Multiple Miscarriages - A raw and vulnerable journey
This is a story that I really haven’t shared before. This is going to be really difficult for me to share and talk about, but i think it is something that is worth the share. So just to dive right in I want to share what my experience with recurring miscarriage has been like and kind of take you guys through mine and my husband’s whole journey.
Going through recurring miscarriage and infertility has really tested me as an individual as well as my marriage. We have gone through ups and downs, arguments, heartache, heartbreak, so many different things, that I think a lot of women probably go through in their own way and I think this makes us empathetic and relatable to each other.
Getting courage to speak up and talk about this has been so hard for me. I am usually a really private person and this is a super emotional thing that is not easy to talk about but i think that is something we as women should talk about. 1 in every 4 pregnancies end in a miscarriage so miscarriage itself is not a rare occurrence but it is rare for one to talk about it. So in sharing this I want you to know that there is hope, if you are experiencing this, there is another chapter and its not over. Talking about miscarriage and infertility is a hard conversation to have, its a hard topic to know what to say. So to anyone out there who is trying to get pregnant, who can’t get pregnant, who wants to get pregnant, who has lost a pregnancy or who has lost a baby, just know that I am praying for you, you are not alone, and that I am truly sorry that anyone in this world has to go through that heartache because it is so hard. I am praying for you and just know that there is a community out there ready to support you.
So my story starts in February of 2017. My husband and I had only been married for a couple months and were not at all thinking of having kids or starting a family. If any of you know me than you know how absolutely terrified I was of having kids and because of that fear wasn’t sure if kids were even something I wanted to have. I loved kids but the idea of parenting and motherhood completely freaked me out and overwhelmed me. So at the time I was nannying and I just remember feeling really weird at work one week. I was so tired, I felt sick all day, I had no appetite and just felt funky. I know this screams pregnant but at the time that was so not on my radar that it didn’t even cross my mind. At the end of the week I remember sitting there talking to my boss when all of a sudden I felt lightheaded, dizzy and then i just fainted. When I came to I thought it was weird because I had never fainted before, but just wrote it off as something that happened because I had not eaten all day.
A couple days later, I was having
excruciating lower abdomen pains and bleeding. I thought to myself that it was odd timing to be having my period and that I had never had a period that hurt this bad before. As the days went on I noticed that I started bleeding a lot and that the blood was clot like. This freaked me out enough that I finally went to the OB to get looked at. This is where the OB informed me that I was having a miscarriage and asked me if I even knew that i was pregnant. I couldn’t even believe it and was completely shocked.
I remember being more sad than I expected to be. I sat on the floor in the shower that night and just cried for what seemed like forever. I remember feeling so dumb because how could I be this sad about a loss of something I never knew I had. This loss changed me and it made me realize how badly I wanted to be a mother. After some time I began to feel better and my husband and I knew that we still were not ready to have kids so we waited about a little over a year before we decided that we wanted to try to grow our family.
This was November of 2018 and my husband and I both just felt so inspired to grow our family and thought that it was the right time to start trying. I had been told since the time I was 13 that it would be hard for me to get pregnant because of my thyroid disorder, but after our accidental pregnancy I had so much hope that if it happened once it would happen again. We were very surprised that when I took a pregnancy test at the end of November that it was positive and we had gotten pregnant our first time trying.
We were so excited and just felt so reassured that the timing was so right because things worked out so fast. We thought that the hardest part was over and the rest would be smooth sailing. This goes to show you just how naive my husband and I were about the entire process of getting pregnant, being pregnant and staying pregnant.
I didn’t know what naturally came with pregnancy, and what didn’t. So at 9 weeks pregnant on Christmas day we told our families that we were pregnant, two days later our entire world came crashing down around us. We went to our first ultrasound appointment and as my husband and I were sitting in the waiting room, I just remember looking at my husband and I started to hysterically cry. I remember telling him that I just had the worst feeling and felt that something’s wrong. He told me to relax and that it was just nerves . So when we went back we got excited, got our phones out ready to get baby’s first picture. When we saw that little bean on the screen my husband and I became just completely filled with joy! My husband was taking pictures, I was freaking out the there was really a baby in me and then we finally picked up on the tone of the room. The doctor was quiet and asked us if we could go to the ultrasound tech and see if her machine can pick up a better image. When we went and got another ultrasound, the tech was really quiet. We asked if everything was okay, she said the doctor would explain. It was that moment that my husband and ai knew something was really wrong and I started to cry hysterically. I felt like the tears were just uncontrollable. I don’t even remember what the doctor said to us after I heard the word miscarriage, I was just numb and felt like I couldn’t even think or function. Th only thing I remember was the nurse taking my husband and I out a back way so we wouldn’t have to walk through the waiting room crying.
The next day they had me scheduled for an emergency D&C. They said I had a blighted ovum, which meant that the fetus stopped growing at 6 weeks when I was 9 weeks along. There was no heartbeat and my body was just not passing the baby naturally. I had a high risk of infection and the doctor said I had to have the fetus surgically removed. I just felt so defeated and so confused. I had been having mooring sickness and a sore chest and all the other symptoms. I had been walling around like I was pregnant, I had been feeling pregnant, but in reality I hadn’t been pregnant for the last 3 weeks. After the D&C, I was just a wreck. Every inch of my body hurt I have never felt anything like that before. I was bleeding so much and I just could not get a grasp on everything I was feeling. I felt so incredibly sad and I felt like a failure. After 2 weeks I went in for my post op check up and the doctor explained that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage and that this was common and completely normal. He said that everything looked good and that when I was ready to try again we were good to go and that he was hopeful my next pregnancy would be carried full term.
So the next month we tried again and just like that we were pregnant again the first try. I tried to be optimistic. I was really nervous and anxious about miscarrying again, but I echoed the doctors words in my head, that I looked healthy and there was no reason to believe that I would miscarry again. The morning that I was 6 weeks I woke up, looked at my husband and said I’m not regnant anymore. He asked me what was wrong and if I was bleeding and I said no, but that I just knew it. I said “I’m not pregnant anymore and I am miscarrying again.” I had none of my symptoms anymore and I just felt it in my gut. Later that day I went to the bathroom and started bleeding. My husband took me to the hospital. They did labs and an ultrasound and confirmed that i was miscarrying. AGAIN. This was 3 miscarriages in a row and I was officially diagnosed with infertility and recurring miscarriage.
I remember the doctor at hospital trying to comfort me, but I just felt like such a failure, I felt lost. The doctor sat me down and told me that it was not my fault. That I did not do this. It has nothing to do with anything I did. It is not my fault and it just happens. But the amount of guilt you feel as a women when you miscarry, I had never felt that before. I just didn’t believe a word he said and I completely blamed myself.
My husbands grieving process was different than my grieving. He was sad to see how deeply I was affected but he just couldn’t understand how I felt and what was going through my mind. The mom has a different relationship with the baby that early on. I once heard the expression, a women become moms when they find out they are pregnant, a man become dad when they hold their child for the first time. This felt so true. I just couldn’t explain how I felt to my husband. I learned from this experience that the best thing you can do is try to over communicate, try to over share, try to explain because your partner can’t understand. So you have to express those emotions. At the time that felt is impossible and I felt that even if I tried to explain he wouldn’t understand, no one would.
I just felt sad, so sad. I felt like as a women, one of my purposes in life, individually, was to be able to carry a child, take care of a child, be able to birth a child, and when I miscarried I felt like one of those fundamental or foundtional things that I thought was one of my purposes in life was to be able to have a child and give my husband a child, I felt like I failed. It made me feel like a failure as a women and as a wife. There is so much guilt wrapped up in it that I felt like my husband was going to resent me for it. I also felt like I felt guilt like what did I do, what did I do wrong? I couldn’t shake the thought that after 3 miscarriages there was something wrong with me and that it was my fault. My husband had the mindset that we can try thins again, we are young, this is not the end of the road for us and it will happen when the timing is right.
I felt like because these last 3 pregnancies didn’t work out that its never going to work out. I went down a very dark path, which ai think is natural when you go through something like that. I thought it was my fault cause of all the dumb stuff I did as an athlete, how hard I was on my body with working out excessively, struggling with an eating disorder when I was a teenager. I thought that had ruined my body back then and that this was karma for saying I didn’t want kids and this was my punishment for being so selfish back then. I didn’t know what to think or feel. I had all these terrible thoughts. I wanted to be a mother, but thought maybe I wasn’t born to or that maybe I just didn’t deserve to be a mother.
Feelings of guilt are normal in miscarriage or infertility, but even though those feelings are normal they aren’t justified and they not true. So don’t listen to the darker voices that say, you did something wrong or you caused this. I just shut down. Which I have now realized is one of the worst things you can do. With things like this we just suffer in silence and don’t talk about them. We think or society has told us to think that miscarriage and infertility is taboo or bad and is something that shouldn’t be talked about. But by not talking about it and just shoving it aside it will just eat you alive like it ate at me. Not talking to someone just made the guilt and shame consume me.
I fell into a depression. I was sad all the time, I didn’t want to do anything. I distanced myself from everyone but especially my friends that were pregnant or that had small children. I just felt so broken and not myself and I just didn’t even know where to begin to start to put the pieces back together again. My relationship with God was a daily struggle. I wanted to lean on prayer and faith. I wanted so badly to believe that everything happens for a reason and that it is his timing not mine but I was just so angry. I was confused, sad, angry, ashamed and so many things that I just blamed myself and really started to develop this unhealthy self image and self esteem. I truly hated myself and just felt like an absolute failure. I just could not understand why I kept getting pregnant just to keep miscarrying.
After 2 months my husband and I decided to start trying again. Justlike all the other times, we got pregnant right away. Pregnancy was no longer an exciting thing for me. I was anxious all the time. I wouldn’t allow myself to be happy because I didn’t think there was a point because I would just miscarry again. At this point I was taking home pregnancy tests all the time to make sure the line was getting darker and I was going in for labs to check my hog and hormone levels every 2 days.
My OBGYN had me taking a blood thinner and 200mg of progesterone daily. At our 6 week appointment I was prepared for them to tell me the pregnancy was no longer viable and that we wouldn’t see a heartbeat because we have never seen one before. But my whole entire world changed that day when we saw the tiniest little flicker on the screen. I think my heart actually stopped beating seeing that little heartbeat in the screen.
My husband and I just instantly got emotional because we had never made it this far in a pregnancy before. That little bean on the screen turned into my sweet rainbow baby Cayson. Let me just tell you, that little boy is everything to me. He is my entire world. I felt like for almost 2 years that I was drowning and not able to breath, but the day he was born I felt like I had finally come up for air. My perfectly healthy and ridiculously happy little boy was finally here and it made all the hardships and difficult things we went through so worth it. I would have gone through it 1000 more times if it meant I could have Cayson.
So, we finally had our baby and everything was right and the problem was solved…yeah not so much.
4 months after having Cayson, I found out that I was pregnant again. My husband and I were completely panicked because we definitely did not plan on having a baby that soon after Cayson and we just were not ready at all. I was breastfeeding and on birth control so we had no clue how this happened but we took it as another miracle that God was blessing us with and decided it was better to be happy and excited than nervous and scared. We both said we wanted a big family and it could be fun having babies close in age. This was definitely a lot closer than we anticipated, but none the less we were happy. Just like all the other times before I just knew something was wrong. I felt so in tune with my body at this point that I knew what was happening before the bleeding or the labs confirmed it. I was miscarrying for the 4th time.
We were devastated but tried to stay positive for Cayson. I didn’t want him picking up on any negativity. Fast forward to 6 months postpartum and I had just had opthmalic shingles (which is just an entire other thing) but I got a call from the hospital saying that they found something in my lab work. They asked me if I was aware that I was about 5/6 weeks pregnant. Honestly, what the heck. At this point my husband just had to look at me and I get pregnant. We weren’t sure if it was just us being careless or if subconsciously we weren’t being as careful because it was part of the grief and from the previous loss. Again, I started taking a blood thinner and hormones, and again I was taking at home tests all the time and getting labs done every 48 hours. About a week and a half after finding out I was pregnant. I was now finding out that I was miscarrying again. That brings us to 5 miscarriages.
At this point I just feel so many different emotions. On one hand I am so happy and blessed to have Cayson, but on the other hand I am devastated over the most recent loss. I feel more guilt, more shame, more failure. This time I also feel selfish and greedy. Here I am with a perfectly healthy baby and I am grieving the loss of others. I know that this is irrational to think but its hard not to. I know that it is okay to want to grow our family and to be sad about our loss, but it is just hard to sort through all the things I am feeling.
Now we have had enough miscarriages that we were finally referred to a infertility specialist because now they have reason to believe that there is a bigger problem than just random miscarriage. At this point I am scheduled to go in and get a bunch of tests done and hopefully get some options for treatment to help grow our family in the future.
The specialist had a telehealth appointment with me where she went over all my labs and medical history. It was during this conversation that she said something to me that has stuck in my head everyday since. Sne said miscarriages are common, but she also said that what I am going through is less common and only happens to about 1% of women. 1%. If that number doesn’t make you feel so alone than I don’t know what will.
She also said that she is surprised by all my labs and history that I was able to conceive and carry Cayson to term. My miracle boy. As of now, fertility treatment looks like our only option going forward and that unplanned and unmedicated pregnancies will likely continue to end in miscarriage. So, hopefully after she runs tests we can get an idea on what the next step is for us.
1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage
but its not talked about. It is never talked about. I didn’t know anything about it and I think it is because women feel so much guilt and pain around it that most women I know are just like “I’m fine, I don’t want to talk about it,” which I am extremely guilty of doing all the time as well. I encourage those of you who are reading this to know that 1) you are not alone, 2) this is not the end of the road and 3) there can be a lot of comfort in community. It is hard because when I was going through it, part of me didn’t want to share it with anyone because I did not want to be constantly reminded of it on a daily basis. I didn’t want to have to deal with it every single day. I didn’t know what my own personal strength was or if I was going to be able to handle that or process that or deal with. Deciding to share has helped to heal . It has helped me to heal through others. I have healed through the stories of people saying, “I am going through it, I went through it.” It makes me sad to see how common it is. But to see it and to read from other women how they are going through it or how they went through it and how they healed, helped to heal me.
So I decided to share my story because I just didn’t want to feel alone anymore.
So as difficult as this was to talk about and share, if even one person feels support. If even one person feels like they are not alone or if this even gives one person hope to keep on trying even when it feels hopeless then it was worth it to me to share. So please, share your stories. Let’s support each other and create a community of encouragement, acceptance and support.
If you are feeling discouraged in your journey, I have been there. I know what its like to break down and cry in the shower, or to cry in your car before work when you are alone in the parking lot. I know how incredibly hard this journey can be. So, wherever you are at in your journey remember that God really does have a plan and there can be beauty found if you look for it and recognize the strength you have in yourself. Always believe that there is hope!
Written By: Skylar Wichert