“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” Psalm 139:13-16 from ESV
When I went to write this part of Porter’s story, I stared at the blank screen and just felt emptiness.
It is hard to relive and retell this part of Porter. It is hard because I hate it so much. I hate that this was written for us and for Porter… to lose him twice…and this time forever.
But this is his story and his story has purpose, which is why I need to share it.
We left off with being “graduated” from my IVF clinic to my midwife at 7w4d. I had just recently had another large bleeding episode and despite being told I could exercise, I chose not to and to just take it easy. I went to see my midwife, Michelle Davis, the next day. I told her about all the bleeding and she wanted to do a quick peak to see.
Well by golly, there were 3 SCHs (sub chorionic hematoma) near Porter. TBH, I was not super concerned as I had a SCH with the twins. But I knew that meant I needed to just take it easy.
So I did.
And nearly 10 days later, I bled again. Michelle truly was amazing and had me come in for another ultrasound. Porter was there and he was so happy and wiggly. But the SCH was much larger this time. They told me to take it easy and that we would watch it. I didn’t feel super uneasy with this news. I was bummed it was larger but for some reason it didn’t scare me.
Around rolls my 12 week appointment. It was a Tuesday. And guys… I was a wreck. I cried the entire appointment for truly no reason. I just felt anxious and off. We did an ultrasound to check on the SCH and it was still there. It was still big. It was at my cervix. But sweet Porter was there too. He was wiggling around. He was a baby in there now. His picture is actually on my last post. He had the sweetest little baby body. The longest little legs.
But even seeing him, I felt off.
I even stalled the end of my appointment. I remember looking at Michelle and just saying “I’m sorry I’m taking your time. I just feel anxious.” I said this over and over. I didn’t want to leave. Maybe deep down I knew this was the last time I would see Porter alive. Maybe deep down my subconscious was trying to prepare me. Maybe…
Michelle ended up giving me some essential oils to help with stress and gave me a hug. She also told me to stop using my home doppler because Porter was fine. And I tried to listen to her advice.
Wednesday was a busy day with the kiddos. And I felt off all day. Something was wrong but I tried not to think about it. Physically I felt like my body was in overdrive trying to do something. I truly think it was Porter fighting for his life. I could feel him dying. I could feel his soul leaving my womb. And deep down, I knew.
Thursday morning. I opened my eyes and felt ‘normal.’ No morning sickness. No grogginess. No exhaustion. I felt nothing. I tried to move past it and by the evening I pulled out my home doppler and I could not find him. I knew he was gone.
I texted Matt: He’s gone. I can’t find him on the doppler.
Matt assured me he was just hiding. But I knew. I crumbled in my bed and sobbed. I knew he was gone.
I spent the entire weekend Friday through Sunday, searching for him on the doppler. I was hoping Matt would be right.
But I knew.
Sunday night, I texted Michelle and told her I could not find him. I asked for a heartbeat check. She said of course and told me I could come in at 8am the next day. Matt stayed optimistic. But I knew.
Monday morning. We arranged Emberli and Ava to spend the morning with my mother in law. I stared out the window the entire drive. Matt asked me if I was nervous. I said yes and then we were silent the rest of the drive because I knew.
We arrived with the twins in tow in their stroller. We were walked back to the room. I had to leave a urine sample. I was returning to the room when Michelle saw me.“He’s gone.” She grabbed my arm and said she would be right in to check. The medical assistant took my vitals. My blood pressure was “normal” and I told Matt that. He tried to shrugged it off, maybe he knew I knew.
The next part of this story is where my heart shatters…
She places gel on my belly.
She touches the ultrasound probe to my belly.
I am staring at her.
She looks at me.
She shakes her head ‘no.’
She looks down.
I shatter into a million pieces right there.
I am screaming “NO, please God, NO!“
I can’t breathe.
I can’t move.
I grip her arm and can’t let go.
Matt cradles me on the table.
I can’t let go.
I am dying.
I am dead.
My baby is dead.
My baby, who went against all odds, is dead.
The twins are crying in the stroller because I am crumbled to the core. Matt is crying watching his wife lose every piece of herself in a tiny 7×7 room. Michelle is letting us cry. She gets a tech to come in and confirm. And then again with a vaginal ultrasound. She asked if I wanted to see him. I tried to look and broke into a million more pieces.
My baby. My Porter. My only son. My sweet boy.
He was gone and in that moment I wanted to be gone with him.
Matt headed out to the car with the twins because they were inconsolable. They wanted mom to hold them but I just could not move or breathe or talk. Just weep. That’s all I could do. Michelle gave us time. Her other appointments didn’t matter. She didn’t leave us. She let us cry. Michelle brought me a loss bag that was donated to the office. I cried. I couldn’t look at what was inside at the time. It felt unreal.
We briefly discussed what would happen after this. She advised a D&C (dilation and curettage) because I was at risk for hemorrhaging due to my recent c-section the previous summer. I asked what that actually entailed.
You guys, I should not have asked that. I knew in general what it meant. But I needed to know. When Michelle explained it to me, I crumbled again.
Taken out in pieces.
And then thrown away.
No, I didn’t want my baby to be ripped apart.
Sweet Michelle, the precious and amazing midwife that she is, honored that. She honored Porter right then and there. She said I didn’t have to decide today. That Porter is with me today and that is the space I need to be in. We agreed to table that discussion for the next day. Rarely can you find a midwife that will meet you for coffee to help you grieve a loss after being on call and delivering five babies the night before/that morning. But that is what this woman did for me.
She honored me and Porter for an eternity in that moment. She met me where I was in my life losing my baby in miscarriage.
He was so loved and on this day grief was my form of love.
TO BE CONTINUED…