Miscarriage … I never saw that one coming

by Elisabeth Myrick

miscarriage My husband and I always knew we wanted to have more than one child.
After our daughter turned one, we began discussing when would be the right time to add onto our family. When the “right time” finally came, the positive pregnancy test a few months later was just as exciting as with our first. We just knew our daughter would be an awesome big sister and couldn’t wait to share the news with friends and family.

The news was spread to our family that night and to close friends over the next few weeks. I eagerly anticipated my first doctor’s appointment and was thankful my husband was able to get off work and go with me.

Having already been down this road before, I thought I knew what to expect during the first ultrasound. When the tech started her measurements, she didn’t say anything for a long time. She kept the screen turned away from me. My husband had a strange look on his face, but I chalked it up to trying to keep our daughter quiet and straining to see the screen. When the ultrasound tech finally finished her measurements, instead of showing me the baby, she asked how far along I thought I was. “Almost eight weeks,” I replied. This was a planned pregnancy; I knew exactly the dates of my last period and when I ovulated.

She didn’t say anything else, but instead printed a few pictures, gave me time to get dressed and escorted us to another room to wait for the doctor. I knew then that something wasn’t right.

When the doctor came in, he cut right to the chase. “The baby is only measuring six weeks and we couldn’t yet find a heartbeat,” he said. Was there any chance I miscalculated my dates?

I knew I hadn’t, but tried to be positive. “Sure,” I said. “It’s possible.”

The next two weeks were a blur. It was standard procedure to wait until 10 weeks to determine if I was experiencing a missed miscarriage. The next ultrasound confirmed it. The baby had not grown at all during the last two weeks. “I’m very sorry,” my doctor told me.

The next few weeks were some of the hardest I’ve ever experienced, physically and emotionally. Losing a baby is devastating at any stage, whether it’s in the first few weeks of pregnancy, a late-term loss, infancy, childhood or even as an adult. A loss is a loss. As so, we mourned the loss of this child whose future we would never know.

For a long time, I blamed myself. Did I exercise too much? Should I have stopped running as soon as I saw those two pink lines? Did I lift too much? Was it that ham and cheese sandwich I ate during the two weeks after ovulation and before I knew I was pregnant? Or that glass of wine I had? Was I too anxious? Too fat? Not a good enough mother to my daughter? Why did God let me get pregnant just to miscarry?

The reality is – I’ll never know. And the not knowing was, and sometimes still is, incredibly difficult. I felt broken, but not alone.

The advice most women are given is to wait until the “safe zone” to share the news of pregnancy. And while I agree wholeheartedly that sharing the news of your impending bundle of joy on Facebook or Twitter probably should wait until at least the second trimester, sharing with a few close friends and family made a world of difference for us.

As we grieved, it was a small comfort to know that our family and close friends were mourning with us and praying for us. Having women who had similar experiences to talk to, cry with and pray for me was an immense blessing.

Experiencing a pregnancy loss was one of the most devastating times of my life. It was heartbreaking and traumatic in ways that I can’t even begin to describe. But having a close group of friends and family to walk that road with us made a huge difference.

 


Some helpful websites that address miscarriage and pregnancy loss include:

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