This is important for healing. For me. For the mothers & fathers this has personally affected. For strained minds & scared hearts.
I lost a baby.
My worst fear. Pregnant with Wake’s sibling & then… not.
It’s odd how the universe prepared me for this day. A day I feared most next to not being able to conceive at all. A miscarriage. Not me, surely no. But in the back of my mind it was a raging fear that managed to weasel it’s way into my thoughts & found itself very prevalent in my daily life.
Girlfriends shared their stories of loss. One after the other after the other. So many of these beautiful friends, all suffered a major heart break.. or 2… or 7. The strength; it’s unfathomable. Literal survivors of mental and physical terror.
The universe was gently preparing me for 10 weeks & 2 days into my second pregnancy. The bright red telling blood of your future dreams being ripped physically away from you, leaving a dark void in your mind, heart, & body.
I was warned of this by my doctor. It was my 8 week appointment. The first of what I expected to be many over the next 32 weeks. “Just let me see the heart beat. Just let me see the heart beat.” Unknown to her, the extra unnecessary time in the waiting area was torture. “Why is she making me wait even longer to see this heartbeat?” Finally, she came in. The doctor that delivered Wake, my perfect, healthy boy. “How are you feeling?!” She asked. “Great, just anxious! Ready to see my baby.” So she began.
Her words were an instant dagger to my heart. “Hmm… are you sure your dates are correct?”
WHAT?? “Yes I know exactly when I got pregnant. And my husband left the next day for 3 weeks & upon his return home, I told him I was pregnant.”
“Oh. Well, you’re only measuring at 6 weeks. Maybe your dates are wrong.”
Anger. MY DATES AREN’T WRONG. My dates are psychoanalytical clockwork. I may not remember my phone every time I leave the house or forget to take out my contacts before I go to sleep but my ovulation & menstrual calendar is equivalent to a young child’s countdown to Christmas: We know what we’re doing.
“Can you come back in in a week to see if baby is growing?”
“No. I’ll be in Hawaii with my family. I’m gone for 12 days.”
“That’s actually the amount of time I would prefer. But you need to be prepared. This could be a possible impending miscarriage.”
And there they were.
The words I swear I willed to be said to me. The M-word. My heart didn’t skip any beats. It just kept on going, slightly faster, as if it knew. I was oddly prepared. I literally effing KNEW IT.
Does intuition really work that way? Surely I couldn’t have possibly willed this to happen to me. I questioned if I manifested this to happen to me, all of my thoughts about it. Perhaps. (Our thoughts are so much more powerful than most people give credit. Tap into this and keep this in mind for yourself & the constant negative thoughts you may have. They can be very dangerous.) I decided that I never actually manifested myself to lose a baby. That would mean I wanted to lose a baby. Clearly, not the case. I feel like moreso, it was the universe preparing me for the possibility of this reality. Miscarriage is reality. It happens every single day, to women all over the world. And today, I was being added to the statistic.
She left me with a small amount of hope that something was still okay, informing me that my progesterone was at a 24, which was excellent for a healthy baby. She just needed time to see if baby was growing.
So we went on our 12 day trip. To Florida, LA, Honolulu, LA, and finally home the night before my next ultrasound. Not one drop of blood or sign of losing our sweet angel the whole trip.
It was the morning I woke up at home in Nashville for my 8:25 appointment that it started. I looked down and saw the very beginning of my own personal horror story.
“John. Babe.” Gently waking him. “I don’t think we even need to go. We have our answer,” as I showed him my worst fear. He pulled me back into bed and hugged me tight and said “Let’s still go, baby, and get the answers that we need.”
Our ultrasound tech confirmed what I knew. No heartbeat. Just the tiniest smallest little darling, warm & cozy inside of my womb. I told her I didn’t want her to turn off the screen after she asked but the second I saw that baby, I just closed my eyes through the rest of the appointment. Tears streaming, I had seen enough.
Personally, there’s not much worse than preparing a spot in your heart for a baby that doesn’t come. 10 weeks and 2 days. That’s a long time for hopes & dreams. You calculate how far apart your children will be. What grades they’ll be in school together. How old Wake would be when baby #2 would start to crawl and imagine Wake helping his sibling along the route of life. And then… gone.
“You’ll know when it’s passed” my OB said. So what does that mean? That I’ll physically see the embryo of a 6-10 week old baby in a bloody pool? Is this a joke? My heart has already been ripped to shreds, my mind working overtime. But now my eyes have to be forever scarred with the image of an embryo that I’ll never be able to unsee?
Two days after the miscarriage started naturally, I took the pill to help just get it over with. John had left for tour the night before so one of my best girlfriends, Kristin, drove down from Ohio to be with me. I took the medicine at 9am & suffered terribly with labor pains, my body physically churning from what is considered “a kin to labor” as miscarriage starts & your uterus does away with the baby that couldn’t make it. The “brisk bleeding” as my OB put it, was supposed to start 30 minutes after you take the pill. Finally, at noon & no sign of blood, I went to the bathroom and just started to push. Like a gush, the bleeding began. So. Much. Blood. And it continued, a bloody mess, clot after clot, blood flowing like urine, for 4 hours straight. It was then that I started passing out. Once I caught myself on the bed. Once Kristin caught be before I could make it to the bed. The 3rd time I almost fell off the toilet is when we decided it was time to go to the emergency room. I was losing way too much blood.
In the car on the way to the hospital, I told Kristin to call 911. I completely lost my vision. I was going downhill fast and truly have never been more afraid that I was going to die. Although the dispatcher wanted her to pull over for the ambulance to come get me, my vision returned and I saw how close we were to the hospital. It was 5 o’clock traffic and I knew we could beat the ambulance to the ER. “DO NOT pull over. Just keep driving! We are almost there!”
She got us to the hospital so quickly and they admitted me right away.
It was all so invasive and painful. And full of unstoppable tears. Multiple pelvic exams by two doctors trying to get the all of the tissue out. My uterus is so tilted that they couldn’t get to it without surgery. My blood count should be at 35 and it was at 20.9. At 20, it’s emergency transfusion. I begged them no.
A D&C was inevitable. By the grace of the universe, the OB/surgeon on-call doctor that day was MY OB, my trusted medical professional who warned me of this mess. Without surgery, my body would just keep bleeding in an effort to remove the rest of the tissue which would have never passed on it’s own. I was immediately prepped for surgery & whisked away to the operating room. It all happened so fast.
Successful surgery but just like that, it was all gone. I never had to see the fetus. The one good thing I was able to take away from the mess.
In the recovery room, I talked to John who informed me that there was an extra seat on a jet heading back fo Nashville from the show they were playing in Ohio. He canceled the rest of his shows on tour that weekend and came home to me. I was so thankful for his return.
I recovered overnight at the hospital for monitoring for the excessive blood loss and left the next morning. It’s been weeks of downtime. Blood loss is exhausting. I couldn’t hold Wake, I couldn’t walk up the stairs. Just the exercise of brushing my teeth left me winded & extremely sick with exhaustion.
Six weeks until my blood returned to normal.
I’ve definitely bounced back since May 3rd. I’ve done a lot of resting, eating high-iron foods, & taking my time doing physical things that I used to do with ease. I just try to remind myself that the baby wasn’t healthy. Something was wrong & first and foremost, a baby deserves a healthy life. I am lucky it didn’t go on longer. I just try to remind myself that someone, many people, have it so much worse. But I also have to remind myself that I am not alone. I am so thankful for the many women who shared their own story of loss, the friends & family who helped me with Wake when I physically couldn’t be there for him, & the health & life that I do have. If I never have another child, I know how lucky I am to have my sweet Wakey & for him, I will always be grateful.
This story is for the women who have lost. Or who may one day, god forbid. My sweet friend, Kristen Brust’s, story got me through this mess. I’m attached the link here in case any of you reading this ever needs it. She was there for me physically & mentally during this time and I will always be so thankful for her words, wisdom, strength, & guidance during this scary & traumatic time. We are impatiently awaiting the arrival of her rainbow baby, due mid-August. She gives me light & love, watching her grow a perfectly healthy angel after her loss. It’s fascinating & inspiring.
For a while after this mess, when people would ask us when we are giving Wake a sibling, it was like a dagger to my heart. I felt anger towards them for being so insensitive to ask such a personal question. I quickly learned that this was simply my reaction to their question out of pain. I was so devastated about my experience that I couldn’t help but feel like their question was a premeditated insult. Not the case. People asking this question came from a loving place, an excited place. Babies are triggers for happiness! I decided when people asked me this, not to be sad or upset with them or feel sorrow about my story, rather know they are coming from a loving place & simply answer with “Hopefully soon.” Hope & faith. You have to depend on it. It’s right there waiting for you.
I also started sharing my story with people. Miscarriage should not be a silent subject. No one should suffer alone. Women, when ready, should share their stories. It’s healing & helpful to so many, people we don’t even know. It’s like the passing of the torch in a dark place. Giving light in the darkness… just enough to know you are not alone. It is not your fault. Surrender control & lean towards love. This hurdle is a lesson & one we will all get through. Even at the lowest of lows, I can promise you this: you will be okay. It just takes time & lots of practice. Be kind to yourself. Ask for help. Be patient in your recovery & remember: Just always lean towards love.
In the wait for our rainbow baby, we will just continue to love. Love on each other, on our Wakey, family, & friends because now more than EVER, I know that LOVE & FAMILY is what it’s all about.
We are all so lucky to be here.