My right arm hurts. It’s where they gave me the Rhogham shot because I have O- blood. The nurse said “This is for future pregnancies.” I felt like telling her “I know, I’ve had this shot countless times already. Why even bother this time? I’m not planning on having any future pregnancies.”
My tongue is swollen and sore. Because I bit it while I was under anesthesia and they shoved a breathing tube down my throat to keep me under. It hurts when I eat, when I speak, when I swallow, when I brush my teeth.
My right arm itches in my elbow crease. Because I’m having a reaction to the tape where my IV was put in. Where the nurse, who didn’t know what she was doing, shoved the IV into my arm. My husband and I said they probably put the inexperienced nurse with us, because well, our baby isn’t alive anymore anyway, right?
This is miscarriage.
My whole body aches. It aches. It’s sore. I woke up feeling like a truck hit me. I’ve had this feeling twice before. Except the other two times it was worth it. I had a crying baby next to my bed so all that pushing was worth it. But this time it didn’t even hit me that that was the reason I was sore to begin with. My husband had to remind me. “Babe you delivered a baby. Of course, it’s sore.” My poor husband who had to witness every hour of it, and sit there helpless in his own grief. I can’t get the image out of my head of his face. My eyes filled with tears looking at him, pleading with God that this would be over. I had pushed the baby out already but the placenta wouldn’t budge so the doctor was trying to “help” me push it out. But it just felt like she was scraping, tugging, pulling, my insides out. It didn’t feel like “help” at all. It was the most horrible pain I have ever felt. And he sat there holding my hand, my anchor, through it all.
The nurse, who didn’t know what she was doing, asked me if I finally wanted the pain medication. Because I had refused it up until this point. You see, I wanted to feel the pain of it all. I wanted to feel something, anything. And I had. I had felt my body push my dead baby out of me. I had felt him in the birth canal, just like I had felt my two girls there twice before. And it was peaceful when he finally came out. It was. I thought it was over, but then I remembered that was just the beginning. I remembered that the doctor had warned me beforehand the placenta might take a little more time. I pleaded with God because I didn’t want to have another D&C. The first one was the most traumatic thing I have ever been through. I came out of the anesthesia crying “My baby, my baby!” and the nurse, thankfully that one did know what she was doing, had to calm me down. She was like an angel, because that time I was by myself. My husband was not allowed in the recovery area. So it was just her and me. She talked with me and comforted me out of my trauma until I fell asleep.
Well, I still ended up needing a D&C this time because I had bled quite a lot by this point. I didn’t care. I just wanted it to be over.
This time, I came out of anesthesia crying out in pain. I thought for sure I had woken up in the middle of the procedure because there was no way I could be in that much pain. My husband grabbed my hand and I asked him “Why does God hate me? Why does he hate me so much?” I couldn’t control myself. I sobbed and said I just wanted to go home and be with our girls. I missed them. I needed them. I cussed at my nurse because she wouldn’t give me the pain meds. Something about she couldn’t override the meds the anesthesiologist had put in. I don’t know, I just know I said “Shut up! And give me something!” and she did. I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed, while my husband held my hand. Until I finally let go and succumbed to the overwhelming exhaustion and fell asleep.
When I woke up, I remembered where I was and sobbed some more. I felt disoriented. My baby was no longer inside of me. I was no longer pregnant. I had a new nurse, thank God. I asked her if she could try to do some footprints of the baby and she did. I appreciated her efforts. I know she was probably thinking “there’s no way I’m going to be able to get a decent footprint from this tiny baby” but surprisingly she did and she was proud of it! She explained that we had two options. We could make arrangements ourselves for a funeral home to take the baby or we could allow the hospital to take care of the arrangements in a communal burial they have every so often for babies who are that small. We opted for the latter. I couldn’t imagine calling funeral homes to make arrangements to take our small baby. I didn’t want to go through that. And neither did my husband. We felt like we got the closure we needed by getting to see him. Hold his hand and take a few pictures. I’ll never forget the perfect detail of his little body. Fully formed. So perfect. Whole. A true miracle how someone so small can make the biggest impact on your life, forever.
It’s hard being home. It hurts. Everything hurts. And not just physically. I cannot believe the trauma my husband and I had to go through yesterday. I can’t. I don’t even know how we got through that. I was on the labor and delivery floor. I passed rooms where mothers were in labor, but they were going to get to go home with their babies, alive. I delivered my first baby in that hospital. I thought back to my time there and thought how many mothers were going through what I just went through while I was giving birth to my live daughter. How many? Had the doctor who had just given birth to my live baby just helped a different mother deliver her dead baby? My heart ached for them. My heart aches for us all. I know I’m not the only one who has ever gone through this. And it’s absolutely horrible. And the sad thing is, I know some mothers go through worse. Some mothers don’t even make it. This was my fear. I kept thinking, I just have to get through this so I can get home and see my girls. Thank God I did. Broken but alive.
This wasn’t supposed to happen. I had just gone through 3 months of sickness. Nausea and vomiting EVERY DAY. I thought that was supposed to be a good sign? Obviously it wasn’t. I just went through all of that and my baby’s heart still stopped beating. We had seen our baby two times already. Seen their strong, beating heart loud and clear. Seen their little legs and arms flailing around inside of me. In a few weeks we were supposed to discover the gender. Well we found out a few weeks early, just not in the way we had planned. When he came out, he was so clearly a boy. Our boy.
Right now, my heart is resolved that I can’t put myself through this again. I can’t open my heart to this possible outcome and the risk that comes along with any pregnancy. I can’t. My husband and I both decided that we can’t go through this again. I had barely allowed myself to get happy over this pregnancy. From the moment I saw that second line pop up on the stick, I felt panic. Because I feared this, specific, outcome. I pleaded with God that I was resolved if I had to have another miscarriage. All I asked of him was that I didn’t want to have another D&C. I said “if it is your will that I have to walk this road again, so be it. But please please, please, please don’t let me have to have another D&C.” I prayed this prayer over and over again. He didn’t answer my prayer. I didn’t even breathe a sigh of relief until we had the genetic screening ultrasound done at 12 weeks and I saw my baby boy kicking, heart beating, happy, and healthy in there. The doctor had said everything looked perfect! And the sonographer said she couldn’t wait until we came back to discover the gender in a few weeks. I thought that was kind of funny, because I mean she does this every day. Why did she feel so connected with us? But I think it is because she knew our story. She knew I had had two previous miscarriages, she knew I was scared. She was happy to deliver good news that everything looked great with our baby, and I think she just genuinely liked us. I’m sad that we won’t be back in there to find out the gender with her. I’m truly sad, because I knew she was happy that I could finally breathe a sigh of relief at that ultrasound.
I’m angry, sad, confused, disoriented, aching, hurt, etc. so many emotions at once. And in the midst of this grief I am fighting to say “It is well…” I don’t want to. From the depths of my soul I don’t want to. Everything inside of me is screaming “IT IS NOT WELL!” but I am fighting against it all to say “It is well.” Even though it doesn’t feel like it, it is well. Even though I am aching, it is well. Even though I am broken, it is well. Even though my baby has died, it is well.
It is well because despite all of this I know one thing. God is good. God is good in times of sorrow. God is good in times of joy. He is good all of the time. He doesn’t change. He never will.
I am angry and shouting from the depths of my soul. But he is still good. And I will rest and find my hope in this simple phrase: it is well, because he is good.