That’s when it happened. I’ve never told this story on any of my blogs. I’ve referenced it, but I’ve never been ready. I’ve written a little about September Baby, but never my first baby. As I sit here with Declan, my fourth baby, I finally feel ready. I’ve told his and Lexi’s birth stories, and I need to tell these too. When more appropriate than in October, which is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, and the month that I am always aware (along with May) how old my first baby would be right now. Almost eight and a half.
This is not a pretty story, and it started us down a very hard road for the next few years, so I need to make very clear that Scott and I have worked through this story, we have healed what was hurt, and nothing I’m going to share is indicative of who he is today, or is a point of pain between us, but I have to fully tell this, and not sugarcoat it. I am not trashing him in any way. He was twenty three and everything was new and scary and he didn’t know what to do.
We started *actively* trying to get pregnant in January 2006. Because of my pcos we had no idea what to expect, and it was very confusing because I had no cycle to track. I had a period in June, but from then on, I was constantly wondering if I was pregnant, and never sure if I could trust a negative test. I took so many tests that year.
I’d thought “maybe” a few times, but I remember our second day doing hurricane Katrina relief in Mississippi in late September I said to Scott, “I really think I’m pregnant.”his immediate response was “I hope you’re not. I don’t make enough money yet.” I was so hurt. We had been trying for 10 months, and he didn’t feel ready? The week went on, and I grew more sure, and Scott did start to get excited.
The moment we got home from our trip, (Sunday)we went to patient first and I got a blood test. The nurse wasn’t supposed to tell me, but she gave me a thumbs up. The doctor came in and told me that based on my last period they’d guess I was about 17 weeks. We were elated. I Called my sister Melissa, and then my mom, then we went to my in-laws house and told them. My MIL said “oh, so is Jill.” (My sister in law.) I was excited to be pregnant together, even though she was in CA.
I went to my best friend’s house the next day and made my doctor’s appointment over the phone, and went home with her pregnancy books and maternity clothes. I told everyone who would listen how excited I was.
On Wednesday I was on the phone with Melissa (who was 14) and had to go to the bathroom. Because we are sisters, I just went while we chatted. Then my heart stopped. There was a pink spot on the toilet paper. No. This was not happening. I will never forget that moment, (or the similar moment in each of my subsequent pregnancies that gave me the same feeling). The spotting stayed light until Sunday and I just prayed.
Sunday I had cramping too. We were over at my in-laws and I told MIL. She said “well, you’ll probably lose the baby,” in a tone that implied it was no big deal and just a thing that happens. I know she was probably trying to lessen my pain by that, and totally meant well, but it made me feel so afraid and alone. When I got home I called the doctor’s office and they made an appointment for me the next morning for an ultrasound.
As we got ready in the morning (Monday) Scott was so excited! He was like, “we are going to hear the baby’s heartbeat!!!” I was dying inside, because I was pretty sure we weren’t. I was heartbroken and close to numb as we waited in the office. The cramps had gotten worse and the bleeding heavier overnight. The ultrasound tech was warm and friendly, and I will always remember her saying a minute into the scan, “okay. I’m going to call your Doctor to come look at this with me.” Doctor Reutinger came in very soon, and gently told me that I had either already miscarried, or I was about to. The good (?) news was that I was only about six weeks along, and I had the option to let it happen naturally at home.he wanted me to get blood work just in case though, to check my hormone levels. He would see me again in Wednesday. 6 weeks meant my due date would have been 5/19/07 the day after our 5th anniversary. We always said we would have our first baby when we’d been married five years. Our niece was born that day.
When I got dressed again, it was like my body finally felt free to let go. Everything picked up. The cramping became contractions, the worst pain I’d ever felt, and the spotting was spotting no more. I remember the waiting for the bloodwork, knowing I was essentially in labor, and not even feeling the needle. I called my mom on the way home, and saying “mama, I’m losing the baby.” And her voice gentle and calm, asking “ok sweetie, what are you going to do now?” And the small comfort I took from knowing that she had been through this more than once, and she not only survived, but she still had four healthy babies.
We got home, I put on pajamas and a maxi pad, took 2 Tylenol PM, and got in bed, hoping to sleep through it. Scott went to work. I was alone.
Here’s where it gets ugly.
I woke two hours later. blood was everywhere. I got up, made my way to the bathroom, trailing red behind me. I sat down on the toilet, and felt something slide out of me and heard a splat on the floor. It was the baby and the placenta. I carefully wrapped them in toilet paper and set it in the trash gently. And I cried. I sat on the floor and sobbed.
However much later, I looked around the bathroom and it looked like a crime scene. I stripped off my pajamas and threw them in the trash can, same with the sheets from the bed. I turned the matter was over. I scrubbed the floors and walls of the bathtub. I took the trash bag that held our baby, and all the remnants of their birth to the dumpster. I did this alone.
I went back to bed alone.
I woke up alone again.
Scott came home at the usual time, and I don’t remember that night except that his dad stopped by with my favorite ice cream, and that touched me deeply.
Scott went to work the next day. I was alone. He apparently told his boss what had happened, and suddenly he was home. His boss told him to stay home the rest of the week.
Having that experience alone affected me more deeply than I realized and the next three years were a product of that, but out of working through the fallout, God made our marriage so much stronger. Maybe we needed all that, and that’s why He allowed it in the first place-to knot us closer in Him.
And, I hadn’t planned on this, but I feel like I’m some ways it completes this story, and, to me, illustrates what God has done. I’m going to briefly tell you about September Baby, and what a different experience that loss/birth was.
We’d been trying 4 months this time. If you’ve read my posts from fall 2014 you know it sucked. I suspected at Christmas that I was pregnant but tests were negative. At the new year we were told that Scott’s brother’s new wife was pregnant. I did not take it well. Hurt was passed around, it was ugly, then I found out I was pregnant. Yay! Then I took another test the next day. It was more faint, and I’m paranoid so we went to get bloodwork. The bloodwork came back 4 days later and basically says that for some reason my hormone levels weren’t doing what they were supposed to so there was very little chance we were gonna meet this baby. The next 5 days I felt like I was holding my breath. Then on the afternoon of Friday 1/24, the day Lexi turned 18 mos, I went to the bathroom and there was blood. I took a deep breath, called Scott, and said “I’m bleeding.” When he answered. He said “I’m coming.” We put Lexi down for her nap, and he held me on the couch all afternoon. We prayed, we cried, we watched TV. I was not alone. I didn’t have a mess to clean up, because I made frequent bathroom trips, but I wouldn’t have had to clean it up alone anyway. I was not alone. Scott stayed home with me until Tuesday, when I told him I was ready for him to go.
I was not alone.