My husband and I were married December 2002. I was a senior in high school and he was 22. I was highly mature for my age and we knew we were going to get married at some point so we decided not to wait. I graduated in June of 2003. I got pregnant around a year after we were married. We had wanted to wait a little while and settled on a year being long enough. We were babies barely paying bills but we figured that we would never be financially ready to have babies so we just had to go for it.
When I got that positive pregnancy test I was thrilled. We were thrilled. New life was growing. I was sick. It was a good feeling. We started talking about the baby, names, plans, hopes, dreams.
I was working as a hostess at a Chinese food restaurant. My coworker called in “sick” again. She just wanted to party. I was SLAMMED and was stressed to the max. Right as I was bagging up an order I felt a pop and a gush. I ran to the bathroom. I was bleeding. A lot. I had no pads, I was pregnant. I wasn’t supposed to need them. I shoved some toilet paper in my pants and finished my shift. It was the most horrible two hours ever.
After my shift was over my husband drove me to the emergency room. I had to get a horrible catheter and blow up my bladder so the ultrasound could see baby. I was only 9 weeks so he was pretty small still. I had resolved in my mind that he was gone. Why else did I bleed?
I looked up at that ultrasound screen with fear. What did I see? I saw a little bean looking baby with a perfect heartbeat!!
The doctor sent us home, told me to be in bed rest and to follow up with an OB. We went to her twice a week. She did an ultrasound every time. We watched in awe and wonder as this little human we created was growing and changing. We loved seeing him wiggling and moving. What hung over us was this fear of impending doom. I was still bleeding. Why? What was the cause?
I remember going to the doctor March 3rd 2004. I was 12 weeks 5 days pregnant. Still bleeding. Almost 4 weeks of scary horrible bleeding. We went in and Ryley had grown a lot. We got to see him swimming around. Got to see his sweet little hand wave. I remember her saying that some women bleed their whole pregnancy and that she was 99% sure that he would be ok.
We left that doctors office with more hope. We were still making a life for this guy in our heads. We were dreaming and planning and praying.
We got home and a few hours later my husbands new keyboard came in the mail. He was downstairs playing that when I started cramping. Not period cramps. These were something bad, something I had never felt before. I found out later that it was labor. The pain was hell. It would come and go until it was just back to back to back.
My sweet husband called the doctor and they sent over some pain medicine to the pharmacy. I made him go and get it. The pain was something fierce. I thought I was dying. For hours. As he was gone I went to the bathroom again. I looked down and instead of seeing what I thought was another large clot, I saw my baby. I caught him and then delivered the placenta.
I stood there, all the physical pain was gone. I looked at this tiny baby, perfect. Perfect eyes and ears. Perfect little fingers and toes. Perfect little baby butt. I just collapsed and screamed. I yelled and screamed again and again. I screamed “why God?” Too many times.
Matthew came home and I had to tell him our son was dead. He was gone. Our hopes and dreams were gone. All of the plans and the life we created for him in ours heads was gone. It was over.
We were crushed.
We placed our precious baby in a cup. A freaking cup. We made our way downstairs to go to the hospital. Matthew stopped at the piano and played Jesus Loves Me for Ryley. I cried my guts out. We called our pastor and told him and went to the hospital.
Upon arriving at the hospital I am asked what makes me think I am having a miscarriage. I told that woman that my son is in the freaking cup.
We get back to the room and the nurse asks me what makes me think I’m having a miscarriage. Oh my gosh. Really? For the second time I let them know my son is in the cup. Not my uterus. A cup. They checked and confirmed that he was gone (even though I was holding him)
They asked if we wanted the chaplain and we said yes. She came in and her and the nurse did hand and foot prints of Ryley. The hand print didn’t take because they were so small. We barely got his foot in the plaster mold. She prayed with us and gave us information of grief. We left Ryley there to go to the funeral home. We wanted him to be buried with the love and respect of any grown adult.
We went to Sharis pie place and got pie. We sat. Silent. Numb. I felt empty. Like a failure. My body was defective.
My follow up with the doctor was so hard. She had a medical student come in with her and I was a mess. She told me that she couldn’t tell me why he died but that I need to see a doctor about my thyroid. She said to make sure that it’s taken care of before I get pregnant again.
We went to the funeral home next and saw Ryley one last time. My heart was so broken. The funeral lady was amazing and kind. The cemetery donated a plot to us, the funeral home let us bury him in an urn which was under one hundred dollars, and the grave marker place gave us a brick size for the cheapest cost. They were all a huge blessing. You prepare for a baby. Not a funeral.
We had decided that we would bury him alone. I wasn’t sure if my family would find it weird or if they even counted him as a loss. It was just me and Matthew up on that hill laying out son into the ground. The funeral lady stayed with us and printed us some memorial cards with his name and a poem and things on it. She was so kind.
We went home different. Sad. I didn’t want to face people. I didn’t want the pity stares. If you hugged me I was likely to cry and not be able to stop. I joined message boards online that dealt with miscarriage. I bought books and read my bible. I tried to make sense of things. I tried to heal. It was hard. Scary. Sad. Beautiful. Awful. So many things all at once.
I went on to having 3/4 of my thyroid removed to test for cancer, thankfully no cancer! I do have an autoimmune thing called Hashimoto thyroiditis. Thankfully our rainbow baby was born in 2005 and our little sunshine baby was born in 2006.
Being pregnant after a loss is a whole different story of scary emotions! For now I will leave you with that.