Birth Loss & Pandemics – Part 1

Initially, I had miscalculated my period dates. Off by too many weeks for me not to have realized I had erred. But, I did really want to be pregnant. I’d (we’d) tried so hard – which may have been part of the problem. My yoga practice and teaching would probably say something of ‘clinging’ or ‘attachment’ or maybe even brahmacharya – but, this isn’t a yoga blog……or is it? Regardless, it didn’t seem like things were flowing right from the beginning, and I noticed. At the time all I allowed myself to believe was that this pregnancy was different. Well of course it was, it was a whole different fucking person inside me. Miscalculating my dates meant that I had an earlier than usual ultrasound which detected a 7 week old embryo with a heartbeat. Elated? Not the word. I was righteous. Maybe that was part of the problem. I was happy to be pregnant, yes. But I was also proud of my ability to do this again so quickly – maybe a poor use of this little one’s spirit. Pride’s shadow is not solely a sin, but it can be a fucking mood killer at times.

The nausea this time was another mood killer. I felt sick ALL. THE. TIME. Like – all the time. Morning to evening. And into the night. For the next 4 weeks. Like something was literally rotting inside me. Maybe it was. I do feel badly saying that. I felt badly for thinking it. But this is about healing and healing is messy right? In my pride, part of me felt like a champion, until I got closer to 10 weeks. Little pains here and there, I kept saying to myself and those in my small circle “This is nothing like the 1st time, I feel like shit” but knowing how different each transition can be I just chalked it all up to this one starting the terrorizing early.

Plus my mom brain was all over the damn place, forgetting things here and there. Had gotten myself so excited for my 1st midwife appointment I thought was the following day, May 20th that when I realized I read the email incorrectly I started crying to my husband. ‘You’ll go next week babe, it’ll be okay’ he said, but I was attached. I was attached unknowingly at some point to this little thing, “I don’t want to wait for next week!!!’ yelling through tears. Like serious hormonal, still freaking breastfeeding toddler, COVID stressed, tired as fuck tears. I shared my truth ‘I was excited to hear the heartbeat’.  

I went to bed after 12 that night. Watched my favorite comedy series at the time, The Marvelous Miss Maisel, SO GOOD btw – and turned in late. I woke up about 1:25pm with mild cramps and a heavy feeling in my tummy. Ladies, I immediately had the urge to do the ‘Am I on my period?’ pressure test by working some kegel muscles and sure enough I felt fluid filling my underwear. I slid out of bed and went to the guest washroom and sat down. A gush a blood FILLED the toilet. FUCK. FUCK, I said silently to myself. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. FUCK. I kept bleeding. I was oblivious to the blood. I was kind of still outside of the experience to be much impacted by what was happening and was not feeling any pain. I called out to my husband. I didn’t feel like I could get up. He called back to me. Did he know? Was he as scared as I was? In a moment I saw him at the open bathroom door. ‘It’s happening’ I said. He looked at me and said ‘When you called me from the bathroom I knew something was wrong’. I started to cry. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know what to ask my husband to do. The man he is he started Googling information and came to me with a fucking bucket – saying the internet said to retain some of the loss fluid, okay hubs not a bad idea, so yeah, I wish I could be sharing a shot of me squatting over a bucket in my wild state. Be grateful I am not.

My ignorance and disassociated state in this situation also at the height of COVID-19 and sanitize-for-your-life living led me/us to call Telehealth Ontario. My mom should do PSAs for Telehealth and the wonders of health advice at the dial of your phone. However, we are not in normal times, we are in what assholes like to call The New Normal – which means NOTHING IS FUCKING NORMAL. I wait on hold to speak to the telehealth nurse for 70 minutes, not too bad, who seems genuinely concerned about my situation. We speak for 10 minutes as she assesses my health and current state and then advises me to take a taxi/uber to the hospital immediately, not to drive and to closely monitor my pain and bleeding. Normally I would have packed up the car with hubby and my 18 month old and gone to the hospital, but in pandemic times I decided to drive the 5 minutes down the road by myself. When I said this to the telehealth nurse she obviously was not in support of a miscarrying woman driving herself to the hospital, but I was happy for the distraction and my pain was still minimal at this point so her warnings fell on deaf ears.

Now, however you can imagine checking into a hospital at 3am might be during a global flu pandemic, it was exactly that. Checking in at that time meant waiting for the ultrasound clinic to open at 6am, first appointment 7am. I sat up in the hospital bed, thinking, waiting, watching people walk by, interacting with nurses who came in, closing my eyes, praying and looking at the clock. Finally, 6:30am came and a new nurse came in to give me my last cup of water for my ultrasound, ‘Someone will be down to take you for your ultrasound now’ she said. A slight quiet Asian man conducted my ultrasound. Nice, respectful and all that but fuck man, can I at least get a female up in here?? Okay, Imesia just get this shit done. When he left the room for a moment I looked at the screen. My heart dropped when I saw a little white mass at the bottom of the photo. I guess it was really over now, I thought. No tears needed, the gut punch was enough to snatch the tears out of me. I sat back and waited for him to come back for the next portion of the appointment that seemed unnecessary now.

The discharging physician sat next to the hospital bed as she looked at the ultrasound notes and spoke to me. When she said the phrase ‘early failed pregnancy’ I think I only heard ‘pregnancy’ and for a moment I thought all was well, until my mind computed her language. Why in the FUCK would they even use the word pregnancy in these cases?? I am not pregnant. I suppose hence the ‘early failed’ part, but who hears that when they the ‘early failed pregnant’ person?? I am fairly certain I laughed about this in the hospital. Anyways, now I am hearing and digesting the information as its coming in faster than I can transmute. I don’t remember having any questions but I’m booked for an appointment at the Early Failed Pregnancy clinic the following Monday…

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