I mentioned, in a recent post, that I have been exhausted lately. I’ve been so excited to share our happy news in just a couple of weeks, as we were expecting another addition to our family in January. I discovered that I was pregnant at the beginning of May and we were ecstatic – Declan would be a big brother!
On the 1st of June, I passed a bit of blood and a clot of tissue, but wasn’t super concerned, as I had experience worse with my last pregnancy. From that day on, I spotted old blood twice a day (morning and evening). When I had my first appointment with the midwife, I mentioned that I was a little concerned that the spotting hadn’t subsided (it had been two weeks at that point), so she ordered an ultrasound. When I went, I got to see our baby, growing right on track with a healthy heartbeat! I also saw that I had a uterine bleed. I was told that the bleed was pretty common and that we would monitor it.
Fast forward to my next visit two weeks later. The appointment went well until the midwife went to perform a routine ultrasound to check the baby’s heartbeat. After a couple uncomfortably silent minutes, the midwife finally said that she “was having trouble seeing things” and that she wanted me to go to an imaging center for a better quality ultrasound. This was at 9am. Needless to say, I became alarmed. No heartbeat? How on earth could that be possible, as I just saw our healthy baby not two weeks ago? The soonest I could get an appointment was 5pm. I tried my best to stay calm during the day, but had an overwhelming sense of dread. I knew this wasn’t good, as the midwife had performed a transvaginal ultrasound in the office — she should have seen a heartbeat from that vantage point.
My husband works 1 1/2 hours away, so I called to see if he could leave a little early to go to the ultrasound appointment with me. I spent the remainder of the day in a daze, trying to care for my son and stay positive. We left for our appointment and I was on pins and needles. We go in for the ultrasound, and things were suddenly different from any other pregnancy ultrasound I’d had. The large screen was not turned on for us to see the picture. The ultrasound technician went about taking photos (they were also taking another look at my uterine bleed), and did not say anything to me, other than when she said that she was then going to perform a transvaginal ultrasound. I think that may have been the saddest 30 minutes of my life, having an uncomfortable ultrasound performed and not having a word said to me, not seeing anything on the screen. The tech finished and said that she was sending the photos to a radiologist to view, who would then be in contact with the doctor on call at my office. We sat in that room for 45 minutes, without being told anything, before I decided to leave. We had a baby at home to get to bed, and I felt that it was incredibly disrespectful and rude for us, not having been told a thing, to have to sit there in silence. I left my cell number for the doctor to call, all the while knowing what she was going to say.
On our ride home, I received the call from the doctor. No heartbeat found. The baby had just died, likely the day before, as I was 9 weeks 5 days along, and the baby measured 9 weeks 4 days. That would explain why I was still experiencing round ligament pain and morning sickness, even up to the time of the appointment. Apparently, the placenta detached from the uterine wall. Devastated and shocked don’t even begin to describe my reaction. I’m sad and I’m angry. I wish that I hadn’t seen the ultrasound of my thriving baby two weeks ago, somehow, I feel it would be easier for me to deal with. The high I had been riding being pregnant (and this pregnancy had been so much smoother than my first – I was actually enjoying it) has come to a crashing halt. I’m still in shock, as it’s not even been 48 hours since I found out. The hardest thing is that my body still thinks it’s pregnant.
I have decided not to try to miscarry naturally. My reasons are personal and varied. I just think that it will be easier than continuing to carry a dead baby, not knowing when my body will decide to expel it. I just don’t feel strong enough to endure that. I have also read that your recovery time is faster, and you’re able to start trying to conceive again sooner. So, I am opting to have a D&E performed on Monday night. I hate doctors and I hate hospitals. My c-section experience (my first ever hospital experience) was nightmarish and terrible. I don’t want to have surgery because of the risks. I am so torn, but feel in my gut that this is what I need to do.
I’m sad, but I’m also grateful for many things. If this had to happen, I’m glad that it happened sooner rather than later. I’m grateful that I don’t bond the moment I find out that I’m pregnant (for me, it’s a more tangible process in which bonding takes place). I’m so grateful that I have a baby at home to squeeze a little tighter — I can only imagine that miscarriage would be more difficult to deal with if this was my first pregnancy. At the same time, I’m in disbelief because I’ve had a healthy pregnancy before and never imagined that I would experience miscarriage. I’m also angry because my baby was healthy, it was his/her lifeline that was not.
I’m sure that it will take some time to process this chaotic mix of emotions. I’m scared to death to have a D&E performed on Monday; scared that something will happen to me, or that something will happen to my uterus, preventing me from having other children. I don’t want to be sad forever, as I have so much in my life to be happy about (my little boy turns one next week!). I also don’t want to be fearful, if I should be blessed enough to conceive another child. I want to embrace my belief in the fact that everything in life happens for a reason. While I can’t understand it now, I know that understanding will come at a later time…