My partner Josh and I had been living together for just over a year when we decided to stop using protection and potentially have a child. We didn’t tell our friends or family or speak about it much together. I wanted to start my journey with an open mind and not put all my eggs in one basket! I figured it would take some time. “Some time” ended up being 6 weeks. I ran to the backyard and showed Josh the positive test and he said “congratulations!” I said well congratulations to you also, and we spent the next few weeks in a state of shock I think.
Initial blood work showed a healthy pregnancy and we couldn’t bite our tongues any longer. We told our parents and closest friends. To say I was excited was an understatement. I felt hyper and like my brain was spinning with thoughts of motherhood and meeting my baby. I bought a pregnancy book and Josh and I enjoyed every moment of those first few weeks.
At week 10 I experienced mild cramping and spotting. It worried me. I’m not sure why it worried me because to be honest, I knew VERY little about pregnancy loss. This also was true for our close friends and family. Day two the bleeding got worse and we decided to go to the hospital. Blood work and ultrasound showed no issues, however, the ER doctor we saw told me very clearly “one in three pregnancies are lost before week 12 so prepare yourself”. I was shocked – ONE IN THREE? Why didn’t I know this? I felt scared and stupid.
The next day both my cramping and bleeding were worse and we followed Doctors orders by returning to the hospital. Our luck had it that the line of people needing care was out the door. I told Josh I just wasn’t up for standing that long, so we went to a smaller hospital about 30 minutes away in my hometown. Two hours later we were told the blood work was normal and I needed to relax. Light cramping and spotting are normal and since this was my first pregnancy I simply wasn’t use to it.
We got in the car to go home and the tears started. I remember Josh was surprised thinking what could be wrong since we had just received good news – but, I knew something wasn’t right. The cramping did not feel normal and I felt really scared.
As we pulled onto our street I started hemorrhaging. Through my pad, panties, pants all over the truck. I was shocked and embarrassed. We pulled into our driveway and I ran inside straight into the shower. Josh poked his head in and told me that obviously we were losing the pregnancy, which I knew. We weren’t quite sure what to do and seeing as how we had been to two hospitals in the last two days we thought we would just stay at home and have the miscarriage. About an hour later I lost consciousness sitting on the toilet. Josh called 911 immediately. I felt weak, could feel my pulse and had black spots in my vision. I felt dizzy and I felt stupid for not knowing what was happening.
12 hours later I had a D & C and started to heal. I felt stupid for not understanding the risks of pregnancy and for being so excited and naive. I’m lucky to say I’ve never dealt with lasting depression or anxiety, I am overall happy and positive, but after this experience I felt very low for 3-4 months, experienced vivid dreams of bleeding to death and thought of the moments before the ambulance came almost every hour. We waited a month and continued our lives and were pregnant again very fast. I lost that pregnancy at week 11 at home.
My third pregnancy was a mistake. Drinking too much and not being careful! I wasn’t ready for another pregnancy loss and felt depressed and overwhelmed. We told no one and didn’t speak of it much to each other. I had a dating ultrasound at 11 weeks and she told me there was a heartbeat and showed it to me. It sparked hope in me but I hugely struggled feeling any sort of attachment to the pregnancy until I could feel it moving on a regular basis. We didn’t find out the gender, I couldn’t put a name/picture to the pregnancy in case we lost it. I gave birth to my daughter Lilly Mae in February.
I wish pregnancy loss was talked about more and I wish my family doctor had reviewed the risks with me. I wish I knew what mild cramping and bleeding can mean and what signs are of a “normal” miscarriage as opposed to an emergency situation. These are things all woman should know and be prepared for. They should also know that it is NORMAL to feel despair, extreme sadness and heartbreak after pregnancy loss but that it does go away and can make you a stronger happier person! I can think about my miscarriages now without sadness or pain. I feel like they made me stronger, however, it would have been an easier experience if I had the information I needed. Thank you to the ER doctor who was brutally honest with me.
Since having Lilly I have to admit that overall it’s been an amazing happy experience. I didn’t suffer from post-partum and when I had those really challenging moments I did remind myself that I am lucky to have a healthy happy daughter! I have an incredible partner who works just as hard at parenting as I do, and I have finally found a balance between work and baby.
I have a new-found-respect for woman and mothers. The emotional torment is extreme. Extreme highs and extreme lows and it is scary. Worth it all in the end though of course, which I will remind myself when we try for baby number two☺