I didn’t think I could cry about it anymore, since it happened nearly thirty years ago, but when I read Chrissy Teigen’s account of her miscarriage, a flood of emotions came back to me.
I’d had a healthy baby three years earlier, but getting pregnant again took months and months. When it finally happened, we were so happy when we got through the first trimester. I had endured two miserable months of morning sickness and felt energized again.
The three of us went out to do a little shopping to make some home improvements before the baby’s arrival. But, on a Sunday morning in the middle of a Home Depot, a sudden rush of blood ended the pregnancy.
The most common cause of pregnancy loss is a problem with the chromosomes that would make it impossible for the fetus to develop normally. Most people are unaware that one in three early pregnancies end in miscarriage, many so early that the mother doesn’t even know she’s pregnant.
Sometimes there will be symptoms such as cramping or bleeding. But most researchers, according to Dr. Ashley Hill, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the UCF College of Medicine, agree that 20% of all pregnancies end up as the type that cause symptoms, while the rest are “silent” losses, overwhelmingly in the first trimester. Sadly, there is almost never anything you or your doctor can do to prevent an early miscarriage.
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched, but are felt in the heart.” -Helen Keller
A loss up to the 20th week is considered a miscarriage; after week 20 it is considered a pre-term delivery or stillbirth. A later loss is particularly difficult. The name may be picked out, the nursery set up, and clothes purchased. Thinking about it, nurturing it and then, all of a sudden there is no heartbeat. Your heart is so full and then it breaks.
Feeling the Loss
Women who have experienced miscarriages may feel guilt and blame, emotions which can take a toll on relationships. Concerned family members will ask “How do you feel?” You: “I’m okay.” But in reality? Empty, grieving, numb, sad, angry, guilty, hopeful. And then repeat. It comes in cycles and it can be such a lonely and painful time.
But, Brave Marshmallow blogger, Cara Fleury, reminds us that “your loss is not a reflection of your motherhood or femininity. You have the capacity to carry beautiful life, freely given and worthy of dignity. Stay open to this gift in all of its uncertainties.”
After my miscarriage, I underwent a medical procedure to clear my uterus called a Dilation and Curettage, or D&C. Six weeks later, during a follow up appointment, I asked my OB if it was safe to try again. After all, I was 36, but he confirmed that I was fully recovered and healthy.
So, I shared the news with my husband and we celebrated that night. Nine months later our son was born.
by Kim Amato / Founder / Baby’s Bounty