Friday, May 11, 2007

My Twin Miscarriage - Too Much Information For Some

If you don't want to read a very frank account of a natural miscarriage of multiples with some complications, please skip this post. I was desperate to hear how it really happened for other mothers when I was waiting to miscarry, so I am writing this for others.

Five days after the day we found that our second twin had died in utero at 10 weeks, I foolishly encouraged my husband to take our children to the science museum in another city to celebrate my 7 year old's birthday while I stayed home to take our eldest for a doctor's appointment. After the doctor's appointment, while I was checking out, I realized that I could feel blood coming out and it felt like my pad was barely holding it. I had been mildly bleeding for six days, so was wearing a pad. I rushed out to my son's jeep, calling my husband on the way and telling him to rush home. He was an hour away, though! By the time I got to the jeep (not far), I could feel blood on my thighs. Thankfully, I had put a towel on my seat in the jeep just in case. I have precipitous labors (very fast - less than an hour) and didn't know how quickly this might go. I told my dear son to drive us home as quickly as he could under the speed limit. He took one look at me and said, "Mom, are you sure you want me to stay under the speed limit??" I told him we didn't have time to get stopped by a policeman and we had to drive right through town! By the time I got home (6 or 7 minutes) I needed the towel desperately as I was bleeding quickly.

I need to tell you here that I have an incompetent cervix. That means that my cervix dilates without labor until about 7cm. Now obviously, you don't have to be fully dilated to pass a first trimester baby. Most stories I've read start with perhaps slightly heavier bleeding, but mainly cramping and a good bit of it. I did have some cramping the day before we found out the first baby had died and I also had cramping the first night I found out the last baby had gone home to heaven. My lower back hurt - the best way to describe it is a hurt that makes you want to arch your back like a cat - and I felt some menstrual type cramping. My husband was out of state and I think I couldn't let go with him gone. It stopped before morning. I had no cramping the day I actually passed the babies. I think my incompetent cervix had just been stretched enough without it.

When I got home, I rushed upstairs with my cell phone and told my son to keep his cell phone in his pocket. On reflection, it would have been wiser to tell him to stay upstairs so that I could just call out to him to call for help, but I really didn't want him traumatized by this - I want a lot of grandchildren! :-) Thankfully, the first night when I couldn't sleep, I brought some supplies up into my bathroom - some paper towels, some small bowls, the HemHalt and PlacentaOut my midwife had recommended, some towels. Knowing more now, there are some things I would have definitely had in there.

There was definitely a lot of blood. Pretty quickly I passed the broken sac and broken placenta of the little one who died first, over a month ago. I then began to bleed more heavily, so I moved into the tub in case I fainted since I was alone. I had been told by some if you soaked more than one pad an hour, to call for help, but another medical professional told me to soak more often is fine, but you didn't want to soak more than five in a row without help. Well, within 30 minutes, I had soaked 5 and it showed no signs of stopping. What confused me is that at this point I felt fine - not weak or faint at all. I called my friend who is a midwife and talked to her and she recommended that I wait fifteen minutes to see if I passed more tissue, then take HemHalt. I think she did not realize how much I had lost because I sounded so calm - I have this problem in labor, too :-) On reflection, at this point I should have told her I was alone and asked her to come. Wish I had. Fifteen minutes passed, but I was concerned I had not passed everything. What I had passed did not look like a ten week old and I knew one had been alive after 8 weeks. I took a dose of PlacentaOut, knowing that things had to draw to a close pretty soon at the rate I was bleeding! Very soon after that, I passed a perfect little placenta and attached sac.

Moments after that, my dear husband walked in and I praised God that he was there! I told him that I needed HemHalt and that is the last thing I remember. He says I took it, put it in my mouth and then slumped forward unconscious. The next thing I remember is fighting my way through swirling dream images sucking me down like a whirlpool, trying to reach my dear husband who was calling me to come to him. How I love him!! As I came back to consciousness, I was so confused, I didn't know where I was or why. I was so thankful that he was explaining to someone on the phone the whole situation, which clued me in. He told me the midwife was on her way. Then we realized the HemHalt had spilled out on my tummy and I immediately took another dose. We rubbed my fundus, took HemHalt and prayed! I am so thankful the Lord brought my husband home at that moment. Who knows what would have happened if he'd been even 15 minutes later?

In a short time (there is no way to accomplish what she did under the speed limit :-) my old friend and midwife walked in. I was so happy to see her and know she'd know how to manage. She treated me with emergency medications and got the bleeding stopped. I lost a lot of blood! She was so tender and gentle with me that I did not feel her prescence an intrusion, but a blessing. She administered what we needed to get the bleeding stopped, plus electrolyte drinks to get the fluid volume back up. We were all three in the bathroom for some time while we got things under control.

Eventually, we got me moved to the bed and cleaned up and my dear friend cleaned up the bathroom for us. She found some pretty material in my sewing basket to wrap the babies in. I decided I needed to really see them. The littlest was harder to discern. This one had gone home a long time ago and was very little, but the placenta and sac were very clearly there. I was grateful to know absolutely for sure that we'd had twins and I had not grieved in vain. The bigger baby was a perfect, beautiful little tee-niney baby floating in a perfect little sac and attached to a perfect placenta. I can't understand why these little ones went home. All I can do is trust the Lord who made them and me and made me their mother. He does nothing whimsically or in vain, but even a word of His does not return void. I trust His purpose. How precious heaven became to me in that hour! One day I will meet my children again and never be separated from them for eternity!

The bleeding had almost stopped by about 10. The whole thing started about 4:50. The worst of it was the first hour and a half. After that, I continued to bleed and pass clots, but not so dangerously heavy. After 10, it had slowed down to just spotting. I had a very hard time sleeping that night. I had to go to the bathroom every hour or even less. I felt hot and weird all over. The hot I think was from all the HemHalt (it took about half a bottle over several hours - plus Wombstringe and other emergency meds to stop the bleeding). The weird thing was my blood felt strange traveling through my veins, like a rush, then pause, in my hands. I think this was probably because my blood volume was so low.

After all was cleaned up, I was very hungry (which is typical for me, I am starved after labor!) and ate a big meal. We then got my dear children upstairs to explain that it had finally completed and to open my poor, dear 7yo's birthday presents. It was such a comfort to me to see their tenderness with me about the babies and also to see their happy, carefree joy in his birthday even in this. Their trust in the heavenly Father's will is an amazement and glory.

I am so grateful for my dear, dear husband. When we saw the babies, I saw him choke up and then he went into the bathroom. I knew he went in there to cry and I loved him so much for it. I was so thankful to be in unity with him in grief and sorrow, just as we had been so long in joy and happiness. Although it tore me up to see him hurting, I was so thankful he loved our children like I do.

I am so grateful to have a friend who is not only a midwife, but a Christian, and one who shares our conviction to welcome whatever children the Lord may place in our family. What a comfort to have someone likeminded to share this time with us. How comfortable I felt with her there. May the Lord raise up an army of godly midwives like those in Egypt. What a blessing it was to stay home where all were in sympathy during this time our feelings were so raw.

We saved what our little ones left when they went home to heaven. We will bury them at a spot precious to us and remember them with two trees there. Even little ones who never drew breath should be treated with reverence as made in the image of God.

2 comments:

Sheri said...

I am so grateful for this post. It is so very helpful and I wish I would have found it before I delivered my babies. I am so sad to say that they were delivered in the toilet and flushed away. I just wanted to tell someone as it sounds just awful now that I know that I had options. I will forgive myself, but I am so sad for myself that I didn't listen to my gut. I examined each of them as much as I could and knew that their spirit was no longer on earth. I hesitated before I put them back in the toilet bowl, but I just didn't know practically what I could do with them. Now I do and I would do it differently. Sigh.

Melanie said...

Sheri,

Please don't feel bad! I wrote this because, like you, I couldn't find anything at all to help me. The only reason I knew anything else was possible was one friend who shared her story with me.

{{{hugs}}}

Much love,
Melanie