You never think it will happen to you but it happens in one of four pregnancies. I never thought I would be sharing my own story.
Earlier this year, I had a miscarriage due to a blighted ovum at 7 weeks. We were so excited when we found out I was pregnant and immediately started dreaming of life with a sibling for our son. It took a while for us to get a positive test but we didn’t think much of it. Exactly one week later while at a family party, I felt like something was wrong. I started spotting. I called the doctor and she asked me to come in for an ultrasound.
I went in for the ultrasound and she said I was measuring smaller than I should be but she couldn’t for sure know if there was anything to be concerned about. There was a yolk sac but no baby, which can be normal for 6 weeks. She wanted me to do some blood tests and came back in a week. The blood test were inconclusive but I walked into that ultrasound thinking I would finally get to see my baby. I was wrong. Nothing had developed. There was still no baby. No heartbeat. No hope. I starting crying. The doctor said we could come back, the office lady who wanted to check me out asked if I wanted the summary of todays visit. I wanted to slap her. I cried harder.
A week later I went back to talk about the next steps. That was the strangest week of my life. I got so angry every time I had any sort of pregnancy symptom. I would scream at my body, what are you doing you’re not really pregnant?!? It was so frustrating. I decided to use the medication and was terrified after searching online for others experiences. I took it, had mild cramps, and passed the yolk sac. I thought it was over. I continued lightly bleeding but they said that could last for 8 weeks. Seven weeks after I induced my miscarriage, I started heavily bleeding.
I was at home alone with my 15 month old son. Terrified. I called my husband, it was his 30th birthday, and said he needed to come home and take me to the hospital. I couldn’t stop the bleeding and was having a panic attack. I couldn’t breathe. We got to the hospital and after several tests they saw that I had not passed all of the placenta and I needed to have a d&c. I was taken into surgery and woke up with a sense of relief. My living nightmare could finally be over.
Although I’ve had more time to process it, it still doesn’t make sense. There are still tear filled days when I think about each of the milestones I am missing along the pregnancy. When I would have been ready to share the news at 12 weeks, I wept. When I would have been finding out the gender, I wept. When I see an ultrasound of a healthy baby, I weep. And as I nervously look towards the due date of that sweet baby, I weep.
It’s so hard when often people don’t understand that a miscarriage is still a loss. And honestly, it’s hard to understand it until you go through it. Yes, I am scared to try for another baby. What if it happens again? And if it doesn’t, will I hold my breath every time it’s hard to find the babies heartbeat? Although I have no ultrasound, no photo, I will never forget that sweet baby.
Today, October 15, is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Along with many others, I’ll be honoring the life-altering bereavement millions of us have faced by sharing my story with the hashtag #ihadamiscarriage. I hope others will join me. And tonight, in what has become a tradition on this date for many families, I will light a candle for the child I never knew and take a moment to appreciate even more deeply the child I have.