When we decided to start a family we dove in head first. After having been together for five years and married for a year, we were ready. It was September when we decided to give it a go. By mid-December, I took a test.

My first positive pregnancy test. I had a life growing inside me!

I’ll never forget my husband’s smile when I told him. We embraced and cried together. We couldn’t believe it could be this easy. The next few weeks consisted of a wave of pregnancy symptoms and before I knew it, we were going to the first ultrasound.

I picked up my husband from his office and we drove together. I had sisters-in-law who had children so I was familiar with what the process would be. I was thrilled it was my turn.

I sat in the exam chair and my husband sat to my left in a chair close to the door.

The doctor introduced herself and began the exam. The screen was turned toward her and it cast a soft light on her eyes. Her eyes looked concerned. My heart sank.

“I’m sorry, but this is not a normal pregnancy,” she said.

The words bounced around in my brain but did not process. Not normal? I was sick in the morning, I had gained a pound, I was tired. What wasn’t normal?

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She turned the screen. She explained she saw a gestational sac, but the embryo was not there. The home was being built, but the tenant was gone. My husband was sitting in such a way that I couldn’t see him, but I could feel his hurt. I could hear his breathing change.

I had no bleeding or cramps or anything abnormal. Why is there nothing in there?

“I’m sorry this is happening. Why don’t you get dressed and meet me in my office.”

The doctor explained I had a blighted ovum.

“The egg was fertilized and attached to the uterine wall. The gestational sac began to develop, but the embryo did not survive. Your body hasn’t naturally miscarried, so the best option in my opinion would be to get a procedure, a D&C. It will remove the pregnancy tissue and complete the process. I can get you scheduled for tomorrow. You can wait until you miscarry naturally, but that could take weeks. There may be a chance that I’m wrong, so I’m printing a script for you to get another scan done at the hospital.”

She handed me the paper.

“I am sorry this is happening. Let me know what you decide.”

We stood up and left the office. I called my mom.

“There’s nothing in there,” I sobbed. “I have to get another scan, but she’s almost certain I miscarried.”

My mom did her best to calm me, she’s always been good at that. This time was different from other talks. This time she was talking to me as a fellow woman, like I was a mother in mourning.

The tech at the hospital confirmed, no growth. We cried for what could have been, for the emotional pain my husband felt, and for the physical pain I felt.

I called my brother who was rounding in the hospital at the time. He was there when I came out. He reassured me that it was common. It was not a determination of anything. Some day I would have a baby.

The next day I had a D&C. I woke up afterward and the pregnancy feelings were gone.

I was empty.

As others around me began to start their own families, I celebrated with them. I threw myself into others’ lives while quietly feeling hopeless about my own.

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Six months later, I regained the confidence to try again.

I suffered a chemical pregnancy. I bled a lot. I remember sitting in the bathtub the evening after I confirmed everything with the doctor. I sat sobbing and bleeding. My husband sat on the floor beside me allowing me to just be.

Having two miscarriages in a year broke me. I recognize now how blessed I was that I had so much support. I was given my time to cry and be angry. I was given my time to find the light again.

Five years later, I have three children. All uncomplicated pregnancies.

I’m aware women don’t often have the kind of support I did. I grieve for those who are left feeling alone and lost. I pray they find the faith to keep trying.

I pray that society gives us the respect we deserve. We put our bodies and health on the line to create humans. It’s scary, it’s messy, it’s beautiful. It’s life, and we have the power to help create it.

Experiencing loss before my gains has allowed me to be accepting of the fact that things may go wrong, but that won’t ever keep me from trying.

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Kate Ells

Hello, I'm Kate Ells! I’m a stay at home Mom of three from Philadelphia. If I’m not chasing my kids, I can be found binging shows with my husband or taking a minute to write about my life. I have always loved sharing stories. My hope is that others can relate and learn from my experiences. Follow along with my personal blog katesprandio.com

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