Before we get started, in this post I wanted to add a disclaimer. In this post I will be sharing about the miscarriage I suffered in July 2023. This is a difficult topic to write, discuss and read about. This can be unsettling to those who are currently experiencing pregnancy loss and/or infertility. I write this from a place of healing and hope.
It is a strange feeling when the only proof of being pregnant is a positive pregnancy test that is currently hidden away in a drawer in my bathroom and a really sad empty ultrasound photo. Justin and I had not publicly shared our pregnancy yet and at times it feels like a dream. The celebration we had privately, talking about the baby with our 2 year old daughter and planning on the future. Was it even real? Are my feelings valid?
Justin and I were so excited to grow our family. I was so thrilled to show him a positive pregnancy test on July 3rd. We immediately started to plan our new future. I was looking forward to make an attempt at having a “normal” pregnancy… if that is even a thing. Being pregnant in 2020 wasn’t the most “normal” experience. I was also so incredibly sick during my first, that I had hoped round two would be more gentle on my body. I was also really sad and lonely. I think most of us were. Being stuck inside our homes, with minimal human connection, wanting the big baby celebrations but not being able to have them. It was tough.
On the night of July 18th, something was off. I am no expert at bearing children, and am fully aware that every pregnancy is different. But, when I started to spot that night… something did not feel right. I tried to remain calm as I furiously Googled my symptoms and wearily told Justin. He remained calm, so I did my best to. Sleeping that night was so difficult.
July 19th I woke up and my light spotting was no longer light. With the little knowledge I had about situations like this and again my extensive Google research. I came to the conclusion that it could be fine or it wouldn’t be. I wasn’t cramping, I had no other symptoms than the light bleeding. I mostly felt fine. So I dropped Ellie off at school, went to work and carried on with my day. It wasn’t until around lunch time that my bleeding began to concern me and I called my doctor.
I truly believe my hysterics on the phone was the only reason they booked me an emergency appointment that day. The nurse seemed calm and asked if I had any other symptoms other than the bleeding. “No” I sniffled, “But this didn’t happen the first time.” “Some women bleed.” She said “But I can have you evaluated at 1:30pm.”
There is nothing you can do once a miscarriage starts. No pill or drug to take the stop it.
I was seen by a midwife I had during my first pregnancy, she was calm and comforting. She hugged me for a long time. After an extensive exam, ultrasound and script for bloodwork she explained she had no answers yet. “This will go one of three ways – you will be fine and go on to have a beautiful healthy pregnancy, you are experiencing a pregnancy of unknown origin (ectopic), or you are unfortunately miscarrying. I have nothing else to share other than that this is a waiting game. We will compare your bloodwork today to your bloodwork on Friday. We will have answers then.” I went home feeling defeated, my odds didn’t look great and I wasn’t feeling hopeful.
July 20 my world turned dark. I could barely get out of bed. I had started to cramp in my lower back and I was experiencing period level bleeding. I called my Mom and had to break the news to her. Another family member of mine was having major surgery the day before and I did not want to worry anyone if I didn’t have to. One thing I need to constantly work through is my struggle with asking for help. I needed help in this moment. So I called my Mom detailed my last 24 hours and she came right over.
I laid in bed all day with a heating pad. I couldn’t believe what was happening to me. I know the statistics of miscarriage, but I never felt so alone. I was also shocked by the pain. “The baby is the size of an apple seed, why is it hurting so bad?” I thought. As I said earlier, there is nothing you can do to stop what is already happening. I just had to lay in misery and hope the nightmare would end.
July 21 I had my second blood draw to measure my HCG. During the early months of pregnancy a women’s HCG will double every other day. This is what my midwife would use to determine the next steps. I didn’t expect to cry. When the phlebotomist confirmed my information and said “HCG?”, the tears rolled down my face. She looked at me emphatically, “Have you been having these done a lot?” “Yes.” I said. She completed my bloodwork and told me to go home and relax.
I couldn’t. I took the day off from work, as I had done the day before. I tried to do normal things. I went for a pedicure, browsed TJ Maxx. I couldn’t help to think as I walked around how bizarre it was that I was in the middle of a tragedy and no one knew. My world was caving in, in the middle of the candle aisle.
I wish I had a happy ending to share, but unfortunately that afternoon my blood work confirmed what I had known since Wednesday. I laid in bed that night and a life I never got to hold in the physical world flashed before my eyes. Over the next week I told friends, coworkers who are like family, a few other people in my support system…and now you. I heard stories from other women, who gently shared their stories with me. I hugged and cried with these women as we found ourselves caught within the same statistic.
I had to get my blood drawn an additional 4 times before my body showed a level of 0 HCG. I felt as though my body fought and held on for as long as it could.
I wish I had something more comforting to share, because I would imagine if you’ve found this post without knowing me you too are sitting in the loneliness of a miscarriage. I wish I could hold your hand or hug you.