Thursday, November 6, 2014


Halloween was the day that I miscarried.

I'd known it was going to happen for one week and one day.  It was on the 23rd of October that my doctor informed me that the ultrasound was showing no heartbeat.  I was supposed to be 9.5 weeks, but the baby was only measuring 7.5 weeks.

My baby hadn't been alive for two weeks.

I cried.

I cried every day.

But by the time I started miscarrying on October 31st, I'd accepted it.  I was almost relieved when the bleeding started because then at least I wouldn't have to wonder.

Tim decided to stay home that morning so he could take care of Ellie.  Knowing what I know now, I have a strong suspicion that he was being prompted to stay home, because I thought I would be fine.  I could take care of Ellie.  It wouldn't be a big deal.

And it wasn't a big deal.  That is, until I passed out in Tim's arms and then bled all over the floor.

"Katie, wake up.  Katie, should I call an ambulance?  Katie, wake up!"

I was annoyed by that voice.  Didn't the voice know that I just wanted to sleep?

By the time I was coherent enough to realize what had happened, Tim was already making preparations to take me to the hospital.  My friend, Brittney, was going to watch Ellie while Tim took me to the ER.  Ellie was already in the car.  Just before he took me to the car, Tim laid his hands on my head while I laid there on the kitchen floor.  He quickly and quietly promised me in the name of Jesus Christ that I would stay conscious until I got to the hospital.

And I did.

I was immediately taken to a room in the ER, where two nurses from labor and delivery took care of me until my OB arrived.  Right there in the ER, my doctor fixed, without anesthesia, what he called an "incomplete" miscarriage.  It was painful and awful, but it only lasted a couple of minutes.  Then the bleeding stopped.  I started to feel better.  Tim gathered my things as we prepared to go home.  I was happy at the prospect of not being in the hospital anymore.

Then came the nausea.  And then the warmth.  And, oh, I was so tired.  I just needed to sleep.  And I knew: it was happening all over again.  My vision blurred, and the next thing I knew a stern lady with long, curly hair was commanding me to wake up.

I heard Tim talking with the doctor and the nurses.  Was she in pain?  No, I don't think so.  Had she stood up?  No, she was just lying there.  I listened in shock as he told them I'd seized after passing out, and as they explained that it can be a normal reaction to such low blood pressure and a low heart rate.  The ER doctor left the room, saying he was going to call my OB again and ask what he wanted to do.

I was scared.  And I knew I'd scared Tim, too.  My eyes filled with tears when Tim walked in a few minutes later with Ellie in his arms.  I needed that.  I needed to see her.

Eventually, we were told that I would be admitted for the night for observation.  My OB came a couple of hours later.  I told him about how I'd passed out a few months earlier for the first time in my life, with all of the same symptoms.  The nausea.  The warmth.  The blurred vision.  He ordered a couple of tests with the promise that he'd come back and check on me in the morning.

Not long after my OB left, Tim's brother, Jeremy, and his wife, Alison, came to pick up Ellie for a few hours.  Before they left with my precious girl, Tim and Jeremy gave me another blessing.  I don't remember what it said, but I knew I'd be all right.

My eyes became misty with each picture Alison sent me.  I was so grateful that they'd found her a costume and taken her trick-or-treating with their family.  I knew she was in the best possible hands.

They even made mummies for dinner:

And oreo spiders:

Both of which were far more creative than anything I'd been planning.

Apparently Ellie and her cousin, Talon, were taking turns hugging each other and giggling.  Heart. Melted.

Alison said that Ellie didn't really understand trick-or-treating at first, but once she caught on, she was very enthusiastic, and would yell, "More candy!" after every house.

This next picture was taken after they knocked on a door and no one was home.  Ellie cried and kept asking for more candy.  Ha ha!  A girl after my own heart.

Ellie and Kenzie were best buds that night.

Alison said she went right to sleep as soon as she sat down after trick-or-treating.  All that fun can really wear a girl out!

Tim spent the night at our house with Ellie.  We knew I was in good hands, because I was literally the only patient in the labor and delivery ward.  Perks of being in a small hospital, I guess.  I had the nicest nurses ever, who kindly encouraged valium when I couldn't go back to sleep the second time I was woken up to take a pill.

Four hours later, I woke up and texted Tim that he and Ellie could drive over whenever they were ready.  Not fifteen minutes later, they showed up in my hospital room.  Contrary to my previous hospital experience, Ellie didn't want to touch me at all while I was hooked up to all those cords, but I was just happy to see her.

My OB came soon after and instructed me to see my GP (an internist by training) sometime in the next few days.  I hadn't actually lost enough blood to warrant passing out twice and the manner in which I'd done it.

I was tired.  I'm still tired.  It was an awful experience, and I still cry sometimes.  But I feel a little bit better every day.  And I can't help but be grateful in the midst of all of it.  I'm not grateful I had a miscarriage, but I'm grateful for the empathy I can have for others.  I'm grateful I had a week to deal with it emotionally before everything happened physically.  I'm grateful for modern medicine and the years of medical training housed within that hospital.  And I'm grateful Tim felt prompted to stay home to take care of Ellie for me that day, because I have no idea what would have happened without him.

I went to my GP yesterday.  I don't really understand everything that he said, but the fainting had something to do with my vagus nerve and needing to drink more water and eat more salt.  And hoping that it doesn't keep happening, because in that (hopefully very) unlikely event, my future could involve a pacemaker.  But even if it's something that continues to affect my life, at least it's not something life-threatening.

I worry that my pregnant friends will feel awkward around me now.  They shouldn't.  I might feel sad inside, but I am definitely not sad for them.  I am so happy for their opportunity.  And I know it will happen for me again, too.

I also worry that this will be seen as a cry for attention or sympathy.  It's not.  I am sad, but I know it's not the end of the world.  My world is beautiful, and it will always be beautiful because I have Tim and Ellie and the most wonderful friends and family.  I write this mainly because it's the only journal I have, and I want my daughters and granddaughters to be able to read it someday.

I want them to know that I know - no matter what - God is good.  He is, oh, so good.


Siri Baxter said...

Sounds like Tim truly was prompted to stay home that day. I'm so sorry you had to go through that and it sounds like it was a really painful experience emotionally and physically. Your faith and strength through the whole thing is a firm testimony to me of the plan of salvation. You are so strong and such a good mamma!

jhjonze said...

Seriously. I love you so much! You're so strong and I admire you so so much. That's all. We'll chat soon!

Savannah said...

this is sad, but beautifully written, katie. thinking of you guys & sweet ellie; we miss you! sending prayers your way.

Ali Mills said...

Oh Katie! I'm so sorry this happened to you but I am so glad Tim had the inspiration to stay with you and that he was able to handle the situation despite it's horrificness of it all.

My heart goes out to you and I miss you and love you so much! Sending all my prayers and good vibes your way.

karajean said...

I am so sorry you and Tim are going through this. I never know what to say about stuff like this but I think you two are a great example of listening to the Spirit and the power or priesthood blessings. Ellie is a lucky girl.

Camille Millecam Whiting said...

So sorry to hear this my dear!

Katie Elizabeth Hawkes said...

Man, I'm so so sorry this happened to you. My heart sank when I started reading this post. I know it wasn't a cry for sympathy, but that's really the last thing I think you need to worry about! Such a tough thing to have happen. I just love you -- and I'm glad you were able to figure out what was causing the fainting/seizing. Praying for you!! <3

Karm said...

Oh Katie, I am so glad you are doing okay. Reading this post made me sad, but you are postive and I am happy for that. Ellie is so cute in her costume! (:

Tracie said...

I'm so sorry, Katie. I wish I had known when I saw you on the 30th. I was wondering if everything was okay... I had a similar experience (finding out at my 10 week appt that they baby had died at 6 weeks, and then having to wait for it to come out. :( not fun. ) You are a great mom and hopefully will get another little one soon. Thanks for your beautiful posts about this.