This is not the home birth story that I was expecting to be writing for you all. This one has a far sadder end. You hear that miscarriages happen very often but you never think it is going to be you. There were so many signs for me that this pregnancy was not going as it was supposed to. There were so many gut feelings and intuitions. Yet, I hoped for the best and ignored them all.
This pregnancy started with a shock. I had just come off birth control and was planning on doing the Shettle’s method a method of choosing the sex of your baby based on ovulation date. I was charting my temps and cervical mucas. Some how some way even though we were avoiding we got pregnant from having sex 6 days before ovulation. 6 days before my temp jump. I wasn’t even thinking that I was pregnant. I just take a pregnancy test because sometimes it relaxes my body and I start my period. I was only maybe a day late. I was incredibly shocked to see the test line darken before the control line. I just felt a heat rush over me.
I had morning sickness for about 4 weeks after I found out that I was pregnant at 5 weeks. After that the morning sickness went away completely. My boobs didn’t hurt or any of the usual symptoms I have during pregnancy. I just hopefully chalked it up to being a baby of the opposite sex. I really wanted a girl to complete my family.
I felt like I wasn’t growing properly. With B I started to show almost immediately. Again I guessed that girls were just smaller. I became obsessed with checking my fundal height. I would lay on my stomach trying to feel it. With S, I couldn’t lay on my stomach for the uncomfortable bubble feeling. I would also check it on my back. I checked the height daily and it didn’t change.
At a group prenatal I voiced my concerns a little and my midwife looked for the heartbeat. She said it was probably just too early to hear it even though I was supposedly 10 week. My uterus is tilted so I thought it was due to that.
At my prenatal appointment a few days later I still couldn’t hear the heartbeat. She told me she could order an ultrasound, but my then husband wasn’t a fan so I said I would just wait till my next appointment. I ordered a doppler online. Cheaper than an ultrasound I told myself. Then began checking for the heart beat religously.
After the appointment I went for my bloodwork. I got the Non invasive prenatal test only wanting to know the gender, never had it occured to me that I could have a baby with a chromasomal issues.
About a week after the blood work was taken the midwife called me with the results. She told me the good news first. Baby was a girl. I was so happy for about ten seconds. Then the bad news. There were markers for a genetic condition called Turners syndrome, a genetic anomaly that causes the baby to be miscarried in 99% of the cases. She said there was still a chance for a homebirth if I went for further genetic tests and baby did not actually have Turners and if she did if her heart was normal then it would be ok. She sent my info over to the specialist and I waited for his call. It would come too late…
I cried and cried when I heard this news. Not only was my dreams of a third homebirth basically crushed, my dreams of a healthy daughter were too. I researched everything. The condition, the test, everything. I found out that with a diagnosis of Turners, only 14% were confirmed to have it after birth. So I felt hopeful.
The next day the spotting increased it went from pink and brown to pink and red. I grew more concerned. Then I had a gush of blood and water that wet my panties. I messaged my midwife. She said I should go to the hospital if I felt like that was the right thing. So I called my mom and let her know. I called my grandmother and said I’m bleeding can you take me to the hospital. She left work right away. I posted a brief live story on instagram. It was hard to keep from crying.
We arrived to the hospital. Only a few people were ahead of us. Ambulances kept coming and people filled the waiting room over and over. We waited to be seen for like 4 hours. Finally I got to the back. They took my urine and my blood. They were hopeful that the baby was ok. We were moved twice and finally went to another room. The emergency doctor came in and felt my belly. Then the ultrasound tech came to get me. The ultrasound lasted for ever. She wouldn’t let me see the screen and wouldn’t tell me anything. Finally it ended and I went back to my room and waited for what felt like an eternity yet was probably only 30 minutes.
The Dr came in and asked me if it was possible that my dates were off. My dates are never off. She said that the baby was measuring about 8-9 weeks and there was no heartbeat. What had happened was called a missed miscarriage and she told me to follow up with my doctor. A missed miscarriage is when the fetus dies inside of the womb but the body doesn’t get the message to empty the womb.
I cried and cried. I tried and tried to call my then husband but his phone was on vibrate. We left the hospital with all hope lost. She was gone. Dead inside me for the past 4 weeks! My body just had not gotten the message yet. We stopped by Chick Fil A and got some food for me to take home since I had not eaten since breakfast.
I arrived home. I walked in and say my then husband playing and watching tv with the kids. I said where’s your phone? He said what happened and I abruptly and coldly said The baby’s dead! His response was. well you can always just have another one.
I ate the fries and went to bed. I laid a towel on the bed just in case of more bleeding overnight.
The next day I started researching miscarriage at home. Since I didn’t feel like I wanted to have a D&C. I watched some youtube videos of people’s experiences with Cytotec and decided that it was what I would do. I asked my midwife for the meds and a friend from church picked them up for me.
People from church group came over and brought us food. I were thankful. I did not want to cook. Eventhough I wasn’t “allowed” to see my then husbands’ mother I called her anyway to come over and be with me while I took the pills in case I bled quickly since shes a nurse.
She came quickly and played with the boys. I took the pills and started to bleed but not cramp. I was not bleeding more than a period so I went to bed after she left and took the next dose later on. I went back to sleep. When I woke up my midwife instructed me to take three pills.
This is where the story gets graphic and sad. So feel free to check out now.
This worked. Almost instantly I was cramping in intervals like contractions. I had diarrhea, a symptom of the pills. I tried to lay on the couch. Wearing a depend to catch anything. I only lasted a short while on the couch when I began to feel some pressure. I went to the bathroom and had more diarrhea. My phone rang and I went to check it. It was the Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist. A little late… I started to feel some pressure, I hurried to the bathroom and as soon as I hit the toilet my water popped. Then I poured blood for a few minutes. I stayed on the toilet for quite a while. Every contraction brought gushes of blood that filled the toilet. Finally I felt the need to poo again. With this I felt and saw the placenta emerge. It took two contraction for it to come out. I briefly considered catching it in a toilet paper. I didn’t. I briefly considered retrieving it from the toilet. But with what else was in there I didn’t. I said goodbye, I’m sorry. Then I flushed it away.
I stayed on the toilet longer. Continuing to bleed with each contraction. Eventually it felt like it had slowed and I was tired of being cold so I got in the shower. I laid there with the water spraying down on me. Contraction after contraction blood and clots came out. Once again I felt the urge to poop. As this was my lowest moment in life I allowed it to happen in the shower. Along with this yellow water went the baby. Clear as day I saw her. A little head arms and legs. Stiff, greyish pink. I sat up and tried to catch it before it went down the drain with my feet. But it was faster than my heartbroken reflexes. Down the drain she went. I grabbed my phone and shook the flashlight on. Turned off the water. Nothing in the drain.
I laid back down and sobbed. Maybe I could have inspected her, buried her. Anything. But she was gone. Once again.
I had my water birth. It didn’t end how I would have imagined it to. As the bleeding slowed I took a proper shower. Put my depend back on and went to lay on the couch. Thankful that it happened quickly and was less painful than I thought it was going to be.
I am sure we will probably try again someday. But I will never forget my sweet Mae and the short but great love and happiness that she brought me.
Until we meet again Rory Mae. I will always love you. I know we will see each other again. There is an afterlife.
Rory Mae Holbert
1-28-17 Suspected Death Date 8W6D
2-23-17 Final Passing