This post is going to be way more raw and way more vulnerable than any you’ve ever read from me before. I’m going to tell you, if you couldn’t tell from the post title, that I’m going to tell you my story of losing my baby at 5 weeks pregnant.
Trigger warnings: I’m not going to hold anything back, so if anything regarding miscarriages or pregnancy triggers you, please give this post a pass.
I’m writing this post partly because I feel like I need to talk about it, I need to share my story, and I need to tell you that if you’ve gone through a loss like this, you are not alone.
The other reason I’m writing this post is because many people understand on an intellectual level what happens when a woman experiences something like this, but very few people are willing to talk about the actual experience of going through a miscarriage. Around 50% of all women at childbearing will experience at least 1 miscarriage, yet no one actually talks about their experiences. For those of you blessed enough to be in the 50% to never experience a miscarriage, I beg you to never take being a parent for granted.
For me, everything started about a week before. I started spotting, and although I contacted my doctor, the nurse and doctors kept telling me everything was normal, and to let them know if it got worse. So this past sunday morning, feb 21, at about 4:30 am, I noticed the color of the spotting had changed. Instead of brownish, it had turned bright red. Again, the doctor told me this was all normal, but that if I was worried I could go to the ER and they would do an ultrasound to determine if anything was wrong.
This sounded good to me, because if something was going to go wrong, I wanted to be in a hospital where they could take care of me. So I woke my husband up, told him what was going on, and he agreed to take me to the ER.
After sitting in the room for a good 3 hours, the tech finally came in and did the ultrasound, which showed the fetus still in the uterus, even though the doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat. No heartbeat didn’t worry me, because at 5 weeks, a heartbeat is unlikely.
The doctors eventually diagnosed me with what’s called a “threatened miscarriage,” which is basically where they think it’s possible, but hope otherwise. It’s not something a doctor can fix if the fetus isn’t viable, so if a miscarriage is going to happen, there isn’t anything anyone can do.
I still tried. I went home Sunday and rested as much as possible. I called my mom and she started praying, and my husband did everything he could to help me relax and not stress out.
Deep inside, I think I knew something was going to happen. I’ve spent 2 years getting to know my body, and learning what makes it tick. I knew something wasn’t right, but I still hoped everything would work out. So although I was holding hope when the doctor told me the baby was still in my uterus, I think deep inside I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold on.
I remember putting my hand on my belly, and telling the fetus, “ok baby, hold on! I will do my best to keep you safe. I love you so much and can’t wait to meet you!”
Early Monday morning, at 1:00, I woke up with the worst cramps I’ve ever felt in my life. I had had some the day before, but the doctors kept telling me it was normal, so I had no reason to know anything different. I kept going to the bathroom, because the doctors told me “if you’re bleeding through a pad an hour, go to the ER, or call the office.” So when nothing kept happening, i just kept trying to relax. Unfortunately, it’s really hard to relax when your entire lower abdomen is cramping worse than any period ever. My mom told me later that those were actual contractions, because I actually went into labor, just around 8 months early.
Around 3:15, I went to the bathroom again, and that’s when I tell people all hell broke loose. I had hit the “more than a pad an hour” benchmark, and I actually felt the fetus leave my body. I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I had just lost my baby.
I woke my husband, and told him “we just hit worst case scenario.” I calmly grabbed my phone to call my doctor’s office and speak to the on call doctor. As soon as I hit call on my cell phone, I fell apart. By the time I spoke with the doctor, I was sobbing enough that I could barely speak.
All the doctors at the office were amazing, and so compassionate, which helped me through one of the worst things I’ve ever been through. What I need you to understand, is that the doctors tell you there’s nothing to keep this from happening so early, because it’s your body’s way of telling you something was wrong. That doesn’t help the physical and emotional trauma, and it doesn’t keep you from wondering “what if?”
I still wonder what I could have done differently, even while I know there wasn’t anything. Even if you’ve been through a loss before, there isn’t anything to say to make it better.
One thing I’ve noticed is that while women will share that they’ve had a miscarriage or a loss, it’s rare to find a woman who will share her entire story. No one warned me of what would happen after I lost my baby. The emotional trauma is real, y’all.
I was awake Monday from 1am until 4pm, because I couldn’t bear to go to sleep. When I finally took a nap, it was on the living room couch cuddled up next to my husband, because I couldn’t stand the thought of going back in the bedroom. By the time I got some real sleep, I had been awake almost 24 hours. Every time I would go to the bathroom I would flashback on having to flush my baby down the toilet because it couldn’t live in my body anymore. Not being able to sleep made me even more emotional, and my husband had to watch helplessly as I broke down in tears over and over again. Even he didn’thave any words to make what I was going through better.
My stepdad called me the next day and apologized for not calling sooner. He told me he didn’t know what to say. All I could tell him was “you can’t feel guilty for not having the right words, because there are none. No words can ever make this ok.”
I read a book a while back about a woman who got to basically take a tour of heaven, and one thing she learned was that when humans lose babies, whether through miscarriage, abortion, or stillbirth, the babies’ souls get to go to heaven, where Angels raise them and allow them to grow up. While some of you may not agree with this, I do wholeheartedly, so I know my baby is somewhere getting a wonderful life, and I know I will see her again.
One other thing I learned is that babies that get raised in heaven don’t have names unless their earthly parents give them names. So I named my daughter Tilly. Tilly is the name of a book by Frank Peretti, and while it is a very sad book in some ways, it has so much hope. So in honor of every woman who has lost a baby, please know you are not alone.
If you are willing to share your story, you are welcome to in the comments below. I’m sharing my story because I felt like I needed to, and because I want any woman who has been through a loss to know she is not alone. I hope by sharing I have helped you a small bit, and have given you hope that miscarriage is not the end. I haven’t given up hope, and eventually I know I will be sharing my story of my rainbow baby.
Thank you for reading my story.