This is a topic that is so hush-hush and taboo. Pregnancy loss. I cringe when I hear it, I cringe when I say it; but it’s something so significant, it happens everyday, and it happened to me. And it happened more than once.
Way back when I found out I was pregnant for the first time, I was 17 years old. I went on to give birth by the time I was 18 to a beautiful 9 lb baby girl. As one could imagine; being a teen mom was all-consuming so I definitely was not thinking about having any more children.
But as life often does, it moved on and so did I. I met my now husband and we eventually went on to have a son. Prior to my son’s arrival, I had gotten pregnant. It abruptly ended at 15 weeks. I was devastated, but I was not lost. I grieved and then I moved on. A few months later I was pregnant with my son. 9 weeks into the pregnancy I began to bleed profusely. Immediately I panicked. We rushed to the clinic only to be told I was more than likely having a miscarriage but I couldn’t be seen for an ultrasound until the following Monday to confirm.
That weekend was the longest and excruciating time of my life. Monday morning we headed down to the hospital preparing to hear the bad news only to our surprise be told that he was healthy and thriving. It appeared that there had been a twin that was lost. We counted our blessings and said thank you.
As life continued to move on, we were watching our children grow, and we weren’t necessarily planning for another baby but we certainly weren’t against it. I was on birth control throughout the years off and on assuming that once I was ready we could try again. But each and every time we ended up pregnant; it resulted in 1st trimester loss. Some were blighted ovum, others no explanations. Just heavy bleeding, d&c’s, misoprostol pills, percocets and doxycycline for the aftermath.
I lost count after our 5th or 6th loss.
Each time I told myself “We’re not gonna do this anymore”. But late nights, being in love, drinking and changes in birth control led to a lot of us not adhering to that train of thought.
In February 2014 I lost a pregnancy that was a blighted ovum. I don’t know what made this one so different, but it broke me apart in a way that I had never been before. I was emotionally a mess and mentally unable to make sense of what I was feeling. I left my job and became a stay at home mom. Big changes were on the horizon as my husband and I decided that we were going to relocate to the south that summer. Right before our departure I was greeted with a surprise positive pregnancy test.
I did everything right; scheduled appointments, ate healthy, quit smoking, no drinking, drank lots of water and even started yoga again. I got settled in the south, connected with a local ob and finally felt like things were going to be ok. My 11 week ultrasound was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. Legs just kicking and heart just beating away. I finally stopped feeling fearful and began to enjoy my pregnancy. At my 14 week ultrasound I was giddy with excitement to see how much change had occurred.
I remember calling my husband who was still in Philly to give him updates. As I sat in the waiting room I remember being…uneasy. Nervous even. But I kept ignoring the feeling because I was just being paranoid after all right? The doctor placed the doppler on my belly only to be met by silence. He tried and tried but just couldn’t make the heartbeat sound resonate. That’s when my unease became full-blown hysteria. And a follow-up ultrasound confirmed what I had been fearing. My little one was lying there still with no heartbeat. She had passed shortly after the last ultrasound.
Something died in me that day and it wasn’t just my baby. My spirit was crushed, my flaws were magnified, my imperfections felt like they were in high-definition. There just had to be something wrong with me.I was scheduled for surgery later that week and much to my chagrin my husband couldn’t make it in time. I felt beyond alone.
I grieved and I grieved hard. I didn’t eat. I slept all day and I almost gave up on everything. Thankfully my children and Jehovah were the motivation I needed. I prayed, I sobbed, I wept, I laughed, I was angry, I was sad, I was hurt, I was confused, but I was alive. I often felt as if my lungs were punching bags, the grief was so deep it was sucking the air out me.
In time, through counseling, spiritual support and of course my husband; I came to a place where I could deal. I continued to blog through my depression and a little over a year ago I returned to the workforce.
Finding out I was pregnant this time made me feel like someone blew a hole in my center of gravity. I couldn’t be excited. I was terrified. Every ache and every pain made me run to the bathroom to check my toilet paper and panties for blood. Every appointment has been preceded by what most would consider irrational fear and anxiety. All 30 weeks of this pregnancy I have not been without worry.
Being pregnant after loss is the most stressful thing in the world; and it’s the one thing many people don’t talk about out loud but it is the absolute truth.
I talk about it. I open up about it. I share it loudly and publicly. Not talking about it made me feel shamed. Made me feel like I didn’t deserve to be upset. Silence kept me grieving. Now I share and I share openly. Many people are uncomfortable, but the reality is someone else’s discomfort was no match for my own.
I speak on it for all the women who are too ashamed or too embarrassed. I share openly for all the women who just need to relate. I share so that I don’t forget how much it changed me. I share so I don’t forget the value and the gift in the life I’m carrying now.
I share because I was once tortured by something that was out of my control and I want that woman who has lost to understand that it is not her fault.
*In loving memory of Jordan Miracle Young 8.28.2015*