Only two months after my return to fertility (which was a whole 10 months after Carolines’ birth, thank you breastfeeding!) I started noticing pregnancy symptoms. I couldn’t stop eating! I was so tired! I didn’t want to be touched or talked to! Ahh! Okay, it really wasn’t that bad…but I knew something was up. I knew exactly when I had ovulated and I knew that’s exactly the time when Adam and I were feeling extra intimate. So I knew there was a HUGE likely hood of pregnancy.
I took about 3 pregnancy tests in 7 weeks and they all were negative and I believed them, despite my other symptoms, for the simple fact that my belly just didn’t feel pregnant. But then the nausea hit and I knew for sure I was. At 8 weeks I finally got a positive reading! Which is really late for me, my other pregnancies were “officially” made known almost instantly. But regardless of that, our family started making adjustments for the upcoming baby! And I actually found a midwife who was willing to do a home birth with me despite Maryland’s law against home birth midwives! However, I tried to find some connection to the new baby in my belly, but there just wasn’t one. With my other pregnancies I felt a strong connection to each of them very early on. I even had an idea of what gender they were (which has been right both times!) Nothing with this one. But every baby is different, every pregnancy is different. the connection will come, I told myself.
At exactly 12 weeks, I went to the bathroom and saw blood. A good amount of blood. Not spotting. Bleeding. “No No No No” I said shaking my head over and over again. Not this. But when bleeding starts, there is no stopping it. I knew I was miscarrying. I pulled myself together and told Adam what was happening. Then I googled “natural miscarriage”. I had only a vague idea of what was involved in a miscarriage. No one talks about it. I knew that I didn’t not want a D&C ( Just the thought of someone artificially opening my cervix and scrapping my insides out made me never want to spread my legs again!) and I knew that it might take a few days before the baby came out. But that’s pretty much all I knew. The stories online that I found were horror stories. Lots of blood and so much pain. Great. I was scared. I was so sad. I was mad. I felt so guilty for not making my baby feel welcome enough in my belly. I was so sorry for killing my baby.
During the next three days I was just bleeding like a normal period and I had absolutely no cramps. “Maybe my baby is just fine, Maybe i’m just bleeding a little bit, that happens sometimes, right?” “Maybe I have an ectopic pregnancy and I’m going to die any second” ” when did my baby die, why did it die?” “when will the pain start?” so many questions and fears went through my mind. I was mad with emotion. I just wanted to crawl in a hole and never come out.
Friday afternoon the pain started, low pinchy cramps. Blood started flowing faster. Contractions came every 30 seconds and lasted for 30 seconds. I was too uncomfortable to sit. Or stand. I told Adam he better come home now because I didn’t know how fast or slow this process would be. Then I went to lay down with Caroline while she was waking up from her nap and I gathered myself together. I told my body that I trusted it. I told me body to let my baby out. I told me body it had permission to do what it needed to do. I surrendered to what was happening.
I came downstairs to four silly crazy kids ( I babysit a few extras) who wanted snacks, wanted to color, wanted to watch TV and I was just about to go crazy. Where was my husband! The bath tub was already calling my name. But sitting on the toilet would have to do until he got home. Caroline was feeling my distress and wouldn’t let me alone. Then next thing I knew there was a knock at the door! It was L here to pick up her kids, but she was an 1 1/2 early, so I wasn’t expecting her at all. However I’m very thankful that L lets herself in because I wasn’t being fast about getting out of the bathroom! After saying goodbye to the kid I called Adam to see where he was at then headed back to the bathroom as fast as I could.
The contractions came so fast and so strong. I found myself rocking and humming. Then I heard Adams’ wonderful voice as he picked Caroline up and took her out of the room. I got off the toilet, threw some towels on the floor, then eased into the hot water of the bath tub. Instant relief! The tub water soon turned red and the next thing I knew I was giving little pushes. It amazed me that I still felt so much pressure on my bottom for not even delivering a full sized baby! The sac came first (that’s where the baby grows) Then the placenta. Both were about the size of an extra large chicken egg. The pain stopped immediately and was soon forgotten.
There I was sitting in a messy tub just staring at the “products of conception” that I had just birthed. My dead baby hiding somewhere in the yolk sac. Swaying gently in the water just like it did in my belly. It was very emotional. I sobbed to myself trying to gather up the courage to scoop it out of the water and say goodbye to my baby. Would it be deformed? How big would it be? Could I handle seeing it’s little fingers, nose, and toes? I knew that to fully heal from this I had to look. I had to hold it. I had to say goodbye. I looked about the bathroom trying to find something perfect to lay everything in. I had wanted to grab one of my nice antique bowls for the occasion, but I forgot to. The only thing was an ugly orange plastic bowl. I scooped the placenta up first. It was perfect and whole. I wasn’t expecting that. All the stories I read said that the placenta doesn’t completely form until the 4th month. All the women said that it came out in pieces. Mine didn’t. It was perfect. The fact that it was perfect made me sad. Big sigh. Then I picked up the sac. Very strange. I looked all around. Inside and out. Where was the baby? The baby grows here. There is no baby! I searched the bathtub. Nothing but Blood and clots floating around. How can there not be a baby? How could I have been pregnant for 12 weeks without a baby growing? I mean, I never had an ultrasound or heard a heartbeat so I guess it’s possible. How strangely wonderful.
I called out to Adam to see what time it was. Only 45 minutes had passed since I felt the first twinge of pain. I was amazed at how fast it had happened. I got into the shower to rinse and wash. Wrapped myself in my rob and stood about for a while. I asked Adam if he wanted to see anything. He came in and I explained what happened. I remembered reading about this type of thing, but the miscarriage usually happened a lot earlier. Sometimes before one even knew she was pregnant. I cleaned up the towels, flushed the toilet, and drained the tub. I emailed my midwife and searched the internet for a while. We both came up with the same conclusion. Blighted Ovum.
Sperm meets egg. Pregnancy starts. Hormones are sent out. Placenta grows. Sac grows. Baby doesn’t. Either sperm is infertile or egg is. Since I had just returned to fertility, it is very possible that my egg was infertile. The body usually sends out a few infertile eggs to get things “up and running” after a pregnancy. So much makes sense now! I never felt like there was a baby in my belly. Because there wasn’t. What wonderful intuition I have! A sense of peace overcame me. Happiness. Thankfulness. Gods plan is greater than all else.
I’d really like to reiterate that although this was an awful experience, it was not the horror that I had read about. The pain wasn’t unbearable . It was not scary. The blood loss wasn’t terrible. If there is anyone reading this who is going through a similar situation, trust your body, let it be. My thoughts and love are with you.
I’m still bleeding now, 3 days after my miscarriage. I expect to continue period type bleeding for a while. And occasional cramps and a sore cervix. I’ll update when the bleeding stops.
Through all the sadness of this last week, there were some very good things that happened. Obviously the fact that there was no baby is a joy, but we still have to morn the loss of a baby either way. The real good that came from this is the affirmation that my body knows what it’s doing. My intuition is strong and I’m in tune with it. And best of all…the love and compassion I felt from my family. The hugs, the tears, the kind words. It’s breathtaking. And I’m very blessed.