On January 30, 2006, the phone rang in my otherwise silent house. It was 11:07 AM.
Just the night before, at six weeks pregnant, I had started bleeding.
Bright. Red. Blood.
The pregnancy hadn't been planned. Not yet, anyway. I was on the pill. But we were thrilled regardless and eagerly awaiting the arrival of our first baby. We had named our little one "Piglet," at least until we knew what sex the baby was. We were planning for this baby, loving this baby, and then, our world turned upside down.
After the bleeding started, we had called my OB. As the pregnancy was so very early, we hadn't even met the doctor yet. He matter-of-factly told me that I was most likely miscarrying, but had asked me to come in for a beta blood test anyway. I had gone that morning, crying so hard that the phlebotomist hadn't been able to take my blood, she was so rattled. Her supervisor had to come and do it for her.
So, when the phone rang, I answered, with tears in my eyes and a dying hope in my heart.
The nurse on the other end of the line told me that my beta was a dismal 26. I was miscarrying. There would be no baby on October 2, 2006.
When I asked for help, for resources to assist parents that had lost babies, the nurse told me that I "hadn't really even been pregnant" and that those resources were for women that had lost pregnancies much farther along.
I hung up, confused. What did she mean, "Not really pregnant"? The five positive HPTs sitting in our bathroom couldn't have been wrong, could they? Could I want a baby so much that I could make a test turn positive? It was only later that I would learn what a chemical pregnancy was and I would only learn that information from doing my own research.
I was sad. I was alone. I was confused. I didn't know what to do, or where to turn next.
Over the course of the next year, my husband and I would lose five more angels. I did run into very sympathetic medical professionals along the way, but a lot of the time, I was on my own. And sometimes, the utter lack of respect for what we were going through was stunning.
After my fourth miscarriage, before the D&C, I told my husband that there should be people to help those like me. There should be a brochure to hand someone, with resources like The Stirrup Queen's Blogroll, a link to local support groups, etc. There should be someone to tell you that a heating pad would really help those miscarriage cramps, that you would feel the passing of your seven-week-old embryo, and, most importantly, that you are not alone. Others have travelled this sad, lonely path. And survived.
No one should have to hear that their baby has died and then walk out of their doctor's office feeling so alone. No one.
And yet. So very many women do. Whether it comes after a phone call like mine, or following an ultrasound where there is no heartbeat, thousands of mothers and fathers have to go home to a silent house. They have to pack away ultrasound pictures, tiny onesies, and all of their hopes and dreams, because there is no baby coming. Not anymore. Perhaps not ever.
There might be a prescription to take, or a D&C to scrape away, what is left of the hopes and dreams of what will never be. But other than those sterile pills or cold operating rooms, there is little guidance from the medical beings.
That's why I am here. That's why I keep blogging. Because I remember how much it hurts. I know that pain. And I want to help.
And I will.