Clarksville, TN – Editor’s Note: Today is part one of a three-part series, as told by Candace Baker, about her recent miscarriage and the joy, pain, and grief she has been through. She agreed to tell her story so that other’s would find strength and comfort in knowing that they were not alone. Reader discretion is advised as some details about her experience are graphic and could be disturbing to some. Now, in her own words:
My husband and I have two amazing little boys. Our oldest is six and our youngest is four and they are absolutely the most hilarious, brilliant, and wonderful children. I say that with clearly no bias.
We have two big dogs who act as the food spillage cleanup crew and a ferret who proves that my husband and I shouldn’t be allowed to go to a pet store without adult supervision.We have lived in Clarksville for eight years and were completely happy with our family. Two children were all we wanted. We have established a surrogate family in Clarksville, with close friends through my husband’s work, and friends I have made over the years.
Then, one day, there was another positive pregnancy test. We were not expecting that, and after a day of thorough shock, we were filled with excitement. With these two beautiful blue eyed boys, could this be our precious blonde, blue eyed little girl?
We immediately began thinking of names, and converting the office at home into a nursery. Hell, we never use the office anyway, so it’s perfect!
The boys are extremely excited at the news. Our oldest son was elated to have another sibling, while the youngest, is slightly more cautious. After all, he will become the “middle” child, and no longer the baby in the family.
The two of them debate over who sits in the third row of the car and who sits next to the new baby, come December when he/she arrives.
My husband and I laugh at the prospects of me continuing to coach my son’s football team, fully pregnant, waddling around the field chasing a bunch of 3-7 year olds teaching them the game. It was a wonderful moment between he and I. We laughed.
The laughter and the joy changed the very next morning, to concern. I noticed some “spotting.” It’s light and after I call my doctor, I am assured that it is very normal for seven weeks pregnant. I tell my husband, who is away on business, and we try to be as optimistic as possible, because everything you read online and from doctors says that I am most likely just going through “implantation”.
In my heart of hearts, I know that this is not good. After two healthy pregnancies, I know that spotting isn’t normal for me. Now, suddenly, the joy of sharing the news to family and friends, feels like a frog in my throat. I feel like I’m being told to just relax and to believe everything is normal because the reality of the situation is that no matter what is happening, there isn’t anything anyone can do to save my baby if something bad is about to happen. No surgery, no pill. Nothing can change the course of nature. But, the nurse says spotting is normal for some women.
I don’t feel so confident.
The next morning, after little sleep the night before, it’s a repeat of the previous day. I’m trying to push down the negative feelings and cling to hope while I assess my situation.
There’s a little more blood, but nothing worth a trip to the ER. I call one of my friend’s mother, who is an RN, and I can hear the nervousness in her voice. She tells me to rest and not worry.
After we hang up, I notice that I have moved from spotting to passing blood clots. Now I need to go to the ER.
My friend Estelle, whose mother I called, arrives to take me and neither of us want to say the words aloud. If you say “miscarriage” it makes it true. When we arrive at the ER, the bleeding has intensified.
The triage nurse tries to reassure me. She tells me of other women who came before me and everything turned out all right. I know what is happening, but deny the reality. So I am clinging to hope and reassurance, but it is quickly unraveling. We all know, but the nurse can’t tell me, and I don’t think she wants it to based on my state of emotion.
The call comes to move me upstairs to the OB clinic, so the doctors can see me. A part of me is grateful, but mostly I am just scared. I keep my husband updated, as he’s still away, and it’s hard to convey my deepest fears to him. I don’t want him to be overly alarmed, but ultimately, there isn’t
anything anyone can do at this point.
My body is going to do whatever it will do and not even the best doctors can save a baby that is only seven weeks’ gestation.
When I get to my room in the OB clinic, I see the normal bed covered in pads that look like the ones I used to use when I potty-trained my dogs, and it hits me that they have seen my charts and know how my condition has changed.
It feels like another nail in a coffin.
This nurse is also trying to give me reassurance, telling me about what’s normal at this point in my pregnacy. But we both know I am past that. She tells me that everything could be just fine, but we all pretty much know what is happening and all of us can feel the heaviness in the room, and we all avoid saying it in case we make it true.