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I have to admit, the idea of sharing such personal moments for so many to see has me slowly hovering over the backspace key and asking myself is it really worth it? But, writing is an outlet for me, it always has been, just like so many other creative things in this world. It almost seems like I truly cannot let go until I’ve let it all out via my own words. So, this is partially for me and partially to update all those who may have wondered why I’ve been mostly quiet for the past few weeks, not only here with my photography business, but on my personal page as well. So here it goes, saying it loudly…
I had a miscarriage.
Miscarriage, the word alone can send shivers up so many spines. Partly because SO many people have gone through it themselves or know someone close to them who has, and partly because it’s almost a “taboo” word, a word people are almost afraid of saying. Why? Why has miscarriage become something that so many believe you must suffer in silence about? In today’s world it has become the norm to overshare. Social media gives us that option every single day. Not only is there your own personal oversharing, but there’s the one big question that has somehow become a staple to ask and it comes over and over again merely seconds after you say I do….”when are you having a baby?”
Nick and I just got married this past October, and the questions starting rolling in and for us, and that was okay. Johanna was already 7 years old, so we knew we were going to forego the “spend some time to yourselves before you start having kids” option. As most of us have discovered though, once or twice, or more in our lifetimes, your “plan” that you have created, sometimes doesn’t always go your way. But, when we found out Christmas morning that I was pregnant, it seemed like our plan, that had somewhat fallen into place, might be exactly what we wanted. I was married, owned a house, had a wonderful job, my own business, I was ready for this baby. I was 19 years old when I got pregnant with Johanna. Looking back to that time, I wasn’t ready to have a baby, but that baby changed my whole life for the better. Johanna’s birth was traumatic, I won’t lie. She was born 2 months premature and I had to leave her in the NICU night after night, for an entire month. I had never felt that kind of heartbreak and it wouldn’t be until now that I’ve felt it again.
By the time my 8 week appointment had come, we had already chosen to share our news with some of our closest friends and family. This in itself is such a difficult decision to make, it adds to the “taboo” nature of a miscarriage. Do I keep something that’s making me almost burst at the seems in excitement to myself over the fear or miscarrying? I chose not to, but that’s a decision that every woman has to make and there is no right or wrong decision. For me though, it had been 8 long years since I’ve felt that special feeling, the one where you’re almost in disbelief that your body can do something so amazing. There was no way I could keep that all in. So there I sat in a dark ultrasound room with my husband, who was so excited to finally see his first baby. And there it was, or should I say, there it wasn’t. The second I looked at the doctors face, I knew something was wrong, and looking back now, I knew at that moment, that this pregnancy was over. My particular case is what’s called an anembryonic pregnancy or a blighted ovum. This is when all of the normal pregnancy steps happen, but the embryo never grows. It was such a whirlwind feeling. Of course I was pregnant, I’d been throwing up every single day, I had all the typical pregnancy symptoms, so how could this be? It was extremely difficult to wrap my head around, it still almost is. The baby my husband and I had been calling poppy seed, sweet pea and blueberry (after it’s size) was never really there. That’s a hard pill to swallow. I finally knew how Ellie felt in Up.
The look at our baby texts turned into we have some bad news. The blood draws, the shots, the “you can have the D&C procedure, you can take a pill, or you can let it happen naturally,” it was all so much. Too much to take in at such an emotionally and physically draining time. I was like a zombie. Between the moments of hysterically crying, being pissed off or just being downright sad, it was hard to keep my head on straight. It took a toll on me that was greater than I could have imagined. Not only me though, but my husband, who had every right to be just as sad and angry as I was, and who had to watch as his wife lost a little bit of her spark that he had grown to love so much about her. My daughter, who longed for a sibling more than anything, had to hang up her big sister shirt in her closet, until her wish can finally come true. I chose to let my miscarriage happen naturally, which was a hard decision to make. You have to wait until your body makes the call for you, yet all the while you still have those pregnancy symptoms, the morning sickness, your body still thinks your pregnant. So from January 25th at my ultrasound appointment until yesterday, I’ve been pregnant, yet knew there was no baby. I laid in my ER hospital bed yesterday, at exactly 12 weeks pregnant, my husbands hand in mine, basically with full on labor contractions, as my body was finally ready to let go of this pregnancy. I was sad, tired, in pain, a million emotions all at once, yet one feeling rushed over me that I did not anticipate. I was proud. So proud of myself for listening to my body and letting it do what it was made for, so proud of myself for making it through something so terrible, and mostly so proud that I have a wonderful husband and daughter who were there every second of the way to make sure that their wife and mommy was okay. Miscarriage is tough on everyone, your family, friends, co-workers, but they can also be your greatest asset, which is why I’m so happy that I chose to not hold this all in, that I could have those people to share in the excitement and also to have as a support system through the grieving. I am strong, I know that now, but it’s okay to need others to lean on, and I appreciate mine so much.
My heart hurts for all those who have to go through this, you’re not alone, I feel your pain. Truth be told, that pain will probably never fully go away. When September 3rd rolls around, and I have no new bundle of joy in my arms, it will hurt, I’m sure. My heart also hurts for the so many women who struggle to even get pregnant. It’s not fair, being a woman is just simply not fair sometimes. But we need each other, and if reading this helps just one person, well then it’s done its job for not only me but for someone suffering too. If it makes you feel better to keep things to yourself, that’s perfectly fine too, like I said, there are no right and wrong ways to do this. But lifting each other up is so important, talking about losing a baby is so important. Miscarriage sucks, there’s no better way to explain it other than that, but we’ll make it through. I will, and any other woman going through the exact same thing. When I want to feel sad, I will, when I want to feel happy, I will, and when I want to feel downright angry I will, because miscarriage sucks.
My husband deserves a very special thank you though, as I needed him more than anyone during all this. Thank you Nicholas for doing the dishes when I couldn’t keep my eyes open past 7:00, thank you for quickly moving out of the way when you were brushing your teeth and I suddenly threw up in the sink, thank you for letting me wear your t-shirts when mine were getting too snug, thank you for tucking your step-daughter into bed when I simply didn’t have enough energy to make it up the stairs, thank you for the “feelings update?” texts you would send me on the daily, thank you for understanding when I needed to just sit in the car and listen to Pink’s “Beam Me Up” a hundred times in a row, and thank you for being there to wipe away so many tears. I love you more and more every single day.
A very heartfelt thank you to all my family, friends and co-workers is needed too. Without you all this would have been so much harder. Honestly, thank you from the bottom of my heart. My healing process will continue to be tough, but I’ll be okay because of all of you.
A million thank you’s to you all.