Smells Like Bleach

May 26th, 2010
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luxurious faucet 150x150 Smells Like BleachWe should never assume or expect things in life. I know this, I remind myself of this, but yet I still do it. For some reason I assumed that if I put an effort forth to having a child than I would get one. All I needed to do was show that I was ready and really wanted one and then it would happen. It’s naive, but it’s what got me through the day.

So when the day came that I found out I was pregnant I became overwhelmed with joy. I wanted to tell everyone and have them share the joy with me. I started thinking of baby names, ideas for a nursery, and looking online at maternity clothes. I had waited, dealt with the devil of Clomid, and now it was my time to be a mother.

I started feeling sick, really nasty flu like sick, but that only made me more excited. I thought that I was experiencing morning sickness and I was one of those lucky women who got to have all day sickness. When my stomach started hurting I thought it was because of how little I had been eating. I went into the bathroom and sat on the floor with some crackers waiting for the next round of illness.

I decided to change into some sweatpants to get comfortable and I noticed some blood in my pants. I had heard that spotting can occur during pregnancy so I tried to not worry. Instead of finishing getting dressed I climbed into the bathtub and turned on the shower. I just laid there in the tub while I lost the baby. I just kept wishing that it wasn’t really happening, like it was a terrible dream that I couldn’t wake up from. How could I be losing the baby when it had been so hard to get pregnant in the first place? Had I done something wrong with my diet, exercise, stress levels, etc.? I stayed in the bathtub until the water ran ice cold but I was so numb with depression that I couldn’t tell.

When my husband came home he found me in the bathroom, still in the tub. By that time all of the blood had been washed down the drain so he just stared at me in shock. He kept asking if he needed to call a doctor or make me something to eat. I just told him that I wanted to take a nap. He helped me out of the bathtub and into our bed. As he got my clothes he asked what happened. I burst into tears and told him that I had lost the baby and then I proceeded to apologize to him for losing his child.

I will never forget the look on his face. It wasn’t one of anger or sadness; it was one of love and devotion. It’s hard to describe but it’s a beautiful look that let’s you know you are truly loved. He dropped the clothes on the floor and climbed into the bed next to me and held me while I sobbed for nearly an hour. As soon as I fell asleep he called the doctor and then started to clean the bathroom. I woke up a few hours later to the strong smell of bleach and the sounds of my husband sobbing on the bathroom floor.

That night we didn’t talk to each other. I just held his pruned bleach smelling hand and lay in bed listening to all the sounds from outside. The next morning we went on with life as normal but it was hard to deal with people because they all thought that we were finally having a baby. Every time I had to tell them that I had lost the baby I felt like I died a little bit more. Some people went silent, some hugged me, and some tried to make light of the subject by cracking a joke. Despite the response I still felt like a failure. Yet again my body had failed me in helping me be a mother.

It took months before I started to feel normal. My doctor wanted me to take a break from my infertility treatments to allow my body to heal but I wanted to keep trying. With hesitation I followed his advice and counted down the days until I could start again. During that time I crocheted a blanket for a baby and tried to keep my hopes up that if I could get pregnant once then it would happen again.

Infertility is hard to deal with. Losing a pregnancy is horrible. But I know that life will go on and there will be joy in our lives despite hardship. Look to your spouse to be an anchor to keep you grounded on positive thinking. Always smile, because tomorrow may be worse.

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One Response to “Smells Like Bleach”

  1. Julie Marsden Says:

    Dear Marie,

    I don’t even know what to say. I am shocked and astonished with the direct and vivid way you described this life-altering experience. I feel a sharp pain in my gut now, I can’t imagine what it would be like to have lost my little Damien during the pregnancy. I hope all is well with you and are managing to cope with this as best as you can.


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