[While I’m on creative sabbatical through the end of the year, I’m pulling some of the most popular posts from the archives and sharing them again. With October being a month to honor and bring awareness to pregnancy and infant loss, I’ve chosen some of the writing from the first year after Benjamin’s stillbirth. These posts bring tears to my eyes, because of course, three years later, I’ve forgotten what those early days were like. This is why I blogged through my grief – I wanted to capture the moments that vanish into the fog of memory. I wanted to always remember how devastating it was to lose my son. (Note: These posts are very raw)]
Benjamin died a month ago today. I am not ready to be bleeding again, but I am.
Last night as I was getting ready for bed, I found myself staring at another toilet bowl full of blood. My post-partum bleeding stopped just over a week ago. I didn’t know if it was too early for me to get my period. I didn’t know what was happening. My body trembling, images of those other nights flashing through my mind, I once again called my doctor’s exchange.
I explained my situation, asking her to excuse my tears. The operator put me through to Labor and Delivery at the hospital. I wondered if I’d get Sally, the Irish nurse who was there my second and third visits. The one who told me the IV was the size they would need for a blood transfusion and had me sign the papers for the emergency surgery, just in case. Another nurse answered, I explained my situation again. I’m sorry, let me get the doctor. I waited, trying to hold back the sobs.
The doctor came to the phone. It was the same one who saw me the night before I lost Benjamin. I really liked her. She was calm, reassuring. She gave me hope. I don’t know if you’ll remember me, I was in a month ago with heavy bleeding at 23 weeks. She remembered. Yes, you were Dr. C’s patient and he did the surgery. I’m so sorry. She must have asked about me. She was gone by the time I was wheeled into the operating room. Maybe she saw the flowers I sent.
I explained what was happening, asking if I needed to be concerned. She said no, they don’t call it a period until after 6 weeks because the hormones aren’t regulated until then but the bleeding wasn’t abnormal and could last four or five days. She shared the danger signs and reassured me that if I’d reopened my incision, I’d be in too much pain to move. I thanked her, hung up the phone and lost it.
I cried until I gagged, stopped, cried again and again and again. Images of my bleeding, the fear, the trips to the hospital, the letting go, the nurses, the doctors, the operating room, the news that he was gone, stillborn, no signs of life – all of it a disjointed movie in my mind’s eye. Steve held me as I sobbed that I missed him, missed Benjamin. I would have given anything to feel his little weight on my chest again, to see my son and trace the lines of his tiny limbs lightly with my finger, careful not to pull his paper thin skin. I cried until I couldn’t cry anymore. Then I went to bed and lay awake, waiting to see what the bleeding would do. Finally at 3am I took some ibuprofen to dull the cramps and fell asleep.
I am not ready to be bleeding again. I wanted some time for my body and my soul to stitch themselves back together before another toll was exacted. I am exhausted from grief and the sight of bright red, the feel of it. I keep having to remind myself there is no baby to be lost and that I will be fine.
Living life after Benjamin is by far the hardest thing I have ever done.
I miss you my son. I love you, always.
I will remember these posts forever.
Loved you then, love you now.
Oh Alana. I am so sorry! I didn’t read your blog until much later than this was posted. You are so brave to be so present and write all of this down. This is so heartbreaking.
Ps Sally was my nurse too.
Jeannette N. Hull says
Two days before Christmas my boyfriend and I found out I was pregnant. I was so thrilled. This was my third time around being pregnant. I previously in the past miscarried both times. It was a terrible experience for me. The first time I miscarried I was about 5 months along. A devastating blow for me. Took me a year to emotionally recovery from that lost. It was from my first marriage. Then about 5 yrs later I met my second hubby and got pregnant and lost that one as well. We eventually divorce and it has been almost 10 yrs later and I am with my current boyfriend soon to be hubby. They say third time is a charm. Well like I said, 2 days before xmas I was pregnant. Last week on Thursday I was sent to the hospital for a ultrasound and then my doctor met with me right after. He told both my boyfriend and I that my baby had died at 7weeks and I was 10 weeks along. I had no idea since I felt pregnant still and had no signs of a miscarry. Friday morning I had a D&C. Its been about 5 days since and I am a complete emotional mess. Loosing 3 pregnancy’s is discouraging. I am not giving up though. As soon as I heal we are trying again. Since the D&C, I stopped bleeding for 2 days then yesterday evening blood started coming out of me like crazy. I was so freaked out I called the on call doctor. She said it was normal to have on and off heavy bleeding with some small clots. Well today I am bleeding more with dark blood as well as bright red blood and small clots. I have mild cramping with it. The fact I have to wait a few months to try again is depressing. I was really wanting this baby. It has been a tough road for me. It is nice to know that I am not alone out there and reading what other women have gone through has been a big help these past few days.
Sending you so much love Jeannette. You are not alone, though sometimes it might feel that way. Pregnancy loss is it’s own special kind of heartbreak. Take good care of yourself. xoxoxo