17 June 2011


In my last post, I talked about infertility and finding out that we were pregnant. To continue...

When I saw that + sign on the pregnancy test, I was beyond ecstatic. I threw the test in a zip lock bag and called my husband immediately. He worked about 45 minutes away from where we lived, so I asked him to meet me for lunch at a mid-point. There has never been a more exciting, happy, overwhelming moment in a gas station McDonalds. You would have thought I won the lottery. I was so excited, I am sure I was shouting everything I said to hubby.

After he knew, I called my mom, a small circle of friends and my OBGYN. I cried with joy and thanked God every waking moment. I was so excited about not being allowed to eat sushi and rare steak, and all of the yummy things I was super happy to give up for a baby. I was excited about feeling nauseous and bloated. I was excited about every aspect of pregnancy, and I even exaggerated most of my symptoms so I would feel MORE pregnant. I was filled with a sweet innocence of a first pregnancy. 

To our knowledge at that time, my uterus was the shape of a heart, most likely with good blood flow to all of the uterine lining. I was a little nervous that the baby would not get what he or she needed from my deformed uterus. My doctor assured me that it should be fine but informed me of the risks later in pregnancy, none of which was early miscarriage so there was no need for concern unless there were issues later in the pregnancy.

At our first doctor's appointment at about 7 or 8 weeks, we saw a heartbeat and everything looked great! It was 4 days before my birthday, and what a great birthday blessing - a healthy baby growing inside me! The baby appeared to be implanted in the right side, which was the larger of the two, which was good news. Our due date was June 30, which was awesome because I had a friend with the same due date.

Despite the concerns, I was confident that this child was a miracle and that God was going to take complete care of him or her. I prayed many times every day for our child, and I remained faith-filled that God had the uterine situation under control.

After we saw the heartbeat, we began to share our news with a slightly wider circle of friends, and I let my boss know that I would be having a baby during his scheduled vacation. I began to get more nauseous, and I got very serious about eating only organic and taking my prenatal vitamins. I wore a constant smile, truly glowing with un-containable happiness.

One day, at about 11 weeks pregnant, I noticed that I didn't really feel very nauseous anymore. I started worrying, and obsessed quite a bit. But I was still confident that God was taking good care of our baby, so at 12 weeks, we decided to expand the circle to everyone we knew, and I posted my news on Facebook. I had  a steady flow of congratulations from people who did and didn't know that we had been trying for years.

One morning I woke up and I had this feeling of doom. Something wasn't right. I didn't feel pregnant at all anymore and was overcome with fear. I started obsessively wiping to see if I was bleeding or something, but I didn't ever really have any proof that something was wrong. I NEEDED to know that things were ok, so I called my doctor and told the nurse that I thought I may have had some weird discharge and that something seemed wrong. I knew that weird discharge would make them want to do an ultrasound. 

They scheduled me for an ultrasound a couple of hours later, so I looked up on Baby Center what things should look like at 12 weeks. I was still believing that God was taking care of everything so when I called hubby, I told him he didn't have to leave work if he didn't want to and that I was sure everything was fine. My emotions were a twisted bundle of confusion, fear, hope, confidence, and sorrow all at once.

When hubby arrived to pick me up, I repeatedly asked him, "Is everything going to be ok?" and he repeatedly responded, "Yes. Everything is going to be fine." I was so nervous on the 45 minute drive to the doctor, but I was also super excited to see my baby at 12 weeks. I would get excited to see little hands and a big head, and then an overwhelming wave of fear would knock out the excitement.

When the ultrasound tech ran the US, she was pretty quick to start looking more closely. I could clearly see a very large black hole with nothing in it. I was confused and afraid, so I asked through a nervous giggle, "Is it bad that I'm not seeing a baby in there?" She said, "I'm not seeing anything either, honey. I'll be right back." And she darted out of the room. 

It felt like she was gone for an eternity, but it was really only a few minutes. I was still hopeful and confident that things were going to be ok. I guess I was thinking that the baby was just hiding somehow, and that she was going to get a more experienced US tech. When she came back, she brought a doctor with her. 

The doctor told me something I never imagined I would ever hear, and something I wish no one ever has to hear, "We are not seeing your baby on ultrasound. It looks like your baby has passed away in the womb. I am so sorry." I immediately started to cry while she explained that the baby had probably passed away a few weeks before, but that my body was continuing with the pregnancy as if nothing was wrong. She called it a missed miscarriage. It also looked like the baby's tissue had already mostly dissolved but that the rest of the tissue as well as the sac and uterine lining would still need to come out of me. 

They left me and my husband alone in that US room to collect ourselves. I cried. I was devastated. But I also still had faith that God was somehow going to save our child and that the doctors were wrong. I mean, once upon a time, a doctor had told me I would never get pregnant. 

I wouldn't believe that God would let me down that big. I had actually told God before we ever got pregnant that I was not strong enough to go through a miscarriage, and I trusted Him not to allow that to happen to us.

Once we came out of the room, we were swiftly ushered past all of the pretty, perfect, pregnant women waiting to have ultrasounds of the perfect little babies. I cried. I avoided looking at anyone. I just went to the lab where they offered condolences and stupid comments from people who didn't understand. Then they led me to an exam room so the doctor could talk to us about next steps. 

They offered to do a D&C that day to get the rest of the tissue out of my uterus. I refused because I believed that we were still going to give birth to this baby somehow. Then they offered me a medicine that would cause my uterus to contract so that my body would get rid of things without surgical intervention. I only accepted the medicine because they promised me that if the baby was actually ok as I believed he or she may be, it would only cause me physical pain but would not injure the baby or cause a miscarriage.

I took the medicine, and I was not at all surprised when it didn't work. I was still determined that we were going to have this baby. A few days later, after taking the third course of the medicine, I started to have extremely painful cramping, and then bleeding. Lots and lots of bleeding. I remained hopeful.

Graphic details alert!
It wasn't until I felt the gestational sac coming out of me that I believed our baby was dead. I panicked and tried to push it back into me, but then I felt an urgency to push. I delivered the gestational sac into my hand on the toilet. The sac was unbroken, about the size of my palm and there was not anything inside that I could see. I didn't even know what to do with it. Should I bury it, throw it away or flush it, save it for the doctor? What is protocol for delivering a sac of tissue that's already deceased? Shouldn't I feel a deep love and connection for this tissue? Shouldn't we put up a monument in the back yard? 

I didn't know what to do, but I felt like burying our baby in the back yard would seem much too much like burying a pet, and in my overwhelmed state of confusion, I decided to flush. I still feel guilty for that, even though I know I shouldn't. I feel like I should have done something to show our child more respect in death. 

We named our child Angel, and we are anxious to meet him or her in heaven. 

That day was December 13, 2008. At the time, it was the absolute worst day in the history of the earth to me. It was the day that God let me down and proved to me that he could not be trusted to take care of my family the way I had always expected and asked Him to.

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