Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about our 1st pregnancy together and our miscarriage last summer. It’s possible that it’s just the time of year when we actually miscarried that's made me reflective, or as we approach the end of this pregnancy, obviously babies are at the forefront of my thoughts.
We were 10 weeks, 5 days pregnant when we had an ultrasound that showed no heartbeat for our baby.
I was devastated. G was heartbroken.
We had JUST told all of our family and friends on Father's Day that we were pregnant and then had to share the news shortly after that our baby didn’t have a heartbeat.
Thinking back on those events last year brings about a lot of different emotion. I wholeheartedly believe everything happens for a reason and we went through that for reasons we may never know. Some days I think, “Wow. We’d have a 6 month old already if we hadn’t lost that baby” or “I still wonder why we had to go through that.” But, for the most part, I accept it as part of our lives together and our relationship...
So, last week we were on our way back from Cincinnati, just the two of us, talking about when we made the same trip last year. G said, “We stopped and ate at Cracker Barrel and you were pregnant THEN.” I laughed and said, “Yeah, pretty much with the exception of 4 months, I have been pregnant for a year!” We talked about how strange it was that one year earlier, we were at the beginning of a pregnancy and here we are now at the end of one. Kind of surreal, really.
We found out we were pregnant with that baby on May 28, 2009, and our due date was January 26, 2010. On July 2, 2009, we learned our baby had no heartbeat and was only measuring 8-9 weeks. I had no signs or symptoms of miscarriage at all. One of the hardest experiences of my life.
The doctor had given us several options of how to proceed --let my body handle things on its own, schedule a D&C or medical intervention (mifepristone and misoprostol) to induce the miscarriage. We decided on the medicine, so we could be at home. We made the best decision at the time. Given everything I now know, I would not choose the medicine again. It was much too hard on me and too much for me to put G through as well.
It was 4th of July weekend and the timeline of the medicine was so that once I took the oral pill then the other 4 were inserted vaginally to essentially induce labor within 24 hours. I’m the kind of person who once I know something is supposed to happen, I want it to just start instead of dealing with the anticipation or anxiety about it. Basically --hurry up and get it over with.
I was prescribed 800mg of ibuprofen, codeine, and vicodin for pain. The codeine was so I would be able to take it every 30 minutes if needed. Good thing I got the vicodin because the pharmacy was out of codeine and wouldn’t be able to get it until after the holiday weekend. I’m not one for pain medicine typically. I’d never taken vicodin in my life although I had been prescribed it for other things in the past. I just try to make it through, really. As a migraine sufferer, I end up only taking Excedrin migraine even now instead of imitrex etc. And even that is last possible minute. I’m just not a fan of pills or taking medicine for every minute thing.
Once the bleeding began, it was something I have never experienced and pray I never experience again. I was in a lot of pain and the amount of blood was indescribable. I spent my time in bed and the bathroom.I couldn’t sleep because the need to be in the bathroom was so frequent and the pain was so great that the ibuprofen was basically doing nothing. I read our paperwork over and over again to ensure nothing was excessive and everything was progressing as it was supposed to be.
G, who always needs to be active on a project during a crisis or difficult time, stayed with me the entire time. He waited on me hand and foot --bringing me food--which I didn’t eat, and enough to drink or getting a movie I wanted, a book I couldn’t get through more than a page at a time…anything and everything I needed. This all was completely out of my element as well, but I simply let him take care of me instead of trying to do everything on my own.
I slept that Friday night/Saturday morning for about 30 minutes…after taking half a vicodin. I woke up completely blood soaked and in a lot of pain. So, trying to maintain my internal strength as a woman, I was very overwhelmed by this entire process.
Saturday was 4th of July and my hope was to be “ok” enough to ensure my son was able to see fireworks that night. I was heartbroken because I was in no shape to be able to leave the house long enough let alone sit up to watch fireworks. My son and I have never missed fireworks and I hated that I couldn’t make that happen for him. So, the 3 of us watched the city’s fireworks on tv together. That was the only time all weekend, I was “up” and I barely could be in any kind of sitting position. G and A were wonderful and only concerned about me. By this point the heavy bleeding had finally subsided, but I was still very weak. The weekend was honestly one of the worst of my life.
I had lost so much blood that I nearly passed out twice throughout the process, I was in more physical pain than I have ever been, I just wanted it all to be done. Throughout my hundreds of trips into the bathroom, I’d ensure the bathroom was cleaned up so that my fiance and my son didn’t have to walk into how gory what I was physically going through truly was. I had a lot of shorts, undergarments and towels that I threw away that weekend, primarily because laundering the reminder wasn’t something I really wanted to do. I simply wanted to close the chapter.
One week later, we went back to the doctor for an ultrasound and a checkup. The ultrasound showed the medicine had successfully helped my body miscarry everything and we were “all clear".
G held my hand as I cried. He said to the ultrasound tech, “That’s not what we wanted, but given the circumstances of losing the baby, ‘all clear’ is what we’re hoping for, right?” I wish I could express how much I love this man and even sitting here writing this, thinking about him during that experience brings tears to my eyes.
He was so excited for that baby! I, on the other hand, wasn’t quite as ready initially. We had just been through so much stress and chaos the previous months and year before we got pregnant and the future was so uncertain in my mind, I was very apprehensive. I went through that apprehension for a few weeks --more afraid to be excited than anything and had FINALLY gotten excited about the pregnancy only for it to end.
This picture of us was taken the day we went back for the "all clear"...I'm glad we have it. We always try to make the most of everything and when I look at this picture, I am reminded of that time in our lives and how we endure together.
This song was really helpful in my grieving...it's from the baby's perspective...
Part 2 to follow...
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