In my post where I talked about finding out we had lost our baby, I mentioned that we were waiting to see whether the miscarriage would complete itself naturally, or whether I'd have to go in for a D&C. Well, on Saturday, my prayers were answered, and my body started finishing things on its own.
That was what I wanted, and I don't think I would change my decision to wait - even if such a thing were possible. But I have to say, it was much more horrible than I ever anticipated.
I have a habit of telling "too much information." I am pretty open about stuff, and don't usually mind talking about things which are pretty personal. But I've come to realize that not everyone wants to hear all the gory details of everything. So I will try to moderate what I'm about to share. But if you are really squeamish, or if you are a male...you may want to skip over the part bound in asterisks.
I had started to notice a tiny bit of blood on Friday, so I hoped it meant the "beginning of the end" was near. Saturday morning, I woke up at 5:30 am in a great amount of pain. I had intense cramps that wouldn't allow me to get back to sleep, or to find any comfortable position at all. I tossed and turned, and moaned for a little while. Tom, the world's heaviest sleeper, actually kinda woke up and asked what was wrong. After explaining, and turning down his offer to help (because what could he really do? I wanted him to get as much sleep as he could), I jumped out of bed and headed for the tub.
I thought the warm water would help me to relax, but the pains were getting worse. At this point, I recognized them for actual contractions. They were coming in waves, every few minutes. I abandoned the tub idea, and tried getting back in the bed. But it were getting more and more painful.
Tom couldn't possibly sleep anymore with me whimpering and turning all around beside him. I had him call the midwives to ask if this was normal. He did, and it was. They told us it could last for hours. My cervix needed to open to allow things out. Ugh. I was dying already.
The contractions continued for two hours, getting more and more excruciating the whole time. By the end, they were so close together that I only had a few seconds' rest between. They were full-out contractions, as painful as with actual full-term labor. Having contractions is the second most mind-numbingly painful thing I have ever experienced in my life. Number one is actually pushing out the baby.
But what made this experience different from my labor with Sly was 1. I didn't have a doula helping me through, 2. Tom wasn't able to assist much (he slept through the beginning, and then had to take care of Sly at the end), and 3. I knew there wouldn't be that sweet reward of a healthy newborn baby at the end, making it all worth it.
I remembered my promise to offer up the pregnancy for couples experiencing infertility. I did try to keep that in mind as I suffered through the contractions. But I don't think I did a very good job.
Finally, at 7:30, I passed a fair amount of water and blood. And just like that, the contractions came to an end. I continued having intense cramps (think: worst possible menstrual cramps you can imagine...unable to sit or stand or do anything comfortably) for another hour or so, and bleeding. But the worst was done.
Tom and I had hoped we could recover some of the baby's remains, for burial. Unfortunately, we never found anything we could discern as such.
The midwives just want me to get a blood test next week, to measure my HCG levels and some other stuff, which will let them know whether things are going back to normal.
It's been an ordeal, and I'm glad that it seems to be almost over.
I have a shoebox where I keep all of Sly's little "mementos" - his first year calendar, his hospital bracelets, baptism candle, etc. I'm starting a folder to save similar items for this baby. It won't have too much: a little note I wrote so I don't forget all the "dates" (conception, death, due date), cards people have given us (congratulating us on the pregnancy, consoling us for the loss), and some print-outs of e-mails people sent.
The midwife originally said to wait until I'd had a full cycle before "trying again" for a baby. But I pushed her on it a little to find out the reasoning. As far as I could tell, that's really just something they tell you, but it's not necessary. And she admitted that if I were to get pregnant right away, it would be fine.
So...we don't plan to do anything to prevent it. We'll see what God has in store for us next.