On October 12, 2006 at 7:10 pm I wrote in my online journal
“We lost our baby. :(”
No one ever wants to have to write that. No one ever wants to lose their baby but yet it happens all the time to people all around you. You most likely don’t even know. It isn’t something most people share or talk about. But it’s real and sad and scary…and absolutely devastating.
I want to take the time to tell you my story. I feel it’s important to share, to remember and to bring awareness to miscarriage. I write this to let others who have been through this know you aren’t alone. There are many of us out there who share your grief, your sorrow, your loss. It is painful to relive it, but it is also important for me to remember. My child was a real human being even if he never lived outside my womb and we love and miss him every single day.
I kept an online friends only journal at the time so I have a record of all that occurred and my thoughts and feelings as all of the events were taking place. It’s a very raw, unedited account. I will be pulling out excerpts from it but mostly retelling the story now, 4 years later. I will be doing it in parts just because it is a long story.
Everything started just fine, just like any other pregnancy I suppose. After two months of trying, we were pregnant! I had morning sickness, exhaustion, all normal stuff. I had seen my midwife and things were going along normally until September of 2006. I had some spotting, just barely. Still, we were concerned enough I called the midwife. She suggested an ultrasound so we went on September 11, saw our baby, heard the heartbeat and were on cloud nine! The baby was measuring right on schedule but it looked as though I had placenta previa and that is what I was told probably caused the spotting. Still, this was not a big deal. It was the first trimester and I was told most likely the placenta would move by the second trimester.
Fast forward to October 11. More spotting (still very little though) and cramping. This had been going on for a couple of days. I remember being at my cousin’s visiting her new baby. I mentioned the spotting and cramping and my cousin, aunt and mom thought I really should call the midwife. I honestly wasn’t too concerned but thought I would just to be on the safe side. I came home that night and called her, feeling kind of badly that I was bothering her for nothing most likely. She had me take a warm bath and some calcium pills and said to call her if that didn’t stop the cramping. It didn’t. We scheduled another ultrasound. Really, I just thought it would be neat to see the baby again. I never was even worried that something was wrong.
Here is an excerpt from my journal written on October 13:
“So they did the ultrasound Thursday afternoon [October 12] and Josh [my husband] thought the baby looked really small for me being at 12 weeks so he asked the doctor what the baby was measuring at. When he said around 8 weeks we knew something was wrong. We told him that was what I was measuring a month ago when I came in. … the baby was measuring [8 weeks, 3 days] when it should have been measuring [12 weeks, 4 days]. There was no activity, no tiny white heartbeat and when he turned on the sound there was nothing.”
Nothing could have prepared me for that moment. What mother thinks she will lose her baby? What mother expects that? I knew though. I knew when I saw our baby measuring what it was a month ago. How could you not know really at that point. Strangely I kept hoping the Dr. was going to tell me it was a mistake, that I was wrong but I knew. I knew.
We were broken, completely broken. There is no other way to describe it.
I had planned on a natural birth so that is the way I wanted to miscarry as well. Our midwife had told us the options, told us to think about how we wanted to proceed and let her know. I already knew what I wanted before she had even told me the options. But what we want is not always what we get. I had a very long road ahead of me.
Here is an excerpt from the email we sent to friends and family:
“Thank you for your prayers and calls. We can definitely feel them and are thankful. We have peace about this but of course we are still incredibly sad. We named the baby Shannon since that could be used for a girl or boy.
Tonight we went to a ceremony in Simpsonville for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day which is October 15th. On September 28th of this year a house resolution was passed by the house of representatives to make October 15th officially Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It was a candle lighting ceremony and was very healing and we were both glad we went. (My parents went with us also.) It was good to talk to and listen to other people who had been through the same thing even if I didn’t say much.
Our biggest request right now is that I would pass the baby soon and while I am at home and not at work. We chose to have a natural miscarriage rather
than a D&C. I know that physically the miscarriage will be a lot more painful (I am told I will have contractions and it will be similar to labor) but emotionally the D&C would be a lot harder on me right now. If, at a later
time, it is necessary because I don’t pass everything, then I am willing to do it, but since my body is already in the process, I would like to give it time to do what it is supposed to do. I started having contractions today but then they stopped. The waiting is a little frustrating but I am willing to be patient.
We plan on planting a tree in my parents yard that will bloom in late April when the baby would have been due. We want a way to acknowledge the fact that this baby was real and we felt this was a special way to remember it, and watching the tree bloom and grow every year will be a reminder of our baby growing up.”
Read Part 2