Hello and welcome to The Old Summers Home. Today I’m introducing the first post truly dedicated to The Mom Spot, our latest addition to our blog. This is a story about a very hard time in my life that I went through, that we both went through and yet I felt so very alone. In a world of billions of people, I felt alone. Today I’m sharing how my miscarriage broke me and the signs and symptoms you should watch for.
At 7 weeks I had an ultrasound to confirm my pregnancy because I was having some odd symptoms and a lot of pain. I couldn’t believe I was pregnant already since we had just started trying. We were overjoyed that the ultrasound looked good, no problems just a tiny little fetus starting to grow inside of me.
We were so excited we told our family and friends, news travelled quickly in our small little town and we could hardly contain our excitement.
I felt the glow of pregnancy and the reality that I would be a mom was beginning to sink in. We started planning for the new addition, talking about names and the nursery.
Is this a miscarriage?
At 12 weeks I was still doing great despite having some underlying issues that put me at high risk. I was out for an afternoon walk when suddenly I felt not quite right and pain started in my pelvis.
After getting home I realized I had started to bleed. We went to the doctor who transferred us to our nearest hospital. There they checked me and gave me something for the pain that was becoming worse and worse by the minute.
After a long sleepless night, they sent us to the city for an ultrasound. After the ultrasound, we received no results and they sent us back to the hospital we came from. A doctor told me it was too soon to tell even though I was now bleeding heavily. They discharged me with instructions to check my blood clots for fetal tissue. Words I never imaged I would hear. According to the doctor if I rubbed the blood clot between my fingers and it did not disintegrate it was fetal tissue meaning I was having a miscarriage. They instructed me to remain on bed rest for two weeks when they would check me again.
“Spontaneous Abortion, A Miscarriage”
For days I waited for the bleeding to stop, to lessen, for the pain to get better, for my head to just be able to think clearly. We saw a doctor and I asked them for the first time, the words that I could hardly get out of my mouth. “Is this a miscarriage?” I could not get a straight answer, so I called the hospital to ask them too. It seems no one wanted to give me the words that I was afraid to speak.
I scoured the internet searching Google for any relevant answers. My fear was getting overwhelming and anxiety was taking over. The pain only worsened and I cried day and night. After 10 long days of going crazy and hoping and praying, we decided to go to a bigger hospital.
Within three hours of checking into Emergency, they told us the words we struggled to speak. “I’m sorry, you lost the baby. Your body has had a spontaneous abortion, a miscarriage.” 10 whole days of holding out faith and never hearing the words from anyone’s mouth but my own. And now the earth was crumbling under me.
It was as though all the medical doctors and staff we had seen the past few weeks could not even speak about the stigmatized ‘miscarriage’. As if none of them wanted the job to tell us of our impending loss. And that probably broke me the worst.
The Stigma Behind Talking About a Miscarriage
The world was different when I had my first miscarriage and I knew a lot less about being open with my feelings. The word miscarriage had a certain stigma to it and unfortunately, it is still something that is pushed to hush-hush even today. Knowing that it is okay to talk about these things with others is essential to your healing.
It is different everywhere you live, but where we come from such a topic is not always openly discussed. My own mother wanted nothing to speak of it. My friends had no words of comfort. I felt abandoned when I needed comfort most of all.
Words can break people
People will dignify their thoughts by saying “it is so common for women to miscarriage”, “it’s not actually a baby that early on” or “lots of women have miscarriages and don’t even know it.” Those words do not help, they do not make anyone feel better. In fact, those words have stayed with me for the past decade.
I remember being told that I should not have shared my excitement about our pregnancy and then I would not have had to explain that our baby died. That left me hesitant for years to come to share any of our future expecting babies. What a cruel thing to tell a woman who saw herself as a mother in just a few months. Hell, I thought of myself as a mother already with my little one growing inside of me.
When people talk about infant loss and infant loss awareness day, miscarriage is sometimes overlooked. The fact that you never held your baby in your arms or that they never breathed a gasp of fresh air is somehow supposed to make it less of a
Let me tell you right now that is not true and you have every right to feel that heartbreak deep down in your heart and soul. No one, I repeat NO ONE has the authority to tell you how you feel!
How My Miscarriage Broke Me
Josh was the only person whom I could talk to and I couldn’t. I couldn’t bring myself to look him in the eye. I lost our baby, I lost the child we committed to each other to have, I, me alone, had ended our dreams. It was justified in my mind that I had done something wrong, that I was too weak, that I was somehow broken. To this very day, I struggle to speak of our first loss. I even try not to think about it in hopes that perhaps it was never really true.
Perhaps that is why I hate the term ‘spontaneous abortion’ so much these days. It leaves a mother feeling full of guilt for something that she has no control over whatsoever. It is confusing terminology that gives the impression that we are weak or frail or not right in some way. When I first heard those words I had no idea of the implications and I withdrew upon myself.
They told us to wait to try to conceive again, to let my body heal. They never said anything about my mind. After almost 2 weeks of trying to hold on to faith and hope I felt my faith in God slipping away. What had I done to be forsaken? Where did I make the wrong choice that would take away our sweet baby? How could I have done things differently for God to have saved our child? What if I never went for that walk? Would I still have lost the baby?
My heart broke my emotions now a mess. My hormone levels were through the roof. I became withdrawn and let my emotions overtake me. I no longer felt my normal happy self but rather like a ticking timebomb.
Seeking support after a miscarriage
I finally took a chance and saw another doctor. He was different than the rest and he comforted me and talked to me about my loss. This man encouraged us to try again. He assured me that with my hormone levels being so high it would give us a better chance on a surviving baby the next time around. A rainbow baby as I learned later on.
This doctor was so open and for the first time gave me hope that I, in fact, was not the cause of our loss. He told me that perhaps something was severely wrong and that God knew what was best. I felt a glimmer in my faith come back.
One day my neighbour asked me to come for tea. She was an older lady so very sweet to us. We were young and still had much to learn but she and her husband treated us as though we were mature adults with our shit together.
As I sat there in her living room sipping some sweet tea she opened up to me about her own story. It was the first time someone related to everything I was feeling. The first time I had ever heard someone speak of a miscarriage and be so open about it. Her story is not mine to tell but the companionship we shared that day stays with me even now.
What Symptoms You Should Watch For After a Miscarriage
You may not even know you are isolating yourself from the outside world, looking back I can clearly see it now. I stayed on a mattress in our living room for days blankly staring at the television and crying throughout the days waiting for my answer. When is the last time you got out of bed? The last time you interacted with another human being in a social environment?
- As hard as it is right now, try to maintain some of your outgoing personality.
- Try to engage with a few people each day even if it is just your spouse and a quick call to a friend.
Feeling sad and broken is a normal feeling after a loss but it can also become all-consuming. If you find yourself having thoughts of self-harm and worthlessness, then please reach out to a medical professional to get help.
- Find social media support groups.
- Reach out to your family doctor.
- Check out loss support groups in your area.
- Talk with someone who has been through this already.
Loss of Appetite
Your body has just gone through a traumatic ordeal and nutrition is very important to help your body heal. Malnourishment and dehydration can worsen the symptoms.
- Ensure to drink enough water and not become dehydrated.
- Try to eat a well-balanced diet even if smaller than normal.
- Consider supplementing with protein drinks if you are unable to eat, but watch the sugar content on them.
- If your loss of appetite continues and results in a weight loss of more than a few pounds then seek medical advice.
Just like maintaining a healthy diet sleep is equally important in healing physically and emotionally. If you are not getting enough sleep or feeling exhaustion do not hesitate to ask your doctor for help. They may provide you with a sleep aide or recommend some natural sleep advice.
- Try drinking a mug of tea or warm milk.
- Try to gather all your thoughts in a mental jar and seal it off for the night.
- Listen to soothing music before bed.
- Have a warm bath with candles.
- Keep the lights dimmed prior to bedtime.
Since My Miscarriage that Broke Me
Our next pregnancy, that the kind doctor recommended we try again for, was a success. Which blessed us with our dear oldest daughter Abigail. After yet another loss, we tried again. We found out we were expecting twins this time. You can read a bit more about the struggle we faced during that pregnancy in our 7 Facts about me post. Miraculously both our girls survived despite the odds they were given. Katey and Emily round out the rest of our little family.
The next two were hard of course but things were different now. I knew what to do and knew who to reach out to. I learned to build friendships with people who loved and supported me. Those friends do not run from me when I need them. They are there to give me a shoulder to cry on and help me back up to my feet.
My last miscarriage was a shock and very hard because I was alone in a hospital, hours away from my family with our sweet Emily needing surgery. In all honesty, I did not have time to grieve this unexpected pregnancy and loss.
I had been running on adrenaline for months and it went into overdrive. I actually told Josh about it while in the operating waiting room when he rushed down for Emily’s surgery. Our grief was then overcome by the pure joy that our daughter had gone through surgery successfully and expected to make a full recovery.
Lest We Forget
After our loss, I placed the positive pregnancy test and our first ultrasound along with a letter I wrote to our unborn child in a keepsake box and stored it away.
I know some people who have planted a rose bush or a little garden for their lost baby. Some have an entire trunk of things that have kept.
Personally I can not bring myself to look at the letter I wrote to help my healing in an attempt to get some closure. Perhaps writing this post hoping it will help someone else is the closure that I have never quite felt.
Join the Wave of Light for Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day. Simply light a candle in honour of all the sweet littles taken too soon. We have been doing this for years with our oldest daughter. She likes to say a prayer for the babies who have gone to get their wings. #WaveOfLight Join the Movement.
We Stand Together
Thank you for coming today. I hope this post has helped you in some way or another. Remember we stand together during this difficult time. Reach out for support whether it be from friends or online support. There is always someone there who will listen. Sending you so much love and prayers. Remember you do not need to do this alone. God Bless.
Until next time;
The Old Summers Home