Friday, May 29, 2009

Miscarriage: One Week Later

Our new double stroller came today.

It is one of those fancy ones, one that is way over priced, one that was such a good deal Tanna (my husband) said I could order it last week.

That was two days before we knew. Two days before we found out our baby's heartbeat had stopped. Two days before my D&C.

It is here, still in the box (of course), and sitting by the door so Tanna can return it to Costco ASAP.

I am supposed to be excited about that stroller. I am supposed to be 11 weeks pregnant.

11 weeks and five days, to be exact. Or, if you want to go by my second pregnancy (which also ended early) ... then I am supposed to be 33 weeks, six days.

Anyone who has ever had a miscarriage knows how important those days are. Each and every one of them.

After my last BFP--which came less than five months after my first miscarriage--I practically could not wait for midnight to pass so I could add another day that I'd made it. Another day in pregnancy. Another day closer to the "safe" second trimester. Another day with no spotting.

In all of the 10 weeks and five days of this pregnancy, I never saw the slightest tinge of pink. Even though, in the beginning, I was a bit nervous every time I went to the bathroom--something you grow accustomed to when you are pregnant again after a loss. I almost expected some spotting. But nothing.

I had some cramping early on, which was concerning, to say the least. But a very strong heartbeat--seen April 28 via ultrasound at seven weeks, two days--gave us confidence that this pregnancy would stick. As my MD said last week, "When you see that heartbeat, you kind of let your guard down a little bit."

Never again.

It has been a rough week, but we got through it.

Last Friday, I went in for a doctor's appointment and ultrasound to check a cyst on my left ovary. The doctor came in, apologized for my wait, and we chatted a bit about prenatal vitamins and how the pregnancy was progressing.

After the nurse came in, we started the ultrasound.

I will never forget the few seconds of silence and then, "Karen, I don't see a heartbeat."

I had been staring at the patient screen, hoping the doctor was looking at my ovary and not our baby, which showed no activity.

I was wrong, though, and I knew it.

"I don't either."

The nurse was so sweet. She immediately handed me some tissues and offered condolences. My doctor was very understanding and sympathetic as well.

A few hours later, I saw him again at the hospital as I was being prepped for the D&C. The procedure was quick, and I was glad to get it over with. I am a big fan of anesthesia, and I highly recommend it.

I cried when they wheeled me away to the OR--not really because I was scared (or maybe I was), but more so because Tanna couldn't come with me.

I remember thinking, "How on earth do fat people fit on these operating tables?" (Those things are SKINNY!) Seriously.

The nurses and hospital staff were great. One nurse said I looked like Jennifer Garner. This is after she said I reminded her of someone and I (jokingly) said, "A celebrity?" (I think in her sympathy for me, she probably thought of any celeb she could that had brown hair about like mine. hahaha) I remember trying to be funny a couple of other times ... perhaps so I wouldn't break down in front of everyone.

I was so worried about being cold. (You know how I am--I am cold when it is 71 degrees.) I had brought my own socks, but they give you some thick slippery socks to wear. I had Tanna grab me some extra warmed blankets in the prep area. The nurses also offered me plenty of blankets, and I was thankful.

In the OR, they had me stretch my arms out to the side on these tables they pulled up next to the skinny table I was on. The next day, I remember my arms and shoulders being so sore, and Tanna said it was probably because they had been stretched out during the procedure.

I am glad I had a D&C and didn't take the drugs my doctor offered to help induce a "natural" miscarriage. He said going the natural route would probably be painful, and he recommended the D&C because of how far along I was and to avoid the pain. Truthfully, I was glad to get it over with. I did not want to be waiting around to have a miscarriage. I have heard of women who have done so and then later had complications, only to have to have a D&C later. It is a personal decision, but the D&C was the best one for me.

On Saturday, I bagged up most of my maternity clothes. I just couldn't stand looking at them in the closet anymore. They have been sitting in there, just taking up space, for almost two years now. We don't have a lot of storage space, and I needed them out of here. (I did keep a few things that were special to me, though.)

On Monday, I dropped off the clothes at Goodwill and also returned some of the cutest layette things I'd bought at Janie & Jack. I did the same thing yesterday at Gymboree. Fortunately for me, no one asked the reason for my returns. I had tried to resist buying anything for this baby out of fear this would happen, but ... well ... I let my guard down. I also told myself that I could always give these clothes as baby gifts (they sure were cute, after all)--but I just didn't want to do that. So I returned. And now we have this cool double stroller to return, too.

As I said, it has been a rough week--and we have lost a lot--but I am thankful because:
  • I have a God in heaven who loves me, loves my family, loves the two babies we have lost and the one here with us on earth.
  • I have an amazing husband who has taken good care of us this week--despite having to work Memorial Day weekend and despite grieving this loss himself. (Don't forget the fathers who mourn the losses of their miscarried babies.)
  • I have a beautiful little girl who is the light of our lives.
  • I have wonderful family and friends. We are so thankful for all of the prayers, cards, notes, flowers and other gifts that have been sent to show that you care and are thinking of us. You don't know how much you all mean to us, and we are so grateful.
  • I switched OB practices early on in this pregnancy. I now see a great doctor who does his own ultrasounds. I cannot imagine going through this at my old practice. I cannot imagine--as I have read about several times--an ultrasound tech discovering no heartbeat and then waiting for a doctor to come in and confirm. I am thankful for this new practice for many reasons--including free parking--but the ultrasound thing is a big one right now.
  • I made it through this week, and I am glad it is over. Though I will never forget.

"The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."--Psalm 34:18


Windsor said...

Karen - I am so sorry about your loss. You are very brave to post on your pain and I appreciate you being open/real and raw! Hang in there!

kasandria said...

I am very sorry to hear of your loss.You and your family will be in my prayers.

HPS said...

Karen, bless you. Thank you for sharing the freshness of your pain in such a real way. I know there are many women that will find comfort in this post. It seems lately I have heard of this happening so often with the second child. I am praying for you and Tanna and look forward to seeing how the Lord is going to bless your faithfulness to him.

BundleBaby said...

I don't know you, but my heart goes out to you. I have walked in those same shoes through two miscarriages now and 3 years of infertility so I feel right where you are. I appreciate your honesty that had me crying as I read it because I identify so much and feel your pain right along with you. I am praying for you and that God will heal the hurt. He, the Creator of all things does know what His plan is for us and His divine plan is what I seek everyday as I can see you do as well. :)


Jesikarena said...

I am so sorry for your loss. It took alot of courage to pose this.

My prayers are with you.

Momofgirls said...

I am so sorry for the loss of your baby.
I had 3 miscarriages between my first and second daughters (that is why we have such a big gap between them!) My 3rd miscarriage resulted in a D&C, and that was the turning point for my body! I had my 2nd baby 12 months after the procedure! (and that sweet girl had a virus attack her heart when she was 8 months old and now has a brain injury!)We adore her...and she was worth the wait!! (and guess what? 20 months later,she got a little sister!)

Please don't be discouraged. God's timing is right and His plan is perfect! Keep trusting Him! You are in my prayers!

Aundrea-aka Zerbert Baby said...

Karen- Thanks for sharing your heart with us. I too have suffered from miscarriages, 3, including a twin with my oldest son. For me, some of my comfort came in believing that although these babies never came to take a breath, I will somehow still know them when I join them in heaven. I know that sounds crazy, maybe even a little inmature, but it helped. I now have two little guys and I can't imagine how God's plan could be any better for our family. I love you and will be praying for your family.

Anonymous said...

Karen I am sorry for your loss. I believe you will see your babies again in heaven! What a sweet sight, all our miscarried babies up there with Jesus! (Not to mention all the aborted babies too!) Wow, that can bring a smile to your face. You have the BEST babysitter taking care of your 2 babies!

Miscarriage is so common. More than we know, more than is talked about. I am sure you will help comfort many girls with your post! Thanks for posting it!

Life Is A SandCastle said...

Karen I feel so bad for you. May god watch over your family and hold you tight.

Dolly said...

Karen, I'm just now catching up on this and I'm so sorry this happened to you. Thank you for sharing from your heart you feelings and how you got through all this with the Lord's help.

Donna said...

Karen, I'm just now catching up on RWAV, too, and seeing this post. I"m so sorry. I know this is a tough time for you and Tanna right now. I'm so glad you can view this from a Christian perspective and have the hope of seeing your sweet babies one day:)

Angela Richardson said...

Oh, sweet Karen, you are in my prayers. I'm so sorry about your loss. I know that post helped many women that have dealt with miscarriage. It's a heartbreaking story, but thank you for sharing. God bless you!

bro said...

Karen - your post has me in tears! My 3rd (last) miscarriage was almost exactly the same - 11.5 wks, went in to check on a cyst that was causing pain and saw the baby's heart had stopped. We'd already seen it twice before that! I thought we were in the clear.

My heart absolutely breaks for every woman that has to suffer that loss. You are in my prayers - I hope He gives you emotional healing very quickly. I hope you continue to have lots of support around you as other important dates come in the future. I know my due dates are still hard for me after several years. ((BIG HUGS)))

Ellen said...


Thank you for sharing. I know when I went through my miscarriage, I needed someone to help me understand the grief process. I am sure you are touching more moms than you realize! You are a

Glenda said...

I am very much praying for you. I have definitely walked this road of grief and still am. My only suggestion is, cry all you need to and don't worry when people say things that just don't sound quite right to you. This is your own unique road or journey and only you can walk it. I have found that everyone wants to say the right thing but so many have not walked down the grief road and until you do you just can not understand. I now see that what I thought I understood I didn't.
I am asking God to carry you and comfort you. Thank you for sharing.
Love You.

Michele said...

I am way behind in reading the blog for Roof with a View but opened it this morning. I was amazed at your blog because I have just gone through the same thing. I was also around 10 or 11 weeks when I found out my baby's heart had stopped and I would have to have a D&C. I had the D&C a week ago Monday. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It helped me to hear it and feel that I had someone to share my pain with who understood even though I don't know you. I will be praying for you.