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Life after loss: Our journey with miscarriage & our rainbow baby -
I’ve never made a post that’s so raw. So vulnerable. I’ve rewritten it one hundred times, and it still doesn’t fully express the emotions I felt in the journey I’m about to share with you. I’m opening my heart up to share my personal experience with miscarriage. My hope in writing this is that it may help someone. Or maybe bring some awareness to the fact that 1 in 4 women will struggle with miscarriage at some point in their life. I am 1 in 4. This is my story. Positive. Thats it, we were pregnant! Grant was going to be a brother! So many thoughts and emotions running through my head. As the days went by, I found myself daydreaming about what our lives were going to look like. Imagining Grant as a brother. Imagining life with 2. Daydreaming of having another squishy baby to love. The anxieties of going from one child to two passed and the excitement grew more with each passing moment. But then the day of our ultrasound came. And everything changed. We were anxiously waiting in the doctors office for my name to be called, and I still remember the innocence we had in that moment. We had no idea the journey we would be taken on once we were called back. I was so eager in the ultrasound room, but in a good way! I sat there, so excited to see our little baby on the screen. Waiting to see the little bean, just as we had seen a few years before with Grant. I knew the steps. And because of that, my heart was racing as I began to realize something wasn’t quite right. The sonogapher searched for a while, and she finally found a very tiny sac, but we saw no baby. One look at her face and I could tell she knew something wasn’t quite right. But the optimism of her words kept me from panicking. “It’s still pretty early. Your dates could be wrong, and a lot of times we won’t be able to see baby yet.” So she suggested we wait 2 weeks and come back. There was sure to be a baby by then. We left this doctor slightly reassured, but the anxiety wouldn’t leave. We knew that until we saw a healthy baby in there, there was no way we could relax. The two week wait until the next ultrasound was torture. You see, behind the scenes I was so sick this pregnancy. More so then my pregnancy with Grant. I could barely lift my head up. I could barely get out of bed. I could barely even take care of my toddler. And boy did I feel like a failure for that. But I was so sick, there was nothing that could be done. I was absolutely miserable. Looking back it may have been a sign that something was wrong. And I knew that. I felt it. I just didn’t want to believe it. I remember Elijah running out to the store at midnight getting me yogurt to try to get something on my stomach. It was the only thing that I could semi keep down and I had already lost about 12 pounds from this sickness. But again, I was naive in realizing that it wasn’t normal morning sickness. Finally, our ultrasound came around, again. We sat in the same waiting room, with the same anxious feeling, only this time our excitement was overpowered by nerves. We were finally called back to start my appointment. The pregnancy tests were still screaming positive. My HCG levels were still high up there. There had been no blood. So I kept thinking in my head that this had to go well, right? I was clearly pregnant! I sat on the ultrasound table, and the room was silent as she looked for our baby. Elijah and I had our eyes locked on the screen. I’m no pro at reading ultrasounds, but I knew one thing. There was still no baby. Just a sac. “Would you excuse me for just one moment. I’m gonna go grab the doctor.” the sonographer told us. She left the room and there was a lump in my throat that felt like I had just swallowed dry chalk. I was holding back tears and I could barely even look at Elijah in fear that I might lose it. This was when I accepted what I inevitably knew. We weren’t having a baby. The doctor came in and explained to us that he was almost positive we were experiencing a missed miscarriage. It’s what happens when we’ve already lost the baby. It didn’t continue to develop very far. But my body wouldn’t release it. It wouldn’t go through with the miscarriage, so I was “still pregnant” (hence the symptoms) I was angry. How could I be pregnant but not be pregnant. That’s not fair. How could I be going through such a rough “pregnancy” but not actually be bringing a new life into the world I guess on top of anger a part of me was still in denial, because we then all came to the decision to give it one more week. Just one more. To see if there was any chance the baby would show up. That week I cried so hard. I prayed harder. I was filled with emotions and my heart ached in fear. I was in bed the whole week, struggling so hard. I continued to feel like a failure. But I held hope. Because there was still a chance. Until there wasn’t. We went to our last ultrasound appointment and my fear became a reality. It was official. We had lost the baby a long time ago. We were for sure experiencing a missed miscarriage (they also referred to it as empty sac syndrome/a blighted ovum) My body would not let go of this pregnancy, regardless of the fact that the baby was no longer developing. The doctors left the room to give us a moment and I remember sobbing into Elijah. This wasn’t fair. This wasn’t how this was supposed to go. Again, I was left with so many thoughts in my head. When the doctor came back into the room we discussed our options. We were left with 2. 1. Have surgery (a D&C) to help the miscarriage pass. 2. Wait it out and hope that the miscarriage passes on its own (For this particular route, there was no way to know for sure how long it would be, or if it would even happen at all. And the longer we waited, the bigger the risk of infection was.) So ultimately, we decided to listen to our doc and have the D&C that following Monday. That weekend, I cried until my eyes were swollen. I was disgusted at the situation, and angry. So angry. Here I was, pregnant. But I had no baby inside of me. It just wasn’t fair. I felt so many emotions that weekend, and at one point I was even thrown a wave of guilt. I actually felt bad that I was grieving so badly, when there were so many women out there who had it worse then I did. As if I didn’t deserve to mourn what I had lost. Then I realized how ridiculous that was. I shouldn’t feel guilty for grieving. Every story is different. No matter how far along, or what the situation, the pain still stands. The hurt is still there. Don’t ever let anyone downplay that. The surgery came and I was a wreck the entire morning. I was so grateful to have such an awesome support system, especially Elijah. He made a horrible situation just a bit easier to deal with. But even then, it was one of my worst memories. I woke up from the surgery cold. Hurt. Broken. I wasn’t pregnant anymore. I lost my baby. I lost my hope. I was 1 in 4. The days following the surgery are a blur. Questions filled my mind. What did I do wrong? Why wasn’t I able to carry this baby? I thought we were giving Grant a sibling and all we got was heartache. I was upset. I was confused. I was angry. The vision I had in my head of this new baby and our growing family was ripped away from me so quickly. And I kept wondering, why this would happen. My pregnancy with Grant went so smoothly, that I don’t think this kind of thing ever even crossed my mind. I just naively assumed i’d have another smooth pregnancy. Sure I was aware of miscarriage and knew how horrible it was. But in my mind it was one of those things I never thought would happen to me. I didn’t understand how common it truly was. In reality 1 in 4 women experience miscarriage in their lives 1 in 4. The emotions I felt were incredible. A few weeks after my surgery I went to my follow up appointment. After getting checked out, my doctor and I chatted for a moment, before they told me we were cleared to “try again” The words hit me hard. Sure, we still wanted a second baby, but how hard to hear “try again” as if we had failed before. How hard to hear “try again” as if the whole loss can just be glossed over. Maybe I was being sensitive or overreacting. But it hurt hearing it said that way. “Try again” I went home to tell Elijah about my appointment and we ultimately decided we needed more time to heal. We had other things to get in line as well, and wanted to wait a bit longer before attempting to have another baby. But sometimes life has other plans. Almost 2 months after our miscarriage, we discovered we were pregnant again. It came as a total shock, and once again, I was flooded with emotions. This time one of the biggest was fear. I was so scared that history was going to repeat itself and we wouldn’t be able to have a successful pregnancy. I also felt guilty that this happened again so fast after for some reason. Almost as if I didn’t deserve it again when so many other women were suffering. But mostly, of all these emotions, I felt so grateful to be given another chance at bringing a new life into the world and giving Grant a sibling. Our appointment date for our first ultrasound was long awaited and anxiety filled me. What if theres no baby? What if something happens? What if I have to deal with the hurt I now knew all over again. I wasn’t ready to go though it again. It was hard navigating pregnancy after loss. The fear stayed in the back of my mind, constantly and the pain was still so fresh, it crushed me to think about history repeating itself. A broken heart doesn’t heal so easily, and I was cautious of getting hurt again. But I pushed those thoughts aside and I prayed. Hard. I tried to stay positive and tell myself that it was going to be okay. At the ultrasound, they started to search for the sac/baby my heart was beating so fast. I held my breath in fear. I was terrified. Not for what they might find, but for what they might NOT find. But then the words came out, and I felt a relief I had never experienced before. “There it is! There’s your baby” And there on the screen was a tiny little baby, with a tiny little heartbeat fluttering away. My rainbow baby. I looked up at Elijah and tears streamed down my face. And his. In October we welcomed our rainbow baby, Holston, into the world. He has been a light in...