Did you know that 1 in 4 women will have a miscarriage? Miscarriages are common – up to 25% of pregnancies will end in a miscarriage in the first trimester. Most women aren’t aware they were pregnant until they miscarry and are devastated. Others knew and have have told their loved ones and have started to prepare for their new bundle of joy. The most common part of miscarriage though? Keeping it a secret.
I knew that miscarriages happened. My mother shared her loss with me as she endured them herself but I wasn’t aware how common it was.
At the age of 23, my husband and I had our first miscarriage. It was early. I would have maybe been 3 or 4 weeks but the following day I miscarried and we were heartbroken. We mourned together through Christmas and decided we would try again in the spring.
One spring morning right at 5AM, I took a pregnancy test for the billionth time. I expected it to be negative. I went back to sleep without even looking. At 7AM my husband returned from work and I got up to greet him. I decided to check the test first and to my surprise, Hello Positive Test! We cried together and celebrated. Joy filled our entire house.
A couple weeks later, I began bleeding and I cried out, “NO!” so loud my husband came running into the bathroom. We immediately went to the ER where the doctor was abrasive and rude. She handed me papers that said, “Spontaneous abortion.” We were told to go home and sleep it off. We refused and asked for an ultrasound. There she was, the tiniest little person, still safe and sound in my womb. I was then told that “There might be some complications. You’ve miscarried a twin.” The following weeks were hard. We spent time running back and forth to appointments. We weren’t sure if this pregnancy would last but we prayed hard. Everyone did. With hormones and a God-fearing OB-GYN we made it to 40 weeks and 2 days. My beautiful Christmas miracle! She was 9lbs and 13 oz of pure pain and a hard labor. But she made it and she was the chubbiest little thing we’d ever seen! Her face was bruised but oh so beautiful.
Our sweet Ella Jane is now almost 5 and often wonder how life would be with a carbon copy of her sitting at the table but oh, how thankful I am to have her.
On her first birthday, we miscarried again. I bled and cramped all day during her birthday party. “Fake it til you make it.” I told myself.
This miscarriage was so painful I stayed in bed for two days crying. My husband took off work to take care of me and our daughter. We cried together, we were devastated.
In the following spring, we were expecting again! This time I had negative tests and hcg but my belly was growing and I knew I was pregnant. At 11 weeks the ultrasound didn’t look great and they said I would miscarry. We carried on with our vacation and two days later I had a sharp pain and my babies fell out. Twins! Intact, in their sac. It was traumatizing and vivid. I could see their little faces. They were facing each other and they looked peaceful. I just sat in shock looking at them for several hours.
We went back to the doctor for a follow up and did an ultrasound to make sure my uterus was empty and I didn’t need surgery after what had happened. I closed my eyes and cried. It was then when I heard the most beautiful sound. A heartbeat! Strong and loud. The doctor said, “there’s another one in there!” Our favorite nurse ran in and we all cried together. The following weeks were stressful and emotional. I was happy to have this sweet baby in my belly but I was so sad to have just lost two others. What would that have been like? Triplets. Wow.
At 23 weeks and 5 days, I sat in the hospital with my Nana. She was just diagnosed with Stage 4 Pancreatic Cancer. I spent the night out of town in this hospital chair to be with her but God had a plan. He brought me there because my water would break in the middle of the night 30 minutes from the only hospital that would save my daughter’s life. They admitted me and kept me on a PPROM regimen. Two days later her tiny feet dangled from my cervix. I was rushed back to the OR just like the movies. I’ll never forget the sweet nurse Hannah who called my husband to tell him we were having a c-section. She prayed out loud over me and for my baby. The most terrifying day I’ve ever experienced in my life. I’d seen preemies on Facebook but I didn’t know anything about them! I prepared to say goodbye to my daughter. 24 weeks was too early! Being cut open in a room full of strangers, my naked body shaking on a metal table. I felt alone but surrounded all at once. Everyone was so kind and loving. God placed every single human being in that room for me, and I will forever be grateful. Shout out to Duke Hospital!
As they were sewing me back up, Hannah ran back in and said, “She’s doing great! She tried to breathe on her own and they intubated her! She’s okay!” I sobbed and thanked Jesus over and over.
My husband and my oldest daughter arrived as I was in recovery. Later that evening we went down to meet the new little sister as my friend Jerrica watched our oldest.
Our sweet little baby was so tiny I couldn’t even imagine her existing like that outside of my womb. I could see all of her little veins and into her little chest. Her nose and ears prominent but her eyes not quite there and her mouth so tiny with a giant tube in it. I looked over her incubator and could barely seen the numbers on the screen through teary eyes.
I had no idea what would come of this journey but we made it. Over 100 days in the NICU and our sweet little Parker Elyse is a 3 year old healthy and feisty little girl.
A month ago I miscarried my 6th baby. The ultrasound was silent and when I saw the screen I already knew what the doctor would say. The ultrasound tech looked worried but tried to hide it. I said, “It’s okay. I’ve lost babies before. I know.” I still held out hope and asked God to please save my baby but I miscarried a week later. It hasn’t gotten easier even though I’ve been through all of these things with pregnancies and births and loss. In fact, I feel this one has been my hardest one. I was angry with God. I turned away from Him. As I told a nurse I was miscarrying she whispered, “Me too.” and another nurse whispered beside her, “I’ve had them too.” Anger filled inside of me. Why do we whisper about our babies? Life is life. They matter! When people die, we have funerals and people send flowers. When our babies leave us too soon, we whisper amongst other women and we hide in our homes. It saddens me to know that other women feel this way. I want to change that. Let’s share our stories. Make way for all of the babies who didn’t make it to our dining room tables. I often think about how full my hands are with two children and how crazy my life would be as a single mom now with SIX! children. Wow, would that be insane.
But I am also sad because I imagine their sweet faces smiling back at me.
My hands would have made room. I would have invested in a larger table. My heart has grown, my uterus has grown and even if I don’t have all of my children here with me.. I am a mother to six beautiful children. I know God has my sweet babies and I know He loves me. He’s trusted me to raise these two feisty girls and I am thankful for that ♥️
To my babies, I’ll see you again.
Always loved. Never forgotten.
On the outside, you see a happy little family but on the inside this is my reality… love your people. Support them. Ask for help.
You can find different support groups in your local area, seek professional help with a therapist, and your needs can look very different than everyone else’s but whatever you do ask for help. It’s easy to shut down and keep it to yourself but know that you don’t have to.
This story was written by Meaghan and sent to me.