So there I was, New Years Eve, and 2 hours from the start of 40 friends and family coming for a party and I was curled up on the cold, damp garage floor sobbing because of the news the Fertility Clinic just called with; our baby was dying.
Everything no one tells you:
- although there is a high chance of conception with fertility assistance there is also a higher chance of miscarriage
- every pregnancy conceived under ‘normal’ circumstances has a 31% chance of miscarriage (about.miscarriage.com)
- each miscarriage you have increases your chances of future miscarriage
- No One, not even your doctor can give you the actual reason you miscarry. They don’t really know
I had to pull it together and muster the strength to get through the evening. I went into the house, freshened up and did exactly that. As friends and family shouted Happy New Year with smiles and laughter I faked a grin and tipped my glass (of water) to theirs.
I felt embarrassed. I felt ashamed. I felt as though God was taunting me with things I wanted but wasn’t ready to have. I wanted someone to blame and the only option seemed to be myself.
January 4th – in for more blood work. This afternoon phone call was different then all the others had been in the last 8 months; I didn’t want it to come. When, ultimately it did – the results were the same- our numbers were too low to sustain a pregnancy but not low enough to confirm a miscarriage.
This meant – that even though the Doctors said we were losing our baby, my body wasn’t ‘doing that correctly either.’ My body was hanging on to hope. My body was continuing as if the pregnancy was ‘viable’ and all numbers were where they needed to be. It was on this cold day in January that I decided to stop listening to the Doctors and start listening to my body.
I gained Hope. I gained Faith that my Child might be able to pull through. That maybe I could beat the odds. I even went as far as to talk to my son. Tell him to ‘Hang in there’ and ‘Don’t give up yet.’
Somewhere in my mind I knew he couldn’t hear me, but it made the pain more tolerable to think he could.
January 8th – More Blood work.
January 11th – Blood work and ultrasound for confirmation of pregnancy loss.
On the Evening of January 11th the spotting began; a sure sign that I was going to miscarry. The Doctors celebrated – I mourned.
Spotting January 11th – 17th with no pain.
January 18th – more blood work and another ultrasound.
If you have not been tracking the time line I was about 8 weeks pregnant. I had developed an image, relationship, status for this pregnancy that the doctors said never existed. They did photos of my empty uterus other than what they referred to as a Yolk Sac….as if the word ‘baby’ made them ill. After a second ultrasound with no visual change they told me I needed a DNC.
The last thing a woman needs when she is mourning the loss of a baby is to be told she needs surgery to ‘get it out.’ That she needs to go through physical pain in order to heal the emotional. That her body, yet again, isn’t doing what it should, and it needs medical assistance to ‘move things along.’ To be told she needs to ‘get on with this and move forward.’
After a lengthy and private conversation with the office’s Nurse Practitioner Staff the Doctor begrudgingly offered a secondary option; Misoprostol.
“Misoprostol is a medication used to start labor, induce abortions, prevent and treat stomach ulcers, and treat postpartum bleeding due to insufficient contraction of the uterus” (Drugs.com)
It can also be inserted vaginally for inducing abortions – which just happened to by my doctors recommended. Punishment I guess for refusing the DNC. I was to insert 4 tablets for 2 days in the evening. Nothing other than that was discussed, no side effects other than passing the ‘yolk sac’ and bleeding precautions.
I followed instructions for two days until in the middle of the night, day two, I woke to empty my bladder and felt some of the most horrifying pain I have ever felt in my life. I was less than half way between my bed and the bathroom and it hit instantaneously. The pain was so furious I lost control of my entire body and fell to the hardwood floor. I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t catch my breath, I couldn’t muster the strength to make it all the way to the bathroom…so I stayed in the middle of the hallway shaking in pain. My husband was about 20 feet away from me and I couldn’t even call him for help. It wasn’t until a few hours later that I woke, in a cold sweat, still in the hallway and in disbelief at what had happened. The pain was still present, but tolerable.
I slowly stood and made my way to the bathroom and then back into bed. I was too embarrassed to call my husband to help; I mean I wasn’t even woman enough to keep a baby safely growing within me so I didn’t feel like it was his responsibility to feel sorry for me.
I cried. I cried until my body ached and finally I fell back to sleep.
My baby died. I will carry that with me for the rest of my life with the wonder of what he looked like, whose eyes he would have had and whose sense of humor he would have inherited. I will never know.
There was only ONE thing that was said to me through the entire ordeal that felt helpful or supportive. My mother, who suffered miscarriage herself told me, “At least you know they will be there to greet you when you get to Heaven.”
Something to look forward too. That is what I needed. Thanks Mom.