Miscarriage Stories: 10 Women Share Their Loss
Written by Katie Hintz-Zambrano
Photography by Photographed by Hilary Walsh
Among women who know they are pregnant, approximately 15% of those pregnancies end in miscarriage (with over 80% of those miscarriages happening within the first 3 months). Which means if you’ve experienced one (or several), you are definitely not alone. Chances are, someone close to you or within your community has dealt with the same ordeal. While everyone reacts differently to this type of loss, the general consensus is that speaking about it with women who have gone through similar experiences can be a comfort. This is why we’ve asked ten mothers to share their very personal, eye-opening stories, right here.
Jessica, one miscarriage, 16 weeks.
My first pregnancy was seamless. We traipsed around the world, enjoying my blooming belly and our final days as just two. Years later, I was ambivalent about having a second child. I thought perhaps our lives as a threesome should simply remain joyous and who knew how things would shift if we added more to the mix? Until I changed my mind. My subsequent pregnancy ended in miscarriage at 16 weeks. I began spotting and within a few days the baby emerged. My unmedicated D&C was a necessity, as I began to hemorrhage. The pain of the procedure didn’t match the excruciating emotions I felt as I lay there, digesting this trauma and the loss of a daughter I will never know. The next few months were a blur. I put one foot in front of the other, but I’m still not sure how I managed to make my way in the world. As I psychologist, I specialized in women’s reproductive and maternal mental health long before my own miscarriage experience. I had heard many stories of heart-wrenching pregnancy losses, but had yet to understand from a corporeal perspective. My second trimester loss has profoundly shifted my work and has invariably changed me as a person more broadly. I went on to get pregnant soon thereafter, and now have a toddler whose humor has me bent over in belly laughter. Pregnancy after pregnancy loss was incredibly anxiety producing—fear sometimes took over my day. Until my daughter was nestled in my arms, it was difficult to believe that she was actually going to be a part of our family. Now a family of four.
Laura, one miscarriage, 18 weeks.
When something bad happens to you, it’s hard to shake the feeling that other people think you did something to bring it on. Maybe they think you had a heart attack because you didn’t eat well. Got laid off because you planned poorly. Had your car broken into because you left something in there. But when I had a miscarriage, the worst culprit of this reflexive blaming was myself. It took me years to get over thinking that I caused the loss of my baby. I was 29 years old and in excellent health. We got pregnant on the first try. While I had some spotting in the first trimester, the pregnancy was mostly uneventful and I even kept up my 2-3 times a week “bootcamp” (running up hills) routine. When we hit the 13-week mark, we started to tell friends and family. My father-in-law had recently been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, so the family was overjoyed to have some good news. I had just launched an online magazine and an annual event a few months before the pregnancy and I had a lot of work to do to get my solo businesses ready for three months without me. I took meetings all over S.F. and NYC, making plans for my seemingly imminent maternity leave. At the end of my 17th week, I started to have some pink spotting. It was very faint, so I thought little of it, but I tried to find a way to call my “low intervention” (hands-off) OB/midwife. I couldn’t find a way to get through to anyone, or a phone number on any of our paperwork. This spotting went on for a few days and then a day came where my cervix (top of my vagina) hurt so much when I stood that I tried to sit as much as possible. At the end of a busy work-from-home day, I was standing to make myself a snack. Right at the moment my husband walked through the front door, he saw my face contort and my body double over in pain. There was no question that this was ER-level pain. We still couldn’t find anyway to contact our OB, so we drove to the closest emergency room while I shrieked at every delay. Once we got there the ER attendants suggested I sit down and wait for a room, but once they saw me opt to lay down on the floor instead, they took our urgency more seriously. They got me immediately into a room and upon an exam realized that I had a condition called “cervical incompetence” and that my cervix was 10 centimeters dilated. Fully dilated. Ready to have a baby dilated. But all the miracles of modern science put together can’t make a baby survive at just 18 weeks gestation. And nothing can make a cervix un-dilate either. So, they asked me to push. I looked at them like they were completely crazy and they opted instead to give me “amnesia drugs” and local anesthetic and to do a D&C. I sent my husband out of the room not wanting either of us to see something that couldn’t be unseen. The next thing I remember is standing up and looking down at my own feet on the green tiled hospital floor, as blood dripped between them. Vividly, easily, the worst moment of my life. The grief hit in waves and was surprisingly complex. It was my first death. My body was healing from acute trauma. My milk came in, turning my breasts into hot painful rocks for a week. My “hands-off” (over-worked) midwife never once followed up. My hormones were a rollercoaster. Our plans were erased. Our families were crushed. I hid my maternity clothes and the things for the baby. I had to email dozens of people, including work connections, about our devastating news. I started over on business plans. I cried for weeks, months. I thought of every possible “what if” that I could have done that would have changed the situation—not lift heavy things, not run up hills, find a way to reach my doctor sooner, etc. I ached to be pregnant again. I ached for the loss of that specific person whom I felt like I already knew. (Based on my instincts, a boy. And based on my insane cravings, someone who would have loved coffee like his dad. And based on my dreams, someone sweet and wry and funny like his dad.) The day after the procedure, I limped around a local garden store with my husband and I filled a window box with what I thought of as my “recovery plants.” As the plants grew under my care, so did my acceptance and resolution around this daunting grief. They wilted with me around the week of my due date (likely due to an October heat wave), but overall grew strong and well. The best thing that I read during this extended grief period was “Someday you’ll have the family you’re supposed to.” Six months after the miscarriage, still feeling shook up and not ready to try again, we adopted a dog. In 2013 we had a healthy son, and in 2014 a healthy daughter, with the help of very attentive doctors and some medical intervention. It’s now been more than five years since the miscarriage and while I still grieve that specific person, I no longer blame myself or wish it hadn’t happened. That life path ended for me, but I’m on another one now. That’s all there is.
Jennine, two miscarriages, 8-9 weeks.
I had two miscarriages, one when I was 18 and the other when I was 37. The first time, I had been convinced to keep the baby by my mother, and by the time I decided to “keep” the child and got attached to it, that was when I had the miscarriage. The things I remember about that time was how insensitive the emergency room staff at the hospital was. I told them I was miscarrying (because I was bleeding) and they sent me home. They did not explain what was happening. Then after I passed the baby in the toilet, I scooped it out with my hands. It was no bigger than a shrimp, but you could definitely tell it was a fetus. When I brought it into the hospital they didn’t believe me and took the fetus (which I brought to them in a Ziploc bag) and sent it to pathology for testing. When the test came back that indeed I had brought them a fetus, they continued the exam to ensure everything came out, of which I remember the doctor saying, “I’m going to insert this speculum, which, shouldn’t hurt since you’ve been pregnant, and had bigger things in there.” I was young and felt terrible about the whole experience, I don’t know where “personhood” starts, but I definitely felt connected to that little shrimp that lived inside me, and was devastated when I lost him or her. In addition to that loss, the experience at the hospital was horrifying. Ultimately about that pregnancy, I feel it worked out the way it should have. Deep down inside I knew I was not meant to be a young mother, and am grateful to have had a life where I could choose to be a mom when I was ready. It took me nearly twenty years to finally be ready—married, financially stable, all that stuff. Luckily, especially because of my age (37), I got pregnant right away. When we took the viability ultrasound at 8 weeks and they did not find a heartbeat, the doctor informed us with genuine compassion. It was a stark contrast to the experience I had previously. That said, I had no idea what to do after. In retrospect, I believe I was in shock because I just went back to work. Like I had just been to the dentist or something. I didn’t know what else to do. I just buried myself in work for the following weeks because every time I stopped working I would just cry. I would work until it was time to go to bed, sleep, and wake up and start crying until I went to work. Luckily, that time didn’t last long. I didn’t have a hard time getting pregnant again, because I had one period, and then got pregnant, this time with my son who is now 2 years old. A friend of mine once said, “Everything works out. If you had that baby, you wouldn’t have Jasper. The baby you lost was a different baby.” And you know what, I really love Jasper, and I’m so glad he is here with us.
Melissa, 5 miscarriages, 7-11 weeks.
My husband and I started trying to conceive as soon as we were married. I was 33. I knew that my age would not stack the odds in our favor, but I’ve always been an optimist. About a year in, I got pregnant, and while I knew that I shouldn’t get too excited until I was 3 months along, we couldn’t help but start the planning in our heads. My husband and I were giddy. I went to the doctor and they couldn’t get a heartbeat on the ultrasound, but they said that was normal sometimes and maybe I wasn’t as far along as I thought I was. We were concerned, but stayed positive. A week or so later, I experienced the bleeding that made it pretty clear I was miscarrying. We went to the ER on the suggestion of my doctor (it was after-hours) and they just confirmed what we already knew. It was heartbreaking. The problem is that, quite simply, I had more “old eggs” than I should have, and it was just an egg that wasn’t viable. It took a few months to get out of the funk. I had told more people than I wished I had, and it was terrible sharing the bad news. And somehow terrible to know they were grieving for us, too. We saw an infertility specialist, who suggested we try a round of injectable drugs and IUI, which we did three times. One try ended in a pregnancy (and then miscarriage) and the other two were sadly duds. Over the span of 7 years, I had five miscarriages. It was always the same story: They couldn’t hear the heartbeat and I always knew it was likely bad news right from the first appointment. The pregnancies always ended between week 7 and 11, and while that’s not too far along, it is certainly enough time to start dreaming and falling in love with the idea of that baby. Of course, having miscarriage after miscarrage was incredibly hard on both me and my husband. We got to the point where we told no one when I was pregnant, because it somehow made it more tolerable to not have to share the grief. I actually considered not telling my husband I was pregnant once or twice, to try and spare him the pain of another miscarriage, but never could keep it from him. I found myself so jealous and hateful of friends—and strangers—with babies. I would even try to avoid places where I knew I would see lots of pregnant women or babies. I hated feeling bad for myself and hated the feelings of anger I had towards those who had no problem getting pregnant. I was incredibly frustrated with myself, and with my body. I had always found that with hard work, I’d been able to achieve anything I wanted. This was the one time I wanted something—and I wanted it so badly—and couldn’t do a thing about it. It was infuriating. I found myself seeking out women who had also suffered miscarriages, because one of the few things that gave me comfort was knowing I wasn’t alone. The more I brought it up in conversation, the more I realized that it’s so incredibly common, and while I would never wish the experience on anyone, the camaraderie made me feel stronger. We started looking into adoption, and were getting excited about the prospect. People always said that when you stop stressing out about getting pregnant and focus your thoughts elsewhere that “Bam!,” that’s when you get pregnant. It irritated me, blaming infertility on stress, because while it certainly might have played a part, I knew there were other physical reasons for the miscarriages. But “Bam!,” it did happen. A good egg. Seven years of trying and I had a pregnancy test that I knew told me another story. The line on the stick was WAY darker than it had even been in the past. And I started feeling nausea, which for the first time in my life, made me elated! I’ll admit, my husband and I worried about the baby for pretty much the entire pregnancy. I was “high risk” because of the past miscarriages and my age (40), but we welcomed the extra appointments and ultrasounds. And while we knew from the tests that everything was going smoothly, I felt scared to refer to the baby by the name we were giving him (Sammy), because I didn’t want to make him feel like a real person somehow. “Baby” felt safer. It wasn’t until I had a baby with a bill of good health in my arms that I could relax. While our journey was such a stressful and sad experience, I would go through it all again, in a heartbeat, to have our son.
Amy, one miscarriage, 12 weeks.
By 32, I was ready to “try.” My husband had wanted kids for ages, but I wanted to wait a while until I felt ready. Then I realized that would never come and to just get on with it! I travelled a lot for work, but we managed to get pregnant the first time we tried. I planned ahead, thought about the due date, how much time I’d have off work, etc. I didn’t tell a lot of people, just a close friend at work who was a mom. My sister had miscarried before, so I knew it was a possibility, but I still went into planning mode. I had a scan at 12 weeks, and things were not as expected, they told me to come back in a week and we would see if it had progressed as they hoped. That was a very strange week. When I returned, there was no heartbeat. It was not a complete shock, and I think I remember feeling pretty level about it, practical I suppose. My husband was about to travel abroad for a friend’s wedding. I remember I asked him not to go. We didn’t have many close friends or family near and my main concern was what happens next and who would I call? They wanted me to just let it happen naturally. I gave it five days and was just too apprehensive about when/how/what would happen. So, I had a D&C under general anesthetic. I was in and out in a few hours and felt okay, better than I thought. I went to work as usual, and didn’t really tell anyone apart from two friends who I know were keeping an eye on me. A few weeks or so later it all went a bit downhill. I felt totally strange. I would wake up and know instantly if it was a good day or not—it was that black and white. It was a rough few weeks. It felt like my body had only just realized I wasn’t pregnant anymore, and withdrew the hormones overnight. I felt a bit unstable. I also had bad thoughts—what if the D&C had scarred? What if I couldn’t get pregnant again? I started seeing an acupuncturist, who was wonderful. I’m not a talker and not great at self care, but those quiet moments helped me focus and become strong again. I was lucky to get pregnant again quickly. I remember I had been out with a new girlfriend and probably drank too much and also told her about how I had been feeling. It felt good to talk a little. My pregnancy progressed well, although my mindset had shifted greatly this time. I didn’t think about the due date, I took each day as it came, when I went to the bathroom I expected blood or spotting. I had some complications, including a double placenta and had extra scans, but for the most part he and I were fine. The miscarriage in a way helped me prepare for becoming a parent. As much as we like to think we are, we are not in control of any of this! It helped me let go of a lot of anxieties and worries. Although I do remember being incredibly emotional at every ultrasound, totally relieved when it was ok. I didn’t buy anything in preparation, probably not wanting to jinx anything. When he came a month early we didn’t even have a carseat! I think looking back, the experience helped me be more mindful and in the moment. I quit work and stayed home for almost 2 years. I tell a lot of people now, friends who are trying and people who have also experienced it. I’m lucky my experience was not too harrowing, but I feel that the practice of not telling anyone for 12 weeks is a little bizarre. It’s the time when you feel your worst physically, and when you really need support and care.
Irene, one miscarriage, 8 weeks.
Thirty-five-ish. That was my age when my husband and I pressed the green button to start trying for a baby. We had been together for almost 10 years, married for 1.5, and felt it would be a great time to add a nugget to the mix. This is when I learned a lot about the difficulties of getting pregnant, especially at an “older” age and how complications and miscarriage statistics can go off the charts when you’re “old.” We learned right before Christmas that we were 4 weeks along and couldn’t have asked for a better holiday gift. This baby would be the first grandchild on both sides, so we couldn’t keep the news to ourselves and told our parents and siblings. We were all beyond excited to start thinking about how life would soon change with a new little nugget in the family. At our second appointment, a heartbeat wasn’t detected, but our doctor told us not to worry because it should appear by the third. We left that day with an ultrasound glamour shot that gave us smiles from ear to ear. At our third appointment, when we were about 8 weeks in, the heartbeat still wasn’t present. We learned that the baby has miscarried and were definitely surprised and shocked. Our doctor immediately told me what would happen next naturally or if I preferred, she could prescribe a medication that would expedite the process. All of a sudden, what was happening felt like such an emotionless, mechanical transaction. I had just lost the little life inside me, and if I wanted to, I could make this go away faster. What? My husband was definitely supportive, but I don’t think he fully understood what I was feeling emotionally. I’m not sure I understood either. I started to feel very connected to this little person and was terrified of what would happen next when he/she would physically leave my body. I felt so much shame about losing the baby and felt I must have done something wrong along the way. Maybe I wasn’t eating properly? Maybe I carried something too heavy (something my own mother said would cause a miscarriage)? Maybe I didn’t deserve a baby? Regardless, I went through this experience mostly by myself because I didn’t know how to share my experience without shame. When the limited number of friends who knew we were pregnant asked if I was ok, I would just say “yes” and try to change the subject. It was only then that a few shared they also experienced a miscarriage. It was really helpful and supportive to know I wasn’t alone. The number of friends in my close circle who shared this experience was small, but I did feel more at ease sharing certain emotions with them. To get past it, I ignored it for a long time and focused on other things. I took my miscarriage as a sign that the timing wasn’t right. I wasn’t in the happiest or healthiest place in terms of stress with my job and had been too afraid to quit. Experiencing a miscarriage changed my perspective on many things, but above all, it made me prioritize happiness and take action to change areas in my life that weren’t supporting that. Two months later, I quit my job, got a new job, and took a month-long trip to Asia in between. Fast forward to today, I am the proud mother of a 14-month-old chubster boy. We got pregnant later that year and he’s changed our world forever. I feel like the miscarriage happened for a reason and I’m glad I made some positive long-term changes for myself and family because of it. We’re now starting to talk about nugget #2 and I would be lying if I said miscarriage isn’t something I worry about. Now I’m 38, so the race to have a baby before 40 is always in my face. I’m just going to take things as they come and hope that we can be blessed with another healthy nugget.
Tracy, one miscarriage, 12 weeks.
We had been trying for almost a year and the frustration started to weigh heavily on us. It felt as it we were waiting for our lives to really start, as if without this baby we were permanently in a state of limbo. At the year mark, we both decided to take a break from trying. And just like that, boom, the pregnancy test showed two perfectly pink lines. We were over the moon. We told very few people after seeing the heart beat at 8 weeks, only our immediate family and a couple of close friends. We named the little blip on the ultrasound Blueberry, and in naming it we made him all ours. Life was good. It felt like we were finally on our way to starting the family we wanted so badly. Blueberry would be the first grandchild on both sides of the family, so you could imagine how elated our parents were when we told them. I had been spotting but not cramping when we went in for our 12 week appointment. Over the phone, the doctor told me to stay optimistic and most likely, the baby was doing just fine. They searched for Blueberry’s heartbeat for what felt like an eternity using multiple machines in multiple rooms just to be sure, and nothing. I don’t remember ever crying so hard in my entire life. I could see the pain in my husband’s tears and it only made it that much harder. It was the first tragedy we had faced in the 10 years we had been together. The hardest part was telling our parents. They had wanted Blueberry just as badly. It was the first time I saw my stoic father cry. I mourned in private. I did not want anyone to have to share in the pain. I spoke to almost no one about my experience until we conceived Jack, our now 18 month old. The second time around we didn’t tell our parents until we were almost 20 weeks along. I did not want them to go through the profound pain they experienced with Blueberry. The things I did to hide my obviously preggers belly from them… I think about Blueberry a lot. His due date, September 29th, will always be a tough day. Today, our toddler is the center of my world. He is my everything. The memories and pain of the miscarriage are still heavy, but with each day Jack is lightening the load.
Erin, one miscarriage, 12 weeks.
We had been trying for seven months when I finally got pregnant. I was 31 and we were beyond thrilled—not just to have a damn baby already, but to finally calm the voice in my head whispering (and by month six, full-on screaming) “infertility.” I went in for my first ultrasound at 7 weeks, and all looked fine: A little blob with a beating heart. I was a pregnant woman—every food I ate, nap I took, yoga pose I did was all for our baby who would come into our lives on September 19, 2011. My next appointment wasn’t until 12 weeks, and that was when we could finally tell the world. We had already told our closest friends and family, but the ultrasound reveal, the big round belly—that was all right around the corner for us. But I was spotting on and off, and Googling incessantly. The spotting got worse around week ten. I was anxious and considering the worst, while still convinced that this baby would arrive in September. My husband and I were watching TV at our house one night—I was 3 days away from that glorious 12-week appointment—when I went to the bathroom and the dark spotting turned into a rush of bright red clumpy blood. I made a noise I have never made before and have never made since. It was a true, animal wail. We took a cab to the hospital—it was around 11 p.m. on a Friday. They examined me, and then went to go find an ultrasound machine to make the final call. As we waited I told my husband that if we lost this baby this would be the first truly terrible thing that had ever happened to me, and I was worried I would change forever and a certain level of happiness, one that I had been lucky to experience for 30 years, would forevermore be inaccessible to me. And when they came back in and told me there was no baby, I felt my heart go completely dark. It stayed dark for a minute or two while he and I sobbed and held each other, but then I felt it come back on, ever so dimly. It was nothing close to happiness or relief, at that point it was simply offering me enough to sit up, get dressed and walk outside. I opted to go in for the D&C, which was uncomfortable, but really a cleansing moment for me, no horrendous pun intended, because one of the more upsetting aspects of the whole thing was that they estimated that I actually lost the pregnancy at eight weeks. So, for four damn weeks I thought I was nurturing this baby, but really there was nothing but what was left, with my body still trying desperately to hold on to it until it couldn’t anymore. I wanted to know for sure that I was officially alone again. To the outside world it looked like I recovered quickly, I suppose, but that wasn’t the case. We started trying again a couple months after, and this time I almost couldn’t deal with the cycle of hope and disappointment. I would just get so incredibly sad, it was debilitating at times. I ended up in the emergency room with a panic attack around the time of my would-have-been due date, convinced my heart was giving out. While I believe the experience ultimately made my husband and I stronger as a couple, it was very tough for a while, because regardless of how much of a shared loss it is, no one feels it quite like the woman and that rift can grow perilous. What helped me most was the support of a friend who tragically lost her baby around the same time while 8 months pregnant. We became incredibly close and sent novels of sadness and support to each other via text almost daily. I got pregnant again after 7 months of trying—lucky 7, I suppose. Those first 10 weeks I was a complete mess: I was spotting again, and was sure I would lose this one, too. At 10 weeks my midwife came over and it was time to try and find the heartbeat. I had hardly slept the night before, playing each possible situation out in my head, over and over. No heartbeat, heartbeat, no heartbeat, heartbeat. When she put the Doppler on my belly and we heart that fast little patter I started sobbing. I decided right then that I would 100% believe in this baby, because worrying every day wouldn’t dampen the heartbreak if the worst happened again. After that day I was finally the happy, glowing, chill pregnant lady I always wanted to be. Orion Elizabeth was born July 12, 2013, and she officially reignited my happiness to levels beyond what I have ever experienced.
Chloe, one miscarriage, 8 weeks.
I had my first child at 29 and it took about a year to get pregnant. When my
husband and I decided we were ready for another one, it took about 3 months and I was 31. I went to my doctor for a check-up around 8 weeks, having all the pregnancy symptoms—nausea, constipation, rash/pimples on my neck, exhaustion—and the doctor told me it didn’t look like a normal pregnancy. The scan was showing an empty gestational sac. She said she shouldn’t say that, but in her opinion the pregnancy wasn’t viable, but it could change/evolve in the next few days, so I should wait and come back the following week to see if there were any changes, and that I had to be prepared for a potential miscarriage. I had a terrible week, not knowing what was happening and still experiencing the symptoms of a normal pregnancy; telling myself the pregnancy wasn’t viable, but still hoping for it to be. I told my mom about it and she tried to comfort me by saying that it was a very common thing and if it didn’t work this time, it will work the next one. The next week, I went back to the doctor’s office with my husband. She confirmed that nothing had changed and even the date had changed, on her monitor I appear to be only 6 or 7 weeks pregnant, but still nothing inside the gestational sac. So, I had three options: Wait for the miscarriage to happen (in the next two weeks), take a pill that would make the miscarriage happen (in the next 24 hours), or have it removed with a little surgery. I chose the third option and had to come back for the surgery a few days after. I couldn’t wait any longer and not knowing when the miscarriage would happen was terrifying to me, even with the pill. The way she described it seemed awful and very painful. I didn’t want it to happen while I was alone with my 18 month old. And I just wanted to get it over with. The procedure took about 30 minutes to an hour, it was difficult and a little painful. I slept the whole day after that. Having another beautiful happy and healthy baby really helped and made me realize even more how lucky I was to be a mom. It is a miracle that unfortunately not everyone has the chance to experience. I told myself and my husband that I wasn’t ready to try again, I needed some time to think. I told a few friends and I found that talking about it was helping. Also, I thought I had to tell people to justify not being very social and happy at that time. Luckily, I got pregnant again not too soon later. It was hard for me to be happy about it and be positive, so I tried to live one day at a time and not think too much about it. Around 9 weeks, after having cramps in my belly during dinner one night at home alone with my daughter sleeping in the next room, I started bleeding and immediately thought I was having a miscarriage. I cried and was terrified, my husband wasn’t home. I tried to call him but he didn’t answer, so I called the hospital and had to describe the scene to a nurse, who advised me to go to sleep and wait for the morning to do blood tests unless it became worse and didn’t stop bleeding. The next morning I went to the lab for a blood test and had to do another one a day or two after to check hormones levels. At the end of the week my doctor called me with the result. It turns out it wasn’t a miscarriage because my hormone levels were really high, so I went for an ultrasound that showed a hematoma. That was causing the bleeding and could potentially cause a miscarriage, so I had to take it easy for the next weeks, no heavy lifting, etc. I am now 28 weeks pregnant, enjoying the pregnancy, and crossing my fingers hoping everything will go well and we’ll have another healthy baby girl!
Kim, six miscarriages.
The ironic thing is my husband and I weren’t even sure if we wanted to have kids—we had a great life, neither of us was “kid crazy,” we actually went to see a therapist to figure out what we really thought. I was 38 at this point, so who knew if I would even be able to get pregnant. But after months of therapy and an anniversary dinner we decided to “pull the goalie” and see what happens. Of course, I was pregnant within a month and after an easy 9-month pregnancy, our daughter was born. We realized how crazy we were to even consider not having kids, we were smitten! To our surprise, 9 months later I found out I was pregnant again! Sheer panic as well as joy set in. I was now 40. My OB didn’t have me come in until 8 weeks, since I had no issues previously. When I did see my OB she jokes about having another baby so quickly, but suddenly one look at the ultrasound screen and my doctor’s face and I knew something was wrong. The fetus didn’t attach to the wall and was just floating around in my uterus, not viable. I was dumbfounded, how could this be? My doctor assured me it was a fluke, just bad luck and not to worry, she would preform the D&C right in her office. She gave me some Valium and told me to go for a walk, take the drugs in an hour, and come back. I walked around in a complete fog for that hour, not sure what was going on but knew I was no longer pregnant. My husband met me at the office and the procedure was done in a matter of minutes. I was numb, but quickly returned to daily life. I don’t think I told many people about that experience and chalked it up to bad luck, but now of course the quest for a sibling was on. Baby #2 was quiet elusive to say the least. Our next pregnancy, with the help of chlomid, happened 11 months later, only to find out it was ectopic. Surgery was needed, but it didn’t end there, it turns out there was a twin higher up in the tube that wasn’t detected. Since there wasn’t a heartbeat I was able to take drugs. That was just awful! I had to get a blood test every week for months until the HCG level hit zero. Every week I was forced to sit with pregnant woman waiting for blood tests, they were hoping for news of good blood sugars and healthy babies and I was waiting for news of “not being pregnant anymore.” It was sheer torture! This is when I started talking about miscarriages. Why should I suffer through this alone? I already felt so alone! When I started talking, others started sharing there stories. I started to blog about our fertility issues when we eventually moved on to IVF: three unsuccessful rounds, two were chemical pregnancies and one pregnancy lasted 9 weeks, which meant another D&C. Undeterred, we were set to try one last and final round. Waiting to get my period after the D&C to figure out the schedule, I became suspicious when it didn’t come at all. As a joke I took a home pregnancy test and wouldn’t you know it was positive. My doctor’s office was sure it was just hormones left after the D&C, so I didn’t get my hopes up, but blood test after blood test my HCG number kept rising and ultrasound after ultrasound showed a healthy fetus with a strong heartbeat. It was a long 14 weeks, but we got the final news we were pregnant with a healthy boy! Funny when nature trumps science! But we weren’t done on the miscarriage front quiet yet. Low and behold when our little one was 18 months old, I found out I was pregnant again. Miracle of all miracles! I wrapped the HPT stick up and gave it my husband as a Christmas present. I was probably 6 weeks along and had good HCG counts. Baby #3 is in sight, it was again scary and exciting. But it wasn’t meant to be. On my birthday 2 days later I started to bleed. I hoped it was normal spotting, but in my heart I knew it wasn’t. I didn’t even call my doctor. It was the holidays and I knew if I was going to miscarry, there was nothing they could do at this point. I had a natural miscarriage, I think I scooped out the fetus, I’m not sure, but it was a hard, gray, maybe an inch-long piece, and held it in my hand. I prayed for the little soul and for the possibilities it could have been. I know our family is complete with my two healthy children, but honestly I think about the 6 little souls every now and then and think “what if.”
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