9 weeks ago...
9 weeks ago I had a miscarriage. Today I would be 20 weeks pregnant...
Yesterday we received a bill in the mail for the D & C procedure and for anesthesia. A piece of paper worth $1,000.00 as a reminder that you don't get to bring your baby home and that this pregnancy didn't work. A reminder 9 weeks after the procedure :(
I found out I was pregnant with our third baby and found out we were 8 weeks pregnant when I went to the doctor. This was a total surprise and shock since we had to do fertility treatments to have both boys. We were ecstatic and shocked and scared and so so happy.
At my 11 week appointment, I found out that we had a missed miscarriage. The baby's heart had stopped for whatever reason. Our amazing doctor couldn't find the heartbeat with the doppler so we headed back to the ultrasound machine. As soon as the picture of our baby came up on the screen, I knew. I knew that he or she was gone. There was no heart beat. I was crushed. Mike wasn't there that day since it was just for a routine doppler check and to get blood taken to find out if it was a boy or a girl. We lost our baby around 9 weeks, so for 2 weeks we didn't know he or she was already gone.
When you find out you’re pregnant, they always say you should wait to “announce” it until you’re our of the first trimester “just in case something happens.” But, in my opinion, if something goes wrong, you want to have a support system. And I’m not talking about the people that tell you “You’ll get through it” or “It isn’t God’s timing” or just stop talking to you because they don’t know what to say. I'm talking about the people that come over and are real. Who will sit with you and cry. Or give you a hug. Or the women that you haven’t seen since high school that message you on Facebook to tell you you’re not alone and send you cards in the mail just to say they are sorry for your loss. Or your friends who get in contact with your husband to get meals and gift cards delivered or send flowers. The friend that texts you to talk about the fact that you’re going through the same thing and how you feel empty inside. You want REAL people. These people make it easier and I am so thankful for them.
When I miscarried, I felt so alone. Like there was something wrong with me. But when I found out that this had happened to so many women I knew, I couldn't help but ask, "If this is so common, why doesn't anybody talk about it???"
I know it is extremely painful and personal, but it is also incredibly helpful for women who miscarry to be able to be able to connect with other women who have been down that road and can offer support and insight. But unless you know whom this has happened to, you don't even know where to go for support.
So because nobody talks about it, I was totally blind-sided by the after-effects of a miscarriage. If people had been talking, here's what I wish they would have told me:
- There are a whole new set of hypothetical calendar dates that now are 'real' for you: "This would have been his due date." "We were going to have our first Christmas with our baby." "This summer, we were supposed to be at beach..." You will probably spend the rest of your life noting 'invisible' dates on the calendar - birthdays, anniversaries, milestones that should have been...but aren't.
- Jealousy will come out in all different ways, at all different times. You really want to be the bigger person when everyone seems to get pregnant so easily...but it is really hard. Something rises up in you that just wants to scratch out your eyes if you see one more pregnancy announcement on Facebook (and if it is an adorable Pinterest idea, you want to scratch out their eyes, too). All you see when you see their babies in their arms is your baby. We don't want to be vengeful - and we wouldn't wish a miscarriage on anyone...but why does she get to hold a baby and not me? Why was it so easy for her?
- You'll probably be tortured by second-guessing. Could I have done something different? Maybe it was that one cup of coffee? Or the glass of wine I had before I knew I was pregnant? Maybe if I didn't wrestle with my boys so much? I shouldn't have eaten that greasy junk food. Maybe it was my fault? Somehow, you will relive every moment between conception and miscarriage and wonder if there was something you did that contributed to it.
- You will question your womanhood. More than likely, you will be plagued with feelings of inadequacy. "What is wrong with me?" "I don't feel like a 'normal' woman; I can't even do what a woman's body was clearly designed to do." "I'm letting my husband down." "I'm letting myself down." Those self-doubts will rattle the core of your identity as a woman.
- There is nothing worse than the after effects of your body and the hormones changing and that your hair is falling out or that medical bill in the mail over 2 months later as a reminder...but the worst for me is hearing how much my sons miss "their" baby. And having to have those hard conversations. When we told the boys the baby had a not strong heart and was with Jesus, Alex said, "so the baby isn't in your belly anymore" and having to say no. The hardest part after that was Evan saying "so if the baby was too little to believe in Jesus...how do we know that he or she is really up there with God" and telling him that God and Jesus take care of all of the little children and that our baby will be there. And then a month later E coming to me and telling me that he wants to die so he can be with our baby again. Heartbreaking. It doesn't get easier.
· I know eventually I will smile again and not feel so alone. I know that I will be able to see my baby again in heaven. I know that I will be able to see babies and want to hold them and not just cry because you wish it were yours.
· I know that I will actually feel genuine joy someday when you hear about other women getting pregnant; this time, it won't make you (that) jealous but instead, it will give you hope.
· I know there is more to life than infertility, miscarriage, and even pregnancy. There are still a lot of meaningful, significant, important things to life for.
· I know eventually I will feel like myself again.
· Though I never forget that precious life that was once alive in me - eventually, I know it will get easier.
I’m not writing this for sympathy. In all honesty, I am at peace with everything that has happened. We don’t have to treat a miscarriage like it’s the plague. And just because this doesn’t get talked about often, know you aren’t alone. It’s ok to be angry. It’s ok to feel sad. It’s ok to be scared. One day at a time.....