Years ago I experienced my first miscarriage. Days after getting a positive pregnancy test I began bleeding. I was shocked how sad I was being so newly pregnant. If I hadn't seen the test I wouldn't have even known what was happening. We conceived our 4th child the very next month and life went on.
I have had friends and family who have had miscarriages and I knew it would be hard emotionally. If it was hard just barely knowing I was pregnant I couldn't imagine going weeks or months before losing precious life. So I had somewhat of an idea of the difficulty I would face if that ever happened to me.
My story began on a lovely evening as I was making dinner. I felt a subtle feeling of wetness escaping my body. So I went to check and my heart sank when I saw the blood. It was a very small amount but there it was and I knew what it most likely meant was going to happen. I thought back to a couple of weeks ago when my nausea suddenly went away. I chalked it up to being a blessing! But now I wasn't so sure. I called Chris and we prayed and decided to remain hopeful until we had more information. I went back to cooking like nothing was wrong.
The next day I woke up cheerful after reading that spotting is actually fairly common in pregnant and doesn't always mean there's a problem. But by the afternoon I began feeling slightly crampy and began to wonder. We were able to go for an ultrasound at the California Birth Center and the midwife couldn't see any signs of life or hear a heartbeat. I knew my baby was gone. In a last attempt to verify what we thought was happening we were sent for a more professional ultrasound the very next day. I cried that evening, like a real cry for the first time. With a glimmer of hope I went to bed but I prepared myself for what was coming.
The next afternoon I went in for my ultrasound. I had actually stopped bleeding that morning and was only wearing a panty liner. I was however feeling more cramps. My worst fear was starting to miscarry in public and possibly losing the baby in the toilet. I was nervous for the appointment because it was 30 minutes away and Chris wouldn't be allowed to be with me. Thankfully he did drive me and I went in a lone. The tech was kind enough but she wouldn't let me see the screen. I was going to explain to her that I already knew what she was seeing but the actual ultrasound began to hurt pretty bad. She had the wand to my uterus which was apparently very sensitive by that point and I had to actually breathe through the whole time. At one point it hurt so badly I yelped out and asked her to be more gentle. She looked surprised at my request and I realized she hadn't noticed me with my eyes closed breathing through the pain until now. She finished quickly and as I stood up afterwards I felt a huge gush come out of me. I immediately knew that it had officially begun, I didn't even need the ultrasound. I asked to use the restroom, ran in and text Chris that my nightmare was happening. Withing a couple of minutes he was at the door waiting for me. I cleaned myself as best I could closed my legs tight and quickly walked out to the truck to lay down for our car ride home.
I was very bummed to have started in public but I was surprisingly calm through it all. In the truck I cried some more but I actually was beginning to accept what was happening. The whole I thought about how I wanted to birth my baby. I wanted to have a water birth. After 5 home births I still haven't had a water birth and while for most of them it was by choice it is still something I would love to experience at least once. I also didn't want to just have the baby in the toilet and never see it. It was important to me to see the life I had created even if it was just the end here on earth. I had read what a miscarriage typically looked like at this stage of pregnancy and I felt prepared for the mini labor ahead of me. My cramps were still very minimal, less than menstrual cramps and not painful at all. So when I got home I went straight to the tub. My sweet hubby set up our computer next to me and provided me with snacks and healthy drinks. I wasn't sure how long I would be there but I certainly didn't expect it to go the way it did.
So the cycle I found myself in was I would just barely feel a cramp strengthen, still no real pain, then would come a flow of blood, then I could feel a clot so I would give a little push and then a clot would come out. I wasn't expecting complications so I wasn't concerned with the size of clots but in hindsight they were very large and could have been a sign that I was losing blood too fast. They were about lemon size with some the size of my hand. I checked every single one for the baby and placenta but never saw it.
I sat in the tub refreshing the water frequently for a few hours. Eventually I had to get up to use the restroom and on my way back to the tub I felt very dizzy. I called Chris in to sit with me just in case. We sat and talked about how I was feeling and the amount of blood I was losing. I began feeling better but we decided to call my midwife and ask her opinion. As I was talking with her, this crazy feeling hit me like a ton of bricks. Immediately the room began spinning and my vision went black and I could feel life drain from me. I didn't actually realize that I had passed out until later I was trying to recall what happened immediately after that moment and I couldn't. I went from room spinning and vision loss to being slumped over deep in the bathtub with my eyes closed.
I had absolutely zero energy or ability to move. I could hear Chris talking with EMT's on the phone. I wanted him to know that I was there so I mumbled "I'm here" He couldn't hear me but he saw my lips moving. A few minutes later 4 EMT's are in my bathroom asking so many questions and I couldn't answer. One asked me to lift my arm to take a blood pressure and I thought I did until he practically yelled it at me and I realized my arm was still low by my side. I can't even remember how they got me out of the tub and onto the stretcher...keep in mind I am naked except for a bra!