I miscarried my daughter, Blakely Amelia, just shy of 14 weeks. We found out she was a girl during an emergency room trip while in Alabama for a conference when I was 11.5 weeks. I had prayed earlier that day for a miracle and that God would somehow get our genetic testing results early, because I just couldn’t wait. I just knew this was it. I knew it was my daughter. And though I didn’t expect it to be from an ER trip, I got to learn about my daughter earlier than expected from my sonogram there. Our sweet sonographer asked us if we wanted to know and said she was about 85% certain she could tell us.
My SCH was discovered that night and I scheduled an appointment for the morning I got back to Texas. Like, literally we drove in and got home at 2:30 AM and I was at my doctor’s office at 8:30. I had never heard of these and, to be honest, it was difficult to find much information on them. If anything, I wanted to share this post to first and foremost share a bit more about my time and loss with Blakely. Second, if this can be a resource for women in the future, I hope it helps. Let me start this by saying MOST often, a SCH will heal itself and moms deliver perfect babies with these. Unfortunately I had a very large one and it couldn’t heal itself.
Blakely was 10000% a surprise. We were not trying and actively so… ha. God truly wanted us to have her in this exact time and season for some reason. And to be honest, it is even more so hurtful and confusing after having lost her knowing how much of a miracle it was that we conceived her. But I know there is purpose in this pain. I trust God with it. I had told God after Rory if He wanted me to be pregnant again, it would have to be a shock because I was too scared to try again. I expressed my deep desires for a daughter once more and let Him be in charge. Boy, did He shock us. We have joked since this pregnancy that I have seriously got to start being more clear in my prayers about timelines because God always delivers exactly as I ask. Of course, God is in charge and does as He pleases. But, man, he really does hear us.
What is a subchorionic hemorrhage?
Essentially, in the easiest words, your placenta and uterus pull apart in a spot and cause a clot to form. Sorta like a scab holding the two together until, hopefully, it heals and binds back together. Mine was 5 cm at the bottom of my uterus just over my cervix. There is no true cause of this, nothing you did nor can do. Some believe it’s caused by when an egg fertilizes on top of a previously fertilized area in your uterus. Regardless, your body deals with it as it pleases, essentially. I was on bed rest to help all that I could and so that, mentally, if I did miscarry, my doctor told me I would know that I know it wasn’t me and I wouldn’t carry that weight of false guilt. Many women have pleasant, perfect full-term pregnancies with these and it’s not a grave diagnosis. In fact, most often, it isn’t one. SCH is pretty rare but not necessarily a bad ending, just high risk. I held onto that hope for the next two weeks after. I am not a doctor, so take these numbers lightly, but it’s what I found while researching my own. I found in my grief that I needed to understand it better. Statistically, a study of 64k pregnancies, only about 2% had SCH. Another study that focused solely on SCH said about 30% of SCH end in a miscarriage.
So, again, please if you find this and have recently been diagnosed, I am hopeful for you. This doesn’t have to end like mine did. In fact, statistics lend themself to say you won’t have my experience and I pray you do not.
What to expect with a SCH
For mine, I bled significantly my first bleed. Leading up to my bleed, I felt sick and uncomfortable all day. My tummy was also extremely swollen, something I didn’t fully realize until after the fact. I was at a 3 day conference, day 2, and couldn’t sit straight. It felt somewhat like early labor pains. I was miserably uncomfortable but thought it was round ligament pain. I was having light headedness and was coming in and out of what felt like “out of body” experiences. That evening, we arrived at a restaurant and walking in I could feel something wasn’t right and I ran to the bathroom immediately to find I had bled everywhere. At this point, I assumed the worst and thought I had miscarried then. My husband had to come into the women’s restroom with me to try to clean up what we could and walked me out to the car, all done in a favorite white dress… ugh. It just made everything so obvious and horrifying. We called my midwife out of state and she, too, prepared my heart that it was likely either a miscarriage or COULD be a subchorionic hemorrhage, but that my 8 week scan didn’t show signs of one as it normally would. The trip to the ER confirmed my baby was bouncing around and healthy, but I did in fact have a large SCH.
From here, I saw my midwife the day I returned home, learned about the size of my hemorrhage *also called hematoma* and started fighting physically and in the spiritual realm for my daughter. My sonogram that morning also confirmed a girl, and then my midwife let me know my genetic testing had come in the day before and I was in fact pregnant with a little girl. I had prayed for this moment for 3 years and I immediately knew it was my Blakely Amelia whom I prayed for by name since 2018. I didn’t expect my time with her to be so short, but I am so abundantly thankful God gave us our gender early to be able to dream and celebrate her as long as we got.
Though, it did feel cruel when I lost her and part of me wished I had never known, I know there is purpose and significance in this for having known it was her. And I keep asking God to heal the pieces of my heart that are wounded from the confusing loss of such a dream.
I will be bluntly honest that I just had no idea what actually happens in a miscarriage. Truly not a clue, and I now have such a greater depth of heartache for moms I know who have also lost babies, whether at 4 weeks or 14+. I had only bled in the two weeks of knowing about my hematoma that once in Alabama. I felt excited that I wasn’t bleeding more and saw it as a good thing *which it was, to be fair*.
In the middle of my bed rest from the hematoma, my entire family actually came down with COVID to top this whole experience off. We were stuck at home, me on bed rest, and all of us piled into one bed soaking up every moment together in between sniffles and snot. My loss has absolutely Z E R O connection to COVID and to be honest, our experience was that of a cold/flu. We lost our taste and smell for a bit but already it’s come back almost fully. I recognize this isn’t the case for everybody, but it was our experience (as well as my many friends who have now had it) and I am grateful to now have a natural boosted immunity and antibodies for it in our home before the fall/winter months. We chose to do only a steroid (I only took it for 3 days) and vitamins, and by day 8 were doing great. I was prescribed Ivermectin but chose against it with my doctor as there just wasn’t enough information on it for pregnancy.
Just as I was starting to get over COVID, I began bleeding again. It was like from one thing to the next and back again. It appeared to be a “good” shade of blood and like my hematoma was actually healing and releasing itself out of my cervix rather than absorbing simply because my body saw it was easier to release it being so close to an “exit.” And so, I began the process of what we believe was my hematoma healing. But, I wasn’t allowed to go into my OB’s office again to check yet, having only just hit day 10 from symptoms, as their policy required 10 days post-positive test. I was stuck at home and had to wait and pray. Or if I needed to, I could go to the ER but had to tell them I was likely still COVID positive on a test… I didn’t want to endure that so I stayed home. The hope was my body would release the clots and that my tear was ultimately fixed.
Long story short, my body went into labor two days after beginning to bleed again. It appears my body was tricked into believing, due to the large amount of blood leaving my body, that it needed to dilate. Thus, sending my body into active labor. Having been in active labor twice before now, I knew at this point it was time to go to the hospital. Sparing details, the clots and bleeding changed significantly and it was clear something was happening. But, even still, though terrified and wailing from pain, I truly thought I would show up, get my contractions sedated, maybe stay over night to be monitored, and head home. A miscarriage was a slight fear but still nowhere on my realistic radar.
Unfortunately, when I walked into Labor and Delivery, I delivered my daughter right there as I tried to quickly check in. In my SCH case, I had to dilate too much to rid my body of the “bad” that it unfortunately got rid of the good, too. We got to spend time with our daughter in a private recovery room as long as we wanted. I also had to have blood tests and deliver the placenta, which thankfully came out on its own without surgery. I held my 13 week 3 day baby in my hands for hours, enjoying time and mourning our loss of her. I saw full hands, legs, feet, eyes, and a perfect tiny body made in the image of God. I knew I believed life began in the womb, but now more than ever I know what life in my tummy actually looks like. And it’s a baby. A full, tiny human.
I wanted to share my story, partly to connect with other mommies who have lost their child, partly to answer the questions you’ve had, and partly as part of my grieving process. I have spent the last 8 weeks dreaming of the day I got to share with all of you about Blakely and all the fun things that happened while in my first trimester. And, because I believe she is my daughter and her life was woven in my womb by the Lord, I want to still share about her and her story. Even though it hurts, even though I am still so sad and shocked, talking about my story and experience is healing.
I posted this in my stories yesterday, and it seemed to help so many of you understand your own grief and loss. So, I want it to live on here as well to help others as they navigate their own loss.
“The gap between an answered prayer and the way it unfolds sometimes will never fully be graspable on this side of Heaven. I believe Blakely was such an answered prayer. God shocked us with her just as I had asked Him to. Loss and heartache exist because we live in a broken world. My placenta and uterus came apart with no explanation other than that of I live in an imperfect body in an imperfect world. But I worship the Lord because I have seen Him in my answered prayers and I have seen Him in my mourning. And I know He always gets the final say, the final victory, and all the glory. I choose to worship Him, even when it hurts, because it’s all I know to do.”
Friend, if you have lost a baby, I am so sorry. I am so sorry you have experienced such depths of heartache. No mother should have to say goodbye to their child in a blanket in their lap at the hospital. No mother should have to bury their baby. No mother should have to choose what steps to take next for their now deceased child. These things are part of what God promises us will be no more in Heaven. No more hurt, tears, pain or loss. A perfect, renewed, restored body in a state of perfection. I so look forward to that day I enter into Heaven and see my sweet girl. I imagine she, like my boys, has bright blonde hair with subtle curls and big blue eyes. I long for the day to see her.
Thank you for loving our family through this time. We’ve found ourself in the midst of such grief thanking God for the amazing outpouring of kindness we’ve experienced these last few days. I also recognize how, even in the middle of losing Blakely, the Lord was so near. Our nurses were so kind. There was not a single bed for me and I begged them not to send me away, and they created a makeshift room for me in L&D. They soothed us, cared for us, and literally cried with us. When I left, I was truly hugged with sorrow, empathy, and compassion. I am forever grateful for them. They honored us and our loss, and most importantly honored my daughter as a LIFE.