Google+ Authentic Parenting: A Story Of Loss

Monday, July 19, 2010

A Story Of Loss

written by Elizabeth Walker


I just miscarried. It sucks. I got to spend 6 hours in the ER to confirm this fact. That sucked even more. I knew it could happen. The information I read says that it actually happens quite often...sometimes before the woman even knows she's pregnant. They call it a "spontaneous abortion". I was 6 weeks pregnant. 


I have 2 girls at home. My husband and I tried to get pregnant with my oldest for 3 years. We'd actually planned on starting the adoption process if we hadn't gotten pregnant that Christmas. We found out we were pregnant with her the week after we moved into our first apartment together! Neither one of us could believe that it had finally happened. Everything went perfectly. 
The only thing that wasn't perfect was the birth. I thought I was leaking fluids, so the Doctor sent me over to the Birthing Center to get my fluid levels checked. The levels were fine, but my Doctor decided to induce me that night as I was due in a week anyways! I didn't want to be induced as I'd worked a full day, and hadn't shaved my legs!!! I'm silly about that stuff! 
After being induced at about 9PM, I labored through the night. Around 3  AM my water broke. By 11 or noon that day, I couldn't stop throwing up...the Doctor came in and said we were going to do a C-section. I didn't care. I couldn't handle throwing up any longer! My oldest was born about 2:15 in the afternoon that day. I was just happy to finally have my baby! She was born the day before my mom's birthday.

I breastfed her. Thankfully, that went perfectly. I had to return to work. I hated having to put my oldest in daycare. I'd always wanted to be a stay at home mom. Unfortunately, we couldn't afford it. I couldn't pump often at work, so we had to supplement. Yet I managed to breastfeed her until she was 11 months old.

I thought breastfeeding was a good form of birth control...even after the periods started again. Silly, silly me! Found out I was pregnant again on the day we went to court to get evicted. We were extremely concerned. We moved to my parents' house. That wasn't easy, but we had to take care of our children. 

I went to work for my aunt. I did that until my husband found a job. Thankfully, it only took him about 4 months. My second girl was a scheduled C-section. I was scared into it. She was scheduled to be born the week before my sister's birthday. The girls were born 17 months apart. My youngest also took to breastfeeding right away. I was able to exclusively breastfeed her until she was about 17 months.
I found out I was pregnant again on July 4th, 2010. I had thought I was pregnant for a couple of weeks, but wanted to make sure by waiting until I'd missed my period.  I knew we weren't financially ready to have another baby as my husband had been unemployed for almost 6 months, and my hours would be drastically cut August 1st. I hesitated to even tell my husband. I did after a few hours...I can't keep something like that a secret. I looked up on babycenter.com what my due date would be. This baby's due date was my dad's birthday. March 10, 2011. I cracked up over that! We hadn't even planned it, but I was hitting every single member of my family's birthdays!


I was so nervous about telling anyone about this pregnancy. I am a chicken sometimes about facing ridicule! I didn't want to be told how we couldn't afford a baby. My husband and I had talked about it. Our oldest is pretty much potty trained, and  hopefully, our youngest would be potty trained before this baby was born. 
The first person I told was our cousin, also the girls' godfather. His first response...shit. He was happy for us though...just nervous as he knew our situation. The next person was a friend of mine from a breastfeeding support group I'd attended when I had my oldest. She was great to talk to. 

The next day we went to my grandparents' house. My grandma took my camera and started looking through pictures. I generally show everyone my camera to see the random pictures I took/take of my girls! I was so nervous about her finding out about the baby. I had taken a couple of pictures of the pregnancy test. She passed by them a couple of times, but failed to realize what they were. I finally just showed them to her. She was stunned, but happy to be able to go to one of my obgyn appointments to hear the baby's heart beat. I had told her that I had found a midwife/doctor's office that would work with me to attempt to have a VBA2C.

I ended up telling my mom on July 12th. I had wanted to let everyone know at my youngest daughter's 2nd birthday party on the 10th, but my sister in law had thought she was pregnant. I didn't want to "rain on her parade". My sister in law let me know the day before their anniversary that she wasn't pregnant, yet again. I wasn't going to tell them then. I wanted to give it a little more time so it hopefully wouldn't hurt them as much. I was surprised at how well my mom took the news. She was so excited. I think she was even more excited that I had found someone who would work with me to have the birth I had wanted! It also meant that she could attend the baby's birth. She called up my dad and told him. I was shocked when all he said was congratulations. I was relieved to at least have them know.

On Friday, July 16th around 11 am, I started spotting. I was so scared. I'd never spotted with either of my other children. I was working though and couldn't get away for a little while. Plus, my OBGYN's office was closed between 11 and noon during the summer. I waited until 12:01 and called. They told me to go directly to the ER. I dropped off the person I was working with, called my husband (who was at home with our 2 children), and headed to the ER. When I got there, I noticed that I'd stopped spotting. The nurses kept asking me if I was cramping; I wasn't. I was hopeful. 

I waited. They put in the IV and tried to take my blood...I inherited my mother's veins! Eventually I had to pee. I asked the nurse if I could go to the bathroom. He said sure and handed me a cup thing to collect a pee sample. I told him no problem. I went to the bathroom. I noticed that I was bleeding again. This time it was bright red with clots. I started bawling. I was pretty sure I knew what this meant. I told the nurse what was happening then called my husband. I also called my mom once I could control myself a little better. Everyone was concerned...except me...I was depressed, but trying to keep it in.

The nurses told me they were going to have to do an ultrasound...to make sure. This meant I had to drink a lot of water. I did this. When this was done, I got to be wheeled back to the ultrasound area. I felt so silly being wheeled around when I felt I could walk without a problem! I got the ultrasounds taken. The ultrasound tech was so very nice. I asked her what she saw. She didn't say much about that, but told me the results from the blood they'd taken had showed decreasing pregnancy levels. She said they weren't what they would normally have been had I still been pregnant. I held it together still. This meant that I must've started miscarrying a couple of days prior. She did a second ultrasound test, but this time from the inside. They finally wheeled me back to my room. My dad was there to offer me support. I needed it by that point. 

I called my husband and mother again to let them know what I'd learned. Shortly after that, the PA came in and gave me a pelvic exam. She said that she was seeing clots and such, and her diagnosis was that I was having a miscarriage. Somehow, I still didn't break down again. I was able to be released. The told me I'd have to come in again in 2 days to get blood taken to see if my hormones were continuing to go down to normal. 

I went home. That first night was bad. I cried. I felt guilty. I thought about how just a few days before I'd said while fighting with my husband how I didn't want this baby. I did, but was stressed. I had fallen twice in the previous week or so. I was extremely stressed out. I had to have caused this somehow...I just didn't know how. Guilt, it's horrible. I knew it wasn't my fault, but it's hard to believe it. I was shocked at how little it hurt physically. I had a lot of support though. My whole family kept calling and emailing me to make sure I was ok and to let me know they were praying and thinking of us/me.

The second day was even worse. I would randomly cry. I was snapping at my kids. They didn't understand what was going on. My oldest asked me if I was ok (she's 3). I told her mommy was hurting. I told her my heart hurt. She asked if it was broken. I try not to cry in front of her because it makes both the girls cry too. They knew that mom had a baby in her tummy, but thankfully, they didn't quite comprehend what all that meant. 

Today was the third day. I'm still bleeding, it's still hard, but getting slightly better. I'm exhausted. All I want to do is sleep. I don't want to eat. I have 2 little girls though that are here. I had to go back to get more blood drawn today. I cried a little during that. I understand this has happened many times before to many people. I know it's not my fault. The baby could have had some serious life threatening birth defect. Nature's selection. It doesn't make it easier. I try to believe it does, but it doesn't. I know eventually I'll be able to move on...just not yet. I need time to heal. Time is going to be the only thing that will help. 

Eventually, we'll try again. I'm nervous about it though. I know I'll be plagued by doubts and such. I may not tell anyone for the first couple of months next time, well, except my husband. I'll probably take it overly easy as well. I still have a doctor visit to get through before this is over. I'm not looking forward to that AT ALL! It's going to be another pelvic exam. They need to make sure everything came out. I'm hoping my body will take care of everything. I don't want to have to have a D&C. 

This is my story. I don't know if this will help anyone else out. I just wrote this to get it out of me. I also thought if anyone else is going through something like this, it's nice to know you aren't alone. I don't think guys can understand. I'm full of guilt, even though I know I didn't mean what I said and didn't do anything to cause this. I'm in mental pain. Time...I just have to remember...it'll take time.

Elizabeth Walker is the mother of two beautiful little girls. She has to work out of necessity, but as soon as her husband finds a job, She'll be a SAHM again. She proudly supports breastfeeding, and it gets easier to feed in public with each child she has. She would still like to expand her family and lives in Michigan. Elizabeth wrote an update on how she dealt with her miscarriage here.

Photography by Dave Leiker




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7 comments:

  1. So very sorry for your loss. I have been through it a couple of times myself. It is something that makes you feel remarkably isolated and alone sometimes. You are not. My thoughts and prayers got out to you and your family.

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  2. My heart goes out to you!! I am so very sorry to hear of your loss.
    I had a miscarriage two Mother's Days ago. I now have a 14-month-old son we call our "redemption baby" because we got pregnant with him right after the miscarriage and he is PERFECT. He was due on the very day I'd miscarriaged the year before. We feel that God redeemed the baby we lost.
    Listen....I'm like you, I share my story whenever I can, in hopes that it will encourage or help someone who's going through it....
    you can find my story here:
    http://proudgrits.blogspot.com/2010/04/redemption-baby.html
    Also, I'm just starting a little side "ministry" of hope for women who have experienced a miscarriage....I'd love to put something special in the mail for you! If you would like to e-mail me your address, I'll get it out to you ASAP! My e-mail is tabandrew@hotmail.com
    I'm praying for you as you work through your loss.
    Thank you for sharing, Elizabeth!!

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  3. One of the hardest things I've ever been through... my first pregnancy, miscarriage at 6 weeks as well. Thank you for sharing. This is something more people need to talk about, like you said, it does happen ALOT. Women need to be reassured that it's not our fault. I waited one cycle, got pregnant the next with my now beautiful 13 month old daughter:o) I wish you all the best.

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  4. My deepest condolences. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

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  5. I am so sorry to hear you had a miscarriage, but its your bodys way of saying something isn't right, I had two of them, it was so hard, but time heals all hurts, just take it one day at a time, and look at the two beautiful girls you do have, if God wants you to have more, you will
    love you
    Aunt Iris

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  6. My thoughts are with you as a mother who has had my share of pregnancy issues as well. Be well.

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  7. elizabeth walkerJuly 21, 2010 at 4:46 PM

    I can't tell you all what it has meant to read all of the responses to my experience! I appreciate everyones' thoughts and prayers. Thank you all!

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