Friday, July 24, 2020

I will start this post right now by letting you know that we had a miscarriage and I 100% understand if that is not something you want to read about! Skip right by this, my feelings will not be hurt in the slightest!

But since I've been laid up in bed, I suppose now is a good time to process everything in writing?

After being stuck at home quarantined for months, Andrew and I both discussed how convenient it would be if we were to get pregnant right now. What better time to be stuck at home with morning sickness than when we were already stuck at home anyway? After many (MANY) negative early tests (I am a serial tester because I buy pregnancy tests in bulk and test early just in case they pick up on it sooner than my missed period, which they usually do), I finally got a faint positive test on the day of my missed period. I suppose maybe that could've been a sign that things weren't going to end well, but it really never occurred to me.

Having so many friends who have experienced miscarriage, and knowing that statistically the likelihood increases the older we get has led me to assume that eventually we'll be faced with at least one loss, but I still kind of assumed it would happen at some point and I would be fine, because we have all these other babies already, at least. I was wrong.

Anyway, Andrew and I knew that there was another Hill baby on the way at the end of May, and we waited until Father's Day to tell the kids. I felt like I started bloating IMMEDIATELY upon seeing the positive pregnancy test, so I never shared our family picture from the twins' First Holy Communion because I knew people were going to assume I was pregnant (never mind the fact that my stomach basically looks like I could *always* be pregnant). But I'll share it now, since it's the one picture we have as a family of 10.

We told the kids about the baby on Father's Day and they were SO happy. Cecilia asked if she could watch the baby being born (we were planning on another home birth), and considering she'll be 10 and is very interested in all biological processes and also not at ALL easily grossed out, I told her that would be fine (and I knew my midwife would be totally in favor). I had ordered a ton of vitamins and supplements in the hopes of heading off pregnancy fatigue and morning sickness, and they seemed to be working! (Well, I was still exhausted all the time, but I didn't generally feel nauseated or have many food aversions, which is a major plus for me.)

Honestly, it was a really emotionally healing pregnancy, even though it ended the way it did. After Edith's medical issues, I think I had a fair amount of PTSD and when we got pregnant with Lucy I was really, really upset. I cried a lot during that pregnancy, and then she was a really difficult baby (and a really difficult toddler, but goodness she's cute and I know it'll get better!). So intentionally getting pregnant, not feeling absolutely horrible and useless the entire time, and already having had a successful home birth and a healthy baby under my belt? Major emotional boost!

Everything seemed to be proceeding normally, though we hadn't had any prenatal appointments because the baby's heartbeat can't be heard on the doppler until around 12 weeks, so we weren't going to need to schedule any appointments for a while.

And then a couple days before I hit 11 weeks, I was feeling extra-tired, and noticed in the afternoon that I had started spotting.

I've had friends who have spotted during pregnancy with no issues! I knew it was possible that the baby could be fine, but I was pretty sure that... things were not going to be fine. I lay down in bed to rest, Andrew ordered pizza for dinner, and the bleeding increased slightly and I started having mild cramps.

Logically, I took to the internet to read about everything I could possibly do in case of miscarriage. There's surprisingly little detailed information out there (that I could find at that particular moment) regarding how different a miscarriage can look depending on how many weeks along one is. And I don't really feel like describing this in extremely graphic detail (though there is some detail below, so skip if that's TMI! If you would like more details about the physical process of miscarriage, this website that my friend Jenn sent me is very helpful.) so I suppose I'm not helping the matter. Needless to say, there are a lot of ways to miscarry.

I woke up the next day to more bleeding and more cramping (about the intensity of post partum cramps, which can be pretty bad, but certainly not as bad as labor contractions, since my uterus was still pretty small). I could now feel how large my uterus was, since it was tightening up, and it was just starting to reach above my pelvic bone, about right for 11 weeks, but who knows when the baby actually stopped growing. We stayed home from Mass (and I'm very, very thankful Andrew was able to stay home, since he's usually gone until around 3 pm on Sundays) and things really increased in intensity starting at around 3 pm. Looking back on it, I wish we had tried to have someone come help with the kids so that Andrew could be with me, because I was basically laboring on waterproof pads on the bed, waddling to the bathroom and yelling for more towels every time I felt a gush, looking for signs of a small baby amongst everything (I wish I had seen this (graphic! be warned!) before everything happened! But I still don't think we would have found anything), and cleaning up so that the kids didn't have to deal with a traumatically messy bathroom. But we just had no idea how things would play out.

Eventually I was bleeding so much, dizzy, sweaty, and shaky, (and fulfilling the definitions of "at risk of hemorrhage") that we decided to go to the hospital, where they were very kind and did an ultrasound and found no signs of a baby, removed remaining clots that were stuck, and the bleeding finally got under control. We never did find anything that looked like a baby, so my guess is that the baby had passed away weeks ago and my body just didn't get the message until later.

We're all feeling pretty sad, though thankfully for me the major weepiness seems to be done (I just really hate crying, my eyes were hurting a lot and I couldn't stop). Poor Cecilia definitely took it the hardest, and I think it's going to continue being difficult for her. She's hoping we can have another baby very very soon! And we've had a lot of strange conversations about babies in heaven and how no, they're probably not just tiny fetuses bouncing around with nubby little arms, but that our bodies are perfect in heaven and there's no way of knowing if there are lots of little babies crawling and toddling around heaven.

We are so thankful for all of our family and friends who have been able to help us with meals and childcare and prayers during this time - being able to rest has been SO important, I really didn't think it would take this much out of me but I could barely get out of bed to walk to the bathroom, and today (4 days out, when I started writing this) I washed a bunch of dishes and shredded a ton of zucchini to freeze and can barely move SO it would seem I do indeed need to continue resting. My sister was able to come help out so that Andrew could go back to work and my poor mom could get a break after taking Lucy and Edith in the mornings, and now I'm just trying to figure out how to keep the garden taken care and the house from falling apart while still actually getting adequate rest.

It took me a few days to be willing to think about names for the baby, but I told Andrew that I thought we should name him or her Hyacinth, since we'll never know whether the baby was a boy or a girl, and Hyacinth, while technically the name of several male saints, really feels more like a girls' name to me. St. Hyacintha Mariscotti's feast day is January 30, and the baby was due on February 1st. And it turns out that the Polish St. Hyacinth is the patron saint of pierogi, which gave us all a giggle. We're going to make a little garden and plant hyacinths for the baby, with a little bench so we can visit whenever we want (there are some local ministries that help families bury their babies in cemeteries that belong to religious orders, but since we are fortunate enough to be living on our own "forever land" we're going to bury what remains we have here). And apparently columbines too, since the children decided on Columba for a middle name.

That's the story for now, and we are so grateful for all your prayers and kind words ❤️ Thank you!


  1. Oh Rosie. I'm so sorry. Praying for you and Andrew and Cecilia and your mom and sister and all your family who are sad. I love the name Hyacinth.

  2. What a beautiful name, Rosie! We are praying for you so much.

  3. Longtime reader although we have never met. I am so very sorry for your loss. My husband and I have lost three babies to miscarriage, and the physical and emotional healing took a long time. My third miscarriage was the hardest because our other children were old enough to understand and grieve. I am praying for you, your husband, and your kiddos.

  4. So sorry for your loss. Wishing you and your family plenty of time and space for physical and emotional healing.

  5. That's a beautiful name. I'm sorry, take care.

  6. So very sorry for your loss.
    That is a beautiful picture of your family of 10.
    Get lots of rest and take care of yourself. The house won't fall apart while you take it easy.

    1. Thank you, Cheryl - it definitely feels like things will fall apart but it's starting to get back under control now :)

  7. I am so very sorry. It is never easy and there really aren’t words. Please know that I am praying for you. St. Hyacinth Columba, pray for us!

  8. Lots of love and prayers for your beautiful family. It takes courage to share deeply on the internet too, and it is such a blessing to mamas who may need this wisdom in the future. Your little saint has and will touch many lives.

  9. I'm so very sorry, Rosie- you all have been in my prayers. It's heartbreaking to hear you and other moms mention about there being little information out there about what to expect with a miscarriage, especially on top of dealing with the sorrow.
    The name story is beautiful.


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