As much as my son’s birth was the best day of my life, I can’t help always remembering that exactly one year previous to that, it was probably one of the worst days of my life. In my previous blog post that talked about my son’s birth, I touched on the heartbreak of that day but never really told my story. With October being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I felt it was the time talk about it.
Shortly after I got married, I realized that I was pregnant. We hadn’t tried to get pregnant that quickly but knew we had wanted to start a family right away so we were ecstatic. After a confirmation from the doctor, I was overjoyed to tell our respective families but wanted to keep things quiet to everyone else until we reached that “12 Week” wonder week. The week that somehow is supposed to be the magic number where if you reach that week miraculously everything is supposed to be ok.
So for those next weeks, I made sure I was doing everything right. I ate well, slept well, didn’t do anything too strenuous, I followed the baby books to the letter. Even though we had no idea if it was a girl or a boy we somehow started referring to him(her) as Little Elvis. I have no idea where it came from, but it stuck.
Finally we had reached the 12 week point and couldn’t wait to tell our friends. There was an annual golf tournament that we used to play in with all of our friends and we thought that would be the perfect day to tell everyone. Of course, our friends were thrilled for us and we went on to enjoy the day. All the Mom’s were giving me advice and asking me how I was and I couldn’t wait to share everything.
However, that morning, when I had woken up, I remember feeling a bit off. Nothing specific, just kind of heachacy. I blamed the hormones and brushed it off. Near the end of the day, I remember going to the bathroom and there is was, a bit of spotting. Nothing major and not more that a little spot. I didn’t think much of it at first as I had had spotting earlier in the pregnancy and after a rush to the doctor’s it was found it was just implantation bleeding and the baby was fine at that point.
But at the end of the day, and we were driving home, I knew in my heart of hearts this wasn’t right. Something was definitely wrong. I told my husband to take us to the hospital immediately.
I wish I could say that my hospital visit was filled with nurses that cared and helped soften the blow of what we were about to hear. But unfortunately snide comments and questions like “Did you take a pregnancy test to see if you were still pregnant?” were more the norm. After an ultrasound and what seemed like an eternity waiting and waiting, the doctor came in and all I remember him saying was “no longer a viable pregnancy”. At that point, everything else went silent and my entire world crumbled around me.
A D&C was then attempted but due to complications, they were unable to remove the baby and I was sent home to basically miscarry naturally. I felt like things could not get worse. But for an entire week with constant cramping and misery I finally completely miscarried. It was over, my little Elvis was gone.
I remember crawling in my bed and crying harder than I had ever cried and beat myself up for hours wondering what I done wrong and why I couldn’t have held on to this pregnancy. This feeling would not going away for a very long time and sometimes it still creeps back into my world.
Having to tell family and friends made it almost worst. I felt like I had failed myself, my husband, my friends and family and most of all, my little Elvis.
Back when I had my miscarriage, it wasn’t something that people openly talked about. When it happened to me, people kept it too themselves so much that I felt like I was the only one of my friends around me that had gone through it. Little did I know so many of my friends had had a miscarriage as well. So after it was over, I suffered in the most part in silence.
There was never talk about grieving and support, there were no “rainbow baby” celebrations. Miscarriage was something kept silent and I feel like we suffered alone. Of course my husband was there and supported me and was devastated himself as did my family but I am sure other women who have gone through this understand what I mean when I say it just isn’t the same.
When I finally became pregnant again with my son, I was terrified through the entire 9 months. I didn’t want anything to happen to this pregnancy. Every little ache and every little pain, I worried I was going to lose him. And exactly one year later, I woke up that morning remembering my little Elvis and within a few hours when my son decided he wanted to make his debut into this world, it wasn’t without complications and fear as well.
That is why when I see miscarriage and infant loss being talked about and support groups so openly available now for those of us who have loss, it makes things just a little bit easier for me. It’s not that feeling of shame or feeling that you shouldn’t talk about it because it’s too sad for other to hear. It’s about supporting each other and knowing that you are not alone and you can express your feelings and get the help you need to get through the terrible times.
If you have gone through a miscarriage or infant loss, know that you are not alone. Sadly, there are many of us, but know that we are hear to listen, to share our stories and if we can make it even a little bit easier for you, we are here for you.