Birth Trauma Survivor and Maternal Health Advocate

“I am not functioning very well. Living with the knowledge that the baby is dead is painful. I feel so far away from you, God. I can only try to believe that you are sustaining me and guiding me through this. Please continue to stand by my side.” Christine O'Keeffe Lafser

The miscarriage happened just a little over a year after my postpartum hemorrhage. I was back in the hospital again needing an emergency surgery.

Dr. Mig explained to me that I had to have a D & C (dilation and curettage). D &C ‘s treat uterine conditions — such as heavy bleeding — or clear the uterine lining after a miscarriage or abortion.

The surgery lasted two hours. When I woke up, Bobby was next to me. We barely spoke. Our hearts were heavy and we were exhausted.

Throughout the night and into the next morning, nurses were in and out of my room every hour to check on me. I hated the look of pity  on each of their faces. They all wanted to chat about my miscarriage. It was awful. The asked me repeatedly how far along I was and if I was sad that I lost my baby. One even asked me if it was a boy or a girl! Had any of them bothered to read my chart? It felt like my miscarriage was the talk of the maternity ward. Everyone wanted to gossip about it. I couldn’t wait to go home.

I was discharged in the early afternoon. I spent the next couple of days in bed, only emerging to use the bathroom and play with Miss J. I wanted to stay in the bed and never get out. I wanted to pull the covers over my head and lie in darkness and silence.  But I couldn’t. Miss J, who at the time was only thirteen months old didn’t deserve to feel the emotional impact of what was happening to me.  For her sake I always found the energy to sing nursery rhymes, paint and play “giddy up horsey” and “hide and go seek”. It helped me too. Her spirit, her smile and her laugh kept me from descending too far into sadness.

I didn’t tell many people what happened. I know I would have felt comforted by the support of others, but I didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t like I could post it as my status on Facebook. *Natalie only knew about my miscarriage because she was with me when it happened. I told one other friend because we had previously made plans that I had to cancel.

If not for this blog if I wonder if would have ever told anyone else.

I did tell my mother and she came to see me a couple of days later. I’ve told you before that we have a complicated history and she is not the warm and fuzzy type- but it was comforting to have her there.

*Natalie and her husband stopped by one day to check on me. They brought us a key lime pie and a bottle of wine.

Another friend brought me a card and a beautiful orchid.

The orchid died two weeks later.

 

*Name has been changed to protect privacy.

Definition of D & C is cited from here.

Quote for this post is by:  Christine O’Keefe Lafser, from the book “An Empty Cradle, a Full Heart: Refections for Mothers and Fathers after Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Infant Death”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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