I found out I was pregnant on November 17, 2014.
November 17 always had a special meaning to me. It was the day that the first boy I ever loved asked me to be his girlfriend. Now, I will associate it with the happiest day of my life thus far. I took a test just for the heck of it, I just wanted to get it out of the way. My period was late and I knew I wasn’t pregnant. But I was – I took 5 tests, all positive. I was 5 weeks to the day. I told a few close friends and family, I called my doctor and scheduled my first ultrasound for December 5th. I could not wait to see our baby. Matt and I spent the next few weeks planning to drop the bomb on my siblings, my dad and my grandparents on Christmas Day.
I turned 27 a few weeks later, on December 2, 2014. I was 7 weeks and 1 day pregnant and I was happier than I’ve ever been on any birthday. I was going to be a mom. My mother sent me a gift basked of cookies and brownies. I saw Big Hero 6 with my husband. I got my 10 free wings from TKs. I had just received good news from my nurse. My levels were at “an appropriate level” for how far along I was.
My doctor called me the next day and according to her, everything was good.
I started having the worst cramps of my life that very night. I called my mom. I called the on-call doctor. She had told me that cramping was normal, but that if it was a miscarriage, “there is nothing that can be done.” I was going to wait it out.
I could not sleep. That’s how bad the pain was. I tossed and turned until 4 in the morning. At 4 am, I started to lose my baby. I knew it was over for us. I cried myself to sleep.
I called my mom in the morning. I called my doctor on the way to work.
My doctor was on call at the hospital that day, but another doctor in the practice agreed to see me. It was December 4, the day before my scheduled ultrasound.
The ultrasound tech told us that my uterus was empty. I felt like every crashed down around me with those words. They let me sit and cry for a little and then shuffled me to the office upstairs through this secret back hallway. I was relieved that I wouldn’t have to face the smiling pregnant faces out in the waiting room. Thinking back, I’m not really sure if they did that for my sake… or for those very same pregnant women.
My substitute doctor said that my body showed signs consistent with a miscarriage. He said that nothing I did was my fault. He said that God had a reason for this. But I was angry. I was so angry. Why did this have to happen to me? There are so many people out there that don’t want their children. Why me? I have spent the last month and a half wondering this over and over. I’ve wondered what I did in this life to have deserved this pain. I wondered why my baby deserved a fate like this. I worried that he or she would be forgotten.
When we got home, my husband packed away our baby book, the positive pregnancy test, our health binder, the ornament I bought for the Christmas tree. I slept and slept and slept.
I’ve been feeling this grief inside me that I’ve never felt before. I feel betrayed by my own body. I feel like I lost the thing that finally made sense in my life, I finally had a purpose and it was taken from me. I feel like there is no point to anything anymore. I feel like I disappointed my husband. I feel like I disappointed my mother. I feel angry. I feel broken. I feel disconnected. I feel scared. I want to scream and cry and yell.
It was hard to hold my newborn cousin in my arms. It was hard to talk to my pregnant cousin about her unborn little girl.
A few days ago, I was on Buzzfeed and a woman had bravely written about her own miscarriage. She wanted to remove the stigma that surrounded a pregnancy loss. She wanted other women to feel like it is okay to speak about their own experiences with losing a pregnancy. I felt inspired by her words. It was the first time since December 4th that I didn’t feel alone. Unless you read about pregnancy (like I did constantly) you don’t realize that 20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage. That means there are many of you out there, like me, that have had one. That means that there are many of you holding this secret inside of you. And, like me, this secret could be eating you up inside, making your pain even worse.
I feel that keeping this secret has caused me to push people that I love away. I’m nervous that they will be upset that I’ve kept this from them. I hope sharing this will help others understand why I’ve been distant the last few weeks. Opening up about this won’t ease all my pain, but I know it will make it easier to accept.
Perhaps my story will inspire someone else to tell theirs and will help start their healing process. Let’s heal together.
I want to do my part in removing the stigma. So here, I’ll say it: this December, I had a miscarriage.
If you’re curious how others are removing the stigma, check out #ihadamiscarriage.