When my 3rd child was 23 months old, I found that I was expecting my 4th. I was excited, because I have always enjoyed being pregnant, and seeing my belly grow. I love the movements that the baby makes, and the little hiccups. Of course, there are the not so pleasant pregnancy symptoms like nausea/ cramps/ back pain/ etc, but I really did enjoy growing another baby in my womb.
My son, who was a middle child- and the only boy in the family, was praying every night for a brother. His reasoning was that his sisters had each other, so he needed a brother now, too.
My pregnancy went by uneventful, until 9 weeks. One evening, I felt something hot and sticky, and realized I was spotting bright red blood. Of course, I panicked, so I called the midwife on call. She told me that some women spot during pregnancy, so as long as its not heavy, or accompanied by cramps, I should be fine. But a week later, I started having terrible back pain, and more spotting. So I went in for an ultrasound. But it showed that all was ok. The baby in the right place, the heart beating perfectly.
Confused, and worried, I went home. Women around me reassured me that spotting is normal, and told their own stories how they spotted or bled throughout the whole pregnancy. That didn't sound like fun for me. I had 3 babies so far, and never had any bleeding with them. So I resigned to have a 'different' pregnancy. As long as the baby was fine, I didn't mind.
I would go to the park, or on nature walks with my children, trying to ease the stress of my worry away. I felt in peace, and happy after returning home. But at home, every time I had another twinge of back pain, or more spotting, the worry and stress would once again hit me. I was so worried that something could be wrong with the baby, or with the placenta, or with me.
When I was 11 weeks pregnant, I had a huge flow of hot blood, soaking me through. I was sure I was having a miscarriage. I was crying from the worry. It was Friday night, and I declined my husbands offer to take me to the ER. The children were sleeping, so I decided to wait and see. If I kept bleeding heavily, I'd have no choice but to go. Throughout the night I had mild bleeding, some with clots, but I was so tired from all the worry, that I just decided to ignore it until morning.
But the bleeding stopped by morning, so I called my midwife again. She asked if I wanted another ultrasound. I thought about it, and said no. I will wait and see. I was just so sure that I had miscarried, and I couldn't deal with the hospital and testing just then. She scheduled me one in a few days.
I didn't have anymore bleeding nor cramps the next days. When I went in for the ultrasound, I prepared myself to see an empty sac. Much to my surprise, the baby was still alive. But the heartbeat was very high, at 200 bpm. Once again, worry crushed me. Did the baby have some sort of heart defect- I wondered. But then the technician noticed a blood clot behind the placenta. It explained why I was bleeding off and on. This time a doctor called me, and explained that it could mean two things. One, the clot would bleed itself out, and everything would be ok, or, the clot would cause the placenta to peel of the wall, and the baby will die. He was frank and said that chances didn't look good, especially since the heart beat was elevated.
But the next two weeks passed without any more problems. When I was 14 weeks, I had another ultrasound, and the heartbeat was 180. Things were looking good again. The baby looked fine. The clot seemed smaller.
When I was 16 weeks, I started spotting again. I started having pelvic pressure, and back pain again. When I was 17 weeks, I had a dream that the baby had died. The next day I woke up in tears. I called to be checked out. I just knew something was wrong. Friends and family thought I was exaggerating. But I called the office, and asked to be seen.
At the apt, they listened to the babies heart beat. She caught the beating, but didn't count. She reassured me that everything was fine. But I KNEW something wasn't.
Looking back, I realized that it was my heartbeat that she was catching wasn't the baby's, but mine.
2 more weeks went by, and I started having contractions. Real - true labor contractions. It kept on throughout the night. 6 am, I woke up, feeling very odd. I got up to go to the bathroom, and felt this odd pressure between my legs. I barely stepped into the bathroom, and my water broke, gushing out in a huge burst, and out came my baby. I caught him in my hands. At first I just stood there, in shock, the water/blood running down my legs, staring at the tiny baby in my hands. Its like my brain shut down ,and I couldn't understand that I had just birthed my baby.
Finally, gathering my wits around me, I gently lay the baby on the counter top, and I had to sit down on the toilet, and there, I passed the placenta. The house was quiet, everyone was sleeping, and for a few moments, I did not want anyone to wake up, to bother me in this moment of grief. I cleaned myself up, and put on a pad, then cleaned up the floor. Then, on shaking legs I came to look at my baby. Gently I picked him up, and yes, it was a boy, I could so clearly see all body parts. The round little head, the tiny hands and feet. The rib cage. The perfect facial features. He looked like a tiny doll, so perfect and miniature. He fit in my hand. For a few minutes I just stared at my baby. I was in sort of a shock, not really understanding that I had just miscarried. Finally, I called my husband. Together we grieved our son. Then I called the doctor. He wanted me to come in to the ER, so they could check me out.
Throughout the whole miscarriage, going to the hospital was the hardest. I was forced test after test, the impersonal staff not allowing me to grieve. They sent me the social worker, and she talked to me, but all I wanted was to go back home. they measured the baby, and said he was measuring 16-17 weeks. They asked if they wanted them to 'dispose' the miscarriage. Didn't they realize that 'the miscarriage' is a baby to me? that the baby is my son? The baby that I carried in my womb for over 4 months?
I was glad when I was finally able to go home. We fashioned a tiny box for our son,and gave him a name, and with the whole family went and buried him at the family plot. It was hard explaining to my children that we wont be having a baby just then, and that their brother had gone to heaven. I had them draw pictures for their brother- which we buried along with our son.
I was grieved and in shock over what had happened, but I wouldn't change anything about the outcome. I am glad that the doctor didn't catch the baby's heart beat at that apt. I am glad I was able to miscarry naturally. If they had realized that my baby was no longer alive at my 17th week apt, they would of done a d&c, and if that had happened, I wouldn't had seen that we had a son, and I wouldn't of seen his perfect features, and hadn't counted his tiny fingers and toes. And I wouldn't of been able to bury him and grieve him like we did. Even if they had induced me, the outcome would of still been different.
tags: miscarriage, still birth, neonatal death, loss stories, unbirth stories, infant death, hemorrage, 17 week birth stories, sad birth stories, miscarriage stories, still birth stories, loss,