My last post Top 15 Must Haves for Baby talks all about things you will want and need for your baby when it arrives. But, for some, you may not get the opportunity to hold that baby in your arms because of a miscarriage or after birth complication. In pregnancy, there is a bond that forms very early on between the baby and Mother, it is hard not to love the baby after you find out about it. When it is broken because of a complication like a miscarriage, it seems (I’m sure) almost impossible to get through the experience. I asked my sister to be a guest on my blog today to share her experiences with miscarriage. I am grateful that she is so willing to share her story of what she went through and what to expect if this does happen.
My name is Jamie. My sister asked me to write a guest post for her blog. This month she’s been talking about pregnancy and babies. I’ve had the opportunity to experience 3 miscarriages, so she asked me to talk about them. She didn’t want me to hold anything back, so be prepared with tissues!
We had been married 3 years when we decided to start our family. It was an exciting time. Very quickly, I thought I might be pregnant. My coworkers talked me into doing a test at work. I WAS pregnant. How would I tell my husband? I wanted it to be special. I went to Babies R Us to find something. I finally settled on a bib that said “I love my daddy”. I planned to give it to him that evening.
A few days later, on the weekend, I began spotting. We finally called my doctor Sunday and he sent us to the hospital for some blood work. They said they’d call with results on Monday. Monday I went to work, anxiously waiting for a call. After a while, I began having really bad cramps. My coworker told me I needed to go home. So I went home and waited (STILL) for that call. Soon enough, the phone rang. “I’m sorry, you’ve lost the baby.” The nurse also told me I could go ahead and take ibuprofen for the pain. That’s when it really hit me. There was no more baby. I. Was. Devastated.
I continued to have the labor pains until the fetus had passed. I was in pain, I was upset, I was crying. I needed someone to talk to! No one (that I felt comfortable sharing with) was available to talk. A few minutes later, my phone rang. I hurried to answer, thinking it was my mom calling back. It wasn’t my mom. It was our bishop’s wife (church pastor/preacher). She gave me what I needed most at that moment. Empathy. Love.
After the initial shock passed, I became angry. I had already fallen in love with that baby. I had already started to make plans. How could God do this to me? It wasn’t fair! I blamed Him for the hurt I was going through. I blamed Him for taking away the baby I wanted so badly. And I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself.
Now, after every miscarriage, there’s always a waiting period before you can try to get pregnant again. Even though my baby was in the earliest stages of growth, I had to give my body time to heal. I also needed time to heal emotionally. It was hard to see women who were obviously pregnant. I could hardly stand to be around women who had babies. It was a painful time.
After a few months, we again found out I was pregnant. I had learned my lesson the first time. I took a test quietly at home with my husband there. We did not announce this pregnancy, even to our family and close friends. Then I began spotting again. But this time, we made it past the first trimester with only a scare at the beginning. It was a joyous time when our baby boy was born healthy.
This boy grew and grew until he was 3 years old. I didn’t think I was quite ready for another baby, but I didn’t want my kids too far apart in age either. I also did not want an “only child”. So, we tried to get pregnant again. We were blessed to be able to get pregnant pretty quickly this time as well. I had a bit of spotting, but I wasn’t too worried. Everything seemed to be going well. I seemed more tired and had almost flu-like symptoms. But I now had a little boy to care for, so the tiredness wasn’t concerning. I made my first appointment with the doctor and went in at about 10/11 weeks.
He was having a hard time finding the heartbeat with his monitor, so we went to another room that had an old ultrasound machine. He did more looking for baby. Still was having a hard time. But he said the machine was old, so he wanted the ultrasound tech to take a look. I didn’t have to wait long before I was ushered into the ultrasound room. She was quick and thorough, but did not tell me anything, which I thought was a little bit odd. After we were finished, she took me to my doctor’s office. I knew. I work in health care. I knew the reason he wanted to speak privately with me in his office. As I sat there waiting for him to come in, I regretted not bringing my husband with me to the appointment. I sobbed. The doctor gave me tissues while he explained my options. 1) let the miscarriage pass on its own 2) Have a D & C. There was no telling how long it would take to pass on its own. He explained that it could be tomorrow, or it could take 3 weeks. There was really no way to know. The d & c guaranteed the completion of the process quickly. There wasn’t a medically right or wrong, it was completely up to me, although, he recommended the d & c. He willingly sent me home with the information and told me I had until the end of the next day to decide, since he did surgeries on Thursdays.
We opted for the d & c, although I was scared to death. This would be my first surgery, and I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t even know if I would be asleep during the surgery. I didn’t find out the answer to that question until the anesthesiologist came into the room to speak with me. I remember it was such a relief to find out I would not be awake during the procedure!
I thought that maybe the miscarriage was my fault. I hadn’t been sure I wanted another one quite yet. I was afraid that my Heavenly Father had taken me literally and had decided I didn’t deserve a baby if I wasn’t sure. I spent a lot of time in prayer, crying and apologizing to Him and to the baby.
There were so many who helped out this time. Women who had been through this before called to talk to me, answer my questions and empathize with me. There were women who watched our son, and women who brought us dinner. I felt an outpouring of love from so many. Instead of spending my time being angry with God and feeling sorry for myself, I spent my time becoming closer to my Heavenly Father. I searched for the silver linings. It was a tough experience, but not nearly as tough as the first time. And that was all because of me and my attitude change.
We had another baby after this second miscarriage. There was a scare at the beginning, but overall everything went well and he was born healthy. Now, we had 2 little boys. But when our youngest boy was about 2, I thought I was ready for one more. But this time I kind of expected to have a miscarriage first. We got pregnant fairly quick. Within a few days of finding out, I started bleeding. I didn’t even bother calling the doctor (I had spotting with each and every one of my pregnancies up to this point).
When I started having labor pains, I knew I was miscarrying again. I shut off my emotions as much as I could. It was too hard to feel. I had a friend who urged me to at least call my doc to make sure everything had gone well and there was no residual left in my body. So I did, and they asked me to come get some blood work done. I dropped off my 2 boys at my friend’s house.
This was one of the worst experiences I have ever had. When I got there, the test hadn’t been ordered yet. So I waited while she called the office to ask them to order it. And I waited. And I waited. And I waited. Tons of people went in and out of the lab waiting room. Two of the ladies who sat by me had tiny babies. Their conversation mainly consisted of pregnancy, labor and infant talk. It was excruciatingly painful for me to sit there and have to listen. I finally went up to the desk and asked if my orders came yet. When she realized why I was there (by the test that was ordered) she was totally apologetic. I just wanted to get my blood work done so I could get out of there and have a good cry.
It took time, but the pain lessened and I was able to try again. We were again blessed with a healthy baby boy.
Please know that if you ever miscarry in the first trimester it is NOT something you did. There is nothing you could have done to prevent it. Taking medications before knowing you are pregnant will NOT cause a miscarriage. Usually you miscarry because of an issue with the baby. Most likely there is something wrong with the way it’s growing. Do not blame yourself if you lose a baby. It is never your fault. DO find someone to talk to. Do tell other people so they can help you while you grieve.
I hope that by sharing my experiences, those of you who may never go through this, will have a better understanding. A woman I knew who could not get pregnant did not understand. Not speaking of me, but another woman we knew who continued to miscarry and have tubal pregnancies, she said “At least she can get pregnant!” Getting pregnant and losing a baby is just as emotionally difficult as not being able to get pregnant. No, it’s not the same thing, but there is hurt and pain with both experiences. I would hope, as women, we could be more understanding of others difficulties.
I also hope that by sharing my experiences, those of you who HAVE been, or may go through something like this, can feel comfort. It’s a comfort to know of others that have been in your situation, and have experienced the same type of feelings. Yes, these times were tough. But I am so thankful for them. I grew as a person. I was happy to be able to share. Even if I help one person understand, or one person feels better about their feelings during a time like this, then it was all worth it.
Thanks so much to my sister for asking me to write this guest post. Love ya!