Miscarriage: A Story Told – Part 2

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If you read last weeks post, you know that my story that was first one of joy and hope, has now possibly become one of worry, pain, and heartbreak. We went to bed that night with heavy hearts, but honestly had hopes for a positive outcome in all of this. I called my OB first thing the next morning, and somehow felt that God was already on our side when the only woman I knew working at the front desk picked up the phone. I relayed everything that had been going on with my body and the pregnancy to her. I told her of my cramping and spotting that had been happening, and of course the fact that I had quite a bit of bleeding the previous night. She was very sad for me, especially in knowing me personally, so of course this did not give me hope. I feel like I knew at this point the road I was heading down. She told me she would put a message in with the nurse and have her call me back right away.

I received a call from my nurse about 10 minutes later, so I knew they were taking this on as an urgent matter. She unfortunately said there was not much that she could tell me with me being so far away. I was welcome to get an ultrasound at a facility in the area to calm my nerves and for peace of mind, but at this point there was nothing I could do to change the outcome. This did not mean that we were definitely going to miscarry, but just that my body was going to do what it felt it needed to do, and nothing I could do would stop the process at this point.

We tried to go on with our day as we normally would. We got Silas ready to go to the beach and we tried to have a fun day of vacation even though the worry was always lurking in the background. I was skeptically optimistic because I hadn’t bled anymore all day. I was cramping some, but that wasn’t cause to think that we were definitely going to lose our baby. Around 5pm my mom, sister, and I were out on the deck waiting for the babies to wake up and I told them that I had started timing the pains I was having and they seemed like they were coming about every 3 minutes now and that they felt more like contractions only pretty mild for now. My sister being a nurse tried to answer my concerns with a practical response of telling me that while it might feel like contractions, that is highly unlikely and to try not to worry too much. At this point I felt like no one else was taking this as seriously as I was. No one knows my body like I do, and while some might think I was silly for thinking that, you might not feel the same by the time you get done reading this post.

I decided to try to keep my discomfort to myself and ate dinner with my family. Around 8pm right after I put Silas to bed, I could no longer stand to pretend I wasn’t hurting and told Pate I needed to go lie down. I thought that if I could get myself to go to sleep that maybe everything would turn out okay the next morning. Plus my OB had always told me in my first pregnancy that if I could sleep through the pain then it most likely wasn’t real labor pains. I read for a while and then tried relentlessly to relax my body and fall asleep, but around 11pm I woke Pate up. I could not take the pain anymore and I knew that something was very wrong. We called the on call nurse at my doctor’s office and relayed to her everything that had happened over the past day and a half. She said that we should go to the ER closest to us within the next 4 hours.

At this point, fear had definitely set in along with the pains that were getting worse by the minute. Pate and I let my parents know that we needed to go to the ER and that we would like them to stay and watch Silas. My mom of course wanted to come with us, but I told her I would feel much better knowing that Silas was being taken care of by them. I didn’t have the heart to also tell her that this was something that Pate and I needed to do on our own. Sure everyone would be upset if we lost the baby, but no one knew this little life as we did already. No one else had had the hopes and plans and joy that we did for this new life. We had to do this on our own, no matter what the outcome may be.

We drove the 30 miles to the nearest hospital as I tried to distract myself between contractions. I chatted with Pate about the music playing on the radio, silly things like how many surf shops we had passed in a mile, and the fact that there was a Lambert’s we passed when I thought there was only one of those which was in our home town. I tried endlessly to pass the time and distract myself from what was to come, and for the most part it worked, but when my contractions came, they were impossible to ignore. By the time we got to the emergency room I was shaking and beyond scared.

I went inside to fill out paperwork, and got called back almost immediately after. I was again asked many questions about what had been going on. How far along I was, and how long I had been bleeding and having pain. A nurse took my blood pressure and temperature, and then asked for a urine sample. The bathrooms were back out in the waiting room since I had not been given a room yet. I should have had Pate come in the bathroom with me, but at this point I will say again that I still hadn’t had any bleeding since the night before, so I had no idea what was about to happen. I will save you all the horrid details, but this is truly when I realized I was losing our baby and that there was no possible way my pregnancy could still be intact.

I cried all alone in that ER bathroom. I had no one to help me, no phone to call my husband, and I felt so utterly helpless. I knew I had to clean myself up though and tell Pate what had happened. So that’s what I did, I pulled myself together, wiped the tears from my face, and went back out to the waiting room to tell my husband. When I saw him I knew I couldn’t hold it together. He took me in his arms and I immediately started sobbing; all I could get out was, “there was just so much blood, it’s gone”. My dear sweet husband of course said, “We don’t know that for sure, let’s not lose hope.” He let the nurse know what had happened and then they called me in again to take some blood. After being poked and prodded numerous times (my husband was about to strangle the man taking my blood at this point because he couldn’t find a vein), they finally got my blood to go into the vial and we were released back out to the waiting room until they had an open room.

I continued to have contractions for about another hour. Every time they came I cried in pain next to Pate. At that point I could’ve cared less what the other people in the waiting room thought of me. No one had ever told me that you had contractions with miscarriages and that they could even be worse than my first labor had been because with this one I was left in a waiting room chair with no options to take drugs to numb the pain, and worse than that no happy ending. We waited for two hours before the nurse finally called us back to a room. We then waited for an ultrasound technician and when she finally came, she told us I must do that alone as well. Pate was not able to be in the room and we wouldn’t be given any results until later when we saw the doctor. The nurse wheeled me to the room where I would be given the ultrasound and helped me onto the bed. She must have looked for something for 15-20 minutes. I definitely knew at this point that there was no longer a baby growing and thriving inside of me.

The ultrasound technician finally wheeled me back to our room and I curled in the tiny hospital bed with Pate to try and get some sleep until the doctor came to tell us our results. When he finally came, I knew by the look on his face that he did not have good news. I sometimes wonder how doctors ever get used to delivering bad news to families; does it become like second nature to them? He sat down with us and told us that this was in fact a miscarriage. Sadly at this point, I had already accepted our fate. I did not cry when we were told that we had lost our second child. I was not relieved when we were told that I didn’t have to have a D&C procedure, nor was I happy when we were told that the miscarriage had happened naturally, that my hormone levels were going down, and because of this we could start trying again very soon. I was numb. I felt nothing until the doctor left and only then did a few sad tears stream down my face. I remember saying very little as we got into the car and drove back to our condo at 5:30 in the morning. We alerted no one to the fact that we were back, we could only make the effort to climb into bed and try to get a few meager hours of sleep before our son woke up and we had to face the day.

The next morning was spent alone in our room in the condo; a place that was not home to us. All I wanted to do was pack up our things and head home. To be someplace that was comfortable to me would have made it so much better in my mind. I found out later, that while I was numb and could not think of anything positive in this terrible situation, Pate was beyond thankful that I didn’t have to undergo any procedures and spend more time in an unfamiliar hospital. He was also very thankful that even though we were away from home, we were able to spend more time together as a family since we had 3 days of vacation left until we headed home. Pate was my rock in the beginning when all I could do was mourn the loss of our child and the emptiness I felt inside of me. He was so strong and I will be forever thankful for the way that God enabled him to handle himself. He convinced me to get out of bed and spend some time with Silas and him at the pool. Time with just the three of us as a family was what we really needed. We needed time to heal on our own. He also convinced me to let my parents watch Silas so that we could go out to dinner on our own. While we needed time with our sweet baby, we also needed time to know that we could help heal each other. It was a long hard week, but we got through it.

As we headed home that Saturday I knew I was facing one of the hardest parts of losing our baby. Driving out of Foley, Alabama I felt my heart breaking in two; I felt like I was leaving my child there. The tears started slowly and then began to stream down my face. I tried to hide my emotions, but of course Pate noticed and took my hand to comfort me. I knew this time would come, but I guess I didn’t think I would have to deal with it so soon. At that moment I knew I would have no funeral or burial for the baby that we had lost; this was my time to say goodbye. It was heart wrenching and I hated every moment of it, but I knew we had to go home and find our way back to normalcy; whatever that may be for us after all that had taken place.

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