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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.