Today, October 15th, is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. It has been almost two years since my miscarriage. I can’t help but reflect on that day. I have never really shared exactly what happened that day that we found out about our loss. People often don’t ask too many questions when talking about this type of loss because they want to show empathy and not be intrusive. I completely understand that. But, I also think that it’s important to talk about what happened. 1 in 4 women will experience pregnancy and or infant loss. It happens more often than we think— it happened to me. I am 1 in 4, and this is my story.
My husband and I decided that we would start trying for a baby late in the Summer of 2015. It took two cycles for us to conceive and we couldn’t have been happier. We were ecstatic. My first appointment with the OBGYN was at about 5 weeks. I was very early, but at that appointment we saw our baby. It all became so incredibly real. There was actual life growing inside of me.
The next week we had another appointment and we saw our baby’s heartbeat flashing rhythmically on the sonogram screen. It was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. A little over a week after that we had another appointment. I was almost 8 weeks.
That appointment began like any other—uneventful. We sat in the waiting room. Smiled at the other mamas and mamas-to-be. They finally called my name. I was so excited to see my little Peach again. The sonogram tech greeted us with a smile and began by squirting the warm gel on my belly. She rubbed the wand on my stomach and looked at the screen. We exchanged small talk, then she went cold as ice and stopped talking. She looked at the screen carefully and moved the wand more. First on the left side of my belly then to the right. She went silent. So silent I couldn’t even hear her breathe. I looked her in the eyes for reassurance. I wanted her to tell us that everything was okay. Her eyes refused to meet mine. At that moment I knew. I knew something was wrong. She got up suddenly and turned off the monitor. She said that the doctor would be in shortly.
She left the room and my husband and I sank in the silence of that room knowing that something had gone terribly wrong. Unable to control it any longer I laid there quietly sobbing.
Finally, a nurse came in and guided us to a private room. On the way to the room I saw the sonogram tech sitting solemnly in the hallway, still refusing to look at me. Once we got to the room the doctor came in shortly after. He walked in and instantly put his hand on my shoulder and said, “I’m sorry.” I can still feel how heavy his hand felt on my shoulder. I knew it was coming but that didn’t lessen the pain. It felt as if I’d been hit by a truck. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t see, I couldn’t think. I sat in that room crying uncontrollably in my husbands arms while his own tears dropped on my shoulder.
The doctor scheduled a D&C a few days later on November 13th, it was a Friday. My nurse came in to have me fill out and sign the necessary paperwork. Before she could finish she burst into tears and had to leave the room. I remember thinking that this was the saddest moment in my entire life. I didn’t think I’d ever pick up the pieces.
A couple weeks after the D&C we got paperwork in the mail that told us why our baby had died. Triploidy. This meant that she had an extra set of chromosomes. This condition almost always results in a miscarriage. Even if the pregnancy goes to term, babies born with triploidy rarely survive.
Grief was extremely hard and it came in overwhelming waves that drowned me. It really did. My bad days were really bad, and even on my “good” days I’d feel guilty for having the audacity to smile. Working through that grief was a process. As I’ve mentioned before in my previous post, if it wasn’t for my husband, family, and getting to the point where I was no longer angry at God I don’t know if I ever would have gotten out of that dark place.
Yes, some time has passed, but it’s still not easy accepting that one day there was life growing in my womb and the next day that precious little life was no longer. I still think about her often. I wonder what she would have been like and what she would have looked like. But, I am at peace and that’s all I can ask for. That’s my story.