Missed miscarriage is the ultimate betrayal of my body I’ve endured so far. Baby died at 8 weeks 2 days, and wasn’t known until my ultrasound at 9 weeks. It’s been so hard to come to terms with a body that I feel is almost an enemy, save for the fact that I give it some credit for giving me one living child, but has “killed” 4, it’s been a strange relationship to say the least. And now suddenly it wanted to hold on to the baby it could not save in the first place? Like it had to find a new way to make me suffer. It’s weird when you find yourself in a war…with yourself.
During the time before labor started, it was a very strange time for me, knowing he/she was still inside of me, but dead. I had a second ultrasound, not in hopes anything would be different, but to just see my little lifeless baby floating around one last time for closure, to savor the little stubby arms and legs, to grieve the stillness where the little heartbeat should be. During that time I wanted to talk to him/her, like I did when he/she was alive, but I knew he/she couldn’t hear me anymore, and it crushed me. I stayed up after my daughter and husband went to bed listening to ‘Be still my soul” by Kari Jobe on repeat, crying until my head hurt so bad I fell asleep. I wore big hoodies even though I wasn’t quite showing yet, I was afraid of someone looking at my tiny belly and wondering if I was. I didn’t go out, aside from necessity, and unfortunately Thanksgiving happened during this time, which is when I had planned to tell my family. I went to bed one night, seeing my pregnancy pillow I had just bought before the ultrasound, on my bed, and I just burst into tears. My husband quietly put it away. I had a whole month of these moments, a whole month to think and feel in the gap between life and death.
Labor did not come until 4 weeks later (so 5 weeks after he/she died) and lasted over the course of a week. I had felt I was handling the whole thing pretty well until the contractions and bleeding started. Then it all hit me in an instant, and I just crumbled. The pains were identical to contractions, the urge to push and everything. The bleeding was terrifying, at one point I soaked 4 pads in 1 hour, and was on the verge of going to the E.R. at my husband’s urging, when I passed the placenta almost completely intact, and the bleeding lightened to 1 pad an hour. As awful as that was, seeing the terrified and broken look on my husband’s face as he watched me go through this, was worse. And yet, that time, after 13 years together, 5 years of marriage, and all the trials that time brings, it also brought us closer than I ever realized we could be.
The week after the bleeding stopped, I was still cramping intensely, so my OBGYN called in a prescription for Cytotec. I struggled so intensely over taking it, because I had opted to do this naturally, and had come so far and wanted to complete this process on my own, because I somehow felt that the only way to make amends with my body, after hating it so much for “not working right” I needed to know I could at least do this. I finally broke down and took it for fear of infection because it had gone on so long…and it did nothing. It didn’t work for me. So then I was furious that I had put this medication I was against in the first place into my body for nothing! A few days later I had a transvaginal ultrasound scheduled to see if everything had been passed. The scan revealed it hadn’t, and that night I passed one last large chunk, which got stuck half way inside/outside of me. I was freaking out not knowing what to do or what exactly it was. So after 2 hours of not passing it, pissed off at the entire situation, I pulled it out, just wanting this all to be over and not caring at that moment if it was an internal organ or not. Thank God it wasn’t. I had my final HCG test the day before Christmas eve, and it finally showed it was all over and done with- almost 7 weeks total from being told there was no heartbeat to being back to Hcg 0.
I share this because many women with missed miscarriage are faced with the decision to have a D&C or pass it naturally. I am so, so at peace with my decision, as it was what I needed to heal spiritually, and it gave me the chance to feel the pain I needed to feel and have that closure. I was able to find what I believe were my baby’s remains, and inter him/her, and that really was a blessing for me. Digging through the contents of my womb sure didn’t feel like it at the time. My living daughter was a c-section after failed induction, so to feel the moment my baby passed vaginally was actually empowering and meaningful for me. But please, let me tell you, miscarriage is ugly in one way or another because it is not the outcome we desired. All of mine were bloody and painful and awful. But this one far exceeds the others. I judge no woman who opts for a D&C, if that is what will best mend you and heal you, this is your pain and only you can decide the best way to bear it. In the midst of it all I called myself a fool for not having one, it was so painful on so many levels. It’s an awful decision to an awful ending to what was supposed to be a beautiful story.
All the stories I had read online ended with the women finding the tiny beautiful body of their baby, 5, 6, 7 weeks gestation, and they held it and cried, took pictures, and buried them or some other form of interment. Mine was not that way. There was so much blood and such large sized clots and placenta, and tissue, and it had been so long since he/she died, I never was able to clearly define what was my baby. I just kept everything I knew was placenta, that first bullet shaped clot, and one large clump that my gut told me was the baby encapsulated in a clot. So for me it was disappointment on top of disappointment, the whole reason I had endured this was because all I wanted was to at least be able to see my baby. I learned there was even an ugly side to the ugly side. If not for my relationship with God, it was definitely something that could’ve broken me. I share this for anyone who may be faced with this decision or has in the past, and feels they didn’t get the beautiful ugly they had hoped for, you are not alone.
But after it is all said and done, I am at peace. I am content with my decision and find blessing in the way it all happened. It is well with my soul as they say. I am grateful to have relived this just now because it’s something I avoid thinking about, the details anyways. This past weekend our little family went on a mini camping trip, and my husband and I decided we are going to actively start trying again. So telling this, I feel the weight of this decision.
I am fully aware of what could happen in both the positive and negative. I stand in this garden of hope, watered from this storm, in awe of my past present and future. No matter the outcome, the only thing I am sure of is that should heartbreak come my way again, I will find my way back here, to this garden of peace that only grows after the rain. I endured the flood waters, and have planted my seeds, now I can only pray to bear the fruit.
Category : Sheila , Volunteer Bloggers