As many of you may know, the month of October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. 1 in 4 women have gone through a miscarriage, infant loss or stillbirth. I know of so many women who have experienced this unbearable grief. With October 15th being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, it’s time for me to end my silence and share my story.
I have been building up the courage to share my story for months. I am pushing myself and fighting back tears but I’m hoping and praying that my story will encourage someone currently going through this or someone who has experienced this in the past.
I finished my first official round of Whole30 in February of 2015 during a very difficult season of my life. On the first day of my Whole30, I got a call from my mom telling me that my dad was in the hospital and that his kidneys had shut down. He was fighting for his life and needed dialysis right away.
A couple of weeks after finishing the Whole30, I got a positive pregnancy test. We were all so excited! It felt like a light at the end of a very dark tunnel. I had already bought a ticket home to visit my very ill dad and had a scheduled ultrasound days before my trip. While my family was very excited about my pregnancy, I had a terrible feeling that something was wrong. I tried pushing those feelings away but the word “miscarriage” kept playing in my head. My husband kept telling me not to worry and that everything will be fine.
It was a cool and crisp early Monday morning on March 30th when our lives were forever changed. When I woke up that morning, I just kept praying and asking God to prepare me for what was to come and I prayed for God’s will to be done. The doctor began his ultrasound, “Oh look, there’s your little baby!”. My heart was filled with so much joy and love and I instantly fell in love with the cute little baby in my belly. What he said next haunted me for months, “Hmm, there’s no heartbeat. That’s strange. Your baby should have a heartbeat by now. Prepare yourself for the worst.” Then he said it, “Prepare yourself for a possible miscarriage.” He went on to explain that I was having a missed miscarriage and while my baby was probably already dead, he wanted to see me again for another ultrasound in a week.
I arrived in the Middle East with my daughter on a Saturday evening and went to the doctor for an ultrasound. I was expecting bad news but my family was hoping and praying for a miracle. “Are you sure you saw a baby? There’s no baby. Your sac is empty.” It was hard to hear the doctor confirm what we already knew. Our cute little baby that we had just seen on Monday was already gone! The doctor explained to me what had happened and since it was my second pregnancy, we decided on taking the natural route and letting my body expel the pregnancy tissue on its own.
Little did I know that the next 7 weeks would be some of the hardest days of my life. I cried myself to sleep every single night. Friends were announcing their pregnancies while I mourned mine. My husband was traveling for work and was unable to be with me; I felt so alone. I was too afraid to do much or go anywhere. While the wait was very frustrating, it was the right decision for me at the time as I was with my family. I don’t know how I would have managed on my own without their help and support.
I saw my doctor for an ultrasound on a Wednesday and he told me that my sac was detaching and that the process was beginning. A few days later on May 5th, my body began going into labor. A couple hours later, I was rushed to the hospital for an emergency D&C due to a life-threatening hemorrhage. It’s a day I will never forget. After recovering from my surgery, I began to feel somewhat normal again.
Fast forward to last Fall, I had finished my Whole100 and I was looking and feeling wonderful. I was in the best shape of my life and, according to my doctor, I was in impeccable health. Life was so great! We had just closed on our first home and found out I was pregnant just a few days later. November was a really good month and 2016 was going to be a great year. We were beyond excited! Due to our heartbreak just a few months before, we decided to only tell my immediate family about this baby. Christmas was right around the corner so we wanted to surprise the rest of the family with an ultrasound picture and then do the official announcement when we knew the sex of the baby. We had it all planned.
On December 22nd, we went in for our first ultrasound appointment. I had seen my primary care doctor for my yearly checkup a couple of weeks before and she assured me that my HCG levels were “through the roof”. By that point I was already feeling all the first trimester symptoms. I was 10 weeks along and was almost in the safe zone.
We were called back for all the tests and medical history questions. Then it was time for the ultrasound and that’s when I began feeling more nervous. As soon as I laid on the bed, my heart hurt again. The ultrasound tech began her exam and right away she said, “Are you sure of the date of your last period?” I knew where she was going and I began to get angry. I answered “YES!” I felt like I wanted to explode. She told me that I wasn’t measuring right and that she was going to go find a doctor. She left the room and my husband and I just looked at each other in shock. I just kept thinking how could this be happening again? Why?!
The doctor who came into the room to give us the bad news was an angel. She was a mom who understood what I was going through. She didn’t want me going through another miscarriage again and so she did everything she could to help me. She called me constantly to check on me and to make sure that I was okay, physically and emotionally. She wanted to help me find answers and we did. Since I was further along in my pregnancy this time, she didn’t want to risk me having another near death experience and so we scheduled a D&C for the new year.
The months after receiving the news about our baby were a nightmare. Nothing made sense anymore. I was so angry and bitter. I was frustrated and I felt so alone again. I was in and out of doctor’s offices for all sorts of tests. Since the results of my D&C were abnormal, we met with a genetic specialist who helped us understand that our baby had a rare chromosomal abnormality called Triploidy.
My husband was traveling a lot and I began developing unhealthy eating habits. My heart was so broken and I was angry and depressed. I had never gone through depression before and didn’t want to admit to the fact that I was in a bad place. I didn’t leave my house for weeks, I just sat on the couch and watched as life moved on. It felt like I was in a deep dark hole unable to get out. I could see a light but I just couldn’t reach it. It was a very dark and sad time in my life. Every time I was on social media, I saw another pregnancy announcement. I didn’t want to be in that dark place anymore so I decided to change my life for me and my family.
I would have been due in July of this year and as painful as it was not to give birth, I got to see so many friends and family members have beautiful healthy babies and that brings me so much joy. I try not to think about my angels too much but I often find myself randomly crying if I hear a certain song or see a certain picture.
It takes a lot of courage to talk about infant and pregnancy loss and I’m so happy that we have a month dedicated to it. I’m always so encouraged when I read or hear stories. Only a handful of people know about my miscarriages and for that I’m sorry. Most days it’s painful to talk about but knowing and acting like it never happened doesn’t help either. I have two angels in heaven that I long to hold and one day I’ll be able to.
Moving forward is scary. I want to have another baby and be pregnant again. I want to give my daughter the sibling she desperately asks for but the thought of losing another baby paralyzes me. One miscarriage rocked my world, the second one changed me forever. I will never be the same person again. If you have ever experienced such loss, my heart is with you. We are all in this together, and we are all moms. Let’s break the silence. Share your story today.
So this started as a text and i realized half way that your phone would blow up so here i am. First, I am broken for you and am Sorry for your losses. My sister and i were talking with my mom about how past generat have made misca so taboo and it shouldnt be. Women need to know that they are not alone. So thank you for sharing and allowing yourself to be vulberable before a “reading” world.
When I was 18 I was diagnosed with a severe form of polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). Along with learning all that came along with the diagnosis, I was informed by unsympathetic doctors that due to the condition of my ovaries I would not be able to get pregnant. One doctor told me it would have to be a miracle, and he doesn’t believe in miracles. I was confused and upset. I had so many questions. I was the child who always wore a pillow and pretended to be pregnant. I had planned to be a young mom. I had names selected. And in a matter of a few appOintments and second opinions all my hopes and dreams were crushed and robbed from me. I mourned the loss of children I would never know. It was shameful and embarrassing to even admit that it was my own body denying me what it was created to do.
By nature, I am an avoider and so in my anger I avoided check ups, doctors, medication, and any help I could get. For each was an invitation to revisit the pain I had buried. I convinced myself that no one really understood what I was going through. Looking back though, I really did bury it and would lightly joke about “the problems with my ovaries” from time to time. Pregnancy announcements were (and still are) moments of genuine rejoicing for the mommy to be but also triggers a reminder of loss.
BUT God, He is so good to me. It was a special group of girls in youth group that on their own began to call me Momma Hen. That was reviving. He showed me a different kind of mothering and mentoring. He gave me a special kind of love for them. And though I can’t compare it to that of an every day-24/7-blood-sweat-and tears-real mother, He redeemed my idea of loss. His command to pro-create had to be a creative one for my situation and diagnosis. And even today, those girls are women now but will forever be my girls.
When my sister told me she was pregnant with Elias my perspective, and buried sadness, began to lift. That day as I drove to church I felt God tell me, he too is your child with you very blood. And for this season, I’ll admit it, I am a tad bit obsessed and enthralled with my not so baby Elias. I try to see him daily and when I don’t my heart breaks a little. He’s not the only little in my life. God has surrounded me by so many loving children.
Last year I had the biggest scare yet. I’ve held on to hope because as a believer I do know that God does miracles. But when I found myself experiencing menopausal symptoms I freaked out. I had to fight my fears and force myself to be tested. After a series of labs and invasive visits it was only PCOS acting up (as if it weren’t a big deal). But the thought of early SUPER early menopause was going to make the infertility diagnose a definite one. It was only a scare and I continue to hope.
Through the process of dealing with PCOS this past year I found an online support group for women with PCOS. Their stories are my stories too. I have learned in these months that God doesn’t want me to deal with this dark, ugly, and painful disease alone. There is a community of women that I have needed as much as they need me. I didn’t even know till part of this group that September is national PCOS awareness month and there is a teal ribbon for it. For once I haven’t felt alone in this.
My prayer is that in your bravery you may find a community of women whose stories are your stories. Women who need you as much as you need them. And in the process you will find comfort in the midst of great loss in a way you didn’t even know was possible. Loss in any form is tough and I have had front row seats to many miscarriages and it’s rough, awful, and heart wrenching. I wish you didn’t have to go through this. I wouldn’t say that God has a purposed this to happen because I don’t know the plans of God, but there is an opportunity. And I believe that by boldly exposing your experiences you have seized an opportunity that I know will help you release and give a hand of solidarity to those who have mourned in silence as well. Praying for you!
Im so sorry youve had to go Through this. I had a miscarriage at 10 weeks before Winter. Although i was only a few weeks pregnant it was heart breaking. I didnt have a Dnc because my body did it naturally and i went into labor at home and then went to the doctor a few days after to male sure ever was good. All my friends literally were pregNant or announced they were pregnant right after i had the miscarriage it was so hard to be happy for them even thiugh of course i was because of the pain. 4 months after i was pregnant with winter and i just relaxed and did life normal. Its very hard to think its going to happen again and try to be happy and not loose hope and think that it wOnt happen again, but we can only pray and trust and know that Gods will is perfect. If you ever need to talk im here whenever. I know that Abby will get the sIbling she desires. I pray and declare it in Jesus Name
Hugs to you! Praying for you and what God has in sTore for your family.
DeNise rOdriguez says
Thank you for sharing and i too do share your pain. My continued prayers for you and the family and May the Lord grant you peace and coMfort in ThIs tIme. God Bless you always. ??????
Amber Best says
Thank you for sharing a part of your journey. Ican and can’t UNDERSTAnd it all. I experienced INFERTILITY for 5 years before we had our son. It is such a hard road for those who want a child so badly. I do believe that I lost a child, but it was so early, that we were not sure. I know that I had many failed IVFs and got countless shots. We started adoption proceedings, but that was a hard road too, as we had to “sell ourselves” and make ourselves worthy. Oh, the questions we asked and still ask of God. Many tears and heartbreaks as it was the season of families with those we knew. We had to come down to the fact that we would still love our God with no children. He did grant us our desires with a son and daughter, but it was hard to get PREGNANT and we almost lost our son, so I was on BEDREST with both. Questions still, and questions now that he has so many health issues. My heart hurts for you and will pray God gives you another gift!
I’m 1 in 4 also and I wish i had known about this before both times so as a person close to you and as a woman that almost double your age i coulded advised you or give you a little sprinkle of light. God is in control, if you are doing your part, leave everything else in his hands y enjoy life, enjoy your family and enjoy yourself, life is too short and COMPLicated by ITSELF, we have to let go and let God.