There is no manual

The hardest part about the miscarriage was telling Ane.

I did it on the Friday I found out, because I was too upset to successfully convince her that Mommy was really okay, but my contacts were making my eyes water. Uh-uh. Not happening.

I had left the kids at my parents’ house during my appointment. I called ahead to tell my mother, and then I drove there to break the news to Ane myself, with Grandma standing at the ready.

How do you tell a not-yet five-year-old that the baby she’s been hoping for isn’t coming?

I sat her down and told her as simply as I could that the baby died. That it wasn’t healthy enough to live, so it had died and went to heaven.

Ane burst into tears. I began crying all over again.

Ane began saying how much she wanted to have a baby to play with. I tried to console her with the fact that CW Mom just had a baby, Friend and Handy Girl are both having babies, so there will be other babies that she will see frequently to play with.

“I don’t want those babies. I want MY baby,” she sobbed.

Me too, kiddo. Me too.


Thankfully, Ane has the typical resiliency of a preschooler working in her favor. For the first few days, she insisted on praying that God would heal the baby. It was hard to dissuade her, so aside from telling her that the baby wasn’t going to be healed in the way she wanted, we just left it alone. It’s been a few days now since she’s even mentioned the baby, but I’m sure that she’ll say something or ask a question at some point in the future – probably the next time she sees an infant.

Tad, of course, my sweet oblivious boy, is completely unconcious of what’s happened. His ignorance has been my bliss. It’s nice to have one child who will hug you without asking questions.


When the OB determined that there was no heartbeat, she took measurements at the same time. Using those numbers, her estimate was that fetal death happened around 8 weeks.

When I heard that, I was stunned. “But my first OB appointment was at 10 weeks, and you said you saw a heartbeat then,” I said to her.

She didn’t really have an answer for me, except that “Well, it was my second day substituting in the office, and I thought I did see something on the monitor. Hindsight is 20/20, and if we’d done a transvaginal ultrasound then…”

In hindsight, it made perfect sense. Eight weeks was when my nausea started to fade off. It was gone at nine weeks. It had weirded me out so much that I even mentioned it to both the nurse and the OB at my first appointment. This did not feel like pregnancy to me. And every time I said that, people around me said, “Don’t complain! Isn’t it great that you’re not feeling sick?”

If I could have avoided this, I would have thrown up twice a day for 40 weeks instead of feeling the way I do now.

I felt too normal. My hair never stopped falling out. Yes, I was tired, but all my other symptoms had disappeared. But who among us is going to complain that they don’t feel sick enough to be pregnant?

I guess I should have.


Surgery went well and quickly, and I had a post-op appointment yesterday. Everything is as it should be with me physically. I’m not in any pain at all, and all the pathology labs from surgery came back negative. Nothing is wrong with me.

The bottom line is, this baby simply wasn’t meant to live. The best guess, without doing genetic testing, is that there was a chromosomal abnormality that caused fetal death. Surgery simply took care of the fact that my body didn’t want to let go of this baby.

That’s the clinical, medical way of looking at it all. I will be able to conceive again. There is no reason that we won’t eventually have another healthy child.



Again, I want to thank you all for your kind comments, private emails, thoughts and prayers. The Webmaster and I have felt very blessed and comforted by you all during this time. And thank you for reading through this particular post. It will probably be the only one that I do that directly addresses this miscarriage. We’ll go back to our regularly scheduled hilarity and time-outs tomorrow.

4 Responses to “There is no manual”

  1. Aunt Lynda
    November 4th, 2008 07:48

    Sharing is part of healthy healing. (Since I”m a college student and took Psychology, I’m an expert.)

  2. Doc
    November 4th, 2008 10:47

    Even your description of having to tell Ane made me tear up … and I only teared up twice while reading the Shack so I don’t usually do so easily!

    Prayers for you … and make sure you talk to Laurie if you haven’t about our little scare yesterday (we promise we won’t text you about the election … )

  3. L.
    November 4th, 2008 21:35

    Catching up here — sorry for your loss.

  4. Matthew
    November 5th, 2008 23:06

    I’m with L. Describing Ane’s reaction made me cry.

    I am amazed at your strength, Deanna. Hang in there.