The Picky Bookworm

"Books are a uniquely portable magic." –Stephen King

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.

Related Posts

10 thoughts on “My Story of Loss: When I Miscarried at 5 Weeks

  1. I am so sorry, Pamela. Know my thoughts and prayers are with you and your husband as y’all deal with this loss.

  2. We lost our first baby right around the 5 week mark, too. It happened on our walk through the parking lot going into Costco. I dreaded going to the bathroom once we got inside because I knew exactly what was happening. I think that since at that point there wasn’t a baby in the way of a formed body, I really wasn’t sure how to feel having flushed what looked like nothing more than a blood clot, but was supposed to have been life – I felt like a horrible human being and actually still feel disgusted thinking about it. I was so upset, but felt the need to hold it together… because people… and I so wrongfully curbed my tears by turning to anger and told my husband with not so calm words the baby was gone. I was an executive assistant at the time and we had a big 3-day meeting that week. I sucked it up and went to work, running to the bathroom every hour to change my pad. The amount of bleeding that was nothing but a reminder of the hurt lingering in my soul was overwhelming. It got easier as the days went on and we were fortunate to get pregnant again the following month, but it’s certainly not something I’ll ever forget going through.

    Miscarriage is definitely something that isn’t spoken about enough, maybe in part because many don’t like to remember the hurt (I know for myself I find relief in the fact I wasn’t further along. I’m not sure I would have been strong enough otherwise.). For those of us who are able to be open, I hope that it helps others who may have gone through or who are going through it. I commend and thank you for sharing your story and hope that you have found some peace by being able to put it into words. Be sure to allow yourself grace through your healing process. I will be praying for you.

    1. Thank you Missy for sharing your story. We don’t talk about it enough, even though so many women have experienced it. I’m still bleeding from Monday, and it’s a reminder every time of what happened. What happens after is just as important to talk about, because so many women don’t know to expect the constant triggering that happens. I mean, not being able to sleep in my own bed because I couldn’t stand what it represented was enough to tell me I needed to take some time off work and take care of myself.

      I’m not ready to give up, and I know I will have my baby, but I will never forget my true firstborn.

  3. I’m so sorry to hear this. Sending you all my love and thoughts. I think it’s an amazing thing that you’ve done by writing this post. Sharing your raw pain is difficult but it can really help others. Tilly has an amazing strong mother. I hope you (physically) feel better soon 🧡xxxx

    1. Thank you Liz, so much for your words!

      I’m feeling better physically, at least the cramps of my uterus’ going back to original size have stopped. That’s another thing they never tell you about after. It’s not over immediately after. Your body has to heal from the trauma, which can sometimes take weeks or even months. It’s not a fun time.

  4. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve suffered miscarriage too, one a missed miscarriage at 6 weeks but we didn’t know until 9 weeks and had to have surgery to handle. Another surgical disaster at 10 weeks and finally a heart breaking baby boy born sleeping at 20 weeks two years ago. All three will always be with us even though we’re lucky enough to have to feisty big brothers for them.
    Writing about them, especially boy3, really helps me to grieve and to feel familiar with our loss. Thank you for sharing your raw experiences, you will recover, it will be less painful over time. Above all keep talking, let out how you feel and hold on to those you love. It sounds like you have lots of people who are there to support you and they will always listen.

    1. You are amazing, and so strong to go through what you did! I know things will get easier, even though I will never forget my little baby girl.

      My family and friends have been so amazing, and writing my story was so cathartic. I hope by sharing my story I give others the bravery to share theirs, and we can all heal together.

  5. So sorry for your loss! What you wrote was emotional and eloquent, thank you for sharing your story!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.