If I learned one thing from pregnancy and having children, it’s that the journey is out of your control. There are things you can do to steer it in the right direction, but ultimately, pregnancy is like an animal with a mind of its own.
I first discovered I was pregnant in January of 2017. This was a purposeful, planned pregnancy, and my husband and I were absolutely elated. I particularly enjoyed surprising him with the news. For a week before a test confirmed I was pregnant, I thought I saw a second line, but I wasn’t sure (or was nervous and in denial that I was actually pregnant).
On the Friday that the results couldn’t be denied any longer, I hurried out the door so I could get to the store before I started work at 11. I bought various baby items. Most of the items could have been used by any gender, but I did throw some pink and blue in there. Additionally, I bought a picture frame and book, both of which included the word “Daddy.” When I picked them out, I pictured my husband posing for pictures with our child and reading our child the “Daddy” book. I packaged it in a box I had brought with me in the car so it would be ready when I got home.
On my way home later that day, I stopped and bought a treat: a Carvel ice cream cake. I left it outside the door and nonchalantly (read: nervously and with a big guilty grin) entered with the box in hand.
In short, I presented the box, my husband was thrilled, and we ate some ice cream cake.
We also decided to keep the pregnancy a secret from everybody we knew, including our parents and siblings.
It seemed to be a thing that people didn’t announce their pregnancy until the second trimester or even later . . . just in case. It was our little secret.
I didn’t put forth any thought into what just in case meant. I didn’t know anybody (or so I thought) who had had any problems with childbearing. Boy, was I naive?
To me, being pregnant was like being on a roller coaster. Once the ride starts, you’re there until the ride stops. I was ready for the twists, drops, and double helixes I knew pregnancy would bring. I didn’t anticipate the roller coaster breaking down before the ride really even got going.
The day we took our pregnancy announcement pictures was the same day I miscarried.
The week prior, I had noticed spotting and brought it up with the OB/GYN. A sonogram was done and the heartbeat was perfect. As the week progressed, the spotting increased, and I was checked again. Once again, everything looked fine.
The day of the announcement pictures, I was ornery. I chalked it up to pregnancy. Those pictures are hidden away somewhere on a storage card waiting to bombard us with a painful memory, but I took a selfie that day and posted it to Facebook. When I see that picture now, I see a beautiful young woman in full makeup and perfect hair (not an often occurrence with me) smiling and seemingly carefree. But I also see the clouds in my eyes, and the storm hadn’t even blown in yet.
I miscarried that night. I’ll spare you the details.
I can’t describe how grateful I am each day to have my husband, Nick, in my life. He laughs with me, cries with me, and we cried together for weeks after the miscarriage. He is the only one who felt my pain.
Nick took off work the next day. The miscarriage was confirmed at the OB/GYN’s office, and we were sent on our way. We decided to tell our families.
The hardest part about the miscarriage was that our families didn’t really know how to react because they didn’t even know I was pregnant. And I don’t blame them at all.
I was already missing the elated, nervous feeling of being pregnant because I carried that child and had already felt my body changing in anticipation. But our families couldn’t really miss or fully mourn something because they didn’t know there was something to look forward to.
The one regret I had with my miscarriage was not telling more loved ones I was pregnant.
If I had shared my news with my inner circle, there would have been someone to look forward to this child and later someone to help us mourn the loss of this child, a child that I intuitively knew was a little girl.
I lost this child at about nine weeks. It doesn’t seem like a long time until you consider the hours, days, and weeks of being absolutely consumed with this new life growing inside. I lost another child a few months later about a week after I found out I was pregnant again. I had hardly gotten a chance to celebrate that pregnancy before it ended, much less share the news, but I did tell a few people, and I found it easier to cope with this loss.
I’m sharing this story to help show others they are not alone. I thought I was alone. In sharing my story, I learned there are many women I know and love who have suffered pregnancy and infant loss in all stages of growth.
Originally published on the author’s blog