*This post describes some of the more sensitive details of the loss of a child, emotionally and physically. If this is something you will find distasteful, offensive or painful because of your own experiences, I encourage you to skip this post and go to part 3 which is less graphic.*
I should have known that day that something was wrong. I had woken up three times in the middle of the night to pee, so I was exhausted. In hindsight, I see that God was probably protecting me from worrying more than necessary, because if I had been alert I would have been concerned. For the first time since I was pregnant, I woke up with no nausea at all. I was tired, but all pregnancy symptoms were gone. I spent the day getting my car to the mechanic and babysitting for a family member who was in the hospital. It was in the afternoon when I finally heard back about my car. After the details of payment were settled, I suddenly knew something was very wrong with the baby. Going to the bathroom, there it was. My underwear was filled with blood and several small clots. I knew it was over.
The fog that seemed to be lurking before now swallowed me, cutting me off from the words and logic that everyone presented me. I remember texting someone who advised me not to worry until I could get to the doctor and find out what was really going on. I tried to sound like there was hope, but knew there was none.
After a few hours, I borrowed someone car since mine was in the shop and went to the hospital. They did two ultrasounds and confirmed what I already knew – there was no heartbeat. The baby was gone. My doctor called me in and described the options. I didn’t cry as I listened to them offer me painkillers and a D&C. He also offered me a drug ‘to help the process’ at which point I told him I needed to get dressed and couldn’t think clearly. He said he to take my time and left. After I was dressed I calmly left, telling the nurses I was going home then drove home. I ignored the texts from Ian and his family. I drove home then tried to clean (my standard response to stress), but I was in too much pain to continue. Finally, exhausted and knowing I had to face the truth, I sat down on the cold bathroom floor and called the father. Words seemed to fail, then everything came pouring out at once. All of the feelings and emotions just poured out of me as I sobbed into the phone. I started shaking and the feeling of loneliness overwhelmed me. The only thing I wanted was to be in his arms. To not be alone losing our child, to be with the only other person who understood the grief I felt because the child that was gone was his too.
I spent the night crying, sobbing and laying on the couch. I went through the motions with the very few things I had to do, put on a happy face for a few hours while I gave a family member- one who didn’t know about the baby – a ride to the hospital to see someone who was recovering from surgery. After getting home, I was back on the couch. I remember feeling reliever that my daughter Autumn was staying the night somewhere else, because I didn’t have the strength to take care of anyone else just then.
I had never lost a baby this late before, so I didn’t know what to expect physically. I didn’t know that this late, you would actually see the sac. I didn’t know that there would belabor pains until they were happening. I took Tylenol and used aromatherapy to help ease the pain and make the process not so painful.
The most shocking thing was definitely seeing the sac. I was in the restroom and out it came with a gush of blood and clots, like something out of a science fiction novel. It was intact, not ripped or torn which gave me an odd sense of comfort, but I wasn’t sure why. I remember calling my mother in law hysterical because I was so shocked. She asked if the doctor had told me about it, and I couldn’t remember. I remember the nurse talking to me, but not being able to understand what she was saying. Everything was a blur, I was so locked up inside of my grief that nothing else mattered.
For a long time I sat on the bathroom floor, staring at this little thing. My little baby. I was horrified, disgusted and heartbroken all at once. It was almost a relief to see it though. It quieted the irrational hope that maybe it would all be alright, even though the logical part of me knew this wasn’t the case.
After that, the denial was gone. There was only the physical and emotional pain that throbbed with every beat of my heart. I had lost the little one.