Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Missed Miscarriage 
Discovered September 27th, 2010
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

9/27/2010 at 2pm. My fiancé and I took several home pregnancy tests on the evening of 8/20/2010 and were shocked but happily surprised to discover I was pregnant. Anxious and eager to ensure a healthy pregnancy, I called my OB-GYN’s office expecting to make an appointment right away. Little did I know that it was standard practice of this medical office and many others not to schedule a first appointment until the 10 week marker. So I anxiously waited for 9/17/10 to come, signifying my 10th week and my “readiness” to see the doctor. My fiancé accompanied me to the first appointment, which lasted 3 hours! We left excited and happy with an ultrasound scheduled for the following week and a due date projected of 4/18/2011. Fast forward to 9/27/2010.

At the ultrasound appointment, I asked if everything seemed ok and was told by the nurse that the baby was measuring 5 weeks instead of 10 but not to worry. Initially, I was led to believe that the baby might be growing at a slower pace or that we had been off about the date of my last period. I was told my doctor’s office would call me later to discuss the results and not to worry. I returned to my office and went back to work. My OB-GYN called about an hour later to convey the bad news in very medical and non-humanistic terms. “Your pregnancy is not viable.” Basically, I was told that I had an empty sac inside my womb but that an embryonic death occurred 5 weeks earlier. This was devastating to say the least but even more complicated by the fact that my body would not expel the remaining tissue and “products of conception,” as they refer to them. Strange to think you are walking around with a dead baby inside of you- still pregnant but won’t be having a baby!

After hearing my “options,” which felt more like sentencing than options, I decided to take Misoprostol at home over a weekend and scheduled to be off that following Monday. At 11:30pm Saturday night, I took two pills intravaginally and within 3 hours, I was severely cramping and bleeding and passing large blood clots.

This lasted for several days longer than expected and because I was in such severe pain both physically and emotionally, I called the doctor who urged me to go to the emergency room, which I did. That was yesterday. A 2nd ultrasound was administered only to find that while passing much tissue and clots, the sac itself is still cozy in my womb, although the medicine did its trick and my cervix appeared dilated. While in the ER, a physician performed a pelvic exam and removed a huge piece of embryonic tissue from my cervix with her hands. I have never experienced pain like this in my life. It literally felt like something was being ripped out of me. I was sent home last night with different pain-killers (the last cocktail gave me an all-over body rash), and now must follow up with the OB-GYN today to determine whether to continue to let the sac pass naturally or have a d-n-c procedure.

This has been a very painful ordeal for my fiancé and I. He has been wonderfully supportive throughout but is worried about trying again because he can not bare the thought of seeing me in so much pain again or of this occurring again. While this has brought us closer, it’s something I don’t wish on any woman. I never thought losing a child barely grown that you’ve never met would be so heart-wrenching. I wrote a poem about this- the first one I have penned in years- and I was hoping to share it with others who may also have experienced a missed miscarriage. After talking to a few friends, I realized I am not alone- it’s just that no one really discusses this publicly ad-nauseum. I was thankful to find this web site through a friend, and just want others to know, you are not alone. I am here with you. And here’s the poem I wrote about it…

The Embryo's Obituary/ A Poem for Our Dead Child

there will be no Facebook announcements of "we're expecting,"
or of your birth and time, weight, length, and name
but i will mourn you forever.

didn't even know just how much we wanted you until you were here.
it was fear at first thought and then happily ever after
until the rains came. flashback to yesterday, 9/27/2010...

i am going to "see" you for the 1st time on ultrasound
and i am excited.
but then the rains came,
torrential like the New Orleans hurricanes of my yesteryears
when i couldn't have even dreamed of your existence.

and just like that
you were gone too soon.
out like one of the light bulbs always blowing in my kitchen.
"don't it always seem to know that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone?"
and then the rains came again...

filling tissues and office trashcans with tears and toxins,
toxins and tears
and bestowing upon me
new fears
that i might never "see" you again.
there's no "coalition" in this. it's a secret pain.

and still it's not over
no sealed deal, no closure-
your empty sac still clinging to my womb.
gone but won't let go
and now i know
what it's like to love someone
that you don't even know.

gives new meaning to the phrase,
"i knew you before you were born,"
that my dad is always repeating to me.
and i will mourn you forever.

and more rains will come as i wait for you
to release me.
hormone- fueled feelings tossed up like a whirlwind tornado
with no real place to land.
knowing full well that the line has already been drawn in the sand
and that the sand can not be put back in the hourglass of time.

no chance to rewind, unwind
"be kind to yourself" they tell me
but can you please relay that message to my betraying body?

praying for time and life in the years ahead
and hoping i will not be telling more stories of the dead
but of life springing eternal.

and as i cry and push through the pain,
feeling weighted by these heavy rains,
your father will hold and hug me,
and we will mourn you forever...


Anonymous said...

I also had a missed miscarriage (last year) & know how hard it is to be walking around with the knowledge that your baby is in there but no longer alive. :( Your poem was so sad, but beautiful. My heart aches for you & my thoughts are with you & your fiancé as you go through this very sad ordeal. I hope you will find healing in eachother.

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