I had suspected that I was pregnant for about a week. I just had to wait until I knew for sure I had missed my period, and now I was sure. With butterflies in my stomach, I ran upstairs to the bathroom, ripped open the store-bought pregnancy test, took the test, and waited a whole two excruciating minutes. When I returned to the bathroom, my suspicion was confirmed: a beautiful pink plus sign was staring up at me. I was pregnant again!
I didn't tell my husband right away like I had with our first baby. No, I kept this wonderful secret between myself and the Lord for that day. I went to evening worship practice just like normal. I knew a wonderful something that no one else did, and it made me feel so special and happy. It was a perfect day.
The next evening, I planned a little surprise to share the news with my husband. It was the beginning of August, and our anniversary was at the end of the month, so I told him I had an early anniversary gift for him. I placed the positive test inside an old necklace gift box, tied it with a bow, and placed it in a gift bag. It wasn't elaborate, but it was planned out and special. When he opened it, it took him a good second to realize what it was, and then pure surprise and joy filled his face. We had wanted to become pregnant again, so this was wonderful news to him.
The next week went by blissfully. We had kept our pregnancy to ourselves so far, and my husband's mother and little sister had arrived to spend about a week with us. Halfway through their visit, we went out to dinner and surprised them with the happy news. We spent the next couple days in that ever-present state of peace and excitement, watching our 15-month old daughter and looking forward to giving her a little
On Saturday, August 11th, I woke up with some light spotting. I was slightly concerned, but I knew that light spotting was not a reason to worry, so I waited. Throughout the day, the bleeding gradually became heavier. By that evening, I was quite concerned that I was miscarrying, though hopeful that I was mistaken. I asked my husband to take me to the emergency room to see
what was going on. It was a blessing from God that my mother-in-law was there to watch my daughter since it was already passed her bedtime. We left knowing that our daughter was in loving and capable hands.
I was nervous on our fifteen-minute drive to the ER, but since I wasn't sure what or if anything was wrong, I refused to despair. We checked in when we arrived, and I sat down and did my embroidery to pass the time. Thankfully, we didn't have to wait very long. A nurse led us to the small triage room and asked me the routine questions. Then we were taken to the exam room.
It's funny how people don't seem to know how to treat a woman who has had a miscarriage, or one who might be having one. The doctor and nurse came into the room. The doctor was a sophisticated lady with bobbed grey hair who looked to be in her sixties. She was very upbeat and cheerful upon entering the room, asking me the same questions I had been asked at the front desk and in triage. I answered her in likewise manner, not wanting to seem downhearted or even impolite. The nurse hadn't spoken yet, but she was large and masculine, and she seemed to have a rough way about her, though not in a rude way.
I don't remember all the tiny details of our time in the ER. I do remember that the first thing the doctor did was examine my cervix to see if it was still closed. When she was finished, she stood up and gave me what sounded like good news -- my cervix was indeed still closed. I breathed a sigh of relief. There was still a chance that my baby could be alright! The doctor went on to inform us that I would need a blood test to determine my levels of hCG (the "pregnancy hormone") and that we would also have to wait for the ultrasound technician to come and perform an ultrasound in order to rule out an ectopic pregnancy (when the baby is implanted outside of the uterus). The nurse drew my blood for the test, trying to make small talk to fill the silence in the room. When she was done, we were left to wait...and wait...and wait...and wait.
There is nothing more boring to me than sitting in a hospital bed for hours, not knowing when you will get to finally go home. I just wanted to know if my baby was okay or not. My husband and I tried to occupy ourselves, but we were both tired and had nothing to do, and neither one of us knew what to talk about given the circumstance we were in. Eventually, he left the hospital to go get us some food. When he came back, I was still waiting. Finally, after about two hours, the ultrasound technician arrived. I was taken to another room where the technician quickly performed a transvaginal ultrasound. I remember feeling fairly optimistic as I walked to the room with her. Thankfully, the pregnancy was not ectopic, but it was also too early in the pregnancy to detect a heartbeat. Still no answers!
Back in the room, we waited once again, this time for about another hour. During this time, I began having cramps like I had never had before, much worse than my normal period cramps. I could feel that I was bleeding heavily. In pain and disheartened that my body was confirming my fears of miscarriage, all I wanted was to be out of there and go home. Finally, the doctor and nurse came back in with the final details, including the blood test results. My blood still had hCG in it, but the levels were indicative of a pregnancy that was only two or three weeks gestation. I knew I had to be at least four, if not five weeks along already. The doctor said there was no way for them to know just yet, and that I would have to come back for more blood tests to see if my hCG levels were rising or falling. I just nodded in acknowledgement at everything the doctor said, not bothering to make any comments or ask any questions. I knew that my baby was gone.
The doctor left, and the nurse stayed to give us our paperwork and wrap everything up. She made some comments in an effort to be optimistic and help us feel better about the situation. I appreciated her effort, but her words really didn't help at all. I was just glad to be able to leave the hospital and get some sleep.
As I lay down in my bed, immediately my body went to work to get rid of the tiny baby inside of me. I cramped terribly and could feel periodic gushes of blood, like when your period is really heavy. I just cried and cried, knowing exactly what my body was doing. My husband was next to me, but he had already fallen asleep. I was alone, tears falling down my face, hands clutching my contracting abdomen. I'm not sure how long this continued, but finally, I fell asleep.
Thank you so much for reading the first part of my miscarriage story. This can be such a difficult thing to talk about, but I believe a woman being able to talk about her own loss is the first step to true healing. Stay tuned for the rest of my story in the next blog post.
If you yourself have experienced the loss of a child, please feel free to reach out to me for support and a listening ear. May God give you the strength and peace to get through this trial.