My Miscarriage Story: The Pregnancy Announcement That No One Ever Saw
This post is a guest post by my friend, Teesha Shires. Teesha is one of the 1 in 4 women who will experience a miscarriage. So, In honor of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, she is sharing her own miscarriage story in detail. This is a story that we hope will connect with those who is or knows someone who is the 1 in 4.
My Story: First Ultrasound
On Monday, July 2nd, 2018 my family and I went in for my first prenatal appointment. I was 9 weeks and 3 days at this point. I asked for an ultrasound because I like to know what to expect and plan ahead. When the doctor did the ultrasound, the baby was there. You could see it. It was in my uterus, right where it should be.
I soon heard the words that you never want to hear. “I can’t find a heartbeat”.
The doctor then measured our baby and he measured 6 weeks 5 days. My heart sank. It was such a weird feeling to see my baby inside of me and have everything look right but at the same time, it be all wrong. The words “no heartbeat” and “the baby is measuring small” kept replaying in my mind. The doctor told me not to worry. He said that the baby could just be small like my other 3 babies which was a strong possibility. He added that the dates could be off or that I could have ovulated later than I thought.
Deep down I knew that wasn’t the case.
I started panicking and having frantic thoughts. I was also upset and angry. So the baby just stays there? Dead? Is this a miscarriage? What happens now? I haven’t used birth control in over three years! I track everything about my cycle! There is no way I could be off by three weeks! I was screaming inside.
Thank goodness my husband was there.
He distracted me from my anxious thoughts and told the doctor that there was no way we were off on our calculations by three weeks. “How did we get a positive pregnancy test when we did?” He asked. The doctor was still 100% sure that the baby was just small. I was still 100% sure that the baby had been in me, dead, for three weeks. My doctor told us that I should have bloodwork done to check my HCG levels and then he would be able to provide us with more information and we could go from there.
The next blood draw would be in a couple days to compare my levels, but that would be the 4th of July, and they would be closed. I was going to have to wait an extra day. In the meantime he assured us not to worry, but if I had cramping and bleeding to call him right away and he would see me for another ultrasound.
Once we got to the car, my oldest asked me what was wrong with the baby. I told him I didn’t know. I tried to keep it together but I couldn’t. The tears came and I couldn’t stop them. My husband held my hand and did his best to comfort me by telling me we didn’t know for sure yet. But I knew. I had known deep down for a while. For some reason, I had been dreading this appointment. This was confirmation for me. I told my husband and close family how I felt about it all, but I felt like they thought I was being morbid or negative.
I felt like no one was listening to me. Everyone kept telling me to stay positive until we could confirm it.
After I had my blood draw I called and left a message for my doctor. He personally called me back and my heart was racing as he was speaking to me, knowing that him personally calling meant it was important. He said the blood work came back and my progesterone was way too low. It should be at fifteen or higher and mine was at seven. He said it wasn’t good for the baby and put me on progesterone pills until further notice.
I had never taken these kinds of pills before and they made me so dizzy. I couldn’t read, write or walk without everything spinning around me. “What in the world is the point of taking these awful pills?!” I thought. “Maybe my baby is still alive and I am wrong. Can progesterone pills bring my baby back to life? Maybe Jesus will do a miracle and my baby will come back to life inside of me. Please, God, let me be wrong. Please, please let me be wrong!” I had so many thoughts flooding through my mind.
My Story: Grieving Together
On the 4th of July, it started. At three o’ clock in the afternoon, I started bleeding and cramping like an ordinary period. It wasn’t painful at all yet. It was just like a period. The worst 4th of July on record, though. It felt like I was in a fog or somewhere else entirely. I knew I was going through the process of losing my baby. It was physically being ripped away from my insides. I was grieving, yet life was still happening around me. Close family came over to celebrate the 4th with us. We set off fireworks and all I could do was think, why are we celebrating the worst day of my life?
So many thoughts go through your mind in these moments
Why is this happening? My body is failing me. I am such a bad mom that I can’t keep my own child alive inside of me. It must have been the cold cuts I ate, or the cup of coffee or tea I drank, or the raw sprouts I ate weeks ago. I killed my baby. I am a failure. The lies of the enemy were attacking me.
On July 5th, I went in for my next blood draw. These results would officially reveal what was going on. I had to wait all day for the results. It felt like an eternity. The results showed that my HCG levels went from 12,600 to 11,300. It dropped when it was supposed to have more than doubled. So it was “officially” a miscarriage.
At this point, my husband and I got into an argument.
With emotions so high and both of us hurting, I didn’t realize how hard it would be to go through the loss of a baby together. I was an emotional wreck and wanted to feel and talk about everything with him. Meanwhile, his grief caused him to become angry and he didn’t want to feel or talk about any of it. I felt alone because he was the one person I wanted and needed in that moment. With him not wanting to talk about it, I felt so far away from him. Completely misunderstood.
He felt like I was being selfish because I was trying to make him grieve the way that I wanted him to. I felt the same way about him. We were grieving in completely different ways. That wasn’t going to change. I brought up having a ceremony for the baby. He said that the baby was too small and that we were not going to have any kind of ceremony. That tore me up inside and I lashed out by asking him “If our baby comes out whole and intact, would you like me to throw it away in the trash or flush it down the toilet, then?” This just made him angry.
The next morning we were able to communicate better. We decided we would talk about the important/major decisions but nothing more. When I wanted to go more in depth about what was happening, I would talk to someone else. My husband was okay with this and so was I. That was a big step for us.
You can’t prepare and can’t know how you will react to grief until you are in the middle of it.
Our first decision to make was what to do with our baby once he came out. We wanted to have him cremated but figured it would be too expensive for someone so small. So we decided we would bury him.
My amazing husband took it upon himself to make a wooden coffin for our baby. Selecting a size, sanding it, staining it everything. It sounds crazy, but I fell even more in love with him, watching him, during this process. We hadn’t decided on a location to bury our baby yet. My husband was thinking somewhere beautiful in the mountains and I was thinking somewhere close because I didn’t want to have to drive far to visit our baby. Later down the line, we were able to find out that cremations for unborn or stillborn babies were completely free!
Later that day I had my follow-up appointment with my doctor about my miscarriage results.
I was able to ask questions and have another ultrasound. (Once a miscarriage is confirmed, you have to ASK to get an ultrasound picture of your baby. They will NOT automatically give you one.) My ultrasound showed that despite all my cramping and bleeding since Wednesday, the baby was still in there! So by then, it had been a full month that I had been carrying my dead baby inside of me. Which is too long. You can get really sick and get really bad infections at that point.
So I was given two options. 1: Take abortion pills, or 2: Have a D&C. Neither of those was a good option for me and I was wishing so hard that all of this wasn’t happening and that I could wake up from this horrible nightmare.
My Story: Miscarriage
At home, I went into my closet and broke down. I pleaded and begged God through my sobs, praying with a passion that I had never had before, to make my body get everything out on its own. To my amazement, I started to feel really sick just a few hours later. I had chills and began feeling dizzy and lightheaded.
I started having such bad cramping that I thought I was going to throw up.
knowing that I could go septic at any point was scary because Mitchell was in Texas and I was alone with the kids. I got scared thinking these symptoms were from an infection from my baby rotting in me. I called my doctor (who by God’s grace was the doctor on call that night) and he said that without a fever, my body was probably doing what it was supposed to do to get the baby out.
Then I started getting contractions. I started bleeding really heavily. Through my overnight pad, underwear, shorts and a washcloth that I grabbed. This all happened in seconds.
finally…my baby came out.
Completely whole and intact. Still attached to the placenta. It was absolutely horrible and wonderful at the same time to be able to hold and say “hi” to my baby. At that moment, I felt God’s presence and was given the name Timothy. I told my Timothy that I loved him and couldn’t wait to officially meet him in heaven one day. Later on, Mitchell told me that he felt that our baby was a boy. He said he loved the name Timothy, too.
I called my doctor to tell him what happened and asked if I could bring the baby to the hospital to preserve him until we could have him cremated. My doctor said that if I did that then the hospital would KEEP my baby and NOT give him back. So he told me to get a ziplock bag and put enough water to cover the baby. Then put half a tablespoon of salt in the water and then place the baby inside, then place the baby in the refrigerator.
On Saturday July 7th we went to the funeral home. The funeral director had a receiving blanket to take the baby from me. It was so sweet and respectful. The blanket was rainbow colored. They probably do that because it is “gender neutral” but I saw God in that.
I knew that this wasn’t the end.
we will have another baby one day, that this was not done to hurt me on purpose but to teach me and teach/help others. So I share all of this to honor and praise our Lord. Because in the midst of tragedy, you are not alone, you are loved and he is with you through ALL of it. If you have had a miscarriage, or are currently experiencing one, this is what I would want you to know.