I Carried My Dead Baby For 4 Weeks Before Finding Out She Was Gone: What It’s Like to Miscarry and Not Know it

My Experience with Pregnancy Loss

When Andre and I found out we were expecting our second child he was immediately happy; I was a bit more reserved.  I was 5 years older than when I had JB, and our finances, to be frank, weren’t exactly in the best shape.

Still, I told a few close friends and family members and tried my best to be excited. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted our baby. I did, but I couldn’t shake this nagging feeling that something was wrong. When my friends and family congratulated me, I instantly regretted telling them I was pregnant. I also had terrible trouble sleeping. The anxiety was relentless. I worried all day every day and I couldn’t, try as I might, let it go and be happy.

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By contrast, when I was pregnant with JB I had not one care or a worry in the world. I had moments of doubt, sure, but overall, I had a a great pregnancy. I knew he’d be a boy, I had his name picked out almost right away, and I began purchasing baby clothes a week after I found out I was pregnant. I just knew, without a doubt, that he would be perfectly healthy, and he was.

Inspired by Lisa

This time, with this baby, rather than feel excitement I felt ashamed. I didn’t even tell my parents I was expecting.I thought to myself: Here I was, in my 30s, and so so far from where someone my age should be. I felt completely unworthy of carrying another child.

On my way to my 9-week appointment (my first appointment since finding out I was pregnant), I was on the phone with a good friend, and she asked me: “Are you happy?” to which I replied, “Not really.”  And I wasn’t.

The first 15 minutes of my first prenatal appointment was spent discussing ways to deal with the terrible headaches from which I had been suffering,  and managing my anxiety. When the clinician geared up for the ultrasound, however, I began to feel a little bit of excitement. I told myself to relax, as I looked anxiously at the Doppler ultrasound machine. I was going to hear my baby’s heartbeat for the first time!

Only something was wrong.

“Are you certain of your dates?” My clinician asked, the look on her face already telling me everything I needed to know.

“I mean, I think so. I’m pretty sure”

She then asked me to stay to complete a full ultrasound with the ultrasound tech. After which she informed me that my baby didn’t have a heartbeat, and was measuring only 6 weeks. She then went on to tell me that I had what’s called a “miss miscarry,” and that I could take a pill to force my body to recognize the miscarriage, wait to miscarry naturally, or have a surgical procedure known as a D&E to flush out the fetus.

I heard the words coming out of her mouth. I saw her physically hand me tissues, but I couldn’t really process it all. I  just wanted to get out of there.

But it doesn’t end there.

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A few hours after I got home, I received another call from a nurse. She told me it would  take another week and another ultrasound before they could really determine if I was miscarrying or if I was just earlier than I had suspected. The minute I got off the phone I began to google countless success stories of women who had been told they were miscarrying, only to discover the baby was too small to detect a heartbeat, and that they had simply been wrong about the date of their last menstrual cycle. Most of these women had gone on to deliver healthy babies.  I was ecstatic. I had hope.  I was certain my baby was still growing. I still had pregnancy symptoms. I wasn’t bleeding or cramping. Of course I had just been off with my dates.

The nurse told me not to get my hopes up, and that my chances were slim to none, but what did she know?

For the next week, I tried, as best I could, to carry on. I blogged a bit, but between the anxiety and the headaches, I couldn’t do much but lie in bed.

My 10-week appointment arrived, another ultrasound was performed, and my miscarriage was confirmed. My baby had stopped growing 4 weeks ago, and I didn’t know it.

I opted for the D&E. I couldn’t stomach the idea of waiting what could be another month or two before eventually having to flush my baby down the toilet. My doctor and nurses were wonderful, and the procedure went through without a hitch.

A few days after my procedure, I was up and around almost as though nothing had ever happened. The doctor even said we would be good to start trying again in a month or so, but I wasn’t sure I will. My doctor also said, many women experience a miscarriage at 6 weeks.

In fact, studies show that the 6-week miscarry mark is usually as a result of chromosomal abnormalities, sort of like nature’s way of weeding out the babies that wouldn’t have lived anyway. I don’t know what’s next for our family, but this experience is not one I would wish on anyone.

Update

Most of this post was written directly after I suffered my miscarriage, but as many of you know, I did go on to to having a healthy baby boy, Julien-Michel Wynter.

black mother holding a newborn baby

We are now a happy family of four, and I don’t know that I would change a thing. Sure, the miscarriage was heart-breaking, but I think I needed the lesson. I needed to learn that life is not what we imagine, it just is. I needed to learn that the only thing I can control is how I react to life’s challenges. I needed to appreciate the gift it is to carry a life, even if the circumstances aren’t the best. I really wasn’t in the best headspace to have another child, and when I was, a year later, I made a point to enjoy every moment of my pregnancy journey.

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25 Comments

  1. Thanks for sharing and I want you to know I am not feeling pity or want you to feel that from me. I can definitely see you are a strong woman and regardless of your where you are at 30 years of age I think that you are more than likely where God intended you to be at this time, probably saving someone’s life by sharing your journey so thank you.

  2. Thank you so much for this sharing.
    I also had a misscariage last month and I am glad to read somebody who doesn’t live it as a taboo.
    I am not sure that I am emotionally healed from it yet …
    Thank you.

    1. I’m not healed, either. But each day gets better. hang in there!

  3. Sorry for your loss…

  4. I had just the same story 2 months ago with my first baby?Heartbroken?

    1. I am so sorry! I still have moments of sadness as well. I was just thinking the other day: I’ll never meet my baby. Sigh…

  5. So sorry love! I will say I’ve never miscarried however, I’ve never had the desire to get pregnant again! Like EVER! I feel guilty, but I don’t want to be pregnant ever again. I say this to show you that shit don’t always go as planned. You’re talking to “supposed mom of 2”.

  6. Seun A Ilenda says:

    You are so brave! Sharing your story I hope brings you some closure and I appreciate you for doing this.
    I really admire the clarity in which you describe the situation and your feelings.

  7. Thanks, boo!! I appreciate you!

  8. Thanks, Erica! I will join your group and check out your podcast.

    1. Katherine says:

      Thank you for sharing your story, just found out today at my 10 week check up that my baby didn’t make it past 7 wks. I don’t know when ill be okay and i don’t know if ill ever fully understand whats happening but thank you for sharing, this has gave me a piece of mind knowing im not alone.

      1. i’m so sorry! please talk so someone if you need it. You will smile again!

  9. Dommy Mommy says:

    So sorry for your loss. You are so brave to share what many women and couples struggle through alone. On the “success” side, I feel like we feel an extra burden of inadequacy because of what we’re “expected” to be….but only you can define you! Many blessings to you and your family’s health and well being.

  10. I had went through a similar experience. Went for my first ultrasound at 12 weeks and was told my baby died at 9 weeks. Most tramatic experience I’ve ever been through.

  11. Nichelle O. says:

    Currently in the hospital waiting for my D&C. Same story. Missed at 6 weeks with no heartbeat. Thank you for sharing. I will take this as confirmation that everything will work out fine.

  12. This is such a touching story. I was saddened by the news.You are such a brave lady. I will be praying for you and your family. Continue being strong and thank you for sharing with us. You are an inspiration.God bless

  13. Lisa,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. You are such a brave woman.

  14. thanks, sis! You been bust being happy, working, and in love!! I’m happy for you!!

  15. Thank you for sharing. I also found out I had a missed miscarriage last week. I’m 16 wks however my baby didn’t make it past 11 wks. Your story gives me strength as I’m currently facing my truth.

    1. i’m so sorry for you loss.

  16. Thank you for sharing. I am going through this right now. There are almost no personal stories like this online especially first trimester. Thank you for making me feel like I’m not alone and I will get through this. I wish there was less stigma with miscarriages and missed miscarriages are probably the least openly talked about. Thank you.

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