Please don't leave me...

Disclaimer: This post is extremely raw and personal for me. I wrote it a couple of weeks ago and writing it took a couple days because I had to leave it alone when the memories became a little too much. There is raw emotion and a little bit of graphic dialogue at times (I tried to keep it as least graphic as possible). Also, I wrote this very late at night both times I added to it, so please disregard any spelling or grammar errors. Just letting you know before you start.

I have been having a huge impression to blog about this for a while, but haven't because it was such a private and personal experience. One that, for a long time, I couldn't even think about without bursting into tears. But now that it's been over a year, I feel that I can finally write about my experience and hopefully help others who have either gone through the same thing or something similar, or will in the future, because apparently, every 1 in 4 pregnancies turns into a miscarriage.

They tell you that statistic after you have had your ultrasound when there isn't a heartbeat. Like that is supposed to make you feel better or something. But the technician doesn't tell you, your doctor does, because for some reason they like to make you wait another 20 minutes after your ultrasound in your doctor's room feeling anxious, scared, terrified, crumbling and feeling extremely vulnerable.

But I will get to this. Let me start from the beginning, because, like all posts on my blog, I write to remember things and so I can come back and read about it later. Most things are joyful and happy, but some are hard and terrible. And I want to remember it all, even though it was one of the most painful and traumatic experiences of my life.

A year ago in early February, I had just started my second semester back at UVU. I had 4 more to go after that one. I was happy, Brett was in busy season and we were adjusting to it as we always have to every time it comes around, and Dylie was happy and peppy and loving school just as he does now. I remember the distinct night that, out of nowhere, I had a pretty strong feeling I was pregnant. I didn't really have any symptoms (anyone who knows me knows my periods occur about 3 times a year). I just had a feeling. Brett and I had gone out on a date (a rareity for us in busy season) and we went to see American Sniper. After the movie, we were driving to dinner to meet up with Brett's sister and her husband, and I told Brett that before the night was over, I wanted to pick up a pregnancy test. He was shocked to hear me say that, since we obviously weren't even on the verge of trying because I had so much school left I wanted to finish before we had another baby. I was shocked too, but I wanted to put my mind at ease and prove to myself that I wasn't and stop the tricks my mind was playing on me. So after dinner, we stopped and got a pregnancy test along with some treats because we were going to have a slumber party and eat gummies and chocolate and drink soda and cuddle while we watched a movie in bed (those are our slumber parties). I forgot all about the test we had just bought.

The next morning we had 9am church, so I got up and was about to go to the bathroom before I got ready and I saw them sitting there on the bathroom counter. Brett was still asleep and the house was quiet. It was pretty early but I had gotten up early on purpose so we weren't late (I'm usually the reason we are). I remember thinking that I should just take it to put my mind at ease so I could move these crazy thoughts out of my mind to make room for school and life. I took it and honestly, I was so chill about it that I forgot I had taken it because I started getting ready, as it just sat on the counter next to me. 20 minutes later I dropped a bobby pin on the counter and I went to grab it and I saw it. And I saw the result. I had only seen those two lines once before, and I knew exactly what they meant. I remember grabbing it and just staring at it, then back at my opened-mouth face in the mirror, then back at the test for what seemed like an hour. I was completely stunned...no, shocked is a better word...and not in the best way. I went from pure calm to terrified in about a millisecond. My whole mind shifted in that instant. One minute before I really didn't have a care in the world, and peeing on a stick had literally changed my entire plan for life. What was I going to to about school? What about finishing? How would I make that work with a newborn? What about our plan? We had this plan. I wanted more than anything to just stick with the plan. That was the easiest route. Why now? What now?

I remember that I came out of the bathroom and I felt like I was floating. It had thrown me for such a loop. I thought about telling Brett in a cutesy way and started thinking about how I would do it, but right when I saw him when I came into our bedroom, I woke him up to tell him. I needed his soothing and comforting words. There was no way I could be alone in this. I scared him because I woke him up crying. He, of course, thought something had happened or something was wrong. I showed him the test. He couldn't see because he didn't have his glasses, so he felt around on the nightstand, put them on, and stared at the stick. Then looked at me with complete joy and tears in his eyes. His reaction was the exact opposite of mine. He grabbed me and held me and listened to my worries as he kept saying how happy and excited he was. Brett is the calm to my storm. He always knows how to react in times when I'm in distress. He helped me see that, while it wasn't planned, it wasn't terrible either. School would work out. Life would work out. Our family was growing, and that was all that mattered. He changed my rainy storm cloud into a ball of sunshine. By church we were both smiling and giving each other our secret "sign" to say how happy we were (a peace sign, because this child was #2 and we were having ANOTHER BABY!!).

We kept doing that sign to each other for weeks. We would do it in private, public, over text, anywhere. We just couldn't handle the excitement of a new addition. And we even told Dylan, and Dylan kept feeling my tummy and kept talking about a baby. We were in heaven for a month after I took that test.

Then we went to the doctor.

And everything changed.

There was no heartbeat. Just a yolk sack. But we didn't know exactly how far along I was because I couldn't remember when my period had been, so the doctor said not to worry, and to come back the next week for another ultrasound, that we probably had the dates wrong for my period and that by the next week there would be a heartbeat. We left the ultrasound with a few pictures of a tiny ball and a new-mom bag they give you with samples of formula and coupons and things new mom's can use. The drive home was full of reassurances and worries.

We prayed and worried for a solid week. That was all I thought about, dreamt about and slept about for 7 days straight. We held out hope, but deep down I think I knew. Looking back, I think I did. I kept telling Brett I wasn't sure, but he would reassure me and I would be okay again. This was a cycle for seven long days.

Then back to the doctor we went. The ultrasound went exactly like that part in Marley and Me where Jennifer Aniston's character goes in for her ultrasound. I tried so hard not to cry that my bottom lip shook uncontrollably. Tears streamed down my face but the lip shook. I wouldn't give into the sobbing until I knew and heard it from the doctor.

And then came the news, and the start of a heartbreak that I never truly understood until I experienced it myself. Confusion fogged my mind. Anger tore at my heart, and sadness misted in my eyes and down my cheeks as the doctor talked about different procedures and ways of taking out what was once meant to be our future. Something that we had just barely known, that we never got to know, was leaving us. And there was nothing I could do to stop it.

We left empty-handed. No pictures. No next appointment card. No heartbeat.

We went and picked up Dylan from my best friends house (she was watching him for us) and I had texted her in the car ride over that there wasn't a heartbeat. I didn't say anything else, except that I didn't want to talk about it. We got him, and the car ride home was silent. Tears streamed down my cheeks as we both sat in silence while listening to Dylan chatter away about the sun and the cars and the clouds.

The next few days were okay. I decided to let my body run it's course and do what it needed to do on its' own because we didn't want to pay for the procedure to have it removed from me (for some reason with our insurance it's more expensive than the actual labor part). The doctor had told us that it would be in the next week or so. And in that week I was sad, but I was okay. Okay because I still carried our little dream around with me everywhere I went. Even though it wasn't viable, it was still with me, and for that time, it was enough to keep me okay.

Then the day came. I was out grocery shopping with Dylan and we were having so much fun (back when he would still sit in the cart and when it was fun because I didn't have to chase him everywhere like I do now) and I hadn't really thought about it that day like I had the days before. As we were leaving the store I started getting extremely lightheaded. I didn't really know why, I just thought I needed to eat. As we were driving I got a phone call from my father-in-law asking if Dylan and I wanted to go to lunch. I told them I wasn't feeling well, but they were more than welcome to take Dylan. They were happy to have him so I took him over there before I came home.

That phone call was divine intervention. As I took Dylan to the door it occurred to me what was happening. They answered the door and they said I looked pale, and I told them what was going on, and they gave me hugs and I got in my car and had no idea what was going on. From what the doctor had told me, it was a pretty painful process and one that would put me in bed for a few hours. I had planned on doing some homework that afternoon, but instead I stopped at Panda Express because Chow Mien sounded comforting and delicious, then went home. I started having some cramps but nothing I couldn't handle. I got in comfy clothes, took some Tylenol got in bed and put on Pitch Perfect and ate my chow mien. I was good and okay for an hour or so. Cramps were uncomfortable but not awful.

Then the awful came. I had contractions that I only remember having when I was having Dylan. And they were hard and extremely painful. I remember needing to go to the bathroom but didn't want to get up for fear of what would be underneath me. I called Brett and told him what was going on, and told him to stay at work because he couldn't do much anyways and that Dylan was with his family so he was okay. I can't even express how grateful I am for that divine intervention. I remember sobbing loudly through the pain that my body was putting me through, emotionally and physically. Knowing I was getting rid of something that I didn't want to get rid of was physically heartbreaking. I remember thinking over and over again "please, please don't leave me."

I eventually got up because I couldn't not go to the bathroom any longer. My body was pushing and I couldn't fight it anymore. What looked like a thick pool of red paint filled the entire spot where I had laid. I ran to the bathroom in fear of getting it everywhere. I can't even express in words the excruciating pain of what happened next. I sat down on the toilet and started to undress because I was covered in my own blood. What I heard and felt come out of me will never be able to leave my memory. Hearing and feeling what was supposed to be #2, our peace sign and the reason we had both been so giddy over the last few weeks leaving me was the most traumatizing experience I have ever experienced. I screamed as it happened. Loud, raw, tear-filled screams that I didn't even know my own voice could make. I cried uncontrollably and shook and just let myself feel the emotions for what felt like forever afterwards.

It was gone. It had left me. Even though I had begged Heavenly Father in every prayer for a couple weeks before this that it wouldn't leave me. That something would change, a miracle would occur and this nightmare would be forgotten. It was gone. Like it hadn't even been there in the first place. It was gone, and so was a piece of my heart.

I don't remember getting back to my bedroom, the rest of that day was kind of a blur. I remember telling Brett and he left work early to get Dylan, and he brought me a cookie from our favorite place, Village Baker. I was dressed and was in bed with the bloody sheet on the floor and towels under me and a pad. The doctor had told me that I would need to wear them for about a week afterwards. I didn't speak, I held Dylan and Brett held me and I didn't do anything but cry until I fell asleep.

The next day I woke up and as I got up, I looked at my phone and I had texts from some friends and notifications from social media. I don't know why, but for some reason I didn't want to talk to anyone or see anything on social media. I immediately deleted Instagram and deactivated my Facebook and didn't respond to the texts. I didn't want to talk to anyone or do anything.

Those next couple weeks are a blur to me. I didn't talk to anyone but Brett, Dylan and my mom. I didn't really leave the house unless I absolutely had to (groceries or whatnot). I went numb and turned into a zombie. I remember just being extremely sad, feeling alone and being a little angry at God. I had never in my life felt that way towards Him. I have had family members taken from me and been through some tragedies that a lot of people don't go through at such  young age, but never have I felt angry at God. It was a new experience for me. I was angry. I was pissed. How could He do this to me? I had had my "plan" in place, been so terrified that that plan was changing because of another baby, then wrapped my mind around how great it would be and was so happy about it and wanted it more than anything, and He took it from me. What was the point of that? I didn't understand.

They say time heals wounds. Speaking from experience, it does, at least for me. Maybe not entirely, but it does help. After those couple weeks I started feeling like myself again. Slowly but surely, I started seeing the sun again in my life. I left the house to go take Dylan to do something fun finally, I started texting friends who, by the power of the spirit I am sure, knew something was wrong. A few separate friends had texted me and asked why they were having a feeling they needed to contact me. I started telling close friends about what had happened, and I started praying again. As I did these things, I started healing. Talking about it was so hard, and each time I did I broke down. I still do sometimes. The support I had and the love I felt was so touching and freeing for me. I got back on social media and started doing normal day-to-day things like do playdates and workout and homework. Throwing myself back into life was how I best felt I could heal from it. That may not be the same for everyone, but it was for me. It took time for me to be able to do that, but once I did I started to see the sunshine in my life again.

We had another miscarriage 3 months after the first one. I won't go into all the details of it again because this post would be so long, but the second time around was like the first where we went to the doctor and there actually was a heartbeat, but it was faint so they wanted us to come back the next week and we did and the heartbeat was gone. It was another trial that we had to face, and one that I hope to never have to experience again. I was excited about that pregnancy then went through the motions of being sad and extremely angry at God. Why would he let this happen to me twice in such a short period of time? Did He not see how hard that first time was for me? Why would He give me another chance only to take it away so suddenly again? I remember feeling like He was torturing me. I really can't explain it other than that. I remember sobbing to my mom and saying those exact words and saying how mean He was for doing this to me again. Like He was playing a sick game and the result was complete anguish and despair on my part. And I was terrified of going through such a traumatic experience like I did the first one. I wouldn't wish that experience on anybody.

But the way that my body got rid of the second one was a testament to me of what a loving Heavenly Father I have. It was in the middle of the night and I felt no pain; I was extremely calm and I was able to go right back to sleep while a few tears streamed down my face. I felt angels with me that night, and I believe it happened when it did for a reason. I woke up the next day sad, but okay. And my anger at God had gone away (for the time being, it came back in waves for a little while but I feel that is a normal part of grief for some). But I was able to still live my life normally and talk about it freely. I didn't hide and I didn't want to just sleep away my sadness. I feel I knew how to better handle it because I had done it just a few months prior. It was a big test of faith for me, and while those experiences are ones that are still so painful to think back on, I am grateful for the growth I have had because of them.

Not a day goes by that I don't think about what could've been. It's weird to think that if that first pregnancy had gone through, we would have a 5-month old right now, or if the second had we would be due any day. And even though we have one on the way now, the pain from those two miscarriages is still very real and painful. I can think and talk about them and not get emotional, but if I'm alone and think about them, the tears still come. We will never know them until we are in heaven, and that breaks my heart a little bit.

I wanted to write about this to remember this experience, but to also maybe help those who have been through the same thing or are going through it that you aren't alone. And you will get through it. And it's okay to be angry, pissed, sad, confused and not know how you are going to keep going. It's amazing to me that two little pink lines can automatcially have so much power over your heart and your mind. You lost what could've been, and that is such a heartbreaking thing to think about and wrap your mind around. And this may sound odd, but I have felt that I need to add it to this post. If anyone needs to talk about what they have experienced with someone who has been through it, I am more than happy to talk about it with you. Because sometimes it's hard to talk to someone who doesn't know exactly how it feels, and sometimes it makes it easier when you can talk to someone who does know.

We will never forget our two babies we lost. They are forever in our hearts and we look forward to when we get to see them again.


Katie Holland said...

Oh Katie. I was bawling reading this. I had no idea. I'm so sorry. It is definitely a heart wrenching, confusing and very sad thing to go through. I lost a baby a few months ago. It was one of the hardest times of my life. I remember also not going on social media for a month or two. It took a lot time to feel happy and myself again. Thank you for sharing your story. You're so amazing and strong. I'm so happy for you and this new little life you're carrying. xoxo

Jared and Melissa Palmer said...

❤❤❤ love you so much my beautiful friend. So amazed at your courage and strength, even when I am sure you don't feel like it.

Shayla Bentley said...

Beautiful post. Thank you for sharing.

The Lummus Family said...

You don't know me; you're a friend of a friend. This post is the closest thing I've ever read that articulates exactly what it felt like to lose a baby after trying to conceive for four years. It was a heartbreaking experience for both my husband and me, but I've always felt like nobody really understood how piercing it was, until now. We were blessed to have a healthy pregnancy and baby girl just a few months after our miscarriage, but I think about the baby we lost very often. I've always wondered if I will have the opportunity to meet my baby someday, but never talked about it to anyone else.Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability in sharing your story. ♡♡♡

Anonymous said...

I found this post on Facebook and what a true testament about miscarriage that most of us are too scared to say out loud. I lost 2 babies before I had my first son and I remember all of those feelings just like it was yesterday. I now have 4 beautiful sons but I still always wonder if the babies I lost were girls??? I know in my heart that I will find out someday in heaven. Blessings to all mothers who aren't able to ever hold their baby only in their hearts 💞