Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Mom to Baby Marley, miscarried at 5 weeks on April 8th, 2010
and Baby Franklin, miscarried at 12 weeks on July 28th, 2010
Colorado Springs, CO

I married my best friend and high school sweetheart, and after 10 years together we decided we wanted to start a family. I had no idea what a journey it would be. I started blogging so that I could keep track of all of the fun and excitement along the way; however my blog has now become a place for healing and hope after back-to-back miscarriages. I posted about each miscarriage just shortly after they happened.  These are my posts.

April 9th, 2010:
There really is no other way to say it, hide it or get around it.  I had a miscarriage and I am a mess.

I had to do a lot of thinking before posting this. I had to go on a long run to try and make sense of it. There are still so many questions that I am sure I will never have the answers for.  I may never truly be able to get it, but I thought writing about it may help in some small way.

It’s strange how I am feeling so much and so little at the same time. I am frustrated, I am angry, I feel lonely, I feel lost and I feel like a failure. I can’t seem to make sense of the world. My mind is comatose from wondering why, how and what now.

Although I was only five weeks along, I loved that baby. I felt a connection to it. I am heartbroken.  I never got to meet the little one, to know if it was a boy or a girl or even to hear its heart beat.
There is no explanation. The doctor said it is quite common, which actually makes my heart hurt more.
There is no closure, not yet anyway. I cry and ache because I don’t know if I flushed my baby down the toilet or if it went down the shower drain.  

Thursday was supposed to be our first dr. appointment, however on Wednesday I started bleeding, heavily, with cramps and large clots. I was so scared, tears streamed down my face and I just felt so small and helpless. I went to work, hid in a stairwell and called my doctor. They wanted me to do a blood test, one that day and another on Friday, to compare my Hcg levels.  I made up an excuse to leave work, and I went and gave two large viles of my blood.  The doctor would call me the next day to tell me the initial results. Terrified of the possibilities the next 24 hours were agonizing.

Thursday morning in the shower I passed what appeared to be a small placenta.  I chocked, pain engulfed my body.  I knew something was terribly wrong.  I couldn’t focus, I couldn’t stop the tears. I couldn’t go to work, but I needed to do something to get my mind off of it. I need to try to stay positive. I took Goose for a walk, I busied myself with crafts, I made some coasters and some decorative hair pins.   I made a supply run to Hobby Lobby.

As I browsed aimlessly my phone rang.  It was my doctor and it wasn’t good news. As I listened to the fact the my Hcg levels were way too low to be nearly six weeks and with a confirmation of a passing placenta my world clouded. I heard the word miscarriage and my mind went blank.  I kept my composure for a second, thanked the doctor for the call, hung up the phone and fell to the floor. Right there in Hobby Lobby I lost it. I lost control over my body and my emotions. Fortunately, not too many people were planning their next craft project that Thursday afternoon and I found an empty aisle and gathered myself. I went to the car, called my husband and lost it again.

I don’t think it has fully sunk in and I am not sure that the reality of it will ever make sense.  I feel certain that life the way it is now is not the way it will be a year from now. I believe that everything happens for a reason even if those reasons are unknown. I am healthy, my husband is healthy, we have a baby in heaven and we will have a family of our own someday here on earth and for that I am grateful.  In the meantime, I am going to cry because I cannot help it.

July 30th, 2010:
The week started on Sunday with the excitement and anticipation of our 12 week check up and ultrasound. I could not wait to see our baby again and get to hear the little heartbeat.  Brian and I headed to the Doctor’s office at 9:30 Monday morning, laughing and joking and feeling great. Brian was readying his phone to record this amazing event for our whole family. As we sat in the waiting room discussing what type of position the little one would be in, performing some choreographed kung-fu or sleeping soundly, my first disappointment was not getting our favorite lady, Sue, for our ultrasound, nonetheless we proceeded to the ultrasound room.

As the ultrasound began, the woman was cold and short. It worried me once a few moments passed and she was silent. “What is wrong” I demanded to know. Brian told me later that he thought she didn’t know how to work the machine. “There is no heartbeat” she replied.  “You need to go see Dr. Baer”. I looked at Brian and he looked at me, the confusion and fear on his face felt like looking into a mirror. As she exited the room, I was frozen in shock. Brian said, “Bitch” and I am pretty sure the woman heard.

As we waited in another room for Dr. Baer, we both concluded that that lady was wrong, had no idea what she was doing. Regardless of our justifications, a horrible feeling sank into the room. Dr. Baer entered and the first thing I heard was “I am sorry”.  It felt like a swallowed a whole apple, I could not breathe. Our world came crashing down. I tried my very best to understand what he was saying through my sobbing, but my body was convulsing, my mind reeled and my tears left everything in a blur.

I was so angry, so sad, so confused. How could this happen? Why did this happen? What did I do wrong? How can this happen twice in a row?  I felt so confident that our chances of miscarrying were gone at nearly 12 weeks, I was seriously mistaken. This was not at all what we were expecting.  I had no cramping, no bleeding, nothing. I still had some nausea, although I believed the weaning symptoms were due to the fact that I was almost in my second trimester.

As the Doctor explained it, we had a missed miscarriage. With no fetal heartbeat, and measuring only at 9 weeks, the baby had passed away. Apparently, my body did not accept this. For three weeks my uterus continued to grow and my body believed that the baby was alive. We were given three options to handle this: let it come out naturally, use medication to speed up the natural process or have a D&C to surgically remove it.  We were not prepared to make a decision.

In shock and somber we went home.  I canceled an appointment I had for work later in the day. Brian called into work and then we called our parents for guidance.  I felt extremely sad to give them this disappointing news. We are blessed however with a great family and lots of support.
Brian had the idea of grabbing some sandwiches, going up into the mountains, getting some fresh air and talking about it. So we did and the love my husband and I have was more apparent than ever. There are no combination of words that can describe how I feel about him and how glad I am to have him in my life.  Overlooking the city, through the pain and sadness, we sorted through the pros and cons.

Waiting to have it come naturally seemed like it could take a while, we worried that a D&C could cause problems later and seemed the most complicated, so we decided to use the medication to speed things up.  We called the doctor to get a prescription only to find out that we needed to come in to have the pills inserted vaginally.  We went back in that afternoon and had it done. I cried the whole time; there was too much emotional pain and physical pain.  

He said I would start cramping and bleeding within 6-8 hours and that the fetus should pass within 24 hours. The medication is similar to Pitocin which induces labor, called Cytotec.  Vicodin was also prescribed as he said there would be a lot of pain and a follow up ultrasound was scheduled for Wednesday. Once again, we left anguished.

My world felt so upside down.  I had so many questions and no answers at all. At home, we just waited… waited to have it hurt worse. It did, but not as I expected. The pain was just enough to keep me up most of the night, but no bleeding.  I searched for answers that were not there in books and on the internet all night.

The next day, I told Brian to go to work, reluctantly he did. Talking to my wonderful in-laws the night before, they suggested I read, Why bad things happen to good people by Harold S. Kushner. I had never read it and was willing to try anything to make this feel better. Brian downloaded the book on my reader and I spent the majority of the day reading and rethinking my beliefs.

I have always held the conviction that “Everything happens for a reason” but this idea was very troubling to me now.  What we were going through seems so unjustifiable, so unfair. I can’t make sense of it. Was it something I did, something I didn’t do?  Was it not the right time?  Was something wrong with me, with the baby? Was I being punished for something, was I being tested? Again, no answers surfaced. I have always considered religion and spirituality a personal thing and my connection with God, the Holy Spirit, whatever name people want to attach to that which is greater than us, was coming into question.

If I truly believe that there is a purpose behind everything and that there is an all powerful God, why would he do this to us? Why so much pain?  I guess it took something this significant to make me realize that I do not want to believe in a God  that would have a master plan were people must hurt and suffer, that because maybe I didn’t pray hard enough bad things would happen. I do not want a God that purposefully causes tragedies like 9/11, hurricane Katrina and parents losing their children.  The book opened my mind to a world where there is randomness, where everything is not just an act of God and that Nature does play a part.  Instead of believing that everything happens for a reason and that there is a cause for everything, I am accepting the fact that there are things that simply have no purpose in this world.  I want to believe in a God that is not the cause of terrible things, rather a God that is simply there to help us get through those terrible things. This idea makes me more comfortable with life right now. It doesn’t take away the pain and heartache, or the feeling like I am in a horrible nightmare, but it does help me find the strength to get through this.

It also makes me realize that the support and love from family and friends is more important and more special than anything in this world. I am so grateful for the people I have in my life.  As sad and embarrassed and ashamed I was to tell everyone that we lost the baby, the love and closeness I felt with everyone made those feelings go away.

So by 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday this should be over, I should have passed the fetus.  But physically I am feeling better, no cramps, no bleeding.  The doctor wants me to keep my appointment for Wednesday. The waiting and anguish continues. I truly feel like I am living someone else’s life. Brian and I spend the night quietly discussing life and how we’re feeling.

When Wednesday morning comes, nothing has happened, no progress at all. I have a slight glimmer of hope that maybe they were wrong. Maybe this little baby was just playing possum, sleeping very deeply.  I try not to work myself up and expect that I may need to get a D&C. We get to the doctor’s office around 10:30 a.m., and we were relieved when Sue came to get us for the ultrasound. Although it was not the confirmation I wanted, they way she explained it and talked to us made me feel better. I believe compassion should be a requirement for that sort of job.  She shared with us that her daughter had a miscarriage and that they now have a wonderful baby girl. This gives me hope.  As she escorts us to see Dr. Baer, she hugs Brian and me, and I feel the kindness I wished for on Monday.

Dr. Baer comes in and seems very surprised that nothing has happened. He informs us that I am the first patient he has ever seen, in all his 15 years that the medication did not work on. We talk about a D&C, he tells us the chances of something going wrong are about 1%. I consider that my luck hasn’t been the best lately and we opt to have one more round of medication.  I go home and wait some more.  I really hate the waiting, I wish there was something that could divert my mind or keep me distracted. Since I don’t want to pass this at work or in a store or on a run, I am at home with my thoughts.  My thoughts are clouded, perplexing; with every hour that passes I get more and more nervous as nothing seems to be happening.  

Around 6:30 I decide to do the dishes, to try and do something productive and half way through I feel a gush and I quickly head to the bathroom.

Suddenly the pain was excruciating, like nothing I have ever felt before.  The blood came out like a fire hose and I was terrified. The emotions shooting though my body in that moment were overwhelming. After roughly a minute of bleeding, I feel something different.  Without thinking, I placed a tissue to catch what was coming out. The doctor said we would not be able to tell that it was a baby and I wish he was right. What came out on that tissue was something I will never forget, an image burned into my mind for eternity. It was our baby, unquestionably.  It literally felt like a knife just went through my heart. The baby’s eyes and ears were prominent; it had 5 tiny fingers on each hand. It looked so precious and in that instant I would have given anything to give life to this baby.  I felt a love and sadness that is inexpressible.

The pain would not let up; I placed the baby on the counter, covered it with another tissue and continued to bleed out. After what I am sure was at least 20 minutes of straight bleeding I began to feel dizzy, sick to my stomach, chilled and very afraid. I felt like I was going to pass out. I called for Brian and he came right away. I saw the concern and fear in his eyes through my tears, but he acted quickly getting me juice and taking my temperature. I was amazed that he knew just what to do. Once I felt stable, I asked him if he wanted to see the baby, he did. We took a moment together and silently gazed at our poor baby’s lifeless body. I told it that we loved it and asked God to watch over it.  My heart has never ached so badly.

This is the most difficult thing I have ever had to face, the most agonizing time of my life.  Writing this was nearly impossible, but I felt like it is something I needed to do.  I am not looking for sympathy or condolences, however I do cherish all the thoughts and prayers I am fortunate enough to get. Writing about this was cathartic in a way.  I began this yesterday with the intention of keeping it to myself. I actually wanted to delete my blog entirely. I forced myself to get out of the house and go on a run this morning, despite the pain, and I am glad I did.

I changed my mind about not posting this. I hope that no one else ever has to go through this and I feel that if even one woman reads this who is going through something similar finds comfort in knowing she is not alone, than it is worth putting everything out there.

I am beside myself, embarrassed, ashamed, sad, and angry. My heart is shattered. I feel like my days are filled with unrelenting pain and my nights feel one hundred sad years long. I am emotionally and physically exhausted. I have discovered these feeling are okay, necessary even.  I know my life will never be the same. My future has been affected, not the past. I have lost two children and I don’t think that is something I’ll ever get over or forget. But I have discovered that accepting randomness in the world can be empowering and that finding comfort in God, family and friends is even more uplifting.

I will always love these babies, and I will carry them with me in my heart forever.

Tiffany blogs at 
You can contact her at


Anonymous said...

My heart aches for you. I know my baby went into our toilet after excruciating cramps - I called him Sam - but I felt sad that I never could see or identify him. To hold your lost baby, to see the child that you have lost, I cannot even imagine. Tender, tender love to you. You are very brave.

Amy said...

My heart goes out to you. I too had two miscarriages and had a D&C for both. Today I'm 18 weeks pregnant. I want you to know that there is hope. Miscarriages are such a painful experience that no one should ever have to go through. You are a very strong person and one day you will be a mother.

Ausmerican Housewife - Creating with Kara Davies said...

I saw our baby for a split second before flushing her down the toilet when I miscarried (I decided she was a girl, I had no idea what else to do). Seeing her tiny gray body and black eyes validated my entire pregnancy and in that moment -black as it was- it was enough. I totally know what you mean by wishing you could give life to your tiny baby. Many hugs to you.

Lilly's Mom (Desiree) said...

Praying for you and the future of your family :)

Anonymous said...

I love you more than you know Tiffy, you are an amazing brave woman. I am proud of you for the strength you are showing. All my love to you and Brian.

Anonymous said...

That anonymous post was me, Kim.

Anonymous said...

I went through similar questions and emotions. Through my pastors and Philip Yancey's book, Disappointment With God, I realized that nearly everything bad that happens in this world is a result of sin (either directly or indirectly). Because Adam and Eve (and every single one of us) sinned, imperfect health entered the world. And a part of that is miscarriage. It just happens because our world is imperfect and flawed. But we have to forgive, because we too are the cause. And we have to cling to hope, because one day Jesus will bring restoration.


Anonymous said...

Oh sweetheart- you will meet your sweet babes one day. You ARE a MOMMY! May you be granted a peace beyond all understanding.


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