Unfortunate Spark in the Ignition
It’s ten o’clock on a Saturday night and I am watching flashing lights fly past the outside of my car as my husband speeds off after another red light. My one hand clenching onto the handle above side door, knuckles white; the other hand cradling my stomach. We are amidst our third miscarriage, within a year. This time is bad, this is the worst, this time the bleeding won’t stop.
We knew it was happening all day and we went about our regular business. We went out and enjoyed the hot day, even though my uterus was cramping fiercely. When we got home I made dinner, all the while doubling over in pain, but this is normal, we’ve been through this before. We know what to expect. After all, the last miscarriage happened while I was at work, and I stayed and finished my shift at the hospital. I just had to make more frequent and longer trips to the bathroom.
As the pain grew, I decided to take a bath, where I felt I had officially miscarried any embryonic tissue. However, hours after the bath, the bleeding continued and worsened. I was in the most pain I had ever been in my life. The nurses told me to come in if I soaked through a pad in less than three hours. I woke my husband up and we left. No, we raced.
At the hospital I was two points away from needing a transfusion. I was offered surgery for a D&C to complete the “spontaneous abortion.” I declined. I work in surgery, I know what it’s like to have surgery at 4:30 in the morning on the weekend. I will take the pain and misery, thank you. We were released when the bleeding calmed and I went home to bed.
This time was different because this time we thought we had it figured out. We had found the problem. Before this baby I was diagnosed with Antiphospholipid Syndrome. An autoimmune disorder that basically caused my uterus to clot off anytime it felt the threat of an embryo, that foreign invader. I was told to take 81mg of aspirin daily and every month two weeks before my period was to make its debut I had to shoot myself with Lovenox twice a day, until said period arrived, or I didn’t, in which case I was to continue the shots twice daily. What do these two things do? They thin the blood so it does not clot off when a little baby-to-be implants to the uterus wall. Of course, they also cause your body to bleed like it was a slaughter house.
With the diagnosis we had hope. We could see our house becoming fuller and loud with the babbles of a child. We weren’t even really trying for a baby, but with the autoimmune disorder came the lack of quality, usable birth control. We had gotten farther this time. We had seen things, things we never saw before on any ultrasound. We had hope and months later, they all crashed to the floor along with the pieces of my heart that were scarcely left from the last two miscarriages. The blame game starts all over again. I obviously did something horribly wrong, again.
That’s when you start reading and realize that up to 20% of pregnancies miscarry and those are just the ones people know of. So, why don’t you hear about it until you live through it? Why is our culture so hushed around anything “not normal?” And who decides what’s NOT normal? This is normal. This is the unfortunate truth for most mothers out there.
This was also the spark in the ignition of my new found passion. My passion and desire to help pregnant women. Not just women, but mothers, pregnant and postpartum mothers, because this unfortunate instance made me a mother. Some may not agree with that fact, but I was officially a mother and had been drug through my pregnancy and postpartum stages severely fast and expected to just recover the next day as if nothing had happened. I didn’t recover, I will never fully recover, but I will help other mothers recover, no matter the situation. My arms, my ears and my eyes are open to you all.