It wasn’t until recently when speaking with a friend that I ever in a million years thought I would put these words on paper or share this story with anyone, much less share it for the world to see. I decided to share my story in hopes of inspiring others to share theirs and to shine light on a topic that has for so long been in the shadows.
Before my princess Ella came along, I became pregnant when my husband and I were just dating. It was a complete shock to the both of us, but from the moment we found out, we were both thrilled. It was also an extremely busy time in my life, and I was not paying any attention to my body and what it needed. Matt and I got engaged and we started planning our wedding. We backed out of the convenient condo we were going to buy together and instead purchased a home in Fishhawk. We told our family and friends because I was already pretty far along when we found out and I was past the point of worry. Our entire life changed in the blink of an eye for this surprise but loved baby. Then one morning when I was just getting ready to open my eyes, I felt soaked and wet all over. When I woke up, Matt was screaming. I looked down and I was covered in blood. It looked like something out of a horror movie. I knew immediately what was happening. Matt tried to stay calm and positive. I got in the car and rushed to the hospital. When I got to the hospital, they rushed me into a room and explained to me what they were checking, even though I already knew. As part of this, I had an ultrasound done. During the ultrasound, the woman conducting the ultrasound abruptly stopped the test and asked me to go to the bathroom and push as hard as I could. I was so scared and shaking; I wasn’t even thinking about what she was saying. In that bathroom, I delivered my baby in the toilet. I let out a piercing scream, my eyes swelled up with tears and my legs were shaking. The nurse was right outside the door. She came in and held me up. I couldn’t stand up. I couldn’t move. All I could do was cry. I rested at the hospital, further tests where taken and eventually I was discharged.
While the actual miscarriage was emotionally scarring and devastating, the months following were equally as emotional. No one talks about what it’s like to leave a hospital without a baby. There are no baby books written on how to announce that you are no longer expecting. I worked up the courage to tell my closest family and friends and asked them to relay the information to everyone else. The support I received after having my miscarriage was almost non-existent. People were afraid of me because no one knew what to say or how to act so they didn’t say anything which to me was even more heartbreaking. The people that did say things were never helpful. The words that were supposed to comfort me in one of my darkest hours just crushed my soul even more than it already was. I was told that my baby was not a real baby, just a ball of cells. I saw my baby and it was so much more than just a ball of cells, it was a gorgeous human being. Another person told me the best thing to do is just forget about it move on. How could I just forget about the little life that had grown inside of me? The sweet soul that never had a chance to live. Not one person sent me flowers or a card, offered to bring me a meal, or something as simple as hold my hand as I cried in grief.
After I had both Ella and Lila, I received balloons and flowers, cards and meals. The support I received after losing my baby was close to nonexistent compared to the outpouring of support I received after my two daughters. Granted, there was no baby for anyone to gush over and I know it is hard to gush over a depressed and broken-hearted mama, but both of these categories of moms need support, acknowledgment and love.
I thank God for the small act of kindness from a wonderful nurse during my follow up appointments. She scurried me off to a separate room so I would not have to sit in a room full of pregnant women and babies while I waited for my appointments. I thank God for this sweet stranger who shared her story with me and offered me kindness and comforting words during some of the worst moments of my life. Her sweet words and inspiration helped to get me through some of my hardest days.
During the months that followed, I became more and more depressed and withdrawn. No one could understand why I couldn’t just get over it. I would see pregnant women and newborn babies and I couldnt help but be envious. Why did my baby die and theirs live? After what seemed like forever, I finally got pregnant with our rainbow baby Ella. While Ella didn’t replace the baby we lost, she did help to mend my broken heart. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about our sweet baby. Every night we include the baby in our night time prayers. While I’m not sure the girls understand yet, both of them know that they have another sibling in heaven. My children and immediate family and friends know that we suffered a loss; most of the rest of the world doesn’t until today.
I recently realized that I am part of the problem. Why there is little to no support for women who lose a baby? I have kept my loss a secret. I have kept it some shameful, taboo thing that shouldn’t be talked about as to not make people uncomfortable. I am telling my story in hopes to shine a light on the sadness and yet very common occurrence of miscarriage. I want family and friends of women who haven’t suffered a miscarriage to know that, although we don’t get to take a baby home, we need just as much support and love. I want them to be aware of the words they say and the “advice” they give. While you might mean well, to a fragile and broken mamma that just suffered a huge loss, your words may be a knife in their heart.
I want women who suffer miscarriages to have support systems of love and light around them. I want people to realize that no matter how far along a women was, she lost a precious baby that she loved and adored and a part of her will never be the same. I want other women to have the support I didn’t. I do not blame my friends and family for not offering me the support I need, because I am part of that problem. Miscarriage is a taboo subject that is not talked about and because of that people are afraid to approach it. People don’t know what to say or do, so ignoring it seems like the best option. I’m here, coming out of the shadows and telling my story. Maybe one day if we all stop hiding in the dark and bring our stories to the light more people will know what to do and how to act and what to say. My hope is more women share their own miscarriage stories and shed more light on this topic. It was painful and scary to put myself out there and write this but if it helps one struggling mama, it was so worth it. Remember that wonderful nurse that whisked me out of the waiting room, offered a hug and told me her story was for me? I hope I can be that person to someone else.