my little angel — journal entry four

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We are happy to announce that we are now planning the home birth of our first rainbow baby. Though it didn’t look like it last April when I was going through a miscarriage, God truly does work things out for the best. Please consider making a donation to our birth fund. Every little bit helps! Thank you so much.

Warning: this post contains graphic information that may be considered TMI by some. 

Well, it’s over. The physical part at least. I don’t know that I’ll ever be 100% back to normal emotionally because I have a broken heart. Broken hearts don’t go away. They may heal, but there will always be scar tissue.

I wanted to share my story in detail for anyone who may be wondering what to expect from a missed miscarriage at 9 weeks. I did a ton of researching while I was waiting for it to happen, and every forum response or blog post relayed a different experience. I think that’s because just like no two pregnancies are the same, no two miscarriages are the same. Every woman’s body will handle things differently. So, if you’re reading this wondering what to expect, know that my story may help you cope with the physical pain, but it won’t be the exact same thing that you’ll experience. All I can say is keep reading and researching if you’d like, but don’t get too caught up in what happened to other people. That will drive you insane.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I started spotting lightly on the night of Thurs. April 12, 2013. I was 9 weeks at that point. It was very little and all light brown, but of course i freaked out. This was the first instance of any spotting that I had experienced. I was still having slight bouts of nausea, and I was still exhausted, but my breasts had started to lose their tenderness. I never had any full-on, vomiting-into-the-trash-can-at-work-type morning sickness, but people had assured me that was normal, so I never thought anything of it.

I called my midwife and she said that brown spotting was nothing to be alarmed about. It sounded to her like some old blood was finally making its way out. She said she’d try to get me an ultrasound appointment if I wanted one, just to verify that everything was okay. Because I was planning an all-natural homebirth with a midwife, I hadn’t had one yet. I got an appointment for the next morning and drove there. She did a belly ultrasound and an internal ultrasound and said there was no heartbeat. The pregnancy was only registering at 7.6 weeks, and I was eventually going to miscarry.

I drove home and started researching right away. I wanted to know exactly what to expect. By that point the spotting had increased slightly and had turned more of a dark red color. It continued to increase over the next couple of days. By Sunday I was having very mild cramps, but nothing painful yet.

Monday morning I woke up to more intense cramps and I knew it was coming. The pain intensified throughout the day. By mid-afternoon I was experiencing the worst pain I had ever felt in my entire life. It literally felt like a mini version of labor. I’m sure that natural childbirth is way more intense, but I had read quite a few forums where women had said the pain they experienced during their miscarriage was way worse than the pain they experienced during childbirth. That’s probably true to some extent because the emotional pain magnifies the physical pain. The cramps, which were basically contractions as I later learned, were nonstop. I didn’t have a break in between them like you do when you’re in early labor. I laid on a heating pad, trying to breathe through each one, and got into different positions to make myself more comfortable. In some ways, I think this miscarriage might have prepared me for the real thing.

I took Advil and passed quite a few blood clots. The biggest one had the consistency of grape jelly and was probably 2 inches in diameter. I didn’t get a good look at it, as I was trying not to “see” everything. I had read about women passing the fetus and actually seeing the eyes and the head and stuff. I had also read about women passing some sort of grayish-whitish tissue. I was really dreading that part and didn’t want it to happen. If it did happen, I definitely didn’t want to be alone when it did. My husband was with me all day Monday, minus a couple of hours that he had to step out for a work meeting. I’m so thankful he was there.

By Monday night, after I had passed that grape jelly-like clot, I was feeling much better. Still in pain, but the contractions were not as intense and I was experiencing them less and less, with longer breaks in between. I still felt like I had stuff left to pass though, and I wasn’t sure when it was going to come out.

Tuesday and Wednesday passed with mild period-like cramps, but nothing major. Then on Thursday I went to have another ultrasound. When I had the first one, they found a dermoid cyst on my left ovary and said I should follow up with an OB, so I went to have it checked out and to see how the miscarriage was progressing.

The screen showed one fairly large piece of tissue that still needed to pass. When we left the doctor’s office, I had started to cramp again. I think the internal ultrasound induced more cramping since they put the machine right on top of your cervix. I went back to my mom’s house and laid down with a heating pad. She was hosting our ladies’ bible study at her house that night and the women from our church started to arrive around 6 p.m. At 7 p.m. I went to the bathroom and that’s when “it” happened. That part of the process that I was dreading. I felt something slide out of me. I looked into the toilet and there it was. A large whitish mass that sort of resembled a small placenta.

I walked out of the bathroom, plopped down on the couch and started to cry. My mom came and hugged me and my pastor’s wife brought all of the women in to pray with me. I’m so thankful that I wasn’t alone when that happened. God had answered my prayer.

I bled very lightly until Sunday night. It’s now Monday morning and I’m not bleeding anymore. My husband and I plan to try again as soon as possible. They say to wait for at least one normal period, so we’re not “trying” right now. But I’m also not using any contraceptives, so if I happen to get pregnant before my period comes, so be it. And if not, so be it. I’m leaving this in God’s hands.

Actually, it’s been in His hands all along.

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