I’m 1 in 5

2

On New Years’ Day, my husband, son and I headed out to my husband’s office for a photo shoot we’d been planning for several weeks.  My son played perfectly to the camera while a letter board told our big news.  He’d be a big brother come July 2019.  We were ready to announce it the following Monday to social media.

Two days later, an ultrasound revealed that I had a blighted ovum.  For those who aren’t familiar with the term, it means that a fetal sac had grown, along with a placenta, but the chromosomes were wrong, and there was no fetus.  The ultrasound tech tried to tactfully field my husband’s questions without overstepping her role, but I knew the result as soon as she put the wand on my belly.  This was not going to be a viable pregnancy.

When the doctor came in to confirm what I already knew, the tears started streaming down my face, not caring that someone was watching.  I had been fearful of seeing a baby with no heartbeat, or a baby that wasn’t properly formed.  I wasn’t prepared to not see a baby at all.  I began miscarrying the pregnancy later that evening.

Our situation was not unique.  It’s becoming common knowledge that an estimated 1 in 5 pregnancies result in a miscarriage.  It’s a statistic that I’ve had in the back of my mind since seeing my first positive pregnancy test, so I can’t claim ignorance on the topic.  I did, however, feel a false sense of security in already having a successful pregnancy.  By 8 weeks, I felt confident.  Despite the lack of embryo in my belly, I had constant nausea, food aversions, exhaustion and breakouts.  I had a small bump, and very much felt pregnant. 

In the days and weeks following the miscarriage, I was lucky to be surrounded by love.  My husband and I have an amazing support system in our families and our incredible friends who were waiting with offers of help, a shoulder to cry on, or a distraction from what we were going through.  Many nights I’d come home and tearfully tell my husband how grateful I felt to just be surrounded by such amazing people.  Still, I felt incredibly alone.

I’m a nurturer by nature, so I have a hard time letting others take care of me.  When asked how I felt, I’d brush it off and give my go to response, “unfortunately, it happens.”  I recognize how unhelpful that is for me to tell people, but I still find myself saying it a few weeks later.  That response is true, of course, but it doesn’t give others insight into how it makes me feel.

I feel cheated, knowing I nurtured this pregnancy for 7  weeks.  I feel frustrated when pregnancy announcements pour in, knowing it should have been me.  I feel sad, realizing that it could be a long time before we start decorating another nursery, or buying tiny onesies.  My husband and I discussed names.  We excitedly guessed at the baby’s gender.  We waited impatiently for each new milestone, and were incredibly excited to announce our news. 

For those of you who silently mourn a pregnancy that hasn’t happened, or pregnancies that have ended without a beautiful baby in your arms, my heart goes out to you.  It’s okay to let others know what you’re going through.  Because we’re one in five, it’s very likely that you’ll hear from others who are able to relate to what you’re going through.  There is healing in allowing other people to see and understand your pain, even if they can’t always provide the best words to help.  For those who want to help a loved one through a miscarriage, acknowledge the loss, and take time to listen if the other person is willing to talk.  It’s hard to burden other people with your pain, but we want to know that people recognize what we’re going through. 

For now, I’m working on getting to a more hopeful place.  My doctor is confident that I will have another successful pregnancy.  I’m young and healthy, and the chances of going through this again are fairly low. Still, I often find myself longing for the baby that never truly was, and wondering when that baby will become a reality.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Thank you for sharing. I appreciate your willingness to be vulnerable; helping others know it’s okay to feel, to share, to ask.

    I am one in five too.

    You are not alone. I am not alone.

    #oneinfive

  2. I’m so sorry for your loss. Going through a miscarriage is incredibly painful. My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage. It still hurts to think about sometimes, but I have come a long way in the healing process. It gives me a lot of comfort to know that my angel baby is in Heaven with Jesus.

    #oneinfive

Comments are closed.