What Happened Yesterday

This is an intense post.  I’m warning you because I did not censure my feelings or certain events.  I guess this is my way of handling grief.

I woke up with great trepidation.  The bleeding had started again the previous evening, enough to start the worry.  I went to the bathroom and found clumps of blood in the toilet.  I yelled for Ben and asked what it was.  He held my hand and assured me it was okay.  Ten minutes later, I passed more clots.  Sensing that everything was not okay,  I called the doctor’s office as soon as it opened.  When the nurse heard my concerns, she immediately set up an ultrasound appointment.

****

My bladder was full and hurting from drinking 32 oz of water,  enough water to hopefully expand my uterus and allow for a regular ultrasound.

The tech probed around my tummy, looking for the embryo.  She found it,  and the heartbeat.  Since she couldn’t pick up the heartbeat she sent me to the restroom and took out the V. probe.

We listened breathlessly to our baby’s heart.  She printed the pictures out with cute phrases like, “Hi mom!” and “Hi dad!”  Ben pointed to the screen and told Emily and Andrew all about the sibling.

The atmosphere was light and we asked silly questions like, “Is it a girl or a boy?”

The ultrasound tech found the source of the bleeding: the subamniotic hemorrage.  She postulated that I was passing clots and blood as the sack released it.

****

Deana, the nurse, came out and spoke with us.  She explained the ultrasound a little more and placed me on a more restricted form of pelvic rest.  She listened as I talked about my fears–the continued bleeding, the absence of sickness–and hugged me when I started crying.  As we were leaving,  she told me to call her for anything.

****

The drive home was less somber.  We talked about the baby, the heartbeat, and how relieved we were.  We picked up food as a sort of celebration, complete with a chocolate milkshake.

At home again,  I started feeling intense cramping.  Thinking it was because of the ultrasound, I tried to ignore it.  I laughed as Andrew drank some of the milkshake and angrily grunted for more after he drained the cup.

I tried laying down thinking that would stop the pain.  I felt the blood pouring out, but figured it was okay.  Ben left for work as the pain increased.  The nurse called a few minutes later to make sure I was resting and to tell me how my hCG levels were.  The hCG wasn’t rising, but it wasn’t falling.  It explained the lack of sickness but little else.  I told her about the pain and bleeding and she immediately ordered me to bed.

I called my friend to ask if she could take my kids.  She, despite having 2 of her own, immediately came over.  A good friend, the best kind of friend.

****

Contractions at 6 weeks is bad, really really bad.  Once I felt them, I prayed harder than I had all day.  I fought.  Oh, I fought. I breathed trying to calm myself but the contractions continued, rocking my body. You can not take my baby.  I will keep this baby. But my uterus won.  Reacting like the embryo, gestational sac, and yolk sac were nothing but invaders, it sloughed them as if it were a regular period.

The pelvic pressure intensified with the sense of something bearing down and I knew.  I knew.

Alone I fought.  Alone I lost.  I called and texted Ben.  He came home as soon as he could.

****

The nurse, a different one this time, confirmed my fears.  “The heartbeat was lower than we would expect at 6 weeks.  You probably saw it as it was on its way out.  If you bleed through a pad an hour,  head to the ER.”

****

I sobbed, body trembling, tears streaming, into Ben’s shoulders.  He held me tight repeating, “I’m so sorry.”  His grief expressed itself as anger.  “We saw the heartbeat,” he repeated over and over until he finally succumbed to his tears.

We held each other and rocked, our wretching sobs wrapping themselves around each other and healing our hearts.

The bleeding and clotting continued.  I soaked through another pad.  We decided an ER visit wouldn’t hurt.

****

While checking in, I felt it.  “Oh!”  My baby!

****

“I can’t look.  I don’t want to see it.”

“I’ll do it, baby.”

But I couldn’t turn away.

In one flush, the baby was gone.

We cried again, holding each other tight.  Together in our unique grief.

****

The ER nurse pushed me toward the ultrasound room.  We walked by the IV therapy room I had visited so often while pregnant with Andrew.  The tears started again and I looked away.

****

A dead silent ultrasound room is not a good sign.  Although I couldn’t see the screen, I knew what it said.  I guess I knew what it was going to show but I couldn’t stop the little bit of hope that had leaked through to my heart.

****

Ben held me in his arms as I cried again and again.  The tears soaking his shirt.  I composed myself long enough to hear the doctor’s report, nodding as he explained what happened.

****

We picked up the kids on the way home.  I held my babies tight telling them how much I loved them.  We thanked my friend and drove to the house.

It was late.  The kids were tired.  We put them into bed and tried watching a show together.  I fell asleep nestled against Ben’s chest, comforted by his strong arms.

****

It’s unfair to have afterbirth contractions with no baby to hold.  Like a slap to the face.

****

I don’t really know how to end this.  There is no ending, you know?  It’s a continuous process as I work through the grief.  I suppose that is the real ending.

I can say how grateful I am for my babies.  Losing one so early reminds me how lucky I am.  In their own way, they will help me work through this awful pain.

Before I end, please do not feel guilty if you have shared your own story with me.  I need good stories to feel comfort.

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42 Comments

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42 responses to “What Happened Yesterday

  1. Oh Amber – I am so sorry. I am crying for you, and I’m at a loss as to what I can possibly say to comfort your heart. Please know that I am here should you need to reach out and talk. As you may already know, I’ve experienced three losses, so I understand your grief. And even the pain. Hugs my friend. My thoughts are with you.

  2. Oh Amber, I’m just bawling here. For you and the pain and grief you’re going through…for me, remembering going through the same thing. The rise and fall of hope, the despair when what is happening can’t be denied anymore. It hurts so much, in so many different ways. I wish I could give you a hug right now and cry with you.

  3. Oh, Amber. I saw this post come through on my Blackberry and had to immediately come here. I have been reading your recent posts through my email, sneaking a few minutes here and there during the work day but not coming by to comment. What an awfully painful thing you and Ben are going through right now. I may not know you well, but my heart goes out to you and I ached as tears welled up in my eyes when I read this post. I don’t know what else to say except that my thoughts are with you as you work through this incredibly sad time. Thank God you have those two sweet babies and your wonderful husband to help you get through it.

  4. Amber, I am so sorry. I’m glad you have the comfort of your family and I wish I could be there in person to add my comfort to the mix.

  5. Dad

    I am so sorry Amber. Your mom and I were very sad when you called last night with the news. That is so so sad and we are praying for You, Ben & the little ones. 😦

  6. Hi Amber

    I was thinking of you only this morning and wondering how things were going, hoping it would be good news. I am so very sorry. I know exactly how you are feeling as I have been there too – I think having seen the baby and heartbeat makes it that much harder to deal with. I could offer all sorts of platitudes right now but none of them if you are like me will help. All I will say is let all that grief and anger out, don’t hold it back. Then move on, back to your wonderful husband and those adorable children that you have. Wish I could come and give you a hug right now, I really do. I am trying not to cry knowing how you are feeling.

  7. Dad T

    Amber: I’m so sorry for this. Please know we are praying/thinking of you all. Ben and you commented that this enhances our appreciation of our children who are healthy. May that be a blessing that comes from this sadness.

    We love you,

    Grampa and Nananan

  8. I am sorry Amber. My heart is breaking for you.

  9. Eva

    There are no words, Amber – just a really good, strong hug from afar.

  10. Oh Amber, I’m so sorry. I’m glad you are at least able to share your grief with us; I hope we can shoulder it a little for you.

  11. Amber, I am so sorry for your loss. Sending you lots of love. xo

  12. Amber, I am so, so sorry. I am crying right along with you. Big hugs to you and know my thoughts are with you.

  13. Oh, Amber, my heart is breaking for you and Ben. I don’t have the right words, and I can’t even say the wrong words in person, but somehow, I hope knowing that I’m here and thinking of you helps your pain.

  14. Tara Kearl

    Amber, I just barely found this blog… I haven’t been able to get into your blog for months, which I’m guessing is because you guys changed the address… Anyway, just wanted to briefly explain why I haven’t commented forever!

    I am so terribly sorry. I can’t imagine the loss you’re feeling and you and Ben will be in our prayers.

    Your family is beautiful. You have 2 adorable and HAPPY children. Take care, friend.

  15. Praying for you, my friend.

  16. db

    Aww, Amber.. I’m so very sorry. I am in tears for you. I don’t know what else to say. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    Xoxo

  17. Oh, Amber, please accept my hugs and prayers. I’m so sorry you’re hurting, and I hope….I don’t know what I hope. Just that you feel better soon. That you can feel the love from so many touching you, trying to comfort.

  18. allusiveme

    I can’t even begin to think about the emotional rollercoster you’re riding right now, saying i’m sorry to hear really doesn’t feel like the right words, i’m devestated for you. i have a friend who is on a similar rollercoster.
    Never apologise for what you write in your space, its yours and yours alone. your readers have the choice to read or click the x.
    Sending many hugs, thoughts and praying for solace, peace and guidance through yours and ben’s time right now. x

  19. I know that nothing I say will help the pain go away, but just know that you are loved. And that we are all thinking about you. And crying with you. And praying for you.

    My mom who has gone through this a lot comforts herself by thinking of during the Millennium, she’ll get to raise 5 more kids. And she can’t wait to meet them.

    I am so sorry for your loss, Amber. 😦

  20. Amber… I am so so sorry. I’m sitting here sobbing for you, probably with you.
    Sending you all my love tonight.

  21. Oh Amber, I’m so sorry. I’ve been thinking about you often this week. I wish there were something I could do to help out. Sending hugs your way!

  22. I felt impressed to put your name in at the temple when I went on Friday. I’m sorry it didn’t help with this baby but maybe it will help you work through the grief. Praying for you.

  23. I am so so sorry. We are all here. I know that is little solace, but I hope it is some. Even a tiny bit.

  24. Oh Amber. This is heartbreaking. There’s no easy way through, but you hang on tight to those beautiful babies, that good man, and your strong belief. I’m so sorry.

  25. I know this is no comfort, but I am crying for you, crying with you.

  26. I am so sorry Amber. We are here for you. Sending you love and hugs.

  27. kimmie purney

    Amber & Ben,

    I am so sorry. Know that I love you both and my prayers are with you and your beautiful family.
    Remember to rest in God’s grace and love for you. He is holding you in His arms and crying with you. He will carry you through.

    ❤ you much.

    Aunt Kim

  28. I am so sorry, honey. That is something that will take a while to emotionally heal from. Warm wishes.

  29. GG Mel & Papa Wayne

    We are so very sad for your (and our) loss! If we could shoulder the pain for you we would. Know that we think you are perfect just the way you are and that you are dearly loved by us. We are so grateful that you came into Ben’s life — we could not have asked for a more wonderful Great Grandaughter-in-law!! Big hugs()

  30. * Hugs. Lots of hugs.* My sister-in-law recently lost a baby, and I cannot even imagine what you are going through. Thank you for sharing this. I know it must be hard, but, like you said, it is one way to work through the grief. You are wonderful. If you need anything, please e-mail me. I love you, Amber.

  31. Amber, I am so sorry about the baby. My heart is aching for you and your family. Wishing you some comfort and peace in this very difficult time.

  32. Oh honey, gosh I really don’t know what to say. I think you’re wonderful, you know that, right?

    I wish I could come down and see you. Not that you want some weird blog friend you’ve only met once to come knocking at your door.

    But I would bring chocolate. Lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of chocolate.

    *hugs hugs and more hugs*

  33. Amber, my heart is heavy for you and Ben. I’m so sorry that this happened. Thinking and praying for you all.

  34. damselindisdress

    Dear, dear Amber,

    I’m so sorry. I don’t know if it helps you to know that I’ve been through this twice and understand your pain. When it happened to me I was floored by the sheer numbers of people that approached me to say they had experienced it too. A wise friend told me to not try to brush it off…that it is right and good to grieve. I hope that helps you too.

  35. Kendra

    Oh Amber –
    I haven’t been able to figure out how to contact you since I’ve been back so I was excited to see you comment on my blog! Then I stumbled upon yours….I can’t really say anything to help I know but I hope you know how much I love you and that just as all the others you will be in my prayers. I love you! And would love to see you and your truly beautiful family again in the future!

  36. Amber, I thought of you today and was compelled to come here. I am hurting for you, but I’m also admiring the clarity and confidence of your words here, and the brave way you’ve told this story. I’ll echo BLW in being glad you have beautiful children, a good man and strong faith to rally around. I am thinking about you.

  37. Amber, as someone who had five miscarriages, I know all those horrible feelings well. The wanting to hold onto something that won’t be held onto. The feeling that no matter how much I wanted the baby, I just couldn’t make that particular baby happen. And, with a a pretty dreadful triplet miscarriage I went through in between my two kids, the sure knowledge that when everything is not exactly right it turns out that nothing is right.

    I am so glad you are here on your blog writing about this because you’re giving me the distinct honor of being able to offer comfort. And comfort is something that gives my own lost pregnancies some meaning.

  38. Bri

    Sweet Amber. We are crying with you. So sorry.

  39. No words, only tears. I’m so sorry, my friend. So so sorry.

  40. I am so sorry for your loss. I, too, lost a baby at 14 weeks and it was heartbreaking. Hang in there.

  41. Amber, so sorry to read this news so late. To not be totally in the loop. When I read your latest post I went back….You’ve been through it, haven’t you? I’m so sorry my friend.