On Friday, November 29, 2014, I was officially 13 weeks pregnant.
We made it past the first three months that many consider risky for disclosing your pregnant status. You're more likely to lose a pregnancy in those delicate 12 weeks. I was in the clear.
It's been two years since my miscarriage. I'm happy that I told people about my pregnancy before you're "supposed to". I won't hide my loss because they're so common yet somehow we never hear about them.
This was my experience having a miscarriage. It was awful and traumatic. It was probably one of the worst experiences I've had and I have a lot of life experience, as many readers know.
That Friday, two days after my thirty-third birthday, I woke and finally wasn't nauseous. I decided to get my body warmed up with some pregnancy belly dance-just gentle stuff like hip circles-before the 25 minute walk to work that morning. I had a little bit of spotting but tried not to worry about it too much. Spotting is fairly common and often inconsequential. On my way to work, I texted my doula/RN neighbour just in case. She responded that I had likely done too much and told me to take it easy.
At work, I took calls as I normally did but with this nagging thought interrupting my problem solving for callers. It was hard to focus. Jennifer, my doula, told me to drink lots of water and lay down once I got home. At home that afternoon, I tried to relax and not do anything. I kept spotting and had started cramping.
On Saturday morning, Carlos went to work. I sat on the couch with my dog and kept drinking water. The cramps were steadily getting stronger. I made some hot chocolate and watched Four Rooms starring Tim Roth.
As it got later in the day, I decided to shower to get ready for my work Christmas party. I heard Carlos come home as I finished. As I stepped out of the shower, big gobs of blood fell out of me. I immediately opened the bathroom door and called for Carlos. I told him what was happening as I choked up. We hugged and shared the same anxious look. I texted my supervisor and told her we couldn't come to the party.
We ordered Indian food and tried to relax. I kept in contact with Jennifer. She said to go to Emergency if I soak through a pad. At this point, the cramping was nearly unbearable and I couldn't eat my food. Carlos insisted we go to Emergency.
We went to the hospital at 8pm. When we arrived at the General Hospital, I spoke with the admitting staff about my symptoms. They were taking my blood pressure and as I stood there, blood oozed through my pants and down my legs. I had soaked through the pad. I was admitted right away and we were led to a private room just off Emergency. I was in excruciating pain. The cramping was horrendous. Worse pain ever. I vomited twice.
A nurse brought me pads, a gown, and hospital underwear. I soaked through a couple more pads and "free bled" into the toilet a number of times. They took blood samples and tested me for a urinary tract infection. I spoke with Jennifer on the phone and she could tell when the pain was really bad. It became hard to speak. It came in waves. Like contractions. I learned later that this cramping was worse, by far.
Poor Carlos was helpless as he sat on a hard chair next to the hospital bed as I writhed in agony, worried about our little fetus.
I was given saline solution and morphine (they said it was safe for baby) intravenously and Gravol to help the morphine-induced nausea.
Several hours after arriving, a doctor had come with a portable ultrasound machine to check on our baby but she wasn't able to see anything. She told us we'd have to wait till the next morning for a vaginal ultrasound.
I drank more water and ate some fruit since the morphine started to work. My sister brought me pajama pants and slippers since I had bled through the pants I had arrived in. Carlos went home for awhile to care for Mannie and Chaos and get some sleep. The morphine helped me sleep.
In the morning, they needed the room we were in so they wheeled my bed into a hallway and we waited there. At 8am, we went for the other ultrasound. I was still on saline solution and morphine in my IV but I laid half naked under my gown and hospital blanket in the hall for the rest of the day. They wouldn't let me have any water in case I had to have a D&C (which they never actually said, just that I may need a "procedure").
We waited in that busy corridor the entire day. An ER doctor finally came at 4pm and told us, with countless strangers bustling past us, that the pregnancy wasn't viable. There was "no yolk". He said that my body would likely expel the sack in the next day or so and I wouldn't need a D&C.
*Side note* The way the hospital handled this situation was not appreciated. We were given no opportunity to have a private moment after our second ultrasound. Telling us about the loss in the hallway was absolutely not the way to do it. This clinic is the answer.
The next day, I saw my regular doctor and she explained a bit more about what a blighted ovum was and told me there was nothing that I had done or hadn't done that caused the miscarriage. She said that sometimes it was the wrong sperm with the wrong egg. A bad recipe. Over the next several weeks we tested my blood's hCG levels to ensure it was decreasing.
This was so hard but I truly appreciate my body's wisdom. And because I had told everyone about my pregnancy "early", I had so much support and a surprising number of women I know shared their own experiences with miscarriage. Including my grandmother.