Did you know that October is Pregnancy & Infant Awareness Month?
Every year, approximately 1 million pregnancies end in an early pregnancy loss, stillbirth, or the death of a newborn child. And that’s only here in the US. Think about how many families that every year go through this. Some of these stories are shared, but some families choose to keep it private. What they all have in common is that they have to figure out how to deal with the grief and eventually move on.
In 1988, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed that October would be a Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. During this month, we at Miami Mom Collective want to set a focus on this challenging topic. I believe it is essential that we talk about this. Share our stories, and let others know that they’re not alone.
Even though this is affecting many women every year, It is still kind of a delicate topic. Because let’s be real, it’s not nice. It’s painful, messy, and very emotional. That is also why I want to share my story — to help others going through this, and also the people around them who are offering support.
This is my story. Four miscarriages in one year.
In 2011 I got pregnant for the first time. I was 29 years old, and I felt ready to become a Mom. I remember the feeling when those two blue stripes popped up. A million different feelings were rushing through my mind. I was going to be a Mom. From that moment, it was always on my mind. I was going to be a Mom!
Since I had been on the pill, I wasn’t sure how far along I was in the pregnancy. Therefore, my doctor wanted me to take an early ultrasound. I got an appointment at the hospital two weeks after he made the request. Since my husband was offshore working, I went on my own. It never crossed my mind that I should have had someone with me. However, I quickly realized that I should.
The doctor who examined me was quiet, and when she looked at me, I knew. There was no heart beating. I wasn’t going to be a Mom after all. At least not for now. I had what they call a missed abortion, which means that my body was still thinking that I was pregnant. Therefore, all the symptoms were still there.
It was like the ground beneath my feet just went away. The doctor told me that this was very common and that she couldn’t see anything that would have caused it. “You will likely have a successful pregnancy next time,” she said. But for me, all I felt was empty. And alone. I wasn’t even able to call my husband since he didn’t have his phone. My parents were in Spain on vacation, and both my sister and my brother were working.
My first miscarriage was almost too painful to handle.
The doctor gave me a pill that I had to take so that my body could get rid of the remainings. She also told me to take some painkillers, since I would get contractions. After that, I drove home. I texted everyone who knew I was pregnant, telling them I wasn’t anymore.
And then I cried.
After some hours, I decided to take the pill and get over with it. My husband called me and tried to comfort me.
The doctor was telling me that next time would be okay. That we just had to try again. I remember feeling a little better, but still, I felt kind of empty on the inside.
My Grandma also called me, since my Mom had told her about what happened. Typically I would answer her right away. But I couldn’t. I just needed to be alone. At least that’s what I thought. Looking back, I know that was not what I needed. I should have had someone with me.
Two days later, I was back at work. I was trying to be brave and telling everyone that I was okay. That these things happen, and that next time it will be fine. But the truth was that on the inside, I was anything but fine.
An emotional rollercoaster.
Over the next year, I went through three more miscarriages. I was getting more and more afraid that I would never become a Mom. I remember feeling that I had failed as a woman and as a wife. The first time I got pregnant, we had told people, but now I didn’t want to tell anyone. I was ashamed and I didn’t want to bother people.
The only people I talked to it about were my husband, Mom, and my sister. I also discussed it with my doctor. I was trying to figure out why it kept happening over and over again. He couldn’t give me a clear answer.
Some years before, I was diagnosed with Leiden factor V. For those of you who don’t know, it means that my blood tends to form blood clots more often than others. My sister had the same diagnosis but a more severe form of it. During her pregnancies, she had to be on blood thinners to avoid getting a blood clot. I remember talking to my doctor about it after my first miscarriage. Suppose that could be the reason why I lost the baby? But he had never heard about that being an issue.
We continued trying for a baby, hoping and praying that one day it would all be working out fine. After going through four miscarriages, I told my doctor that I wanted him to send me to a specialist. I needed to know why this kept happening over and over again.
There was a light at the end of the tunnel.
About two months later, on the day I turned 30, I had my first appointment with the gynecologist. When I walked in those doors, I was already pregnant again. I remember telling her the whole story. I don’t know how I managed to get pregnant, but I did. At that time, I think I had started to distance myself from it. It was too hard emotionally, so to manage the everyday life I had to.
After telling her everything, she wanted to do an ultrasound. And once again, she was quiet. Since it was very early in the pregnancy, she couldn’t say if everything was fine. But she did something that changed everything. She gave me blood thinners. I had to take one injection every morning. Even though she couldn’t guarantee that it would be a successful pregnancy, she gave me some hope.
One week later, I was back with her for a check-up. And this time, she gave me hope. The embryo had grown, and she saw a strong heartbeat. Since I had gone through so much the last year, she wanted to see me every week. And every week, we noticed that the baby was growing.
On the day I went into the second trimester, I felt as if something had lifted off my shoulders. I felt it was finally safe to tell other people that we were having a baby.
About two years after I first found out that I was pregnant, we welcomed our firstborn, Jayden. He was a perfect little boy. Three years after that, his little sister was born, and our family was complete.
By sharing my story I hope to give hope to those who are going through this. Share some light and help to set a focus on this delicate and sometimes raw topic. There is no perfect way to go through something like this. Every woman has her story.
In light of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month Miami Mom Collective wants to remind you that you never have to walk alone. Infertility, miscarriage, and the loss of a baby or child is a difficult and emotional journey.
The “Forever Loved Wall” was created to honor the little lives that will be in a mother’s heart forever. It is our hope Moms will find comfort in knowing that the lives of these precious ones, though brief, have made a lasting impact. They will be remembered forever.
If you would like to add your child to our Forever Loved Wall, please contact us. Every effort is made to get submissions listed to the wall within 24 hours. These names will stay on our site indefinitely.