Family / Kids / Opinion / Parenting / Reflection / Women

My Not-So-Secret Miscarriage

Can I be honest? I’ve started this post four times but haven’t been able to finish it. I’ve had so many thoughts on my heart that I’ve wanted to share, so why has it been so hard to get this out?

Because we’re not “supposed” to talk about miscarriages, that’s why.

Every pregnancy book I’ve read “cautions” expectant moms about sharing their exciting news too early. While it’s obviously up to each individual/couple, the rule of thumb is to at least wait until you’ve cleared the “safety zone,” a.k.a the first trimester, before you go public with that fact that you’ve got a bun in the oven. When I was pregnant with my first, I held onto our news like it was a precious secret–only family and a friend or two knew I was pregnant before I hit 13 weeks.

When I found out I was pregnant last week on April 9th, I was so excited–“excited” doesn’t do justice to how I actually felt. If you’ve been trying to get pregnant, there’s no feeling quite like seeing that blue plus sign when you least expect it. I’ve always found the revelation of pregnancy to be so fragile, I can’t contain myself to just one test–in order for it to be “real,” I need to see THREE positives. This time around was no different.

I immediately told the same tight-knit group of confidants I’d blabbered to early-on in my first pregnancy. I didn’t think much of it, until I spilled the beans to one of my newest close friends on a run that weekend. She was beyond thrilled, and it felt great to have another friend to share in our joy. But I didn’t stop there. I felt obligated to tell the women I work with in the Young Women’s presidency from our church–they were expecting me to go on a camping trip this summer after all; they were also overjoyed by the news. I also felt I had an obligation to share my “condition” with my CrossFit coaches–wouldn’t they need to know why I had to scale back on certain workouts? The day I intended to fill in just one of my coaches, I suddenly came down with verbal diarrhea and shared the news of my pregnancy with the entire class–their enthusiasm was palpable, but what had I done? Throw in my next door neighbors, the cashier at WinCo, and the random lady in the coffee shop, and I’d unwittingly told nearly two dozen friends (and acquaintances) in less than five days that I was four weeks pregnant. Oops. But what’s the big deal, what are the chances something could go wrong?

Pretty good, actually, considering nearly 1 in 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage.

Last Friday, I went from feeling not so great in the morning to having mild cramping. This would later turn to slight spotting, to not-so mild cramping, to overtly alarming bleeding. I’d managed to stay hopeful most of the day, but when things finally got bad enough that I decided to head to Urgent Care (I hadn’t even had time to find an OB), I was certain things weren’t good. A pelvic exam and a round of blood work later, I was informed I’d suffered a “Threatened Miscarriage;” while it was too early to tell for sure, there was a good chance I’d lost the pregnancy. I’d need an ultrasound the following Monday.

That was Good Friday.

The next morning, I knew I wouldn’t need an ultrasound. I knew I wasn’t pregnant. I didn’t feel pregnant. I can’t tell you how awful that feeling was. I’d spent most of the previous night in and out of tears (even a few gut-wrenching sobs). I was shocked. I was sad. I was angry. I had barely come to grips with the fact that I was pregnant, and now I had to accept that it was over. I was more than just disappointed. I actually was grieving the loss of the baby we wouldn’t have a chance to know. For most women, a baby doesn’t become a “baby” after it’s born–it’s a baby from the moment you find out you’re pregnant. As soon as I knew, I didn’t consider what was growing inside of me to be a zygote, some infinitesimally small cluster of cells. It was my little boy, or little girl, who was due December 21st. I’d already attached to him or her features, hopes, dreams, and plans.

On Monday morning, when I looked at the ultrasound picture, and stared at the empty orifice where my baby was supposed to be, I realized that my heart felt hollow as well. There will always be a spot missing at our table for that baby that didn’t make it.

What I want people to know is that I am so thankful I told so many people we were expecting. While I initially dreaded the number of people I would have to inform of our unfortunate situation, I can’t begin to describe to you the outpouring of support I’ve received from family and friends. The hugs, well-wishes, flowers, cards, and words of encouragement have helped to lift me out of the depression I felt certain I wouldn’t be able to shake. It seems each sweet friend I’ve spoken to has (or knows several people) who have also endured miscarriages–they can empathize with the physical pain, and the emotional blow that inevitably follows.

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It is obviously an incredibly personal decision to determine who you will tell, and when you will decide to tell people about your pregnancy. I only know that if the unexpected does happen, you shouldn’t experience that tragedy alone. Miscarriages are nothing to be ashamed of. They are incredibly hard. They suck. Reach out to others for help. Don’t brush it off or feel obligated to minimize your loss–let yourself grieve. If someone you know has had a miscarriage, don’t be scared to offer your condolences or your prayers–what other losses are people expected to grieve alone?? I think you’ll be surprised by how many people will WANT to help you through it. Thank you Thank you Thank you to everyone who is helping us through ours; you’re all angels in my eyes.

I also want people to know that this experience hasn’t diminished my faith in my Savior; on the contrary, at many times during this past weekend, I felt closer to Him than ever. On Monday, my nurse remarked how sad it was to have experienced such an ordeal over Easter weekend. In my opinion, there couldn’t have been a better time. The symbolism of our loss on Good Friday, followed by the reminder of our Savior’s glorious resurrection on Easter Sunday, was such a gentle reminder that all of our sorrows, sadness and infirmities have been swallowed up in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I felt especially grateful this Easter that I have a Savior who understands perfectly how I feel, that He is willing to share our burdens if we will let Him. Because of Him, my family is forever. Because of Him, we can rest assured that in the end, everything–even this–will be made right.

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76 thoughts on “My Not-So-Secret Miscarriage

  1. Sorry to hear sister i didnt hear about this. hope all is well and you guys are loving the east. Alaina and sam are both rainbow baby’s. It’s hard but I think that for some reason if it was ment to be it would and god looks out for all life. Much love!

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    • I didn’t know about your losses too, it’s so hard. But I love your perspective and I totally agree with you, I know things work out how they’re supposed to. You’ve got super cute kids by the way!

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  2. I had a miscarriage in the beginning of June. I also was due December 21st of this year. I told so many people early on as well, and I didn’t think I’d have to worry about having a miscarriage. I didn’t realize how common it truly was. Thank you for this post, and sharing that it is okay to talk about a miscarriage. So many people think it needs to be kept a secret, but I disagree. I feel better talking about it. However, it’s the worst thing that I have ever been through.

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    • Natalie I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage-it was very difficult for me as well. Thank you for sharing your experience; I think it can be a great way to heal personally, but it also is such a comfort to others going through the same feelings, so thank you!

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  3. I lost my very first pregnancy. It was devastating to me. Soon after it happened a good friend of ours from church took me aside and asked if he could talk with me. He was a fatherly figure and I was actually glad of it and looking forward to some sage wisdom. Anyway, all he said was that next time we should wait until we were further along to tell people. That was really not comforting. Fortunately, I did have some very good friends who helped me through it.

    Anyway, I think it is a good thing to be able to talk about it. It is a loss and we should be allowed to grieve.

    Now I have five wonderful and healthy children, but every now and then I do think about the age our baby would be now if I hadn’t lost it. Its an experience that I don’t think leaves you.

    I’m very sorry for your loss.

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    • I know many people have difficulty expressing condolences or may be uncomfortable comforting people who are grieving…I’m hopeful your friend’s comments were unintentionally insensitive! I’m very sorry for your loss but I’m thankful for a community of women so willing to share their stories. Thank you!

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  4. I don’t know you personally, but I have to say I’m proud of you. It takes a strong woman to make it through this, another kind of strength to talk about it. I love how you saw God took the bad and made something good from it. He’s certainly amazing. Good bless you and your family!

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