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 ache for you. Having bleeding again so soon after is awful. 3 months after Charlotte died I had my first period and it knocked me sideways. As you said so well, I wasn’t ready to see the blood again.
Thinking of you. I hope the bleeding stops and you feel better soon.
vera kate says
I’m so sorry to hear that. The timing is horrifically unfair. It happened to me too, really early, and my first three periods after Noah ruined me every time. They were totally irregular, so I couldn’t even predict when it would start or stop. Ugh. Bloodloss is traumatic enough before you lose a baby, let alone afterward. It amazed me from that point on that we as women had ever dealt with it on a regular basis at all. So strange.
I’m really glad you had someone to hold you while you cried.
I went through almost the same thing, starting to bleed 1 week after my lochia stopped. Hope you are feeling a bit better today. I did find these milestones hard as it was just one more reminder that I’d lost my baby and wasn’t carrying her anymore. Hugs to you.
this sentence… ” 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”. This is so heartwrenching and yet so incredibly accurate. I lost my son at 35 weeks five months ago, and I am still seeing that disjointed movie. It’s on a constant reel in the back of my brain, regardless of how sucessfully i get through every day. I just stumbled upon this blog, and I think it’s wonderful. Thank you for writing.