Recently, I have read multiple articles about how women should open up about their miscarriages because it is such a common thing that happens to us. People are suggesting to talk to complete strangers about it. If someone were to come to me and tell me they’re having an awful day because they had a miscarriage, I would be more than happy to speak with them about it. I, however, do not feel like I can just open up to people about it. Matter of fact, this is the first time I am talking about my experience outside of my husband.
In November 2016, my husband and I were expecting our second child. We were over the moon and ecstatic since we were not trying for very long. With my first pregnancy, I was extremely ill (hyperemesis gravidarum) and I did not have any of those symptoms this time around. I knew something was wrong but my doctor kept assuring me at every appointment and ultrasound that everything was completely fine and I had nothing to be worried about. Maybe this time was just going to be an easy pregnancy!
In January, I knew something was wrong. I called the office to get an appointment but the receptionist would not give me an earlier one than what was already scheduled because I had no reason to. (That is a whole other story that makes me incredibly angry.) I had no reason to believe I was miscarrying other than this “off” feeling I was having. Following my gut, I decided to have my husband take me into the ER. Long story short, there was no heartbeat.
I understood that miscarriages happened daily and to SO many women but I did not understand the emotional turmoil it would have on me. Although I was not very far along in my 11th week of pregnancy, it felt like the doctor had told me my living child had passed away. The heart wrenching and awful news left me more depressed than I had ever felt my entire life.
“We can try again.”
“At least you already have a baby.”
“You are still young.”
These were the “comforting” words that doctors and family (who we had already told about the pregnancy) offered. In my angry state, all I could think was ‘how can they say such things when my baby is dead inside my body?’ Morbid, yes, but they were my exact thoughts. I actually had to say this to my husband to get him to understand exactly how I was feeling.
I had failed.
My body had one job and it failed me.
My body did not want to naturally let go of the pregnancy so I had to go in for a D&C. I woke up from the surgery crying knowing a piece of me was missing. I was not sure which was worse; having the baby in or out of me. The only thing I knew for sure was that I could finally start the grieving process and it WOULD get easier to cope with.
I was fortunate enough to have my parents take my one year old daughter to their house for a day. I literally laid in bed and cried all day. The next day, my husband took my daughter out. I ventured out of my room and into the living room to lay there, cry, and watch TV all day. I have no guilt or regret of those two days. I needed to do that.
Unfortunately for me, the world and life still went on. I had to still take care of my daughter and husband who was getting ready to leave for an entire month. I focused on them and on myself. Sounds silly, but I started doing my make up every single day and going to the gym to feel good about myself. I have had a close friend pass away before and the only thing that made that easier was time, so I knew I just had to wait it out.
I did not have time to grieve as much as I wanted. I fell pregnant not even a month later somehow. You would think I would be excited to be given another chance, right? Absolutely not. I was petrified. In no way did this baby replace the one I had lost and all I could think was ‘do not get attached. You may lose this one too.’ Throughout my entire pregnancy, I did not have any connection with my son because until I had him in my arms, I did not want to believe he was going to make it. I refused to put my guard down for my soul to just be crushed again.
It has been over a year and whenever I think about my baby that I lost in January, I still cry. The wound is not as open, but it still stings more than I would like to admit. It was and still is an extremely raw experience of emotions that I would not and COULD not just talk to any person about. My heart still breaks for my baby but here are the things I do to help me cope now that the wound is not so exposed:
I cry. I will cry until I cannot cry anymore, typically in the shower whenever I feel the need to.
I talk to my husband about our baby and how we have overcome that experience.
I got a Christmas ornament made in remembrance of our angel baby with the date we said our physical goodbyes.
What I want the woman who is struggling with her miscarriage to know is, it is okay to grieve, it is okay if it takes a long time, and it is okay to remember. Obviously, everyone is different and some people will disagree with my stance and there is no right or wrong way to feel about this. It’s an extremely personal experience that I would not wish on my worst enemy.
Since I know this is an unfortunate common experience, I would love to hear how others have felt, how they cope, and how it has affected their current lives as well. I always have my e-mail open or you can comment if you would like.