Today is pregnancy and infant loss awareness day. I have to admit in the past I didn’t give much thought to this day. I knew people suffered losses and actually can tell you stories of people who have lost babies or who have miscarried, and have shed tears for those moms and those babies. As I write this, their faces come to my mind, but never did I think I would become one of those moms.
I didn’t even want kids when I got married and my husband was ok with that. Then we got pregnant with my first and I was super excited. After we had our first I was ready for a second. We decided to try earlier then we usually would because we had heard of second child infertility but we conceived right away and baby two was born 20 months after baby one. The I had to convince my husband for a third but all was well and we had a third 3.5 years after the second. Well, then came time for a fourth and really my husband had his reservations, but I FINALLY convinced him. We were able to get pregnant right away and I was due on his birthday! We had the 8 week ultrasound and everything looked good. Went in at 10 weeks and all was well. Next appointment was at 14 weeks and NO heartbeat. All my kids were with me and I was devastated. You can read more here. There were some blessing that came out of my miscarriage though.
- I was able to miscarry on my own at home without any medical intervention which was my wish. As a result I was able to see and hold this tiny little life. Although this was an incredibly difficult moment, it was AMAZING to see how God knits together a child in my womb. The teeny tiny fingers that were the size of string, the tiny little arms and legs. All of it just perfect.
- I realized I was not alone. As I told others I was SHOCKED by the number of people that also had experienced miscarriage or lost a child. It also gave me the opportunity to relate to people that I could not have before. This is a unique experience and although we may think we know what it may be like or can imagine… you really can’t.
- It brought my husband and I closer together and made us truly appreciate all we have.
One thing that isn’t talked about often that goes along with miscarriage is what happens when you get pregnant after having experienced a miscarriage. We decided we still wanted to try and have another child but now I was getting older. We knew that we might not be able to have more and we didn’t want to go through the ups and downs so we talked about putting a date on it. If we aren’t pregnant by X, then we stop trying. Usually we got pregnant right away but after the miscarriage we did not. Each month was a disappointment and I started to get a TINY glimpse at how people that cannot conceive or who have trouble may feel. Each month I would “feel” pregnant and each month I was not. I had given away most of our baby stuff by then and was ready to give up the rest and just be done. A full year and one month after my miscarriage we were pregnant. I didn’t realize the panic, anxiety and intense worry that would come with this pregnancy. I never dreamed it would be such a big deal.
I started to worry about if it would happen again. I reasoned that I didn’t even want to go to the doctor until 12 weeks because what was the point? There is nothing they can do. And what if I miscarried again? Around 8 weeks I started to not feel pregnant anymore and completely panicked. I called the doctor and they encouraged me to come in. It turned out they had an appointment that same day. I was so nervous getting that first ultrasound and there was our baby, healthy and with a heartbeat. I completely lost it and started sobbing. There was a wave of relief yet this was only the beginning. I had lost the other baby at 11 weeks 5 days but didn’t find out until 14 weeks. Each day I was wondering what was going on inside me. Finally at 12 weeks we heard the heartbeat and my blood pressure at that appointment was 165/110. This prompted much worry by the doctors which caused them to want me to go on medicine, monitor my BP, and have extra appointments, which stressed me even more. We heard the heartbeat and again I sobbed! I had no clue how emotional this pregnancy was going to be. I kept thinking at every turn I was going to lose this baby! The doctors encouraged me to call any time and that I could come in and hear the heartbeat. There were a few times where they couldn’t find the heartbeat and so they would go and get the handheld ultrasound and I was panicking because it felt like the same circumstances that surrounded my miscarriage but then I would see it on the screen.
A big hurdle was the 20 week ultrasound when we could see that baby was ok and then when I could feel her move then I had more peace of mind. If I was worried I would eat some sugary food, drink water, and lie down. Then I could feel her and know she was alive. She was born healthy and happy Aug 22, 2017 and she was perfectly healthy. There are days that I still wonder if she will remain alive. I know it’s lies that satan puts in my head but these are real struggles and I know I’m not alone. I had reached out to a friend who was also pregnant after loss and she helped me get through my pregnancy. I tell you all this because I know there are other women out there that are pregnant after loss and it is so difficult! The mind games you go through are tough but know you are not alone and there are others that have gone though it. Take one day at a time and reach out to others for help and support.