My Natural Miscarriage
I have been meaning to write this story for awhile, and since it is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I thought there is no better time than the present. This story is different than some other miscarriage stories in that I experienced a natural miscarriage. When this was happening to me, it was difficult for me to find stories and blogs of other natural miscarriages on the internet. Many people have a D&C or some other medically assisted miscarriage. I hope that by writing my experience I might reach someone who is going through the same thing.
I found out I was pregnant with this baby on my oldest child's third birthday. The whole family had come to celebrate, and there was so much joy in finding out, so we told everyone. This pregnacy was pretty much normal to me. This baby was going to be due in May, just in time for summer, and I instantly imagined all the things we would be doing together as a family - camping, going for walks, hanging out at the beach... The moment I saw the pregnancy test, this baby was a loved and wanted part of our family.
About 13 weeks into the pregnancy, I experienced bleeding. I was about to announce my pregnancy to my collegues and friends. My heart sank, and I knew deep down that something was very wrong. My midwife assured me that a lot of pregnancies have bleeding, but we scheduled an ultrasound just to be sure.
My husband took the day off on Friday to go to the ultrasound appointment with me. The tech could not find a heartbeat. She left us alone in the room to cry together. I wondered how long the heartbeat had been gone. I wondered how long I had walked around thinking I was pregnant when really I had no life inside me. I wondered if the baby had suffered or could even suffer at this young of an age.
I talked to my midwife about my options, and we decided a natural miscarriage was right for my family. There were drugs I could take to speed the process along or I could do a D&C and test the fetal tissue for potential "answers", but since this was my first miscarriage, we decided to stay home. All I wanted to do was stay in bed and grieve anyways.
It took three days before my body went into "labor". I began having regular contractions, just like I had with my previous two live births. It was painful, but the physical pain was cathartic for me. I ended up getting into the bath to help manage the pain. My husband took my other two children out of the house. They wanted to be with me and comfort me, but I was having to breathe through the contractions. He was torn -- he didn't want to leave me alone, but he knew that I could not do this with the other children around me. Being alone in my grief was exactly what I needed.
When it came time to push, I did not have to do much. My contractions expelled the fetus and any tissue. I sat on the toilet, and had to decide about whether or not I was going to face what came out of my body. I figured I would regret it if I didn't, so I fished out the tiny body of my baby and put him in a box. It is amazing that at only 13 weeks pregnant there is this recognizable being. My baby.
After this, I had a few more contractions. I laid in bed and fell asleep.
Days later, my husband and I bought a tree and burried our baby where we planted it. I named my baby. I loved my baby. I cried. I took a whole week off work to just heal my heart. My mother and I went out and bought a pair of birthstone earrings for this baby, and since then, I have never taken them out.
People came out of the shadows when they found out I had lost my baby. They were kind. They brought cards and meals. The last thing I wanted to do was cook or clean. and they helped me. They told me stories of their losses. It really is a silent sisterhood. I never realized just how heartbreaking being a mother could be.
My husband and I decided to try to get pregnant again right away, and after a few cycles, we did. We have a beautiful baby girl now, and we are thankful for her. But we never forget the baby we lost. Sometimes people will say, "Oh, you're having a baby now? Not great timing for teacher!" They are joking, but they do not know that I did try to plan a May baby. They do not know that my May baby did not come. They do not know that my rainbow baby is wanted and loved and there is never a BAD TIME to have a baby. Sometimes people will say, "You are lucky you got pregnant again." But anyone who has lost a loved one knows that the hole that this person leaves in your heart is never replaced or refilled with someone else's presence.
October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Day. At 7 PM in any time zone, light a candle in loving memory of a baby that has been lost. This will create a continuous wave of light for our babies. I will be lighting a candle for my baby tonight. Who will join me?