The day before I left for Hawaii in 2016, I found out I was pregnant with our second child. We’d only been trying for a few months, but I decided to pee on a stick for kicks and giggles to find out if I was pregnant before leaving my husband and son for a week. I used the digital test this time and that exciting and terrifying word “Pregnant” popped up on the stick. I ran out of the bathroom and told my husband and he turned red and smiled. We only told our parents and my close coworkers because I’d be working in close quarters with them the next week while in Hawaii.
The moment I saw the word “Pregnant”, my heart swelled and I immediately planned for this little baby and how they would bring so much more joy to our family. I held on to my joy for 7 more weeks. When I hit week 6 in gestation, I didn’t get morning sickness. This concerned me since I was so sick with my first son, but everyone told me I was lucky and every pregnancy is different. I smiled and nodded that they must be right, but deep down something didn’t sit right.
I had to push back my 8 week appointment to 9 weeks since I had to travel for work again. I was sitting in a training for our leadership of our association that I work with when I felt like I’d wet my pants. I went to the restroom and saw 3 spots of blood. Immediately, my heart sank and I called my doctor. My sweet on-call nurse told me to rest and drink lots and lots of water. She said “When you get home I want you really well hydrated.” I came in for an ultrasound and the doctor as soon as I got back from St. Louis. I waited for the ultrasound to find my little peanut’s heartbeat, but nothing. The doctor took some blood because little peanut was only measuring at 5 weeks, I should have been 9 weeks by then. I had to wait out the weekend to find out there was no heartbeat for sure and this baby didn’t make it past 5 weeks gestation. My doctor was sweet and supportive, she gave me something to pass what was left of the pregnancy and told me to rest and grieve how I needed to. My appointment was on a Monday. I wore an adult diaper, watched my favorite movies from the couch while my toddler climbed all over me and I passed what was left of my baby from my body. I lost my baby officially on a Tuesday, so I named it Tuesday and listened to Lynard Skynard’s “Tuesday’s Gone” to mourn. I ate comfort food and cried until I couldn’t anymore. I slept so much I thought I’d never need to sleep again and I sat staring at nothing for so long the silence was deafening.
My doctor told me I would probably “heal” physically in about a month and then I could try again, so we did. I found out I was pregnant the last weekend of February. Glad I didn’t have to wait so long, until I was sitting at my desk and felt the same familiar leak, I’d felt last November. I left work and my friend took me to the ER. We sat for two hours just for them to tell me that I’d “missed an abortion,” meaning that my body had already aborted the pregnancy before anything grew “significantly.” That pregnancy was significant to me and my family. This time, we hadn’t told anyone that I was pregnant except my husband and boss (in case I got sick.) I was sent home again to pass what was left of the pregnancy AGAIN.
I didn’t know my heart could break like that. I didn’t know I could handle that much grief. I didn’t know I could hate myself for “miscarrying” my child. I didn’t know that I’d find happiness again in pregnancy or the thought of having another child.
With lots of love and support from the people that love me and our family, we survived. I am pregnant again. I’ve felt her bouncing around in there, I’ve seen her little fingers and toes, and I’ve heard the beautiful sound of a heartbeat. Fear still lingers, every second of every single day until I hold a safe and healthy baby girl in my arms. Every movement I feel from within brings me a little more back to life.
I blamed myself a lot in the past year for the losses of my pregnancies. I wanted them. I loved them. They were real to me and my family. I am not sure I’ll ever forgive myself for losing them even though I never did anything to cause them, or planning the future they’d have in our family. I do know that I am incredibly blessed to have them in the next life and they’ve already blessed my life in so many ways. I know the only way I survived that horrific grief was through Christ’s baring my burdens for me and my incredible husband and partner. Friends and family let me talk about it when I wanted to, or not talk about it when I needed to just sit in silence. It was not part of God’s plan, it was not something I did, it was simply something that happened and I’ve survived.
I am 1 in 4.
1 in 4 pregnancies are miscarried. If you’ve had a miscarriage, it’s not your fault. That won’t stop you from blaming yourself. If you know someone that’s had a miscarriage, all they need to hear is that you love them and you’re there whenever needed. That’s it.