For some reason unbeknownst to me, and I’m sure many others, we have a lingering and forbidden term that hovers over us as if it were shameful. Miscarriage. There it is, I said it. To be quite honest, I’m horrified that women feel ashamed or scared to discuss the topic.
I had a miscarriage in October of 2015. But my miscarriage was different than what some other women go through, aren’t they all in some way? In September I had my eight week appointment, that of course I had looked forward to for five weeks. Five weeks, may I add, of pure misery. My first pregnancy was great, I got morning sickness maybe twice. This pregnancy, however, was kicking my butt. I had lost ten pounds because I couldn’t eat and I had morning sickness all day, every day, for weeks. I kept telling myself that this was good and a sign of a healthy baby. When that first appointment arrived, I was so excited to see the little peanut on the ultrasound machine. But within minutes my excitement turned to worry when the midwife said she didn’t see anything in the sac, but thought maybe I was too early and to come back in a week. During that week, I had blood drawn twice to check my pregnancy hormone levels. At the same time my husband also had to leave the country for work. Bad timing, I know. But we both stayed positive and thought clearly this couldn’t happen to us.
The day arrived for me to go back, I had my 1 1/2 year old and sister there with me for support. Yet again we saw an empty sac. My pregnancy hormone levels were dropping, but still very high, so the midwife highly suggested I get a D&C (Dilation and Curettage) because my body wasn’t rejecting the pregnancy. She said it could be another month or two before I miscarried naturally. I was horrified and confused and didn’t understand what was happening. Before I knew it, they had made an appointment for me to go see an OB/GYN that would perform the D&C. I met with him and he explained that I had experienced a Blighted Ovum. He then had the nerve to say that it was the “best” type of miscarriage to have, if one were to have one. It took me a long time to get over those words. We scheduled the D&C for another week out. I had to bear this for another week and without my husband.
Surgery day came and went. My doctor was of course 45 minutes late, but the nurses were sure to pump me full of medicine that helped ease any pain or sad thoughts I had while waiting. My sister was there by my side with my toddler and while no words were exchanged, we both felt the heaviness of sorrow in the air. The last thing I remember was the nurse wiping tears off my face before I went under.
The days to follow were a blur of tears, pain and anger. How could this have happened to me and why did my body fail me? I was young and healthy and had no health issues whatsoever. I researched as much as I could about Blighted Ovums and miscarriage in general to try to find an answer, but was just left with more questions. I was angry at everyone, especially my husband for not being there. It took months and eventually us seeing a therapist to get to a point of understanding and being able to accept that my body knew what it was doing and it simply wasn’t the right time.
This loss changed me forever, I now understand why my doctor told me it was the “best” kind of loss to have. I didn’t have to see an actual heartbeat or baby on the screen. I didn’t lose a child, I lost an empty sac. While that may seem harsh to say, it’s true. I have many, many friends who have had multiple losses. Losses that happened early and the body naturally took care of it, and then the kind of unspeakable loss that no one should have to endure. I cannot compare my loss to theirs, but all I know is that those women and the countless others out there who have had losses are the strongest and bravest women I could ever know.
We never know what someone has gone through and the pain they carry behind their eyes. As sad as I am about it, I’m almost happy in a way that it happened to me. It made me a stronger person and to be honest, it made me a better mom. We shouldn’t be ashamed of miscarriage. We should embrace the fact that things like this only happen to those we know can handle it mentally and physically.
**If you are going (or have gone) through a miscarriage and feel stuck or like you don’t have anyone to talk to about it, then please reach out to me. We have to support one another in these situations and not be ashamed, but instead offer love and encouragement on moving forward and healing from any loss. Miscarriage is more common than we think and happens to many, many women. A lot of these women don’t know how to express their feelings about it. I sincerely hope this changes because the more we discuss and help one another, the easier it will be for us to cope, and the less of a taboo subject it will become.**