Life Personal

Miscarriage

If you somehow found yourself reading this because you or someone you love is going through a miscarriage, I am so deeply sorry for your loss and know that I am sending you love and peace.

Also, please note that it is a detailed/raw blog post with sensitive details. If you anticipate being triggered by themes related to miscarriage, please do not read this post.

It’s been 127 days since I heard the words that broke my heart and changed my life forever, “I’m sorry, there’s no heartbeat”. I have cried every day since. Some days more, some days less, but nonetheless, I continue to struggle more than I ever thought possible.

I have long debated sharing my experience. I am fearful that the details are perhaps too raw. Nonetheless, I am taking a leap of faith in writing this for three main reasons. 1. Miscarriage awareness is so, so needed, 2. Not talking about it doesn’t erase the fact, somehow, that it happened, and 3. I wish I would have found something as candid and raw as I am about to write.

July 1st 2019. I had been feeling “off” for a few weeks, was unbelievably tired and had some spotting that I attributed to delayed period due to stress. All of a sudden, I had stopped craving my morning coffee and barely had an appetite at lunch. I figured, let me take a pregnancy test just in case. I went to work that morning with the intention of buying the test in the afternoon, however, I was very ill and was sent home. On my way home, I purchased 2 different tests/brands. Both were positive. I could not contain my excitement. I quickly called my best friend and texted my work “framily”. I drove to Marshall’s to buy a baby gift and give my husband the news. I remember my best friend asking me if I was sure I wanted to tell him so early, but I distinctly remember saying “Whatever happens, he needs to know and I need him by my side”. I’ll admit, I was scared to tell him. We’ve always talked about having a family but it’s been a year of big changes and saving up to buy a house. I came home, and around noon I gave him the gift. We were both overcome with joy, tears, excitement, love, everything you would expect of high school sweethearts that after 12 years were finally going to be parents.

Around 4pm, I decided to FaceTime my parents and tell them. My dad’s birthday was that week and I couldn’t contain the exciting news. They broke down crying, we did as well (again!), this baby was already so unbelievably loved. As I was talking to my parents, I felt blood come down, it was enough to stain my clothes and the chair. Let’s face it…it was a clot.

At 4:30, I started bleeding. By 5pm we were at the hospital. We stayed at the hospital until 1:30am. The bleeding eventually stopped, my BP was normal again, the blood tests, pelvic exam and sonograms all confirmed our pregnancy and the on-call OB-Gyn estimated I was somewhere around 6 weeks pregnant. We went home happily calm that our baby was ok. They could even hear the heartbeat at the ER. I was told the bleeding could be normal and to follow-up with my OB-Gyn. I called my regular doc, but he didn’t see pregnant patients anymore so I was referred and got the quickest appointment possible for July 8.

The rest of the week brought on early pregnancy symptoms like food aversions and throwing up. I was delighted. All I have ever wanted is to be a mom, so I quickly embraced all the symptoms, stopped drinking my coffee, and started taking all the vitamins needed.

My husband had left for a business trip on the 5th, and as we talked on the evening of July 7, I started bleeding. Somehow, it was more intense. Darker. Painful. I knew. He was having dinner at my parent’s house at the time and I somehow convinced my mother to not get on a flight to CT until after I went to see the doctor. I convinced all of them that it was okay because I desperately wanted it to be.

I left work on July 8 around 3pm. I sat in my new OB-Gyn’s office with an elevated BP, so much so that my Apple Watch sent me a notification. I go in to the sonogram room, they prompted me up, and the sonogram began. The technician, who was the sweetest lady, was doing everything she could to make me feel comfortable. I will never forget the moment she pointed to the screen and said “here’s the pregnancy”. Somehow, someway, I knew what “pregnancy” meant….i.e. “pregnancy, not a living baby”. I asked her if there was a heartbeat. She politely skewed the question. I asked again. She grabbed my hand, and said “I’m sorry, I do not want to lie to you sweetie, no, there is no heartbeat”. This woman who I had never met, gave me the strongest hug ever (mind you, I’m half naked at this point). I cried and gasped for air, screamed internally, keeping my cool as much as possible. After all, it wasn’t their fault.

My OB-Gyn, who I had never met, came in and embraced me as well. To this day, I will forever be thankful for the experience of having 2 kind and sweet individuals as my treatment team. I called my husband, who of course cried and screamed with me. I called my mother who cried and did everything she could to remind me this was not my fault. I couldn’t bare to call my dad, and my mom, thankful, agreed to tell him for me.

I went in to the doctor’s office, called my husband who was present via speaker and we discussed the options. Please note that this does not constitute any medical advice and every woman has a choice as to what feels best for them. I was given the option of a Dilation and Curettage (D&C) or a medically induced abortion via medication. After thinking about it, my husband and OB-Gyn supported me doing whatever I felt most comfortable with. I went with the medically induced abortion. I had been bleeding so much already, that my doctor agreed it would be like giving my body the push it needed to finish what it had started.

I called my supervisor (who was pregnant) and she cried with me as well. I carefully calculated my appointment for that Thursday so I could take Friday off as well, giving me 4 days to physically rest.

I came home that afternoon and could not pick myself up off of the floor. I spoke with my husband, gasped for air, and did what I would have never done, allowed 2 friends to come over. I cried with them, we talked, and they are like a mother and older sister to me, to this day, I am eternally greteful. I did not sleep the rest of the week. I went to work on Tuesday, because between the miscarriage and my husband not being home quite yet, I couldn’t bare to stay home alone. Somehow, going to work with my dead baby inside me seemed more humane. It wasn’t the best decision looking back, I should have listened to everyone and just stayed home. I was tired, angry, irritable, tearful, and not on my best game to work.

My husband, thankfully, did not listen to me insisting that he should stay on his business trip. He arrived on Thursday, a few hours after I took the first pill at my OB-Gyn’s office. I am so thankful he did not only us being together during such a hard time, but also, physically…I could have never anticipated the pain I was about to go through and how much I needed someone there to hold my hand, literally.

I took the first pill around 11:30am at the doctor’s office and the Misprostol promptly at 12 midnight at home. I started feeling it’s effects about an hour or so after. Neither of us slept that night. Neither did my parents who texted me all throughout the night. The pelvic pain, cramps, and faintness were nothing I had ever experienced before. I could barely sit down or get up on my own due to the pain and bleeding. At one point I semi-fainted and am so glad my husband was there to hold my hand, literally. As much as I was in emotional pain and wanted our baby in there, at around 3am I talked to my stomach and told her “It’s okay, you can go. I’ll always love you”. Maybe I’m imagining things but within 10 minutes I was back in the bathroom with the absolute worst pain and clots. I knew in my heart, it had happened. By 6 am, it felt like the worst part of the physical process was over. I honestly lost track of how many times I went to the bathroom. I went through 2 rolls of toilet paper and 1 pack of pads.

Since then, it’s been a blur. I also bled for 3 weeks straight afterwards and I am honestly, still exhausted. I’m still in the miscarriage brain fog. I have experienced every stage of grief probably 3-4x each. I went back to therapy. I have hidden away from the world, I’ve put boundaries, and I’ve made uncomfortably dark comments around the matter because that’s just how I’ve coped. I have allowed others to be there for me, I’ve also found ways of honoring her (I’m convinced she was a girl). I miss her every day, I wonder how big I would be by now, how we would be setting up her room, how Christmas was going to look so different, I agonize for the second week of February 2020 when I was supposed to be preparing for her birth….

There’s no happy ending to this post, just sharing my story to let you know you are not alone in this experience. Grief brings a lot of us together in the worst circumstances, but we find support in others who have experienced loss nonetheless.

I want to leave you with the following….

It is not your fault, but it’s understandable that you think it is, but please remember that it is not.

Miscarriages happen to every 1 in 4 women. They are scarily common. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

You are worthy, you are strong, and you are and forever will be a mom (or dad, aunt, grandparent, uncle…).

It’s okay to set firm boundaries. There is no guide to surviving a miscarriage. I know the world is now a scarier and darker place for you, but you still deserve to enjoy life, even if it’s in a different way, even if you cry now ever time you go to Target and see the baby clothes.

I’m sorry you are going through this. You are so, so, so worth being loved and sharing that love with your baby. Know you are not alone. {{hugs}}

My go-to accounts for miscarriage support on Instagram are: Zoe Clark-Coates, Lady Whelan, and Still a Mama.

I’m sorry,

Ana

Please note that nothing in this post constitutes medical advice. Please always contact your medical provider for any questions or concerns related to your health.