I have had four miscarriages. The first two occurred on “Good” Friday, two consecutive years in a row.
My hubs and I had been trying to get pregnant for years, when in March of 2012, after some mildly invasive fertility testing (here) and a diagnosis of “unexplained infertility” (relax, keep trying, you’ll get there!), I fell pregnant! We were over the moon, and started planning prepping right away. We told our friends. We told family. We were blissfully niave to the evil smackdown of miscarriage. I was seven weeks pregnant and we were talking baby names.
Four days later, my husband, 11 yo son and I were at my employer’s work party, on Good Friday. The smell of crawfish was nauseating me, and I felt like I might barf. My hubby gushed on and on about how amazing the crawfish was, and he convinced me to taste it; my stomach lurched in rebellion. I smiled through it and we left an hour later; my husband to a gig, and my tween and I went home. By the time we arrived, I was feeling crampy-twinges, but blaming it on the food. An hour later everything changed. I wiped and saw red. Red. Red. No. Noooooo.
I sat on my front porch, terrified. My son was inside watching a movie. I called the local birth center I planned on birthing at. By the time the midwife called me back, I was soaking the toilet paper I had shoved in my panties as rebellion against wearing a pad. I WAS PREGNANT, DAMNIT! I was pregnant, and I was not going to wear a damn pad. The midwife asked me questions and told me what I didn’t want to hear. I was breaking apart inside, but I couldn’t let on. My son came outside, hungry, and I suggested we go to dinner at his favorite pizza joint nearby. I told myself that if I ate their beet salad, with the quinoa and the walnuts and the baby greens, then the health of that meal would sustain my baby, and make him/her hold on and stay with us. I just knew it would work. It had to.
But I kept bleeding at the restaurant, and the cramps got worse. I choked down my salad and water. I smiled at my son and listened to his stories from school. I didn’t call my husband; I wanted him to enjoy his evening and not worry, he couldn’t change it anyway. My beet and quinoa and walnut salad couldn’t change it, so what could he do?
We went home and I don’t remember the rest of the night. I probably let my kid watch TV till bedtime. I remember getting in the shower and feeling the clumps of tissue falling from my body, and weeping hysterically. Weeping and letting the shower mask my sobs, and wash my tears, while watching my baby get washed down the drain.
My husband came home and held me. He regretted me not calling him. He was crushed about our baby. He took care of me. We grieved.
I went to work on Monday and couldn’t stop crying. They sent me home. My boss kindly sent an email out to say we’d lost the baby, so I didn’t have to tell everyone personally. People treated me kindly when I returned, women shared their MC stories. I felt less alone because of them. And a glimmer of hope crept in, because they all had healthy children.
I moved forward, eventually.
The following year, I was pregnant again in March. I worked at the same place. I was over the moon thrilled. I didn’t even think about Good Friday or any bad omens. I kept my news close to my heart. I hoped, I hoped, I hoped.
At 7:15 am on Good Friday 2013, as I brought a patient back to the pre-op area, I felt a cramp low in my belly. Fear surged through my body, my hands instantly got cold. I could hardly remember what I was supposed to be telling the patient, even though I had been saying the very same thing for years. I felt something warm and wet drip into my underwear. I handed the patient a pen to sign the paperwork, and left abruptly, walking in a daze to the nearest bathroom. Red in my panties. Red when I wiped. A painful cramp gripped me. Tears began to fall uncontrollably from my eyes. I shoved a wad of toilet paper in my panties, washed my hands and walked out of the bathroom. My beautiful friend Maria caught me as I exited, looked at my face, and took me to a corner of the pre-op area. I stuttered out what was happening, and she shook me and looked me in the eyes and told me to go. “Go now,” she said, “go home. I’ll take care of your patients. I’ll make excuses for you. Go tell Heather what’s going on and leave, now.” She turned me around and pushed me toward the manager’s office.
Thank God for Maria. She took such good care of me in that moment. I will love her forever for it. I was 6 weeks, 2 days pregnant, and I lost my second baby that day on not very Good Friday.
As I write this, Good Friday is in 4 days. I was pregnant last week. I had a miscarriage 3 days ago. I’m grateful that I didn’t have to wait until Friday to lose my baby, but I dread the day nevertheless, remembering all the precious ones I’ve lost.