The Livingstons

The Livingstons

Thursday, February 2, 2017

When It Rains, It Pours

I've been wanting to write about what's going on in my life for the past couple of weeks, but every time I've gone to write something, I just couldn't bring myself to. It's too hard. But I need to write it down... For me, in the future. To remember and to learn.

I don't really know where to begin, but I'll try my best. Let's just start with the day I took the pill to start my miscarriage...

On Thursday, January 19, I took Misoprosol, a pill that makes your body start the miscarriage process. It helps your body expel all of the tissue and blood. I took it at around 8:45am and felt nothing for about 6 hours. No cramps, no bleeding. I was starting to get worried that the pill wasn't going to work. But all of a sudden, at around 2:45pm, I started bleeding and cramping HORRIBLY. I was in the bathroom every 15 minutes cleaning myself up.

This next part is maybe a little bit too much TMI, but I'm going to write about it anyway. Read with caution.

About an hour after I started bleeding, I started passing extremely large tennis ball-sized clots and tissue. One of the large pieces of tissue was the sac that my baby was in. It fell into my pants, and I just looked at it. And then the tears started pouring. There was my little baby. The baby I could've had. I had to physically let go of that future, and it was one of the hardest, most emotionally taxing moments of my life. I cried so hard.

Kate had followed me into the bathroom. I couldn't really control what she was doing because I was worrying about me. She watched me cry with bewildered eyes, wondering what was going on. She said, "Mommy, yucky poo poo." I just nodded to her as I cried.

The rest of that afternoon, I lost a ton of blood. I was changing pads at least 3 times every hour. By 8pm that night, I had started feeling very dizzy when I would stand up. I decided to call my doctor's office. I got the physician's exchange operator and told her that I was being treated for a miscarriage, and I was worried about the amount of blood I was losing.

The operator asked, "Are you pregnant?"


"Are you within 6 weeks postpartum?"

"No. I'm having a miscarriage at 10 weeks."

"I'm so sorry, but your case does not fall under any of our criteria for me to let you talk to a doctor."

Awkward silence.

Me: "But I'm having a miscarriage and I'm bleeding a lot. I guess I technically might still be pregnant. I don't know. Can I just talk to a doctor?"

"No, I'm sorry. You'll have to call during normal business hours."

Awkward silence.

Me: "Ok...... I guess I'll call back then."

And then she hung up.

I was appalled that she didn't take me more seriously. But I didn't know if I was overreacting about the amount of blood I was losing, so I decided to just let it go.

Less than two hours later, at around 9:45pm, Greg and I were watching a show, and it was time for me to get up and go clean myself again. I got up very slowly, but I started to feel dizzy. I walked over to the bathroom and sat on the toilet.

All of a sudden, I started feeling extremely dizzy, and I noticed some blood on the floor. I called to Greg, "Hey hon! Can you come over here? I think I need your help."

Greg came over to me pretty quickly. And then it happened. It was as if my body was tingling, starting with my toes and moving toward my head. Greg said he asked me a question like, "What do you need help with?" My ears were muffled, and I told him, "I can't hear you. I can't really hear anything." And then I passed out.

Greg caught me before I hit my head on anything. He laid me down. I was out for about 20 seconds, and Greg said those were the scariest 20 seconds of his life. He had never had anyone pass out in front of him like that. He said he laid me down, turned me on my side, and started kind of slapping my face, calling for me to wake up.

As I started to wake up, I felt really warm and oddly happy. Like I was having a really happy dream. I felt GOOD! But when I looked up at Greg, I saw he was crying. I said, "Hon, what happened? What's wrong?" Completely out of it. He said, "You passed out. You passed out." And then he called 911.

About 8 paramedics/firefighters came speeding to our house and up our stairs. I was very calm and very out of it, laying on my bathroom floor. The paramedics came in, asked me a million questions, and took my blood pressure. Everything looked normal. Then they tried to have me sit on the toilet. Immediately, my face turned pale white and my blood pressure dropped 20 points. I felt like I was going to throw up. They laid me back down and told me, "We recommend taking you to the hospital. It seems to us that you are losing too much blood."

During this encounter, Greg called our good friend Sara to come over and watch Kate (even though she was sleeping the entire time) so we could go to the hospital together. As I was being carried downstairs in the stretcher, Sara showed up and touched my arm, as if to say, "Hi. I'm here." It was really comforting, and I am forever grateful that she was there for us so quickly in our time of need.

As I rode in the ambulance, Greg drove behind us in our car. The paramedic that was looking after me was so kind and made me feel better about the situation. He told me he had a little 2 year old girl at home too. We talked about how fun and hard little toddlers are. Then I looked at him with tears in my eyes and said, "This sucks." He looked back and said, "I can't imagine what you're going through. I'm really sorry."

Just a little side note: ambulance rides are not super fun. They put an IV in my arm, but as the paramedic was about to put the needle in, we hit a bump, and he missed the vein. So he had to retry. I hate IV needles.

I got to the hospital, and that same paramedic told me, "Sam, I will be right by your side the entire time until we get you a nurse." That made me feel better about being in the ER. I told whoever was around me, "Please find my husband. Where is he?" They assured me that they would find him for me.

I got to my room and a nurse came in to take my vitals and make sure I was doing ok for the moment. And then Greg finally came in. We both just hugged and cried a little bit. I was so glad to have him there. Once we kind of settled down, I told him in a teasing way, "Hey, I got to ride in an ambulance! Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?" I don't think he appreciated the jokes.

A while later, the ER doctor came in to talk to me. They took some blood from my arm to check my blood count. He said he wanted me to do an ultrasound to see what was going on. Before he left, he said, "Just so you know, we are very busy tonight. Expect to be here for a few hours." Great.

Greg and I were alone in my room for about 45 minutes after that. We decided that he needed to call Sara to let her know what was going on, but the entire hospital didn't have cell phone reception. So Greg said he was going to leave me for a little bit to find some reception. I thought, No big deal. It's probably going to take a long time for them to come in to do the ultrasound.

Literally 2 minutes after he left, the ultrasound technician came in and wheeled me out of my room down to a different part of the hospital to do an ultrasound. At this point, I hadn't stood up since passing out, so she did an abdominal ultrasound first. Then she told me to go use the restroom and come back so she could do a vaginal ultrasound. They do vaginal ultrasounds because it's easier to see in the uterus. I was so nervous. Greg wasn't with me, and I was standing up for the first time since being at home. I was scared I was going to pass out again. As I went to the restroom, I was constantly thinking, "Please Heavenly Father. Let me just get through this short little restroom visit without any problems." Over and over again.

Thankfully, I made it back to my bed, and she did the vaginal ultrasound. It took at least 30 minutes to do, and when she was done, she wheeled me out into the hallway and said, "I can't take you back to your room right now because I have to send the ultrasound pictures to the radiologist. And they are too busy at the ER to have someone come get you. So you'll have to wait until I'm finished." So, great. More waiting.

After probably a half hour, another technician came and wheeled me back to my room. Greg said he was waiting for at least an hour for me to come back. And then we waited in my room for another 2 hours for the results.

Finally, the doctor came in and said, "Good news. It looks like all of the tissue is out of your uterus, which means your chances of having an infection are very low now. Also, your hemoglobin count came back in normal ranges, so you don't need a transfusion." He then told me to come back to the ER if I got a fever, or if I passed out again, or if I was bleeding through 2 pads in an hour. Honestly, I don't think he took me super seriously with how bad the whole episode had been. I think he thought I just passed out because I saw too much blood. Maybe. But I kind of doubt it.

Thankfully, we were free to go. It was about 2am at that point, so we rushed home to relieve Sara. Thank the heavens above for Sara. She really came to our rescue. She was our angel that night.

After that night, my bleeding slowed down a lot. I was bleeding consistently still, but it wasn't accompanied by huge clots anymore, so that was good.

The next Tuesday, I went to go get a root canal. I was actually very excited to get it done because I hadn't been able to chew on my right side of my mouth for like 7 months! But I wasn't super excited about having to pay for it, even though I knew going in that it would be expensive to get the root canal and crown.

I got the root canal done, and looked forward to my doctor's appointment for that Friday. I wasn't worried about doing the ultrasound at all because the radiologist at the ER said all of the tissue was out.

But, the radiologist was wrong. I got to my doctor's office, did the ultrasound, and then went to see my doctor. She came in and said, "So, it looks like you still have some tissue in your uterus."


"You have about 1.7 cm of tissue still lining your uterus. If you had less than 1 cm, I would say your body is doing the job and we don't need to do anything about it. But since you have more, you need to take another dose of the miscarriage medicine."

I HATE that medicine. Hate it.

My doctor said that when I took the next dose, the bleeding was going to be very similar to the last time- heavy, with big clots. I was seriously mortified.

I left the office, so angry and upset. I asked God, "Why? Why can't my body just get through this on it's own? I don't want to go through that bleeding again. I can't. It's too much, Father. Please."

I decided not to take the medicine until the next day because dang it, I was going to go to Disneyland with Greg that night and enjoy myself before I had to go through that pain again.

Saturday morning, I took the medication, really nervous about what was about to happen.

But nothing happened. My bleeding got a tiny bit heavier, but other than that, nothing.

I was a little torn. On the one hand, I was happy to not have to go through that dreadful experience again, but on the other hand, if nothing was happening, did that mean that the tissue was still inside?

The next Monday was rough. Not because of the bleeding, but because I just couldn't take what was going on in my life anymore. I was super emotional. I cried and cried to Greg, telling him how hurt I was, and how much pain I was feeling that I couldn't really move on from this experience yet. Up until the ultrasound where they found more tissue, I had held it together pretty well. I was beginning to feel like I could move on. And then I get this bomb dropped on me. It's not over. It's not even over yet.

I cried about the miscarriage. And then I cried about our finances. I had just gotten a bill for $1400 from the AMBULANCE ride, let alone the hospital. I hadn't even gotten that bill yet. We have pretty good insurance that I hoped would cover most of that, but just seeing $1400 in my face was overwhelming. I cried about the expenses for the root canal and crown. It's just so expensive. I cried about other financial problems we were facing. We weren't in debt or completely broke, but I just felt like we kept getting hit, over and over and over again. We couldn't save anything because of just one thing after another.

I had lost it. I began feeling like God had abandoned me. I recognized His hand in some pretty amazing ways during this experience like friends bringing dinners, or flowers, or offering to watch Kate, or offering to just talk. That was really important to me, and I know that God was watching out for us. But I felt like I couldn't feel His love for me directly from HIM. And I was a little upset about that. I prayed and BEGGED Him to let me feel His love for me. I knew in my mind that He loved me, but I just couldn't FEEL it. I wanted to feel like someone knew exactly how I was feeling, but I didn't feel like I was getting that. I was hurting so incredibly bad, and I just felt like he had forgotten about me. And so I fell into despair.

The next Wednesday, my friends were meeting up at the park to have all of our little ones play together. I was really excited to just get out and do something fun. I pulled up to the park, and stood up. All of a sudden, I felt giant clot after giant clot, over and over again, fall into my pants. The blood was so thick that it soaked my pants down to my knees. I quickly got back in the car, freaking out. Luckily I had some newspaper in the passenger seat, so I shoved it under me to hopefully stop some of the blood from getting on the seat. I called Greg and told him what was happening. I was freaking out. The entire drive home, I could feel so much blood and clots just spewing. Kate kept saying, "Mommy! Park!" But I was just in my own world at this point.

When I got home and parked the car, I really didn't know what to do. I knew I had to get upstairs and into my shower, but I also knew that if I stood up, it was going to be a bloody disaster. As I sat in my seat, I turned and unlocked Kate's seat belt and opened her door. I told her, "You are in charge of getting yourself upstairs, ok?"

I stood up and blood gushed. It seeped all the way down my pants, almost all the way to my ankles. Kate wasn't moving. She kept saying, "Mommy, park!" I bribed her with everything I could throw at her to get her up to our house. I waddled to my house and up the stairs, blood dripping behind me the entire way.

I ran to the shower and stripped down. It was a murder scene. I sat down in the bathtub and just cried and cried. Harder than I ever have.

All of a sudden, I heard this voice come into my head. It said, "I am SO sorry that you have to go through this. But this is the only way. It's the only way to move on from this miscarriage and pass the tissue." I heard that over and over again, and I kept saying out loud, through hysterical tears, "I know. I know. I know." Heavenly Father let me know that He was there with me.

Still hysterical, I prayed to Heavenly Father and said, "Please, PLEASE help me to just calm down! I'm hysterical!" I was basically hyperventilating. Immediately, I'm telling you, IMMEDIATELY, I calmed down and stopped crying. I know that that was also Heavenly Father, letting me know He was there.

I tried to imagine Him just holding me as I sat in the bathtub under the shower. I needed Him.

I stayed in the shower for about 30 minutes, waiting for the blood to slow down enough for me to get out and put some clothes on. I called Greg and just cried and cried to him. I couldn't believe what had just happened.

About an hour after the initial bleeding started, it slowed way down. I felt like the worst was over, but it was extremely traumatizing. I had several people offer to bring dinner over that day. I had a friend come over and listen to me cry and vent and be upset. She will never know how much that meant to me. I was completely open with her about how I was feeling, and she basically told me that it's ok for me to be feeling frustrated, upset, sad, and hurt and that I should just embrace that for a little while.

That day and night, I kept pleading with Heavenly Father, "Please, Father. I just can't take any more. I can't handle any more. Please don't give me any more. Please remove this burden from me. I'm falling apart."

The next morning at about 6am, I woke up feeling extremely nauseous, like I was going to throw up. I couldn't even get out of bed, I felt TERRIBLE. I laid in bed and thought, "Are. You. Kidding. Me."

The entire day, I laid in bed, feeling nauseous the entire time. Kate was super unhappy with me for not playing or being able to take care of her. But I couldn't get up without throwing up. I literally was crawling on the floor when I had to help her. I threw up, violently. I thought that I had the flu because Kate had had a 24 hour bug a couple days before where she was throwing up too.

I thought, "This seriously can't be happening." I cried to Heavenly Father and asked, "WHY! Why can't I catch a break? Why is this still happening?! I thought we came to an understanding! I can't do this!"

But then I thought, "Yes I can. I can do this. I don't want to do this. I HATE this. But Heavenly Father knows me better than I know myself. He knows I can handle this. I don't know why this is happening, but He is stretching me. He is teaching me something. I don't know what it is yet, but He is teaching me."

When Greg got home that afternoon, I had gotten a low-grade fever, the nausea was still in full force, I couldn't get up from the couch, and I felt like I was dying. Greg is a saint. He immediately got to work. He cleaned the entire house. He took care of Kate. He went and cleaned the seat in my car from all the blood. He got dinner going. He got me whatever I needed. I love him so much. I can't even put it into words.

By the evening, I was starting to get worried that I might have an infection in my uterus and that's what was causing all of the fever and upset stomach. Greg kindly called the doctor again, after hours, and they had a doctor call us. The doctor said she thought I had the flu, and that she didn't think there was anything to worry about. Thank the heavens.

I have another ultrasound tomorrow to see if all the tissue is out, and I'm trying to be prepared for the worst, but hoping for the best.

Life is really, really hard. There have been moments through all of this that I've really thought, "I just can't do it." I've hated what I've gone through. But I have learned that people care about you when you're going through hard trials. People are there for you. Heavenly Father sends those people to us to let us know that He cares and that He is there. It's not always easy to see that. In fact, for a while, I couldn't see that. But looking at the entire situation, I realize, God loves me. He is there. He's not always going to take away our pain, but it's for a reason. I don't know the reason yet, but I have faith that He loves me and wants what is best for me.


  1. Sam, You are strong. You are learning that with God, you can do what feels impossible. So many things we go through feel impossible because we haven't experienced them before. They seem frightening because they are unknown. But once you go through it, and you come through on the other side alive and fine, and you realize that you did it. I have been thinking for some time about 1 Nephi 4:2, where Nephi says to his brothers, "Let us go up; let us be strong like unto Moses; for he truly spake unto the waters of the Red Sea and they divided hither and thither, and our fathers came through, out of captivity, on dry ground...." Those two phrases have just stayed with me: "Let us be strong like unto Moses" and "on dry ground." Especially "on dry ground." It is such a miracle to cross a river and have the waves part and be standing on dry ground. How did He do it? How does God do what He does? How did he help you calm down so immediately? But he can, because He knows us. He knows what we need when we need it the most. He helps us through all the parts we don't believe we can handle but he knows we can. And then it becomes OUR experience. And we realize we can do so much more than we ever thought we could. And then we can help and love others so much more than we knew how to before, because we have been there. I love you! You are passing through this! I am praying for you! I tried to call you the other day but didn't get you, but if I can be a listening ear for you, please call. Hugs to each of you: to you, to Greg, to Kate. You are going to be OK. You will come out on dry ground.

  2. And miscarriages are tough stuff! I had no idea how long it would take for my hormones to even out after I miscarried, even after being pregnant for only a month! It was a very, very crazy rollercoaster ride that life me feeling SOOO much more compassionate for women who have endured miscarriages. If you feel like that, know that you are not alone. Our bodies are such incredible creations, and those hormones! Whew! They make all the incredible miracle of creating a life inside of our bodies possible. But it is a SERIOUS impact on us, physically, mentally, emotionally....Hugs to you!

  3. "that life me"=that left me. I need to preview my comments before publishing them! xo