This is going to be a pretty personal post, and very off from our usual type of sharing. But it’s what’s consuming me and our family and I have to get it off my chest. If you are uncomfortable with the topic of miscarriage, you may want to leave off now.
On November 6th, I woke to sort of extreme cramps. I had been experiencing cramps for the previous couple days, but had shrugged it off because cramping is not uncommon in pregnancy. But this morning there was blood as well. I sort of panicked. A furtive trip to the ER and several hours later, we found out our baby’s heart had stopped beating.
We began to try and sort through the emotions surrounding this. Our baby had died several weeks before, we were to later discover. At first we were certain there was a mistake, the ultrasound couldn’t be right; but several desperate talks with our midwives got us to a place of accepting at least that fact. We decided we wanted a natural miscarriage, which meant waiting it out. I felt that if I couldn’t give this baby life, at least we could give him a respectful departure. We had spent three months dreaming about him, this son, planning our future with him, naming him, loving him. We owed him at least a respectful exit from my body that had been growing and protecting him.
However, when the miscarriage began on Monday, I knew very quickly that something was wrong. Initially it began the way Grace’s appearance into the world had ~ a burst of water, a splash, and immediate cessation of pain. I thought that was it, and I wept bitterly because it was such a similar sensation to how Grace had triumphantly and healthily entered the world, but of course there was no happy baby, only emptiness.
But within a few minutes of this, I began to feel scared becuase I was gushing blood. I waited, took a shower, checked again. There is no other way to describe what was happening besides gushing blood. I called my midwife, scared, and she wanted me to call 911. By this time there was blood all over our house ~ I couldn’t help it, I was hemorrhaging through everything. By the time EMS came, I was having a very hard time speaking, and I passed out once in the ambulance. Still, upon arrival at the hospital, I absolutely refused the blood transfusion and D&C which they were insisting on. While I know it sounds crazy, I needed this baby to come out in a dignified way. I don’t know how to explain it, except again, if I couldn’t give him life, I wanted his death and passing-on to be respectful, natural, meaningful. Even though I will never know this baby, I love him.
For a little while, I seemed to stabilize, but then I passed out again and my heart rate went down to 35. The ER doc was now getting extremely upset and insistent that something had to happen. He said my heart had almost stopped and I was bleeding out. It finally hit me that this was a choice between saying goodbye to this baby the way I needed to, and leaving my other kids. I consented to the D&C and was immediately taken upstairs for surgery.
When I began to wake up from the D&C, I could hear myself talking, but I couldn’t make myself stop. I was asking if they could see anything wrong with the placenta or umbilical cord. I heard the dr say no. I asked if I could see the baby and they said no, and I thought they sounded annoyed. I said I wanted to bury him and they said he was gone. I told them I’d eaten a veggie burger last week and it had mushrooms in it ~ could it have been the mushrooms? They said no, it wasn’t because of anything like that. Finally I could control what I was saying and I stopped. I just felt sad and numb and empty. In reality, I’m not sure if/where/when our baby came out; the obstetrician clearly knew he was replying to someone waking up from sedatives. Later I thought I wanted to try to get back whatever the D&C had extracted for burial, but the next day I realized I could not go back to that hospital even if they would give it to me. We were going to need to come up with a different way to remember and honor our baby.
My husband and I decided we would make a memory box. We’d put in what little we have from this little one. The pregnancy test that has “Baby #3!” written on it. A photo of the gender test we took which clearly says “Boy!” I think I will make something, too, although I’m not sure what. I know we need a place to go to, to be, that is just for this baby. Even though we’re never going to hold this baby, or kiss him, we love him so much! I never understood the loss of someone you never met, before this happened. I wish I still didn’t.
We love you, Baby Pauls.