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This post will not be like my usual blog posts. This post is real and raw. It hurts to write, so I must tell my story.
Did you know that 40% of pregnancies end in loss? Such a depressing statistic that has been looming over my head and in my heart for the last 4 months. Our pregnancy ended in miscarriage this September.
The 6th of September was the most exciting moment of my life thus far. I would see my sweet baby, and I did, but he was dead. He? Did I know the gender? No, but I wanted this baby to be a boy, so I decided that’s what I would call him from that day on.
We didn’t have a support system; I was our support system.
Our baby was 8 weeks and 4 days when he stopped growing. I got to see his tiny finger nubs, his little legs, and his big head. He was cute, and he was mine. You see, I had never had an ultrasound before. I didn’t realize there was supposed to be a heartbeat, so I sat their grinning at my little bean without even realizing we had already lost him.
I hadn’t felt my heart in my throat for so long, but in that moment, the familiar feeling of middle and high school rushed back to me. “I’m sorry,” the nurse murmured, “let me get the doctor.” I didn’t understand, yet, but I would.
The doctor came in and explained to me that it wasn’t my fault, and I couldn’t have done anything to prevent it. I didn’t even know what “it” was until my OBGYN started talking. Realization rushed over me. “Oh,” I heard myself say.
I didn’t really experience infertility, but it felt like I would.
My husband was in the room, but I forgot he even existed in that moment. How would I tell my family? I had just announced my pregnancy to my family, two days before. My pregnancy app said I was probably in the green. My baby should have been okay, but I didn’t realize that there is no “green” in life.
I numbly had my blood drawn to ensure my baby really was gone. Life was hard for the following months. The medical bills made it harder. Before the bleeding even trickled away, medical bills started flooding in by the hundreds. “I have insurance,” I thought as I opened the fifth bill, this time for a follow up appointment that lasted 6 minutes – $400. We still haven’t paid them all off.
I knew it would be expensive to have a baby, but I didn’t realize it would be so expensive to lose one, too.
Maybe I had angered God, and he was punishing me?
Family and friends tried to be supportive, but they failed. For a week, people understand why you’re pulling away, but after a month, they don’t understand anymore. People will say, “at least you know the pipes work,” or “you can always make another one.” Even my own grandmother said, “next time don’t tell people so soon,” and, “I told you not to be using acrylic paints.” Just as there are rude people in every day, there will be rude people during loss. This trial attacked my spirit. My husband and I felt alone, and, in a way, we were. We didn’t have a support system; I was our support system.
A majority of people will not address your loss. It makes them uncomfortable, so they pretend it didn’t happen.
The hardest part of my miscarriage, however, was the seemingly infertility that followed. Though I didn’t really experience infertility, but it felt like I would. I was so afraid that I would never be able to have a child. I thought I might be too fat, too active, or too medicated. Maybe I had angered God, and he was punishing me?
It took me weeks to realize that I was really just another common statistic. Miscarriages happen everyday, and there is probably someone near you that is experiencing a miscarriage. If so, please be supportive of these mothers. They are experiencing intense pain, and they don’t understand why. Realize that this mother did not do anything to deserve this loss, and she didn’t do anything to aide it. Yes, she took her prenatal vitamins. No, she did not lift those boxes. It just happened. Bring her dinner and then leave. Let her cry. Do not say, “at least it happened early.”
Since that miscarriage, I have had 3 chemical pregnancies. I’ve struggled to lose “pregnancy weight,” even though I wasn’t very far along, and I’ve struggled with depression. It is not easy to lose a pregnancy; be kind to those that have.
If you have lost a pregnancy, it’s really not your fault. Don’t feel bad for missing work – some people miss 2 weeks. It’s okay. About a month into my grieving process, my husband gifted me this book: Grieving the Child You Never Knew by Kathe Wunnenberg. This book helped me immensely. I was able to process my thoughts and hear from those that have been through this. If your wife, sister, cousin, or coworker is going through a miscarriage, get her this book.