In March, Joe and I were excited and terrified to learn that we’d be welcoming a baby into our lives later in the year. We went to our monthly appointments, got to see his/her little face, hear the heartbeat and spend time planning what we’d name it. We bought a crib and even discussed how do decorate the nursery and what we’d do when it woke us up at night.
Then, at our 16-week appointment, when I was just beginning to show and could no longer wear my non-maternity clothes, we were told terrible news. Our baby no longer had a heartbeat.
There were zero warning signs. I had morning sickness, couldn’t brush my teeth without gagging (the worst), and was gaining some weight. I never felt cramps, never bled- nothing. As my OB told us the bad news, I was fairly certain she was joking. After all, I had been doing everything correctly, following the rules, taking my vitamins, and everything that you’re supposed to do to keep the fetus healthy. In the end, it didn’t matter. There wasn’t anything we could’ve done. The entire process was devastating and terrifying. I had to have surgery, which was a first. I’ve never had an IV in my arm, never had any surgery, save for a bone graft in my mouth, but I don’t count that.
In the span of 10 seconds we went from happy and excited to devastated and worried. After all, I haven’t been pregnant before, I had no idea what to expect. We knew a miscarriage was a possibility, but were told that it was extremely rare past 12-weeks (only 2% of pregnancies end in a miscarriage after 12-weeks). Joe was (and still is ) a trooper. He was more concerned with me, my emotions, my feelings and how I was handling things. I’m still not OK and still won’t be OK for a while.
We had told our friends and family when we hit 12-weeks that we were expecting. So Joe had the tough task of telling his mother and my mother. I laid on the couch and cried. I kept trying to remind myself, ‘you can’t miss what you’ve never had,’ which is easier to swallow now than it was at the beginning of June. My emotions are sometimes compounded when the few friends/family members who found out they were expecting around the same time talk about finding out their baby’s sex, getting to see their baby at their 20-week appointment, and mentioning how excited they are, because that should’ve been me and Joe. It’s hard to be excited for them, yet grieve for our own loss, you know?
All things come in time, I suppose. It’s been about two months since we found out, and we’re much better emotionally than we were then. Why am I telling you all of this? Why am I airing my personal, private information for public consumption? Because I felt so very lost in the month after, and still do at times, that I’m hoping I can give someone else a little comfort by letting them know they’re not alone. I know I’m not the first, nor will I be the last person to have a miscarriage. It’s not anything I would wish upon anyone.
Miscarriages suck. But you’re not alone.