I have had 12 miscarriages – saying that is hard for me.
After my first miscarriage, I remember hearing a doctor tell me through my grief fog that “sometimes this just happens” and left me with the feeling that there is no other explanation. I had no idea just how much that ugly word – miscarriage – was going to affect my life.
Pregnancy is far more complicated than I ever imagined. The issues with conceiving and holding a pregnancy were glossed over in nearly every book I read. No one talked about their struggles and I felt so alone. I felt embarrassed.
Two miscarriages. Pregnant again. Scared. Worried. Healthy, full-term baby. Thankful.
Two miscarriages. Pregnant again. Terrified. 14 weeks, baby was born too soon. Gone.
Diagnosed with Factor V Leiden. Pregnant again. Healthy, full-term baby. Relieved.
Five miscarriages. Pregnant again. Nervous. Healthy, full-term baby. Joyed.
Two miscarriages. Infertility. 16 months later, pregnant again. Hopeful. Healthy, full-term baby. Done.
I never realized what I was feeling was “grief” because no one gave me the permission to feel sad. I was told that “at least” they were early and encouraged to “try again”.
I had never heard anyone share how their miscarriage made them feel. I was given no information from doctors, nursing staff, or anyone after any loss.
I had friends say “sorry” or “it happened for a reason” and never mention it again. I watched those dates come and go in the calendar without a word from anyone. I was told to “relax” and “not worry about it” with each new pregnancy and felt alone each time the world crashed again.
My husband was my rock. He supported me. He sought answers with me. He never made me feel ‘less than’. Together, we celebrated and cried no matter how short they were with us. He understood my anxiety and he advocated for our care – physical and emotional – during each pregnancy.
I decided that I was going to be vocal about my struggles in hopes of reaching anyone who feels or felt like I did – alone, embarrassed, and misunderstood. I share my story so others can feel supported and that their voice and their children matter. I share so doctors, nursing staff, and medical professionals understand the whole impact a miscarriage can have. I advocate so others know why and how to support.
My story will always be a part of me. It impacts how I parent my four amazing children and there are days I feel like I am right back in those first few grief-stricken moments. It’s made me stronger. It’s made me more aware. It’s made me more caring. And it’s proof that my children matter.
Through it all, I was diagnosed with progesterone deficiency, celiac disease, factor v leiden, and the year and a half I struggled to get pregnant was due to hormone imbalance. Through my pregnancies, I have been put on progesterone supplements, low-dose aspirin, LMW heparin injections, clomid, and am on a strict gluten-free diet. My four living children are healthy, happy, and I am acutely aware of how lucky I really am.
Photo credit: adapted from ivlys | Flickr