Giavanna’s Birth Story: My 15 Week Miscarriage

POSSIBLE TRIGGER WARNING: ⚠️

On June 6th, 2019 you came into this world for a brief second. We saw your little fingers and toes. We saw your chubby tiny little body and all I could do was cry because you weren’t coming home with us. The traumatic way you were born didn’t allow us to take a picture with you or have your last ultrasound picture but I have your first one still. 💔

You measured 13 weeks, we didn’t find out until 2 days before you’d be 15 weeks that you had passed almost 2 weeks earlier. I didn’t actually deliver you until I was 15 weeks and 1 day pregnant. I’d had what’s called a “missed miscarriage” where my body didn’t recognize the loss and continued the pregnancy without the baby. It happens in 1% of pregnancy losses. 1 in 4 women will have a miscarriage and a lot of them are just unexplained one-offs but there are some that are recurring. I debated on sharing my story. I debated on telling anyone. I thought maybe we will just wait and once we’re pregnant again, I’ll explain and I’ll tell my story. Just so I could avoid the painful questions and conversations. The thoughts, the feelings, the crying, the heartbreak all over again. I was ashamed as if I’d done something wrong to cause this. I know it wasn’t my fault but as a mom, I just couldn’t help the thoughts and feelings I went through. But that’s not a healthy way to deal with it or try to begin healing from losing you. I didn’t want to dampen your memory in that way.

THE LAST DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENT:

We found out on June 3rd that there was no heartbeat. I had gone in for a routine checkup at 14 weeks and 5 days. The funny thing is I knew originally we weren’t getting an ultrasound that day and we were just checking the heartbeat and then we would schedule our anatomy ultrasound that day, so at first I told Kevin he didn’t have to go if he wanted to get some extra sleep from work the night before but he said no that he wanted to go too. So we get to the doctor and go through all the routine things (urine sample, weight, and vitals, etc.) before we get back into the room for my checkup. Once we’re in the room the doctor took out the fetal doppler and began to check for a heartbeat but after trying numerous times and placements he couldn’t find it. So he said it could be ok and that the baby may just be hiding because of my placenta placement. He did briefly go over procedures for D and C and Medication if it came to that but he said we felt the baby and all so it could just be the placenta placement. So naturally I was already freaked out and crying, it was just a terrible feeling but Kevin and I tried to keep hope alive that maybe it really was just placement and she was ok. But looking back at the number of times my doctor tried to hear a heartbeat and being about 4 months pregnant, past 14 weeks, already feeling her movements and everything he should have been able to hear it and I think he knew that but didn’t want us to freak out more. So he sent us straight to the hospital I was originally going to deliver at because that’s where his wife and team deliver and ordered an ultrasound to confirm.

AT THE HOSPITAL:

Sitting in the waiting room was agonizing but I think going back into the ultrasound room and getting an ultrasound but not being able to hear or see anything really and the tech not being able to give any information just made it worse. We went back out into the triage waiting room for our doctor to call back with further instructions. My doctor’s wife is on the same team as him so we were waiting to meet with her to go over the results. When they told me that, I knew something was terribly wrong. Mainly because my doctor told me if it was an emergency that would be when I saw his wife. So we already knew it was bad. When the doctor called us back in the office and confirmed the news, I burst into tears. I couldn’t even help it and honestly had already said I wasn’t planning on crying in front of anyone but the tears just flew out. The doctor apologized many times and said that this was nothing that we could have done and that there was a cyst on the back of her neck (we’re still waiting on tissue samples but we think it might have been a Cystic Hygroma which will either disappear during pregnancy or only about 8,000 babies are born with this type of cyst but it’s important to have it surgically removed so it doesn’t cause further damage or deformity in your child. But for Giavanna the cyst was too much for her little body and she stopped growing and thriving at 13 weeks. The doctor gave us a few hours to decide what we wanted to do and we decided on a D and C. It was the best option for us and I just wanted to make sure that nothing was left behind that could possibly make me sick or hinder me from getting pregnant in the future. I waited an extra day because sometimes the baby will come out without help but since I never went into labor they called and scheduled me to come in the next day to have laminaria inserted into my cervix to dilate a little more before my D and C the following morning. That procedure in itself hurts and is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. (Now keep in mind everyone is different, this is just my experience.) So, they give you a shot of lidocaine in the cervix to numb it but that didn’t work for me and it was still so painful, needle and all. The gauze they insert to keep the laminaria in place also feels like brillo pads being dragged down your vaginal walls as well. After that I sat for a few minutes, the nurse came in and told me my instructions for the next few hours and the time of my D and C the following day and everything to expect. I was told if I went to the bathroom and the gauze and laminaria fell out that it was fine and to not try and put it back in. So we left and when we got home we just watched movies and tried to relax. I was just crampy and uncomfortable the whole night. So I got up and went and after I did the laminaria and gauze fell out and then the doctor scheduled my D and C procedure and sent me home. I couldn’t eat anything after 11 pm that night and could only have water after that up until about an hour before I left to check in for my procedure. Because you can’t eat or drink anything 12 hours before the surgery.

THE MORNING OF MY D and C:

The next morning I couldn’t sleep. I woke up at 3 am just unable to go back to sleep, I tossed and turned for a few hours before I finally fell back asleep but only for a few hours or so. Around 6 or 7:30 am I had the strongest urge to go to the bathroom when I woke up again and so I went and used the bathroom and as soon as I did that the Lanerium and gauze they had put in my cervix had fallen out and my mucus plug was wrapped around it. I went downstairs and let the dogs out, sat down on the couch to relax a bit before getting ready for the day and then while I was on the phone with my best friend I started having contractions, they were starting to get more intense and Kevin woke up because he heard the dog barking outside and he never stopped because I couldn’t get up off the couch for the contractions. Shortly after he came downstairs and realized what was happening he brought the dog in and went to grab our stuff upstairs. On the way to the hospital, my contractions got worse and then while Kevin was trying to keep me calm and make me laugh my water broke. I just tried to stay as calm and as still as possible the rest of the way there. Once we got to the hospital and I got to the front desk, I took 3 steps around the desk to head to triage and then I felt a gush and started to bleed out. They got me in a wheelchair and rushed me in the back to get in a room. As soon as I got in the room and we were trying to get my pants off and a gown on and get to the bed, another gush came and she came out onto the floor. Once I got on the bed and they helped me get my pants off, they could see that I was bleeding out a lot. After a very painful time of trying to find where the bleeding was coming from, they got me set up to go into surgery. Kevin tried to keep me calm by cracking some jokes and just talking to me. After the anesthesiologists and doctors talked to me about the procedure. They gave me some medication and the last thing I remember is getting on the surgery table and then breathing in a mask before waking up in the recovery room.

THE AFTERMATH:

We went home a few hours after surgery and I just laid down and tried to rest. For the next few days, I just rested and tried to recoup all my strength and in that time I also talked to other women who also had miscarriages. Sharing our stories with each other and offering a sympathetic ear has really helped me to heal. Since our miscarriage, Kevin and I have gotten a lot closer. I feel that while a lot of relationships get rocky during tragedies it really showed me how he felt when he was there for me every step of the way. We don’t have a lot of support nor did we have examples of strong relationships in our lives growing up but this experience has really shown us how much we want our own family to grow and thrive. I’m sure it was noticed that I stopped posting bump pics and updates. I still support all my friends who are pregnant and delivering but I couldn’t help feel a little pain and jealousy that this wasn’t our journey too. I’m still wearing decently loose things but my baby belly is pretty much gone and I’m healing every day. We’re all healing. I’ve since gotten past crying every day or being in dark head space. This has really shown me that I need to really go after the things that I want in life and also that I am a lot stronger than I think I am. Miscarriage is so often overlooked. As if your child not fully developing should be easier for your mind somehow. I will tell you it’s not. At least not for me anyway. It’s still a loss. It’s still your child that you loved. You named your baby, you felt it move. With Giavanna I felt her move a few days after I hit 12 weeks. Little butterflies that I recognized so well. As her kicking got stronger I was so excited for everyone to finally feel her kick one day. But that day never came for them. I think telling our kids was the hardest. To find out you’re having a sibling only to then hear she’ll never be coming home. I felt terrible because while I’m mourning the loss of a child they will never know, I wanted my kids to know I was still there for them too. I also feel for my husband who gets asked how’s your wife doing but no one asks about how he feels. I think people just assume men don’t feel sad over these things. Or they can just move on quick. But why wouldn’t he? It’s his child too. I wasn’t the only one who suffered a loss. It was his loss too. I watched him walk away so I couldn’t see him cry and I saw him hold it together when I knew he wanted to fall apart. He hugged me when I cried at the doctor when they couldn’t find a heartbeat. He was by my side at our emergency ultrasound when the silence of everything was so deafening. Seeing NO FHT (no fetal heart trace) and no brain activity on the screen. Seeing her lifeless little body just peacefully laying there in my womb in the last position she slept in. He gently rubbed my leg and he was as supportive as he could be while the doctor told us the devastating news. As we were given our options and a few hours to decide what we wanted to do. He was by my side during my traumatic delivery which I can only describe as a horrid scene from a movie. Seeing all the other pregnant moms look so devastated for me as they rolled me back to the OR.

I am 1 in 4 and I never thought I’d say that out loud. I never thought I would have to tell people my children’s names and one of them no longer be with us. I chose to wait a while before posting about it because I just wasn’t ready to talk and also I didn’t know what to say. If you’ve experienced a miscarriage or child loss I’m with you. I feel for you. I’m here if you need an understanding ear. We can all heal together. 💔❤️

Always Remember You’re Beautiful!

-Lola

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.