Sparrow's Birth Story (Our Miscarriage)
Disclaimer: My miscarriage is still very fresh but I've been sharing pieces of my journey as it unfolds. Sharing Sparrow's story is my healing process. Not everyone grieves the same way. Some people choose to be private, and that is perfectly ok. However, I'm glad this topic is being shared about more and I hope this encourages the conversation, because it breaks my heart to think that some people suffer in silence. I'm sharing my story because I hope that anyone who has suffered loss previously, is still currently, or will in the future, would feel comforted and not alone.
*In this post I'm sharing my miscarriage experience and it may have slightly graphic descriptions, so please do not continue reading if it will make you uncomfortable.
I lay on the bed while the technician slid the wand back and forth over my belly, wishing that I didn't have to be alone. Paul had been asked to stay in the waiting area. I stared at the painting on the wall next to me. It looked like an abstract picture of the ocean. I wanted to be there instead of here... I imagined myself surrounded by the water, waves tugging me in and out. I held back my tears. Earlier that day, I had a pee and found some blood when I wiped. I don't know why, but I just knew the baby was gone.
Paul was brought into the room and we waited for the radiologist to come give us our results. I whispered to him "I don't think it's good news". When the radiologist came in, he was very kind as he told us there was no heartbeat and he was sorry. We sobbed into each other's arms. I didn't expect my husband to be as broken as I was, but somehow it was comforting that he was grieving as much as I was, that he loved this baby as much as I did. I knew in that moment that I wasn't alone in this.
When I first saw those two lines on the pregnancy test, Paul was still sleeping because he'd gotten off night shift that morning. I was shocked and excited and so anxious for him to wake up so I could tell him! Once he was up I gave him some time to pour his coffee and come out of his fog. Then I handed him a card and told him the boys drew something for him - but inside it said that baby no.3 was on the way. He said "seriously?!" We were so happy.
The following months included the usual fatigue and nausea. I let the kids watch tons of TV because I had no energy to do anything except lay on the couch. Almost every night I would fall asleep with Maverick while putting him to bed and would wake up hours later. One time I literally fell asleep mid-sentence while reading a bedtime story.
As the weeks rolled by, we shared the news with friends and family here and there. The most common reaction was "you're crazy!" (maybe we are) but my favourite was "congratulations!" I felt so much peace about adding a third child to our family.
One day I was driving somewhere with the kids and out of the blue Maverick asked me, "mommy, does the baby have hands?" I told him yes, but they are very tiny. The baby still has to grow big big big. There was silence as he thought about it, and then he said, "I'm excited for the baby."
My first ultrasound was at 8 weeks + 4 days and baby had a strong heartbeat. As time went on my "bump" began to stick out and I was a little embarrassed at how quickly I was showing, but also really excited that it was starting to happen.
The day we found out our baby had died, was the day before I was 13 weeks. We had just started to feel the relief of making it through the first trimester. Paul and I drove home in silence.
The following days and nights consisted of sobbing, cuddling, eating chocolate and feeling numb. I would wake up in the middle of the night, my heart physically aching, and start to sob as I thought about my baby in my tummy, lifeless. Paul would wake up and say nothing, just roll over and hold me.
My midwife talked me through the next steps and what my choices were. None of these choices are happy ones. My personal choice was that I wanted to have a natural miscarriage at home, if possible. Since nothing was happening on it's own (I wasn't having cramps and was only lightly spotting) I would go to the hospital to get medication that would induce labour and help my body to finish the miscarriage process.
Our boys were at Nana and Papa's and would be sleeping over so we could have some time to go through this alone. We got home from the hospital at around 9am and I took the medication. We turned on a movie to distract ourselves as we waited for things to get going.
After about two hours, the pain really kicked in. I was surprised at how much it felt like early labour. The hospital gave me T3's but I was too stubborn to take them, and instead just walked around, leaned over the couch, and rocked my hips side to side.
At about 1pm, my water broke and I felt a warm gush. I ran and stood in the bathtub as my waters, blood and clots spilled out. It was like the seal had been broken and my pregnancy was pouring out of me. Shortly after that my baby came out.
I had read online that if you put the baby in a glass of water you'd be able to see the features of the baby with better detail, so that's what we did. Baby was so small and delicate. A perfectly formed face, black eyes, miniature nose and mouth, a little belly that I'll never get to blow raspberries on, arms, legs, and the tiniest fingers and toes you've ever seen. We spoke to the baby through tear-filled eyes and told it how sorry we were and how much we loved it. We hadn't picked a name yet, but we were planning to soon.
In my deepest sorrow, I also felt relief. Relief that my prayers were answered that it would be quick and I'd be able to do this at home. (At the hospital the doctor told me I was too far along to go this route, but the OB wound up saying he was willing to let me try.) I felt God shining on us as the sun broke out from behind the dark clouds, just for a moment. I felt the thoughts and prayers of so many family and friends carrying us.
A few days later, Paul and I decided to name our baby Sparrow, after one of my favourite hymns, "His Eye Is On the Sparrow."
Thank you for reading the short but sweet story of our dear Sparrow.
It doesn't matter if it is common. It doesn't matter if it was for a reason. It doesn't matter if you already have children. You are mourning THIS baby. You are mourning the hopes, dreams and love you had for this baby. It doesn't matter that your baby could not seen by anyone as it was tucked away in the mother's womb - it was real. It was a life. It was your baby. You have permission to grieve.