After dealing with infertility issues for over five years prior to having my sweet girl, Olivia Grace, I naively thought I had endured all of the sadness that comes with the act of trying to become a mother.
The endless medical search for the “why” I wasn’t getting pregnant, copious amounts of blood tests, some of the most painful discovery procedures I have ever endured – yes, more painful than childbirth – the sea of negative pregnancy tests, the endless deferring of the annoying questions of why we didn’t have a child yet, and of course the useless advice of “just relax.” Boy was I wrong.
About a year and a half ago, my husband and I decided to revisit our fertility doctors as our daughter was quickly approaching 3, and we had still not gotten pregnant – once again. That anecdotal story of the people that had so many issues getting pregnant and then they had a baby which, “apparently” opened the floodgates to babydom, was not us.
We got some less than ideal news at our appointment that we possibly would have even more issues getting pregnant than last time. Crushed is an understatement to describe what we felt.
Fast forward two months later when I realize in my anxiety ridden grief, third birthday planning, and fall festivities – I was late. Now, typically in my history, this didn’t mean much, but I did the minimum and took the test. Well, I took several and they were all PREGNANT. Almost the same amount of shock I had as when I was pregnant before and coupled with the news that not only was I pregnant, but I was already six weeks along.
Disbelief, elation, and dreams/plans of this yummy baby turning our family of three to a family of four encompassed us.
Quickly, the visions of our new life were already being formed in my mind. I could already see Olivia being this tiny mama/best big sister, my husband being obsessed with our new babe as much as he is with Olivia, and my heart expanding with that delicious new baby smell. I shared our amazing news with some people who joined in our excitement.
Our first sonogram appointment was made and we would get to see our then nine-week babe floating around with it’ fast little heart beating.
Rudely, because of my age, we would get to have the 12-week tests shortly after to determine any abnormalities and get to see the gender. It was all moving fast, and we were in it with these ridiculous grins on our faces.
Cue the sonogram and the tech feverishly fretting over our little blob. She riddled me in questions about timing, and surety of the age of Baby King the sequel. I was sure on the timing, and she was sure that they were only measuring a little over six weeks still.
To top it off, there was no heartbeat that was located. We were assured that timing issues happen, that our babe might just still be too little for heartbeat detection, and the next appointment was scheduled.
I swallowed my fears/anxiety of what any of that meant because it was Halloween in a week and I had a little witch who was excitedly ready to do all the festivities. Five days later, our family had the best time at a trunk or treat – all the photos, the jump houses, games, and cotton candy consumed.
In a happy fog of exhaustion, I went to go to the bathroom after coming home, and “it” happened. Along with that large mass that came out of my body, came with it all of our hopes and dreams for that sweet soul that we were already discussing names for.
The confusion of my emotions was palpable. How could I be this sad over someone I had never met? How were we already so attached to this being that we only knew about for a short time? Was I being over dramatic? This month marks the one-year anniversary and the emotions still come in waves. The what if’s and could be’s are still there and maybe even a little heightened at this time.
You hear the “1 in 8 women” statistics for the number of women who will experience a miscarriage, but it still doesn’t prepare you for when it happens to you.
To be honest, there isn’t anything that can truly prepare you, but not suffering in silence can do wonders. Even if it is just one person that hears your anguish, it can calm and validate your suffering.
As women, we have always been told to wait to share until that 12-week mark because it is “safer” and led to the belief that we shouldn’t talk about our miscarriages. I think that not only is that outdated, but harmful. Mothers shouldn’t be suffering alone or keeping their grief bottled inside. Let it out and let your community embrace you in the love you need to manage the pain.
You will be surprised the amount of women in your circle who can share your pain and have been where you once were. Oct. 15 is the annual Wave of Light for those who have experienced pregnancy and infant loss. Light your candles mamas, we are all in this together.