My Missing Piece
I know I missed the actual day of Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness, but I just felt that I needed to share my story before the month ended.
It’s nice to know we are not alone, but at the same time I would never wish this pain on my worse enemy.
I would never wish for someone’s dreams to present themselves and then quickly be taken away.
I am 1 in 4 women.
Here’s my story
I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be a mom. My mom was the epitome of motherhood and I wanted to be just like her. She made it look easy (thanks for that lie mother!). I had other dreams of course, but being a mother was at the top. I wanted to marry the man of my dreams and start a family. That was the main goal.
When I first became a mom it was not in my ideal way. I was not married, in fact I was a newly 18, high school graduate. I was also getting ready to start my first year of college and had only been dating my boyfriend for a short period of time. In no way did I have my life together, but as soon as I saw that blue positive I knew I had no choice.
Motherhood was starting earlier than I had planned.
But it was ok because I did want to be a mom and I thank God every day for my sweet boy. He may not have come at a time I planned or wanted, but he did come at a time I needed.
Fast forward 5 years…
Unfortunately my son’s father and I didn’t work out and we ended things. However our break up did lead me to the man of my dreams and after a year of dating we were married. My husband and I were on the same page when it came to kids. He was (and still is) a great step father to my son and I just couldn’t wait to grow our little family. At the end of 2012 we decided to start trying. I wasn’t sure how long it would take since I seemed to get pregnant so easily with my son, but I remained patient.
5 months went by and then it happened
I was late. Was this it? Was it finally our time? As soon as my husband left for work I immediately got up and took a test. Sure enough that blue positive popped up before I even capped the test. I was pregnant, It finally happened! Of course instead of doing something super cute to announce it to my husband I immediately called him and told him. We were both so excited! We were finally adding to our family.
But the joy didn’t last
Due to some insurance complications I couldn’t get into my doctor for at least a month and a half, which in my mind was no biggie. My first pregnancy wasn’t very complicated except for the all day morning sickness so I didn’t think it would be a huge deal to wait a little longer to see my doctor.
My pregnancy went along the same way as my first. I was sick a lot, tired, cranky, etc. As much as I hated being sick, I also took it as a good sign. Being sick meant the pregnancy was moving right along.
The week before my appointment I had been working crazy hours at the hospital and I realized that I actually felt good. I was a little tired, but I wasn’t sick. In fact the whole week before my appointment I felt fantastic. I didn’t think anything of it and chalked it up to not all pregnancies being the same. That was until the morning of our appointment.
As we were getting ready I looked at my husband and said,
“I really hope we don’t get bad news today.”
He asked me why, because obviously that’s a weird thing to say. I replied saying I just had a feeling. I just had a feeling something wasn’t right.
We make it to the appointment, do the routine checks and then it’s time for our ultrasound. The moment we had been waiting for. Getting to see our sweet baby for the first time. As soon as the tech placed the wand and the baby showed up I knew instantly something wasn’t right. The baby was there, but that same feeling I had that morning was back again. The tech knew as well because she immediately went to check everything else and took the wand away from the baby. I was bracing myself for those awful words.
“There’s your baby, but unfortunately I don’t see a heartbeat. I’m so sorry”
She went on the measure the baby, and even though we were nine weeks along, the baby had stopped growing at eight weeks. The week that I felt amazing was the day our sweet angel left us. My husband immediately stood up and grabbed my hand as I tried so hard to keep it together. I couldn’t though. I completely lost it.
That moment I lost a piece of myself.
Our doctor came in, took a look at everything, and then went over options. Due to me having complications with bleeding with my first we opted for a D&C and for my doctor to be the one to do it, which wouldn’t happen for two days due to her schedule. For some reason waiting two days before they did anything seemed like the right thing to do as opposed to go in right then and there. I needed time to process. This was a lot. One minute I was excited about seeing my baby and the next thing my life was shattering. One thing I regret to this day is not asking for a copy of my ultrasound picture. The only proof of our sweet angel and I didn’t even ask for a copy. I still feel awful about it, I feel like by not asking for it I turned away from my baby. As if it didn’t matter. but it does matter and I should have asked for it.
Then the next part I dreaded. Telling people.
My husband had to tell my parents because I just couldn’t. I didn’t have the strength to say it out loud. Unfortunately I did have to address it because life still goes on after you have a miscarriage. I had to talk to our families, we both had to let our jobs know so we could get the time off. Every mention of the miscarriage was like pushing the knife further and further into my heart.
No one fully prepares you for the emotions you go through
You go through the grieving process. But it’s not a one and done. You go through them multiple times. Like when you finally reach acceptance something triggers it and you start all over again.
I never realized the magnitude of this, until we had to go through it.
Miscarriages were never unknown to me. I knew people who had suffered them, but honestly you don’t think it can happen to you until it does. I feel like you go into a bubble when you get pregnant. Like yay we are pregnant, nothing can happen. But no one is immune to loss.
So the emotions hit me. I’m not going to lie, but anger was the biggest one. I wasn’t just a little angry, I was beyond Pissed! How could this be happening to me? Why was this happening?
I was angry at everything and everyone, including God. How dare he finally bless us with this sweet baby and then take it away from us? Why would he answer our prayers and then make us suffer? How could he do this to us?
I remember going to pick my son up that day from my parents and looking at my dad (who is the most spiritual man I know), telling him how pissed I was and how angry at God I was. I never expected the response I got from my father that day.
He said ” He knows, and it’s ok to be angry with him. He understands.”
I needed to hear that. Needed to know that my feelings were validated and normal. Most importantly I didn’t want to hear everything happens for a reason or that there was something wrong with my baby.
Because in my mind I wasn’t just angry at God for this, I was the angriest at myself.
I blamed myself. In my opinion I failed as a mother. How could I not protect this gift? How could I let this happen? Maybe if I didn’t mess up our insurance I would have been able to catch this. To stop it. Maybe if I was a better person this wouldn’t have happened. All of these things tortured me day in and day out. My husband tried so hard to make me feel better and tell me how common it is and that sometimes it happens. He didn’t like that I was blaming myself, but sometimes it’s just not that easy.
Then my roller coaster happened
I went from being angry, to numb, to having panic attacks. Panic attacks about what if I don’t make it to my appointment and we end up losing the baby at home? Or what if they were wrong and the baby is still ok? All the what ifs.
I was just numb the morning of the procedure. So numb I didn’t really have emotions. I didn’t feel like myself, but I tried to pretend. I was calm until I looked at the clock while sitting in a pre op room and noticed that I had 15 minutes until they came for me.
And that’s when my world shattered for a second time
It hit me that in 15 minutes I would no longer be pregnant. That I no longer would be carrying my sweet baby that I prayed for. My failure at protecting my baby would be true because we would be leaving this hospital with no baby with us in any capacity. I completely lost it. Uncontrollably sobbing, my poor husband trying to comfort me.
I feel really bad for the med student that would be sitting in on our procedure because the poor girl came in to introduce herself and got a first look at what a miscarriage can do to a woman. After she left (I’m pretty sure she couldn’t get out of our room quick enough), my doctor came in to explain everything, and then it was time. Of course I’m still sobbing and now at this point begging my husband to not leave me (I felt so bad that I did that to him) which led them to start giving me meds to make me fall asleep as they wheeled me down the hallway. Next thing I know I’m waking up.
No longer pregnant
Honestly I feel awful for the things I said and asked. Not because I was being nasty or anything, but I know it had to be heartbreaking. The first thing I said to the nurse when I woke up was “I’m no longer pregnant am I?” (Told you I was awful). Luckily they let my husband back to see me and then we were able to leave and try to go back to our lives.
The Triggers, Oh the triggers
I swear no one tells you how long these feelings last. That something so innocent can trigger a reaction. Even writing this post brings up painful memories, but they need to be shared.
Songs, tv shows, social media posts of others being pregnant, even starting my period back for the first time after set me off. No one prepares you for this roller coaster that you are embarking on after you lose a baby. No one prepares you because no one talks about it. I mean you may hear someone say they have had one and that it was rough, but no one really shares their stories. It may be too painful and then again they may think that they shouldn’t talk about it.
We need to though
We need to let women know they aren’t alone. That the feelings they are having are validated. Their emotions will literally be all over the place and that it’s ok to feel the way they are feeling. That it’s ok to be angry, because it’s just part of the process. But know that happiness will come.
Our happiness came in the form of our rainbow baby. Four months after our miscarriage we found out we were pregnant again and I swear this little spitfire was just what we needed to heal us. She keeps us on our toes, but definitely wouldn’t change her.
So please talk about it, share your stories, help each other heal, because this sucks. It doesn’t matter if you went through it at 4 weeks or after they were born, losing a child is a pain that will always linger.
Because now there is a piece of us missing.