Today I’m sharing a very personal and honest story, and one I greatly debated not sharing at all. But, much like a lot of other serious topics, this one seems to be swept under the rug. Nothing seems to help more than reading similar experiences when you’re going through something, and knowing you’re not alone is a comfort. So, maybe this will help someone.
2019 Edit: Reading this again, nearly a year and a half later, gives me chills. It also restores my faith that God knew what he was doing. As sad as I will always be that our second baby was taken from us after just 8 weeks, I couldn’t imagine our lives without our precious son, Barrett. Barrett is our rainbow baby, and I will never take that for granted. Miscarriage is so common, and if you have experienced it, I am so sorry your heart has had to go there. And if you simply know someone who’s experienced a miscarriage, reach out to them. Let them know you’re thinking about them.
That was supposed to be my due date. But, it’s not anymore.
Saturday night, right before I went to bed, I noticed the tiniest hint of pink on some toilet paper. It was so light, I even asked Adam if he thought it looked pink. “That’s weird,” I told him, “I’ve heard it can be normal though…” So I went to bed without thinking (or worrying) too much about it.
I slept like a rock, and woke up immediately remembering what I’d seen, and wondered if I’d see it again. I googled “8 weeks pregnant light pink spotting” about a million different ways before coming to the conclusion that I should be 50% concerned, 50% not worried. I hopped up to pee, and lo and behold, another tiny amount of pink. No more than the night before, and not any darker. Just barely, barely there.
Maybe an hour later, we were rushing around trying to get ready for church, fighting with Adeline as usual over which pink shoes she should wear, when I stopped to pee one more time. This time though, my gut feeling that I knew to be true, was right there, plain as day. Bright, red blood. My heart sank, and I ran to Adam in tears explaining that I was bleeding and we shouldn’t go to church this morning. We quickly called his mom for her advice and she suggested taking it easy, skipping church, and laying down to relax. I’m sure we both knew what I was in for, but hoped for the best. I wavered back and forth between letting Adam take Adeline to church, but I really just didn’t want to be alone. So, we all 3 hunkered down on the couch for a marathon morning of Netflix movies, not talking much about the elephant in the room that was so blatantly obvious.
Throughout the morning, I held back tears. It was like sitting around waiting for doomsday. I knew in my heart that I was about to miscarry, and I wasn’t naive about what it meant. I knew that bright red blood during the first trimester rarely turned out to be benign, and after connecting several dots and gut feelings from the past few weeks, I knew it was inevitable. It made sense, but it didn’t sharpen the blow anymore. I never felt sick, and with Adeline I was puking everyday by 6.5 weeks. I knew something wasn’t right when I continued to feel completely fine.
To make things worse, I was helpless. It was a Sunday morning so I couldn’t call my Dr, who I hadn’t even met yet because we hadn’t even had our first appointment. I thought about calling their on-call line, or even my old Dr’s on-call line, but what was the point? I knew there was nothing that could be done but to wait it out. I thought about all the rare what-if’s, but knew I was wasting energy being hopeful for something that wouldn’t be.
As the morning went on, every time I’d pee, there would be blood. Kind of like when you’re starting your period and each time you pee you can tell it’s getting stronger and stronger. I still didn’t need to use a pad or anything though, and somehow that was comforting. I thought, maybe it’s not that bad if I’m not bleeding heavily. Maybe I will be that one in a million with the random prenatal condition that made me bleed at 8 weeks. I continued to hydrate, and monitor it each time I went to the bathroom. But each time I went to the bathroom, it only got worse. It was like I was on a roller coaster I couldn’t stop. I started to fear getting up to pee because I knew there would be more, and more, and more blood. More clots, more anger, and more tears. It was like a knife to the heart every time, and I wished I could just hold it and ignore it. Maybe if I just didn’t pee, it would stop. How could this be happening? My pregnancy with Adeline was practically perfect.
By now it was lunchtime, and Adam decided to take Adeline to Costco to get some energy out and pick up some dollar hot dogs. We’d been laying around all morning, so I knew Adeline needed to get some wiggles out before nap time. I think she could sense that something was wrong with Mommy. While I laid on the couch, she laid right beside me. She never left my side. That girl – she’s the best.
All afternoon, this continued until finally I was bleeding so much that there was no way around it. It was definitely pad time, and for some reason that was so discouraging. I knew, I just knew it was the real deal. Adam and Adeline came home a couple hours later, and we got her down for a nap. While she napped, we watched a show on Netflix and I cried intermittently and felt silly because we’d just told Adam’s family we were expecting literally the day before. Great timing, huh?
I started to cramp around 4 or 5, but by then I was SO SICK of sitting around waiting for the worst that I told Adam I wanted to get out of the house and go to dinner. I knew what was happening, I knew it was only going to get worse, I knew there was no stopping it, and either I sit on the couch and bleed at home and cry my eyes out, or we go to dinner with Adeline and try to be happy for her sake. We packed up, put on a pad the size of a mattress, and drove straight to Rosa’s for dinner. Screw all of this, I’m at least going to eat good Mexican food during the crappiest moment of my life.
You want to know what’s hard? Going out in public when you know you’re actively losing a pregnancy. You want to know what’s really sucky? Sitting around eating dinner as a family, smiling and laughing, but bleeding so much you’re wondering if you should go change your pad. You want to know what’s really annoying? Seeing what feels like a billion pregnant women at the restaurant. Sure, we could have stayed home, in our cave, wallowing in self pity, but what’s the point? Life goes on, and by this point it didn’t matter where we were. We would get through it as a family and keep our spirits up around Adeline.
After dinner, my cramps were really, really starting to hurt. It felt like really bad menstrual cramps – the kind of pain you don’t want to feel when you’re pregnant. We decided it was still too early to put Adeline to bed, and too hot outside to take her to a park, so we went to Cabela’s to walk around. By the time we got there though, I was hurting more and more. We walked around and showed Adeline all of the animals, which she loved, while I tried to ignore the painful cramps. We smiled and talked to the associates, while I pretended like I wasn’t in fact bleeding and cramping constantly. Nothing to see here, folks. Just a normal family outing. We didn’t stay long, as they were closing early with it being Sunday night. But, as we were leaving I told Adam we needed to rush home because I was cramping so bad and felt like I was really starting to bleed a good bit more.
When we got home, I hurried inside and took care of myself while Adam started to get Adeline ready for bed. She of course wanted Mommy, so I spent some extra time reading with her before she finally laid down.
And then I laid down, and things just kind of, tapered off. I laid on the couch while Adam watched Game of Thrones, and by 10 I could feel myself falling asleep. We went to bed, I let out a few more tears, and passed out.
Monday morning, I woke up feeling like maybe the events from the day before hadn’t really happened. Maybe I’d dreamed that. Maybe it was a fluke episode and everything would be ok. I called my Dr’s office as soon as they opened and left a message for the nurse to call me, explaining what had happened. She called me back shortly after and after some back and forth with the doctor, they decided to work me in so they could see me that day. We were already scheduled for what-would-have-been our first prenatal appointment on Tuesday (today), but I really, really wanted to be seen immediately. We both got ready as quick as we could, and headed in.
I thought I would be emotional at the doctor’s office, and feel more rage towards the glowing pregnant bellies in the waiting room. But I was just so tired I really didn’t care. That is, until they brought us back into the sonogram room and there was a stupid bear on the wall that said, “record your baby’s heartbeat in this bear as a keepsake!” and a part of me wanted to take that bear, and flush it down the toilet along with everything else I’d flushed the day before. And maybe punch someone. And then I cried and told Adam it was stupid that we had to do this, but whatever. We’d survive. I’m pretty sure I snapped at the U/S tech when she walked in saying, “ok so you should be about 8 weeks now, how are you feeling?”. I sarcastically told her that we were here because I knew I’d miscarried the day before. Oh how I wish she’d read my file first. It’s not her fault, and I feel bad now for being snippy.
The U/S tech started the sonogram, and I knew exactly what she was going to say. It couldn’t have been more obvious. There was nothing there. No signs of a pregnancy remained. Even if I’d never seen an ultrasound before I’d know what I was looking at. There on the screen in front of us was a totally empty uterus.
I didn’t cry. I thought I would, but I didn’t. I didn’t even tear up. I just wanted to get it over with, talk to the doctor, and move on. She told us she didn’t see any evidence of a pregnancy, and that my body had already let nature run its course, which meant I wouldn’t need a D&C. After she was done, we sat down to talk with the doctor, and then had a quick exam.
After talking with the doctor, I felt…better? Reassured? Comforted? Confused? Sad? I’m not sure. She answered all of our questions, in detail, and remained absolutely positive that we weren’t at risk for another miscarriage, nor did she think we’d have trouble conceiving again. Since we had a healthy toddler at home that we got pregnant with right away, and since we got pregnant in just a couple months this time, she wasn’t concerned at all. The type of miscarriage we had, according to our doctor, is the most common kind, and best worst case scenario. If that makes sense. She said we’re in no way high-risk in the future, which was encouraging. She does want to monitor my hormone levels closely though as soon as we become pregnant again.
We had bloodwork done and were just told to call back once we got another positive pregnancy test. And that was that. (We got the results back today and unfortunately they require a little more testing, but I’m keeping those details to myself.)
Afterwards, Adam and I went to a nice lunch, and just spent some time together before picking up Adeline later in the day. We actually went and picked out a new dining room table because there’s nothing like a little retail therapy. I continued to cramp pretty strong throughout the day, kind of like that deep after-birth ache you feel when your uterus is shrinking back down. I took some Tylenol and that seemed to dull things, but nothing dulled how crappy the day actually was.
So how am I doing? Honestly? It sucks. It really sucks. I’m sad, and not feeling like myself. I’m pissed off, and I’m frustrated that I’m having to deal with this. And I’m angry and bitter towards every pregnant person I see, and annoyed by all the pregnancy announcements that now seem to be flooding my social media accounts. (As I’m typing this Ginger Zee just announced on GMA…so…that’s great.) I’m also just really tired, physically and emotionally. I had already thought ahead 9 months, but who wouldn’t? This would have been a spring baby, and we would have shared a birthday month. It was exactly what I was hoping for. But, it just wasn’t meant to be, for reasons I still don’t understand.
Looking back though, I’m not 100% surprised by everything. They say a mother’s intuition is always right, and I truly believe that. From the day we got a positive pregnancy test, I never felt good about it. I never felt confident that I was really pregnant, but tried to convince myself that I was. I was extra tired after all, and my boobs were sore, so that had to count for something, right? I shrugged off the thought that no morning sickness meant something might not be right because “every pregnancy is different.” But, it just never felt right. I took 6 pregnancy tests because I was so nervous. I was so sick with Adeline so early on, I just couldn’t imagine suddenly having a near symptom-free pregnancy. Turns out, my gut was onto something.
We’re trying to stay positive, and I’m already looking forward to trying again. Whenever that may be. More than anything I just want to move on, and get the next show on the road. I can’t wait to give Adeline a sibling, but know it will only happen in God’s good timing. This was such a wakeup call that our own timing ultimately means nothing. There’s someone else in control, as hard as that is to accept. It’s also a strong reminder that pregnancy is a miracle, and life is oh so precious. It’s amazing how many things have to line up exactly right to produce a healthy pregnancy.
If you made it this far, I hope it’s not because you’ve experienced something similar. I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy. But if you have, I now understand. I feel like I’ve joined a unique club amongst mothers, and earned a new battle scar. It’s certainly not a club I ever wanted to join, but I know it’s just another bump in the road.