10 Days After

During my first pregnancy, we were so stoic. All the pregnancy books told us that it was a good idea to wait until after 12 weeks of pregnancy before sharing the good news, and so that’s what we did. Actually, I think we even waited until the 20 week ultrasound to tell most people.

And, that pregnancy was picture perfect. Not a single problem. At 41 weeks pregnant, I gave birth to the most perfect 8 ½ pound boy that ever was born.

So, with my second pregnancy, I was antsy to share the news. I barely made it to 7 weeks before I was gushing to everyone in earshot that I was expecting my second baby. My husband had a slight problem with it, but I assured him it was okay. Although, that made me have this nagging feeling in the back of my head that something might go wrong. But I just kept shrugging it off.

My first prenatal appointment was scheduled for the day I hit the 10 week mark. And in the moments leading up to it, I just thought to myself, “I feel so pregnant. It must be all right.” My morning sickness was off the charts, my breasts still hurt, I was peeing all the time and hungry all the time. Typical pregnancy symptoms, on a much higher level than I experienced the first time around.

At the appointment, the doctor was having some issues with the ultrasound machine, and even switched it out with another one only to have trouble with the second machine as well. I remember thinking, “Someone up there doesn’t want me to see my baby.” And the doctor later admitted to having the same premonition.

When she finally did get a picture, my baby was measuring too small, and there was no heartbeat to be found. My baby had died inside of me, and I didn’t even know it. Worst of all, all those people I told about the baby I now had to tell about my baby’s death.

Later, the doctor told me that it had probably happened two weeks before the appointment. And I had told people during those two weeks. My baby was already dead inside of me, and I was still gushing, blissfully unaware of the sad news that lay ahead for us. I felt like I should have known on some level, as a mom. The way you know that your child has a fever. Or, the way you can tell if a cry is “real” or “fake”. But this time, I really didn’t know.

In the last 10 days, I have tried to sort out exactly what it is I am feeling. I had to dig below the general sadness and anger, to the core of what I felt, in order to start healing. And what I’m finding is that I just feel very empty and very alone.

Very empty, because as a pregnant woman, you feel so full of life, so powerful for being able to sustain another life inside of you. So, to find out that this baby had not survived inside of me made me instantly feel very hollow inside. I can’t exactly explain the feeling, but something was just missing. And I felt powerless.

Very alone, not because I don’t have support, because I do. My cup overflows with support, from family, friends, acquaintances, even people online who don’t even know me in real life. So many people have been through it before, and though they know they can’t say anything to make me feel better, they fully sympathize. No, I feel alone because, when my husband is at work and my son is at preschool (which he just recently started attending), I feel very alone sometimes. When I became pregnant, I felt a sense of having a little companion with me, the way I felt when I was pregnant with my son, and in his first few years of life. It’s nice to have that little one with you wherever you go, and I was happy to feel that again. So, now that the baby is gone, I just feel very alone again. My son’s first day back at preschool after we got the news, I just ached to hold him, to not feel so alone.

Because I had a “missed” miscarriage, and the baby was still inside, I had to take some medication to “get things moving”. It was a full 36 hours before I had the strength to take the medication that I knew would force me to purge my baby from my body. It was something I could not deal psychologically with, and even as I took the medication, I felt like I was having an out of body experience. This cannot actually be happening to me.

The first night was quite painful, and bloody. I wept bitterly at how unfair it was that nature would force a woman to lose her child in such a gory, physically painful manner. And, I’m still bleeding a bit today. Every time I go to the bathroom, I’m reminded. I might have a great day, when I was able to think of other things for hours, but then I go to the restroom and that is all erased. I just want to scream out, “ENOUGH!”

Sometimes, I feel very eager to conceive again, so I can get back to where I was 10 days ago. Other times, I’m so afraid of being pregnant again, I really can’t imagine going through the whole process again. It will be such a crazy mix of hope and fear. Optimism and anxiety. I will feel so brave, yet so, so scared.

The doctor also told me that I still felt “so pregnant” because my hormones were still leveling out, and it would take time before I felt like myself again. It certainly is taking its time. It’s difficult to still feel pregnant, when you know you’re not. I still have morning sickness, and fatigue, and frequent trips to the bathroom, and the headaches. Sometimes it’s difficult to bear. I have burst into tears on a public toilet more times in the last week than I ever could have imagined I would.

I might be writing “My Story” too soon, I don’t know. I feel like I should offer up some advice to other women who go through this heartbreak. But the truth is, I’m not even sure what to say to myself quite yet. Does it ever get any easier?

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4 Comments
  1. Oh how I wish I had magical words for you! But there really are none. I am so very very sorry to hear of your loss. We are in the middle of a very similar experience. This will be my fourth miscarriage. So while the emotions and pain whirl about us I have no words, but my head knows that things will calm and even out … I can’t exactly say “get over” because I believe we always remember the babies we never got to hold in our arms. But does it get easier? Yes. Does life get back to normal … for some I guess it does, for me it’s more like a new normal. Seek out help and support, do what feels right for you. Everyone grieves and processes in different ways. I have been blessed by 2 books written by Sherokee Isle:
    Empty Arms and Miscarriage – A Shattered Dream
    You can find out more about the author and her books here:
    http://www.babiesremembered.org/

    I hope that helps and I wish you peace and comfort in this difficult journey

  2. So sorry to hear about your loss. I suffered from a missed miscarriage last summer so your story and how you felt sounds so familiar. I also know of your fears to get pregnant again especially because it was my first pregnancy and I was unsure if I would ever carry to term. I opted for a D&C and about a month later my cycle returned and I was fortunate enough to conceive on that cycle. It ended up being not as scary as I thought it would be. I had to have faith that things would happen when they were meant to. My husband and I went into it saying we would just keep trying until it worked out for us. We are now waiting on the arrival of our little girl (who is due next week). It sounds bad but I was able to move on from my miscarriage and put all my energy into this baby. I know that she is who I am supposed to have and that the other pregnancy was not viable for whatever reason. That pregnancy taught me a lot of life lessons and I don’t regret it for a second!!

    I know everyone is different but that was just my experience. I will always remember but I can honestly say that it does not get me down. I hope you find peace with your situation soon and that you are blessed with another little one in the near future!

  3. I am so sorry that you had to go through this. I found out at my 8 week ultrasound that my baby had died around 6.5 weeks. I had a feeling that something wasn’t right during the pregnancy, but I was very much hoping to be wrong. This also would have been my second child. I wound up having a D&C the same day.

    Being that I have a 21 month old to keep after, it does help to take my mind off things. I know it must be difficult with your son in preschool and your husband at work during the day. I hope you are able to find something that helps you focus on other more positive things.

    Again, I am very sorry for your loss.

  4. I’m sorry you’re going through this, and I identify with your struggle. I am currently waiting for the miscarriage to begin of a 7week, 6day baby that had it survived, would be in its 10th week now. I opted not to take the meds or surgery for now, but if things don’t start soon, I’ll have to. I have been trying to figure out how one makes oneself “feel better” when this happens, and I finally decided, I guess I just have to go through it. Feel the feelings until I feel differently. Not sure how well that will go. I wish you the best in your healing and recovery.

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