As We….Proceed: Part 2

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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.

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24 responses »

  1. I thank the Lord for you. I thank Him for giving you the strength to share this story in such a transparent way. I thank YOU for not continuing the silence about something that, like you said, once you survey your crew, 80% have experienced yet never mentioned. Thank you for reminding us that each conception, each pregnancy, and each birth is a miracle made possible by our Lord and never to take any of those stages for granted. I love you!

  2. First, let me begin by saying Dawn and the Covin family, I am truly sorry for your loss. Secondly, THANK YOU for sharing! As I’m writing, I am trembling as my emotions are all over the place. I know the pain and hurt you felt on that day and the days after.

    For my story is similar and yes, just as you stated 4 out 5 woman have been through this ordeal and I am one. Writing and talking with women who where going through the same thing where a Godsend. I love babycenter.com! I was 27 weeks pregnant with identical twin boys, I voted for Obama on Nov. 4, 2008 and I was doing what I love, teaching kindergartners. On Nov 7 @ 10:10 am my whole world turned upside down. The boys weren’t playing like usual and I called the doctor and they brought me in right away reassuring me they where probably tired from my FL trip the week before (mind you I went to get checked before I left and saw my perinatologist). They checked for their heartbeats and nothing, they said “maybe something is wrong w/the doppler, let’s do an ultrasound” and sure enough my babies where gone. No warning, no sign, no nothing. I was there alone because I told my husband I’m sure everything is fine and it wasn’t.

    Fast forward to present day, I am the proud mommy of a rainbow baby boy born May 18, 2010 a day before my birthday. Weeping may endure of the night but joy cometh in the morning. Thank you so much for this blog!

    Sorry for the long post and any grammatical errors.

    • Vivian, thank you for reading and commenting. I also want to thank you for the courage to trust again and I am so happy that you have your ‘rainbow’ baby 🙂 I know many will be encouraged to find hope through your willingness to share. *Hugs*
      (btw, it wasn’t long and I didn’t see any grammatical errors, and even if I did, I wouldn’t even care 🙂

  3. Thank you for sharing. I had two miscarriages within 6 months, both of which were blighted ovum pregnancies (defective sperm meets egg). The first had been a planned pregnancy, the second was an “oops, I miscalculated my fertile time” baby, but I grieved nonetheless for her/his loss. I was sure that I’d done something wrong. Was it the sushi I ate or the bleach that I used to clean the bathroom in a burst of “nesting”? At the time I believed that spirits choose the women that they come through for THEIR own reasons, so I was able to relinquish any guilt that I felt about feeling responsible for the miscarriage and the ambivalence I felt towards the 2nd pregnancy. After the second miscarriage, I told my “rock” Valentin, that I was too emotionally drained to try again and said that I wanted to wait for a year. I continued breastfeeding Zen, who was 2 1/2 at the time, since I thought “he might be the only baby I ever have.” However, later that year, I felt better and conceived my darling Zazu in September. Funny thing is that my milk dried up the day that Zen turned 3. “No more milk until the baby comes”, I told him. “That’s OK, Mommy. The baby can have that breast and I’ll take the other one!”

    I particularly like what you write,” most importantly I learned the value of every one of my children, they all teach me, even the ones that I never see.” Right now Zazu is teaching me to get on Facebook while he’s asleep.

  4. Wow, thanks for your openness and know that you aren’t alone. We had 5 miscarriages before Hiram so I am know what you guys are going through. I am here if you ever need a listening ear. Praying for peace and comfort,
    Love you guys

  5. DAWN! THANK YOU seems so insufficient but I’ll say it anyway…..THANK YOU for opening up your heart to share this. We have been gone from Atlanta for 4 years now but I felt like I was sitting with you in your living room listening. I have so much more to tell you but I will save it for the conversation we’re far overdue for. We love you and we send you big hugs and kisses from the Beaner fam. Talk soon!

  6. Thank you for sharing such a personal story. I think no one talks about it until there is reason to and usually that time is when someone else goes through it. I experienced the same some 20 years ago at 26 weeks gestation. So I actually had to go through labor and delivery. The worst feeling was leaving the hospital empty handed after having to labor and push the baby out. An experience that haunted me and caused me a lot a stress through my pregnancy with Kai. Please know that you are in the majority, almost every woman I know has experienced the same. God provided the comfort I eventually found. I finally let go and put my trust in knowing that God knows exactly what He is doing. Babies are blessings and most importantly they are a part of important experiences/lessons God gives us and expects us to benefit from (seen and unseen).

    • Wow Rhonda, I am so sorry. I cannot imagine. You bring up something that I often think about. If God decides to bless us with another child, how will I manage my fears? I guess I will do exactly what you said “..let go and put my trust in knowing that God knows exactly what He is doing”. *Hugs* to you and your gift Kai 🙂

  7. I remember my miscarriage like it was Yesterday. There is nothing worse than seeing no heartbeat on the monitor. Nothing worse than waiting. I chose to have a D&C because my body just wouldn’t do the work for me. Thanks for sharing your story.

  8. Thank you for sharing. These stories are as important as our birth stories. I think women don’t share until as Rhonda said, “there is a reason to.” You share when it happens to you and when it happens to someone you care about. I’ve wondered if it should at least be mentioned in birth books, but first time mothers have enough to worry about. Thank you for giving a voice too your husband’s feelings too. Fathers feelings are often overlooked. I love you guys and you are always in my prayers.

  9. I love you Cat and thank you for being my listening ear while I waited for my pizza and wings the night I found out I was pregnant :).
    I will always cherish our friendship. I am always free to tell you EXACTLY how I feel, even when I am ashamed to have the words pass my lips. I love you!

  10. You help me remember that all these children are not promised…that every heartbeat, every normal scan, every routine doctor’s visit is a gift. I won’t take these flutterings for granted.

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