I clearly remember walking in my front door from the appointment and into Mitch’s arms and starting to sob uncontrollably. It was a while before he could get any words out of me. Finally, I was able to stammer, “There is no baby.”
As I came to grips with the news over the next few days, I was almost able to convince myself they were wrong and that miraculously there would be no bleeding, no loss. I’d go back to the doctor and they’d tell me they were wrong. That’s not what happened.
Prior to Christmas we told our families of the loss, some of whom we hadn’t even shared the pregnancy news with in the first place. Telling my dad was the worst. Seeing tears in his eyes broke my heart all over again. Yet, I didn’t want my sullen, depressed mood to be a surprise over the holidays, so we took the time to tell everyone what was happening.
It wasn’t until Dec 28th that my body finally recognized the loss and started to bleed, 11 days after the second ultrasound. We were up in the mountains for New Years when it began.
Carolyn (co-founder of Mental Push Plan) and her family had come up to join us and while it may not have been the New Years they were envisioning, I’m so thankful that they were there.
The bleeding wasn’t painful but feeling the large globs of tissue fall unbidden from my body was eerie and distressing.
I was bleeding for hours and very heavily at that. After several hours I began to worry about the volume. I called the after hours number for my clinic and had a very unhelpful chat with a male doctor who basically said, “It’s hard to say.”
We decided to go to bed and wait a bit longer before deciding whether to go to the hospital. Around 1am I woke up and went to the bathroom to check. When I sat down and pulled down my leggings I felt a huge gush of blood and freaked out. I stood up to call out to Mitch and that’s the last thing I remembered for several minutes.
I found out later that I had collapsed on the bathroom floor. Mitch and Carolyn rushed in to find me and try to sit me back on the toilet. They said they saw my eyes roll back into my head and that I was completely dead weight. When I came to, I was again lying on the floor and heard them talking about whether they could carry me to the car or if they should call for an ambulance.
All I could mutter was “no, no, no”.
Not because I didn’t want to go to the hospital or because I was in disbelief of what was happening (though I suppose there was some of that), but because I didn’t want an ambulance. Well really, I didn’t want to PAY for an ambulance (I won’t get on my soapbox about the US healthcare system here). But the decision was really out of my hands and my husband and friends made the absolute best choice under the circumstances.
The ambulance arrived and I was wheeled out into the snow.
I have never ridden in an ambulance before. It is an extremely surreal experience. I remember looking up at the lights and the swaying of all the equipment and thinking, “This cannot be happening.” Thankfully, I was conscious and starting to be more aware of things after they started an IV. It was a short ride and then I was bustled into a room in the ER.
There were no other patients and in Dec 2020 it was still very much the thick of COVID (pre-vaccine), so I was glad not to be taking attention away from any other patients. The doctor, nurses and staff were all very good at being gentle and keeping me informed of what was going on.
Turns out there was a piece of tissue stuck in my cervix that was preventing the process from completing on its own and was allowing the bleeding to continue. The doctor completed an emergency D&C (dilation and curettage). All-in-all, I was discharged around 3am and what might have killed me 150 years ago was no more than a 2-hour ER visit.
Modern medicine can be truly incredible.
Well, for the body, the mind is another thing. We have become quite adept at fixing bodies but we still aren’t very good at supporting the healing of minds. The physical bleeding stopped, but the emotional pain continued.