Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Losing Bug: My Secret

3:00am. Another sleepless night. It's normal when you can't sleep on your back like you have all your life, but today I saw a miscarriage on television and it triggered some pain of a secret guilt I've harbored since July 2009.

The news didn't look good when the doctor personally called to tell me my numbers weren't doubling and my progesterone was very low. She told me I probably lost the baby long ago and a regular period-like miscarriage would follow since I was early in the pregnancy. She insisted I still see the MFM to advise me on Lovenox for subsequent pregnancies. I went home, watched Paul Blart Mall Cop while eating Chinese Food and tried to let the pain wash over me. And this part is difficult for me to say but when I took a scalding hot shower, I wanted to hurry up and get the miscarriage over with. I'm going into TMI territory so I'm going to write the following in white and you can highlight over if you want to read it, but I had read that when pregnant you are to under no circumstances douche, I decided to hurry nature up and did so thinking if it was bad for a pregnancy, well it would speed up the inevitable. At the MFM later that week, despite my protests that I did not want to see my dead baby, they performed an ultrasound which showed a baby with a normal heart rate, growing on schedule. The MFM said HCG didn't mean much if a heartrate was there and my baby might be allright.

48 hours later I went to the bathroom and saw blood. We called the doctor's office. Dr. T seemed uninterested but told me bed rest couldn't hurt. I lay in bed for the next 36 hours and the bleeding remained bright red but light. After 36 hours, Jack and I felt like we were losing our minds and decided we wanted to go to the ER to see on an ultrasound that bug was okay. As soon as we got to the ER and I stood to fill out paperwork, I felt a gush of blood. I sat quickly down. It stopped gushing. They wheeled me into a room. I lay down on the examining table. They asked me to get up to change into a hospital gown. I stood up to change and when I removed my underwear, bug fell out of me. I will never forget it. A tiny little sac, so perfect and intact containing the little creature I saw on the ultrasound just a few days ago.

I credit my Bug for my first normal period in years that gave me my little boy who is kicking me as I write this. I try to leave it at that and usually do for the most part. But the truth is, I blame myself for losing bug in the first place. What if I hadn't done what I did in the shower? What if all that baby needed was for me to lie down and continue bed rest and be patient I fucked it all up by my selfish need to see an ultrasound?

When I think of my second pregnancy, I think of my little fighter. That heart that was beating, the little being growing on schedule despite messed up beta and progesterone levels. That baby was a fighter and that baby belonged to me. It kills me to think I might have had a hand in that baby's demise. Ofcourse I never knowingly would have engaged in acts considered dangerous in pregnancy had I known I had a potentially viable pregnancy. I can't undo it but sometimes like today I'm kept up at night wondering if I had a hand in the loss of my second pregnancy.

I'm not sure why I feel the need to share now. Maybe because its weighing on me at this time and this blog is a place I write about things that are sitting on my heart. I don't beat myself up over this on a daily basis since I know that I never intended to lose my pregnancy and that it was the furthest thing from what I wanted and if I could, I would do anything to have prevented what happened from happening. But sometimes, like today, I remember, and I feel a weird smattering of emotions. Gratitude to bug for giving me my beautiful son I carry now, and sorrow and regret that perhaps I played a hand in losing bug too soon. If it was my fault, I hope I will be forgiven.


  1. I quit coffee completely for my first pregnancy - I had a few cups during the first few weeks of my second - and I blamed myself horribly for that loss. I also hated that period between the falling betas and the lack of the physical loss and remember just wanting to get it over with.

    One of my good girlfriends IRL did not know she was pregnant until she was 8 weeks - during those 8 weeks she drank gallons of wine and champagne and soaked in very, very hot jacuzzis...and he is a normal, albeit very chubby!, 4 month old now.

    I do not think that what you did, nor what I did, caused our little ones to die - but it is so hard not to blame myself - ((HUGS))

  2. No no no no no no. Nothing you did could have made you miscarry. Truly, sweetie. A hot shower isn't going to kill a healthy embryo, neither is getting up & going to the ER. Not. Your. Fault. Not in any way. Not.

    FWIW, I was killing myself with similar thoughts - it was all the stress I was under last time, worrying about the possibility of miscarrying that made me miscarry! - and both my therapist and my doctor reminded me (one gently, one briskly) that with a healthy pregnancy, there's very little you can do to dislodge it, and with an unhealthy one, there's almost nothing you can do to save it. I found that comforting, so I offer it to you, because it's breaking my heart to hear you blaming yourself even a tiny bit.

    Thinking of you.

  3. What Sprog said.

    Thanks for sharing your story, tho. I think it helps to shine the light into the dark corners, that way cobwebs and other scary things can't grow there.

  4. I know how you feel. It's been 3 weeks since my Sophie died, but I have yet to start the actual miscarriage. I'm still carrying my child, but will never meet her. I just want it to be over with. I haven't been able to properly deal with or grieve over this loss yet. Please don't feel you had anything to do with the loss of your bug. I've had the same thoughts...things I've done or not done during this pregnancy that may have contributed to the loss. In the end, I know I did not cause my child to die, but I still feel that way. Thinking of you always, and thanking you for all of your support...

  5. Sometime after my recent loss, I read a post where another mother asked her doctor questions about what she did to make it happen. After umpteen million questions, desperately trying to find some blame to lay anywhere, even if on her own shoulders, the doc asked her if she had done any cocaine. She said no, and he replied "Short of that, there is nothing you could have done to have caused this". That might be overstating it, but the point is, there is very little a woman can do to influence the fate of a truly viable pregnancy.

    All of us have these moments of pain and guilt. When I was pregnant with Niblet, I took warm baths, maybe my showers were hotter than they should have been, I ate lunch meat a few times, had 3 hot dogs, and one whole fully-caffeinated Coke a week. I felt remotely guilty doing any of it, and after the loss, I thought for sure it was all my fault because of one or all of these things. But the reality is, some women do horrendous things to themselves while they are pregnant, and still they see delivery day. Their babies may not always be healthy, but they are alive.

    So, I highly doubt that what you did was a determining factor, nor was what I did or what most of us do. I know deep down you know this, but I think (and I'm still figuring this out myself) it's harder to accept that there is no one to blame. There HAS to be a why, so we create one. And as the physical nurturers of that little one, it seems the one most likely to be at fault is ourselves.

    Please don't beat yourself up over this. I know it's hard not to do, and I imagine I'll be doing the same thing on and off for eternity. I hope you'll try and talk me out of it when I do. It isn't your fault. It isn't anyone's fault. And that makes it suck all the more.

  6. No way on earth did a hot shower and douche cause your miscarriage. With crummy hormone levels, I'm certain poor little bug was doomed, no matter what you did. My first pregnancy hung in there for 8.5 weeks before the heartbeat stopped and I miscarried. First beta at 17dpo 615 or so. Then 19dpo just over 2000. And then it crept crept crept up from there. Made it to 4000 or so over the next week. Happy heartbeat and all. Then made it a little higher, still with heartbeat. And then it was game over.
    It's so hard to not wonder what you could have done differently, but I'm confident that you did not cause your loss. And Sunflower is now the baby that you were meant to have all along. Just like this little one is what was destined for me after all that time and the two losses.

  7. It is so brave of you to be honest about this, with us and with yourself. But I do have to agree with everyone else -- you did NOT cause the miscarriage. There are so many women who don't know they are pregnant for a while and do way worse things before they find out than you did. And bedrest cannot prevent such an early loss. I hope it makes you feel better to get it out, and please let go of the guilt.

  8. I think anyone who has lost feels at some point like it was their fault. Like something they did directly caused the baby to die. I have felt that way with every single one of my losses. But the reality is, a healthy pregnancy isn't going to be affected by one hot shower/Coke/negative thought and an unhealthy pregnancy is going to be just as unaffected by following all of the rules and doing everything right.

    It is not your fault that Bug didn't make it. There's nothing you could have done differently.

  9. oh honey, it wasn't your fault. jeez, just reading this brought tears to my eyes, that you have been harboring this guilt, wondering if it was your fault all this time. i can see how it might be easy to blame yourself but that hot shower and douche did not make you lose that baby. i don't know why some of us have to go through all of this pain and suffering trying to have a baby, it's just the luck of the draw i guess.

  10. Oh sweetie. I'm glad you got this out and off your chest. You didnt hurt them; you love them. Please dont beat yourself up.

  11. Just had a chance to read your slightly older posts with moving and presentation preparation craziness finally behind me.
    Love that the salesperson stopped trying to sell you something you don't need. I have a feeling you're not just sitting around like a lump anyhow, so don't feel bad.
    This kiddie would kick intermittently up till the 30-32 week range, though I would get something each day, or maybe two active periods a day. There's more shifting and movement going on these days though. I'm sure sunflower is either really mellow, or is going to start becoming more active in the near future. Hang in there!

  12. I agree with all of the other wonderful comments that you didn't do anything to hurt Bug. It just happened. It's significantly more likely that the need for lovenox was necessary and now you have a little sunflower who is a able to make it. Please let go of that guilt and pain in your heart. Be happy for that little one squirming around inside, he needs your happy endorphins. Wishing you much happiness and peace. :-)

  13. I can't say anything more than the others have said, but it just breaks my heart to read that you've been carrying this with you for so long. I know the power of getting it out - I hope this brought you some bit of comfort. ((Hugs))

  14. Of course you can't help wondering "what if," but of course it wasn't in any way your fault. My son's birthmother didn't know she was pregnant till 2 weeks before he was born--she played a whole season of varsity basketball while pregnant with him, no prenatal care--and he was a preemie, but is perfectly healthy. You just never know, which of course is really hard when all you want is to know why. Thanks for this wonderfully honest post, and so glad your sunflower is on the way!