Several weeks ago I read a story about miscarriage in an old issue of Parents magazine and I realized that I’d never written down the story of my miscarriage and maybe I should.
In 2012 found out I was pregnant with our first child. We were trying to start a family so we were excited and immediately told our moms, but told them to wait to tell anyone else. I went to my doctor to confirm. She confirmed it and determined from my last period that I was about 5 weeks along.
The next morning, I started bleeding and called my doctor’s office and was told to come in. A different doctor confirmed that my pregnancy hormones were not where they should be for how far along I was and that I probably had a miscarriage. She had no idea why I miscarried. I cried my eyes out right there in the office because I had already started to imagine having a baby in time for Christmas that year. The doctor referred me to an OB for follow-up.
The OB did some testing and determined that I had not fully miscarried, but the fetus was probably not viable and would not result in a full-term baby. For the next few months I had two blood tests two days apart probably once a week because that is the only way to accurately test pregnancy hormones. I hate needles now because of this experience.
My husband and I hadn’t lived in our current town for very long so we didn’t have many friends and all our family lives far away. I felt so alone and the blood tests kept reminding me that I probably wasn’t going to have a baby at the end of this. My husband tried to understand why this was so sad for me and what I going through, but he couldn’t truly understand. The only couple we knew at the time were also trying to start a family and she became pregnant around the same time I did, but her pregnancy went to term and mine didn’t. I tried to and wanted to be happy for her, but her growing belly was a constant, painful reminder.
I celebrated my 30th birthday shortly after the blood tests started and it was probably the saddest birthday I’ve ever had. I asked my OB if I could have a glass of wine with dinner. She said that she still wanted me to conduct myself as if I was pregnant since I was technically pregnant, but that one glass of wine would be ok. My husband and I enjoyed a nice dinner, but I was really sad.
Toward the end of summer (after months of blood tests) my OB scheduled a dilation & curettage (D&C)* to remove what was left. A day or two before the procedure I started bleeding and cancelled the surgery in case that the bleeding had flushed my body; It hadn’t. Another D&C was scheduled and again, a couple days before it I started bleeding. This time my body had flushed everything out and I was officially no longer pregnant.
I was told to wait two normal cycles before we could start trying. When I’d had two normal cycles around the middle of fall we started trying again, but with no luck. I wasn’t tracking my ovulation because I was afraid I would fixate on it and I was afraid that I might have another miscarriage. But finally my husband said he thought we should start tracking my ovulation so we would have a better chance. We did and got pregnant pretty quickly after that. I found out I was pregnant again in the middle of February. I was still really worried I would miscarry so we waited a little longer to tell people. At my 7-week ultrasound when I heard the heartbeat for the first time, I was so relieved that I started crying.
Today we have two healthy kids born in 2013 and 2016; I didn’t have any more miscarriages.
I hope sharing my story has shown you that you are not alone in this and I hope it encourages you to open up about your experience. Since this happened I’ve talked to lots of women who have had miscarriages. I had no idea so many women went through this until I started talking about it.
To those who have not been through this, when someone tells you they had a miscarriage don’t say “Oh, you can try again”. That’s not helpful. Just say “I’m sorry”. Because we are grieving a loss and just need you to acknowledge our loss and let us tell you about it.
* Dilation and curettage (D&C) is a brief surgical procedure in which the cervix is dilated and a special instrument is used to scrape the uterine lining. A D&C is used to remove tissue in the uterus during or after a miscarriage or abortion or to remove small pieces of placenta after childbirth. This helps prevent infection or heavy bleeding.
“D and C (Dilation and Curettage).” WebMD, 17 Oct. 2016, //www.webmd.com/women/guide/d-and-c-dilation-and-curettage#1. Accessed 9 Oct. 2018.