I was so naïve. I was so unaware of how common miscarriage was. I knew a few people that had miscarried and I was sad for them, but I couldn’t imagine what that loss was like. I never thought it would happen to me. 1 in 4 women miscarry, and in between Hayden and Halli I would be the 1.
I have been running the idea of sharing my story for months. What to share, what to leave out? Do I share it at all? Miscarriage is such an emotional and personal subject. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, and today October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I don’t think miscarriage is talked about enough. If it was maybe I wouldn’t have been in such shock when it happened to me. Maybe the 1 in 4 statistic wouldn’t have rocked my world as much.
While I was grieving my miscarriage what I found to be the most comforting was hearing other women’s stories. I didn’t feel as alone and maybe I wasn’t as crazy to feel the way I did. I was angry, and depressed, and felt empty. I was grieving. But the women I talked to had made it through and so maybe I could too. Maybe I could at least just get through today. Since my miscarriage, a year and a half ago, I have been able to share my story and experience with others going through similar things. We are put through trials to learn and to grow as people. But I also believe we are put through trials to help each other, and to serve one another.
From talking to other women I realize everyone has a little different story and a different experience. But there are many things that are the same. The feelings of loss, grief and emptiness are the same. Having both good and bad days is the same. Trying desperately to heal and move on is the same. I hope from my story it will help someone feel a little less alone and get through today, or at least this hour:
Hayden was about to turn 3, my husband Cory and I both felt the desire to have another sweet baby. Instead of being scared or completely laughing at the thought of another baby, this time I felt prepared. I was older, and wiser. I knew I could really watch how I was feeling and I could get on top of my postpartum depression if it were to come back. Cory and I prayed about adding another baby and knew it was time to grow our family. I was still a tiny bit nervous but I was determined to move forward with faith. Everything would be fine. Everything would work out how it was supposed to.
After waiting so long and being so nervous to have another baby I found out I was pregnant. We could not have been more excited. I was due in September, and the timing of it all seemed perfect. I immediately went into pregnant mom mode and was dreaming about another handsome little baby boy or a beautiful little girl. I was counting down until I could have my first checkup. I was already marking the calendar counting down until my due date. I was dreaming about nursery colors, that yummy new baby smell, and wondered what he/she would look like. When I am pregnant I “think talk” to my babies. I was talking and thinking loving thoughts to my baby. “I love you so much! “ “Please don’t make me throw up again today.” “I can’t wait for you to meet your brother.” “Yes I will have another PB&J for you.” “I can’t wait to kiss your sweet toes.”
I was a little nauseous, but rarely actually threw up. I was really tired, but it was starting to pass, and I could function like a person again. I was 10 weeks pregnant; we had told our families the news, and told Hayden he would be a brother. My first check-up was less than a week away. It was a Wednesday. I was getting ready for the day, Hayden was at preschool, but I felt weird. I was just kind of sick all morning and crampy. I chalked it up to the morning sickness coming back.
When I noticed the blood everything in my world stopped. My stomach jumped into my throat and I thought for sure my heart would beat out of my chest. Then my brain kicked in, “It is still just implantation bleeding. It is normal. It isn’t a big deal. You are 10 weeks, you are too close to being out of the danger zone to miscarry. You go to the doctor in 5 days. Other people miscarry you don’t. Everything is fine.” But the blood kept coming and the cramps kept getting worse and more painful. I called Cory sobbing, Hayden would be home from preschool any minute and I was a hot mess. “What is going on?”
We went to the ER and every time I had to say I was bleeding and how far along I was I would get a look from the nurses and doctors. Miscarriage. They wouldn’t say it. But I knew they were thinking it. I was bleeding too much and the cramps were getting stronger. I refused any pain medication or drugs because I believed there was a chance I wasn’t losing this baby. I wasn’t. The doctor mentioned that 1 in 4 women miscarry. 1 in 4? I thought she was out of her mind. Certainly she was lying. That number is much too high, and if it is true, that isn’t me. I am not the 1. “I’m a good mom, I was so careful to eat right, I take my prenatals… I am not losing my baby.” After multiple tests that showed the baby was more around 6 or 7 weeks in size and was too small to have a heart beat yet, I was sent home with the possibility of “maybe you are miscarrying but maybe you aren’t.” A 50/50 chance? “You can’t be serious… I am supposed to wait until I see my doctor in 5 days, which seems like an eternity away now, for a 50/50 chance that I may already be in the process of losing this baby?” I was a mess. What would happen if I was miscarrying? The doctors did say that some women do bleed off and on throughout their pregnancies, but I never did that with Hayden. So we went home to wait.
I was an emotional mess that night; I would sob and then just turn it off. Turning it off was easier. But the bleeding was getting heavier, and the pain was getting much worse. So I went to bed hoping it was a bad dream and everything would go back to normal. I woke up at 2 in the morning with what felt like full on intense and painful contractions. There was so much blood, and the reality set in that I was miscarrying. We rushed back to the emergency room where I had to utter the words “I’m miscarrying,” through hysterical tears. The pain was just like labor. I was laboring but there would be no end reward this time. It took a lot of pain medication to dull the pain, and I was passing large blood clots. The only option to get it to stop was a D&C. I know my Heavenly Father was looking out for me that morning by having the sweetest nurses and OB/GYN being on call. My doctor told me everything that would happen during the procedure while Cory and I cried. My nurses were constantly checking on me and giving me more drugs to numb the awful pain. My doctor gave me a hug after she called it a “spontaneous abortion,” and I broke down again. “Spontaneous Abortion,” is such an awful technical name for a miscarriage and my emotions couldn’t handle anymore.
My D&C went smoothly. Everything went how it should; I was discharged, and we went home. You can’t explain the feeling of being pregnant and then suddenly not be. You can’t explain how empty and raw it feels. I hung out at home all weekend, I laid down a lot, and I totally ate my feelings in popsicles. I seemed to recover pretty normally. I was cleared at my 6 week checkup. Everything looked normal and I didn’t have restrictions. I have the best and most supportive friends and family. I don’t know if they will ever know how much I really appreciated the phone calls, thoughtful texts, and visits to come talk. They were so helpful as I was in full on grieving mode. Most days felt like I was barely emotionally surviving. I was angry, and I had to avoid Facebook because I couldn’t handle one more “I’m Pregnant,” announcement. I was a hormonal basket case.
Unfortunately when I would start my period a month later some complications would lead me back to the hospital. Those crazy hormones that were helping to make me an emotional mess caused some serious bleeding that showed no signs of stopping. I had bled for weeks and it was getting worse. I was in so much pain, my belly hurt all the time, I was cramping, and passing clots. I felt sick when my OB said I needed to be admitted to the hospital. I kept wondering what in the world was wrong with me, who would take care of Hayden? I hated to tell my story multiple times that I had miscarried. I had to re-live it over and over and over again. I had to tell every nurse that came in to do yet another blood draw because I was losing so much blood too quickly. I had to tell all the different ultrasound techs every time I had another ultrasound. It was like an awful never ending miscarriage. That whole week was a blur. It feels surreal to think about now. I will tell you one thing; your body really does need blood to function! After a solid month of bleeding, 4 days in the hospital, multiple rounds of antibiotics, and hormones to get the bleeding to stop, my blood levels were dangerously low. I don’t remember a lot of that particular day. I remember being really tired, and in a lot of pain. I remember nurses coming in to wake me up a lot which I didn’t understand because I was so tired. I remember them drawing blood over and over again. I was eventually given two units of blood. I had been slowly hemorrhaging and those 2 units were a major turning point. With blood actually in my body I felt so much better. I could stay awake and wanted to eat. The bleeding continued but had started to slow down with a new round of extreme hormones I started to take. Finally after a week the bleeding significantly slowed down, the pain was gone, and I was allowed to go home.
I have never been so happy to be home and see Hayden. My mom and sister flew out to help us and take care of Hayden. I will always be so grateful and humbled that they did it made one less thing to worry about. But I was home again, and I again had to start over grieving my pregnancy.
I had good days and bad. Some days I felt like I could think clearer than others. I tried to get through one day at a time. I let myself grieve but also clung to my family and remembered everything I have been blessed with. I would go days, or a few weeks without crying and then something would happen and I would lose it. A baby would be born, or I would see the sweetest tiny outfit in the Target baby section, and I would cry because it was still painful. When you so desperately want a baby and are grieving the loss of a pregnancy it feels like everyone around you is pregnant or having babies. But it slowly got better.
I have learned so much from my experience with miscarriage. I am much more empathetic to women who miscarry or have fertility issues. I feel like I have grown and I am a stronger woman and mom because of it. I would never want to go through it again, but I know everything happens for a reason. I know that God’s timing and His plan is better than my own. I am grateful I have had the opportunity to relate and help other women going through their own story and grieving from their loss. Miscarriage and losing a baby is an awful, terrible, and emotional thing to go through. I longed for my own tiny baby and to be pregnant again. I swore I would never complain about being tired, nauseous or anything ever again.
Months later I was pregnant with my sweet Halli. I was beyond terrified. I tried not to think about it because I couldn’t handle thinking about miscarrying again. I am so blessed. I was so sick but I knew it was a sign she was growing. Finally at my 16 week checkup we found out Halli was a girl and I breathed a sigh of relief. I felt like I could start getting excited. I am so blessed that her pregnancy went smoothly. She was born right around the time I was admitted to the hospital a year earlier. God’s timing and his plan for us is perfect. He wants us to be happy and to have joy, even during our trials. I know that families can be together forever. I am so blessed to now have 2 gorgeous babies, but I remember that day I miscarried. I still remember how much it all hurt.
If you are years, months, or just starting to heal from your loss hang in there. Let yourself grieve. It is a loss and it is ok to feel angry, depressed and a ton of other emotions. It is also ok to eventually let yourself be happy and laugh too. Know you aren’t alone. For a split second I blamed myself; it wasn’t my fault and it isn’t your fault either. Take one day at a time, I promise it will get better. Everyone heals and grieves differently, but some things that helped me heal were to pray often, keep busy, get out and be with supportive friends, love my family, and to serve others. You lose yourself and forget your problems when you are serving others.
A good friend gave me the book: “Lost Children: Coping with Miscarriage for the Latter Day Saint.” I don’t know if she will ever truly know how much I appreciated that. I have read it multiple times and have found comfort in the stories shared by other women in that book. It is an amazing book and whether you belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or not I believe it will bring comfort to you. It was by far the best book I read and helped me grieve and heal. I recommend it to everyone I have talked to that is healing from pregnancy and infant loss.
I hope that you are able to find love and comfort. I hope you will be able to smile and laugh again. Know that you are not alone and you do not have to suffer in silence. Take it one day at a time; there is no time line on grief. Talk to a friend, leave a comment here, maybe you can help others or I would love to help…. You will heal, it does get better. I hope that you are able to find joy when remembering your sweet angel babies.