When I was pregnant with Graham, I went 11 days past my due date. I decided to make myself an example on social media of letting a pregnancy go for how long it goes. I posted openly about the good and the bad of it, making it clear that this was normal. When talking to my midwife about my recent miscarriage, we discussed how women don’t talk openly about miscarriage and she said maybe I could be one of the people who starts to change that.
First, I’ll tell you the story of the miscarriage and then I’ll share my thoughts in part two.
I started spotting on Good Friday, March 25 in the evening. I was 10 weeks pregnant on the dot. It was mostly when I wiped after using the bathroom and it was definitely in the realm of normal first trimester bleeding. I got on the couch, where I decided to stay until things resolved. The bleeding picked up slowly over the course of Saturday, though I wasn’t cramping. On Sunday, the bleeding was heavier and I started cramping. Some people describe it being like labor pains and other like period cramps. For me, they were like early labor though very low. I laid on the couch and then moved to the bedroom. Lars took the kids to Easter dinner at his mom’s house, just five doors down from our house. It gave me a chance to rest. While he and the kids were gone, at 4:15pm on Easter Sunday, I passed the baby while sitting on the toilet. All the “products of conception” came out in one piece and I caught it. I had been prepared by other people’s miscarriage stories that it often happens on the toilet so I knew to be ready to catch. I thank those who shared their stories online like I’m doing now. You are unknown to me, yet gave me information I needed.
I had been passing some clots of varying sizes before this, but I knew this wasn’t just a large clot. I felt it throughout my body that I was no longer pregnant. I looked at it, of course, but I didn’t have to. I knew. I’m not a spiritual person so I don’t have any special insight into this feeling. But I felt it and can’t deny that.
I was glad I was alone. It sounds like the worst idea ever. But Lars was only 5 doors down and could have come home in seconds. Being alone meant I could focus on myself. I’m not the person who can shut off my care of other people. I would be worried it was too much for Lars. I would be worried a kid would walk in while I was cleaning up. I would have held back my emotions as to keep everyone else calm. Instead, I caught the baby myself. I put it down on a cloth prefold and looked it over briefly. I then placed it in a bag and put it in the refrigerator so my midwife could inspect it later. And then I went to my room, texted Lars and the midwife, and then rolled in a ball and sobbed. It was a cry I never would have leaned into had other people been home. Being alone first with my work and then with my pain was what I needed.
The next day, before my midwife had made it over, we decided to bury the baby and everything that came out attached. I didn’t need her to look it over to know what it was. Lars dug a deep hole. Three of our kids came out with us to do it. Our youngest is an oblivious toddler and went to grandma’s house while we focused on the big kids. Our 12 year old didn’t want to come out. The baby is buried in our front flower bed between two rose bushes with a small landscaping stone marking the spot.
It was 48 hours from spotting to delivering the baby. I only cramped for less than an hour of that time. Afterwards, I bled very heavily for a time but didn’t feel light headed so I stayed home while it lessened. Right now, I’m two days out and the bleeding has slowed considerably. I still feel a little crampy as my body pushes out the rest of the preparations it made for the baby.
And that’s the story of what happened. My thoughts on it are significantly… more. More in volume and more in depth. You can read those at My Miscarriage Part 2.