The Longest Miscarriage in the History of Miscarriages

The pain awakens me out of my sleep and I think to myself, I have not had cramps like this ever before.  What do I even take?  What do I do?  I moan and bend over, arms crossed and tucked into my stomach.  Rick wakes up.  The tears start to flow as the pain increases.  It’s 1:30am and I knew my night of sleep was over.  Not wanting to keep Rick from sleeping, I grab my pillow and a blanket to try to sleep downstairs on our couch.  As I leave our bedroom, he says to me, “leave the door open…so I can hear you in case you need me…”  30 minutes later I am sprawled across my cold marble floor in my bathroom, vomiting, sweating, bleeding, weeping.  The pain was unbearable.  I use all my energy to scream for Rick.  I hear the sounds of his feet running down our hallway.  He opens the bathroom door to see his wife more vulnerable than ever.  I say “call 911.”  Those were my words that came from my mouth and in my head all I could think about is that I hadn’t imagined death would be like this.  I was not ready to die.  I begged God.  The ambulance arrives and two women calmly walk through my front door.  Scared, in pain, raw, I was picked up off of my floor by the woman.  She helped get me dressed.  She gave Rick instructions.  Moments later my eyes are shut, oxygen tubes fill my nose, IV in both arms and I hear the sound of the ambulance siren as we drive to Northwestern Hospital.  This cannot be happening right now.  I open my eyes and ask the woman “Am I going to die?”  She said she didn’t think so. 

For those of you who read my post back in late July, you know that I had a miscarriage.  And in my post I had written these words: It was clear it was going to get worse before it will get better…  Well, nobody could have prepared me for the worse.  Nearly two months had passed from the day where  the words “there is no baby” suffocated me and I experienced what I had thought was the physical aspect of the miscarriage.  In my mind, it was over.

And then one morning in mid September as I am working from home, I began to hemorrhage and experience blood clotting (trust me, you want no more details than this).  Faint, shocked and not understanding what my body was doing, I called the doctor and my sister (naturally).  I won’t go into the experience I had on the phone with my doctor’s office as it irks the crap out of me.  But what I will say is at the recommendation of my sister, I called my neighbor and dear friend, Rayah, who rushed me to the doctor (right after bringing another neighbor’s children’s diaper to wear…this part of the story always makes me laugh.  And no, I did not wear the children’s diaper).  An hour in the waiting room and ten minutes with the nurse (not a doctor), the bleeding had subsided and she couldn’t confirm whether this was the end of the miscarriage and my body taking its course or a horrific first period post miscarriage.  She sent me to the lab to get my blood tested.  (This was a regular routine for me.  I had been going to the doctor once a week to track my HCG hormone levels to zero.  HCG is the hormone in your body that indicates you are pregnant and when you miscarry, and especially if you let the miscarriage happen naturally like I was attempting to, you have to track this hormone to zero and get a period before you can start trying to conceive again.)  On July 27, they were at 24,000. After this appointment, they were slowly moving down and were at 72.  This seems like a good thing, going from 24,000 to 72.  But remember, it had been over two months since the miscarriage.

After that incident, I felt the weight of our loss more than I ever had.  I had anger in me, I was confused, I was sad, I was exhausted.  Actually, exhausted is probably the most accurate of how to describe my emotional state.  And I was starting to become hurt by Rick and his inability to understand me, understand the loss, understand the pain that comes with going to the doctor every single week and watching couples come and go through that waiting room, belly’s big, smiles wide.  I tried to pray and while I know God is always there and always listens, I couldn’t hear his voice, sees his signs.  The disconnect there and with Rick prompted me to set up time with my therapist.  I would say this calls for some therapy, right?  Well, needless to say, thank God for Paul!  Paul is the therapist both Rick and I have been seeing for 3 years and is one of the reasons Rick and I are here today, married (no joke).  In short (and note I am being short for the sake of this blog…Paul is very kind, gentle and not as blunt as the below), what I learned in my session were a few things, some of which may seem strikingly obvious, yes:

  1. I will forever grieve this loss
  2. Everyone grieves differently
  3. Let myself grieve (ahhh, interesting…hadn’t done this yet!)
  4. Rick will truly never understand how I feel (ouch)
  5. In fact, men in general have a very difficult, if not impossible time truly understanding women as it relates to miscarriages
  6. That said, tell Rick what I need from him.  Ahhh, right!  The age-old reminder that Rick can’t read my mind!  That alone was worth the $175 therapy fee.

Four weeks later, which brings us to now, here I am.  And if you are wondering the outcome of my adventure to the ER, it was this:  15 hours in the hospital.  My mom, sister and Rick at my side.  3-4 {loving, caring} nurses.  3-4 {smart, kind} doctors.  A few technicians  that would come and go and talk with me.  Three ultrasounds.  3-6 (I lost count) exams.  A series of questioning my miscarriage history at least 6 times, if not 18 or 19.  Me arguing with one of the technicians that the scale was wrong.  Him saying okay and changing the weight amount on the papers (no joke…only someone on Weight Watchers would be this insane).  HCG test (count was at 2.7) and this time the needle had to go in my forearm as my other veins were already preoccupied with pain meds and fluids.  Awesome.  Catheter (don’t remember why).  Dry mouth like I have never experienced.  A move from the ER to a room at Prentice through a secret passageway that made me feel like I was on ER, awaiting Clooney’s arrival.  One technician coming in and asking me if I was here for my chemo.  Ultrasound results.  And finally, Dr. Garb, the main doctor comes in to see me.  I take him through the history and answer all of his questions.  His response?  “This is the longest miscarriage in the history of miscarriages!”  I had to laugh.  After reviewing all the test results, it turns out I had a mass of what I will call “miscarriage tissue” in my cervix which the Dr. believed was the reason for the pain.  His recommendation?  Get surgery…in this case, a DNC.  A DNC, standing for dilation and curettage, is a common surgery post miscarriage.  His description made it seem like it was as easy as boiling a pot of water.  I looked at Rick and Rick gave a very strong, “Yes, do it.”  A ten minute surgery, I feel nothing, have no pain during or after and I leave the hospital physically around 1,000 times better.

Why did my regular doctor not recommend this over the last three months?  Well, it’s a good question one that raises my blood pressure a bit.

And then I remember.  God has a plan.  And His timing is perfect.  I don’t understand it, but I trust it.


5 responses

  1. Ann,
    For some reason after your comment today on my blog, I prayed for you -not really knowing why. (Somehow I missed your post 2 mo ago.) Thanks for your vulnerability in your post today. now I know a little more how to pray. I have been down a similar road; let me know if you need anything. Hang in there. Xo

  2. Dear Ann,

    Thank you for your honesty and sharing your ordeal with all of us. I am just so sad that it had to happened to such a nice and caring person like yourself. Yes, you are right, men really don’t understand how we feel, ever and they never will. I had 2 miscarriages, one before Stacey and one after Robby, the hardest later one, I was at two months and from the start, I was spotting and then finally at two months, I had pain like yours but not nearly as painful (feel so bad for your pain), I went to the ER and they did a DNC right away, so I don’t know why the doctor never suggested that for you. Thought for sure you had it when I found out you had the miscarriage two months ago. So thankful that you found the right doctor to take care of it for you. I will be praying for you and Rick! I know it is really hard to know why this is happening to you, but TRUST in Him, His time is always right. I am sending a BIG virtual HUG to you!

    Love you, Brenda

  3. The vulnerability in this post, honesty, and somehow you always mix a little humor in…reminds me of why I love you so much, Ann! Your right, God has a plan, but it just breaks my heart you had to go through this. Prayers to you and Rick. Always.

  4. Ann, I can truly relate to your experience. I have also had a “longest miscarriage in history” (which is what I googled that led to to stumble onto your blog). I had a BFP on May 9, but the first ultrasound in June revealed a blighted ovum. I miscarried a few weeks later and had my blood monitored every other week for pretty much the entire summer. In September, I was given a hormone to help drive the HCG to zero.

    As the miscarriage dragged on, so did the grief, but things finally seemed normal in mid-October. For three months, I had regular cycles, although with abnormal symptoms.

    In December I experienced pain so intense it brought on nausea and dizziness. I passed more tissue (yes, six months after the miscarriage began) which lab results confirmed to be remnants of the pregnancy. I’m feeling fine now, but am scheduled for an ultrasound later this week to confirm that it is finally all over.

    This experience has made it so difficult for me to imagine holding a baby of our own, but, like you, I have faith that God’s plan is more perfect. Trusting and praying with you.

    • Victoria! Oh my heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing with me your story. I obviously can relate and I know how hard it is (physically, emotionally, spiritually). I will definitely pray for you and I did see your email come through and I will respond to that.

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