I Had a Miscarriage
Life definitely throws some serious hits; some hard, some soft. I’ve learned that it is necessary to roll with the punches. If you don’t, you may find yourself trying to control things that are completely out your control.
2015 didn’t just throw me some punches, it totally beat my ass. After my sister passed away from Perinatal Depression, an illness that I never even knew existed during pregnancy, I told myself that I would hold out on having another child for some time. I was OK with that choice and knew that it would be the healthiest decision for my little family, but especially myself.
I for one did not like the idea of switching birth controls. My doctor recommended the Paragard IUD; a non-hormonal contraceptive. I was so happy and comfortable with this one. It felt like my best option.
I stopped breastfeeding my little one when she was around 9 months old. I was already on the Paragard for a little over 6 months at that point. This is when I began feeling nauseated and exhausted all the time! I didn’t pay much attention to my menstrual cycle because I was on one of the best contraceptives out there and I’ll be damned if I needed to worry about anything but my family, let alone, my period!
I remember preparing dinner one day, slicing some chicken breast, when things took a turn. The smell, the look, the texture, everything! Everything about that chicken breast made me sick to my stomach and I couldn’t finish cooking. Of course it made me wonder “What the hell is going on?”, but I brushed it off and we ordered in. Thank goodness for takeout!
Next thing that came with all this weirdness were my crazy illusive pregnancy naps. Not only did I nap like a hibernating bear, but the dreams I had were so vivid. I would wake up 4 hours later convinced that I was in the middle of a zombie apocalypse.
I knew something wasn’t right, but I couldn’t bring myself to even think that I could be pregnant. I refused to believe I could be that 1% that actually gets pregnant on the IUD.
After missing my period for a second month, I knew a pregnancy test was in my near future. I went into Walgreens, picked up an EPT test, and shakily handed it to the cashier, while holding my 9 month old in my other arm. I came home dreading what I was about to do. I could not imagine what having a third child would be like at that point. I proceeded to open the ridiculously difficult wrapper that pregnancy tests are in with trembling hands… And I squatted…
I waited for the results while watching my baby girl mess with the box the test came in as she crawled away. The first confirmation line popped up, the one that means “normal and working”. What felt like a few minutes later, the second line. Oh, that pretty pink line. Suddenly, I’m numb. I couldn’t move, couldn’t think. I could not wrap my head around what I just saw. I can’t even recall how long I sat on that toilet for, but I knew it was a while. I think my mind, body, and soul prepared itself for whatever result would appear on that stick, and it’s first reaction was to not freak out.
nce I started coming out of my mini toilet coma, so many thoughts, feelings, and questions rushed to my mind:
What am I going to do?
I just finished breastfeeding!
I’m still figuring out how to juggle two kids!
What’s David’s reaction going to be?
Why didn’t the IUD work!?
My boobs just became mine again!!
Crap! Where did my daughter crawl off to?
Max, do you see your sister??
I still have so much baby weight to lose!
What if I experience Perinatal Depression??
Why didn’t my birth control work???!!!
I finally walked out of the bathroom and saw my two beautiful, brilliant, amazing, kind kiddos playing and making each other laugh. I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I just started to bawl my eyes out. I was so unprepared, but I love my kids more than anything and though unexpected, I would love this baby too. I was contemplating buying a new fancy coffee machine because with this news, I was going to be a walking zombie for the next few years.
Next step was to tell my husband. I started to explain that I bought a pregnancy test, with tears in my eyes, and how I didn’t know how, but it came up positive. He looked at me with the biggest smile on his face. I thought he was having a mental breakdown, but he was actually happy. He loves being a dad. He loves his kids. It was as if he was proud that he defeated the almighty IUD, like it was a contest. As I sat there hysterical, he was the happiest camper. We began to prepare ourselves for another baby.
The best way I can explain that “first” doctor’s appointment is Anxiety on a Stick. I came into the same office, checked in with the same receptionist I saw less than a year ago, and met with the same nurse. She handed me all the beginner papers for a new pregnant mom, all the papers I still have at home laying around somewhere. I took a deep breath. Then my midwife came in, the same woman who delivered my daughter 9 months ago.
I was so overwhelmed, but I have a great midwife and she put me at ease. She let me know that I was 8 weeks along and showed me my baby’s heartbeat. I started feeling excited, happy to see a healthy heartbeat, a cute little body. I said to myself “I can handle this”, then spoke silently to my sister above “Your ass better help me! I know you had something to do with this!” (thinking that her and God had a plan to make me into Octo-Mom).
I walked out of my first appointment happy, nervous, excited, anxious, but most of all, happy.
My next appointment was for 12 weeks along and it came much faster than expected. Everything was OK but my midwife said she saw some blood in my uterus. She believed it was from removing my IUD. I was told to take it easy and come back next week for another check-up.
I did as recommended: I took it easy, didn’t lift anything heavy or run around too much.
Next week I went into the office as usual and waited with my daughter, and my dad. He came along to help since my husband was at work. I was called and told my dad that I shouldn’t be too long.
While my midwife was preparing to listen for the heartbeat, with joy I told her I was mentally preparing, and I was embracing my pregnancy. I wasn’t nervous or scared and I was excited to have all my kids be so close in age. I went on and on and on. She interrupted, “Alrighty, lets say hello to your baby”. She found my baby, measured, and tried to find a heartbeat. I remember her trying really hard. She told me that she was having a difficult time and she was going to send me to another office upstairs to make sure she didn’t make a mistake.
I couldn’t speak. I was numb. I stared at my baby’s body on the monitor.
We left the office, and I didn’t know what to do or think or feel. I told myself to be calm. I didn’t know how to tell my dad this without freaking out. Never did it cross my mind that I could miscarry. I figured if my baby could bypass this amazing birth control then he or she should be just fine with no other complications.
They took me into the second office immediately. It was where I found out my daughter’s gender just that previous summer.
Once again the monitor showed my baby. I remember praying for it to kick, move, something! A few moments later the radiologist and my midwife came to the same conclusion: there was no heartbeat. I was then instructed to return to the previous office where my midwife would lay out all my options for miscarrying.
I remember walking back and feeling so stupid. I was upset that I let myself get excited. I wished I hadn’t told anyone. I didn’t want to discuss anything about my pregnancy anymore. I was hungry, and I was upset because I was hungry. I started to backtrack to make sure I didn’t do anything to cause this. I thought I was so careful to not strain myself. Thoughts of not wanting to go through this.
Why do I have to go through this? I don’t want to miscarry!
I was silent while my midwife explained all the options for miscarrying. We decided that I would miscarry at home.
Of course my husband was upset when I told him the news, but he’s my rock. He reassured me that everything would be okay.
We planned a day for our at-home miscarry, and the day was here. I don’t know if I didn’t ask around enough, or research this as deep as I should have, but it was just as painful as delivering a full term baby. I did not expect that pain. And while I was going through it, all I could think about was all the other women who had to experience this with me.
When this was over, all I wanted to do was go back to my toddler and my baby. Organize our normal routine, this and that. I reassured myself that I would be okay.
I was so wrong, again. I felt empty. Sad. Lost. Torn apart.
It felt so inhuman to have a life inside of you one moment, and the next, nothing. All gone. Empty.
The last time I felt this, I was holding my little girl in my arms. It was so worth it, and now I had nothing to hold. My arms and my heart were empty and I was left with this pain.
That month was incredibly tough for me. I recall having what felt like the Baby Blues, which usually occurs the month after having a baby from the fast decrease in hormones. Me thinking that everything was okay, that I was okay to go back to my normal life after miscarrying, became a distant and blurry thought.
With time and self-care, I did get there. I pushed. I surrounded myself with my loved ones, positivity and of course, my kids.
I gained a new appreciation for women who have gone through this. I’ve learned that this has only made me a stronger woman, mother, daughter, and wife. I learned that miscarrying is not something to be upset or embarrassed about and I wanted to speak out on it.
Our bodies are beautiful, precious beams of light that give life and regardless of unfortunate or unplanned circumstances, we must embrace, love, learn, grow, and inspire others to appreciate, as well as understand, each step and each phase it faces.
I wish I would’ve talked to more women about miscarrying instead of curling up under a rock and let myself feel embarrassed about it. If I would’ve reached out, I may have been a little more prepared.
Don’t be afraid or ashamed. Unfortunately miscarrying is common, and it takes time to get back to how things were.
And that’s perfectly okay.
If you’ve ever had a miscarriage, or want to share your thoughts and feelings, please do it in the comments, I’d love that so much! ❤
All parents need to stick together!