December 05, 2011

Not for the Faint

“Miscarriages are labor, miscarriages are birth.
To consider them less dishonors the woman whose womb has held life, however briefly.”
–Kathryn Miller Ridiman

I am going to add a disclaimer here that the rest of this post will talk about sensitive subjects and blood. If you have a weak stomach or do not want to read about the raw and real events of a physical miscarriage I advise you not to read on.

This is extremely emotional for me to write about.
You have been warned.

I have been asked many times why I gave Brielle a birth date and a memorial date (Maia had already died and passed because she was much smaller than her sister, she never had a recorded heart beat). This is because she was truly born. Her little body was into my hands November 7th at 9:14pm and I will never forget it. This post is the story of what happened that day.

We had known since Friday that the miscarriage was inevitable. Friday was the day that we were told that our babies heart had stopped. Itty-bitty baby at nine weeks was gone and the spotting that had taken place before hand was when I had already lost Maia. I would not have seen Maia, tissue or anything yet because Maia was too small. The ultrasound confirmed that Twin B was already gone. Twin A however had no heartbeat but was still in the womb.

I still bled a good amount of blood for the next three days. Smallish dime and quarter sized clots around the clock but nothing horrible. The doctors told me that I would probably bleed for about two weeks but on a rare occasion it could take up to a month. I wanted the baby to pass as soon as possible because each time I saw blood it made me start to have a panic attack. That whole weekend I was nauseous and sick. I cramped but it wasn't anything worse than period cramps. The doctors offered me cytotec but I couldn't bring myself to take it. I wanted everything to happen as naturally as possible. This is why the bleeding wasn't much and no decent clots passed.

I went to visit my parents after work on Monday and have dinner with them. I didn't want to be alone because it scared me. I needed to be around people. After we ate dinner my dad wanted to pray with me. He prayed that I would heal quickly and that God would be with me during whatever was to come. I prayed too because I was exhausted from the cramping and bleeding. I was having dizzy spells and I was a mess.

On my drive home my cramps got worse but I didn't think anything of it because they came in waves all day long. I would have cramps for a while and then nothing for a while. Andrew was at home doing his homework so I said hi to him and told him I was in pain. I went to the restroom and the blood started streaming out. It freaked me out a bit. Turning on the shower I hopped in. Thinking that the warm water would ease the pain and relax my muscles because the cramping became more and more intense. I can say that it is one of the worst pains I have ever been through. It hurt so bad I was seeing dark spots in my vision and just cried and prayed sitting on the bottom of the bathtub. The shower helped a bit but I couldn't stand because I was so dizzy. I am not sure if I was dizzy from the loss of blood or the pain but probably both.

The cramps still came in closer waves and the pain got worse. I would cramp and then stop for a minute or two and then cramp again. The clots that were passing were at least quarter sized and scared me. I did ask Andrew to sit with me for a while but then I wanted to be alone. After he left I just prayed that it would be over quick and tried to push all the blood out. The moment I did that a very large clot about the size of half of my palm passed. You could see bits of tissue in it and the second yolk sac, the tinier one that Maia was attached too. I thought that this was it because I was told that there was only one baby. I set the tissue on a facial tissue on the side of the bathtub and just sat there in shock because the bottom of the tub was red and my hands were red because of all the blood. I was in shock but not panicked. I just started to wash all the blood off of me and the tub. I washed my hair and my face thinking that it would make me feel better. The cramps were still pretty bad but the bleeding had slowed a little. I thought it was over. As I was cleaning up I turned of the shower and wrapped myself in a towel. I honestly felt terrible that I got blood on our towels that I started to wash them in the sink. Not sure what was going through my head. All of a sudden the most painful cramp came and I doubled over on the floor thinking it was happening again. This large blob of blood passed and I freaked out about making a bigger mess so I caught it with my hands. The liquidity blood ran through my fingers got on the floor but the hard tissue stayed in my hand. You could clearly see the tiny placenta and the other body tissue. I was traumatized. That image will forever be burned into my memory holding that tissue with my hands covered in blood. I laid that tissue with the other tiny tissue I had and just stared at it. I felt wrecked from the inside out with the pain and the emotion of knowing it was now truly over. That was it, the end, good by little baby. I cleaned up again and just left the baby tissue there.

I had no idea what to do. The logical side of me said to just flush it like everyone else does but my heart wouldn't let me do it. I started crying again. I told Andrew I had passed he tissue and he wanted to see it. I told him no. I was embarrassed by the blood and embarrassed that I wasn't able to just flush it down the toilet. He said I should put it in my wedding ring box because it was the perfect size to hold it until we figured out what to do with it. I feel terrible calling the tissue an it but my baby was already in heaven. It was just her physical tissue that was left, not her. I called my mom that night because I wanted her advice. I cried to her on the phone and she said I shouldn't flush it because of my heart. I should bury it somewhere. I was so emotional I didn't want to seem like a crazy woman but I felt insane. I took a picture of the little white box sitting with some roses a friend sent us and in front of the candles on our coffee table. I wanted something to remember her by. She was far to little for anyone to bury her but I wanted to always remember. Insanity is always a flaw of mine.

I haven't posted any pictures of that little box because it is so sensitive and personal to me. I was worried what someone would say. I was in such a vulnerable place and still in physical pain that I didn't want anyone to see what my crazy side had done, putting her in the little coffin like box. The crazy side that cried and stuffed a pillow under my shirt to see what I would look like if Riley was still alive. The crazy side that named my babies even though they were so small no one cares about them. The crazy side that has a memory box with all my pregnancy tests in them. It may be my crazy side but having that little crazy side keeps me sane during the day. Most people think I am handling this so well and saying that I am strong but that strength only comes after my crazy moments. God gave me those crazy moments so I can just feel whatever needs to be felt and then hide that crazy side to live in the real world. It feels like there is two of me. The crazy me that never wants to come out of her bedroom and just sleep her life away, cry and scream and be angry because my babies were dead. Then the normal me that is still excited about life and knows I am very blessed and I wanted to live a full life.

Here is my crazy moment for the day. I am posting a picture of her little white box...


  1. I found your story on FB through Faces of Loss. I wanted to reach out to you during this time. I too miscarried a baby. My miscarriage was back in March. Your story brought back so many memories that I have pushed back because they are painful. I delivered my sweet baby at my parents house; I was 10 weeks pregnant. It was scary, gruesome and heartbreaking. I wished I had saved my baby but like others I didn't. I think your picture is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your story. God bless.

  2. Oh hunny, I just wish I could hug you and we could cry together! I saw you on facesofloss as well. I just cried my eyes out reading your absolutely beautiful and touching story. It was not crazy AT ALL. I think that what you did was amazing and beautiful and shows the sanctity of human life at any age. I'm also jealous, jealous that I didn't think to name my sweet angel babies because I was only 5 1/2 weeks when I miscarried both of them. It would be nice to be able to call them something. I'm so sorry you had to go through what you've been through. I want to encourage you to do two things that have helped me. 1. Get on an anti-drepressant. It's life changing. I am one of those people that says oh yeah sure if you need them take them, but was too stubborn to take them myself. Until I realized that I had wasted probably 5 months of my life not living because I just could't. I just couldn't. My husband, me dear, sweet wonderful husband, was doing everything. And going to school full time. And working part-time. I work part-time too, but during this time you could use the word "work" loosely. 2. Find someone that has been through a miscarriage that you can talk to at anytime that will understand. I found a girl that I was friends with on facebook but just acquaintances in real life and she has been wonderful and a Godsend.

    As I mentioned before I lost my two babies very early on. One on November 7, 2010 and one January 15, 2011. Since the last one I couldn't seem to get pregnant. My doctor put me on Clomid and I just found out I'm pregnant. I really want to put an exclamation point at the end of that but I just can't. Tonight I started having some dull lower back aches...the same way it started the first two times. It turns out I have compound heterozygous MTHFR. (an astounding amount of the population has it and I recommend you get tested, if your doctor said that doesn't effect pregnancy, I'd recommend getting a new doctor) My sweet doctor, whom I adore assured me that with a simple baby aspirin, a special medicine to help me absorb folic acid, and prenatal vitamins, I was almost guaranteed a healthy baby. I'm praying, praying, praying that this one stays around. I really don't think I can handle going through it again. God has been the only thing holding me up during all of this mess, but I think I'd rather go be with him than experience a loss like that again. I'm praying for you and your husband, my dear. I pray God blesses you both more than you thought possible with as many kids as you can handle...maybe even one or two extra :) Like you, my husband and I want to have at least 2 (maybe 4) and adopt 2 (maybe 4) ;)

  3. I also saw your post on faces of loss. I think how you took care of your babies is beautiful. All mommas ache to take care of our lost babies. I hope you can be nicer to yourself. This is uncharted territory of all of us after such a traumatic event takes place. I honestly believe there are 2 levels to loss- the grieving for the baby and the shock that something went wrong-like PTSD. I agree with Courtney that Factor V Lieden and MTHFR are some tests that should be done. I took baby aspirin after my son was stillborn and it made all the difference. Warning- it makes your nose bleed at random.
    Best of luck in the future.
    Cathy- Griffin 1993