When I woke up, hours had passed. I laid in a bed, while J stood over me. He stroked my hair and held my hand and explained that I had lost a lot of blood during surgery. Not enough to warrant a blood transfusion, but enough to keep me overnight for observation. They wanted to monitor my blood levels to make sure they stabilized. Dr. S would stop by in the morning to talk with me. And the nurse would come by soon for vitals and was I hungry or thirsty or up to a visitor?
I nodded, yes, definitely thirsty and my throat hurt. Maybe kinda hungry? and who wanted to visit?
We live in Florida, my parents live in Texas, and his parents in Illinois. We had only lived here since late July, so we didn’t have many close friends here. No one was coming to be with us during this time. And we were okay with that. It was going to be a lot of sitting around and lying around and tears. And we partly just wanted to grieve on our own. Plus, it was the end of the school year and busy times for our younger siblings.
My co-worker Erin wanted to come by after the school play, bring us something to eat/drink, and just visit. Was that okay? Erin had become a close friend in recent weeks. She was the first person at work I told about Baby, the first person at work I told when we received news of the cystic hygroma, the person who cried with me when we learned there was no longer a heartbeat. Yes, most definitely. Please, come join us.
After Erin left, leaving strawberry smoothies and the peace of friendship in her wake, we FaceTimed my parents and called his parents to let them know how I was doing. J had kept them updated while we waited for me to go back and while I was in recovery, but they wanted to see my face and hear my voice. Was I doing okay? No, but I would be.
The overnight hours are a blur of tears, House Hunters, vitals checks, interrupted sleep, and blood draws on hypovolemic veins. (let me just tell you, OUCH)
In the morning, Dr. S came by. My hemoglobin numbers had stabilized, and though incredibly low for me (usually at a 12.4, I was now at 7.2), I wouldn’t need a blood transfusion. I would be weak for quite a while, and would need to take iron supplements for a few weeks. The thought of “this could be a molar pregnancy” seemed more likely due to blood loss and the look of things. But the preliminary pathology report probably wouldn’t come back until Monday or Tuesday. There was a note in my file and she personally told pathology to call the funeral home when they finished their tests. She was sorry this happened and would be praying for us. Other than that, I seemed okay and could go home today.
Home! She left and breakfast arrived. After finishing a surprisingly good egg and potato scramble, the nurse came by to take out my IVs so I could change and pack up to leave.
*Side note: there is nothing more humbling than being so incredibly weak from blood loss and sore from needles in veins, that you are unable to use the restroom and change yourself. My husband brought tears to my eyes as he lived out the “in sickness” part of our vows.*
We left the hospital and headed to the funeral home to pick out an urn for our little one. The display of the teeniest of urns ripped my heart in two at the realization there was even a need for this. How could this be, that mothers and fathers have to say goodbye to their babies. It was a humbling sign that we were not the first or last who would stand here and pick an urn for their child.
We chose a small heart-shaped urn with a Celtic cross engraved on the front. J signed the papers, giving permission for them to cremate the remains of our son, Baby Beltz. We walked out, in tears and holding each other, and drove home to rest and grieve.