by Naomi House, MLIS
So I had another miscarriage
On Thursday I went in for my 10 week ultrasound. Because I am higher risk we had an ultrasound every two weeks or so and had seen the fetus and heard its heartbeat at 6 weeks and 4 days. Apparently a week later the heart stopped and the fetus stopped growing. My body, once again, did not get the message. This is my 3rd missed miscarriage in 13 months.
You may be wondering why I am sharing this very personal information on my LIS and libraries job hunting website. Job hunting, volunteer work, everything I am working on and put time and energy into are affected by my health. I have taken strength from the many LIS people I follow on Twitter and am friends with on Facebook who share their own personal health struggles. I find silence and keeping this to myself to be harmful to my health. When I announced my first pregnancy and subsequent miscarriage last October on INALJ and Facebook I learned more from others who I knew but had not realized had been through miscarriages too than any book or database could teach me. Their stories gave me comfort and let me know more about the range of experiences. This time I most likely will not have to go to the emergency room (I’ve had 3 miscarriages in 13 months and 3 ER visits which are very expensive). I can do this taking medicine in the privacy of my home. I have the bestest doctors here in New Orleans, truly, but Louisiana is one of the uncooperative states with the ACA so my premiums and coverage stink. But boy are the doctors here super :) You never read about the pain, migraines, weeks of bleeding. The way your body just fights you and is unrecognizable.
This is hard on my family, especially my husband, Sana, who is amazing and been supportive in ways he can never know. I also am grateful to my INALJ team. I have so many terrific current and former volunteers who stay in touch. Putting in time to help others find jobs when life is so short and we could all be more selfish- I am amazed at what they do. I need this community and appreciate you all so much. I am grateful to my T160K partners. I am thankful for my family who are also very much supportive and hopeful for us and whom I get to see this upcoming weekend, thank goodness!
Here is to everyone who is out there dealing with a health issue. I hope you find the support you need and hope my story helps in some way. A couple weeks ago I wrote Health and the Job Hunt: On Blood Sugar & Carbs & Me, and I will continue to share when I am comfortable doing so, my own challenges.
TRIGGER WARNING- the rest is graphic. I know it is brave to talk about miscarriages but for me it is the horrible, specific details that would have helped me most when I was scared the first time.
Graphic content below!
UPDATED 9/21-22/14 below with graphic details of all 3 miscarriages
Miscarriage #1 :
- Remember that government furlough last year where we lost our jobs on October 1st and it was nearly a month before (after a big campaign inside and outside my agency) we were hired back? On October 15th I had my first miscarriage.
- I had been told a few days earlier that I had a blighted ovum (basically the embryo never grew into a fetus but the sack grew)
- My body thought it was pregnant but did not have a baby on board
- That was the most pain I have ever been in
- Tuesday early morning at 1 or 2 am I began severe sharp cramping. Baths did not help. Laying down made it worse. Standing was best but the pain was severe.
- After a few hours I had my husband drive me to the ER (again)- we had been there when the bleeding started a few days earlier.
- I refused to sit and was standing barefoot- I remember being given socks with smiley faces on them.
- It had started a few days earlier when I got back from a NewFeds event- blood. I waited 24 hrs and called my doctor on Friday- he sent me to the ER
- The most traumatic part of the first ER trip was the difficulty they had taking blood- my inner arm was bruised
- 6.5 hours later we were sent home- the ER doctor did not really exactly tell me what was going on. Monday was a holiday so Tuesday I expected to go see my OB/GYN.
- But the pain was too much- cramping is such a nice and vague term for what it really is- it was like someone crushing muscle and bone in rhythm
- So much blood. So much thick congealed tissue. I passed so much and was covered in my own blood.
- The ER doctors did suction the remainder out but told me to expect 4-6 weeks of heavy bleeding
- No one told me about the migraines- I am lucky to very rarely get them and on top of all the other pain it was a brutal side effect to have
- No one took the time to find a vein and I was stabbed repeatedly – also I hate IVs
- It was awful and then I got to go home and not have the hope of a baby
- Miscarriages take weeks- you bleed and bleed and cramp and have pain
- You feel the tissue pass out of you- I had to be in a restroom at least once an hour
- I went to networking events (because I had just lost my job) twice during the aftermath of the miscarriage. I stood outside the building at one gripping the brick and biting my cheek and went in because what could I do? I needed work- I had to continue trying
- Emotionally this was the least difficult miscarriage for me – but by far the most painful. I had no idea. People just don’t share and oh how I wish I had known.
Miscarriage #2 :
- I was sick with a cold a full week when it happened
- February 2014
- I was staying at the Knights Inn in New Orleans East while we renovated our first NOLA house
- And Sana was at the house site
- The second I saw blood I started bawling – I mean I Wanted this pregnancy to work
- I couldn’t believe it wouldn’t work
- Who has that kind of luck?
- I was sent to the ER because it was Saturday and my new OB/GYNs good friend was there and came to see me to break the news
- Tuesday we saw an ultrasound and the baby had stopped growing at 9.5 weeks – no heartbeat
- We decided to do a natural miscarriage as I knew better what to expect
- Pain started every hour and then increased
- I had to save the tissue so we could run tests on it
Miscarriage #3 :
- I was in no pain at all staring at the bottles of pills that were about to help me pass the no longer viable fetus
- I knew to expect pain, severe cramping, migraines and I was about to do it by choice
- I could have waited another week but there was the risk of infection if I did another natural miscarriage
- And I did not want a D&C
- So the convenience of home and 2 hellish days of pain it would be
- Last night was awful- ow is my word of the day