Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Baby Celis #1, Part Two (The Sad)

Today is the one year anniversary of the worst day of my life—the day we found out Baby Celis #1 was gone. I promised (my baby, Danny, and you) I’d share the sad part of Baby Celis #1’s story today. Here’s Part One, in case you missed it. 

And here we go—Part Two. 

Did I mention how happy Danny and I were? Deliriously. Ridiculously. Otherworldly.

But then, I started spotting. It was unsettling, but I definitely wasn't expecting the worst. When I was about 9 weeks pregnant, I had my first appointment with my (former) OB. She did an exam, assured me that my spotting was completely normal, and sent me on my way. Of course I believed her, so I breathed a huge sigh of relief and returned to my rightful place on cloud nine. 

The very next day, on Thanksgiving, actually, my spotting picked up—and the doubt crept back into my mind. When we prayed before dinner, I silently begged God to let my baby be okay. While our loved ones talked about what they were thankful for, Danny squeezed my hand and smiled at me, his way of letting me how thankful he was for me—and for our baby, who was still our little secret, for the most part. I fought back tears. 

The worry increased—along with the spotting—and then the cramping started. I didn’t quite believe I was miscarrying, though. I'm not entirely sure what I thought, but that Sunday morning, when Danny got home from work, I told him we needed to go to the Emergency Room. I'll never forget how hopeful he was, how crazy he thought I was for not thinking our baby was okay. Or maybe he was just really convincing because he loves me so much.

Our first stop was Metro Hospital, where they put me in a room and literally forgot about me for 3 hours. Nobody checked on me as I lay there bleeding, so we walked out, and went to another Emergency Room. 

The 7 hours (I clearly wasn't a priority) we spent in the second Emergency Room are a blur. I remember being pumped full of liquids and being really cold. I remember they wouldn't let Danny accompany me when the ultrasound tech wheeled me off to her exam room; I hated being away from him for those 45 minutes. I remember the same commercial kept airing over and over again; I don't know what it was for, but it was the holiday season, and the word "joy" was bouncing all over the screen. I remember telling myself that if our baby was okay, and if it was a girl, her middle name would be "Joy." 

I think he was a boy, though, and I always refer to Baby Celis #1 as such.

People talk about defining moments—moments they can pinpoint that truly changed their lives, made them who they are. My defining moment? Hearing the doctor (I call him "Dr. Maroon" because he was wearing either a maroon shirt or a maroon tie) say the words “no heartbeat.” I don't remember his entire sentence, what came before or after. I just remember those two words leaving his mouth, and driving into my soul, into my core—into my own heart—and shattering everything in their path.     

Danny let out a wail that haunts me to this day. I’ve never heard a pain so deep. He collapsed against me and buried his face in my arm, and I know he wished he could crawl right through my skin and get the fuck out of that room. Get the fuck out of that hospital. Get the fuck out of that nightmare. All I could do was stroke his hand with my thumb and cry with him. I can still feel his hand in mine. I can still feel his face against my arm. I can still feel my own body being shaken by his sobs. 

Dr. Maroon kept saying, "the fetus.” Each time he said the word was like a sock in the gut. The fetus, the fetus, the fetus. My baby, you heartless bastard. My baby.

We didn't get so much as an "I'm sorry" from anybody working in the ER that night. Everybody was so nonchalant, and when I say that nobody cared, I'm not exaggerating. We'd just found out that our baby was dead, and nobody was the least bit fazed. Our entire world had just been turned upside down and set on fire, and nobody could take two minutes to offer us a few words of consolation. Not that we could have been consoled anyway.  

Dr. Maroon told me to call my OB on Monday to decide what our next steps would be—most likely a D&C, since the baby had been gone for 4 weeks, and my body wasn’t recognizing the loss like it should have been.

But we didn’t make it to Monday. By the grace of God, just hours after Danny wept all over my belly, telling Baby Celis #1 goodbye—and that it was time for him to physically leave us... he did. 

I'll do my best not to get too graphic here, but I am going to mention it because people tend to forget about the physical aspect of miscarriage. I know I never thought about it until I experienced it. The baby doesn't just disappear. I'll spare you too much detail, but suffice it to say that on November 27th, 2011, with Danny by my side, I spent 3 horrific hours in labor with our tiny baby. As if the emotional pain weren't enough, wave after wave of burning pain ripped through my body. I know I've heard this comparison before, so if anybody ever tells you a miscarriage is "like a period," please know that they're sorely mistaken.

I remember every single second of those hours. More tears than anybody should ever have to cry. More blood than anybody should ever have to see. More physical pain than anybody should ever have to feel in their own goddamn bathroom. And the heartache... 

Danny and I didn't leave the house for 6 days. Those days are a haze. We stayed in bed and cried together. My body still hurt, and for days, all I could say was, "Why? Why our baby?" We didn't know which way was up or which way was down, whether it was night or day. We finally left the house on Saturday to buy me a birthday present, since my birthday was the following day. (My own birthday is just another reminder of all we've lost, along with Thanksgiving, of course.) I picked out a pendant to honor Baby Celis #1, and aside from when it was on hiatus due to a broken chain, it hasn't left my neck since. It never will.

My 28th birthday. Danny made me let him take me to dinner. This picture makes me sad because I remember how torn apart I was.

I’ve spent a million hours wondering what this child would have looked like, who he would have been. I’ve thought about him every single day since October 27th, 2011—the day I found out about him. I’ll always wonder, and while my crying isn’t as frequent as it once was, I know I’ll never run out of tears for my first baby.

My sweet, sweet June Bug, whenever I think of my first baby, it won't be the first baby we bring home from the hospital; it will always, always, always be you. You are the one who made me a mommy. You are the one who first changed my life forever. You are the one who made me and your daddy love each other more than anybody's ever loved anybody or anything.

And I hope that in the short time we had together, which I’ll always cherish, you could feel how much we loved you. 

How much we love you.


jessica dukes said...

this is so sad, i am so so sorry that this is your story, but yes, he will always be the one that made you a mommy.

my friend, when she lost her first, got a tattoo of heart on her wrist so it would forever be with her.

even though you were broken in the picture above, you looked beautiful.

Christina said...

I am so sorry for your loss. It's heartbreaking to read about other people's losses because I can just feel the sadness.
I too bought something to remember baby #1, a peridot pandora bead.

Nicole said...

That's the most beautiful picture of you. Not sure why...thank you for sharing your first baby's story.

Erica said...

I am so sorry you had (have) to suffer that pain. All your babies are lucky to have you and Danny for parents. I had noticed your necklace in photos before and thought it was pretty, but it is even more beautiful knowing the story behind it.

Love you.

Priya S said...


Colleen Garvin said...

I am sitting here, sobbing as I read this. You and Danny are such amazing any beautiful friends. My heart is so heavy that you had to go through so much pain and sadness. I think of you every day and I am so happy your dream is finally coming true. I love you guys!

Emmett Katherine said...

I can't even imagine going through this. with all the suffering you and Danny went through it makes me so angry that no one at the hospital even attempted to say something comforting to you guys. This post made me so sad. I'm sorry about your little one.

I'm really glad that you will get to be a mother soon.

Kate said...

I know your pain -- at least, I know the pain of this story. We miscarried our first baby pretty much on my birthday, too (last December) and everything you wrote reminds me so much of my experience, except that ultimately we weren't able to complete the process "naturally" at home. My ER experience came after the fact, because I was hemorraghing and couldn't clear all of the material. I remember, too, how cold I felt and how surreal and awful and painful and lonely it all was. You and I are now due in the same month! Thanks for coming to visit my site -- I'm looking forward to following your page and traveling this road together!