I thought I’d be half in the bag when I posted this blog entry. Truthfully, I am sober and nervous. I’ve been flip flopping all month. Do I post about my miscarriage? Do I scrap it? Now is as good a time as any.
Here we are, on October 31, 2018 and October is miscarriage awareness month. And as I’m sure you figured out by the title of this article, I’ve had a miscarriage. About 15% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, according to March of Dimes.
You must be thinking, “Thankful?! How is she thankful?!”
It’s called ‘reframing,’ my friends. It’s important to reframe your thoughts to move on. And reframing my miscarriage (and writing this post) has helped me move on.
That came with time, of course. My miscarriage broke me, but I’ll get to that later.
We were ecstatic we were pregnant in the summer of 2016. I was beaming. I remember showing my husband the positive pregnancy test like it was yesterday. Once the test showed those important two lines, I ran down the stairs and he was standing in the foyer. I had the pregnancy test tucked behind my back and I whipped it out. He said, “is this a joke?” He couldn’t believe how fast it happened and he couldn’t believe it was real.
We started telling people because you don’t think it will happen to you. You know about miscarriage, but you don’t think it would ever possibly happen to you. No one talks about it; this topic is swept under the rug.
Ordinary appointment didn’t go as planned
I went to my ten week appointment and that’s when I got the bad news. The doctor was using the portable ultrasound equipment in the exam room, but she couldn’t find the heartbeat. She told me it was “totally normal” and rushed me to see the ultrasound tech. At the time, I didn’t think anything of it. When the ultrasound tech wouldn’t look me in the eye I knew something was up, but I asked the dumbest question I could possibly ask, “Is there something out of the ordinary?” almost giving her an out. “Nope. You need to talk with the doctor.”
I was rushed back into the patient room, and the minutes waiting for the doctor felt like hours. Finally she came in, “there was no heartbeat.” My face flooded with tears. She tried to console me, but I bluntly told her I didn’t want to cry in the office, and I wanted to be alone in my car.
Fast forward a couple of months
I felt misunderstood by everyone around me and I felt isolated and alone. Though I had support from the few people that knew, I felt as though I couldn’t relate and avoided the subject like the plague.
Not only was I an emotional mess, my body wasn’t right either. I had surgery and I was put under to extract everything. A few weeks went by and I knew something was off, but the doctors didn’t believe me. One morning I woke up with terrible pain in my abdomen, and I rushed to the bathroom. I’ll try to save you from the gross details, but it basically looked like I murdered someone in my bathroom. I had to sit in the bathtub because I couldn’t manage the blood. My husband rushed me to the ER and more “stuff” a.k.a. remnants of what the first surgery missed was leaving my body. After the ER, I had a second surgery to get the remaining “stuff” that the doctors didn’t believe me about.
The dark side of grief
It took me a long time to move on. I spent months crying in the closet—both literally and figuratively. I spent a lot of time hiding on the floor of my closet crying. Everything would trigger me. The mom walking in the craft store with her little babe, innocent friends asking when we were going to have kids, and the friendly work email about someone leaving for maternity leave. I spent 45 mins crying in the locker room at my work one day. I’m not over exaggerating, I couldn’t pull myself together after reading a pregnancy announcement on Facebook. It left me crippled and hiding in the shower of the gym locker room.
Now I’m getting to the part about being broken—you, yes you the reader, should feel special. I haven’t told anyone this besides my husband (and I told him once I started recovering). The security of hiding behind the internet makes me feel brave enough to share.
I was low, so low, that I felt like I had no purpose in life. I felt like I had no reason to be alive.
I felt this way for a long time and in hindsight I should have asked for help.
That was my low point. I think I started feeling better after mothers’ day. (Which was obviously a terrible day.)
In the late summer of 2017, we started trying again. I’m thankful that I could get pregnant again without any issues. My entire pregnancy I was terrified that I would lose this second baby. I didn’t want to tell anyone and I waited until almost my third trimester to announce it.
In fear that I would lose my second baby, I spent a lot of time crying in the shower. It was a place where I was truly alone and could hide my fear. I was paranoid about everything. I bought a stethoscope to listen to the heartbeat once my baby was big enough and I checked every opportunity I could.
My greatest lesson
Fast forward to now and I have a beautiful baby girl and I can’t even explain in words how much I love her.
Now here’s the part you were waiting for. The part where I explain how I am thankful for my miscarriage. My miscarriage taught me a beautiful lesson.
Even though I was terrified, I appreciated every day of my second pregnancy. Every time I had morning sickness, or every time I had to get up in the middle of the night to pee, I knew it was worth it. I knew what I had lost before.
And now that she’s here, I cherish every minute. Even when I have to get up in the middle of the night to feed her, I am still grateful that I have her. I try to soak in every moment I have with her.
My baby is beyond amazing, and I know if my other pregnancy was successful I wouldn’t have my Madison. I wouldn’t have her smiles, her funny noises, or her giggles.
I am thankful for my miscarriage because it showed me how to appreciate every part of being a mother and it gave me my beautiful daughter. How could I not be thankful when I have the most incredible baby?