Before I begin: I want it to be known that I do not know what infertility is like nor do I know what it is like to lose a child in the second or third trimester. This post reflects my experience with pregnancy loss in the first trimester and what I learned from it.
So now, I’ll begin:
My husband and I were elated when we found out that we were pregnant with our first child just before Christmas 2014. We closed on our first home a few days into the new year and we were so excited thinking about having a family in it. But sadly, about midway through January, we found out that our dream of being parents wasn’t going to happen. At least not right now.
*The day we closed on our first home.
The miscarriage: It was a Friday night and my father-in-law was in town to help my husband and I paint the inside of our new home. We were headed out to a local Mexican restaurant where the food is cheap and delicious. I decided to use the restroom before we left the house because, well, pregnancy.
I walked out of the bathroom a minute later and looked at my husband and said, “I’m bleeding.”
We called the OB and the on-call nurse said that bleeding during pregnancy can be “normal” for some women. She told me to take it easy, drink a lot of water, and to call back if the bleeding continues or gets worse. ￼In my heart, I knew this wasn’t good, but I still held onto a sliver of hope.
We decided to still go out to eat and then we headed over to my parents’ house after dinner to sleep since our house was being painted. I woke up around midnight and the bleeding had only gotten worse (a lot worse) so we called the doctor and she told us to go to the nearest emergency room.
We got in immediately. I shook the entire time. My husband and I sat there not knowing what was going to happen. He kept trying to distract me the best he could, but then a technician came in and said I was going to be wheeled away for an ultrasound and that my husband could not, by any means, come along. Here I was alone again. A feeling I’m all too familiar with￼.
Back in the room, we waited for about thirty minutes and then a doctor came in to discuss the ultrasound results. He told us that according to the measurements of the scan, I was not as far along in the pregnancy as I “thought.” The baby was measuring a couple weeks behind and I knew (according to my cycle) that wasn’t right. The doctor also told us that they could not detect a heartbeat, but that is “normal” in this early of a pregnancy (I was around 8 weeks pregnant, give or take a few days, but measuring around 6). We took a deep breath as we were not given any red flags that this might not end up how we want. Instead, we were given the “this is normal” talk again and sent home. The discharge diagnosis was “risk of miscarriage.”
The next morning was bad. Everything had gotten worse and I started to cramp. Bad. By the end of that day, the only thing that was helping the cramps was a back massager that I turned on and put on my belly.
*Me in my parents’ bed with the back massager on my belly surrounded by my two cats and my parents’ cat trying to distract myself with TV.
Fast forward to Monday morning, we had an emergency appointment with the OB. I sat slouched over in a room full of pregnant women waiting for my name to be called. Finally, the nurse called me back and asked me for a urine sample. That’s when things got really bad and I’m going to spare the details, but in short, I lost the baby in that bathroom.
After the miscarriage: I walked out of the bathroom past all the other pregnant women to a private room where my husband came and met me. I was distraught. The doctor came in to preform an ultrasound. There was nothing on the screen. It was black and she said, “Good. It looks like your body has passed everything on its own so you won’t need a procedure.” This was the first time my fear was confirmed: I miscarried.
She continued to say a variety of very inappropriate things like, “you’re young, you have plenty of time, you wouldn’t have wanted that baby anyways, there was something wrong with it, it’ll be fine.” Need I continue? Very inappropriate, right?
She left the room and that was it. No pamphlet, no counseling, no follow-up appointment, no nothing. A simple “it’ll be fine” and I’m supposed to be on my way.
We left and I felt empty inside, which I was now. I thought about all the people I told, the registry I started, the baby names, the nursery, and most importantly, will I ever be able to have children of my own?
Remember, this was my first pregnancy so I didn’t know if there was something “wrong” with me, which would prevent me from carrying a child. I certainly felt like it was my fault with even just the word “miscarriage” alone. I miscarried my child. I didn’t carry my child “right.” I know that’s not correct, but during that time and for the next couple of months, that’s how I felt.
I questioned what I did, what I ate, where I went, and so on. I felt like I saw pregnant women everywhere. It also felt like I saw pregnancy announcements every time I opened up Facebook. Why can they have a baby and I can’t? Haven’t I been through “enough” in my lifetime? Why me? None of this is fair.
To my 24-year-old self:
It wasn’t your fault. It was never your fault. You should’ve been given more. More guidance, more answers, more support, and more confidence. You’re going to carry children one day. Some pretty incredible ones.
To anyone struggling from miscarriage:
It’s not your fault and don’t let anyone let you think otherwise. Don’t let a doctor tell you that you “wouldn’t have wanted that baby.” Raise your head high and tell the world that you miscarried. I was ashamed as if I failed my job as a woman and that is just flat out sad. Don’t be ashamed. Don’t be silenced. And lastly, don’t let anyone make you feel less of a woman.
Keep your head up,
*My rainbow baby pregnancy announcement when I was 12 weeks pregnant.
Future posts regarding miscarriage:
- How I coped with my miscarriage
- How I handled pregnancy after I miscarried
- Relationship advice for the couple who has miscarried