Sarah’s Story

 

 

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“Still there was no heartbeat. My baby had passed away.

The only thing they could really tell me was that the baby had stopped growing at 8 1/2 weeks.”

                                                                        

Hi, My name is Sarah. I’m 24, and this is my story.

I met Asa in summer of 2014 and we were in an on and off relationship up until August of this year, 2016. The relationship was certainly not an easy one but anytime we were on an off period there always seemed to be something that brought us back together again.

I always had a plan in my head that I would be married before I had kids but then I became pregnant in December of 2015. I was shocked, scared and nervous.

Some part of me was happy knowing that I could get pregnant and there was nothing wrong with me because often there were times where pregnancy could have happened but didn’t. But then reality and panic set in and I thought, what would my family think of me? I wasn’t married, and was still living on my own in an apartment and trying to build my career at the young age of 23. I certainly wasn’t financially, mentally or emotionally ready to have a child and my relationship was not stable.

I put off telling my parents until I knew I was further along and able to have an ultrasound. I only told a few close friends about the pregnancy. I scheduled an appointment with Choices clinic, a non-profit organization that offers free pregnancy tests and limited ultrasounds. 

Before I had to a chance to make any appointments with doctors, I randomly experienced severe cramping and bleeding in the middle of the night the week before my scheduled ultrasound appointment on January 21st, 2016. It lasted about 2 hours.

I had experienced my first miscarriage, at 6 weeks.  

I still kept the scheduled ultrasound appointment to make sure that my body had rid itself of the pregnancy and find out if I needed to have anything done to remove what was left over. I came to find that there was no baby and no gestational sac. I never got to hear a heartbeat or see a baby on an ultrasound screen. That made dealing with the miscarriage much less emotionally distressing. 

I became pregnant again in May of 2016 right after I had decided to end things for good with Asa. As soon as I found out, I immediately thought about terminating the pregnancy.  With the way he treated me and acted with the first pregnancy, I felt it wouldn’t be as special to him because he had already gone through one pregnancy with the mother of his son. I felt so alone.

I did a lot of research and found that some places require you to have an ultrasound before they will terminate. I scheduled yet another sono appointment after taking 3 at home pregnancy tests. I was in denial during the 2 weeks between finding out and having the ultrasound done. I would go out drinking with friends. With the kind of relationship I was in, I did not want this to happen again so in turn, as disgusting as this sounds, I was trying to have another miscarriage.

The ultrasound on July 7th confirmed there was a gestational sac and there was a baby measuring at 8 1/2 weeks with a good strong heartbeat. This was probably one of the most emotional experiences I’ve had to date. Originally, I told the nurse I didn’t want to look at the screen because I had already decided to terminate. Out of curiosity, though, I turned and looked anyway. I immediately fell in love once I heard that heartbeat. I cried and cried. I experienced so many different emotions and feelings that day. I was sad that I had to experience that on my own and wished Asa could have been there.

Hearing the heartbeat and seeing the baby on the ultrasound changed everything for me.

I started to become less anxious and scared and more excited. I had already previously done some research and found that Edenway Birth Center was where I wanted to receive prenatal care and deliver my baby.

Even before I thought about having children, I always had a specific plan to have a midwife and deliver my baby the most natural way possible. I didn’t want my baby coming in to this world all drugged up. I wanted to have the ultimate experience.

I started eating healthier and quit going out on weekends drinking with friends like I had been.

I called Terry, one of the midwives at Edenway, and scheduled an interview and a tour of the birth center the weekend after. She was not able to meet on the scheduled day due to a birth so Kayce, a student midwife, was able to give me a tour and I met the Terry the next morning.

I was about 9 weeks at the time. She was so kind to start blood work that same day and check to hear the heartbeat with a Doppler. Unfortunately, we could not find a heartbeat that day which concerned me because I heard it at Choices clinic, but Terry comforted me and reassured me that sometimes you can’t always find a heartbeat this early with a Doppler. Usually by week 10 was when you could hear a heartbeat. So I decided not to stress too much about it.

I also had the pleasure of meeting Rosetta, another midwife at the birth center. Both Rosetta and Terry were wonderful; such kindhearted and genuine people, and I was excited to be working with them. It was hard to make a decision on who I chose to be my midwife; I liked both of them so much!

I really liked Kayce, though, and she was the first one I’d met. I knew she worked alongside Rosetta, so I chose her as my midwife.

I scheduled my first actual prenatal appointment 2 weeks later. On Friday, July 29th, at 11 weeks, one of the first tasks they did was check the heartbeat with the Doppler because by then, the heartbeat should definitely have been detectable.  Both Kayce and Rosetta spent a good half hour or more searching for the heartbeat. They couldn’t detect anything, which had us concerned. We thought maybe I wasn’t as far along as I thought. I had another sonogram scheduled with Dragonfly Imaging right after, so that Asa could see the baby and hear the heartbeat for the first time. I wanted him to feel that same connection I felt when I first saw the baby. 

We made our way to Dragonfly where we began the process with the second sonogram. We came to find that the baby was only measuring at 8 and a half weeks. It should have measured at 11 weeks. There was still no heartbeat. When the baby showed up on the screen, it did not look like it did on the initial sonogram. It looked deformed and unrecognizable. The technician could not confirm anything. I was heartbroken and immediately broke down, but I was still hopeful. We called Kayce and Rosetta and they told us to meet them at Texas Health Harris Methodist in Cleburne where we met with Dr. Farzam, who performed yet another sonogram.

Still there was no heartbeat. My baby had passed away.

The only thing they could really tell me was that the baby had stopped growing at 8 1/2 weeks.

Words can’t even express the disappointment and hurt I felt that day. I didn’t understand why this happened a second time. Why was I still carrying my deceased baby? Why did my baby stop growing? Everything was fine a couple weeks prior. The heartbeat was good and strong. I was eating healthy and keeping myself well.

Rosetta and Dr. Farzan informed me that now that I knew my baby was not longer living, my body would soon know to rid itself of the products of pregnancy.

I was worried and scared that this second miscarriage was going to seriously affect the possible outcome of future pregnancies and pose high risk. Was I going to be able to get pregnant again and keep the pregnancy? As a young woman, this was highly discouraging to me. Both Dr. Farzam and Rosetta let me know that even having had two miscarriages I would likely go on to have a healthy full term pregnancy in the future.

That shed a little bit of light on the gloom of the day but I was still disheartened.

As the week went on, I just wanted to have a D&C. I was impatient and did not want to wait for mother nature to take its course, but with the emotional support and comfort of Rosetta and Kayce, I decided to wait it out.  The weekend after we found out that the baby passed, Asa left me.

It wasn’t until about 12 1/2 weeks that I finally miscarried. I was at work when all of a sudden I felt like my water broke. It was an uncontrollable gush of liquid being expelled from body. It was all blood.

The process had begun.

My scrubs were soaked so I slipped out the back door to go home and change, in hopes I would return back to work. Once I got home, the cramping and contractions set in. I was in the most agonizing pain I had ever felt for nearly 5 straight hours. Aside from a few family members who lived near by, I was by myself. The contractions were nonstop. I called Rosetta and she gave me some suggestions to help ease the pain. I followed what she said, which helped, but I was still in severe pain. I was just going to have to wait it out.

I called my mom and I also called my cousin that lived in Cleburne for emotional support. My cousin came and spent the evening with me. She got there in time to go to the store and get Tylenol and Calcium, which Rosetta recommended I take, and that helped a lot. Later my friend Amber traveled all the way from Burleson to be with me for the night. Soon after my cousin got there, we went to get something to eat to bring back to my place.

When we got there I felt the need to use the restroom. I could feel the baby coming out.

Sure enough I gave birth to my deceased baby. I not only could feel it but I could see the baby too. This was very emotional for me.

I felt sad, depressed, lonely and hurt.  I had so many people urging me to go to the hospital if the pain was too much for me to handle and/or if I was bleeding too much.

I prayed hard the entire day. I was so proud of myself for enduring what I did without a doctor, without going to the hospital and without any medication.

I feel that this experience was one of the hardest things I have had to go through in all of my adult life so far.

I still struggle today to understand what happened or why it happened. I feel that there is only one person who knows why it happened and that’s God. God sometimes works in mysterious ways. We may not always know how, why, or what his plan for us is, but he has plan and somehow a baby was not in the plan for me at that time. God needed my baby for another purpose.

There are many things to be grateful for in this particular circumstance. As painful and as hurtful as this experience was for me I am grateful I didn’t go through an entire pregnancy and possibly have a stillbirth or some other serious complication.  I am so very grateful for the words of encouragement and for the tremendous amount of love and support that Rosetta, Kayce and Terry have shown me over the course of the past month and half and still continue to show me.

While I still struggle to pick up the pieces of my broken heart, and to get through the pain and grief I sometimes still feel, I am hopeful that things will work out the way they are meant to work out in the future. I just need to learn to be patient.

During this whole process I realized some things. I realized that the relationship I was in was not right for me. I was not where I needed to be, but I was in such a hurry to be where everyone else around me was. I was trying to fill a void because I felt lonely in life and in my relationship which is a reason why I chose to try and get pregnant.

My babies will always hold a special place in my heart and I will never forget them.

Today and always we remember all the babies born sleeping; the ones we’ve carried but never gotten to meet, those we’ve held but couldn’t take home, and the ones that came home but didn’t stay.

In loving memory of all the babies too perfect for earth.

I just want to personally let whoever is reading this to know that you are certainly not alone. God does have a plan for you just like he has a plan for all of us. We just have to trust in his plan and have faith.

Thank you to Edenway Birth Center for allowing me to share my story. Your staff is amazing and I had a wonderful experience working with the loving, caring and Godly people that I met. I hope to be back one day.

 

 

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