My Lonely Secret

*Trigger warning – miscarriage

I drove from Austin to Dallas for a company training event. I was in this beautiful hotel in downtown Dallas and excited for what the weekend held for me. I never would have expected the hours of horror I would encounter alone in that hotel bathroom.

It was a crisp December evening and I was waiting for my assigned roommate to show up. I had never met her but I was excited to explore downtown, find some delicious food, and chitchat. Since she never showed up I headed down the streets of Dallas checking everything out by myself. It was such a nice night and the food did not disappoint. After a couple of hours, I headed back to my hotel room to relax and prepare for the full day of training that lay ahead. That’s when it all began…

I wasn’t expecting my period so when I started getting cramps I rolled my eyes. That’s not something new for me. I’ve always struggled with crippling menstrual cramps since I was a young teenager. The kind where you can’t eat, drink or sleep. You’re just trapped in the prison of pain and nothing helps to even ease the misery. So I thought if I could take some Tylenol before it got too bad I might be able to change my normal outcome. But this wasn’t going to be anything normal or anything I had ever experienced before in my life.

For the first hour or so the cramps felt strong but similar to the pain I’d experienced a million times over again. I tried laying on my side with a pillow between my legs hoping to relieve some pressure but the pain just began to intensify. I went to the bathroom and realized I was bleeding. I thought it was so weird because again, I was not expecting my period. I was on birth control to help regulate my cycles and for the intense cramps that I always dealt with.

Going into the second hour, I was bawling. I was in so much agony and had no idea what was happening. I kept the tv on hoping that the noise that came from the rectangle on the dresser would pull me out of this haze of suffering. I turned it up in a way to implore my mind to become distracted even if it were for just a moment. Nothing worked.

The bleeding became heavier and the pain was so violent that I couldn’t move from the position I had on the toilet. The deep gripping spasms were so profound I couldn’t even catch my breath and I ripped all my clothes off with the hopes that having no pressure on my skin with help alleviate this torment. So I sat there, naked, alone, sobbing, and bleeding to the point where I felt lightheaded. I didn’t know what to do. I was terrified and sluggish. That’s when I realized what was happening.

I sat there for what felt like an eternity with blood and tissue pouring from between my legs. I would look down and between my blinking tear-filled eyes, I could see it all. I was having a miscarriage there in that bathroom, fatigued, confused, and so alone. I should have called for help and I should have gone to the hospital but instead, I sat there on that toilet until the excessive bleeding stopped. It wasn’t until after 3 in the morning that I was finally able to move but just to the cold floor that held my feet so firmly.

The feelings that followed are still hard for me to comprehend. I felt ashamed, I felt pathetic, I felt scared, and I felt more alone than ever before. Although I knew what had happened, I couldn’t really make sense of it all. I was so tired and felt as if I was dreaming with my cheek smashed against the cold hard floor of that white bathroom. I still had some cramping and bleeding but it was easing up after hours of havoc.

I finally managed to pull myself to a sitting position and looked down. I had blood on the insides of my thighs, on the floor, and on the toilet. I didn’t know what to do so I wrapped myself in a towel and went to lay in bed. I cried softly to myself. I didn’t call or text anyone. I just lay wrapped in that white towel, in the white-covered bed, and stared at the tv until my alarm when off.

As my alarm sounded I took a deep breath in and turned to lay on my back. I was exhausted and terrified of what had happened. I reached for my phone to turn off the screaming sound of reality. I had to get up and go to work. I gathered my weak limbs and stood up on my shaking legs that carried me to that white and now red bathroom. I cleaned up the toilet and the floor before I got into the shower. I washed my powerless body as best I could in such an uncertain time. I wasn’t sure what else I was supposed to do. So I got dressed, grabbed some breakfast to try and gain some strength, and headed to the training.

I still had some cramping and bleeding that day. And when I was around people I smiled and acted as if nothing had happened. How do you tell someone that you didn’t realize you were pregnant until it was in pieces falling from you? I didn’t tell anyone until two and half years later. And I just recently shared this with my own mother two weeks ago. It’s a strange thing to be ashamed of but here I am, still feeling a weird sense of shame and sadness.