Tag Archives: miscarriage

My Little Ray

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[ I like going by the rule of not announcing a pregnancy until into the 13th week, because not all pregnancies are permanent in the first trimester, and it’s easier and less heartbreaking to deal with a loss in private instead of having to let 100+ people know while something so tragic is happening.  But I also believe that every stage of life is important and beautiful and in need of recognition. Therefore, I share my story and the story of my lost child. ]

And so it goes, I was pregnant and miscarried two times in seven months.

My first miscarriage was the product of a failed pregnancy, otherwise knows as a blighted ovum.  I was “pregnant” with every symptom for 12 weeks before my body noticed I wasn’t actually growing a baby and miscarried.  Recovery took about 6 weeks.

Three months later I conceived!  I got a positive pregnancy test very early on and my belly started to feel full, neither of which was the case during my last pregnancy.  I was very excited and hopeful,  but the scare of another miscarriage was still a concern.  I was only a little bit nauseous but had a lot of food aversions and I was very emotional all.the.time.  I was also plagued with fatigue and constantly had to pee!  But I was also like that with my blighted ovum.  So who knows?   I was 7 weeks pregnant when I noticed some of my symptoms go away and then I had two days of horrible nausea, cramps, backache, and heartburn.  A few days passed in which I felt fine, then I had an upset stomach again, and on one trip to the bathroom I saw some blood.  It wasn’t bright red, so I thought it might just be some spotting caused by my upset stomach.  But over the evening it got heavier and brighter and my heart sank.  I was sure the same thing was happening again.  A blighted ovum.  So I just prepared myself for what I knew was coming and prayed that it would happen fast, instead of dragging on for a week like last time.

The next day contractions started.  When they became fast and painful I went to the bathroom and drew a bath.  Like last time, Caroline was on my heels and she wanted a bath too!  But I was already in and she was out with a poopy diaper so I wasn’t too thrilled about that.  But  regardless, I wasn’t going to have her scream at me the whole time, so I stripped her down and wiped her butt the best I could and plopped her in the water with me.  Then with the splashing and the toys and the poop and the blood, it was just way too gross. I got out, drained the water, and slowly filled the tub again for her while I sat on the toilet.  The contractions weren’t as hard this time, probably because I knew what to expect.  And the blood wasn’t as free flowing this time either.  I felt the pressure on my bottom and knew that it would be over soon.  I did not want it to come out in the toilet, but it did.  I debated for a while if I was going to scoop it out or just flush it.  But I knew I would regret flushing it, especially if it wasn’t a blighted ovum.  I got up and cleaned myself off.  I got Caroline out of the tub and dried her off.  Then I sent her running naked around the house.  Conveniently there was a plastic straw laying on the floor, so I used that to push the toilet paper out of the way and push the sac to the surface.  I scooped it out and noticed that it was a lot bigger than it was last time and when I turned it around in my hand I saw the baby.  Little black eyes, stubby little fingers and toes,  still translucent.  I was shocked and numb to see that there was actually a baby.  I laid my baby in a pretty glass bowl.  And went to snuggle my kids on the couch.

We wanted to name our baby, but a girls name didn’t seem fitting, neither did a boys name, and neither did a unisex name.  So I figured we’d just name it after the Patron Saint of miscarriages.   Adam suggested to name the baby after my Pappy, Raymond.  And while searching for the Saint, I found that St. Raymond is the patron saint of pregnant women, childbirth, and children.   And so “Ray”mond seemed to be the perfect, almost divine, name for our lost baby.

I wanted to heal from this as fast as I could (unlike last time, which was fall harvest, so I was apple picking and garlic planting just days after) so I didn’t do much other than sit around for 2 weeks.  I had a lot of support and it was a very relaxing/healing time for me.  I healed fast and started doing things to heal my uterus from both of these miscarriages.  I did Maya abdominal massages, to make sure my uterus was in the correct position ( did you know that 90% of women have a displaced uterus?!)  I also took some herbal bathes, did meditations,  and ate more nourishing foods.

It’s been two months.  We just buried Raymond and the products of my blighted ovum this past weekend under a newly planted tree (it was in the freezer) I said a prayer and told him that I would see him in heaven one day.  It wasn’t very ceremonial or emotional but it was a relief to let him go. I’ll love him and think of him forever,  but I cannot hold onto grief.

An Update

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I said that I’d update everyone on how long I bled for after my miscarriage, but when it stopped, about 2 weeks later, I found myself in and out of depression and everything I wrote was sad.  When I wrote my original story, I was at peace with what had happened.  That peace seemed to come and go for a while. Like they say, “live in the past and you’ll be depressed, live in the future and you’ll be anxious, live in the present and you’ll be at peace”.  I still went through postpartum symptoms: hair loss, hormones, and itchy breasts to boot. Those things were hard to deal with. Those pesky hormones had me weeping all the time.   Also, I was battling a upper respiratory/sinus infection which left me with awful sinus headaches, loss of smell/taste, and a bad cough.  My body felt like a war zone.  My cold started a few days before my miscarriage and it raged on for a good month and a half before dying down into just sniffles and a little cough, that I still have now.  I was eating whole lemons covered in honey and sauteing garlic cloves in olive oil and eating them whole (lemons and honey are fantastic cold soothers and garlic is a natural antibiotic)  Since I was sick with a cold, I was worried that my uterus wasn’t healing properly because so much was going on with my body.  But thankfully, my uterus seemed to heal faster than my cold did.  Looking back, I’m impressed that I functioned as well as I did.  I should have taken time to rest, but every time I sat down my mind ran straight to sad thoughts.  Luckily, I have connections to an apple orchard and I was able to collect 4 free bushels of apples, so that kept me busy, and happy.

I’m currently experiencing my first period post miscarriage.  It’s more painful and heavier than my periods usually are, but so are most first periods postpartum.

After I shared my story, I heard from a lot of women who had experienced miscarriage, thanking me for sharing.  It was heart warming and saddening to hear these responses.  Miscarriage is a huge loss, even in my situation.  Too many women have to experience this.  I’m just very glad that I already have two healthy children.  I will never take them for granted.  Hopefully I’ll be blessed with more.

Natural Miscarriage of a Blighted Ovum

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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.