This has been a very emotional past month for me. It was one of great surprises, smiles, but also one of disappointment and tears. I was a little nervous about writing a post about my experience, because it so personal. But then I remembered why I started this little blog of mine, and that is to share my experiences. Especially an experience that so many women share and can relate to. One that can feel so lonely when it is happening. One that you have to say goodbye to someone that you never got to meet, but loved so much. One that sends you through a roller coaster of emotions. One that society puts as a taboo topic.
As you probably guessed... I experienced a miscarriage...
In early June I started experiencing fatigue, nausea, and tearing up at every sappy commercial. I couldn’t help but think..am I pregnant? Hubby and I talked about having a fourth child to complete our family, so this was a big blessing to us. We were excited, but wanted to wait a few weeks until we announced it to friends and family. It was exciting to have that little secret for a little while.
From the beginning I was nervous that something was wrong. I had some bleeding happen a few weeks earlier (before I took my pregnancy test) that I thought was a period. When I went in for my first OB appointment, my doctor said that I shouldn’t worry and that it was probably implantation bleeding, but we should put an ultrasound on the schedule to measure and make sure everything is going as planned.
So a few weeks later, Hubby and I went in to our first ultrasound. I was so nervous. In my head I knew I needed to stay positive, but I couldn’t help but have a worried feeling in my gut. Deep down, I had a feeling that I had to prepare that it might not go my way. From the moment our ultrasound tech was moving around taking pictures, her expression went from very talkative to one of caution. I could tell she was nervous. As soon as she left the room, I turned to hubby and at that moment we knew... our baby was no longer there...
As I waited in the lobby to get the results from the doctor, hubby and I knew what was coming. It was the longest 15 minutes of my life waiting there in silence. Sitting there, I started working through all my emotions. I was sad..but my heart went out to all the women who had sat in my shoes, but their situations were much worse. The women who have been trying so hard to have their first, or the women who had made it much further in their pregnancy and had to go home to an empty nursery. Yes, I was heartbroken, but I knew I was so blessed to be going home to my three healthy girls. So when we finally got the results, it was hard to hear, but I knew I had to keep it in perspective. I have been very blessed in my life.
In the weeks that followed, I experienced a range of many emotions. I felt very torn. On one hand I was grieving this life that I will never hold, while on the other I knew the baby stopped developing very early. I felt guilty grieving because I know others who have had it much worse, including some close friends and family. They had lost babies in their second and third trimesters, and even because of cancer. My situation was heartbreaking, but I felt that it was the “best of the bad” situations.
After two failed attempts to take medication to induce the passing of my gestational sack, yesterday I had to schedule a D&C. At that moment, laying the hospital bed, I finally let myself grieve and realize what was happening. I caught myself telling the nurse “I was only 8 weeks and the baby stopped really early,” but she sweetly responded “but its still a loss and I’m sorry.” I realized right then that I was closing this hurtful chapter in my life, and it was OK to grieve for my baby. Even though I didn’t get to carry my baby long, I know God had someone special planned for me. As I lay here healing, I know that I will be OK.
As I began to draft about my journey, I was pretty nervous about how I was going to write about this topic. How was I going to do it justice? How can I write about something that is so painful for so many women?
It was wasn’t until I joined a support group on Facebook, where I met so many other women who had experienced that same thing as me (or worse!). So many of these women expressed the same feeling of loss, but felt that their loss wasn’t being fully recognized by society or those around them. Many talked about how friends and family didn’t understand their grief or their grieving process. Many said they felt alone, even when it came to their partner.
These women, to me, are my heroes. Many have not only experienced this pain once, but many times and long to have a their babies in their arms.
This support group was a safe place to talk about our experiences with other who “got it.” I never realized before my miscarriage that until you have experienced this loss, you can’t fully understand this pain. I feel like society as a whole is afraid to talk about miscarriage. When a loved one, friend or coworker comes to you, expressing their loss, I feel that many don’t know how to react. I know I was guilty of that too. When those close to me had a miscarriage, I felt empathy and sadness for what they were experiencing. My heart ached for them. But when it came time for words of comfort, I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want to say the “wrong” thing and hurt them more. Maybe often times this is why people tend to avoid the topic? Because there is that fear of saying the wrong thing and that tends to make people uncomfortable.
My hope is by sharing my story, it empowers you to feel comfortable sharing your own story to others. Even if they seem like they don’t understand, try forgive them because it is hard sometimes to express the “right” words when someone you care about is grieving. I feel very blessed to have had so much support and love during my experience- and for that I thank you!
If you have ever experienced a loss of a child, I am truly sorry for you loss..
“Don’t give up. I believe in you all. A person is a person, no matter how small” ~ Dr. Seuss