Disclaimer: I do not share this story for sympathy. I share it to raise awareness, help a mama who may be walking through this alone, and in hopes of changing the societial stigma around unborn children and miscarriage.
Just over a month ago, we lost our first baby at just 2 months gestation.
I found myself in the emergency room on Christmas Eve, bleeding, terrified, and in tears.
We had just told our families I was pregnant, and celebrated with hugs all around.
That hospital bed was the last place I expected to be.
After exams and ultrasounds, I was diagnosed with a threatened miscarriage and told to lay low.
We walked out of Emergency Room doors into the dark of night, what was supposed to be our best Christmas ever turned into my greatest nightmare.
Would my baby be okay? What’s going to happen?
I could hardly hold it together until I got to the car.
I cried the entire drive back to the hotel, my new mama heart feeling helpless.
The only thing I wanted to do was protect my baby… and even when it was inside my womb, there was nothing I could do.
The next week was a torturous waiting game, doing everything I could to rest and fuel my body with nutrients, praying endlessly for a happy ending: a healthy, happy baby born 7 months later.
But that wasn’t our story.
This, sadly, is how the story went.
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant
I found out I was pregnant in the beginning of December (I was about 5 weeks along).
I decided to take a test because I was 5 or 6 days late and had had this feeling that I might be pregnant for the last week or so but wanted to wait and see before jumping to conclusions.
When I was coming up on a week late, which is very unlike me, usually I’m early, I decided to stop by the store on the way home from the gym and grab a test.
I told myself that if I still didn’t start my period by the next morning, I’d take the test. It was about 10 am and I still hadn’t started so I decided I’d better take a test.
It was the longest 3 minutes of my life waiting for the result. My heart pounded out of my chest and I felt more nervous than I felt before running a track race back in high school. It was just this rush of adrenaline, potential excitement, and anxiousness.
I tried to focus on something else so I started putting my makeup on. Then I looked down at the digital test and clear as day it said, “YES+” in big letters.
I gasped and covered my mouth so I wouldn’t make noise. I knew immediately I wanted to tell Matt in a special way since we were in the middle of the holiday season.
I felt a lump in my throat and I just wanted to jump up and down and squeal and cry and tell the whole world, “I’M PREGNANT!!”
I had never been so happy in my entire life.
My biggest dream has been to be a mama but life had been so crazy the few years prior that we hadn’t been more intentional about trying until the six months prior to getting pregnant – and even that was tough because we were still traveling a lot and my body was constantly on different time zones and my sleep patterns were often disrupted.
Anyway, I waited to tell Matt because I had to leave about an hour later for an appointment outside of town so I didn’t want to tell him such big news and then have to leave.
So, I played it cool and acted like nothing was out of the ordinary – at least I tried to – and then left for my appointment. He didn’t catch on even though I felt like I was being SO obvious.
As I was driving, I had the sweetest realization that for that brief moment in time, me and God were the only ones who knew this little life existed. I touched my tummy and just felt so much love for and so deeply connected to my little one already.
It’s crazy how quickly that happens.
How I Told Matt
I later stopped by Target to find something special to tell Matt with. At first I went down the baby aisle and looked for something cute, like little shoes or a onesie. I didn’t see anything that stood out to me, though.
So, I went to the cards and gift wrap section, and with Christmas being just a few weeks away, I decided it’d be perfect to put together a little early Christmas present. I found a mug that said “Papa Bear” on it (so cute, right?), a tiny baby stocking to put the positive pregnancy test inside, as well as a red box and some tissue paper to wrap it.
I also put a little note on the positive pregnancy test that said, “You’re going to be a daddy!” and wrapped it all up.
It was SO hard not to tell anyone that whole day. I ALMOST told the cashier at Target but managed to stop myself because I thought it’d be a little weird if a complete stranger knew before my husband did.
When I got home later in the day, we ate dinner together and then Matt had one last business phone call of the day. Then I asked him to come sit down in the living room because I “found an early Christmas present” for him while I was out and about during the day.
He sat down and began to open the present, reached into the little stocking, saw the test, and gasped (like I did!) and said, “ARE YOU SERIOUS?!”
Then, he stood up and hugged me so tight and kept saying, “Oh my gosh, babe!”
He’d been wanting a baby for awhile and it was SO precious to see how excited he was.
We spent the rest of the night planning how we would tell our families at Christmas and just revelling in the excitement of it all.
It was so special and surreal for us both.
Between that day and Christmas, I spent some time researching OB’s in the area and setting up my initial appointments, as well as some consultations so I could get to know the doctors and find one that I felt was the right fit.
A friend of mine who is a midwife advised me to do that and said, “Most people spend more time researching a car than they do finding the doctor that’s going to deliver their baby into the world. Don’t feel like the first person you talk to is the one you have to go with.”
That was comforting for me because I hadn’t really found an OBGYN that I wanted to work with long term after moving back to Indiana a couple years ago. But once I found out I was pregnant, I realized I needed to get on it!
How We Told Our Families
A couple weeks later, we celebrated an early Christmas with my family before leaving for Arizona to spend Christmas and New Years with Matt’s family.
We gave my parents and brother gifts during our gift exchange to announce the big news. My parents opened a box with a onesie inside that said, “Guess What?” and my brother received a shirt that said “Funcle” across the front.
Their reactions were so pure and priceless. I’ll never forget that moment as long as I live. The joy was real, authentic, and incredible.
The next day, we flew to Arizona and visited Matt’s parents after we landed. We were so eager to share the news with them, too!
We made up a story about why we brought early Christmas gifts (there was no way we could wait 3 more days to tell them) and gave them a box with the same gift we gave my parents.
Their reaction was also so priceless and special.
We all celebrated, FaceTimed my family so we could all celebrate together, and started talking about all the details – the due date, how I found out, how far along I was (at that point I was about 7 weeks), and more.
A Christmas Nightmare: When Things Started to Turn
A few hours later, I went to the restroom and noticed I was spotting a little.
I freaked out a bit but I knew it can be normal so I tried not to panic.
The spotting continued over the next couple of days but I still worried something was wrong.
On Christmas Eve, the spotting turned more into a reddish blood and we left our Christmas dinner early because I felt like we should go to the Emergency Room to get it checked out.
I was really panicked at that point.
Once we got there, they gave me a gown and I laid in a room, completely panicked. The bleeding had increased and I couldn’t help but cry. It was just so emotional and scary!
They eventually ordered an ultrasound and this grumpy middle aged man was the ultrasound tech on duty. Not exactly the dude you want doing your first ever pregnancy ultrasound, especially because at that stage its transvaginal.
So, I’m freaked out as it is and then I realize I have to go through the most violating process WHILE bleeding. Fantastic.
Matt stood next to me and held my hand on the other side of the bed, and shortly after the ultrasound started, the tech pointed out the heartbeat on the screen and I breathed a sigh of relief.
Then I turned to Matt, standing on my left side, and under my breath voiced my confusion, “Wait then what’s going on?”
The grumpy tech, who wasn’t even supposed to say anything to begin with, responded with the most cold and uncompassionate response, “Well, you could still be miscarrying.”
Just like that. Matter of fact. No compassion. No filter. Just straight up cold.
ARE YOU FREAKING SERIOUS?
I wanted to strangle the guy.
I mean, I know people in the medical field see this a lot and he probably wasn’t thrilled to be working on Christmas Eve but seriously, who does that? Who says that, in that way, to a clearly frightened first time mama ON CHRISTMAS nonetheless?
What a jerk.
Discovering the Cause of Bleeding: Subchorionic Hematoma
Anyway, they wheeled me back to my room and a few minutes later the doctor read the scan and found the source of the bleeding: I had a subchorionic hematoma.
It’s basically a pocket of blood that can sometimes pool inside the uterus, kind of like a bruise, when a small part of the embryo detaches from its original implantation sight. It doesn’t necessarily completely detach but if any part of it is disrupted, it can cause a little bit of bleeding and that blood will pool.
The doctor explained that these can sometimes heal themselves by reabsorbing into the body, or by bleeding (kind of like if you slam your finger in the door and blood pools under your fingernail, the doctor has to drain the blood by poking a hole in your nail).
After researching like a crazy woman, I found that they don’t always lead to a miscarriage so as terrified as I was, I tried to remain hopeful.
She diagnosed me with a “threatened miscarriage” which was the WORST Christmas present ever, and put me on light bed rest and complete pelvic rest until I could get a follow up with an OB and monitor whether or not the hematoma was healing.
There’s still so little known about SCH’s – what causes them, how to get rid of them, etc.
That means there’s very little direction and as a mama, you feel pretty helpless.
Every time you go to the bathroom, you worry if there will be blood. Then, the bleeding will slow down and you’ll feel hopeful, only for it to pick back up a day later.
Christmas was hard and very emotional… it’s like waiting in limbo after being told there’s a high chance your baby won’t make it but just having to wait and basically do nothing until you can check in again a week or two later.
I spent a lot of days in a hotel room praying, napping, journaling, worshipping, and hoping that things would be okay.
Actually, the bleeding almost completely stopped on December 28 so I thought it was healing but I was also confused because one morning, I think it was the morning of the 30 or 31, I woke up and felt like all my pregnancy symptoms had just disappeared overnight.
I hardly had any to begin with, so any little bit of symptoms was giving me hope that things were progressing.
An OB in Indy was able to get me scheduled for a check in ultrasound on Jan 3, the day we got home, so I scheduled it. I also had an appointment with another doctor scheduled for earlier that day to learn more about progesterone.
The Words No Mother Wants to Hear: “There’s No Heartbeat”
On the way home from Arizona, I just did not feel good. I had a horrible headache all night long before we left and it lingered throughout the day. I’ve since learned that could have been due to a sharp decrease in HCG and other hormones if the baby passed that day. But at the time, I thought maybe I was just dehydrated.
Anyway, when we got home from Arizona, I went straight to the first appointment for progesterone and was able to get an injection to hold me over for the weekend so we could decide what we wanted to do going forward.
Then, a couple hours later we went to the ultrasound and I remember feeling SO anxious. I had already spent a week in tears and worry, with some deep feeling that something was wrong — maybe like a motherly intuition — so I was nervous to have any “worse case scenario” confirmed.
On the other hand, the bleeding had subsided so I was also hopeful that the hematoma had healed and that everything would be okay with baby.
I knew that the miscarriage rate was much lower once a heartbeat was detected, so I held onto that hope with every fiber of my being.
I even asked Matt, “Do you think baby will be okay?”
He confidently responded, “Yes!”
And we began to talk about how to tell some of our friends who didn’t know yet later that night.
After checking in, we waited a bit and then were shown into the exam room where the ultrasound would take place.
The tech came in and began the ultrasound. Matt stood next to me and held my hand as I laid on the table.
As I waited for her to examine her screen, I looked up at the ceiling and begged God, “Please Lord, Please Lord,” I said over and over.
Another minute or two passed and she still didn’t say anything. She measured the gestational sac, and it was measuring as if it had grown from when I had an ultrasound on Christmas Eve but smaller than the dates based on my cycle.
And since my cycle tends to be on the shorter side (rather than the longer) I just knew the baby was measuring small.
Then she said the words I dreaded, the words that broke me and changed my life forever, “I don’t see anything, there’s no heartbeat.”
I immediately started sobbing and squeezed Matt’s hand to prevent myself from screaming.
Still laying on the table, and at that point, bleeding all over the table, combining both horrifying news with a humiliating moment, I felt like I’d just been punched in the gut and shot in the heart.
The doctor came in and confirmed what the tech had seen on the screen, expressed her condolences, and began to explain the equally horrible options I now had – pass the baby naturally, take medicine to speed that process along, or schedule surgery and get a D & C.
I didn’t even know how to make a rational decision about how to remove my now dead baby from inside my body. I wanted nothing more than to hold onto him or her. And now I my only option was to have my first little love ripped away from me – literally.
She also explained that the hematoma had grown (which made me so mad; I was convinced it was healing) and so with all that blood in there, the walls of my uterus were like an avalanche and the sac that was keeping my baby alive couldn’t stay implanted.
Of course they don’t know for sure if that was the exact cause of the loss, though it would stand to reason that it contributed to it, and I immediately felt like my body had failed my baby.
Subchorionic hematomas are rare in the first place, and many times when people have them, they reabsorb or heal themselves. But mine didn’t. Mine just got worse and tripled in size. It took over my uterus, essentially.
I couldn’t breath. I couldn’t process anything.
I think the doctor saw how upset I was and asked if I wanted them to step out so we could have a minute.
I nodded and they hadn’t even fully closed the door when I just let out the loudest wail. I got up off the table, blood dripping everywhere, and collapsed on the floor just sobbing.
Matt just held me and said over and over, “I’m so, so sorry.”
Then I started to say I was sorry. I felt like I’d failed…myself, him, our families, and our baby.
I felt anger, shame, confusion, brokenness, embarrassment, and despair simultaneously.
The feeling was so deep and so strong I couldn’t physically stand up.
I never expected something like this to cut as deeply and sharply as it did. Honestly, I never really thought it was that big of a deal until that moment. In that moment, I felt the gravity of it.
The deep knife cutting into my mama heart, while facing the reality that I couldn’t bring my baby back, that I’d have to face this and essentially give birth without having anything to show for it.
Eventually, he helped me to my feet and I just wanted to get out of there. We grabbed our things and headed out the door.
The doctor passed us a card with her cell phone number as we left, which at the time I didn’t realize was actually a pretty big deal (most doctors don’t do that).
As we drove home, I continued to cry but it was like a deep and guttural moan. And then I noticed a sharp pain in my lower abdominals, and thought, “Oh my gosh it’s starting!”
It was so crazy because less than an hour earlier I was feeling hopeful, hadn’t had any bleeding for several days, and was talking with Matt about how we’d share the ultrasound pictures with friends over Facetime later that night.
And now, while driving home on a dreary and foggy day, having been told the worst news of my life, I realized that wasn’t going to happen, and I could already feel my body preparing to release my little one long before it was ever supposed to happen.
Talk about a 180 degree turn in less than 60 minutes time.
As we pulled into our driveway, I texted my mom to tell her what happened,
“I lost my baby. I can’t talk.”
I couldn’t talk. I could hardly see through the tears.
She lives about two hours away from us and immediately texted back, “I’m coming down.”
I made my way up the stairs to our bedroom and laid down. The sharp pain was starting to come on stronger, plus my glute and backside was starting to hurt from the progesterone injection (that ended up being pointless) that I had earlier that morning.
Matt laid down with me in bed. We held each other and cried. And cried and cried.
At random moments I’d scream or yell “WHY?! WHAT THE HECK GOD?!”
He played the song, “Though You Slay Me,” as we laid there and part of me was comforted, part of me was annoyed by it.
I wanted to believe it but I felt so angry at God, like He’d ignored my pleas and prayers the weeks prior.
Eventually, my family arrived. My mom came up to my room and cried with me. She kept telling me it wasn’t my fault… but I didn’t know if I believed her.
I was just in so much shock.
I was thankful they just spent the weekend with us. They helped us clean up around the house and get food (since we had just gotten back from a trip, we hadn’t even had a chance to unpack or go to the grocery store).
It felt like our life was crumbling… like the future we’d hoped for, prayed for, and waited for was avalanching in on us and the only option was to accept defeat even though my gut reaction was to angrily fight it.
Since it seemed like my body was already starting the natural process, and since I really wanted to have a little more control over everything so that Matt and I could do a burial ceremony together, we opted to see how the natural process would unfold before scheduling a D & C.
Understanding the Physical Process
From a physical standpoint, I won’t get too graphic but since I felt so unprepared for how this can go, I’ll share a little on my experience in hopes that it can help those who may be supporting someone walking through this understand what their friend may be experiencing, as well as anyone who may be walking through this and experiencing some anxiety or worry.
For some who miscarry naturally, the process can come on strong, last a couple hours, and then subside once the uterus has emptied everything.
For others, it can take up to two weeks for the process to complete. This was my experience. Especially after already experiencing some complications with the subchorionic hematoma the week prior, only to be catapulted into the physical process of miscarriage, it made it seem like the process of losing my baby was dragging on and on.
Specifically, from the time I had the ultrasound to the time my body finally got through the worst of it, I had three “episodes” of intense cramping and passing the contents of conception – the gestational sac with the fetus inside, placenta, lining, etc.
I say three “episodes” because it didn’t all happen at once. The first episode was Friday night, a few hours after the ultrasound, the second episode was three days later on Monday evening, and the last (and most intense) episode was the following Friday night. After that was over, things seemed to calm down.
Each one was pretty traumatic, and incredibly painful.
I wondered if perhaps I was overthinking that it seemed like labor contractions, since I’ve not yet had the blessing of carrying a baby to full term, but then a friend told me she had recently miscarried her third baby at about the same point in pregnancy I had (her first two she carried to term and delivered naturally) and said the contractions and pains she experienced with her miscarriage were comparable to what she experienced during labor.
That made me feel a little less crazy for thinking that. Building a baby and birthing that baby, at whatever stage, is a lot on the body (and on the heart).
In this case, hormones are all over the place, grief adds stress and therefore increases cortisol levels, and physically your body is trying to heal but can also get confused if anything is left in your uterus.
In other words, if anything is left after a baby’s heart has stopped, sometimes the body is trying to figure out if it’s still pregnant and can hold on to what’s there or the HCG hormone won’t drop at the rate it should.
Mine had actually gotten stuck at 17,000 for a few days. At that point, we all thought I was through the worst of it, so when the levels didn’t decrease, that was both alarming and confusing to myself and my doctor.
However, those tests were done shortly before the last (and most intense) episode that I mentioned, and once that happened, things started to change for the better.
I had an ultrasound scheduled for the following Tuesday to check on how things were healing up, and determine whether or not I’d need surgery to remove any remains. I prayed against that. After ten days of enduring the physical process, I would have been so upset if it all ended with a surgery anyway. It would have made those ten days feel like a wasted effort.
I had to go back to the same room I’d found out such heartbreaking news just 10 days earlier and I dreaded it. They offered for me to go to a nearby hospital for the ultrasound instead but I decided I wanted to face my fear and not let a location scare me.
One location or another, regardless of how much one reminded me of a traumatic experience, would not make the bad any less bad. It would not undo the loss I’d experienced or take away my pain.
So, I figured the simplest thing to do would be to face it and to allow the same doctor to perform the ultrasound so that I had answers and clarity as soon as possible.
Thankfully, that ultrasound showed that my uterus was healing up properly and that I wouldn’t need surgery. I nearly burst into tears as I looked at the screen, I felt both relief, because at that point, that was the best news we could have gotten, and I also felt a new kind of grief, because actually seeing my uterus empty, when just a couple weeks prior I’d seen my baby’s heart beating strong inside, crushed me in a whole new way.
I guess there’s just a part of you that holds out for some little miracle in spite of all that you’ve heard, seen, and experienced. But seeing yourself empty really seals the deal.
It was such a strange mix of emotions all over again but I held in my tears until we left.
My bleeding had slowed down a lot after that Friday evening episode so they scheduled a follow up blood test for that Friday, exactly one week after the last one (and one week after the last episode).
They also tested my overall numbers because my energy levels were so, so low.
Thankfully, those came back normal and my HCG had dropped all the way to 165. Again, it made it seem so final when I saw that number had gone almost back to baseline.
Although that’s what is supposed to happen, it still feels pretty bittersweet.
I share this part of the story because one thing I found is that so many people, both family members and friends, some of whom are familiar with this experience and others who are not, were surprised by how long the process really took for me.
In fact, several didn’t understand why it was still so hard until I explained to them that this kind of loss doesn’t necessarily occur at one point in time, such as when the doctor tells you there’s no heartbeat. That’s often the start of what can be a long process.
And as the physical process drags on, it is not only hard on your body but it also really messes with your mind. It makes it difficult to have any kind of closure because there’s all these stages you walk through…
- The initial shocking news from the ultrasound where you still see a baby inside
- Sometimes multiple episodes of bleeding, passing tissue, and sharp pains
- Ongoing bleeding over the course of several days or weeks, sometimes off and on
- A later ultrasound showing your uterus emptied
- Multiple blood tests watching your pregnancy hormones slowly inch back toward 0 when they were supposed to be going up
There’s just no clean break. The process can drag on for hours, days, or weeks. Every day you walk through an appointment you show up, you feel like you have less and less of your baby that is supposed to be growing strong inside of you.
It’s just such a difficult process to work through and grieve through.
Celebrating Our Baby’s Short but Sweet Life
Anyway, the last thing I’ll share is that Matt and I named our baby Noel Azaiah. Noel means Christmas and we chose this because the only time we saw our baby alive was on Christmas. Azaiah means My Strength is Yahweh.
We also held a beautiful burial ceremony between two rows of evergreens in our backyard. We hung lights, lit candles, and made it really sacred and beautiful.
I painted a little white box in which we put the remains, and I stamped the verse, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” on the top.
Matt played on his guitar and we both said a few words through our tears.
Then we buried our baby and held each other for awhile.
It was easily the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do — placing my first baby in the ground when I knew this little life was supposed to be growing inside of me.
The way I describe it is that it was beautifully difficult.
Like I shared, the hard thing with miscarriage is that unlike other losses, there’s not really a clear moment of finality or closure. Sometimes there are multiple moments of it as the process continues, sometimes it seems like there are none at all.
So it was really important for me to honor and treat this loss as I would any other loss. Unfortunately, society at large doesn’t always recognize this as important, and my hope is that by sharing this story, it will begin to shift the narrative regarding the unborn, and how we ought to honor all life from the moment it begins – not just the moment it is born.
Weird Feelings and Fears that Can Come Up Through This Kind of Loss
As I’ve walked through this loss, I noticed some feelings and fears come up that I haven’t experienced this degree before. I’m sharing them in hopes that if you’re a friend of someone walking through this, you might better understand how they might be feeling.
And if you’re walking through this yourself, or have walked through this in the past, hopefully this well help you feel less alone if you’ve experienced any of the following feelings.
1. Feelings of Resentment or Comparison
I honestly had to unfollow or mute accounts of moms or motherhood brands that I loved following before because seeing beautiful babies and perfectly round pregnant bellies was hard. Even hanging out with my friends who were in the middle of healthy pregnancies or had littles has been hard. Being around babies and seeing them is an emotional trigger – not because I’m not happy for my friends (I’d never wish that on anyone) but because it reminds me so deeply of what I’ve lost.
It’s not their fault that it’s hard for me to see that stuff. But it is my responsibility to be wise and guard my eyes from things that cause me to envy, comparison, or feel anger or despair. I think it’s temporary. The idea of being around a baby is already a little less painful than it seemed the week I miscarried. But it takes time. And I think that’s okay.
So, if you’re a mama with a new baby and your best friend or sister just miscarried, don’t feel like you have to hide your child or joy but just be sensitive to the fact that it may be hard on your friend or sister. If you’re going to visit, ask her what she’s most comfortable with.
Support her decisions if she needs to get off social media or even unfollow you for a short season. Don’t take it personal. She loves you and if she makes this choice, it’s so that bitterness doesn’t build up in her heart.
2. Feeling Betrayed by my Body
I wrote about this on Instagram a few weeks after the loss but something else I’ve experienced is almost like being a stranger to my own body. At first, I was angry. I felt like my body betrayed me, and my baby.
One of the first thoughts I had after losing my little love was “I failed.” I truly believed it at first.
I’ve looked in the mirror and felt resentful…like my body had betrayed me and my baby.
I’ve felt physically weaker than I have in as long as I can remember and said crazy things about hating and being mad at my body.
I’ve compared my body to mamas who have had seemingly perfect pregnancies & wondered why my body didn’t “do it right.”
It’s weird to watch your body change and then slowly un-change. It’s crazy how I used to worry about gaining pregnancy weight and now gaining pregnancy weight sounds like the greatest and most beautiful thing in the world.
Matt has been so patient and affirming through it. Every day he hugs and kisses me and tells me I’m beautiful and strong.
Not sure I believe him, at least not fully right now, but I am thankful for him.
All this to say, I’m *trying* to be gentle with myself. It’s up and down.
And I think it’s gotta be kind of normal to feel this way… right?
Maybe you can relate to a similar feeling even if you haven’t walked through this exact experience.
But little by little, I’m trying to believe that I’m more than a “1 in 4” statistic and to see the whole picture:
And if you’ve ever found yourself in my shoes, the same is true for you.
3. Conflicting Desires
I want to get pregnant again ASAP and I’m afraid to get pregnant (and risk going through this) again.
This is a real thing. There’s one of half of me that was already in baby mode and so ready to hold my little one in my arms, so after losing the baby, I wanted to try getting pregnant again as soon as possible.
But the other half of me is terrified to get pregnant again because of the fear that I might have to suffer through something like this again. I almost feel like I’d just expect something to go wrong.
I don’t want to think like that, though.
Although many times miscarriages are caused by chromosomal issues rather than hormone imbalances or anything with the mother’s body, the subchorionic hematoma raised red flags for me because those only occur in a very small amount of pregnancies.
Additionally, I have a hunch the SCH contributed or caused my miscarriage because my OB said my uterus was like an avalanche (aka the walls bleeding) and my progesterone levels were on the lower side (not alarmingly low but definitely could have been stronger) so part of me thinks something hormonal could be going on that caused that.
Which leads me to my last point – what my plans are going forward.
Our Next Steps
I’m pursuing counseling to heal emotionally and have coping mechanisms to deal with triggers so I can actually live a normal life and go out to eat without being ticked at the woman across the restaurant holding her beautiful baby.
One Normal Thing a Day:
I’m holding space and slowly easing back into life – work, working out, etc. The first few weeks after the loss, I wanted to do nothing but lay on the couch and cry.
After a week or so of allowing me to just mourn like that, my mom encouraged me to do one normal thing a day, whether it was go to the grocery store, respond to emails, get my nails done, or go for a walk.
This approach helped me get back into the swing of life while still giving myself space to grieve. Small steps at a time.
Pursuing Answers and Optimizing My Health:
While miscarriage is very common and can often be due to chromosomal issues in the developing fetus, I also feel strongly about digging a little deeper to find out more about my overall health. Thankfully, my OB has been incredible and very willing to be proactive in finding out if there were any hormonal imbalances or stress level issues that could have contributed to this. I’m also working with a functional medicine doctor to dig deeper into my hormones, gut health, genetics (to see if I have the MTHFR mutation), and to uncover any possible food allergies.
I’ve had skin issues on and off for several years, which is generally a signal of something going on internally. Call me crazy but this has been a wake up call and before getting pregnant again, it’s important to me to be proactive about my health and see if anything more serious is going on. I’m aware they may not be able to find the exact cause of my loss but they will be able to help me make lifestyle changes so that I can optimize my overall health and have the best chance at sustaining future pregnancy.
In my mind, miscarriage or not, that’s just smart! If you find yourself in this situation and have a hunch something may be going on with your health, or just want to pursue some clarity to have peace of mind, advocate for yourself and don’t be afraid to do just that!
A Quote to Encourage
To close, I want to share a quote that a friend sent me that encouraged me, and that I hope will encourage you:
“You see, the child lives. Instead of the wind, he hears the sound of angels singing before my throne. Instead of the beauty that passes, he sees the everlasting beauty – he sees my face. He was created and lived a short time so the image of his parents imprinted on his face may stand before me as their personal intercessor. He knows the secrets of heaven unknown to men on earth. He laughs with a special joy that only the innocent possess. My ways are not the ways of man. I create for my kingdom and each creature fills a place in that kingdom that could not be filled by another. He was created for my joy and for his parents’ merits. He has never seen pain or sin. He has never felt hunger or pain. I breathed a soul into a seed, made it grow, and called it forth.” — Mother Angelica
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your love and support. We have been so held up by our families, friends, and online community. It is truly overwhelming and such a blessing.
PS. If you know someone who’s walking through this, feel free to share this story with them if you think it will encourage them.
February 5, 2020