As most of my closest friends know, exactly a year ago today I had a miscarriage. I was almost 12 weeks pregnant. The whole experience, even though I know there is always good in every situation, but this is the most painful.
I want to share my story for several reasons:
It is therapeutic for me. I have been so tight lipped about my miscarriage, that I feel like this miscarriage is an opportunity for me to pull everything back up from the past, things I stuffed down, and really grieve and process them all.
I also think that more women should talk openly about miscarriages. It happens so frequently and it is such a normal part of being a woman, but hardly anyone talks about it or even acknowledges it. For me, I did not want to talk about it at all, even with close friends, because I don’t really know how to share it. I felt like I deserved it and that it was my fault and that it meant I wasn’t good enough to be a mother.
I also want to tell the story of what natural miscarriage at home is like. There is hardly nowadays having a natural miscarriage, most women opted to induce or go for D&C. For a year, been following articles and wonderful blogs about pregnancy loss, a story of a mother who have experienced miscarriages too. She even have lots of pictures of what babies look like when they are born this early. And I think it can be a very scary process, especially if you have not had a natural live birth (as in totally drug free) before and do not know what to expect. In some way, I feel not alone.
And above all, I want YOU, reading this to pray for my healing too.
So here we go.
At 7 weeks, our Angel’s heart beats fast. Everything was normal. Everything seems to be fine and going well between us. I had spotting at the earlier weeks but it had stopped by the medicines prescribed to me. I was even allowed to travel as everything seems to be healthy and strong. No bed rest and extra precautions were required except that I have to enjoy the journey and be happy everyday.
At almost 11 weeks, I thought I was in the clear. The pregnancy started out tough with spotting happening for two days. Being on bed rest was hard but I thought it was all behind me and everything would be okay. Viable pregnancy, the doctor said.
When I started spotting again, I figured it would be ok. I figured I would go get an ultrasound and see the heartbeat and it would all be fine. I was trying to stay positive, but I think I must have been a bit delusional.
I had been spotting all weekend and called my OB first thing in the morning on Monday. I did not go to work and hubby accompanied me at the hospital that morning.
At the ultrasound appointment, the OB was very quiet, and that should have been my tipping point, but finally she said, “Unfortunately, sorry to say I don’t see a heartbeat.” She added, “the baby shrunk it size”. Ed actually had to ask her to say it and spell it out. Before he left the clinic, he needed to hear the doctor say that he was 100% sure the baby was dead.
The OB explained it well and deliver the message nicely to us especially to Ed. I did not even hear those words. I was speechless then. I felt a deafening silence. So quiet until we reached home. The OB gave us three options; she told us that we could arrange to the hospital for a D&C, take medicines to induce or have a natural miscarriage at home. Having a natural miscarriage was a no brainer for me, no question about it. I wanted to avoid the hospital and an operation if I could. But at that very moment all those words haven’t sink in yet into my mind. I was just quiet. All I wanted was to go home.
So we left the clinic. Ed asked me if I wanted to go back in the Philippines and stay with our family. I couldn’t even decide. But I had informed my family and my best friend who called me right away and as far as I remember she was crying then. Concurrently, Ed was already searching for an available flight on that day. Finally, I said “Let’s go home”. And I called my godmother who’s an OB – she suggested me to go for D&C. She arranged the appointment at the operating room at the Cardinal Santos Hospital. So from the airport I would go to the hospital. Everything was planned accordingly.
It’s almost 1PM, Ed asked me to have lunch then afterwards we will book our tickets. I agreed and took a long walk around our neighborhood to process everything, had lunch (not sure if I had eaten the food Ed has offered to me)… I was still quiet though. But making sure I was centered. I had no idea that labor would be possible to happen anytime soon. Ideally, I wanted to bring on labor and start the miscarriage when we got to the hospital as planned. I had long talks with my body about getting this show on the road. I did not want to wait for a week for it to happen (as OB also told me that it could happen within a week). I prayed hard really.
Thankfully, Ed didn’t book our ticket at 4PM yet. I was lucky it happened right before we book. My body got right with the program and pain started that afternoon til night. Initially I felt something like having dysmenorrhea. It was tolerable. It’s like I wanted to pee and poop. I walked back and forth from bedroom to comfort room and then lie down. It started off slow and then got very painful, very fast.
I sat down at the bucket of warm water and had hot compressed too. I came out of our bedroom and got Ed by my side. I started crying. I kept crying and telling him it hurt so bad and begged him to just stay with me whatever happens. After a few minutes I went to sit on the toilet. I sat there thinking, “Am I going to die because of too much pain? How about my baby? Is he going to come out soon?”
While in pain, I wanted to go to the hospital to get a D&C. I never actually said it out loud but the thought lingered in my mind for awhile as I worked up the courage to fly on that night back to Philippines.
Then I feel like peeing and pooping. And slowly I feel relieved. I didn’t noticed if I passed lots of blood that night as I was sitting on the toilet and contractions eased up enough for me to go to bed for a while at around 7PM.
The amount of pain, I would say I got to anywhere between 6 and 9 out of 10. They say, the pain was the same feeling as live birth, but just not as intense. I could feel my cervix opening and my belly getting hard with the contractions. My back felt like it was on fire.
While the pain is tolerable now, finally Ed and I decided to go to the hospital and see a doctor to at least have peace of mind that everything turns out fine. We didn’t think of going back to Philippines anymore.
At the emergency women’s clinic, I saw a number of mommies passing lots of blood and they were crying. I pitied and prayed for them. While lying on my bed, I was just singing my favorite “Lord Your Are Near” to keep me calm and centered. I was again “Lucky” – the attending nurse was Filipino. And I got a special treatment too.
Then here comes the doctor, it was my turn. I didn’t have any idea what will happen next. I was just making myself calm and still singing quietly “Lord you are near”. The doctor called up Ed – I didn’t know that she was already showing to him the remaining tissue of our baby.
So, I asked the nurse what’s next. She just smiled and simply said, “let’s wait for the doctor”. But she showed me a small container where they placed the fetus. I held him for a little while and prayed silently. I asked the nurse if I can bring it home but unfortunately it was a policy of the hospital that it should be kept for laboratory purposes. The doctor explained that – perhaps half or three fourth of the tissues already came out when I had the painful contraction at the toilet. So, no more D&C happened as the remaining tissues were already at the opening of my cervix.
To cut the long story short, I was discharged around 10PM. And so we asked if we can fly back home. Of course the doctor suggested better not but still up to us. Yet, Ed and I decided to fly that night. All I wanted was to be with my family.
As a side note, I am glad that I had that time to hold him and look at him. The day after, I had this huge empty feeling. All I wanted was my baby and to hold my baby. It was really painful but I just kept it to myself. I was showing the world that everything seems to be okay.
Ed and I are at a point were we have not 100% closed the door on getting pregnant again and we are not going to take any extra measures which are available nowadays. We Trust the Lord and surrendered everything to Him. Our FAITH is bigger than those available advanced method or procedure on getting pregnant.
The first two days, after the worst was over, I felt like a rotting corpse and as if the weight of the world was on my chest, holding me back. Each day has gotten easier and easier. I have been lucky to have Ed taking good care of me, my family who has been my pillar of strength and my true friends who are lifting my spirit up.
There were nights, I just woke up crying and more sleepless nights just thinking. I kept writing a journal so I can at least release the feeling I was going through. It was April 3 last year. It was Lenten season.
I was scrolling bible verses and I felt like it was the Lord talking to me. Then an image appeared, He showed me His face carrying the cross, He suffered to death but never complained. I cried so hard. I felt deeply sorry. The heavy grief lifted immediately.
Physically, I am doing okay. Started some light exercise, still practicing yoga, advocate of healthy and balanced diet. I am totally fine and will always be grateful.
I am really glad I was able to do everything on my own with my very loving and supportive husband. The pain and physical process has helped me deal with the emotional pain. Forcing me to be present and connect my emotional heart to what is going on in my body.
The female body never ceases to amaze me. Even during this miscarriage, I am in awe of what my body is capable of.
If anyone is reading this going through a miscarriage and searching for information, my heart goes out to you. I pray that grace washes over you and makes things easier. God loves you. Always remember Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Also, one more note, please know that every miscarriage is different. Everybody is different, every pregnancy is different, and every miscarriage, especially depending on how far along you are, is different. An early first trimester miscarriage, in my experience, is not this physically hard. It is more like a heavy period.
Please don’t blame yourself or anyone else. Everything happens for a reason. It was meant to happen. And it happened according to God’s purpose. We may not have the answer right now but surely God has a better plan and His time is always perfect.
God bless you abundantly!