I arrived at my doctor’s office that beautiful fall day with a spring in my step. I had been battling all-day nausea for weeks, but had gotten through it by envisioning this moment when I would get to “meet” baby #2 for the first time. My husband was home with our toddler, and I couldn’t wait to show them the ultrasound pictures. As my doctor began rubbing the ultrasound wand over my belly, we talked about my due date being right around Mother’s Day.
“It couldn’t be more perfect,” I thought.
As my eyes focused on the grainy images on the screen, I began to sense that something wasn’t quite right. My doctor was spending an awfully long time trying to find my baby. By this point, the feeling of excited anticipation had been replaced by panic. He suggested trying to do an internal ultrasound, and stepped out of the room to grab his nurse. I tried to stay calm, and asked God to prepare me for whatever news I was about to hear. My doctor quickly came back and began the internal ultrasound. As he continued to search with no success, I began to cry softly, and the nurse came over and held my hand. As gently as he could, my doctor confirmed my worst fear. At some point the baby had stopped developing. Instead of leaving that appointment with ultrasound pictures of the baby I had already fallen in love with, I left with a handful of hospital forms to fill out, in preparation for my D & C.
I was heartbroken. I felt like my body had played a cruel joke on me. I felt like a failure. And I felt that way for a long time.
Nothing can really prepare you for what life is like in the days, weeks, and months following a miscarriage. You just get through it, in the hopes that tomorrow will be a little easier than today. What helped me the most was having other moms share their stories, so I didn’t feel so alone. For those of you currently fighting through the grief, maybe you can relate to some of what I’m about to share. My sincere wish is that it will help you to realize that you are not alone. After losing my pregnancy, this is what my life was like…
- When the reality of the situation finally sunk in, it was really difficult to determine who to share the news with, or whether we should just keep it to ourselves. We hadn’t told our families yet; we were waiting until after my first appointment. Part of me wanted to shout it from the rooftops. I wanted the world to acknowledge this loss and maybe in some strange way, if everyone knew about the miscarriage, then my baby wouldn’t just feel like a figment of my imagination. The other part of me wanted to crawl into bed and not tell anyone, as I didn’t want to face the sadness that this news would bring.
- As much as I disliked experiencing the physical symptoms of early pregnancy, it was heartbreaking when those symptoms began to disappear. Physically, it was a relief when the all-day nausea began to subside soon after surgery, but emotionally, it was a painful reminder that my little person was truly gone. Feeling “back to normal” left me feeling incredibly empty.
- The wait to start trying again was SO hard. Some women want to wait awhile before attempting to get pregnant again. I was not one of those women. I didn’t feel like I could fully heal until I was pregnant again, and that was all I could think about. Those weeks waiting for my body to get back in the groove were some of the longest weeks of my life. I had three people that were close to me announce pregnancies during that time, and I wrestled with feelings of intense jealousy and loss. What was wrong with me that I couldn’t just be happy for them? After all, I had a healthy 2-year-old at home.
- When I eventually got pregnant again, I had major trust issues with my body. It had already deceived me in the worst possible way. I had absolutely no indication that anything was going wrong with my previous pregnancy. My blood work results early on were great. I was nauseous all the time, and I had no spotting. This time around, I was not willing to trust all those signs of a healthy pregnancy. I needed to see that heart beating on the screen. When that moment finally arrived, I felt so much relief, but that first trimester was still full of anxiety, as I counted down the days until the second trimester. That is when I felt like I could finally breathe a little easier.
Four years have passed since I had to say goodbye to that sweet soul. I still find myself wondering what that baby would have been like. Would it have been a boy or a girl? Would it have been born on Mother’s Day? I will never know why he/she did not survive—at least not in my time on Earth. Despite the heartbreaking ending, I still view my second pregnancy as a gift. That baby will live forever in my heart. And your baby, my friend, will live on forever in yours