My Miscarriage Story

The night after I found out I was pregnant, I made my hubby have a glass of my best scotch- the one he bought me when I graduated college- to celebrate since obviously I couldn’t.

Two weeks later, I sat on my couch and cried while drinking a glass myself; my midwife had called that morning to confirm my miscarriage. When I gave my husband the bottle to put up, he nodded understandably and continued his streak of saying the absolute perfect thing: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of  times.”

I honestly don’t know how I feel right now. The best description is…confused.

I am sad. I have felt, at moments, heartbroken. I have also felt loved, and strong, and numb, and thankful, and happy.

I have talked to women who have experienced miscarriages, who have had children, who know people who have had miscarriages and perfectly healthy births, who have suffered through infertility issues, and many more scenarios.

I did a quick Pinterest search about miscarriage, but honestly felt shamedwhile reading through them. For while this was absolutely devastating…I know I will survive. I do not feel like I lost a baby.

I lost the idea of a family. I lost the dream of seeing my husband as a father, of seeing my parents and in-laws as grandparents to my child. I lost a hope and an unparalleled adventure. My loss is real, and it is severe, but it feels like a lie to say it involves a child.

I only knew I was pregnant for about a week and a half before I began having complications. Based on my hormone levels, I was probably pregnant for only 5, maybe6 weeks before development stopped. I never saw a tiny human on an ultrasound. It’s doubtful there was ever any heartbeat inside me other than my own.

We weren’t exactly TTC, in my opinion. Yes, I am off birth control but we weren’t charting or tracking ovulation or any of that stuff. It was more of an “If it happens it happens, if not that’s okay too” type of scenario. When I found out I was pregnant, I didn’t tell my husband in cute way, and in fact went to work about an hour after taking the test.I was happy, and so was my husband, and we discussed the pregnancy every single day. He was wonderful (literally, I cannot stress how absolutely perfect-for-me he has been over the past few weeks), and I so looked forward to sharing that journey with him. We knew the high probability of miscarriage and for this reason chose to keep the news under wraps for a while- at the very least, until my doctor’s appointment (set for about 9 weeks).

So honestly, being pregnant did not change my life immediately like everyone says it does. I started planning in my head, but that was it. I didn’t tell my parents or my co-workers or my church group, and it felt like I had this huge secret I had to keep. I was counting down the days until I went to the doctor, until I had proof because quite frankly it still seemed unbelievable to me (I consider this a blessing, given the circumstances). It wasn’t going to be real until I could share it, and I never got to that point. 

Physically, my miscarriage was not terrible.

I have heard horror stories of intense pain, but it was milder than my normal period- another reason I believe development stopped very early. This was very frustrating at the time, as it meant there was a possibilitythe pregnancy was progressing normally but I was much earlier than we thought- leading to multiple blood draws and waiting to measure if my hormones were increasing or decreasing. My bleeding didn’t last as long as I was told it could, and I feel fine- although not pregnant. It’s very odd that I feel the lack of pregnancy now more than I felt the pregnancy itself– for weeks I thought I was just experience longer lasting and slightly more intense PMS. I almost wonder if the pain would have brought certainty, and if that would have been better than the three days of worry and uncertainty I faced. I’ve had many circumstances in my life where I had to sit and wait- not knowing has always been the worse part for me, no matter what the news ends up being.

I do not want to downplay the intense heartbreak I felt when I found out what happened. But I also don’t want to be treated as if I am in constant mourning.

I waver between being sad and wanting to cry to wanting to go out and have fun because I can– I’ve had two life changing moments in less than three weeks and maybe it’s selfish but that makes me want to reach out and grab any happiness where ever I can because literally, who knows when things will change again?

And I don’t know how much, if any, I am supposed to talk about this and to who. Does the co-worker who asks how my doctor’s appointment went really want to know? Should I really tell my church group which has multiple pregnant women in it (although much further along and seemingly healthy)? Was it wrong for me to randomly blurt it out when a friend texted to see how things had been going lately?

Does the fact that it was so early make it less significant? Does the fact that I am not heartbroken every minute of every day, mean I am a cold-hearted person or that I don’t deserve to be a mother to begin with? My husband and Sonja Essen say no. While her experience was very different than mine, and I can’t say I share her feeling of relief, her storyhas been the only one to bring me comfort. When I am confused about what I should be feeling, I repeat her words to myself:

But you know what? It was MY miscarriage — MY experience. And what I feel about it is MINE. And I’m going to own it and embrace it.

I still don’t know how I feel overall- it’s only been a few days, and my emotions are like a ping-pong ball bouncing all over the place. People ask if I need anything and I say no- because I don’t know what would help.Sometimes I want to talk, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I want to cry, sometimes I want to watch a movie and laugh, sometimes I want to drink alcohol and eat sushi as a fucked up bookend to this experience. 

I don’t know how I feel. I guess all I want is for people to understand and respect that. And don’t make assumptions.

I think there is this belief that pregnancy and miscarriage experiences are the same for all women- and they are so not. Some are happy, some are sad, some are physically easy, some are physically torturous…there are so many emotional, situational, and physical factors that you are probably not going to be aware of.

So. If you are a praying person, throw some in the direction of my family & I please (I think having to tell our parents was the worst part about the whole experience- knowing they were worrying both as  potential grandparents and as our parents was so tough).

And if you come across this situation with an IRL friend, I would recommend asking the person how they feel. And being prepared for any answer.

Do something with them- lunch, pedicure, drinks (safely- no driving or hanging out in shady places), whatever they like.  Send them a letter, or card- it doesn’t have to be miscarriage specific either. A thinking of you card would work, or just a note reminding them that you love them, or something that made you think of them. I have been amazed by the support I’ve been given, sometimes from unexpected places. That has truly been the most comforting thing- just realizing how large my support network really is.

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