I am posting my story about miscarrying because I knew so little about miscarriage before I had one. There are some eloquent stories people have posted online but too few. It seems that it is only after you have one that you learn that many of your friends have also had one or more.
Now that its happened to me I cannot believe that I did not know more about it and want to do what I can to shed light on it. Please be aware that parts of my story are graphic. It is a profoundly complex and difficult (physically and emotionally) experience. It is common (20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage) and yet no one talks about it. I am writing as a woman who had a baby before having a miscarriage, which I can only imagine is way easier than miscarrying before completing a healthy pregnancy.
I wrote much of this soon after the miscarriage but it has taken me months to complete it. I have been surprised at how hard it has been to get over this loss. I thought I wasn’t attached to this baby. I was. Family and friends soon forgot about the loss and I have felt very sad and alone and isolated. My husband’s response has been different that mine and it has been hard on our relationship. Talking with other women who have miscarried has been helpful.
At 14 weeks my husband and I learned that our pregnancy was “not healthy”. We were surprise because at that point because we had made it to the 2nd trimester and I had been feeling so nauseous and tired we thought we were in the clear. We went for a routine ultrasound Friday morning and there was no baby visible. The doctor said I could get a D&C or go home and wait to miscarry naturally. She said if I “bled like a hose for more than an hour” I should go to the ER.
Somehow I thought that most miscarriages were like heavy periods (some are) that the body quasi-dissolved all the tissue and you just bled a lot. I started spotting later that day. Saturday night I began reading online about miscarriage and was surprised to find many stories of miscarriages around 14 weeks that talked about it as birth. Sunday morning around 5am I started having waves of intense cramps which were contractions.
My thoughts and feelings were all over the place shock and numbness. What was I doing when my fetus was passing out of its short life? How could I have been so detached from my fetus? When I was pregnant I was very worried about how I was going to manage caring for two young ones. The challenge and vulnerability of having two children seemed so much larger that having one. I felt guilty about having felt that way. I didn’t feel relieved at all. I dearly wished I was still pregnant. Wished I knew even one detail about who this person might have been. In the last weeks I had started imagining this baby more and being very pregnant in the summer and thinking about names and bought some maternity clothes. I thought about how given our advanced ages this may have been our last chance. (more…)