In most healthy women the average is about a 15-20% chance [of having a miscarriage].
My Personal Experience
After trying for a couple of months, my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our second child.
|This is Camden, our first child, back when we was little. He’s the inspiration behind wanting baby #2.
Because we had close friends who experienced miscarriages, we decided that we were going to wait a while to tell people “just in case.”
I never actually planned on having a miscarriage. It’s not something people plan on, try to prepare for maybe, but not plan on.
On December 9th, I went in for what was supposed to be my 8 week appointment. I immediately knew something was wrong when the doctor said that he could not see the baby or find a heartbeat. There was a “yolk” forming, but the lack of a fetus implied that I was either having a miscarriage, or was less far along than I thought.
I knew it had to be a miscarriage. I had carefully charted all my information and took a positive pregnancy test the day before my missed cycle on November 11th.
However, that was not enough to confirm the miscarriage, medically speaking, so the doctor said that I had to get some blood drawn to find out more.
I excused myself from the examination room and cried in the bathroom for a minute before heading to the front desk on my way out.
I tried to gather myself together, but as the receptionist asked if I needed to reschedule I just shook my head and said no as I tried to hide my crying from everyone else in the office. I didn’t need to reschedule because there was no baby to reschedule for.
I cried some more, called my husband, who took it well and calmly comforted me. I hung up the phone, and then cried some more. Maybe the crying never actually stopped.
That day, I had to get my blood drawn to check my hormone levels, all while keeping my very active, over-adventurous 18 month old in check.
As I got in my car, I cried—not just the normal tears with small whimpering, but real crying. The kind where you feel hysterical as you finally let the loud sobs out that you never let other people hear. The kind that scares you because you actually hear your emotions expressing themselves. The kind that literally makes you sick because you can’t get enough air into your lungs.
I went again two days later to get my blood drawn so they could compare my hormone levels and see if they had gone up. They did, which required me to schedule another ultrasound in a week.
That night I called my friend who had had the same type of miscarriage and she graciously listened while I bore my soul to her. For a while, other than my husband and my mother, she was the only other soul who knew. Having gone through a very similar experience months before, she knew exactly what to say, and more importantly, how to listen.
I explained how I was mad and frustrated. I knew this was a miscarriage by all logic. Everything about this pregnancy had seemed wrong. I didn’t feel connected to it, or excited to tell people. The hormones also gave me panic attacks every morning—something I never had during my previous pregnancy. But still, that need for an additional ultrasound gave me this tauntingly difficult-to-face false hope that profoundly played with my emotions.
The next ultrasound “muddied the waters,” as the doctor said it, because there was a little more growth, but no heartbeat or visible baby.
I was sent to go to the hospital, which was separate from my OBGYN’s office, to get my blood drawn once more.
Yet again, that tiny sliver of false hope made this experience almost unbearable. I remember wishing that I could have just had the miscarriage 100% confirmed at that first appointment. Dragging it out was made it feel like I was constantly reliving a nightmare over and over again.
The next day, the results of the final blood test confirmed that I was having a miscarriage. I had what is called a missed miscarriage, meaning that the baby stopped forming soon after conception, but that my body still thought it was pregnant. I didn’t have any bleeding or cramping.
Because of this situation, I had three options:
- have a D&C to remove everything
- wait for nature to take its course, which could mean weeks
- take pills to induce a miscarriage
I originally planned on the first option until I learned that insurance wouldn’t cover it. Because we planned on traveling to Belize in January, I didn’t have time to wait it out. The left me with option 3, which I had heard would be the most pain I would ever experience.
I was traumatized, but I was blessed with an outpouring of support not just from my great husband, but by two very important women in my life.
I felt as though my Savior had manifested His love and care for me through my sister and friend who served me and loved me. My sister, who hadn’t had a chance to visit me in months, just happened to ask for a day off of work a week before, without knowing my circumstances, and had planned to come hang out for a day. We both felt that this had been more than a mere coincidence. She was with me the day the news was confirmed, and in her beautifully talented way, she was able to be a comic relief to an otherwise, very dark day.
I cannot express to you how much it meant to have a friend who had gone through a very similar miscarriage as me. She was able to feel my pain, to sincerely express her understanding, and to help me overcome the grief that I felt I could not bear alone. It was nice to be able to call someone and not be ashamed to cry as I spoke my feelings. She was comfortable talking to me during a time that my vulnerability and openness would make so many other people uneasy.
On December 21st, four days before Christmas, I took the pills and began to miscarry that weekend. I cancelled all social events. Because of the awful stories I read online about the pills I had to take, I asked my husband for a blessing. For those of you who are not Latter-Day Saints, or Mormons, you can read more about blessings here: https://www.lds.org/youth/article/importance-of-priesthood-blessings?lang=eng As a result of this blessing, and the early timing in my pregnancy, the actual miscarrying part was not too traumatizing other than some severe cramping.
An ultrasound December 23rd confirmed that I had successfully miscarried. In a sad, but relieving way, I was happy to be done with this experience that had lagged on for weeks.
And now, about two weeks after the climax of this trial, I sit here and write this for two reasons:
One, I feel like I am holding a lot of emotions inside, and though I am generally and sincerely happy now, I need closure and I have always found writing to be therapeutic.
Two, this miscarriage has raised a question I would like to address…
Where are all these women?
About 15-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. That’s roughly one out of every five pregnancies. Now think about all the women you have know who had successful pregnancies and compare that to how many women you know had a miscarriage. Chances are your count doesn’t measure up to one out of five. Mine was more like three out of two hundred and fifty. So I began to think, where are all these women? Why are miscarriages so secretive? Are we ashamed to share our experiences? I didn’t really have the answers until I had a miscarriage of my own.
The initial news and process of a miscarriage are emotionally exasperating. You don’t want the whole world to know because you don’t want the whole world feeling like they need to console you. You don’t want to have to talk about it more than you already are. The experience is immensely private and to make it public is not appealing to most people.
Once you share that you have had a miscarriage, other women and families slowly come forth and reveal “I had two of my own” or “My sister has had three.” Slowly, the statistics begin to prove themselves true. I now understand that women don’t share their miscarriages because they are ashamed (there is nothing to be ashamed about), but because it’s not generally a socially acceptable thing. You aren’t supposed to let people know that you had a miscarriage. For some strange reason, talking about miscarriages in public has become taboo.
Well, I’ve never been one for social norms. Having this miscarriage has been really hard, but I don’t think that locking this experience away is going to help me with much. The biggest part of me getting through this was my heaven-sent friend who had gone through the same thing.
I want other women to know that you are not alone. Your sorrow is felt, your pain is understood, and you loss is shared, not just by the millions of women who have undergone the same experience throughout history, but by a loving Savior, who, through His atonement, has cried your tears, endured your grief, and seeks to comfort you still.
I bear my testimony that God lives. That Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. That if you are going through a miscarriage or have gone through one, you do not suffer alone. That your cries do not remain silent. That your prayers do not go unheard. That your sorrows will not go uncomforted. Seek Christ. Know that you are loved, that you will be happy again. And maybe one day, you will be the answer to another woman’s prayer by being brave and sharing your experience with her.
To my friend, you know who you are, I am forever grateful to you.
When someone you know is experiencing a miscarriage:
- Don’t say, “Let me know if you need anything.” Instead, specifically offer something, like babysitting their other children, bringing dinner, or directly asking, “What can I do to help?”
- Don’t try to point out the positive. Most couples already know the positives, like “at least you know you can get pregnant.” They don’t need someone to point out the obvious; they did need someone to listen.
- Do send a kind text or drop off a sweet note expressing your condolences. This is usually best if you have a close relationship with the family.
- Don’t tell anyone else about their miscarriage. They will tell the people they want to know. It’s not really yours to share.
- Do let them be the ones to bring up the miscarriage. If they want to talk about it, they will. If they don’t, they won’t.
- Don’t bring up stories about people who have had more or worse miscarriages. Their trial may be less in comparison, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt.
- Don’t ask them if they are pregnant later on. If they are, they will tell you when they are ready.
- Most of all, just listen and love.
Thanks for listening to me.
|Baby Camden and I last year. Leaving on a happy note.