Child Loss Grief

To The Moms Who Know Miscarriage: I Know Your Pain

To The Moms Who Know Miscarriage: I Know Your Pain www.herviewfromhome.com
Written by Emily Sinkclear

Every year the Christmas season fills me with a sense of excitement and joy. I love the peaceful, reverent feeling that comes with celebrating the true meaning of Christmas. So it came as a surprise this year when the first sights and sounds of the season filled me with sadness instead of joy- although it shouldn’t have.

I soon realized my depression was grief from the two miscarriages I had suffered in the past year.

I have wanted to be a mom since I can remember, and I am blessed beyond measure to have two amazing girls, ages 9 and 4.  

When my youngest was three, we began trying for a third, and after 3 months, I conceived. I was ecstatic, but fearful. I knew the odds of miscarriage were 1 in 4, and I’d already had two healthy pregnancies. My fears became reality when at 5 weeks pregnant, just days before Christmas, I started to miscarry.

I was devastated. I tried to hold it together throughout the holiday season for my two living children, but inside I was broken.

I soon became obsessed with conceiving again, and in 3 months from my last pregnancy, I became pregnant again. My due date was December 2. I imagined a 2016 Christmas card with our brand new addition, surrounded by loving chaos.

I was cautiously optimistic. I tried to guard my heart by not becoming too attached to this pregnancy too soon, but it was too late. I was already in love with our December baby. Joy gave way to shock and heartbreak when at 8 weeks I began to spot again. Sitting in the emergency room waiting for the ultrasound, I couldn’t stop crying. I hoped against the odds that this was just a rough start but I knew in my broken heart that our baby was gone.

The second loss was suspected to be a partial molar pregnancy, a rare condition that has an even rarer potential to develop into a cancer called Gestational Trophoblastic Disease.  

When my hormone levels failed to return to normal after my D&C, it became evident that I was one of the unlucky ones whose placental tissue had turned cancerous. For five days in a row, I would receive I.V. chemotherapy, and then recuperate for 7 days, repeating this cycle 5 times. The due date of the first loss, August 25th, occurred on a day when I was receiving treatment. I sobbed in front of the nurses, unable to handle the painful reminder of what was lost.

The chemotherapy was hard, but it could have been worse. Since the cancer was caught early, I only needed single agent chemo, so I didn’t lose my hair, although I was sick and tired most of the time. I was blessed to have family nearby to help with the girls, friends who never stopped checking on me, and a loving husband who held me while I cried.

 The whole experience made me even more grateful for the kids I have. I began to see just how miraculous it is that they are here, and healthy. For years I had taken for granted the ease in which they were conceived and carried to term.

After the treatment was over I was told we’d have to wait for close to a year to try again and that I would need weekly and then monthly blood draws during that time to make sure the cancer doesn’t return. My prognosis was good- for GTD treated in the early stages, there is only a 3% chance of recurrence.

It’s only been three months since my treatment ended, and almost a year from my first miscarriage. I forget sometimes that grief is a lengthy process. Just when you think you’re healed from a loss, grief often returns.

The loss of an unborn child is real and raw. For those who haven’t experienced it, it’s easy to underestimate the power of the emotions that come with such a loss. For those who know the pain of this all too common occurrence, know that you are not alone and that it’s okay to grieve for as long as it takes, and that grief and gratitude are not mutually exclusive. It’s not selfish to feel sad. It’s okay to mourn the loss of someone you’ve never met. Their life began inside you and then it ended inside you. There is no other loss as privately painful. I don’t know if God will ever add another child to our family, but my faith in God’s promise of eternal life is a comfort. I know those babies are with Him, and someday, hopefully many years from now, they’ll be with me too.   

About the author

Emily Sinkclear

Emily Easley-Sinkclear lives in St.Louis with her husband and kids, though she grew up in Minnesota and longs to return to a place where snow and evergreens abound. Her greatest joys include playing with words, hiking, and laughing with her family.

  • Sharon Kessel

    Thank you for sharing your grief, sorrow and loss! I’m not sure how many miscarriages I have actually had since I quit counting after 7. The first one was on Christmas Day 1999 (our son was just 13 months old at this time) & the nurses at the hospital gave us a ceramic angel ornament as a memento for our loss. I wrote the date on the bottom of the ornament and we hang it on the tree every year. It took a few years to get to the point where I actually enjoyed Christmastime again. It was such a bittersweet time!!! 🙁 Eventually, the doctors figured out the problem (Endometriosis, scar tissue and low progesterone) and I was able to have 1 more child, but she was a miracle & we are so grateful for our children! I look forward to the day when we will be reunited with our other babies!!!! Thank you, again, for opening up your heart in sharing on this often-“taboo” subject. God bless!

    • Emily Easley-Sinkclear

      Thank you for your kind words Sharon! You must be an incredibly strong person to have withstood that many losses. There is no doubt all your children are very loved- those with you on earth and those in heaven.

  • Diedre

    I so needed to read this. I just had a miscarriage last week. This was my 3rd child and my kids are 5 & 3. You are right, that pain is real and raw. I’ve never felt emotions like this before. I feel like I’m on an emotional roller coaster. I had to return to work and the anxiety I felt about returning to “normalcy” almost had me sick. I could relate to this post on many levels and I thank you for being brave enough to share your pain.

    • Emily Easley-Sinkclear

      My heart breaks for you. I’m so sorry you are going through this, but I am glad you found some comfort in knowing you are not alone. You will be in my prayers. Thank you for taking the time to let me know my story was meaningful to you.