Mom to a baby lost January 20, 2012
(EDD September 7, 2012)
My husband and I had been trying for six months to get pregnant. I couldn’t believe it when I (finally) got a positive pregnancy test! I took eight tests to make sure. We were so excited! We’d been together nine years, married for one year, and were ready to start our family. We kept the news to ourselves for two weeks told our immediate family about the pregnancy at six weeks. We wanted to wait until the start of the second trimester to tell everyone else.
I was seven weeks pregnant when my husband and I went for our first ultrasound. It was a Friday morning. I’d had a little bit of brown spotting and was pretty nervous going into the appointment. But we got to see our healthy baby and its heartbeat! I was relieved, but still anxious for some reason. I didn’t know it then, but I would have a spontaneous natural miscarriage later that same day.
I started bleeding after lunch. I called my doctor’s office crying. They said it wasn’t necessarily something to worry about. They reviewed my ultrasound and said the baby looked healthy and there didn’t appear to be anything wrong. They said if I had heavy bleeding or felt cramping to call back. I still felt gloomy, but slightly reassured.
That night, I thought I had a stomach ache—I get them when I’m nervous. But, even looking back, that stomach ache never felt like period cramps. I went to the bathroom a few times and there was blood in the toilet. I couldn’t tell how much. I think I passed the baby then. I am so thankful that I never saw it come out. I’m thankful I didn’t know what was happening. And I’m thankful my miscarriage didn’t require a D&C. I would not have been able to handle any of those things.
My stomach ache was gone by Saturday morning. And so was the blood. I thought that was a good sign. My husband was so optimistic (probably for my sake) and I started to believe maybe everything could be ok.
I had a pre-scheduled, routine OB exam on Tuesday with the doctor. My mom asked if she could come with me. I am so glad she did. I told the doctor the symptoms I experienced over the weekend, and she didn’t seem worried. But to put my mind at ease, the doctor offered to perform another ultrasound. She turned to my mom and said, “Do you want to see your grandbaby?” I will never forget that.
My ultrasound showed nothing. No baby. It was gone. I felt like my future was gone. The feeling of loss was overwhelming.
The worst part was telling people. The same people who—just a week before—had been so excited for us. I was devastated.
Those first few days were terrible. I felt like I lost everything. My future was gone. I’d had three and a half weeks of planning and excitement. I’d wanted that baby so badly; it didn’t seem fair I didn’t get to keep it. Mornings were the worst part of the day. I spent my days talking myself down—telling myself I was going to be ok and convincing myself this wasn’t the end of the world—but the pain was so fresh when I first woke up.
I avoided most people for a while. But once I started re-emerging into life again, it seemed like the people who knew about my miscarriage had forgotten about it. More likely, they didn’t want to upset me by talking about it. For me, it felt like the elephant in the room. But I didn’t bring it up either, to avoid awkwardness and bumming people out. I felt really alone. I was able to get support and work through my grief by visiting this website and lurking on pregnancy loss message boards. Hearing other women’s stories was infinitely reassuring.
The following quote also helped me gain perspective: ‘When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.’ I still had so much to be grateful for. I have an amazing husband, a wonderful family, a good job, our awesome house, great friends. We’re still young and are financially secure. We have a cat we adore and spoil rotten. We have vacations to plan, home improvement projects to complete. Focusing on the positives really helped put our loss in perspective, though it didn’t keep me from sobbing uncontrollably—sometimes without warning—or give me the answer to my biggest question: why it had to happen to us in the first place.
Every day gets easier. In the beginning, I never imagined I could or would ever feel better. I’m over the initial shock now, and have accepted what happened. The loss is a part of me, but the grief isn’t all-consuming anymore. I will probably always think about what should have been. I look forward to getting pregnant again, but I’m so scared at the same time.