shock

There isn’t really a way to begin this post. There is no way to ease into something that, well, just isn’t easy to talk about.

When I went to my final appointment at the clinic, you know the graduation appointment where they cheerfully discharge you to the care of an OB, I had routine bloodwork. I then had an ultrasound.

The tech was silent. I could sense something wasn’t right but I still made a joke, “hey let me know what’s going on in there.” She patted my knee and apologized. She pulled the wand out and said she needed to get a 2nd opinion.

I knew then. Not good.

Two minutes later the 2nd tech confirmed. No heartbeat.

And with those words the future that I had been planning and dreaming of disintegrated. I couldn’t make a sound. Tears just kept gushing out of my eyes. I was told to get dressed and that someone would take me to a room where I could meet with the doctor on duty.

I walked through the lobby, packed with excited and hopeful faces, and was taken to an exam room to wait for the doctor to be available to me.

They gave me a box of tissues, plonked my medical chart on the exam table, and crooned sympathy at me. Then they left me alone with the world’s loudest wall clock.

When you have been told that your baby has no heartbeat the very last thing you should endure is being alone in a room with a loud ticking clock.

The front page of my chart had a post it on it. I could read the note from where I sat: fetal demise, 10w2d.

Things were measuring perfectly. This heart stopping bullshit? It had to have happened within hours of my appointment.

I texted with Mom, who immediately started beating herself up for not being with me. I texted with my closest friends. Cecily immediately texted back that she was on her way to get me. I cried. I cried. I cried.

Thirty minutes later I was taken to an office to meet a doctor that I had never met before. He tried to hug me but I sat down before he could. He had this tone, this, “I’m so sorry for your loss” way of speaking that I found so obnoxious. I mean he was kind, but it felt scripted. Probably because I had no idea who he was so why did he give a shit?

He explained the what next of it all. I could do nothing and let my body have a “spontaneous miscarriage”. He elaborated that some women preferred “this method”, but that since I was so far along that would probably lead to an “emergency situation”. He said my “best bet” would be to have a D & E at a hospital. He said to call my OB, “they do them all the time!” as soon as possible. He said to continue taking vaginal progesterone to help delay anything “spontaneous”.

He must have asked me 20 times if I had any questions. I couldn’t think of any. I know better to ask why. There is no reason. Shitty stuff happens. I get it.

Cecily drove me home. We listened to NPR and gawked when we drove by Airforce One. She let me be quiet.

Mom was waiting for me in front of the house when we pulled up. As soon as I got inside I lost it. Oh this is so hard. I hope I can make it through.

There is, of course, a not so amusing problem with my OB being able to perform a D & E. They are only covered to treat me for my OB needs. Since this is classified as a NOT OB issue I have to find someone new to help me. I am planning on reaching out to my primary care doc and finding out what he says to do. I feel so, I don’t know, is lazy the right word? I feel lazy about the final shit I have to do. I just want to show up someplace and be put to sleep and wake up when it is all over. I don’t want to make calls and figure things out.

There is death inside of me and it is overwhelming. I can’t move forward until the death is out. And yet, fuck, I am still in such shock, I still have this pesky and obnoxious feeling that this is all some big mistake. They couldn’t see the heartbeat on the ultrasound because I am fat, or tall, or because of the position of my uterus…

But as often as I have this feeling I know that it is over.

I’m angry and sad and I feel stupid for having been hopeful. What an idiot for writing smug pregnant person posts! See? Shit stuff HAPPENS.

I feel broken and damaged. My heart is broken.

Comments

  1. says

    Oh, god hun… I am so, so sorry. It just isn’t fair.
    I know what it feels like to see the words “fetal demise” on a medical chart. Made my stomach turn. It seems so cold and clinical.
    I also had to make that decision. I was almost 13 weeks along. Looking back I am still not sure I did the right thing with it. I didn’t opt for a D&E, but took the pills instead. :/
    I will be thinking of you over the next few days and weeks… I know how incredibly difficult this process can be. I know you have lost so much more than a pregnancy. <3
    Sending you love and peace, dear…

  2. says

    Oh, darlin. I am so, so sorry. This is unfair and awful, and I am just so sad about it.

    I don’t understand how this isn’t an OB issue (i mean i think that makes no sense, not that you are wrong) but regardless, I hope you find someone good and kind very easily.

  3. says

    The worst the worst the worst. I am so sorry. The dead baby ultrasound is the ABSOLUTE WORST.

    I am so sorry. I am so sorry.

    I felt very much the same — I could NOT move on, or even CONSIDER moving on until I got the death out.

    I’m sending you love. I am so sorry, Dresden. Love love love.

  4. says

    Oh, your pain.

    I am so sorry.

    It doesn’t matter how many times this has happened, or to how many people: WHEN IT HAPPENS TO YOU IT HURTS LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER.

    I am so sorry.

  5. says

    I also lost a baby to miscarriage at 10 weeks. It was one of the hardest things I have ever been through. I’m not even sure how I got through it, but I did.

    My thoughts are with you. I’m so sorry for your loss. Please be kind to yourself.

  6. KLTTX says

    Totally sucks! So sorry. For what it’s worth, I would do the d&c too. Both of my spontaneous m/c’s needed them after all. Better to just get it over with.

  7. says

    Oh no, Dresden! I’m so so SO incredibly sorry for you and sending lots of love and hugs your way. I hope you can figure out the OB situation soon and put all this shit behind you, at least physically! Will be thinking of you! (((HUGS)))

  8. Lisa says

    Oh my God, I am so sorry and am tearing up as I am writing this. I so wanted this to be perfect for you. This sucks so much.

  9. says

    I thought this was a mistake – an old post from your blog or something that accidentally got published today. I thought this is not happening. I am so very sorry. I had the same experience at 9 weeks. (and my OB did perform the D&C. I know that’s not helpful right now.)

    Thinking of you and your family. So incredibly sorry.

  10. says

    Dresden,
    I’m sorry. I’ve been there. It hurts. A lot! I will be thinking about you and wishing you strength. Let yourself grieve..it takes time.
    With love and support,
    Annie

  11. says

    I am so sorry for your loss. Suffering a miscarriage has to be the hardest thing I’ve ever experienced and I hate seeing others go through the same. *hugs*

  12. says

    I’m so sorry sweetie. When I had my stillbirth, I too was alone at the appointment. Thank goodness for friends you can call in these times.

    I’m so sorry. Sending you love and gentle hugs.

  13. Ann says

    Oh, no! I’m so sorry, Dresden.

    It’s horrible and wholly unfair the way things like this can happen and smack us hard upside the head just as we begin to let our guard down. Or not. It all feels perilous and unpredictable.

    I’m glad you have loving family and friends around you. And again I’m so sorry.

  14. Kelly says

    I am so beyond sorry for your loss. It seems awful that you have to do anything right now but grieve. Sending you love and light.

  15. Lisa says

    I have words, but none of them are the right ones. The only thing I can say, my dearest, is that I love you and I’m so damn sorry.

  16. Lin says

    Noooooo! I am so sorry! Get the D&C. The “emergency situation” is worse. Been there, done that. Sending loads of sympathy.

  17. says

    I am so sorry this is happening to you!!! There really are no answers or words that can make this better for you, I know I have been there too. I am glad that you have your mom and Cecily there for you but that just helps, doesn’t fix it. I am so sorry….

    The fixer (or male side of me) has to pop of for a second. Please forgive. My OBGYN said that insurance covered him for my pregnancy to what ever outcome so all his services were covered in my case. I would ask again (or let your mom or Cecily) because the last thing you want is to have to find someone new.

    Keep blogging…. it has been very cathartic for some of us. So sorry…

  18. says

    This sucks. It sucks and it’s unfathomable and it’s unfair and it’s shitty. I am so sorry you are experiencing this. Sending you love and strength…though, you already have tons of strength.

  19. Amy says

    Oh Dresden. I am so very sorry this happened. My heart is hurting for you. I wish I had amazing words of comfort but I remember the feeling too well. I will be holding you in prayers and light.

  20. Becky says

    I’m so so sorry. I have been there – also at what was to be my “graduation” appointment from my RE. It really sucked but you don’t need me to tell you that. For what it’s worth I picked to let things end naturally and I regret it. Yeah it was physically very painful but the waiting was the worst and I wish I had spared myself that. Is a choice between horrible alternatives and I wish I could somehow make this all easier for you.

  21. Julie says

    When I lost mine at 10 weeks (no heartbeat), I went through this thought process: sadness, the questions of why?, and then the what next? then GET THIS DEAD THING OUT OF ME. Omg, Dresden, it sucks and I am SO sorry. So very sorry. Be thankful you’re opening yourself up for support. That’s huge.

    Hugs, love, peace

  22. says

    Dresden, I am really sorry this happened. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Please know that you have a big support system, and we’re here for you.

  23. says

    I am so very very sorry. I wish there was a way to make it right or have it make sense but there just isn’t. I’m wishing you peace and know you’re in my thoughts

  24. Samantha W says

    I am so very sorry. I wish I could take your pain. No women should have to experience this. Thinking of you.

  25. says

    I know, from experience, that there is nothing I can do or say that will make any of this better.

    The truth? This is just fvcking unfair.

    Please know that you are in my thoughts and that I am so very, very sorry to read this.

  26. Karen says

    OMG! I’m so sorry this happened to you. I remember being in the exam room with my daughter after she had noticed bleeding. When the ultrasound started, I said in my head, “The sound must be turned off.” Then, I noticed that I couldn’t see the heart beating. My daughter didn’t seem to notice that anything was wrong until the, now pale, ultrasound tech told us the same thing that you were told, that she had to get a second opinion. When we were finally told that there was no heartbeat, I felt like I had been stabbed in the heart, even though I was a reluctant grandmother-to-be, and the mother-to-be was only 16 years old. My daughter was both relieved and disappointed, but there is no silence like the absence of a fetal heartbeat.

  27. Claudia says

    I miscarried and had to endure a heartless doctor who had no kind words. Basically, I found out I was pregnant at the same time I learned my baby had died. This man had nothing but distain for me and my stupidity. I hadn’t done anything wrong that would have caused a miscarriage, but he made me feel as though I did. I cried right there on the table as he did the proceedure. Sobbed really. Talk about total shock all the way around and such sadness…and anger at the ob/gyn for treating me the way he did. I still wished I had kicked him in the face, hopped off the table and gone someplace else. Anyplace else. All I can say is I know the pain well. Allow yourself to grieve, for as long as it takes. Love to you and your baby in heaven.

  28. says

    I am so terribly sorry. I know that there are no words that can help you get through this, because if there were someone would have bottled them for moments such as these. I wish for you the strength and continued support of those around you who love you. And I send you virtual hugs that are gentle to remind you you have a huge community who is here to listen should you need us. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  29. Jane says

    Dearest Dresden,
    Even in your despair, you are eloquent.

    I wish that this in this situation I could run around a doctors office screaming at people until they helped you.

    I’m so sorry for it all—and am thinking of you.

    Love- j

  30. says

    I have no words. There are no words. No way to sooth you or make you feel whole or safe right now. I can only offer you my love and understanding. I wish I could take away your pain.

    Holding your hand.

  31. Tia says

    Oh my dear woman,
    I am so sorry you have had to go through this. I do know how you feel and we have had a very similar experience. Imagine finding out with your 4 year old sitting right next to you holding your hand and your husband just left to go out of town for a month. I was shocked and devistated at the same time and I couldn’t even cry. There are no words, I just simply understand. Know that you are not at fault. You have been excited and I know that you have been taking care of yourself. It’s truly what we do when we find out. I will pray that you will be comforted and I know you will get through it. I said get through not get over. It’s hard to get over , you can just get through. I was also 10 weeks when I found out. I would say please seek counseling because I went into a depression because I lost my mom 5 months earlier and my grandmother just one month before. I say, talk to someone. You can even email or even call me if you want.

  32. Kristine says

    There isn’t really anything that will take away the pain except time. It hurts so bad. I’ve been there twice before. A mother loves her baby from the moment it’s created and even before. That’s the way God made us. I think that explains why the pain is so intense. I hope you will find comfort in knowing that so many others have shared your pain and gone on to have many children. I have three. I still think about the ones I lost but time has eased the pain of it. I agree with the posters who suggested you go ahead with the D&C. I tried letting my body take care of the “spontaneous abortion” (the horrible words on my chart) and it resulted in two weeks of bleeding and an emotional nightmare. I still had to get a D&C. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Prayers are with you! I can also say that after this you will have a whole different perspective when you are up at night with a crying baby down the road. You will be the most grateful mother on the block.

  33. Jude says

    Oh, D. Sweet, sweet D. I am so sorry. That is just not right and I am so angry at the universe on your behalf.

    HUGS.

  34. Nikki says

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I know your pain. I too was almost 3 months in November 1998. I’d gone to the Dr for back pain. They said hey, let’s see if we can hear a heartbeat since you’re almost 3 months. They said, the baby doesn’t have a heartbeat. I started crying and panicking. They said be still, there’s another one. I was like another what? They said, there’s another baby in there. I was almost 3 months and had no idea I was carrying twins. They sent me(by myself) to the Naval Hospital to see the neonatal specialist. Same tests, same results…..I was asked the same questions, did I want to let nature takes its course or do I want them to remove them? The reason given to me was, sometimes these things just happen. Numbness, shock, anger, pain, and disbelief. My husband was stationed in Fl and I was in VA. I didn’t know what I was going to say or how I was going to say it. Had no idea how I was going to explain to my 4 yr old daughter why she wasn’t going to be a big sister anymore.

    When I say I UNDERSTAND, I REALLY DO. I was sooooo angry and hurt. You ARE NOT alone. I will keep you in my prayers because I KNOW that there is nothing that I or anyone else can say that will ease your pain. Be blessed!

  35. says

    I am so verysorry to see this. I am also sorry that the system means you have to find yet another doctor to help with the next steps. It is just not fair.

  36. says

    Ah, that sucks. No words. Loss is terrible terrible and sometimes it’s just insane at how unfair life can be at times. I wish I could do something for you. Hang in there.

  37. says

    Oh fuck. Damn it, this sucks. I know the “I’m sorrys” are hard to hear over and over, but there’s just nothing good to say. Sometimes life is so cruel and unfair. I just went through this. The happy graduation ultrasound that turns into the worst moment ever. Lots and lots of healing thoughts being sent your way. Take care. And I am so, so sorry.

  38. says

    I am so so sorry. There are no adequate words, despite the entire article and all the comments above. I’m glad you have people to hold you close IRL today. Hugs.

  39. Amysue says

    I am so very sorry, strength and love to you and yours. This is so very sad.

    It totally brought me back to a routine ultrasound while I was still trying to deal with infertility, the tech did the same thing, got very quiet and left for a second opinion. The doctor came in and then had me wait and called my primary care and Gyn and an oncologist. It was a long sad day. I found out I was very sick, that the cure would include a total hysterectomy and it was a long time before we knew that I would be ok. To this day I hold my breath when a tech leaves for a second opinion.

    Do what feels right for your body and your sanity and don’t beat yourself up over sharing joy with others, it’s natural and by knowing your joy we all know the depth of your sorrow.

    Be well.

  40. Shannon says

    I’m so sorry. I’m crying for you. I really am. I just wish there was a way to stop the hurt. I’m sending you lots of love and hugs…

  41. Stalking Sarah says

    No idea what to say besides this is awful and terrible.

    For the later you, who is hurting less like breathing: Thank you for sharing this. Thank you for making it something that happens to people instead of something that is whispered in corners but never happens to anyone except the person who is experiencing it. Thank you for that.

  42. Rebecca says

    I realize that sorry is not nearly enough, but I am so sorry.

    You are one of the reasons I felt confident as I pursued choice motherhood and while I was “luckier” in my first attempt I still connect with all the shit you have gone through.

    I am hopeful that you can find comfort knowing that there are many of us all over feeling like shit because you have to go through this.

  43. Trista says

    I thought of you and smiled the other day and now today I am crying for you. We haven’t talked much in the last couple of years, but you have a place in my soul and all of my soul is hugging that little soul bit of yours hoping, somehow, you can feel it all the way over there.

  44. says

    Dresden, my heart breaks for you. There is no reason to second guess the “why”, nor to feel bad for living in the moments, good or horrible. Keep your loved ones close and ride the wave out of this awful place. I am so sorry. xo

  45. says

    I am so sorry. I know how painful this is and respect how brave you are to discuss it. When I had my first miscarriage ( over 9 years ago – I had 5 miscarriages total) this was a topic that no one discussed and I felt alone. But after years of talking to women I find that so many have gone through miscarriages. So this a big cyber hug because I know how hard it is.

  46. Rachel says

    This isn’t fair. It just isn’t. This shouldn’t be happening to you. It just fucking shouldn’t.

    I’m so sorry.

    And your posts have not been smug. You had every right to be hopeful. And I appreciate you sharing that hope with us here.

    Sending enormous amounts of virtual love and support your way.

  47. says

    Oh hon, I’m just so very sorry. I wish I could take away your pain or bubble wrap your heart with the right words but there just aren’t any. xoxoxo

  48. Karen says

    I hate these posts. There are too many of them. Too many people know this feeling. My first was very early, but my second was almost 9 weeks, after I’d seen the heartbeat twice… I only had one more RE appointment before graduating. I think my sobs travelled throughout the building and scared everyone. Raw, loud, horrible noises.

    I chose the “natural” course, only doped up on pain pills and anti-nausea meds.

  49. Karen says

    Whoops, I forgot to put in the most important part: I am so, so sorry. This sucks and I’m sorry and I hate this.

  50. says

    Omg, honey, I am so so sorry! Just gut-wrenchingly sad for you. The universe is awfully unfair and wrong sometimes.

    Please take very good care of yourself and brace yourself for a whole lot of intense feelings that will arise at the most unexpected times. It’s a very personal experience, and medical folks rarely say the right things, so lean on the people you’re comfortable with. Sending you many warm hugs…

  51. says

    Coming out of lurkdom to say that I am so, so sorry, Dresden. This completely sucks, and there is just nothing good to say. And what is up with the OB? You should not have to deal with calling around to find someone new. Could you just show up at the ER saying you are bleeding and cramping and let them take it from there?

  52. Bluejay says

    I’m so terribly sorry. You’ve been my inspiration to try motherhood alone…know that you are in my thoughts during this time.

  53. says

    Don’t feel stupid for being hopeful. It’s always good to have hope. Without it we wouldn’t dream or discover or explore. You were hopeful because it was something to be hopeful and excited about. And no matter what is written in the past, that is perfectly okay.

    This is a devastating blow. Your heart is broken without a doubt. You’re sad. And that’s perfectly okay too. Let yourself feel your feelings we’re here for you.

  54. says

    My heart just breaks at this news. There is no easy way to endure this shit and no way to stop wondering why it had to happen. I would like to place a moratorium on bad shit happening to good people–starting now. Lots of love and light headed your way.

  55. Elizabeth says

    Dresden, I am so sorry to hear this! There is absolutely nothing else I can say or do to help you, but please know you and your family are in my prayers.

  56. JB says

    I wish there were words for this. I’m so sorry.

    Know that you sharing your story like this, helps so many others. Hugs.

  57. says

    Praying with all my might for you. I have learned of two miscarriages/fetal demises by ultrasound techs when I was going in for happy, oblivious u/s checks. It is the absolute fucking worst. My heart is aching for you.

    I had a D&E with one and miscarried at home (one week after the u/s news) with the other. I did feel so much psychologically better miscarrying at home, if the medical people let you do that. There is also less of a wait time before trying to conceive again, if that brings you comfort.

    But either way, this will suck but you +will+ get through it. This horrible feeling *will pass*, and you will always remember the joy gained from this pregnancy and life. I pray that you move through this bad and to peace as soon as possible.

    So much love to you.

  58. Tyger says

    Oh, my God, I am so sorry!! I have gone through the same situation twice after my son was born. No one understands unless she has been through it,…all those dreams of what your child’s sibling will look like, at different stages of their lives together, etc. At least, that was how it was for me.

    My first miscarriage, I was told to go home and have it happen naturally by a nurse practitioner who knew I wasn’t medically insured. I was 3 months along, and I almost died, almost bled to death on the bathroom floor. My asshole husband never bothered to fly home from his Montana fly fishing trip to help me. He coldly turned his back and continued on with his fishing vacation in Wyoming.

    My second miscarriage, also at the end of the first trimester was different: I had insurance. My doctor was shocked that I was sent home for the spontaneous event, as you called it, the first time. He said that that’s how so many women died in the old days:infection was the real concern.

    Have it done in the hospital. If insurance is the issue, is there a teaching university hospital close by?? This is medically and psychologically serious: you NEED medical, and specially trained people around to help you.

    I am so very, very sorry for your loss.

  59. Tyger says

    PS: Because the first miscarriage at home was so traumatic, and from what my 2nd doctor decided (have the baby removed in the hospital)I was also able to know the sex of the second baby ( a little girl),which I couldn’t determine with the first (and I wouldn’t advise any woman to go through it just for what you WILL see) and that they determined that there was nothing wrong with her. Because of this knowledge, I was able to find out that I had a thyroid disorder that needed treating. I was also surrounding by caring, wonderful staff that helped me deal with the situation wit great sensitivity and kindness, which I will never forget.

  60. martha says

    So sorry to hear this… sending you many good thoughts that you can keep your family and friends close around you to support you in this difficult situation.

  61. amanda says

    Dresden. I wish I knew the magic words. The secret to making this all better. Truth is, there is nothing I could possibly do, or say, to make this any less painful for you.
    Even though I’ve been where you are now, I still can’t imagine sitting down, and writing the words to tell everyone what happened. In fact, when I lost my baby, I didn’t say a word. To anyone. I was too ashamed.

    That’s the one part of this horrible experience no one ever talks about. You hear people talk about their grief, their guilt, every emotion from A-Z. No one ever told me I would feel SHAME. I can feel this in your words, and I understand why you feel that way. Please don’t. Don’t be embarrassed, or shameful. Of course you bragged. Of course you celebrated. Of course you FELT HAPPY- why wouldn’t you??? What kind of human being wouldn’t BE HAPPY after creating what they’ve worked so hard for??

    Dresden, if you’re reading this- and I pray that you are- please… Feel what ever feelings come your way- but don’t shame yourself. You did NOTHING wrong by being happy for yourself, and you did NOTHING to deserve what has happened.
    The universe is a sad place today. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  62. LW says

    Oh Dresden, the depth of your grief must be overwhelming. I’m so touched by your support network – your mum, your friends, and I’m seeing nearly 150 messages of support and love and shared grief and experience.

    I know that none of that can change how you are feeling, but we are all with you as you walk this path. You don’t have to be strong when you need to be weak.

    You are loved…

    xx

  63. says

    F*ck. Just f*ck.

    D, I’m so sorry. And those words are so inadequate to express how I’m feeling, how you’re feeling. Love to your mom, and Cecily, and to everyone who is physically holding you tight right now.

  64. katy says

    Oh my god. I just saw your post. I know nothing I can say will take away your hurt. I’m so sorry. You are in my thoughts and prayers and I’m joining everyone else giving you a virtual hug today. So unfair. Love to you.

  65. says

    Oh D, I am so sorry. And sorry just doesn’t even seem to be enough. My heart is broken for you.

    Please know I’m keeping you in my thoughts and holding you close in my heart. xoxo

  66. Lauren says

    I’m so incredibly sorry, Dresden. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. Sending all of the love and healing vibes I can. Take good care.

  67. Barb says

    Oh no. I can’t even find what to say. I know I was in optimistic pg mode right with you. But you are not smug. Never. That’s the horrible shock making you feel that. Xoxo

  68. says

    Dresden oh sweetheart I am so very sorry. Abiding with you, from down here. So much. It is ALWAYS such a pleasure to see you in the flesh, I wish I could give you a hug right now. Fuck. I am so very sorry. XXXXX

  69. Natalie says

    I’m so sorry. I’ve been through this too. Nobody deserves to hear that the baby they were hoping for has died. I wish I could give you a hug.

  70. says

    Big big big hugs!
    I know you don’t want to hear anyone else say they are sorry, so I just want you to know I will have you in my prayers and thoughts.

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