Did you know that the more women talk about miscarriage, the less stigma there will be?
I was taking a pregnancy test to make sure I could take a new medication. Tyler joked that there were two lines before the test began to form its first line. He grabbed the test off the bathtub counter…I couldn’t believe it…Two lines had popped up instantly. Grayson and Bailee were going to be a big brother and sister!
When I first found out I was pregnant with the twins, there was hardly a line with the first test. I mean, there might as well have been a question mark-it was that faded. I probably took at least 3 tests before the second line started to darken. Finally, a “pregnant” on a digital, then a blood test at the doctor confirmed I was pregnant.
This time was automatic. “Twins? Triplets? Maybe I’m pretty far along”. All the scenarios ran coursing through my brain. “Wait! How am I going to announce it to the family? This announcement we have to do something great!!”
But days later, I had some light bleeding, and called the doctors office. I had been through this before with the twins, as Grayson had bleeding behind his placenta.
I swear I asked the technician ten times if she could see anything and how many babies there were, because the air was just filled with her chitchat, in attempt to distract me. She said she couldn’t say for sure, and that the doctor would be in touch with me. She left, handed my ultrasound to the nurse and both of them came back in. The nurse ambiguously said it may be too early to tell anything, but I need to get a RhoGam shot, due to me being RH Negative (meaning I lack protein found on red blood cells).
I had to wait until my next ultrasound.
This time it was silent. I remember how focused she was, and asking her how many there were. I remember how uncomfortable it was to sit there so long. I remember crying in the waiting room.
I had been having issues since the week after finding out I was pregnant. I constantly felt terrible pain in my stomach and back to the point where it would make me vomit. I was in so much pain I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to play with my kids. I didn’t want to do anything or be around anyone.
That didn’t compare to the pain I felt when one of the kids pointed to my belly and said “baby”-something I had done before. A literal pain in my chest. That’s how I felt for months after the miscarriage-a heavy pain in my chest, burrowing into my heart.
No one tells you that the 6 stages of grief come in no particular order or have a specified time frame. No one tells you that you can have postpartum depression after having a miscarriage.
No one told me how anything would happen, just that I had to wait it out to see if things happened naturally, and it did.
We went to New York for my birthday (and Tyler’s belated). I ruined dinner, because I was in so much pain- I just had to go back to the hotel. Later, in the middle of the night, I woke up feeling like my legs were wet. I walked to the bathroom, sat down. I had a strange feeling-like a large clot fell out. I went to grab my phone for light instead of flipping the switch, so I didn’t wake Tyler up. Something felt like it was running down my leg, so I went back into the bathroom, turning the light on anyway.
What I saw that night and hearing the blood hitting the floor as I stood up out of bed the next morning will forever be engrained into my head. No matter how much I tried to ignore the feelings of pain that day, the next few days or for the past 7 months, it will forever be engrained in my chest.
I may not have been far along, but I had looked at big brother and sister t-shirts. I had thought about the next steps in our lives, anticipating the babies arrival. No one told me that instead I would be reminded daily that I wouldn’t be able to buy those shirts. That I wouldn’t need to get the bigger car or us to get the bigger house. No one told me I would be going to the doctors every week to have blood draws to check my levels, because I still had a massive clot and high HCG levels. No one told me that my body would remind me every day, as it was attempting to cleanse itself.
During this time, was the feeling of hitting a mental rock-bottom. Even though it’s so common, I didn’t feel comfortable talking about the miscarriage, and I felt incredibly alone. I felt like miscarriage was a dirty word, unmeant to be spoken, because it made others uncomfortable- not knowing what to say or do. Even the medical term for a miscarriage is associated negatively:
I felt like it put blame on my body for not doing it’s “job”. I felt like maybe this was a way of showing me that I’m not fit to be a mother of three. That made me question my mothering skills to the children I had. I suffered in silence for too long, and I’m thankful that I reached out for help.
To the woman suffering in silence:
Whether you’re 5 weeks, 9 or 12. Whether this is your first or fifth child. Whether this is your first or tenth miscarriage. It doesn’t make the grieving process any easier. It doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to grieve, because “you didn’t carry the baby for that long” or because “it happens to 1 in 4 pregnancies”. I hope that sharing my story will help you, if you are going through this, so you don’t feel so alone. I hope that you allow yourself to grieve, instead of bottling it up, like I did. I hope you aren’t afraid to try again, like I have been. I hope sharing our pregnancy loss story will encourage you to talk to someone-a friend, sister, therapist. I hope you never have to go through it again.
“And there’s always a rainbow, at the end of every rain”
In 1988, President Ronald Reagan established October as National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. Many people aren’t aware of how common pregnancy loss and infant loss affects those around us, and this month was designated to inform and provide resources to those who have suffered a loss.
“When a child loses his parent, he is called an orphan. When a spouse loses his or her significant other, they are called a widower. When a parent loses their child, there isn’t a word to describe them”