Saturday, November 21, 2009

blogging my miscarriage pt.1

Warning, the following post may contain graphic descriptions and/or pictures that may disturb you. Read at your own risk.

November 16:
I sneeze while sitting at the computer and feel a rush of fluid that soaks through my underwear and pajama pants. I'm a little confused by this as I don't think I peed when I sneezed. I think that it could be seminal fluid residue but don't know why it is exiting several hours later. I change into some shorts.

Several hours later I'm lying in bed when I feel another fluid rush. This time my shorts are soaked by what looks to be fluid the color of weak tea. Again I'm confused but go back to bed.

November 17:
I have clinical for four hours. During clinical I keep thinking that my underwear feel wet. Each time I go to the bathroom there is a peachy colored, watery discharge on the toilet paper.

I have a midwife appointment scheduled for the next day but am anxious. I call the midwife as soon as I get home, and she offers to drive to Tyler to meet me. I decide to drive to Gladewater and meet her instead, as I don't want to inconvenience her over my being paranoid.

When I meet her at her offices in Gladewater I explain that I've been feeling smaller over the past week. She checks my urine to see if I possibly have an infection, and the dipstick registers blood. I lie down on the bed while she goes out to her car for the better doppler.

She returns with the doppler and begins listening for a heartbeat. We hear nothing. There was a heartbeat four weeks ago (at 13 1/2 weeks gestation). She tells me there is a slight chance that the baby is in a weird spot, but she is 99% sure I will miscarry. She advises me on what to expect and sends me on my way after a few hugs and tears.

On the way home I start making my phone calls. My sister and my mom both cry. Aaron is clearly upset, but is more stunned that I'm telling him right before he has to go to work. He tells me later that he cried on the way in. My grandmother is afraid I'm mad at her because she wasn't happy about me being pregnant in the first place. I assure her that I'm not mad at her.

My sister stays with the kids while I go to the Rosary service at church. This is something I've been trying to go to for a while, but tonight I'm desperate to attend. I am pleasantly surprised that in addition to saying the Rosary, the group says a perpetual novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help - one of my favorite Marian titles. I pray that this is all a weird mistake, or, that if it's not, Jesus and Mary will comfort me.

I call Aaron's mom on the way home from church. She takes the news in stride but can't talk long because she is out with a friend. I spend the night in anxious expectation. There is no more fluid leakage or any spotting. I pull out my stethoscope and try to hear a heartbeat. I put the kids to bed early and try to study for tomorrow's test. I give up and go to bed. Again I listen with the stethoscope. I hear nothing, but I reassure myself that it's really too early to hear a fetal heartbeat with a stethoscope anyway.

The night offers little sleep. The little sleep I do get is filled with weird dreams.

November 18:
I wake up more confused and anxious than ever. I go to school and sit through the first hour of lecture. I can't sit there any longer and leave. I head to the midwife's office, praying that she will find a heartbeat today.

The midwife fits me in as soon as she can. She tells me that the only way to know for sure if the baby is alive is to have a sonogram done. She calls in a different midwife to listen for a heartbeat again first. Again I lie on a bed, staring at the ceiling, while the doppler makes its way across my belly. Again there is no heartbeat to be heard. This midwife also explains that even if we didn't hear a heartbeat we should hear the baby kicking and moving, and she didn't hear that, either.

I decide I have to have a sonogram to know for sure. They put in a call to the sonographer and promise to call me when he calls back.

I head home for the lunch break and then return to school for my test. I'm the first one finished. When I reach the car I receive a text. The sonogram appointment is scheduled for three. I text Aaron about lunch, but they ate a pizza after I went back to the school. He tells me to get myself something. I decide on Jason's Deli because I'm obsessed with the broccoli and cheese soup. I eat slowly to kill time and then head across town for the sonogram.

I'm a half hour ahead of my appointment, but they have me come in anyway. Lying in the tiny sonogram room, waiting for the sonographer, I break down. I try to compose myself. He comes in and does the sonogram. The baby's profile is clearly visible, but there is no movement. The sonographer shows me the that the placenta is still looking good and is providing good blood flow to the baby. But the baby is clearly dead. The back of the skull is caving in ever so slightly, and the brain does not appear to be the right size. He explains that perhaps this is the reason the baby died, but he also said it could be that the it is just shrinking since it is not growing anymore. Without an autopsy we'll never be sure.

The baby's measurements point to it being about 13 1/2 weeks gestation. We know it was alive at that point, so it probably stopped growing around 14 weeks - which is about where my uterus was measuring. I actually think it could have been even a little later than that since my uterus has measured small in my past pregnancies. Again, we'll never know for sure.

The sonographer burns a CD for me of the sonogram pictures. I stop at Walgreens to print one right away, but the files are low resolution and won't be clear if I print. I start crying and leave.

I become obsessed with the idea of finding the baby when it passes and taking pictures. I stop at Babies'R'Us to find a good baby blanket. I cry through the store, and I'm sure that the lady at the check-out must think I'm crazy.

At home I put the sonogram disc in the computer. On the screen the pictures are large and clear. There is really only one good side view. I'm not even completely convinced it is a profile view, but it is definitely a different angle than the one that is viewing the baby from the top down, so I'm just going to assume it is the side view. I take pictures of the sonogram picture on the screen so that I can have a bigger print.

The picture on the left is what I think is the profile view. The only reason I question it is because of the arm positions. The one on the right I know is looking at the baby from the top down. So the first one is definitely not looking straight from the top down, but I can't be sure if it's a definite profile or not, either.

I cry a lot more tonight. I call my friend Pamela who says she will try to meet me tomorrow. Aaron is very sweet to me. I begin to have some spotting and cramping. It looks like the light brown discharge stuff you have at the end of your period. I pray that this will all be over soon.

November 19:
I skip class. I have a project due but just don't care at this point. Throughout the day I have very light spotting. It still looks the same. I cry a little on and off but mostly just want to be left alone. I scour the internet to find out how long it might be until I begin to pass the baby. I find very little helpful information. I do find some very clear pictures of a baby that was miscarried. I e-mail the blog owner to find out how she took the pictures. I want beautiful pictures of my baby, too.

We meet Pamela and her family for dinner. It's the only time I leave the house all day.

November 20:
There is more spotting today and some mild cramps. The discharge has become dark brown and maroonish. I e-mail the midwife to see if I'm going to know when the baby's coming. I'm petrified it will fall in the toilet. She e-mails back and assures me that I will know when the baby's coming. She says that the spotting I'm seeing means the placenta is detaching. She says I will most likely have 2 to 6 hours of contractions before the baby comes.

The lady that took pictures of her miscarried baby e-mails me back. She is very kind and shares her description of her miscarriage and also tips on how to take good pictures of the baby. Her story gives me an even better idea of what to expect as this all plays out.

I am very grumpy today. Aaron goes to work, and I just cannot deal with the kids. I call my mom to come get them for the weekend. She and my dad have to drive from Dallas and don't arrive until after nine so I end up dealing with the kids all night anyway. Still I am relieved when I am alone.

Almost as soon as they leave I begin to have mild contractions and the bleeding becomes heavier. I think that the baby will come soon. I lie on the couch to watch a movie and wait. I fall asleep. The baby never comes.

1 comment:

  1. I think the first photo is still looking at the crown of the head (like his chin is to his chest)...based on other sono photos I've seen.

    Your story is heart wrenching, but I'm sure it will bring comfort to others. Thank you for sharing.