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Tag: first trimester miscarriage (Page 2 of 3)

Miscarriage Series – The Commendation Ceremony

Commendation Invitation for Miscarriage

I wasn’t sure what a Naming and Commendation Ceremony really was. After Ruby died, we were encouraged to celebrate her life and name her. We didn’t have an official ceremony but we named her. I had been to a commendation ceremony before for some clients but I wasn’t sure what ours would be like considering how early this baby was born. I wasn’t nervous though, I was very excited. A feeling I hadn’t experienced much over the prior weeks.

My excitement was just like the excitement I had before our gender-reveal party for Timmy. No one knew the sex of the baby and we all couldn’t wait to find out. When I learned the sex of Gus, I couldn’t wait to share it. I wanted everyone to be surprised just like if he was born alive.

I did fear judgment on the name we chose for him. I wasn’t sure if his name would be accepted by all. In reality, it didn’t matter, this was our son and the name chosen for him. I really can’t say we chose his name because Gus was chosen for him from the moment I knew he was within me. Oh how I wish he was here to carry such a powerful name.

As we all rushed to get ready, I remembered I needed to grab Gus’s memory box, the baby figurine, his cross, and his memory book. A blanket that was made for him would be brought by my friend Peggie. I couldn’t wait to hold it and see it (I sleep with this blanket). Very few memories for such a small child but memories none-the-less.

Gus's Memory Box

We got out of the house on time, but traffic was horrible getting out of town. I had wanted to stop for some thin Sharpie’s but there was no time after how long it took to get out of town. We would show up just five minutes before the ceremony and I had things to set up.

We arrived at the church and family and friends were gathered inside the Narthex. I knew this would be overwhelming and difficult for me in that I needed to greet each person, hug them, and hear their words. As an introvert, this is hard on a regular day; today, it would be even more overwhelming. I was also in a rush to get things set up and talk with Father Ed as I had not yet given him Gus’s full name.

I rushed through greeting everyone and made it to Father Ed where we talked about what was to take place and set up Gus’s things. It was nice to have a few private moments with Father Ed before the ceremony. I was so thankful he was doing this for us.

After everything was set up, all the people were still in the Narthex and I asked them to go sit. Father Ed officiated getting that done with a welcome to all Christians. We entered the church.

The ceremony started with a beautiful song called I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light. I had no idea this song would bring on the tears. I didn’t think anyone else would sing during the ceremony but as my voice choked and I no longer could sing through the tears, I could hear those around me singing. As the third verse began, I could see Father Ed walking up to the altar and as much as I wanted him to hear my voice resonating, my voice was not there.

The lyrics literally took my breath away and I was overcome with grief. It was as if Augustus was telling me, “All is okay mommy. See, this is what I am doing!”

1. I want to walk as a child of the light;
I want to follow Jesus.
God set the stars to give light to the world;
the star of my life is Jesus.

Refrain
In him there is no darkness at all;
the night and the day are both alike.
The Lamb is the light of the city of God:
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

2. I want to see the brightness of God;
I want to look at Jesus.
Clear Sun of righteousness, shine on my path,
and show me the way to the Father.

Refrain
In him there is no darkness at all;
the night and the day are both alike.
The Lamb is the light of the city of God:
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

3. I’m looking for the coming of Christ;
I want to be with Jesus.
When we have run with patience the race,
we shall know the joy of Jesus.

Refrain
In him there is no darkness at all;
the night and the day are both alike.
The Lamb is the light of the city of God:
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.

As the service began, I wondered if this was “overkill.” This was the stigma of miscarriage coming out in my own mind. As much as I knew this was needed and more people should do this, I felt a bit bad about making such a hoopla about my own child.

We had our priest and a cantor who were there with a fully lit church. We were such a small group there celebrating his life but it seemed, for a moment, that we were putting out all these people. I leaned into Hubby’s ear and asked, “Do you think this is overkill?” He shook his head no. Afterwards, I would realize why he felt that way.

As Father Ed chanted the beginning prayers, Augustus’ name was sung. I am not sure if everyone picked up on it or not and I hoped he would say his name more and more throughout the ceremony. I could hear my friends taking pictures all around me as I tried to keep the tears from flowing.

Commendation Ceremony 2

My friend Katie, read the first reading. It was so beautiful and relevant to infant loss. As she read, I wondered what was going through her mind. I wondered if she wanted to cry. I wondered if she would make it through without crying. I wondered if the loss of her own son, Henry Thomas, would bring on grief for her. I wondered if I was causing her pain. In that moment, I realized how hard this must have been for her. I just wanted to tell her I loved her.

Father Ed proceeded with the Gospel and then the Homily. The Homily took my breath away again. Father Ed has such a way with words. I wanted to soak in every word, remember it all but there was not way my mind could do so. Augustus’ name was repeated several times so all could hear and I had really wished in that moment, that we were there for another reason. A happy reason, not celebrating a short life.

Our friend Donna then read the petitions and it was so hard. She instantly started crying and it was so difficult but all I felt was love from her. I didn’t matter that she was crying. She was validating this experience. Our experience. She didn’t need to be stoic. She knew how hard this was for us. She had comforted her own daughter through loss. Afterwards, she came to us and gave us a big hug. I just wanted to tell her I loved her. She may never realize how much this meant to our family.

Commendation Ceremony 1

We were asked to place Ruby and Augustus’ name in the Book of Life. Oh how I couldn’t wait to see their names in there. I was awe struck by the fact that Ruby’s name would now be in a Book of Life. We had never placed her name in one before. She too, would be commended and honored today.

After Hubby wrote their names in the book, I noticed that Augustus’ name was missing a U. I had hoped we would have time to correct it later. We weren’t able to fill in the dates of life in the book. I knew Augustus’ but Ruby’s took a bit to remember her exact date. Father Ed told us we could fill it in later. I am not sure when later would be.

Hubby and Joey were then offered time to speak. Joey originally wanted to go first but then asked his dad to go first. I am sure he was just nervous. Hubby started but he was crying. He said some beautiful things but I loved that he said, “When your wife gets pregnant, you fall in love with that baby instantly. Someone you have never met and don’t know.” I know those weren’t his exact words. He probably doesn’t even remember his exact words but what I don’t think he realized is that I needed to hear those words. We talk, but I rarely hear those intimate thoughts he has. It was healing to me.

Joey shared his experience of what he heard from me when Gus died, how he felt, and how hard it was for him the next day because he knew I was hurting. I love him so much. We have an amazing bond and I really need to be more cognizant of that and help grow that bond. He loves me so much and we are “attached.”

Joey drew this in the sand at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. It was his message. He misses his brother.

Memory of Gus at Coral Pink Sand Dunes

The ceremony concluded soon after and we walked out behind Father Ed. We waited in the Narthex for the rest of our family and friends while they signed Gus’s book and we hugged them and thanked them for coming. They all said they thought the ceremony was beautiful. They all felt it was needed. It validated everything. We lost our son. It’s okay to grieve and our son meant something, no matter how small he was.

– Breaking the silence of First Trimester Miscarriage

Miscarriage Series – Day 8

8 months pregnantThere is this feeling you get when you become pregnant. It’s a warm feeling. It’s a feeling only a woman can experience. It’s life within you. There is a life within your womb that has been created and can only be sustained and nourished by your body. It brings a feeling of joy and love. You become connected to your soul in ways you never have been even if you have been pregnant before.

You also connect to another soul inside your body. Sometimes, you can feel their presence. Other times, their presence is silent but you know they are still there. Then there is this baby, who I had no idea left. Their soul disappeared leaving the shell of their body within me. I knew when Ruby left. I knew the exact moment but this baby…this one left so quietly I didn’t even suspect.

Right now, I am struggling deeply. My body is returning to having an empty womb but desperately wants that warm feeling and all that surrounds it from that new life. Even my children and husband treat me differently. Having been pregnant four times now, I realize it’s not about feeling “special.” Sure, I felt special during each pregnancy. I am doted on a bit more, given a bit more slack on household duties and forgetfulness but it’s deeper then that.

It’s a spiritual connection with this new life which surrounds everyone in the house. An aura that moves from room to room, lighting the way as you go, filling every crack and hole within your being with light and love. But all of that is gone now. All the dark parts are returning and it hurts. It’s nauseating at times. My body is fighting the un-pregnant state.

On the outside, it looks like I had a much better day today, but I didn’t. I woke up at 4am and could not go back to sleep. I tried for an hour and decided it wasn’t going to happen. I spent the rest of the morning on the couch watching TV. I was able to see my son that morning before he went off to school, something I haven’t done in almost a year now that he is in middle school.

My husband had the day off and he cancelled his evening job to stay with me. That in and of itself, helped keep my thoughts from drifting to all I have lost. There were still moments where it came up. The thought of moving is a big deal right now. That’s been our focus for the last month or so and now that we will not be needing the extra room we are working through the pro’s and con’s of moving.

Then there are the baby items; should we donate/sell them or keep them. Then comes the not so easy to see reminders such as, I would have been entering the second trimester on our big summer trip. I cried several times thinking about this baby that I will never get to hold.

The funeral home called this morning to tell me that they had not heard from the surgery center yet on when they could pick up the baby’s remains. I had to make a few calls today inquiring about the baby and when the baby would be released. I didn’t care how awkward the conversation was for all those involved at the call center. That’s Kaiser’s fault for having such a complex system. It was heartwarming to talk with the OBGYN clinic because they were so empathic. It seems they have some training in pregnancy loss, beyond any of the other clinics I have been too, especially our first one where we lost Ruby.

By the end of the day, we learned the baby’s remains were ready for release and the Archdiocese of Denver Mortuary would pick up the baby on Monday. The funeral would be at the end of the month. The mortuary is creating a fetal death certificate and wanted the name of the baby. We still haven’t named this baby because we are waiting on the genetic testing. I don’t think we will know for at least another week but we did learn all the testing would be covered so that was a relief.

I don’t want night to come. Night seems scary to me. That must be why I have gotten less and less sleep the last few nights. When night comes, it’s just a reminder. I know that one more day has passed since the baby was living inside me. It’s another day moving forward. It’s another day without that special feeling.

My Facebook news feed is full of pregnancy announcements, birth announcements and pictures of new babies. When a mother posts her struggle with her new baby, I remind myself of how lucky I am that I won’t have to go through that. I won’t have to experience engorgement, baby blues, postpartum depression, sleep deprivation, constant nursing, worrying about co-sleeping or transitioning to crib, sleep regression or any of the other hard moments of raising a baby but I realize that this is all just my way of rationalizing and justifying my loss. It’s my way of saying, “See, you didn’t really want that anyway.” It’s my body’s attempt at trying to make myself feel better.

Instead though, I will continue to feel that hole in my heart and soul. I will continue to long for the child that was once within my womb. I will continue to look at other children and do the math in my head, “That’s how old Ruby would be.” I will forever tell people I have four children, two which are living. I will continue to feel like less of a mother because I couldn’t bring two of my children home with me. What is a person like me called?

– Breaking the silence of First Trimester Miscarriage

Miscarriage Series – Hand and Stone Spa

Hand and Stone SpaHubby scheduled me a massage at Hand and Stone Spa. We are both members there and have really enjoyed the services they offer. It was Sunday, the Sunday after Mother’s Day and we were headed to his mother’s house to celebrate Mother’s Day. Last Sunday was ruined by snow so we were doing a “re-do.” Hubby had visited the spa that day to pick up a gift certificate for his mother. While there, he thought he would be nice and schedule a massage for me the next day.

I hadn’t been out other than doctor’s appointments since the loss and this would be a great way to get me out of the house. It would require some coordination, as I would have to drop Timmy off at day care but this would get me out and help me make “moving forward” steps. I was excited, yet scared. I mostly looked forward to the relaxation I would get.

Hubby asked if I wanted to schedule an appointment with my regular therapist. I told him I didn’t want to see her and to schedule me with someone new. I didn’t want to see her because we have quite a connection and I felt it would be too emotional for both of us. Really, I felt like we would both spend the hour crying and that I wouldn’t leave relaxed so he scheduled me with someone new. There were no issues with him scheduling the appointment.

The next morning, I got Timmy ready for day care. He HATES day care and usually cries when I drop him off. This is just a drop-in center and he has never been there longer than three hours but he has an attachment to his family and this is very hard for him. I struggled with the fact that I was torturing him that day just for me to be spoiled but I pushed through. I needed this and I would be better for it.

As we drove to daycare, I chatted with him as he sat in the back seat. I explained he wouldn’t be there long and that we would spend plenty of time together at home afterwards. As I pulled into the parking lot, my phone rang. I couldn’t answer it, I had to let it go to voicemail. My massage was at 10:00am and it was 9:50am. I was just down the street from the spa but I was still in a rush. I had never seen this massage therapist before and I didn’t know if she would need me to fill out a form for her.

I dropped Timmy off at the center. Surprisingly, he wasn’t crying when I handed him off to the staff. I rushed out quickly. I was glad but I didn’t want to get too emotional. If anyone looked at me funny for any length of time, I would break down and cry. I felt so fragile in these days. Hubby had returned to work and I didn’t want him there. I wanted him home with me and that was traumatizing to me.

When I returned to the car, I listened to the voicemail that was left for me.

“Hi Elizabeth, this is Allison at Hand and Stone. I see you are on the schedule but your record shows you are pregnant. We cannot massage you until you are at least 12 weeks pregnant. You will not be receiving a massage today.”

That was it. I tried not to cry. I was angry. The message was so cold. Didn’t this person understand that I wouldn’t be trying to sneak in a massage? Why was her message so cold?

I called back. I spoke to the receptionist, “Hi, I have a massage with Allison in a few minutes. She just called to tell me that she wouldn’t massage me. While I understand why I can’t be massaged until I am 12 weeks, I am no longer pregnant. I had my baby last week.”

The receptionist didn’t say much. She just told me that I could still get a massage. I made the assumption that in the five minutes it takes me to get there, that she would have talked with Allison, the massage therapist, and I would go straight to a room.

When I get there, I am not checked in. The receptionist is busy so I take a seat in the waiting area. I am trying hard not to break down. A massage therapist comes out with her client. She is at least seven months pregnant. I would describe her as “very” pregnant although there is no degree of pregnancy. I kept saying to myself, “Please don’t let that be Allison, please don’t let that be Allison, please don’t let that be Allison.”

I heard them talking and learned her name was Monica. “Whew, that’s the other person I could have had a massage with. I am so happy I won’t have her today,” I thought to myself.

Ten minutes later, I am still sitting in the waiting area. No therapist has come out to see me. I watched as the receptionist ran to the back. A few minutes later, she returned. The pregnant woman followed her and started walking towards me. My heart began to beat fast. I could feel it in my chest.

I felt my hands get sweaty as Monica reached her hand out and said, “Elizabeth?” I reached out and shook her hand out of habit.

“I will be your massage therapist today,” she said.

I immediately looked towards the receptionist and said loudly, “What happened to my scheduled therapist.”

The receptionist (who I later learned was a manager), had that look on her face. You know, the “deer in the headlight look.” She just stood there. She said nothing.

Monica told me that Allison wasn’t available and she would like to talk with me privately. I followed her into a room. She took me into the first room behind the waiting room and shut the door. She said, “Allison doesn’t feel comfortable massaging you.”

My heart sank again. “What? Why?” I thought. “What is so wrong with me that she wouldn’t massage me?

Monica continued with, “We talked with your regular therapist Erika and she said that you were eight weeks pregnant last time you saw her, is that right?”

I couldn’t believe what was happening. I felt like I was on trial or something. The reason I felt like this was because I saw Erika the day I peed on the stick. I knew she wouldn’t massage me if I was pregnant but I was really hurting and needed the body work. Nothing was confirmed by a doctor and the line on the pregnancy test was very light. After the massage, I told her I thought I was pregnant. I know she was scared but I told her it was all okay and it would be fine.

I felt mistrust. I felt like these therapists had been talking behind my back about my care. What else had they been talking about? Was my medical information private?

I couldn’t bear to be in the room any longer. I don’t remember what Monica said after that, I just ran out of the room. I moved as quickly as I could. I heard her talking behind me. I heard her say, “I would like to talk with you.” She sounded genuine but all I could feel was mistrust, anger, disappointment, and extreme sadness that I lost my baby and couldn’t even get a massage.

I yelled, “No!” And continued to run out of the building. I got in my car and just started bawling. I don’t even think I had been breathing. I felt so out of breath and just let everything out. I immediately called Hubby. He didn’t answer but I left him a message. I am not sure if he understood any of it because I was crying so hard.

I pulled into a parking lot across from the daycare and just cried as hard as I could. I couldn’t believe this. I took Timmy to daycare and ventured out to get a relaxing massage and this happened. I was on trial. I couldn’t get a massage and I lost my baby.

After I calmed down, I went to pick up Timmy. Later that day, I was able to talk with Hubby and I explained I needed him to call Hand and Stone and ask what happened. There is no way I can talk to them right now and I am not sure I want to go there again. I told him I wanted to file a complaint with the state about their treatment. I felt discriminated against because of my medical condition (pregnancy loss). I have no idea why Allison didn’t want to touch me. I felt like I had boils all over my body!

Hubby was great and told me he would call them right away and call me back. When he called me back, he told me that the manager, Amanda, was lost for words. He told me that she was very sorry for what happened and wanted to make things right. He said that she wanted to talk with me but wanted to give me time to recover. He gave me her number and told me that I could talk with her or we could go in and talk with her together. Hubby even offered to call her again later on my behalf.

I needed time. It would be hours before I called her back. When I did, she didn’t answer her phone. I waited an hour and called the actual Spa. I was transferred to her. I spoke with her for about an hour. She was definitely at a loss for words. She sounded very sincere and upset about what happened.

She relayed that the therapist should have never contacted me in the first place. She said that Allison is “set in her ways” and can be difficult. She said that they should have talked with their manager and the manager should have called me to ask questions. She also told me that the therapists shouldn’t have talked about my care but that Erika and Monica were friends so that’s why there was conversation.

I told her about my distrust and how upsetting it was that a pregnant woman was sent out to talk with me. I talked with her about what they needed to do for women experiencing pregnancy loss. I gave her the exact words that should be said when someone schedules a massage before 12 weeks and their chart shows they are pregnant. I talked with her about how no studies show a correlation with massage causing pregnancy loss in the first trimester. I even talked with her about training for the staff.

She offered an 80-minute massage to me. She really wanted to keep me and my family as members. I told her that we felt like leaving and never coming back. I talked with her about how I wanted to file a complaint with the state as well. I felt like she was being genuine though and accepted her offer with a few conditions.

I explained that I needed a therapist that wouldn’t stop if I started crying during the session. She gave me a recommendation of a therapist and stated this person was great. I told her that I needed this therapist to know that I had a pregnancy loss and not to ask me questions about it or talk with me about it. She stated she would talk with the therapist before I came in.

I also asked her to talk with Erika as I felt that Erika was probably hurt that I didn’t schedule with her. I explained to her why I didn’t schedule with Erika and asked her to talk with her. She told me that Erika felt responsible as if her massage caused the miscarriage. I explained that I hadn’t seen Erika in two months and there was no way her massage could have caused this miscarriage.

Amanda gave me her personal cell phone number again and told me to text or call it to schedule the massage. I felt confident she would take care of these issues for me. This was a Tuesday. I scheduled a massage for Saturday.

I was very disappointed when nothing had been passed on to my massage therapist and Erika. When I went in for the massage, my therapist asked me how I was doing. I assumed she knew what happened so I responded with, “I am doing as well as expected.” When she placed her hand on me and asked me what was going on, I immediately changed my tune and told her all was well. It was apparent she had no idea.

When I checked out after the massage, Amanda was there. I asked her if she had talked with Erika. She said she had not. She apologized and said she would take care of it right away. I felt more distrust. It was very important to me that she talked with Erika right away. She even said she would do it on Tuesday. Erika had been worrying for days about what happened when she didn’t have to be. I was upset and disappointed.

The massage was great and I was very happy to be accommodated but there were certain needs that weren’t met. I think Hand and Stone Spa failed miserably with my personal situation as well as my pregnancy loss. I really hope that Allison was reprimanded for the treatment (or lack thereof) that I received as well as for not following policy. I fear that wasn’t addressed either considering none of the other issues were addressed.

Amanda had said that she talked with her district manager and corporate about what happened. Did she? I think that may be my next step. Honestly, I hope Hand and Stone Spa sees this blog. They could use some training on pregnancy loss and how to help women through this. There is a market for massage following pregnant loss. Massage is very important to the healing process but there is no healing when a woman is treated as I was. There is more trauma. If there is a next time, I will use the massage therapists on the provider list at Dragonflies For Ruby.

If you have experienced pregnancy loss, massage can be an integral part of your healing. It is important to find a caring and compassionate therapist. If you are in the Denver Metro area, I have recommendations. If not, ask some of your pregnancy loss friends and family member who they might recommend.

– Breaking the silence of First Trimester Miscarriage

Miscarriage Series – Day 7

UltrasoundIt’s been one week since we learned you were gone. Today is not a good day, not because of the one week anniversary, just because I am extremely tearful. Today, I woke up alone. Just as I walked into that exam room without my husband, so I walk today, without him.

Yes, I had a friend with me, that fateful day in the exam room. I was very grateful to have her support, to have her come home with me and spend time with me, but she was not my life partner. She was not my husband. This journey started out so backwards it seems. I understood why he wasn’t there. I did not blame him for not being there. I am shocked he was able to stay and complete his day with how upset I knew he was but today, he is gone by choice.

He was up early, at 2am. Part of me wanted to get up and leave. I wanted to force him to have to stay home. I cried for hours last night and hoped that he would choose me. I prayed for a complication, bleeding, illness, anything so that he would choose me. He left before 4am. He chose work.

I know that men and women grieve differently. I teach this to my families who go through this loss but what I can’t teach them is how to cope with the feelings of inadequacy. The feelings of work being chosen over her/him. It’s a dark place to be. I don’t want to die, but I have no will to go on. I couldn’t hurt myself but I could care less if something happened. And going through these moments alone, suck.

If you are reading this, you are at least 1-2 weeks behind where time actually is. I wrote these on the actual day but I am posting them days/weeks later. So please keep that in mind. This place I am in right now is dark.

I miss my baby, I miss being pregnant, I miss the life we were dreaming of having. As my bookmark says, “What I lost, was a dream.” It feels like it was a dream. Pregnant one moment only to awaken no longer pregnant. You wonder, was it real? Was THAT the dream? Was I dreaming inside a dream?

There is a breeze this morning. The newly grown leaves are twirling and flickering back and forth on the trees. I stare at them. If you saw me, it would look like I was staring off into space but really, I am studying those leaves. So free yet tied to the branch that gives them life. To let go, means certain death. Falling to the ground, shriveling up from lack of life sustaining food and water, crumbled by a step on top. Left to blow away with the wind.

It’s me, clinging to life right now but I am doing this today, alone. No words I can say will change my husbands mind. No words will bring him home to me. This was our exchange of messages this morning:

4:01am – “I hope your day is better today. I love you and I’m thinking about you.” – Husband

6:47am – “I don’t like what you said. “Have a better day.” Its as if I can control my feelings right now. A better day would be to still be pregnant. A better day would be to be here with you and not alone with my thoughts. I will not have a better day.” – Me

7:07am – “I didn’t mean to upset you, I just hoped you would feel better today, that’s all.”  – Husband

7:10am – “Well, you just enjoy your day. Getting out, being with people, being away from me. I shall sit here, suffering alone with my thoughts and feelings. Worried about going back to work on Tuesday and trying to be happy and involved for Timmy. That’s my life today. Which sucks.” – Me

7:53am – “I prayed for a complication just so you would stay home with me. It hurt so much to see you so concerned with work. Especially when you thought you could go to work the morning of surgery and took it day by day instead of just committing to time with me.” – Me

8:07am – “I’m sorry, I didn’t realize I was hurting you. I’m concerned about a lot of things right now. I am very stressed about many things right now. You and I are not communicating very well right now.” – Husband

8:11am – “A shift has taken place where work seems more important than family. I must be failing in some way to provide the gratification you need so you don’t seek it through work. You only wanted one day for yourself to grieve and then you wanted to return quickly. My surgery got in the way of that.” – Me

You can see the childishness in this. I know he is grieving too. He has shown his grief. He has also mentioned he seems to be feeling much better much faster this time. I thought I was on the same path too, until yesterday. Maybe it was shock, maybe it was the anesthesia, but here I am, in that dark place again.

I hate this place.

Things I have been told:

You can’t stay depressed.

You have other kids you need to be functional for.

You have to move forward.

In reality, I want time to stand still right now or then there’s the other feeling. The feeling that is hard to talk about because people instantly take it the wrong way. It’s the feeling of wanting to die. It’s not suicidal ideation. I am not wanting to kill myself. It’s the feeling of just being so deep in the grief, you want to die. The pain is so overwhelming and there is no way out right now, you just want to die. It’s just like this bible verse: Matthew 26:38 – “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.”

Yes. To the point of death. But alas, I will not die. I will move forward. I will come through this grief. I know I will. This is yet, just another moment in time.

– Breaking the silence of First Trimester Miscarriage

Miscarriage Series – Day 6

Things I noticed today:

I slept all night without having to go to the bathroom.

My bloat is starting to go away (it just leaves my fat so I need to work on that now).

I no longer have round ligament pain.

My milk supply has completely returned to normal.

I feel much better today both physically and emotionally.

There is blood today. There wasn’t any yesterday.

I still have a long way to go. I am still weepy over the fact that we will not be adding to our family. I am still sad thinking I have four children but only two living. I am still ornery and don’t care who I offend right now (which sucks big time). I want to move forward much faster but I know I can’t.

Hubby took the day off today but I feel guilty now that my blood pressure is back up. I am not sure if we will actually spend time together or separately. It’s cloudy and I want to get out of my house. I am tired of laying on my couch and watching TV.

I managed to make myself some breakfast and eat it. Grief doesn’t take my appetite away. It makes it worse for me. If I could get a chocolate IV right now, that would help tremendously. I blog a little this morning and try to catch up on some emails and texts from worried friends. Then, I relax on the couch with the family.

Timmy slept 14 hours today. I had to check on him twice and I was so worried he was dead. He has never slept that long before, ever. It was so hard to go into his room to check. I was so relieved when both times he was just sleeping. After relaxing a bit the sun came out and both hubby and I decided we should do some yard work.

As soon as I entered the garage though, I began to cry. There it was. The stroller. THE STROLLER! The one I bought for this baby. I bought the stroller when I was about six weeks pregnant. I knew it was early but I know it’s super expensive and I knew that if the baby died, I would be able to sell it easily. So, that’s what I did. I threw it up on Facebook.

FOR SALE!

Baby Jogger City Select Double Inline Stroller

I was in love with this stroller from the moment I learned about it. I searched far and wide for a great double stroller. This would fit all my needs once the baby came. I found it at the Just Between Friends Event in Douglas County. When I dropped off my own stroller to sell, I saw this one for sale. I was so happy I signed up to volunteer because that meant I would get an early pass which allowed me to shop before the sale opened to the public.

As a consignor, I also got extra tickets. I went with a friend to this event. I told her I had two items on my list that I HAD to get. Luckily, she needed one of the same items so she went there and I ran to the stroller room. I was so happy when the stroller was still there. I immediately purchased it. The cost was high but not as high as if I bought it new. It’s a $600 stroller. I got it for more than half that.

I was giddy but I also had buyer’s remorse, which is common for me. I hate to spend money, especially on myself. I got it loaded in the truck and told hubby how excited I was and followed it up with, “I feel bad for buying it.” He was excited that I spent the money.

When he saw the stroller at home, it made this baby so real to him. Reality set in. We would have two kids in a stroller. Excitement all around!

So, when I saw this in the garage and needed to move it so I could mow the lawn, I just bawled. My baby, the baby that would grow up in this stroller, be pushed around all over the Cherry Creek trail with big brother, was gone. Those dreams, vanished! I will have to build new dreams.

I snapped a picture and quickly threw it up on Facebook. Almost instantly, I was getting private messages of people that wanted it. It was THAT desirable.

I also put it on my personal Facebook page and friends were telling me not to sell it. It was almost as if they were begging me not to. As much as I don’t want to sell it, I need to sell it. It’s such a painful reminder. We will probably still sell our home and move and I don’t even know how to fold it up. One friend sent me a video on that and told me to take off the extra seat and store that. Then just use it as a single stroller. I am not sure if I could nor if I would have a need for it. I have a jogging stroller for Timmy that I love to use. I guess I could try it first since I know how expensive these strollers are and if I keep it, I wouldn’t have to buy another one if we decide to try again and actually get a living baby from this.

Hubby sounds like he really wants to try again. I know I have been thinking about it too but then I think about how old we will be when this child would become an adult and that just scares me. I want to see this child’s babies and I am not sure we would. I know Timmy is only two years younger right now but those two years can be significant later.

Then there is the curiosity…will I develop Asherman’s Syndrome again? Will my fertility return? Did this miscarriage mess up my fertility? Only time will tell but I know one thing; I am leaving this up to God. I can’t take on this burden. He will lead us.

Tonight is the first night I have really struggled. I am deep within my grief losing will to go on. I know this is just a stage of my grief and I won’t sit in this despair long but it sure hurts. Nothing anyone has said or done has brought relief. I sit curled in the fetal position on my bed, filling the blankets with tears. I just want this to be over. I never want to love like this again.

– Breaking the silence of First Trimester Miscarriage

Dear Kaiser Permanente – Your Communication Sucks

Kaiser PermanenteDear Kaiser,

I can’t believe I am writing about this again. After all, I thought the support and communication we received during our miscarriage was much better than our experience in 2010 but today, I learned something that is so upsetting and affects more people than just me.

So let’s start from the beginning. When we learned out baby died a few weeks ago, we wanted testing completed. The testing was offered as we have had multiple losses. We struggled with how to get the best “sample” of our baby for testing. In addition to testing, we wanted our baby back to ensure a proper burial or disposition for the baby’s remains. This isn’t something that Kaiser offers, especially for early losses.

By the way, you need to change that. This should be a standard offering for all your patients. I don’t think you realize how many families you are traumatizing by not giving them their options for a final resting place for their baby’s remains. At the very least, you can share with families their baby will be cremated and little about that process. For instance, is the baby cremated with medical waste or with other babies?

With our request, we knew we wanted to bury our baby and we knew about communal burial so we asked for our baby’s remains to be returned to us. No one told us what that process might look like and no one shared with us that our baby would leave the state. This is the information we were given:

How long will it take for tissue to grow?

6-10 days.

When will we receive the results?

In about 10-14 days.

When will we receive the baby’s remains?

They must be turned over to a funeral home and can not be returned to you but within the week your baby’s remains should be released.

It’s been 12 business days since our baby was born and 16 days since our baby was born and I have no results. Granted, they can come in any moment but I decided to call genetics this morning to check on things. I am not happy with what I was told.

First, Sandy shared with me that she is not the one I would call to check on things. Who is? No one told me that.

Second, Sandy shared that the baby was shipped to New Mexico to the lab. Really? That explains why it took so long for our baby’s remains to be released but no one ever shared the baby would leave the state. In 2010, we were informed the baby would be shipped to Texas but that didn’t happen. When I called about the baby’s remains on May 15th, we were told they were in the lab at Lone Tree. I was assured that’s where the baby would be the whole time. My doctor made it sound like the tissue he found for testing (placenta) would be separated from the rest of the baby. Which is it? What takes place here?

Third, Sandy shared that 10-14 days was far from accurate. So I asked her how long this would take and she could not give me an answer. In fact, she said, “I don’t want to give you an exact date because I don’t want to be wrong.” Can’t she tell us anything? We planned a naming and commendation ceremony for this baby. It’s coming up and I don’t want to have to cancel it. So what’s the deal?

I know that a 10 week baby isn’t a priority for you. I know that any early loss for you is really just a “medical event” in your eyes but this was my child, my baby and they are a priority to me. I would want to know where this baby was every step of the way just like I would for any of my older, living children.

It’s a common misconception that loss mothers and families treat their miscarriage as a medical event. A miscarriage is often a devastating and traumatizing event for many women. The medical provider has so much to do with how a woman copes and recovers from this loss. Given the fact that psychiatric care is rarely provided or covered under insurance, women and families are paying thousands out of pocket. Much of that is merely processing how the medical provider supported or rather, didn’t support, the family and provide their options; ALL their options.

So I went to your website to search for a pregnancy loss support group. This is all your website addresses and FYI, you need to change “Moving On” to “Moving Forward.” There is no “moving on” after loss. There are many issues I see what that particular web page on pregnancy loss. I don’t know why someone would write that pregnancy loss would hurt more if the mother has already experienced one. A mother experiencing one for the first time may still hurt tremendously. It’s belittling the first time mom going through a pregnancy loss and making her feel like she doesn’t have the right to grieve.

You offer no support for pregnancy loss. With stillbirth, you mention three websites where families can receive support but nothing for miscarriage which is more common. And another FYI, stillbirthalliance.org is not a support group.

But I digress, we need to return to talking about your lack of communication. What should a family expect then when they want their baby’s remains tested and their baby’s remains back? Where is the baby’s body? Is the placenta separated and sent to the lab and the baby stays in the Kaiser lab? How long does this process take? Why can’t I check on the testing? I want to know if anything is growing. I need to know how long this process is going to take. Isn’t there a typical time that this takes? Who do we call for follow-up? If it’s not genetics, who then?

Why is it that I have to ask all these questions? While I am so grateful for my midwife and the OB that performed the D&C, I do not understand why all these questions are coming up now and the information given was not correct. Don’t you have a form that you can give families that describes this process?

This is something else that needs to change Kaiser. I am stuck now, between canceling a ceremony in honor of my child or just going through with it without a proper name. My child deserves a proper name. This baby doesn’t need to be named Pat or Jean or some other non-sex specific name.

And just a moment ago, I experienced yet another one of your communication fails. Don’t you have focus groups to help make your services better? Ugh! Just help me already. It really doesn’t have to be this hard for families experiencing loss. Start here! Start with my book It’s Not ‘Just’ a Heavy Period; The Miscarriage Handbook. I guarantee it’s better than the nothing I was given after learning my baby died.

– Breaking the silence of First Trimester Miscarriage

Miscarriage Series – Day 5

Groggy, dizzy, and fatigued. That’s how I feel today. I thought I would feel better but I feel way worse. My heart rate is in the upper 30’s and 40’s. My blood pressure doesn’t register on the blood pressure monitor I have. That tells me it’s very low. I hope I don’t have to go to the hospital. I don’t want to be admitted. I am not sure what they would do anyway.

Hubby doesn’t want me to go either. He wants me to just stay home and rest. I understand that but I am scared to go to sleep. I am afraid I will die.

The surgery center called to check on me and the service I received yesterday. I gave them great reviews except for post-op where there was no privacy. None of the curtains were pulled and people who came in and out could see me. When it was time for me to get up and dressed, I had to hold my pad between my legs (they didn’t put underwear on me) and my butt and part of my thighs were showing as a young teenager and his parents were walking by. I hope they address that.

I told her how I was feeling and she told me I needed to call my doctor. I did. They want me to come in. They want to check my blood levels to make sure I have enough blood. I don’t think this is blood related. I am not white or pale. I don’t think I lost too much blood yesterday. The doc gave me Pitocin and Methergine to help prevent all that bleeding. I think it’s just the meds.

Not sure which ones because in the last few surgeries, I didn’t feel like this but I felt just as bad with my first D&C. I am not bleeding much either so that’s good. I am glad I don’t have to stare at blood all day. That horrible reminder of what I lost. I just want to feel “normal” in every way. Part of me wants to try again, the other part wants to cut losses and move forward.

I haven’t really cried today. I am wondering if I have already moved forward from this loss. To me, that seems very odd. It is probably just all the meds I am on. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Hubby doesn’t want to take tomorrow off and that is stressing me out. It’s so hard to know how I will feel tomorrow. It was Day 3 after the D&C last time where I was admitted to the hospital for such a low heart rate. I wish he would just take time off. It feels so weird having him go back so soon.

My beautiful, amazing, compassionate, midwife.

My beautiful & amazing midwife.

My midwife called to check up on me. She also thanked me for the plant we dropped off for her on our baby’s birth day. She said we didn’t have to do that. I know we didn’t but she has been so wonderful and I wanted her to know that. She also told me that she passed around my book to the nursing staff. She told me the book was very well written. I really hope that It’s Not Just a Heavy Period; The Miscarriage Handbook makes it into the hands of someone important who will order bulk copies. It’s such a great resource.

It’s time for bed now. I am so tired of laying down or sitting on the couch. I really hope I feel better tomorrow and feel like going places.

 

Miscarriage Series – Day 4

It’s Mother’s Day. I spent the night dreaming about my baby and how this baby will be born. I kept imagining this baby in a saline jar all chopped up into pieces surrounded by thick, bright red blood. I imagined taking this baby to the funeral home and feeling judged about the baby being in pieces. I know this baby has passed away but in some way, surgical removal feels like an abortion.

Every time I use the bathroom, I check for blood. At this point, I think I would welcome the blood. That might mean the possibility of having this baby at home, although that would complicate things dramatically. Part of the reason for the surgery is to help ensure we have enough of the baby to test. It is very important to us that we know the sex of this baby as well as if there were any chromosomal abnormalities. But by evening, no blood was seen and surgery was on schedule.

Last night we had a snowstorm. I was worried that might throw me into labor and was glad when I woke up and was still pregnant. I was really worried about our trees so I got up early to shake off all the snow. Many of them were “down.” This small aspen has become my favorite of the yard and I was sad to see it curled over into the ground. Somehow though, this tree captures my grief very well.

Snowcrushed tree

It looks like a sad little thing. Covered in heavy, thick snow which represents my grief. Bent over by the weight of the snow which represents my mourning. Frozen in time which is exactly where I am, not wanting to give up this baby just yet. Not ready to say good-bye. But just like me, I know this tree will recover. It’s not broken. Not one piece of this tree is broken, it’s just bent. It will stand again one day, as will I.

At church today, there was a little girl in the pew directly in front of me. She was about a year old. She had beautiful blue eyes and blond hair. She kept staring at me. She was such a distraction for me. Nearly every time I looked at her, my eyes welled up with tears. I kept thinking about all I have lost.

She was it. A little girl (possibly) but a small child to love and teach. I would no longer have that. When December comes, it will just be the four of us.

I look down at my belly, still bloated and swollen and all I want is to wrap it. I need to hide this expanding waistline, it means nothing now.

As I am sitting in church in prayer, I notice that I am not remotely upset with God about all that has transpired. I know He will carry me through this and I know this is not His fault. I am so sad that my baby was called back to Him. I just want to know and see this child. I am the mother of four children but only two are here with me. Four children! I don’t feel like a mother of four.

Joey turns to me and says, “Grandma can’t imagine you with a girl.” My heart sinks. “What could that possibly mean?” My mind drifts to wondering if grandma wished away this baby but quickly comes back to reality as Joey tries to explain. “She just said that you have boys and you love your boys.” I can’t listen anymore. I hug him, kiss him on the forehead and say, “Yes, I DO love my boys.” This was enough to silence him. I couldn’t bear the thought of this child being a girl.

I feel like I am processing this loss very differently from Ruby’s loss. I don’t think it’s because we have been through this before. It could be related to my training, as I have said previously, but I also think it’s because I approach suffering a bit differently than I have in the past. To suffer is to know love. To know love is to know God. I took solace in today’s reading, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” – 1 John 4:8

The readings certainly applied to all we were experiencing. Suffering is not something we need to stop. We need to learn to love through the suffering. Suffering is a normal part of life and will never go away. As much as it sucks right now, I am okay with my feelings. I am horribly sad and scared about the next few days, weeks, and months; for what we have prepared and longed for, will no longer take place. For example, at Easter, our family talked about how this would be the last Easter with just the four of us. Next Easter, will be the same, only we will be sad that it is just the four of us.

***

After church we had to drive to one of the Kaiser clinics to pick up medications they preordered for me. I am to take two different prescriptions several hours before surgery. I never in my life thought I would ever be prescribed Cytotec. The word itself scare me.

On grief days like this, you tend to look at small talk a bit differently. First, I really didn’t want anyone to say Happy Mother’s Day to me. There was nothing happy about today that I could emotionally feel. Yes, I am thankful for my children and they bring great joy but I am grieving a child I never met.

cytotec for miscarriageWhile picking up the medications, the pharmacy tech explained the use for the Cytotec. She explained how helpful it can be in dilating the cervix. I wondered if she really knew why I was taking the medication. As I finished checking out, she asked if I had any questions about the medications. Then she said, “I hope your procedure goes well tomorrow. Have a Happy Mother’s Day.”

I wanted to yell at her. “Are you kidding me?! Do you know what I am having done tomorrow? I have a dead baby inside me and they are being surgically removed!” I didn’t say anything. I merely smiled and walked away. It felt so thoughtless for her to say that. I think she just combined stuff she normally says to accommodate my situation, not realizing what was really taking place.

I am nauseated and dizzy today. I wonder if my body is somehow starting to get sick from the dead baby within my womb. This baby has been dead for days, possibly over a week and hasn’t come out. I do not panic this time about the dead baby in my womb. I want this baby there because as long as the baby is there, I am still pregnant.

Tomorrow, all of that will change. Tomorrow, I will birth this baby.

Miscarriage Series – Day 2

I made breakfast, noting that I didn’t feel like continuing with my morning ritual of two glasses of water. Why would I drink two glasses straight away this morning? There is no one inside me who will benefit from this sustenance. I notice that my upper back hurts.

“It’s probably my kidneys,” I think to myself. “My body needs the water.”

That thought quickly leaves only to be replaced with this:

“Who gives a fuck if my kidneys fail right now! Screw it! I am not going to drink anymore water.”

I open my laptop and sit at my kitchen table while trying to stuff waffles in my mouth.

I notice I can’t swallow.

I chew longer.

I still can’t swallow. There is a massive lump in my throat preventing me from swallowing anything.

I add my chocolate almond milk to the mix hoping that the waffles will go down a bit easier. I try hard to swallow and muster up the ability but I feel every bit of the waffles travel down my esophagus and into my stomach.

“Maybe I will choke to death?” I think. “Keep eating.”

I am catching up on messages from friends. Nothing is helping. The tears well-up and I just want to wail. My kidneys hurt. I have only talked with my Stillbirthday family about all I am enduring but nothing they say is really helping. In fact, it almost seems condescending. I am not sure why. I had been struggling this week about my Stillbirthday family and contemplated shutting myself out. Then this happens. It was so weird. I think it’s because I had been feeling so alone and distant from them that now, all of a sudden, they were all there. I hated what I was feeling and just wanted to feel better.

As I perused my newsfeed, I had a strong feeling that I needed to document todays appointment. I felt I needed to have a photographer there to capture my grief. I was scared to even mention it to my husband. I quickly asked my miscarriage and stillbirth network if there were any photographers available for a different kind of session. One person, who already knew about my loss, responded with a possible photographer but everyone else kind of remained silent.

After 45 minutes or so, I couldn’t wait much longer, I needed an answer as we would all be leaving for the appointment soon. I posted, “Would it change anyone’s mind if they knew this request was for me?” It wasn’t very long before I received a few private messages and someone who knew someone that could be there.

I had never heard of this person and wasn’t sure I could even let them into such a private and vulnerable space but I needed to because for some reason, I needed this documented. I told my friend to coordinate it for me and gave her all our info. The next step was asking my husband if he was okay with this.

As soon as he finished his shower, just 45 minutes before our appointment time, I asked him. His response, “If this is something you need, I am okay with it.” It was a loving response. I loved him so much right now. We were both hurting so much. I had just heard him crying hard while he was in the shower and it killed me.

I decide to take a quick shower and blow dry my hair. I pick an outfit for the day. My maternity jeans and a pink shirt. I had just started wearing maternity jeans and even though I know my baby died, I was still pregnant. This baby was still within my womb.

A friend came over to watch Timmy while hubby and I went to this appointment. I didn’t want to have to worry about entertaining Timmy while I had a bunch of questions. I knew my husband would end up stepping into the hall when Timmy began to get restless. It would be nice to just be alone together to grieve.

I was nervous for the appointment and having the photographer there. As much as I wanted the photos, I had no idea what she would take pictures of. I almost wished she didn’t show up.

When we got to the clinic, we were greeted by the ladies that help you get checked in using the self-service kiosks. I blew past one of them to the first empty kiosk. The lady kept trying to get my attention to ask if I need help. I didn’t say anything to her and just ignored her as best I could. She finally left me alone with “let me know if you need any assistance.”

“JUST SHUT UP! PLEASE!” was going through my head.

The woman next to me was in distress. She was an elderly woman, probably in her late 70’s and she was struggling with the digital technology. She had one of the greeters attempting to help her and all she kept repeating was, “Why do we have to check ourselves in? What happened to talking with a real person to get checked in?” I was glad for the kiosk but I completely understood this woman’s frustration. There is no personalization anymore. It’s all digital.

I notice something this time though, as I am checking in. I have a co-pay. Ugh! I am no longer an OB patient so I have to pay the specialist fee. Just yesterday, I didn’t have to pay. This was adding insult to injury. It was my first sign that I was no longer “pregnant.”

We finish checking in and we wait for the photographer. I sat while hubby stood by me. We were so solemn and had distant looks on our faces. I wondered what people thought of us. We decided to head to OBGYN and I would text my friend who set all this up.

I soon got a text from the photographer that she was here and ran into her in front of the laboratory. It was an awkward introduction. She sat in front of me as we waited for our appointment. I tried to make small talk. I needed something to break the silence. It was deafening. Little did we know that one of hubby’s work buddies was sitting two chairs down. He was very glad there was no interaction. His eyes were red and filled with tears.

The nurse called me back to the room and we all went together. No photos were taken until we made it to the room. The ultrasound machine was brought in. We were all squeezed in there. Hubby held me as I sat at the end of the exam table. I just started bawling. He started bawling and I heard the snap of the camera.

I looked up at hubby and I told him I was sorry. Somehow, I felt like this was my fault. He comforted me. I got undressed and sat waiting for our midwife. I explained who the photographer was and asked for permission. She granted it. She was very accommodating to the situation.

As I was violated once again with the ultrasound transducer wand, we stared at the screen and hoped yesterday’s ultrasound was wrong. The baby was found easily today and our midwife took a measurement. I forgot to ask her what the measurement was. I asked for a picture but I think she thought I was talking to the photographer because I never got one.

Our midwife used all the same tools as the previous day. As she explained everything, I could hear my husband crying. This made me cry. I tried not to lose it because then we wouldn’t see the baby at all. Our midwife said, “I’m sorry Elizabeth, but this is the same outcome as yesterday.” She turned off the machine and our baby was gone. We would never see our baby again.

I got dressed and composed myself. We had lots of questions about the procedure and all we wanted to accomplish. I explained that I was very worried about delivering at home and having the tools available to catch and preserve the baby. Our midwife was so accommodating. She provided me with everything and more. Sterile cups and gloves, saline, and a hat for the toilet so our baby wouldn’t have to fall in the toilet.

Sterile

I was so grateful for her and the understanding she had for this baby. She was trying to preserve this baby’s dignity as well. She was treating this baby as she would her own child. This made the situation so much more comforting. She was a true blessing during this difficult time. I believe God put her in our lives for this reason. She is only two weeks from retirement. I couldn’t have imagined going through this without her.

Miscarriage Series – Day 1

My midwife turned to me and said, “I’m sorry Elizabeth, I no longer see a heartbeat.” We both knew what that meant. She was gentle and empathetic. It looked like this pained her too. That was comforting.

I tried to comprehend what was taking place. There were no tears, not yet. Just questions and acceptance of what I saw. My baby had died. I looked over to my friend who was keeping Timmy occupied. Timmy, smiled and giggled. He kept saying, “Hi Mama!” I wanted to vomit. I looked for tears or some look on my friends face. I don’t recall seeing anything but a straight face.

I didn’t want to see sympathy. I was looking for something that meant this hurt for her too. I may have missed it. I knew she was hurting for me. We both had hoped for a different outcome. I wondered what her thoughts were when she volunteered to come with me.

My midwife told me I could get dressed and she would return in a few minutes. As I began to move off the table, I felt a piercing pain in my upper butt cheek. It was another reminder of what we are losing. The twice weekly shots of progesterone my husband learned how to give to me, will no longer be needed.  I let this sink in for just a moment.

When my midwife returned, she explained things, saying some of the standard, “You didn’t do anything wrong. Sometimes this just happens.” I know. It’s not something that needs to be explained to me. It hurts.

Some tears begin to flow. I don’t remember much after that. I just know that my friend came over to hold me as the tears streamed down my face. Someone gave me a tissue. There was no, “why.” Things became matter-of-fact for me. We talked a bit as my midwife explained she would call me later and that I did not have to make any decisions right now.

I remember asking about a D&C and if there was any possible way we could have one tomorrow. I didn’t know if I wanted it but I was on autopilot. She said she would try. I also explained I wanted testing and mostly wanted confirmation of this baby’s sex. She promised she would order the testing for me.

We left…empty handed.

As I stood in the hallway outside the OBGYN clinic, I noticed a message on my phone. My husband was asking if he could call. It was 9:58am. I replied with a text but my phone was having trouble sending because it was going in between Wi-Fi and 4G service.

I tell my friend that my husband wants to talk to me. “Should I tell him now?” I ask her. “He is in a class and I know he will want to leave. It will be hard for him to finish the day.” She explained that this is serious and he would want to know. I slid my finger across my husbands name which initiated the call.

He answered.

“Are you okay?”

I mumbled, “yes.”

“How did everything go?” he replied.

I became silent. My mind was searching for the right words. How do I tell him his baby has died?

After a long pause and him repeating his words I released all I could, “Our baby has died.”

“Oh NO!

I don’t remember much after that. At some point we hung up. I don’t even remember if we said we loved each other. I sat on some benches in the hallway near the laboratory. I sat quietly, thinking about what calendar events were coming up that I wouldn’t be able to handle. I sent a text to my teaching partner explaining I couldn’t teach this weekend. She didn’t respond.

I called the realtor that was scheduled to come to our home. We were about to put our house on the market. This baby would need their own room and our house wasn’t bit enough. I tried to push the rambling thoughts of “what are we going to do now,” out of my mind.

“Hi there! We have an appointment at noon today but I am afraid I have to cancel again. I am pregnant and just found out our baby died.” I felt good about keeping my emotions together, mostly. She expressed her condolences and we hung up.

I called my boss. I think this teaching issue will take more than just my partner working through this. She didn’t answer and I left a message. It was an emotional, broken message. I could tell that I didn’t do a good job explaining what I needed when she called back. I had to explain it all again. She was very sorry and said she would take care of rescheduling everyone. I was thankful she had a full understanding of loss.

At that point, I had spent a good 30 more minutes inside the clinic. I didn’t want to leave. It was hard to do so. Leaving meant it was all over. Staying meant we could still be suspended in what-if’s. Leaving meant moving forward. I didn’t want to move anywhere but backwards. I wanted to go back to the time when my baby’s heart was beating.

When I return to my home, I notice the pink sticky note my husband had left for me that day. His words, now more meaningful then ever. They cut so deeply for me.

note

You are extraordinary!

I love you so much.

I’m sorry I cannot be here for you today.

I will pray for you and our baby all day today

I love you

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– Breaking the silence of First Trimester Miscarriage
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