The time came for my second prenatal checkup after a nearly perfect ultra-sound and strong heartbeat a month prior. A couple days before the appointment it happened- bleeding. I lay helpless in in the chair as I watched the nurse frantically search for a heartbeat. The haunting words came next, “I’ll be right back with the doctor.” We were 11 weeks in and I had almost reached ‘that point’ where society says it’s okay to share the news. Reality, I had lost my baby at 8 weeks with no explanation. I became numb. I became weak.
- You will go through shock. You may know, or not know, why/when your loss happened. One thing is certain, you were growing a human and now you are not. It shocks you. You drink some wine- alright a whole bottle, shop and go out with your girls. You ‘pretend’ until you find the strength to call it a beautiful memory. You were once expecting a little human. You are awesome for that and don’t let your mind tell you any different.
- You will wonder why. And not just “why me?” You will wonder about your health. “What if I can’t have children anymore?” Oh yeah, you’ll go there. “Am I really a statistic?” “What did I do wrong?” Why is everyone else announcing that they are expecting?” Why? Why? Why? Eventually, you learn to stop asking.
- You will have High-highs and Low-lows. Call it what you will; hormones, grief, stress and physical pain. Your body just went through a lot. You will be all over the place. Keep the ones you hold dear as close as possible. You’ll need them. You’ll want to talk about it. Then, you won’t want to talk about it. Then, you’ll want to talk about it again. Treat yourself- get a massage. Take time to reflect. Do something for you. Your strength will return.
- Your body recovers. It takes a while. Don’t expect to feel you again overnight. Your body will still think you are building a person. Insult to injury, right? Be patient. One day you’ll wake up and you will find yourself again. The body is amazing and you will be even more grateful for what it can endure. When it happens: run a marathon, go on a long hike, or even shop until you drop. Your body will thank you.
- Your significant other is grieving too. Duh, right? For me, I had to keep reminding myself that he is grieving a loss too. He had to be the strong one because I couldn’t be. There wasn’t another option for him. He is my backbone and by my side when I’m having a “crazy girl” day. He is my voice of reason. When you are feeling strong enough to help him, take a second to ask, “Do you want to talk about it?” Chances are he will because he is grieving too.
- You might not want to try again. It seems like there are 2 categories of women who suffer a miscarriage. The ones that want to go to town as soon as the doc gives the green light and the ones that just are not ready yet. I fall into the second category. Here we are approaching what would have been baby #2’s due date and I haven’t even thought about trying again. I wanted to take time to heal spiritually, physically and emotionally. This made me feel like there was something wrong with me for not being ready when I once was. It’s okay if you fall into this category. Wait until you know it is right. Nothing can take your loss away and nothing ever will. If you are one of the ready ones, then it must feel right to you and that is all that matters.
- The hurt comes back. I saw an expecting mommy at a store with a beautiful baby bump. I had to quickly find the nearest exit and get to a safe place as I felt the explosion of water works about to take place. The moment I opened the car door and sat down I started to cry uncontrollably. Had I accepted it? Had I found strength to get through this time? Yes, but the pain isn’t ever really gone. You’ll feel it when friends are expecting, when someone asks you when you’re having more kids or how much baby #1 (now toddler) needs a sibling. You learn how to handle that feeling in the pit of your stomach when the tornado of doom and gloom rolls around. Phone a friend and talk about it. Or, run away and allow yourself a good meltdown- you know the mascara dripping snot type of a meltdown. You deserve it.
- Society sucks. Why? For some reason, some time ago, it became the norm to hide when a woman suffers a miscarriage- to keep it a secret. I hated this part. I scoured the internet to find someone with a similar experience sharing their story and did not have any luck. We shouldn’t feel like we can’t share our stories. We should be confiding in each other and providing outlets to, oh I don’t know, talk about it. We need to feel love and support from a stranger that had a similar experience- and I know you are out there because I am now also a member of the 20% statistic.
- You learn to celebrate. Somewhere along the way you choose love. I am stronger now than ever and can celebrate the fact that I am a momma of 2: 1 angel and 1 smart healthy beautiful little two year old boy. And I am proud of both. There isn’t a good enough reason not to be. I know our little angel is in heaven watching over us. My two year old is at the age where he is interested in everything and I get to give him all my attention. We are enjoying being a family of 3 and building memories together that we probably couldn’t have had if we were expecting. It has been a really special time. Find the love in your story- it’s there.
My miscarriage made me stronger.