, no, no, no, no" as the tears began to well up in my eyes. There it was, bright red blood. I instantly fell to my knees. It was like my body turned to mush and I had no strength. I felt a panic attack coming on as my entire body began to shake. My husband found me naked from the waist down, shaking, crying and crawling on my hands and knees out of the bathroom while somehow trying to hold toilet paper between my legs at the same time. The only words I could finally clearly utter out of my mouth were "We're losing our baby." "Oh my God", "Oh my God." Everytime I would manage to make my way back to the toilet, the instant I sat, I would hear the gut-wrenching sound of blood trickling into the water. I would just sob. At one point I looked up at Jeff and told him "I can't do this." He would just hug me and try to comfort me but, I knew he was dying inside.

The bleeding became so bad that we started to worry. I had to pretend everything was alright while I was infront of my daughter as we got ready to drop her off at her grandmothers house. We told her that Mommy wasn't feeling too well so we were just going to see the doctor to make sure eveything was alright. Before we left she came upstairs with a picture she had drawn to make me feel better. She said "It's me, you and my little sister!" I wanted to burst into tears right then and there but I kept up my front, smiled through the pain and said it was beautiful.

At the hospital the bleeding as well as the pain came on full force. They gave me a room right away and my nurse stuck towels under me to catch all the blood and clots. I was feeling almost as if I were in labor, vocalizing and breathing through my intense pain. My body began violently trembling as they were scooping into a container whatever was sitting in my vaginal canal. I couldn't control the shaking whatsoever, it was so bad. It wasn't nerves at that point, just my body's reaction to the trauma it was going through. Jeff looked so torn up knowing he could do nothing to take it all away. He just kept stroking my brow and telling me it's gonna be okay. I could see he was holding back tears.

They brought in the ultrasound machine and I knew the news we were about to receive was going to be bad. I looked up at the monitor and didn't need the technician to say a word. I could already see that my uterus was empty. I said "It's not there." and the tech. just stared at me sadly and said "No, it's not-I'm so sorry." The room became so still with only the sound of Jeff and I crying together. I felt as if I were broken into a million pieces and life just felt surreal at that point. Then my heart just ached at the thought of having to tell my little girl.

Having To Break My Daughters Heart

You hear a lot about how miscarriage impacts a woman or a couple but, only when you're in it does it hit you how this affects the children you already have. After we all were home my little girl asked me "So, how did it go Mommy?" I took her hands and said I had some sad news. I told her that the baby was gone and she burst into tears. She was inconsolable for almost an hour, switching back and forth between letting me hold her and then my husband. Just when I thought my heart couldn't possibly break anymore, seeing my innocent little girl suffer like that was unbearable. That night we knew she had a strong need to be near us so we set up a mattress on the floor beside our bed and let her sleep in our room. The next morning I heard her get out of bed so I quickly opened my eyes. I watched her walk over to the picture she drew, take it back to bed with her and she quietly cried as she held it. As the days have gone by she thankfully is doing much better but, I know this is something she'll remember forever. I hope I never have to give her news like that again.

Finding Hope 

The first few days, I was in a fog of sadness. I would consciously make sure that my hand was never over my belly at any point because it would remind me that I was "empty". I immediately began unsubscribing to weekly pregnancy emails and would just find myself starring at nothing sometimes. I quickly realized how important it was for me to snap out of it live for the child I already have. I refused to let myself be consumed. I had to do it for her and for myself.

Will we be trying again? Yes. Am I doing it to fill a void or "forget" about what happened? No. I will never forget. How can I? Every November I will think about how old my child would've been. I will forever be changed by this experience but I'm ready to move forward. Moving forward is definitely not the same as forgetting. Knowing that I can try again does brings me hope. My baby is coming. It just wasn't meant to be in November and I'm slowly becoming used to that idea.

Counting My Blessings

My family and friends were amazing through this whole process and it really made me think about how blessed I truly am. I have always been blessed and fortunate to be very close to my family. Though they can make me crazy sometimes, whenever anything big has happened in my life good or otherwise, they've always been there to surround me with love and in this situation, they did just that and more. I have wonderful friends old and new that have also been incredible through all this. I have a healthy, gorgeous little girl and a husband who is the best friend I've ever had. The amount of love and support I've received from the people in my life has opened my eyes in a way that has never happened before. How amazing it is that something like this had to happen for me to really see. I am blessed, inspite of this, I am blessed. I'm blessed in all the ways that will ever matter in life. I didn't do any "social climbing" to get it, I didn't screw others over to have it, you can't buy it with any amount of money, it is not a fantasy world you can create. It is a gift from God.  I am blessed inspite of this. Though this was extremely difficult to go through, it doesn't take away from the fact that I still have so much to be thankful for.



Anonymous said...

I am very proud of you, Jeff, and Aizlynn! May God bless your family!

Courtney Fisk on April 15, 2011 at 12:01 AM said...

so sorry for your loss. many prayers and thoughts sent to you and your family.

Lindsay on April 15, 2011 at 2:46 PM said...

So very sorry for your loss. Time may heal you, but you will never forget, and that's ok.

Johnna on April 15, 2011 at 4:13 PM said...

You are a very strong woman, and I can't imagine how hard this was for you and your family. I fully believe that you WILL get your baby someday very soon. Hugs mama. XOXO

Andria on April 16, 2011 at 9:39 PM said...

Thank you Johnna, Lindsay, Courtney & anonymous- All of your words have touched me. God bless you all.

Vanessa on April 17, 2011 at 3:30 PM said...

Reading your story reminds me of my first miscarriage and how horrible, terrifying, and overwhelming it was. I remember the well of grief and numbness and struggling through, "how do I handle this? why is this happening?" and my heart breaks at hearing someone else going through that ache and loss. I just want to wrap you in my arms and comfort you. I hope the days are getting just a little bit easier for you, and that your precious daughter helps to ease the pain. (What a sweetheart. My heart breaks for her, too.) May you feel loved everyday, and slowly come to healing.

Andria on April 18, 2011 at 5:57 PM said...

Thank you so much Vanessa for sharing that and for your kind words of support. Thankfully we are all getting through this and each day gets easier.

Lisa on May 8, 2011 at 12:42 AM said...

Andria-I debate whether to leave a comment as so much time has passed since you first posted this. I just want you to know that I am so sorry for your loss.

I, too, have been in your shoes and never thought I would be. I miscarried our second baby in 2004. She (I always felt like it was a girl) would be 7 in October. It was one of the hardest things I have ever gone through. It is just such an empty and helpless feeling.

Yet, like you, I had an older daughter who needed me, and a husband who was grieving in his own strong, silent way. Tough, tough times. We named our baby Alida Rae, meaning "little winged-one, living in freedom". It was so healing for us to give her a name.

I am encouraged to hear that you are hanging on to hope. That is so important. It doesn't take the hurt away or make it any less real, but it does make it more bearable.

We got pregnant two months after our miscarriage and had a term pregnancy of our first son. We named him Noah, which means comfort. He was our comfort after our heartache.

While I miss our baby and would never want to experience that ever again (although we did experience that fear again when we almost lost my most recent pregnancy-you can read about it here if you are interested, God redeemed that loss with the gift of our son. I cannot imagine my life without him.

I'm not sure if you are familiar with the song, Blessed Be Your Name, but it is so poignant. God gives and takes away, and yet, as you speak of in your post, blessed be His name. I pray His blessings on you and your family!

Andria on May 16, 2011 at 2:24 PM said...

Oh Lisa, reading your comment made me so emotional! What an incredible story of heartache and hope. Thank you for sharing this and thank you for your prayers.

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