If you didn’t read Part 1, please start here.
She kept circling my stomach. We could hear my heartbeat. She asked me if I was ok, and told her I was. She tried for another minute or so and then she said she thought it was just too early. Hmmmm. She blamed it on her doppler. It wasn’t the most sophistacted. I cautiously accepted it, but I had never ‘not’ heard any of my babies through a doppler. I tried to remember how early it had been detected previously. Of course I googled “How soon can a doppler pick up a heartbeat”. That didn’t help.
I walked out to the truck (ODC and G4 stayed in the car because she was sleeping) and ODC gave me the thumbs up through the glass. It was like he was asking was everything ok. When I got in the car, I told her she didn’t get a heartbeat, but it was probably just too early. We stopped at IHop on the way home. (More comfort food). I tried to sort out my feelings. Maybe I really wasn’t pregnant! My life could go on without trying to figure out how I could ever get a sitter for 5 children. Who in the world actually works with 5 children?!?, I asked myself. ODC was pretty low key about everything, but made it clear that he wouldn’t be ok if something was wrong.
It was Saturday morning and I was going to run at Stone Mountain. I was going to take G4 with me in the jogging stroller. I put her on the potty and then I went to the bathroom. Whoa..is this blood? I called ODC. I was bleeding. I tried to remain calm and decided that I better not go run so I spent the rest of the day in bed. I called my midwife, who I had seen the week before and she told me to wait and see. I knew it was too late for implantation bleeding and of course good old Google helped me find several stories from women who bled throughout their pregnancy or at one time or another and went on to have healthy babies. I spent alot of time talking to one of my closest friends. She had recently expereinced two miscarriages and she was very supportive, informative and most importantly, positive.
The next day, I was still bleeding. I decided to stay home from church and take it easy. When Monday arrived and the bleeding continued, I knew it was time to go to the doctor. (OBs are for problems, midwives are for normal births.)
Thankfully I was able to get an appointment for that same afternoon. We found a sitter for the Gs and ODC and I made our way to the doctor’s office. I was starting to get nervous. Even though I wasn’t thrilled about being pregnant, AGAIN, I never thought that I could LOSE the baby! We get called back and everyone is treating me like this is a routine, first prenatal visit. All the normal questions and precautions were given. I was even offered prenatal vitamins. I was feeling optimistic. I was told that they noticed some blood in my urine, but couldn’t be sure if there was an issue without some further checking.
I had not had an ultrasound since G1, over 10 years ago. I was a first time mom, and although we didn’t want to know the sex, I just assumed it was required. My subsequent midwives made it more optional, and since there were no problems, we didn’t elect to have one. My body was literally trembling, I was so nervous, “just let there be a heartbeat”. The doctor pointed out some things I can’t remember, then finally, she pointed to the baby. Deep exhale. That day, I was 11 weeks pregnant, but the baby was measuring 7 weeks and there was no heartbeat, it was a “missed miscarriage”.
The doctor was very sincere and shared that she too had experienced a miscarriage more than once. I was doing ok. ODC, of course, was my rock. She gave us a minute to determine whether or not we wanted to schedule the D&C. I started feeling like I didn’t have enough time to process it all. I was scheduled to go back to NY soon and didn’t know if I wanted to risk the uncertainty of things so far from home. I had some blood work done, just in case, and we left. This was a time I desperately missed my mom. I needed to hear her voice, her genuine concern, and her reliable words of comfort.
Once I was in the car, it actually hit me and the tears began to fall. In my mind, I thought I would find out that everything was fine, or the whole thing was a fluke; I was never pregnant to begin with! I wasn’t crazy about my menopause theory, but it would have been better than this! I started reflecting on the past few weeks, and how things never seemed quite right. I would always tell people “I’m not worried, but I am concerned that I don’t have any real symptoms”. I recalled how on that prior Friday, the day before the bleeding started, I came home from the gym, dropped my bag and immediately started cleaning the kitchen, for about four hours! I cleared the clutter, I rearranged things (this was not normal for me, I struggle with the domestic side of things). It was like the typical nesting that happens right before you give birth. My body knew.
ODC had an emotional moment, but immediately went into supporter mode. Krispy Kreme, Chick-fi-la AND Zaxby’s were the stops we made before going home to break the news to the Gs. (Do you see the reoccurring theme of comfort food throughout this ).
The girls were heartbroken. They were so disappointed. They cried. They asked a lot of questions; “Where is the baby now?” “Was it a boy or a girl?” ODC and I tried to answer the best that we could. But like most children, they are very resilient and by the next day their main question was “Where are we going today?”
We decided to forgo the D&C and thanks to God’s mercy, my trip back to New York the following week, was conveniently canceled by my engagement manager. She had no idea what had happened, so I knew it was God who was working everything out for us. I had an additional week before I had to return to New York, so I waited for the awful cramps and the heavy bleeding, but it never happened. Quietly and peacefully, my body did the work to end the pregnancy.
I received so much support and encouragement from friends, IRL and on-line. I found out just how common miscarriages are. If I told 5 people, 4 of them had experienced one. My midwife told me that so many ‘late’ periods are actually early miscarriages, but because of the widespread use of EPTs, we know we are pregnant so much sooner. I didn’t understand the silence. Maybe it’s because I am an oversharer, but why didn’t women talk about this? I know the answer is complicated. How does guilt make its way into something that you have no control over? I found myself feeling bad because I wasn’t initially happy about pregnant, then I started feeling bad because I wasn’t feeling bad anymore!
God, in His infinite wisdom, created our bodies to work perfectly. I learned the value of knowing mine. I learned the value of a 27 1/2 year relationship with someone who has been by my side during the best and worst days of my life. I learned the value of lining up my heart with my mind to truly accept His will. But most importantly I learned the value of every one of my children, they all teach me, even the ones that I never see.