Not many people know that I suffered a miscarriage a few years ago. This is something that I don’t talk about. Since October 15th is Infant Loss and Remembrance Day, I thought it would be a good time to share my story.
Keeping the Faith
I’m usually a pretty cheerful person; many folks have commented that they always see me with a smile on my face. That doesn’t mean that I am always happy — it just means that I choose to smile even during the toughest of situations. It means that even when I have a bad morning or a challenging week, personally or professionally, I try to focus on the good and all the blessings in my life. And even when I am sad behind closed doors, I still choose to smile in public. Sometimes the light may be dim, but I can see it flickering, and I know that it will soon shine very bright. That’s what I call faith.
I always knew I wanted to have at least two children. I was raised an only child and I did not want that for my child. Even though it didn’t seem that important to me growing up, it’s been lonely as an adult. I lost both my parents and grandparents at a young age and I have no siblings, so giving my daughter a brother or a sister was very important to me.
In 2012, when my daughter was 14 months old, we were thrilled to find out that we were expecting our second child. But as we would come to find out, it was not meant to be. Below is something I wrote right after my miscarriage. My emotions are raw and it’s very real, so I wanted to share this with you because I’m sure there are other women out there who are dealing with these same emotions.
This is My Story
I have been keeping a secret and I am a pretty private person when it comes to personal matters, but I have this need to share this experience, to write about it, to get my feelings out in the open. I feel it will help me heal.
On August 24th, 2012 I found out that I was pregnant and it was such a joyful occasion for Richard and me. This is what we wanted: a sibling for Gracie so she’s not alone. It all happened quickly after we decided to give it a try and we were elated.
Fast forward to September when I am almost 9 weeks along. I went in for an ultrasound and a checkup to see if we could hear a heartbeat and there was none, but maybe it was still too early. My wonderful doctor called me in and told me the news. She didn’t want to call it a “miscarriage,” but this is what it looked like to her. She said she hoped to be proven wrong. Other tests followed and I had to face the reality that this was not to be. I was a total mess, an emotional disaster. Richard left work and rushed to my side and spent the day with me. Thank God for his love and support. All I could think about was how blessed I was to have Gracie, my beautiful, strong, HEALTHY baby girl. But what about other women who have gone through this, especially when they still have NO children to come home to?! I was one of the lucky ones. I have Gracie. And yet I still felt such a sense of loss.
This happened 4 days before I was supposed to leave on my fun-filled, 16-day New England vacation that I had been planning for months. The doctor didn’t like the idea of me leaving and ending up in a hospital somewhere in the mountains. She was concerned about me bleeding or needing a DNC procedure. She said it’s not the same when you have to see someone that doesn’t care about you. Richard and I talked about it, but we went ahead as planned. We left on our vacation and I prayed for the best. I (we) needed this vacation. I needed to get away from reality.
We had an amazing time in Boston, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. It was beautiful and I was able to enjoy the trip and the time with Richard and Gracie. I didn’t allow myself to think about sad things.
But a couple days before my vacation ended, it hit me. I knew what I was coming home to soon. Medical procedures, more tests, perhaps a hospital visit. I would see pregnant women and I’d think about how that could have been me right now. Sadness once again kicked in.
One thing I can say is that the timing couldn’t have been better. My prayers were answered. I started spotting and cramping on Saturday night a little. We arrived back home by Sunday night and I had a little bit more pain. I called my doctor first thing Monday morning and by mid-morning the pain was unbearable. It was like having a nightmare period combined with a kidney stone. The pain came in waves and it was burning inside. It got worse and worse. Richard was taking me to the hospital but I couldn’t even get myself ready to go because I was in so much pain at that moment. And then the process started. I passed most of it on my own. Then it was off to see my doctor.
She finished the process in her office (it was traumatic and I will spare you the bloody details) and sent me for an ultrasound. I cried a lot. I’m still feeling pain, burning and soreness. I haven’t been able to do much. I haven’t even unpacked my suitcase. The physical pain will eventually subside but I have a feeling that the emotional toll will take a little longer… I am on medication now and will be back to the doctor later this week for a follow-up.
My heart goes out to the women who have experienced this and especially to those who are unable to conceive because going through this multiple times is emotionally trying. I cannot imagine.
I am one of the lucky ones I guess. My doctor says this is nature’s way, that my body simply recognized that something wasn’t right and didn’t allow the growth of the fetus to continue. Perhaps, it was a bad egg or sperm or a chromosome issue. But there’s nothing wrong with me. My system is working as it should and we will try again one day… soon. If Gracie is the only child I am blessed with, we have the greatest gift of all and I thank God for her every day. She’s the light of my life.
Counting My Blessings
Shortly after writing this, I was admitted to the hospital for a DNC procedure. It was one of the most difficult experiences of my life and the physical pain was no comparison to the emotional roller coaster that I felt after this was all over. But I was one of the lucky ones. A little more than a year later, I gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and I have never been more grateful in my life. Gianna is 4 years old now and she completes our little family. My story has a happy ending.
If you’ve been though this, you know what it’s like. If you’re dealing with this now, give yourself time and grace. And pray. Faith always gets me through the toughest of times and allows me to smile in the face of adversity.