In support of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance day, our guest blogger gives us a glimpse to the heart-wrenching feelings she, and so many other women, experience after the loss of their pregnancy.
Just one month ago, I was planning a gender reveal party, starting a new secret baby board on Pinterest, and ordering my sneak peek test from Amazon. I was pregnant, almost at the 10-week mark and my husband and I were beyond excited! We had already picked out names and even ordered the cutest little sign for our Dog to announce that he was going to be a big brother. We had plans for the nursery, plans on how we wanted to parent, and plans for just about everything baby related. The joy could be felt from the minute you walked through our front door and we took this feeling with us everywhere we went. I loved looking at baby clothes and dreaming about what our baby might look like. I had thoughts of her (we were convinced it was a girl) having my husband’s beautiful blue eyes and blonde hair. I talked to the baby every night before bed even though she could not hear me. I was so confident we would be holding our beautiful baby in March and time just seemed to trickle by so slowly. How could all of this joy be ripped from us so quickly? I felt very much pregnant, but I also had not been pregnant during most of these plans.
This is what they don’t talk about when you hear about miscarriage.
On TV it will depict a young girl bleeding at 5 weeks and crying for the baby she lost with her loved ones surrounding her. For some women it really will happen this way. But for others, a lot of others, we won’t know we have miscarried until we go in for our 10-week appointment, feeling confident because we have already seen our beautiful baby before. We will go in for this ultrasound with feelings of excitement to see how much our baby has grown since the last visit. However, instead of seeing her little heart flickering away, we will be told that, “the baby stopped growing” and “there is no heartbeat”. We will be confused, we will not understand, and seeing a lifeless grey blob on the ultrasound will feel like someone is taking your very last breath right out from inside you.
Friends and family will try to console us by saying, “you can try again” and this will make you want to scream. Because you do not WANT to try again. You do not WANT to replace your baby. You want this one. You want more then anything to still be pregnant with this one. You will be flooded with thoughts of doubt and uncertainty. Silly things like having a glass of wine will make you feel conflicted because just yesterday you could not have one and you were happy with that. You will feel guilty the first time you eat sushi or anything else that you just couldn’t have only a day ago. This doubt and uncertainty will lead to blame. You will blame yourself for this loss. “Was it something I ate?”, “Did I lift something too heavy?”, “Was it the early ultrasound that was not necessary?”, “Were my showers too hot?”. And on top of all of this, your body still hasn’t let go of the baby; meaning you will have to choose to either wait it out, have a D&C (which entails surgery) or take a medication that will basically put your body into labor to pass the perfect little baby you just saw only 3 weeks ago in an ultrasound.
You will wonder how you can survive this and how anyone else ever has. It will feel so unfair. How could you have done everything “right” and still lost your baby, when people who either do not want a baby or do everything wrong throughout their pregnancy will somehow go full term?
God, it will just seem so unfair.
You will cry, even when you think you might be okay that day. You will go to dinner with friends who are all pregnant or have children and this will make you lose it right then and there. Mostly because you are afraid you may never be able to have a baby and you want one more than anything. You will be walking through Target and aimlessly pass the baby section and feel frozen. Because just a few weeks ago you were stopping at this section to look at all the perfectly sized newborn clothes. You will feel that maybe just sitting at home away from everyone will be easier, until you open a drawer where you forgot that you placed your first ultrasound picture for safe keeping, and now you’re sobbing all alone in the kitchen. You will receive emails from your Doctor’s office about the progress of your pregnancy and want to throw your phone across the room. Every add on Facebook will be about babies, which will make you want to deactivate your account. You will take a pregnancy test 3 weeks after your miscarriage and it will be positive. This will give you hope that maybe you are pregnant again but at the same time you logically know that your body only still thinks it’s pregnant and this will break your heart into even tinier pieces. You will feel angry; and this is OKAY because no one ever told you how difficult this would be.
I went through all of these emotions and then some. The one thing I can tell you is it is not your fault. There is nothing we can do to prevent a miscarriage if it is going to happen. Yes, there are things we can do to help lower the risk, but the unfair reality is if it is going to happen, it will happen. Finding a way to grieve is so so SO important. For me, it was writing about it; because I am horrible at talking about it. It was also crying alone because I hated crying in front of others. No matter how you grieve, just do it. Give yourself time to heal but know that you may never fully heal. And guess what, that’s fine too! Decide whether you want to try again, and discuss your feelings with your spouse. But most importantly, remember that you are not alone.
As I write this anonymously I realize how hypocritical that statement may seem. I am not sure why putting my name on this completely terrifies me? Part of me believes it’s because it is such a taboo topic in our society. We are told by our Doctors, our friends, and our family that we shouldn’t tell anyone before the second trimester because we may lose the baby. I think this advice alone is what makes us feel so isolated and makes us feel like losing a baby is some kind of failure as a woman. The other part of me believes that by putting my name on this somehow will make it my only story. I have not had my happy ending yet and I don’t know why sharing that this is my story makes it feel like I may never have one. The facts are 1 in every 4 pregnancies will end in miscarriage. I was that 1 in 4 and so are so many other women. You are not alone. You are not a failure. Your story is not over.
Sincerely, The Mother of an Angel