“They said it was a subchorionic hematoma, and that the baby was okay.”
I was standing in front of the yogurt case at the grocery store in the Coastal Town, talking to the O.B. on my cell phone, explaining what had just happened the night before. The Wonderful Man and I were getting food for our trip back into The City, and the O.B. had just returned the message I had left with the answering service.
“No. You are having a miscarriage.”
I had not met the O.B. yet. My first appointment was still a few weeks away. She spoke to me bluntly, the way you speak to someone who is in denial, who needs to face the truth.
We made arrangements for another ultrasound in The City, as soon as we could make it back from The Coast.
I bought bagels, peanut butter, bananas, water, and prenatal vitamins.
I don’t remember very much about the drive, except for stopping at a Dairy Queen to use the restroom one last time before I had to start drinking copious amounts of water.
We arrived at the ultrasound facility. The Wonderful Man and I had done this before. The previous summer, when we had only been dating for four or five months, I started having pains and spotting. I thought I might have an ectopic pregnancy. After a negative pregnancy test and an exam, they sent me to this same facility. Before the appointment, the Wonderful Man and I had lunch at a Thai restaurant, and I drank the 32 ounces (or so) of water that I had been instructed to drink. By the time of my appointment, I was painfully full and needed to pee. The ultrasound technician had chuckled at this. He was very chatty. He was in training. The appointment took a looooong time. All the while, my bladder was screaming, and the Wonderful Man held my hand and traced a pattern on it. He distracted me with conversation, with gentle instructions to breathe.
I had never felt so supported. I had never had somebody completely on my side like that before. That time, I was not pregnant. My IUD was embedded, though, and had to come out.
Now we were here again, not even a year later. I had not, however, drunk the amount of water the O.B. had told me to. I figured that if they were able to visualize the baby last night without any water drinking, it would be just fine if I drank 24 ounces instead of 32.
And it was.
Although I was still bleeding, the Little Guy was still in there, with his little hummingbird heart beating away. We were filled with cautious relief.
I bled again a few evenings later. I paced around the room, worried, knowing there was nothing I could do about this situation, while the Wonderful Man watched. I called in sick to work the next morning, and slept in his bed the whole next day.
The third time it happened, I was alone with my four-year-old daughter. We were at a restaurant for dinner, and she was in the bathroom with me when it started.
We often went out to eat in those days. I worked full-time and did not have a car. The commute by bus to her daycare and then to my office took an hour each way, so our days were 10.5 hours from the time we left in the morning until we walked back in the door. There were a lot of restaurants along the bus route home that tempted us with inexpensive meals that we could share and did not have to cook or clean up. That is a strong temptation.
I couldn’t believe I was in a restaurant bathroom with my impressionable and inquisitive four-year-old, while having another hemorrhage. I don’t remember what I told her, but I do remember feeling relieved that she didn’t follow-up with her usual round of 20 questions.
The next day was another day spent in bed.