Miscarriage Journey: Part 2

January 13, 2021

Pregnancy #2

After our first loss my doctor reassured me how common miscarriage is – one in four women suffer miscarriages. She said it would be okay for us to try again as soon as we wanted. So, we wasted no time. As soon as my body processed the loss, I ovulated around two weeks later and we got busy. This put us at conceiving around the end of December. I felt confident that this would be it because my due date was right around my late father’s birthday. I thought maybe it was a sign that my dad was looking after me and the baby. 

Early on in this pregnancy I got very sick. From morning to night I would be dry-heaving and nauseated, so we nicknamed this baby “Bug.” I did have some spotting around 6 weeks and I immediately panicked, so we went to the doctor and we were able to get an ultrasound scan. We heard the best and most beautiful heartbeat. Bug was just a little speck, but the cutest speck we ever did see. Because of the spotting and past miscarriage we came in again the next week to recheck the heartbeat. At 7 weeks, 5 days we heard the heartbeat again and felt so much relief. In just a week or so she had grown so much. She was actually starting to shape into a baby. 

Three weeks passed and my tummy was starting to grow. At around 10 weeks I had a tiny bump and I was still sick as ever. Andy, Jack, and I went in for my 10 week check up, which started with a urine test and then the doctor would check the heartbeat with a portable fetal doppler. As soon as she came in with the doppler I could tell something was wrong. Andy and I were asking questions that she seemed hesitant to answer. Or she would say something like, “Let’s wait and see.” So she finally gets to the doppler and the first thing she says is, “You’re so tiny we may not hear anything.” My heart dropped. I just knew what was coming. 

The doctor told us she was going to send us to the ultrasound room just to make sure everything was okay. We went out to the waiting room and I got very anxious. I told Andy I thought something was wrong and he tried his best to reassure me everything was fine. The entire walk from the front of the office back to the ultrasound room I silently prayed and freaked out to myself. I didn’t want to externally panic because Jack was with us. So I lay on the table and the tech starts. I see on the screen that Bug wasn’t much bigger than the last scan. Without hearing a heartbeat, the tech stands up and says she’s going to get my doctor to come talk to us. When the doctor comes in she says what I already knew, “It looks like you’re having another miscarriage. The fetus stopped growing at 8 weeks, 2 days.” I sit on Andy’s lap and I just cry. Because I’m crying Jack starts crying, even though he has no clue what’s happening. The doctor tells me to go home and let’s wait to see if my body takes care of the miscarriage on it’s own. 

A few days later when my body is still not showing any signs of miscarriage, I go back to the doctor’s office and she gives me three options: 1) Continue to wait for a natural miscarriage 2) Take medication (Misoprostol) to induce the miscarriage and 3) a dilation and curettage (D&C). I wasn’t about to keep waiting. I couldn’t go on another day knowing my dead baby was just sitting there inside me. The D&C had more risks and was more expensive, so I decide to go with the medication Misoprostol. That was a huge mistake.

Later that night after picking up the medication from the pharmacy I make myself comfy on my couch around 8 o’clock. Unfortunately for me, Andy was in the middle of working on the bedroom flooring and our room was torn apart, so we had to sleep on the couch. We put a movie on, I took the first dose of the Misoprostol and settled. Within two hours the cramping started. When I say cramping, I don’t mean regular period cramps. That night I would experience contractions from hell. Actual labor pains. I realize it’s been several years since I gave birth to Jack, but I don’t remember experiencing this kind of pain. Around midnight I passed Bug and put her into a plastic baggy in case we decided to do any genetic testing. 

The following four days were the worst four days of my life. I basically had to wear what felt like adult diapers because the bleeding and clotting was so heavy. The contractions were like a roller coaster. I would have moments of relief and then they would come back more powerful. I barely slept. The morning of the third day I was feeling better so I went to a pottery class to try to get my mind off of everything happening. Surprisingly, it helped for a while. Mentally and physically. When I left the class I had several missed phone calls and text messages. My aunt died unexpectedly. I went home to change and immediately drove to Damascus to be with my family. On the hour long drive to my family’s I stopped for snacks and took two 800mg of Ibuprofen to help with the pain. 

At my grandparents I made sure everyone was taken care of. My cousin was torn to pieces so I focused on her. We drove around and talked, bought tequila, and sang Taylor Swift songs. About three or four hours into my visit the pain came back and it came for vengeance. I drove my cousin back to her house and parked at my grandparent’s. The driveway was full of cars. I stepped out of my car and began walking to the house. Suddenly I felt something wet and warm run down my left leg. The only way to the bathroom was through the kitchen, which is normally where everyone congregates. I hold my purse in front of me and walk quickly. I was able to slide into the bathroom without having to stop and talk to anyone. At this point the pain was so bad I was keeling over. I could barely stand up straight for more than a minute. I look down at my pants that are now drenched in blood. I sat in the bathroom and cried until another one of my aunts came to check on me. I changed my pad and tried wiping myself off but it was no use. I had to leave my family and go home. 

The next day I called the doctor’s office and explain what’s going on. They were able to fit me in that morning for an exam. I was not surprised at all when she told me that I had tissue stuck inside my cervix. She scheduled me for a D&C later that day, the one thing I wanted to avoid. I went home to get my things together and Andy met me there. We made sure Jack would be taken care of and went to the hospital. 

It wasn’t until I was coming out of the anesthesia that I lost myself, which I realize was probably due to the anesthesia more than anything. It does weird things to me. But I let myself grieve and let it all out while in the recovery room. I thought I was done but when they wheeled me back to my room it all came back as soon as I saw Andy’s face. I had let him down and I let myself down. Even though I know it’s not true, that was the truth I was feeling in that moment. 

Unlike the last miscarriage, we wouldn’t be immediately trying again. The doctor who performed the D&C recommended we waited at least a few months to let my body heal from the loss and the procedure. Frankly, conceiving another child we could possibly lose was the last thing on my mind. I became furious as I dressed and got ready to leave. We heard her strong heartbeat twice. We saw her body and my body grow together. I felt the sickness and all the right symptoms. I drank water, I ate healthy, I didn’t overwork or strain myself. But that wasn’t enough. I still couldn’t protect her. I was ready to be home in bed hiding from the world. Hiding from my shame. 

To Be Continued.

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