October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant loss Remembrance Day. Every year tears are shed and I honor my angels in heaven a different way. This year I decided to be brave and share the story of my first miscarriage in hopes it may reach and help another family who is in a similar situation.
Frank and I were 21 years old when we first found out we were going to be parents. I was nervous but confident that we would continue to be a team and be even better parents. We were young but we were in this together and happy! We quickly fell in love with this baby. Discussing baby names, nursery ideas, our hopes and dreams for our future child became our daily conversation. The thought of miscarriage never crossed my mind because it was so rare to me! Why would something like that happen?
The afternoon of September 5, 2008 Frank rushed me to the emergency room because I started to bleed. I tried to remain calm as multiple people examined and tried to ultrasound me. Reassuring me that sometimes women bleed while pregnant. They were having a hard time finding the baby with a Doppler so I was then sent for a vaginal ultrasound. About five minutes into the exam the tech paged for the doctor and said she’d be right back. It was that moment I knew something was wrong and I panicked. My US tech returned to the room and I desperately needed confirmation. She wouldn’t speak to me or answer any of my worrisome questions. The minutes that passed seemed like forever. It was about 20 minutes of her listening to me sob when she turned to me and said “ I shouldn’t be the one telling you this but I can’t make you wait another minute. Your baby does not have a heartbeat”. I was lost, confused and emotionally numb. The doctor came in, Frank was called into the room and he confirmed what I was already told. I’m not sure what his exact words were but all I could comprehend was no baby....but it felt more like no family, failure, heartache, pain, disappointment for our family and friends.
Why did this happen? We loved this baby. What did I do wrong? As I returned back to my hospital room the nurses who had been treating me earlier had come in at different times to hug me and show their respect. They opened up about their own personal stories of miscarriage. Almost every nurse and doctor I had encountered earlier had experienced a stillbirth or miscarriage of their own. Each one in their own words saying the same thing “It happens a lot more than you think but many people don’t talk about these types of losses. Try again.”
In the days that followed I learned to deal with the imbalance of postpartum hormones, bleeding, painful engorged breasts, anxiety and hair loss. Your common postpartum fourth trimester recovery but without the joy of our baby. The weeks passed, the pain followed and depression tagged along. We had a hard time telling people that we lost the baby. I often isolated myself to try and avoid feeling like I was pitied or having to deliver or relive the bad news. I quickly realized how common miscarriage/infant loss was the more friends and family asked me how I was doing. Many women willingly came forward and told me their story of loss. I felt safe, relatable, understood and bonded with each person that shared their heartbreak with me. Most gave me hope with success stories of pregnancy after loss. In time the days got easier and we actually thought about trying to get pregnant again. It was during this time years ago that I promised myself to openly talk about my miscarriage stories and honor the babies who aren’t here on earth but forever in my heart.
Thank you to all who supported me during this time and to those who made me feel like I wasn’t alone every step of the way. During such a tragedy I realized the beautiful friends and family who loved us unconditionally and the strength I had.
To my ONE in four women who are suffering or have suffered from infant loss, miscarriage or stillborn you are not alone. You are loved, supported, you did nothing wrong and are stronger than you will ever know. We are all connected in some way and it is our responsibility to help each other by giving hope to another, being a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on. Speaking openly about topics that matter do serve purpose in this world. It’s brave and empowering. The more light that we shine on these topics the greater chance it may reach and guide someone out of the dark. I will ALWAYS be here to listen and help hold space. Thank you again to the mamas who made me feel like I wasn’t alone! I will never forget you. May my story help you paint a picture of why I am who I am and why I chose the path to help other women recover mentally and physically. Much love to each of you and your angels in heaven. ♥️🙏🏻