October 15th: Rainbow Babies Are Still Babies
Sorry for the lack of posting yesterday, I was swamped with orders for the business and was purposely trying to keep myself busy and my mind off of today. For those of you that don’t know, today, October 15th is National Miscarriage, Stillborn, SID awareness day. More than half a million pregnancies will end naturally before the child is even born. Chances are most of you have been affected by that in one way or another. Either it was yourself, your spouse, a friend or even a family member.
This is a very hard subject for me to speak about. I still tear up and will cry in private. On this day, in 2011, I woke up like it was any other day, got ready for my job, threw on my scrubs and headed to the office with my giant coffee and snacks. I was 8 weeks pregnant and 1 day. I had just announced my pregnancy to family and friends the day before. I was exhausted from all of the emotions of it and of course, creating a human in my belly. Work was going fine, helping people get their backs adjusted and feel better until suddenly, I got a terribly sharp pain in my lower abdomen. It kept coming back very fast and was buckling me over. I ran to the bathroom thinking I was going to lose my breakfast. I decided that like every other pregnant woman, it had been 20 minutes and I had to go pee again. When I did, I noticed an unsettling amount of blood. I went to tell my boss and she told me to call my doctor.
So I called Jake and he rushed home from work to meet me. As we headed to the doctors office I began to realize what was most likely happening. I was having a miscarriage. No, this can’t be. I don’t smoke or do drugs and I haven’t been drinking. I’ve been very healthy, exercising, eating well and taking my vitamins. They called us back to get an ultrasound and when we didn’t see anything on the monitor we both knew it was true but still weren’t saying anything to one another. They took us back to an exam room to see our OB. She walked in the room and you could see the words written across her face. I held my breath and clenched Jake’s hand very tight. She did an exam to confirm the ultrasound.
Dr. M stood up, cleaned her self and came over close to me. She said, “Alyssa, Jake, I hate that I have to tell you this but the baby has passed.” She leaned in and hugged us both and started praying over us. Once I stopped hyperventilating, she began to tell us what would happen now as I finished the miscarriage. She explained both the physical and emotional pain that will be involved. I will feel pregnant for a week or two after as the hormones leave my body. After she consoled us for a while and cried herself, she left us to have some alone time.
We left and called my dad and told him and then Jake called and told his mom, so they could relay what happened for us. I didn’t need to deal with the pity. I was angry. Fuming and red in the face. I hated myself, Jake, God, all of our doctors and nurses, family and the world. I thought it wasn’t fair that I have two friends who are healthy and pregnant right now and I lost my baby. I was the one who wanted to have a baby and be the mom. Why did this have to happen to me?
It took me a bit to not cry every day but I got there. It was almost 2 weeks after and I was at my cousin’s birthday party. Suddenly, I had felt like I had wet myself. So I went to the bathroom to check and what the hell!!! I’m bleeding like a horror movie! It’s Saturday so none of the doctors are in the office. I call the on call doctor and he tells me I need to get into the ER and he will meet me there. My mother in law takes me down and comes to find out, that my body was having the miscarriage all over again. I was still producing an insane amount of pregnancy hormones and so my body stopped the miscarriage. Once it realized the baby was gone, it started all over again. So they had me come back on Monday, and wouldn’t ya know, still happening. They decided for health reasons, they need to schedule me for a D&C, dilation and curettage. Having anything left over after the loss or end of a pregnancy can cause serious health issues and even cause cancer. I wasn’t crying and was actually being really brave. My anger was now only directed at myself and God. I had the procedure and was very loopy. When I fully came to, I lost it. Bawling hysterically and very upset. The nurse asked if I was in any pain and I told her just sore but I was crying because I had just realized I had nothing left of my baby. I never had an ultrasound, never heard a heart beat. Just the sight of a positive pregnancy tests and the memories of Jake kissing my bloated tummy.
In our society, miscarriages and stillborn babies, have become a taboo conversation. It’s as if it’s secretly forbidden. People feel like they need to avoid someone after they lose a baby but you don’t. Reach out to the family. Show your support. Pray for them. If they already have kids, offer to help take care of them or babysit so they can get some rest. It is a very exhausting time for all involved. I shut down for a while and was depressed. I didn’t want to even be near Jake and forgot, he lost his child too. It was hard watching everyone around me have these healthy and beautiful babies. I was jealous of them all but I was still very happy for their families.
Jake and I have been blessed by the Lord again, because we have Audrey. She’s healthy, so beautiful and absolutely perfect. God gave us sticky baby dust and said here, get fat and have stretch marks. This is one of the biggest reasons I am not embarrassed of my stretch marks. They are proof of the battles I have fought in order to achieve my dream of being a mom.