By now you’ve probably read my story of the health struggles I’ve endured over the last decade. However there’s a much more traumatic heartbreaking story that I’ve pushed down and suppressed for the last 14 years. A pain like no other, a pain that never fully goes away. This is my story from hurt to healing.
It was late summer 2002 when I became pregnant with my second child. I was a young mom and wife in my early twenties. My sweet little boy Weston was a year and a half and we were so excited to give him a little sibling close in age. Sometime between the end of my first trimester/beginning of the second, I got very sick with the stomach flu. I remember throwing up so much that the muscles in my stomach became so sore that it hurt to cough or move. It was the most violent flu I’ve ever had. One day soon after, I went in to take a bath and before I could even turn the water on, dark red blood was streaming out of me down the bathtub into the drain. I just remember sitting there in complete utter shock. I was horrified not knowing what to do, dreading the thought of what I knew was certain. I screamed for my husband. He helped me out of the bathtub and immediately called my doctors. They got me in for an ultrasound soon after. I was so certain I had a miscarriage with the amount of blood I saw in that bathtub, and it still wasn’t subsiding. Apprehension, worry and fear were swelling up inside of me while anxiously clutching my husband’s hand awaiting to hear the outcome of my ultrasound. The doctor soon looks at me and says ” Your baby still has a heartbeat “. I about lost my breath hearing those words. She then proceeded to tell me I had a healthy baby boy, and that the bleeding was caused by a 10 inch blood clot inside my uterus. I was then told to go home and rest. They assured me that the risk of me losing the baby was very low. It gave me hope in the moment, but as the days of hemorrhaging turned into weeks I started to feel more and more uneasy. My spirit just sensed the inevitable. To keep my mind from trepidation, I started planning, dreaming, and preparing for my baby boy. The first thing we did was name him. I always loved the story of Daniel in the Lions Den, and his great heroic faith in God. I really wanted to carry on the strong importance of that faithful man of God through our family. So we gave him the name Daniel. Every day my husband and I would reminisce on our future with Daniel and Weston. We would visualize fun nights at the baseball field, vacations, our two boys playing hot wheels, legos, and riding bikes together. It just seemed to make so much sense. We couldn’t envision it any other way. As the weeks turned into a month of bleeding I became more and more unsettled. Tuesday December 3, 2002, a day that is forever etched in my heart and mind. It was early morning hours somewhere between 1 and 3 am. I woke up from a dead sleep with a dull pain in my back and abdomen that was increasingly getting worse. The pain became so severe that I knew I needed to go to the ER. My hospital was a half hour drive away and by the time we arrived the pain had become so unbearable I thought I was going to pass out. Once they got me back in a room, I laid in the hospital bed in a fetal position screaming, crying, begging for some sort of medication to help relieve the pain. They then gave me a shot in the butt for the pain, which didn’t even touch it! Then they proceeded with an ultrasound to see if they could find my baby’s heartbeat. They told me they found a heartbeat and that they were going to send me home. I was devastated, weeping and begging them to admit me. They refused, so I pleaded with the doctor and nurses again, telling them about my blood clot and the bleeding I had been experiencing for the last month. I was certain I was in labor and about to misscarry. I didn’t want to have to go through something so horrendous like that by myself with no medical supervision. I was just 2 days shy of being 4 months pregnant, and it wasn’t just going to be something I could easily pass at home. I had a baby with well formed parts living and moving inside of me. Again, they refused and dismissed my pleads in and unfriendly cold tone not affected or moved by my emotion. The doctor then wrote me a prescription for Vicodin and discharged me. At this point the only pharmacy that was open was 15 minutes in the opposite direction of our drive home. So we picked up the Vicodin and had to drive 45 minutes back. I took the Vicodin in the car, and again it did nothing for my pain. I was so afraid to go home, I felt abandoned, left to die, and I remember thinking ” if I’m not having a miscarriage and I’m not in labor then I’m dying “. That is how I felt, the pain was beyond anything I’ve ever experienced, worse than the labor of my first child.
I finally got home and laid down in my bed. I remember laying there in a fetal position just screaming and crying my eyes out. The pain wouldn’t relent, it was so overpowering and unbearable. I started to pray and beg the Lord to help me, and take the pain away. I couldn’t take it anymore I was worn out. No sooner did I pray God came through and answered. I then delivered the blood clot that was in my uterus causing all the bleeding I had been experiencing. The pain immediately stopped. I was so relieved! I remember thinking ” That’s all my body needed was to expel that blood clot and I was now going to be okay”. Within five minutes the pain resumed and I just knew what I feared most was about to be my reality. I laid there in agony and despair waiting for this nightmare to end. The time came…
At the time I delivered I was on my right side and I felt something come out . I remember my husband say ” Whatever you do don’t look “, ” Don’t … Look “. I couldn’t not look, I couldn’t. So I looked back over my body and there in the bloodbath was this healthy little perfect baby boy laying there motionless with these sweet little ears, all five fingers and all five toes. I was a devastated wreck, and my poor husband was in shock as well. He went in the kitchen and got a little baking bowl. He then cut the umbilical cord, removed the placenta, and put my baby in the bowl and took him out of the room. I couldn’t look at my baby like that anymore. I thought I could handle it. I thought I could do it, I couldn’t. I was crippled with grief. My husband finally got a hold of my doctor. They told us to place our baby, and parts in a little lunch box/cooler, and put him in the freezer until we could bring him in the office when they opened. That was the most traumatic thing we’ve ever had to do. Walking my baby into the office and giving him to the doctors was so difficult, so final. Mentally I could barely grasp it. A piece of my heart left me that day, never to return. Coming home without my baby inside of me was so heartbreaking it was unreal. I felt so lost, I was drowning inside. For the next month my grief came in waves, I went through so many emotions. I felt guilty and blamed myself for getting sick with the flu. I was convinced that throwing up so much caused harm inside my uterus, which then caused the bleeding and clot. Next it was anger, I was angry and felt abandoned and disregarded by the doctors and nurses that were supposed to care for me. I was angry that no sooner did they send me home, within an hour I went through the most traumatic experience alone, deserted, and neglected. Not only that, I was angry I lost my baby. Confusion, depression, and loneliness followed suit. I isolated myself, and felt very inadequate. I was fearful, fearful this would happen again. I felt stripped and wiped out of my motherhood and womanhood, Empty! With each emotion it became something I more and more wanted to forget. It tormented me so much, every thought brought so much pain. I didn’t want to feel anymore. I made a conscious definitive decision to pretend it never happened. I pushed the pain down and got over it, well so I thought…I then became determined to become pregnant. Three months later I was pregnant and my baby ‘Daniel’ was no longer my baby he was an “it” . That’s how I have referred to him for the last 14 years anytime the horrific topic came up. That’s how I coped. Becoming pregnant right away with my daughter really did help me in the moment, however in the long term, 14 years later, I’m realizing I never really gave myself permission to grieve. Over the last year the Lord has really brought to the surface some feelings I had suppressed for years, and now I’m finally healing. My husband has recently started correcting me when I’m talking about Daniel as “it” . Even when I was writing this I had to go back and change “it” to “him”. He’s not an “it”, he’s my baby and I don’t ever want to forget him. He mattered. I will always love him. Here’s something pretty incredible. Tonight as I wrote this I was going through my pictures of Daniel and I found his death certificate. I’ve never noticed or taken it out, and it’s a big white paper! It states the cause of death as ‘ Marginal Abruption of the Placenta and Insufficient Placenta due to Maternal Floor Infarction ‘. I never ever knew this. I have yet to look it up and find the meaning. All along it was in my envelope, but because I wasn’t willing to grieve properly, I was blinded. I missed something that could have saved me a lot of blame and guilt or at least provided me some sort of solace in my darkest time. I’m here to tell you after all that I went through, felt, and learned, one thing remained true…
God is faithful! Looking back on this experience I think of the scripture in Romans 8 :28 ~ ‘ We know that God causes everything to work together for the good ‘. God is with me and for me. He hears me, he delivers me!! ‘ He bestowed on me a crown of beauty instead of ashes ‘ ~ Isaiah 61:3. Although the pain never fully goes away, God is a God of restoration. He has taken my broken pieces and made it into something more beautiful than I could have ever imagined. You see just as a rainbow was a sign of God’s faithfulness to Noah after the storm ( flood ), Out of my darkness came a light. A little ray of sunshine, our rainbow baby. A blessing in the midst of our tragedy, a beautiful baby girl. Not so much a baby anymore but truly a gift and one of the greatest joy’s in our life.
This is our sweet angel baby Daniel. My doctor took these pictures for me after my miscarriage, and gave them to me at my 6 week follow up appointment. He is perfect ??