Thursday, November 09, 2006

Saying goodbye to baby

My mind has been a whirlpool of thoughts since Saturday. I'm amazed at how you can go from joy to sadness in such a quick time. I warn you, the full account of my miscarriage may not be pleasant to read and it is very long. But it is healing for me to share it.

This pregnancy was much easier to obtain than our adventure in conceiving Camden had been. It only took six months and three rounds of fertility medications, which was a miracle to us. Six months may be trying a long time for some, but for us, it was quick. We were thrilled when we found out we were pregnant again and prayed that all would go well. From the beginning, I had peace this pregnancy would work out the way it was meant to. I always thought if there was a problem with a pregnancy, I would know it deep inside. I never had an impression or feeling of miscarriage with this pregnancy until the week it happened.

I was supposed to have my first doctor appointment Monday, Oct. 30. The doctor always does an ultrasound at the first visit, so I was excited to know if everything was ok with baby. After waiting in the waiting room for an hour, we were called back to the examination room. I had my blood pressure and weight taken. We were just waiting for the doctor to come in when we saw him rush by. Twenty minutes later, his nurse came and told us he had been called away on an emergency and wouldn't be back that night. We were thisclose to seeing the doctor! We rescheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 8th.


On Wednesday, the day after Halloween, I woke up with a very realistic dream. I dreamed I was spotting. It was so real I actually got out of bed, went to the bathroom, and checked for blood. The next morning, I told Mark about the dream. He looked at me and said, "I dreamed the same thing last night." Now for Mark to remember what he dreams is pretty unusual. There are only a few occasions in our years of marriage that he has remembered what he dreamed. So for him to dream the same thing as me and then remember it freaked me out. The next morning, I woke up after dreaming I started to bleed. The combination of the dreams sent shivers of fear down my spine. I still felt peaceful, but was seriously counting the days until my appointment, until we could see that heartbeat and know all was well with our baby.

Although the dreams were giving me a scare, everything in the pregnancy was textbook perfect. I was a little over 10 weeks. I was still feeling gaggy and tired. I had to pee more. And my pants were all getting tight in the lower belly. I had no cramping and no spotting of any sorts. My temperature was still high (yes, I was still charting some). Nothing pointed to a problem of any sorts, except those pesky dreams.

On Saturday, I napped when Camden napped. I woke up a few hours later after a beautiful dream. I won't share the details of that dream, but if earlier dreams were pointing to a miscarriage, then this dream points to future hope. The dream was so beautiful and peaceful. And then I went to the bathroom. As always, I looked at the toilet paper, checking for any signs of trouble. And this time, there was a single spot of red.

A single spot of red. That's it. As the reality of that spot sunk into my head, tears came. Mark was at work and I wondered what to do. Wait till our appointment later in the week? Call the doctor on Monday? Go to the emergency room? I knew spotting was entirely normal in a lot of pregnancies and it could happen for many reasons. But my fear was strong. I called Mark at work, bawling on the phone. He raced home and we made the decision to go the emergency room together. We knew there was nothing they could really do for us there, but they could at least do an ultrasound. We had to know one way or another. The thought of waiting through the weekend worrying was not an option either one of us could mentally handle.

I felt really stupid in the emergency room. As the nurses and doctor asked questions and ran tests, I felt I was wasting their time with a silly concern over a single spot of red. They didn't make me feel that way, but I felt foolish being in there over something so minor. They did a urine test in the hospital and there wasn't even a hint of anything on the toilet paper. The doctor told me they had called an ultrasound technician in and we would know shortly. As we waited, Mark and I talked quietly. Mark kept telling me we would see the heartbeat and all would be ok. I told him I had to prepare myself for the worst. I honestly hoped for the best, but had to realize the possibility that we might not get the news we were hoping for. I prayed that I could handle whatever we found out.

The ultrasound technician finally came to get me. He was the father of one of my students. We discussed his son and his grade through the beginning of the ultrasound. He wasn't too pleased to learn his son was failing and had been lying to him about his grade. I apologized for ruining his night with the news, but he'd get to ruin my night in just a few minutes, so I guess we're even.

He did an external one first, but because I am fluffy, we had to do an internal one. As he started looking around, he wasn't even looking for a baby or a gestational sac, so I thought there may not even be signs of pregnancy in there. I asked him about it and he said he was saving that for last. He needed certain measurements of my ovaries and uterus, so he would do those first and then look for the baby. Finally, he started looking at the baby in the sac. I knew right away. With Camden, I'd had an internal ultrasound done at 8.5 weeks and we had seen clearly a gummy bear looking baby and a flashing heartbeat. This time, I could see the gummy bear looking baby, but there was no reassuring heartbeat. The room had gone quiet. I told the technician, "I already know there is a problem." He looked at me and said, "I'm so sorry." He pointed out the head, which I already recognized, and then showed us where the heartbeat was supposed to be. He told me the baby measured about 8 weeks along. He then stepped out of the room to give us some time alone.

Although I had been mentally preparing myself all the way down to the ultrasound room, seeing the cold reality on the monitor shattered my control. Mark and I sobbed in each others arms. When we returned to the emergency room, the doctor came immediately in. She discussed our options with us. We could either wait for this to happen naturally or we could have a D&C. Mark and I knew we wanted a D&C. I could not emotionally handle waiting for the miscarriage to start on its own. The emergency room doctor had already been in contact with my doctor's office and he was out of town until Tuesday. The other doctor in his practice would be willing to do a D&C that night or I could go in Sunday or Monday and have it done. (I have to explain quickly that I live in a small town with another small town a half hour away. Each has a hospital. There are about 2 OB's in each town. I choose to go to the OB in the other town because I like him so much, but we went to our local emergency room. We probably should have gone to the other town in hindsight.) I asked about having it done that night in the hospital I was at. She called the OB on call and came back and told us he refused to come in because "it wasn't a true emergency." We decided to wait until Monday to have it done instead of going through another emergency room.

Sunday was a blur of sadness and dealing with the loss. Camden helped so much. When we came home Saturday night, he raced right up to me with a huge smile on his face and just hugged me. That was one of the most healing moments. We received blessings from our home teachers and I made arrangements to take the next three days of school off. It was a weird dichotomy that day. I still felt pregnant and my body still thought I was pregnant. I had very little spotting all day and no cramps whatsoever. If not for that single spot of red on Saturday, there would be no indication of a problem. At times I thought the ultrasound must be wrong, but then the haunting stillness of the image on the ultrasound would come to my mind. I had a very hard time, gagging at dinner and realizing I was not going to get the outcome I desired.

Monday I called the other doctor in my OB's practice. He got right on the phone with me and scheduled me for a D&C that afternoon at 1 pm. The procedure was actually not bad at all. The hardest part was the confirmation ultrasound they did. Part of me hoped that this time there would be a heartbeat, but again, the baby measured at 8 weeks and was still as can be. To add salt to the wound, my ultrasound technician was pregnant. I'm sure it must have been as uncomfortable for her as it was for me having her do that ultrasound. The staff was wonderful. When I came to in the recover room, a few nurses started talking about pregnancy. I don't think they knew what I was recovering from. Another nurse quickly shushed them. The whole thing was over and done quickly. I entered the hospital at 1 pm and was on my way home by 4 pm. I am very grateful for the OB getting me in and done so speedily. When he came to discharge me, Mark and I expressed our gratitude for everything. We told him how the OB in our town had refused to come in and do it on a Saturday night. He looked astonished and said, "That's what an on call doctor does." I was very grateful for that attitude and for not having to wait any longer. As hard as it was to know I was going to lose this baby, it would have been even harder to have to wait for several days to get the D&C or to have it happen on its own.

Physically I have recovered quickly. Emotionally, well, that's another story. I thought I was handling things really well. I had complete peace during the time of finding out, waiting, and then having the D&C. It wasn't until Wednesday that the full weight of the loss finally caught up with me. It's the reality of a lot of things. I'm not having a baby in May after all. Who knows when I will get pregnant again? Will I lose another baby? Is this going to become a pattern? How long will it take to get pregnant next time? It's knowing that to develop as far as it did, my baby had a heartbeat at one point. What caused its heart to stop? Rationally I know there is nothing I did to cause this, nothing I could have done to stop this, nothing that could have saved my baby this early on. But occasionally I find myself analyzing everything I did around 8 weeks along that could have killed my baby. It's the feeling alone. Besides MOF"s and a few family members on Mark's side, nobody has called, or sent a card of sympathy, or told me they are sorry, or anything. I feel forgotten and alone in my grief and pain. It's the wondering if I lost a son or a daughter. What would this child have been? It's the loss of a brother or sister for Camden, a child for Mark and I, a dream we had. It's also the loss of innocence as I will never feel completely safe in a pregnancy again.

Right now I hurt. Right now I am giving myself permission to be sad, to cry, to feel the emotions as they come. And I wonder how exactly to move past this. It's very healing to talk to others, to hear their stories, to see how they healed and moved on.

I've had a lot of MOF's offer to be there for me to talk to, but to tell the truth, I don't know how to reach out right now. So I'll be honest. I want to talk to you, I want to hear your story, I want to know what it was like for you, but I need you to take the first step. Please email me or IM me or post a message to me on one of the MOF boards. I want to have that contact with you, but I don't know where to start.


I'm very grateful for the blessings and peace I have received during this time. I can see the Lord's hand in all of this - in the diagnosis, in the day of waiting for the D&C, in having the D&C taken care of so quickly and so smoothly. It may have not turned out the way I wanted it, but I know there is a reason. This is hard, but in all honesty, it hasn't been as hard for me as the infertility was. Infertility took such a toll on me as a person, my spirit, my testimony. Unlike the infertility, I haven't been angry, resentful, or mad about this miscarriage. I haven't questioned "Why me?" because the answer to that is why not me? Why should I be spared pain and suffering? And so many people have been through so much worse. I haven't questioned what I did to deserve this or what I did so wrong that my baby would be taken away. Those are thoughts I had with infertility, but I haven't had with this. And for that, I am very grateful. I'm grateful it hasn't taken a toll on my testimony or my relationship with God. I'm sad and I grieve. There have been many layers to that grief already and I know there will be layers to come. But I am at peace that it was meant to be this way. I'm scared to try again. I'm scared of what it will take and how long it will take to get pregnant again. I don't get pregnant easily. And I'm scared I will lose another. But I have peace that I can overcome my fears. I know that I am not alone. I know my tears are noticed by my Heavenly Father. I know He knows how much my heart hurts. And I believe that in time I will understand the purpose for this loss. I believe in time my joy will be as great as my pain.

31 comments:

Shelah said...

((((hugs))))), Rachelle. I wish there were more I could say or more I could do. I'm thinking about you and praying for you and I hope that you can start to heal!

Char said...

(((HUGS))) Rachelle! You will be in my prayers.

amerimeximadre said...

Rachelle, that brought tears to my eyes as I recalled my own feelings when I went through my miscarriage. Even though the doctor reassured me that there was probably some development issue and that it had nothing to do with what I did I still felt like, "what did I do that caused this miscarriage?"
I hurt in side and felt alone.
Luckily after just a few short months I was pregnant again and now have a happy healthy baby. I hope the same happens for you! hugs to you in your time of loss, its ok to FEEL the sadness. Allow yourself to mourn and get those feelings out and then realize that God has good things in store for you!

scraphappymama said...

Rachelle - Although we have never met IRL,I can tell that you are a strong person. You are such an example to me. I'm so sorry for your pain. I pray that you and your family find peace during this trying time. My thoughts are with you. ((((hugs)))))

Gabriela said...

Rachelle, I'm so sorry. I've been through it too and it's just not fun. Your attitude is good though-let yourself feel the hurt and don't put a time-table on when you "should" feel better. Hugs from me too!

Heather from One Woman's World said...

Rachelle. I am grieving for you. I remember what that meant to me, and I am still waiting for my next little one to come and erase the pain of losing my second child. Don't get discouraged if it takes some time to heal. You are a beautiful person. I'm grateful for every word of this post. I want to call you, so I'll email you today. Hang in there. I'll keep praying for you.

AJ said...

Your post was very touching. I'm so sorry you are going through this difficult time. But you are staying close to your Heavenly Father and He will help you make it through. I'll be thinking of you.

APRIL said...

My heart HURTS for you!! You are so strong! I don't know that I could be so strong myself. (((HUGS)))

Goslyn said...

Oh Rachelle, my heart hurts for you. I am so sorry for your loss.

You are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for sharing your story.

Jane said...

I wish I could wave a magic wand and take all the hurt away. I know how hard this is to go through. I know that when I was going through my losses I never imagined that I would one day be gratful for my trials. But, I can honestly say that now.

I think of how God molded me and shaped me into the person he wanted me to be...and I feel gratitude for that. I can not imagine my life any different. And the JOY of being able to see his plan for me as we adopted two amazing little ones, and to know that this was his plan has been a huge testimony for me to realize that God loves me, and is aware of me.

I pray that you will feel peace and know that God never gives us trials without giving us a friend to help us through.

I would love to call you and talk with you. If you feel up to it, let me know. jimandjane5@msn.com

((hugs))

Jane

smartmama said...

Rachelle- I am so sorry- Having gone many losses i know those emotions- those feelings- the spotting, seeing those terrible still pictures on the ultrasound monitor, the waiting, the D&Cs, everything settling in, and the looming questions (which you can't help but ask)... I have a bunch of stuff from my journal that I wrote during my 3 yrs of losses- i'd love to share with you, also some other resources and stuff I gathered from leading pregnancy loss groups for RESOLVE- pop me an email- and if you have a snail mail address as well i can send you some stuff- also I really like silentgrief.com-great community for dealing with losses. I'll leave you all my detailed info on the MOF board. Again I am sorry- always here

Jenn said...

Hi,

I am so sorry for your loss. I am dealing with infertility and I can only imagine your heartache. I really love the picture of your son with the chocolate. Too cute!

Dawnyel said...

I don't know what more to say to you other than I'm SO sorry! I've only miscarried once, and I didn't have the pleasure of enjoying being pregnant before it all happened. I know that you WILL struggle with those feelings, and when you THINK they're gone, the due date comes and you go thru it all again! I hope you can find peace and happiness again soon! My prayers are with your family! *HUGS*

utmommy said...

I'm so so sorry for your loss. I hope you can find peace in your life. (((HUGS)))

Maine Mom said...

I wish I had words of comfort. I am so sad that you are going through this. You are still in my thoughts and prayers.

beth said...

Again, I am so sorry. I hope that writing and sharing your story gave you at least some ease. You are right to give yourself permission to feel everything. Don't try and rush yourself out of it.

Olivia said...

Rachelle, I'm so sorry. Having had 4 miscarriages, I do know something of what you are going through. Two things have helped me each time.

1. Praying. Each time I prayed my little heart out for some measure of peace. My Heavenly Father helped me each time.

2. Write a letter to the baby and put it in your journal. This is what brought me the most closure. I wrote of all my hopes and dreams for that baby, how sad I was, and how much I missed them. I wrote of how Daddy was feeling too. I bawled and bawled while I did this but it is what helped me the most.

Hugs to you!

Olivia

LammyAnn said...

You are right to just let yourself feel.
You're in my prayers..

Carrie said...

Rachelle, I really don't know what to say. Sometimes words just just never seem enough. I would like to say though that you are in my prayers and if you were here right now, I would give you a huge hug.

Mama D said...

So sorry Rachelle. There is nothing I could say to comfort you. I haven't been through this myself.

I'm glad you shared. Though it may not have been your intention I bet that you helped other people who might have had a similar experience just by putting your feelings into words.

Thinking of you and praying for you and your family.

JD said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Wish we lived closer we'd go for some hot chocolate and See's candy, and some egg nog. Cry until we couldn't anymore. Then go TP the "on Call" Doctor's house.

Long distant hugs!

txmommy said...

Rachelle,
I'm so sorry. We have had four miscarriages, which is just about a 50% failure rate for us. I know it's hard. You are not alone. What you feel is normal and right and you are strong. Heavenly Father will never give you more than you can deal with.

Even though I have 6 healthy living children reading your post brought back the memories of the little ones that didn't make it and and still brought a tear to my eye. I tell you this so you can know it's okay and normal (if you think I am normal :) ) to always be different from this experience.

Hopefully you will be blessed with another healthy baby soon.

{{{{HUGS}}}}

EmLouisa said...

(((HUGS))) I haven't gotten a chance to read this until now. I am so so sorry you are going through this. You and Mark have been in my thoughts and prayers and will continue to be.

Love,
Emily

Gina said...

You are so couragious and strong! You are certainly a righteous daughter of our Heavenly Father and that is why you've been blessed with so much peace. Someone else said not to rush yourself out of the grief... I agree. Take all the time you need to mourn the loss of your precious baby. I am so sorry, Rachelle. I am grateful you have joy and healing in Camden and your husband.

sheri said...

I'm so very sorry. I bawled through this entire post. My heart breaks for you. You're in my prayers and thoughts!! BIG GIANT HUGS!

Lei said...

I am rayign for you and Mark to get through this and for little Camden to light up your life more than ever, to remind you that you can do this; your body can get pg and stay pg and you have been blessed with the sweetest little guy. Take care. Hugs and hugs. :)

TheMomoftheShoe said...

I'm so sorry.
~Maclaine

MelnHead said...

I can't think of anything more than what we've talked about via emails... but I want to say you've comforted me... I admit that I've let all my stuff bring me down- toa point now where... life is quite close to black. The 4/5th sentence from the end- I need to remind myself. Take care, many thoughts right now...

Nicole said...

I don't know what to say except that I am so sorry - and send you hugs...

MaryAnn said...

I don't know you, and you don't know me but somehow I stumbled onto your blog and what I've read has been so familiar. I can honestly say I know what you're going through, but only to a point as I don't have trouble getting pregnant..at least not like you. But your miscarriage story is quite like mine in many ways...the things you've said mirror my thoughts and feelings a lot. I haven't been able to blog about my experience because my sister is on a mission...it was supposed to be a secret because another sister was and is pregnant too. So she never knew I was and I didn't want her to know I wasn't anymore, since she reads my blog. She gets home in 2 weeks so I may tell her then. Anyway, I wonder how you are doing now? I had my miscarriage in September, about 10 days before my birthday and right after a bad case of food poisoning, which didn't cause the miscarriage but then again I wonder...my 2nd Dr.'s appt was the day after being so sick. He didn't hear the heartbeat and so sent me for an ultrasound to make sure all was well, he assured me that it probably would be and that sometimes he couldn't hear the heartbeat...anyway long story short at the ultrasound it was confirmed that there was no heartbeat...and I too had to see my unborn baby so still, to know that it was dead...to know that I had to carry that baby for a few days after knowing he wasn't alive. It's very hard...I know. I was 15 weeks. I am so sorry and if you ever need to talk...jellybelly210@hotmail.com. I too am LDS so I am grateful to have that aspect of life.

Ashley said...

Wow. I felt like I was right there with you as I was reading this post. (You are a wonderful writer.) I don't know you (I saw your blog linked through my friend's blog), but I want to express my sympathy. I have never been through this, but I truly hurt for you and wish the best for you. I can tell you are a strong person. Thank you for your example.