Miscarriage happens to about 1 in 4 pregnancies and yet there is such a stigma and silence about talking about it. Admittedly I didn’t think much about it until I had one and then I learned just how common they are and how terrible it is to go through.
Around this date four years ago, I had a missed miscarriage. It’s when you don’t have any indications there is a problem with the baby. I had no bleeding or cramping. It wasn’t until I went in for my first ultrasound and the tech couldn’t find a heartbeat that I learned something was wrong.
That experience was gut wrenching and shocking. How did this happen? Nothing felt wrong.
I went back in a week for another ultrasound in case it was too early to detect a heartbeat. And once again I went through the awful process of lying there as they couldn’t find a heartbeat again.
The next step was to schedule a d and c (dilation and curettage) was technically my first ever surgery. It’s a simple out patient procedure that is far worse mentally than physically. This surgery is considered an abortion. For me this was medically necessarily and made me further understand the importance of allowing women the choice and option to get this procedure. Politics should not decide this for us but enough about that.
Since this happened during March Madness I was glad I had the conference tournaments to sit around and watch to distract me from the sadness and shame I felt after undergoing the loss.
I had three children already so I felt like I shouldn’t feel as bad as I did because at least I had 3 healthy kids. But no this stung and hurt a lot. I happened to see the ultrasound screen and couldn’t stop thinking about the baby I failed. I blamed myself. I must be doing too much. This was my first time being pregnant with a more physically demanding job so that must be what caused it.
But it wasn’t my fault. Miscarriages can happen. This was my fourth pregnancy so I hit the stat of this occurring 1 in 4 pregnancies. I had the fetus tested after the d and c and learned there was a defect that caused the miscarriage. It wasn’t my fault. I felt a little relieved after learning that.
I didn’t tell many people. I kept it a secret from my family until I was pregnant with Alice. My dad was incredibly understanding when I told him and told me I should have told him when it happened.
When I got pregnant again I was so nervous. I didn’t want to go through that again. Thankfully there was a heartbeat at the first ultrasound and Alice was our rainbow baby. But there was certainly a lot more nerves with her pregnancy after having a miscarriage.
I had my d and c on a Thursday and was out of work that day and the next day. I remember there was issues with the pool chemicals that I was texting a guard about as I waited to be put under anesthesia. There was blood in the pool or some kind of incident in the kids swim Saturday morning that I had to come in and address even though I was planning on not working for a few days. These hassles are the things I don’t miss about the job I had!
So I had about one day without being bothered by work and then went right back that Monday. I had one of my workers ask what I had done and was ready to respond I had a dead fetus scraped out of my uterus. I can’t believe she asked but that was this worker’s personality. Time to return to work as if everything is fine and nothing happened.
There’s no leave time allotted for miscarriages. We are expected to just go back to work like everything is fine and normal. And even though it’s a baby we barely knew, the pain and loss you feel is real. It’s a loss. It’s the loss of a life. And there is truly not enough done to help women through this awful process.
I am very lucky that I only experienced this once and have five healthy children. That one time was enough and I was surprised how hard the process was as I had kids already. But that didn’t matter. That doesn’t take away that it was a loss. That doesn’t take away the shame, the sadness or the pain.
I never learned the gender of this baby even though I had the option to as I felt that made the loss even more real and painful. I don’t talk about it often though there is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s just that it still hurts some. Even with two pregnancies after the miscarriage, it still brings up so many emotions and is still very hard to think about.
Miscarriage needs to be talked about more. We need to understand that it’s common, it takes time to heal from and should not be as taboo a topic as it is. I appreciated every pregnancy and child I had but know my last two felt a little more special after the loss I suffered between Reese and Alice.
I was initially afraid to talk about miscarriage but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. The only way we will better understand what women go through is not by hiding this topic but by sharing about it. It’s not an easy subject to discuss and it’s still hard for me to think of but it needs to be talked about. If you’ve had a miscarriage you are not alone. It’s normal. It’s ok to grieve. It’s ok to take time for yourself to heal. It’s ok to feel pain for a child you only saw in one ultrasound.
Miscarriage happens and it’s time to to talk about it.
#letstalkaboutmiscarriage #miscarriage #iam1in4 #rainbowbaby