I held my breath as the doctor squirted the gel onto the wand. Even though it was warmed, the gel still gave me the willies.
“Okay, now, lets see what we’ve got going on in there,” Dr. Perez said.
I wondered why the doctor said we, because I only counted one person here in these God-awful stirrups.
My heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest. I gripped my husband’s hand. His palm was just as wet as mine. This was pregnancy #3. It had to be okay this time, right? I FELT different. My boobs hurt. I was nauseous. I cried at Bud Light commercials. I had prayed. God was going to answer me; I just knew He was.
It was dead silent in the exam room. Not a good sign. I looked at the screen. All I saw was a black and white mess. There was nothing moving on the screen.
Trying not to cry, I squeaked out, “Do you see anything?”
“I’m so sorry, you guys.” Dr. Perez said after a long pause. She looked like she was about to cry as she continued to look in vain for a heartbeat.
“Are you sure?” I heard my husband say, resigned already. But, I knew. Just like I had known the first two times. The little being inside me was gone. And another little piece of my heart died…again.
I have been pregnant 10 times. I never had a hard time getting pregnant, I just had a hard time staying pregnant. I was lucky enough to be blessed with a child after that third miscarriage. I have one child – 10 pregnancies.
There are lots of reasons miscarriages happen. During the first trimester, the most common cause of miscarriage is a chromosomal abnormality – meaning that something is not correct with the baby’s chromosomes. I know this is supposed to make us feel better – this idea that miscarriage is God’s natural selection process.
But, regardless of the reason it happens, miscarriage can make a woman feel so many things. “My body does not want to work; everyone else can just get pregnant EXCEPT ME; I am a failure as a woman.” And so many more negative feelings. As women, we are generally notorious for being hard on ourselves. This is supposed to be the one thing we can do…but it is not that way for everyone.
Pregnancy isn’t always easy. Sometimes it has been very hard to come by. Sometimes it’s precarious. Sometimes it’s both. Sometimes it’s even more than that.
As a Labor and Delivery nurse in the 90’s, one of our first tasks was to take an OB history. I discovered that most women have miscarriages. It seemed that when I would take the pregnancy history almost everyone had had at least one. Surprisingly though, it’s still a very silent topic, which can make it feel almost shameful. We all tend to suffer that loss alone.
I want to stop the silence. We need to be talking about this and supporting one another through it. A loss is a loss – at 6 weeks, at 12 weeks, at 18 weeks. It hurts; and it’s okay to feel that pain. It’s okay to grieve the loss of the hope that pregnancy brought you and your partner. Do whatever YOU need to do to heal. Another tough thing to do as women it to do for ourselves. This is a time though when that is of the utmost importance.
Maybe it’s going to the beach; maybe it’s talking with friends. Maybe it’s just letting yourself cry for a day, two days, more.
For me, I found great comfort in my dog Madden. She would lay with me while I grieved the loss of my pregnancies. She just let me feel; and with that I would start the road to healing.
If you would like to talk more with me about miscarriage or options you may have to help battle infertility, you can contact me, here.