This is a story I never thought I’d write. A group I never thought I’d be in. A pain I never thought I’d feel. Here is my experience with multiple miscarriages
I’ve heard it all… “Miscarriage is so common”, “At least you can get pregnant”, “Be grateful for the kids you do have”. All these words of “advice” from people who have never experienced the loss of a child. I know they mean well but those words can do so much more damage and cause feelings of shame for being sad about your loss. I am extremely grateful for the children I have but that doesn’t mean I didn’t want my angel babies. They were so very wanted.
Shatter The Silence
I refuse to stand for it anymore! I refuse to keep it to myself and suffer in silence! If it’s so common why don’t we talk about it more? Why can’t we be sad without others asking if we need therapy or that we should be “over the grief by now”. After my most recent, and third, miscarriage I said “NO MORE”! My babies did exist. They deserve to be acknowledged and not brushed under the rug by others. I won’t let anyone dare tell me how long I can grieve my angel babies, I will grieve for them until I meet them in Heaven.
If you’re reading my story because you are going through this too I just want to say you are not alone. It’s okay to be devastated and angry. I’m so sorry for you and that you have to go through this. I’m always here to listen to anyone who needs it. It’s hard to go through something like this if you don’t have anyone to talk to that knows how you are feeling. We have an unwanted common bond that now connects us and we can support each other through it.
It all started in December 2014. My husband and I had decided to try for baby#2 as our oldest just started kindergarten. We found out I was pregnant on Dec 23. I was so excited to tell my Mom. I wrapped up the pregnancy test and was going to give it to her on Christmas morning.
Christmas Eve came and my mom was rushed to the hospital. She had stopped breathing and it took them 45 minutes to get her breathing again. Her Congestive Heart Failure had caused her lungs to fill with fluid. I spent Christmas Eve night in the ER with her. She never woke up. After 3 days we were told she had massive brain damage from the lack of oxygen and my brother and I were forced to remove her life support as my mom never wanted to be hooked up to machines. She passed away Dec 28, 2014.
I still had to go to my prenatal appointments regardless of the grief. We could see the baby on ultrasound but no heart beat ever developed. I don’t know if it was the emotional toll that losing my Mom took on me, or the fact I am Rh- blood type, or something else but I miscarried my baby when I was 6 weeks pregnant. It was devastating. I was mourning my Mom and my child at the same time. And the miscarriage process was torture. I bled for 7 weeks, a full week longer than I was even pregnant. It was so very traumatic. But I got through it.
A few months later, in July 2015, I found out I was pregnant again. Instead of being happy I was terrified and afraid of losing this baby too. Even before I got my first Doctor appointment I started bleeding at 5 weeks pregnant. I knew I was miscarrying again. It was a Sunday and because of my Rh- blood type I needed a shot called Rhogam so we had to go into urgent care. They drew blood and gave me my shot. My HCG levels were very low already since the bleeding had already started. It was yet another blow to my emotions. I felt like I was being punished for something.
After one loss my OB office just said it’s normal and didn’t do anything. Now after two losses I somehow was worth the effort to run tests to see if a problem could be found (but still didn’t rank high enough for genetic testing, that requires 3+ losses – not cool Kaiser!). I had every test ran that I could. Everything came back normal. After doing my own research I wanted my progesterone levels checked. The first couple doctors refused to test for that. I pushed until I finally found one that would. Sure enough my levels were low, too low to sustain a pregnancy. So I got a prescription for progesterone to take if I got pregnant again. I was excited to have hope that the progesterone might fix it and prevent another loss.
Rainbow After the Storm
By September I found out I was pregnant again and immediately started the progesterone. I could tell it made my morning sickness worse but I was so excited to feel symptoms I didn’t care. Every appointment went great. We found out it was a little girl. My husband was seriously outnumbered now. She was born in May 2016 and was perfect, my miracle rainbow baby.
Fast forward to Summer 2017. My husband and I decided to try for 1 more. We got a positive pregnancy test in July. I immediately started back on the Progesterone medication. Everything was going great. We heard the beautiful heartbeat and I spend the summer sick with morning sickness all day. I got blood work done because I was now 35 and at risk for more problems, and it would also tell us the gender. We were excited but hadn’t told anyone yet because of our history. However, as I approached 12 weeks I began planning the ways we would tell everyone.
But one morning I couldn’t find the heartbeat on my home Doppler. That’s not unheard of at 11 weeks but it still made me nervous. I tried all day, and the next day and still didn’t hear it. We had heard it just a couple days prior but thought maybe I was just pointing the Doppler in the wrong places. We went it for an ultrasound and that’s when we heard the worst sound imaginable… silence. There was nothing. No sound and no movement. Baby measured 11 weeks (I was 11-1/2 weeks).
The doctor said I would need a D&C since the baby was so big but it was a holiday weekend. I was sent home and told they’d schedule me surgery next week. That was pure torture. I was still sick and now devastated. We had to tell our oldest what happened because I would have to have the D&C surgery. She was so sweet and told me everything would be OK.
I had the Surgery on a Thursday. I woke up crying because I knew my baby was really gone now. The anesthesia wore off quickly and I headed home. Within 2 hours of being home I received my blood test results that had been processed before we knew the baby died. And with that was the gender. It showed that it was a genetically perfect baby boy. We were praying so hard for a boy that I just broke down knowing that I’d lost him. We named him Colton.
Recovery from the D&C took a few weeks as I developed an infection in my uterus and then broke out in a rash from the antibiotics. It was impossible to recover emotionally when I still hadn’t recovered physically. It took 4 months before I went a single day without crying. Add that to the fact that there were many women around me that were pregnant and everyday was (and still is) a struggle. There is a certain kind of devastation you feel when your child was the one taken to heaven and everyone around you gets to keep there’s. It’s not a jealousy of their happiness; it’s a profound and deep sadness for your lost child.
As my due date approaches (March 20, 2018) I am finding it getting harder instead of easier. When we lose someone we love we start the grieving process immediately. It takes time but we start to learn to laugh again. However, with the loss of a pregnancy there is almost 2 separate points of grieving. Grieving when told there is no longer a heartbeat and grieving again as the due date approaches. The date that should be joyous, that should be filled with a newborn’s cries, that should be spent wondering who he looks like and what color eyes he’ll have. Instead you’re left with a day of mourning, of planting a memorial tree or releasing balloons, of processing the loss all over again.
Losing my babies is the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. In less than 3 years I’ve lost my Mom and 3 babies. That’s a lot in a short period of time. Some days I do okay and others I just break down in the silence of a bathroom break. I know with time it will get better but my heart is forever broke. There is no time limit on grief. Don’t let anyone tell you how you should be feeling if they’ve never been through this.
If you’re reading this because you know someone who is going through this don’t offer any advice. Just offer a hug, a shoulder to cry on, and just let them know you’re there for them. It can make all the difference in the world.
It’s okay to talk about it. Don’t feel like people won’t want to hear it. We need to ‘Shatter the Silence’ of Miscarriage. I find that the more people I tell the more I find other women who have been through it but suffers in silence. We need to support each other and we can all get through this together.