Friday, February 28, 2014

I am the Face: My Personal Story of Miscarriage

I was 9 weeks + 3 days pregnant with a little life I already loved with a love only an expectant mother could understand.  I was feeling great, with only a few moments of queeziness, and was thinking "wow, this pregnancy is already so much different than Lucy's". Matt and I wondered if this could mean we might be having a boy.  In hindsight, it probably meant that Baby #2 wasn't developing properly.  
Our early ultrasound with my midwife at 6 weeks.  I remember thinking that Lucy seemed larger at this point. 
My midwife told me my uterus was in a position such that it was difficult to get a decent angle
 
The spotting started on Friday, January 3rd, but I was trying not to get too worried about it.  It was very slight, and I know this can be completely normal in pregnancy.  However, I also had a very early miscarriage (1 week after a positive pregnancy test) in September 2013 that started with spotting, so I couldn't help but worry since I was further along with this pregnancy. 

I spoke to my midwife over the phone, desperate for a remedy; something that I could do to stop this from happening.  But it was too late.  She told me that unless the pain was severe, there was no need to go to the emergency room.  There was no mistaking what was happening, and I also now knew there was nothing I could do but ride it out and let it happen.

The spotting increased through Saturday and Sunday until it turned into heavy bleeding accompanied with cramping.  Throughout the course of Sunday night I was up often with severe cramping which was reminiscent of contractions, accompanied with a heavy amount of uncontrollable bleeding. 

It was intense. Although it was nowhere near the pain of childbirth, the emotional pain was terribly immense. 

I felt helpless. 

To make matters worse, Lucy was up all night so very sick.  In the thick of the miscarriage, Matt was preoccupied with taking care of her, so he didn't even know what was really going on with me at the time.  I felt scared, alone, and extremely heartbroken as I cried out to God to give me peace and for this to just be over as quickly as possible.
 
Around 1:30 a.m., January 6th, after it really started getting intense and I felt the passing of my baby, I crawled back into bed with Matt and Lucy.  "I just lost the baby".  It felt like moving a mountain as I forced the words out of my mouth before starting to sob.  He wrapped his strong, comforting arm around me, and with our Lucy tucked in between us, we cried together as a family.  In that moment, I felt so overwhelmed with love for the family I have been blessed with, yet I also felt such a deep sadness and emptiness for the child we already loved so much, and who would have made us a family of four.



The next day, I saw my midwife.  She confirmed my miscarriage via ultrasound, gave me my shot of Rhogam since I'm Rh- (CLICK HERE for more info about that), referred me to an OBGYN, and gave me a big, loving hug.   In her gentle, wise way she told me "Well, honey, sometimes we just need to remember that God knows best."  It's one thing to know and believe this, but it doesn't make the news any easier to take in the moment, still raw with emotion.
 
I would now be in my second trimester.  I would now be excitedly showing off my Baby #2 bump.  We had been brainstorming clever ways to announce my pregnancy to our wider circle of family and friends.  Instead, we were stopped in our tracks and left to try to wrap our brains around the fact that I'm no longer pregnant.  
Our attempt at getting a picture with Lucy in her "Big Sister" t-shirt; which is how we announced the news to our families.
It has been almost 2 months now, we are doing ok, and trust that God is good and his timing is perfect.  At first, I was mostly coping day-to-day, but sometimes, it was more like moment-to-moment.  I feel so much more at peace about the loss now that I've had a couple of months to process and heal.  I hesitated with the decision to share my story on the blog, but decided that if my story could help even one mother cope with her loss, it would be worth it. 
www.facesofloss.com

Statistics estimate that 1 in 4 women will miscarry, but the OBGYN told me it's more like 50%.  I have painfully watched so many friends struggle with infertility and pregnancy loss, and prayed that it would never happen to me.  But I am not immune to suffering and pain.  I want that mother who may be reading this, who is trying to cope and heal from her pregnancy loss to understand... "you are not alone".  
 
I personally believe that life begins at conception, so I wasn't just mourning a pregnancy. I needed to find a way to mourn my child I had not yet had the opportunity to meet. Each grieving mother will find her own way to mourn her loss and try to move on, but will never ever forget.

I don't want to forget.

There was no memorial service for our little life but we gratefully received a few condolences; not too many people knew I was pregnant.  As a believer, I know that I am not guaranteed a pleasant, pain-free life, but I am guaranteed guidance and peace as the difficult circumstances of life are navigated. 

What I also know, is that I feel great peace when I imagine our precious, tiny baby being lovingly cradled in the hands of our Heavenly Father until the day we can finally meet.
 
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I will be focusing on the topics of infertility, pregnancy loss, and miracles for the month of March,
as the next Momster of the Month, a dear friend of mine, will be sharing her experiences with us. 
 
 

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing even though it was hard, I wish more people did. A miscarriage is a time where you need people most but also don't know how to cope or discuss what has happened or what is going on with your heart and body. I helps to talk with people who have experienced it as well. I myself had 2 miscarriages in between my boys. They first one family knew about and the second one only myself and my husband knew about. I think the 2nd one was harder to go through just because no one knew i was even pregnant. It is true God has a timing for everything and the hardest part is trusting. Many prayers and understanding as you continues to work though this process, and remember you are not alone! Sarah Montemayor

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    1. I'm so sorry you also had to go through this pain. I agree, trusting is difficult!

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  2. I'm glad you shared your story, Amanda. We love you!

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  3. Thank you for your vulnerability. I hope you found that sharing your story brings healing and maybe a little bit of peace with the situation. I appreciate you sharing your heart on such a closeted topic and look forward for all you will be sharing in March. Infertility is close to my heart and reading other's stories makes one feel less alone. Hugs.

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    1. Thank you for reading for your support Brea. I agree, it's sort of a "closeted" topic that not many want to share. But I do find comfort in sharing, and I hope through my sharing I can bring some comfort to another hurting momma.

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