I wrote this in my diary on January 9, 2014. My miscarriage began on the morning of January 2.
It started Wednesday night. I woke up with cramps and when I went to pee, there was blood in the toilet. I woke John up and told him what was going on and he held me as I cried. I knew something was wrong. No healthy uterus would cramp and bleed with a healthy baby inside.
I called my OBGYN and tried to set an appointment for the same day, but I couldn’t get ahold of the office. So I called the women’s clinic nearby and they told me they could see me on Friday, but I said that was too late. I needed to know NOW. They recommended I go to the ER. So I went to 1st Choice – the same place I went for my migraine a few months ago.
1st Choice did blood and urine tests, a regular ultrasound and a vaginal ultrasound, and told me I was beginning to miscarry. It cost $250.
John took me home and I told my mom, dad, and Liz. I didn’t bleed for the rest of the day or Friday morning. My mom came over and took me and Calvin to lunch and we speculated over whether the doctor was right because I wasn’t showing any more symptoms. I wasn’t really getting my hopes up because even if I didn’t miscarry, I was going to worry that something was wrong with the pregnancy. So I talked to Matt and Dad and told them not to tell Grandma or anyone because I just didn’t know.
Then I took a nap and when I woke up, I had cramps. We got Jason’s Deli and as soon as I finished eating, I got in the bath. After 20 minutes I had to get out to pee and that’s when I found I was passing clots. I called Zoe, Andrea, and Lauren. While I was talking to Lauren, the cramps started to get pretty bad so I put on a heating pad and got in bed.
The cramps got worse and worse until maybe 9 o’clock and then I felt a slight “pop” in my uterus, the cramps stopped, and the blood started to flow.
And it flowed and flowed. At first I was really sad and I cried pretty hard. The second time I had to pause Lost and change my pad (20 minutes later) there was so much blood that I was laughing, because it was like a scene from a slasher film. I had blood running down my legs, all over my arms. There was blood on the floor, the toilet, in the bathtub, everywhere. After I soaked through two pads at once, I sent John to the store to buy bigger pads.
He was gone for five minutes when I needed to change another pad. I got up to go to the bathroom, sat on the toilet, and felt like I was going to pass out. I got a loud ringing in my ears and it was difficult to focus on the phone. But I called him and in a slow, scary voice told him to come home NOW. Then I called my mom and told her I needed her to come watch Calvin.
John was home three minutes later and found me sitting on the bathroom floor feeling better. He started packing for the hospital and my mom got here in about 30 minutes. They got me dressed and tried to move me into John’s wheely office chair, but I felt faint again. Then that wore off, I got in the chair, then the car, then the hospital.
I was wheeled to a lady behind a computer who told us it was a 2-3 hour wait for a bed. I put my head in my hand thinking, “I can’t wait that long,” then started to dream.
John gently pushed my head up and the lady asked me my social security number, which I was able to recite, only messing up once. I felt embarrassed because I figured I had fallen asleep and been drooling or snoring. Then they were wheeling me away and I somehow got in a bed and they were taking off my clothes (which was great because I was sweating), giving me bracelets and an IV, strapping monitors all over my body and asking all sorts of questions – height/weight/allergies, etc. It was about midnight.
Then the nurses left and John told me I had passed out. I had had no idea. I thought I had just fallen asleep. But that was why we’d suddenly got a bed – I had passed out with my eyes and mouth open, was white/green, and unresponsive.
The nurse, Markos, put two puppy-pad things under me and I bled all over those. They checked my blood pressure and it was something like 90/50. An ultrasound tech came in and looked at my uterus and ovaries. Markos came back in and gave me two new puppy-pads, then the ER doctor came in and wanted to visually inspect me. As soon as she opened my cervix, I gushed blood at her. We could see in her face she was worried and she called in the OB doctor, Dr. Beckner. He told me I had an incomplete miscarriage and that I still had tissue in my uterus and that was why I hadn’t stopped bleeding. I needed a D&C, which means he needed to dilate my cervix and scrape out the remainder of my pregnancy.
So we went up to the waiting area and met with the anesthesiologist. I had been close to fainting again a couple times, but as long as I was laying down, I pretty much felt fine. John and I were laughing and cracking jokes, but about 10 minutes before the surgery I started to feel light-headed and faint, even while lying down, and I knew I was losing too much blood.
But finally they came for me and I kissed John good-bye. I had ringing in my ears again and I was a little disoriented, but they put an oxygen mask on me and told me to breathe deeply. I did that three times and then someone was telling me to wake up. I was having a dream where I was at the Mad Hatter’s tea party (we had just watched that a couple days prior), but everyone was a giant, colorful tarantula and the one next to me was telling me to wake up, and that didn’t make any sense, so I didn’t, but then it finally hit me and I woke up.
Anesthesia made me talkative (even though my throat was raw from the breathing tube), and I was so happy to be alive, awake, and NOT BLEEDING ANYMORE! We hung out in the recovery area for an hour or so and then they rechecked all my vitals, got me up and walking a little, and then said I could leave. I got in the wheelchair, they pushed me about 10 feet, and I fainted.
When I woke up, Nurse Dolores had a vomit bag in my face and the edge of it was cutting into my throat. I said, “You’re choking me,” and she told me it was to keep my airway open, which I thought was an excessive precaution, but John told me later I started choking on my own spit.
So now I started to sob to John about how I didn’t want to pass out anymore and I just wanted to go home. I was all sweaty again and they had to put me on O2 again and I had to have the IV put in again. Both my elbows are still bruised. Once I got the oxygen I calmed down and was embarrassed about the scene I’d caused, especially because now there were a bunch of nurses and doctors around, telling me how pale I was.
But they gave me another liter of IV fluid and I rested for another hour and then I really did leave, at about 7 AM.
I came home and slept until 2, and Mom took Calvin to Dad’s.
I slept all through the night and most of the next day, although Mom brought Calvin back and then she helped me take a shower while John and Calvin went to the grocery store.
Every day since then has been the same. I wake up feeling a little better and I can sit up more, walk more, stand more, but I feel light-headed if I bend over, and moving around too much makes my heart beat hard. I lost 700ccs, or 1/3 of my blood, so it will take a week or two to really feel A-OK and in the meantime I can’t lift anything over 10 pounds, and I had to take an antibiotic, not eat dairy, focus on protein and iron-rich foods and rest a lot. No sex for a few weeks, but John and I can try again for a baby in 2-3 months.
Sometimes, like right now, I can think about all this and be OK. I know I didn’t purposely or neglectfully cause this. My body knew this pregnancy wasn’t right and I accept that. So I don’t feel guilty, wondering where did I go wrong? But I am curious – what DID go wrong? Why? Why me? Miscarriages happen to other people. Why am I one of those other people this time? I was supposed to have a normal, great pregnancy, just like with Calvin, except five years later. I got pregnant around the same time. It was going to line up perfectly with Calvin starting school. We were thinking of names, where to live. John had started setting money aside for “Number 2.”
I get sad when I think about the two months I was pregnant – how I just KNEW the day after when I woke up. I just KNEW and it was all supposed to be perfect. Was it going to be a boy? A girl? Who was it going to be? It didn’t get a name. Instead, it got flushed down a toilet in this apartment, or thrown into a trashcan at the hospital. It didn’t deserve that. It deserved to have me as a mommy and be loved and grow up. And now it will be forgotten, only thought of every once in a while, and I probably won’t even be sad when I do think of it. I was 8 weeks along. It had a beating heart and fingers. It was more than a fetus to me. It was my baby, due in August. It was going to be big enough to show next month.
Good-bye, Baby. I’m so, so sorry. I’ll never be un-sorry. I’m sorry I couldn’t hold you and name you and love you. I don’t know what happened, but I’m so, so sorry it didn’t work out. I’m sorry I couldn’t be your mama. But I promise I’ll be a good mother to Calvin and whoever comes next, because losing you has reminded me of how much I love being a mother, and how much I want to do it all over again.
*I became a mother for the second time to a healthy baby girl in March of 2015.