Recently, I was reminded that a child we had dreamed of would have been 3 years old this March.
I felt guilty for not thinking of that until I saw a friend’s photo celebrating her child’s 3rd birthday. We had been due the same month, although my little bean never made it that far.
When that pregnancy test showed positive, I hid it in Brandon’s bathroom drawer. I waited in eager anticipation for his reaction. He was as excited as I was, as we knew we wanted at least one more in our crew.
This may be TMI for some, but my cycles have always been super irregular. That makes trying to date a pregnancy pretty difficult. Because of that, we went in for an early ultrasound to get our due date a few weeks later.
Brandon was with me as we went into the ultrasound room. We were amped. #yaybabies
We were told that they could see the gestational sac and yolk sac, but no embryo. What did that mean? It might just have been too early, or it might be a failed pregnancy. #cuethetears
Lab work was ordered.
They checked my hcg level that day, then again in 2 days. It was increasing, but not as quickly as they’d like. We drew it again the next week and had another ultrasound. Similar results.
The waiting and rollercoaster of emotions was gut-wrenching. We may be pregnant, we may not. My body thinks I’m pregnant and I’m getting thicker through the middle… but there’s no clear answer yet. Keep hoping? Give up hope? #howcanthisbehappening
This would continue for at least one more ultrasound before we were told definitively that there was no baby developing in there. A blighted ovum. By this time, my risk of infection was going up. This anembryonic pregnancy was not ending and some kind of intervention would be needed if I did not miscarry soon. I was crushed. We were crushed. We waited through the weekend to see if nature would run its course.
It did not. One more ultrasound and I had medications administered vaginally to force my body to release the empty sac. If that did not work, surgery.
I remember the guilt and shame I felt as I waited to get that RX filled. What was that pharmacist thinking about me getting this med? I wanted to tell her this was a wanted pregnancy. I knew I would cry if I spoke, so I hung my head and paid in silence.
Then we got to go home. Sit and wait. Cramping. Bleeding. Sobbing while in the bathtub. Sobbing while in bed. Is it done? Is this normal? Looking up miscarriage on Google. Then on Pinterest. I needed someone to give words to the emotional pain I was experiencing.
That’s the thing about miscarriages. I was not very far along. And I know it is common. I also know some women who seem to handle it pretty well.
But I was not one of those women. The pain and grief I felt was the worst I had experienced in my life. I was heartbroken that the child I had dreamed of would not be arriving. My husband, who was also in pain, did his best to comfort me. But nothing seemed to help. I felt lost.
After a few days, I went back to work. I needed a distraction. I missed my friends at work. My boss was amazing during this time, and gave me a shift with minimal patient interaction.
I went to the bathroom later that day and had a large gush of blood. I thought I must have already passed it, but I was wrong. I passed the empty sac in the bathroom at work, then promptly lost it. Called my husband at work bawling. Called my mom and asked if I need to scoop it out and bury it. So. Many. Tears. My husband came and picked me up at work. It was a terrible, terrible day. I am tearing up as I write this, but damn it. The stigma and silence around miscarriages needs to end.
It is common. Yes. But that does not mean that my heart did not break. Even without ever seeing that embryo, I dreamed of that baby with my 2 boys. With our family. And the timing was not right. For whatever reason.
Take home message? Miscarriages suck. Do not belittle women who suffer them. Show them kindness and love. Compassion. Mamas who are suffering through them — reach out. You are not alone. If you were here, I would give you the biggest hug. I pray that wherever you are, you know that you are in my thoughts. Just keep breathing. Keep crying if you need to. Do whatever you need to do to be okay.
You are loved, mama. Whether you have any babies in your arms or not. I believe all those little babies are waiting for us on the other side.
Obviously, this is my story. Others have lost children after birth. Spouses have been taken too soon. I cannot imagine the depth of their pain. I am in no way comparing this to those events. I am simply encouraging compassion and empathy for women whom have lost a wanted pregnancy.
Please know that I have compassion for all those in pain. I truly believe that love and compassion should be given quickly. #livelikejc