It is with a heavy heart that I share this news. Shane and I were expecting a baby due in March, but at our first ultra sound appointment we were heartbroken to learn that there was no heartbeat. We are devastated, and although we are still grieving our loss, we are healing. I went back and forth about sharing this. I would have announced our pregnancy next week... Today, driving home from my follow up appointment, I realized that I didn't want to carry this secret any longer. I had a baby, who is no longer with us. But my baby was real, and I loved Baby C with all of my heart. Through this tragedy I have spoken to many women I know in real life and joined a few online support groups. And I was I shocked to learn just how many lives are touched by this type of loss. Yet no one talks about it... I share this as part of my own healing process, and to help fight the stigma associated with miscarriage. I wrote the entire story here (which I haven't used in years), but thought would be the best place to share my very personal story.
It’s been 2 weeks and 6 days since the absolute worst day of my entire 30 years of existence. On what was supposed to be a joyous day, our first ultrasound, I saw my baby for the first time. And then the lines followed… I knew in my gut that was supposed to be the heartbeat but I didn’t say anything. The ultrasound tech told us that the doctor was there and she would go get her. I knew. But it didn’t help when they walked back in and the doctor said the words no expecting mother wants to hear. “I’m sorry, but the baby stopped growing at 7 weeks. There is no heartbeat.” The next few minutes are a haze, but I clung to Shane for dear life and sobbed gut-wrenching, primal sobs that only come from the deepest grief. I was supposed to be almost 10 weeks and there had been no sign that a miscarriage had occurred. After careful consideration, Shane and I decided on a D & C, and it was scheduled for that Friday.
Driving past the labor and delivery building, we arrived at the surgery unit . There were people there for knees, and hips, and who knows what else. They probably thought I was crazy as I wept on Shane’s shoulder, waiting to be called back. I had a general idea of what was going to happen to me, but I tried not to focus on the details. I couldn’t. It was all so unfair. There are stages of grief, and I began to feel anger. Through my tears I bitterly cursed being in surgery and not labor and delivery. I vowed my next time at the hospital, I would be bringing home a healthy baby. I had the doctor assure me that I wouldn’t remember anything, and tears streamed down my face as I drifted under the anesthesia.
For one magical second, as I woke up, I forgot where I was. Then, like a sucker punch to the stomach, it hit me. The nurse told me to take deep breaths as I cried for them to give me back my baby. I was empty. Officially not pregnant anymore. And I hated it. I still do.
For a week I wasn’t sleeping. I couldn’t. Miscarriage is physically and emotionally traumatic. After my D&C, I had some of the side effects of having a baby. Just no baby to show for it. And although my baby was “only” 7 weeks, my body underwent a massive transformation on the inside, preparing to support a growing life. And then in an instant it was all gone. I’m healed physically now. I have no more symptoms of pregnancy, although I yearn for them back. I also can say that I am doing better emotionally. I’m functioning in my daily life, but it still hits me and knocks me down when I least expect it. Grief is unpredictable and hurts in unimaginable ways.
I will never forget my first baby and will always grieve this loss. But I hope in time I can begin to move on. I think writing and talking about it helps. I find comfort in knowing that people know about my angel baby. And although I’ll never get to hold my baby in my arms, they will always be in my heart. No one should have to endure this type of loss alone. I am lucky enough to have an incredible husband and amazing support system of close family and friends and was shown compassion and kindness by all the medical professionals I’ve come into contact with. But many other women have not had that experience. After my miscarriage I talked to women who I know personally who experienced a miscarriage, and I hadn't even know! I also joined a few support groups online, and it opened my eyes to how many women this happens to. One in four. That is an insanely high number. And yet no one talks about it. I know it’s taboo, but I can’t stay silent any longer. I can’t carry this secret. It’s too heavy to carry alone. I don’t want to talk about it all the time either. But I want everyone to know. I have a baby in heaven. I am a mother. Hopefully one day I will be a mom to a baby I can hold in my arms and whisper to them how much I love them. But until then, I need to share my story. This is part of my grieving process. I am one in four. I am not alone. If you are going through this, you are not alone. We will make it through this.