Loved and Lost

Loved_and_Lost

I have loved and lost.

We had tried for awhile to get pregnant the first time. I know people joke about how they had sex one time–just once–and they were pregnant. It wasn’t like that for me, but I wouldn’t say it took forever. It only felt like forever because it seemed everyone around my was pregnant.

Little Man was only six months old when I realized that I was pregnant for the second time. I read that pee stick and my heart sank. I wished it wasn’t true. I cried.

I did not have the same joy, which probably broke my heart even more.  My husband did. I told him and he was so excited and to see that, I started to cry again.

I was still nursing. We had a baby still in a crib who wasn’t sleeping through the night. They would only be 15 months apart if I carried this baby to term. Little Man was a month early, so it was probable that the new baby would come early too.

I was overwhelmed and scared. I didn’t feel like I could handle two kids potentially a year a part.

Then I started to bleed.

I was about 8 weeks along; I shouldn’t be spotting.  I went to the doctor with my husband and had an ultrasound. We heard the heart beat; I saw that little peanut on the monitor; and I fell in love. My fear melted away and I began to plan and dream for this new life I held within me. My husband was right, we could do this. Everything would be OK.

And then it wasn’t.

I was put on best rest to see if the bleeding would stop. It would come and go and right about 10 weeks I lost the baby. I had the baby. I saw him. I held him; he was barely the size of the palm of my hand. It was quick and relatively painless, physically.

I ‘untold’ the few family members we had shared the good news with. It was exhausting. Several people said, ‘well, at least it was early’ or ‘I’m sure something was just wrong with the baby.’ It was as if they were discounting my loss–marginalizing it. Of course, they meant no harm but I needed to grieve.  I turned inward, to a dark place. I truly felt it was my fault, that I hadn’t wanted the baby enough; I didn’t love it enough; I must have done something wrong.

I was devastated.

I need a D&C, which is a horrible experience and trust me, don’t Google it to read about it. I sobbed uncontrollably in the waiting room; cried the whole time the doctor spoke to me before the procedure; and I woke up groggy and cried some more. I cried myself to sleep for days. I hid my pain. I suffered alone because the few I talked to seemed to think I should move on that because it was ‘only’ the first trimester it wasn’t that bad.

I gained weight, which didn’t help my mood or outlook. I gained more weight. I was sad at home. I was sad at work. I couldn’t let it go; I couldn’t move on.

It was the darkest period in my life.

Losing my dad to cancer was easier than losing my baby. When my dad died, I was surrounded by friends and family who loved him. We shared stories, we laughed, we held each other up and we survived together.

This time, I was alone. At least I felt alone.

I now know many women who have lost babies. Apparently, it isn’t that uncommon. I now recognize that is wasn’t my fault. I deal with my grief; I don’t diminish it and I don’t allow others to diminish it either. I recognize that other women face different types of grief; grief that I can only try to empathize with because mine wasn’t the same. I didn’t carry my baby almost to term, months of love and planning only to have it ripped away. I didn’t have to bury a baby that I had held in my arms who had lived with me for days, weeks or months.

Grief is still grief…a loss is a loss.

I don’t believe miscarriage or losing babies is talked about enough. We hold these experiences close to our hearts. We don’t share our pain. But really, are we hiding it away because it didn’t matter? No. Is it because we are afraid someone will say, ‘well at least it happened so early’? Maybe, but no one should. It is your pain, your grief. It matters.

We wait the ‘appropriate’ 12 weeks to tell our extended family and friends when we are pregnant so we don’t have to ‘untell.’ But is that really the right answer? Should we remove our support system like that?

I was alone, but I didn’t have to be.

I didn’t share my story until years later, after Cricket was born. If I had shared more, I would have discovered so many women who could have helped me. They had been there and would have understood some of what I had been going through. They would have shared their stories and helped me. They would have held my hand and told me over and over that it is OK to be sad and it wasn’t my fault. They would have shared their grief me and I could have shared mine with them. We could have helped each other.

I have had five pregnancies.  I have three beautiful children that I am lucky enough to share with the world. I have two babies that live in my heart.

I hope that by me sharing this story of my pain it encourages one person to share their story. It eases my burden and I hope sharing does the same for you.

hugs to all who have loved and lost,

Courtney

37 thoughts on “Loved and Lost

  1. Syd says:

    Thank you so much for this article. I miscarried on 1/29/15. It isn’t the best time in my marriage so after the test at home I was not sure it was the right time, but when the doctor’s office called to confirm the blood test I was over the moon. I just immediately knew it was a boy (maybe I was wrong). I was always told it would be so hard to get pregnant so I just felt this was a miracle. At noon the doctor’s office confirmed my pregnancy my HCG levels and that I was about 6-7 weeks. I made a sonogram and first doctor’s appointment for 2/19/15. I called my husband, my sisters, I had cried and by 3:30 p.m. that same day I bled through my clothes into my seat at work and was headed to the ER. My baby is gone. I went through the natural process of miscarriage. I am actually still tapering off the bleeding and tomorrow I go for another blood test to make sure my HCG levels are negative. The facelessness of my mourning along with being told I was on a category X drug that could have done it; I think about how long I didn’t realize I was pregnant. I think of my initial reaction of shock and fear because I’m separated and I can’t stop blaming myself. I understand the isolation because it is so hard to deal with people saying because of my marital issues or the timing in my life maybe it was best and that thank God it was so early on… but I don’t know anyone who has known that kind of joy and that kind of pain within that short of time. I’ve lost a lot this year and now my Angel Baby. My best friend sent me this article and it really made me feel less alone. Thank you for opening your heart. I hope to write an article or something about this experience and other things I’ve experienced in the past several years. Thank you for being so brave. God bless you.

  2. Melissa says:

    So sorry for your loss. Back in 2010, I found out that I was pregnant…but there was something not right, so very wrong with this pregnancy. I just didn’t know what it was. I remember finding out I was pregnant on a Friday and had to wait the entire weekend to have an ultrasound that Monday. I had no idea what to expect only to hear a strong heartbeat, but no baby to be seen. I found out within minutes that the baby was growing in my fallopian tube, an ectopic pregnancy. I was devastated. Within the hour, I was in the OR to have it removed. I then took time to heal and a lot of praying. I must have read 1Samuel a thousand times! My girls are 3 now. It wasn’t even a year later that I became pregnant again. This time it was twins. I look back and in a way, God had to take this baby away because it wasn’t meant to be. He then in return blessed me with a double portion. God is constantly working in our lives and we go through so much pain and don’t understand it at the time. If we then look back and reflect, we then have a better understanding of what God was doing. So sorry for the long post, but I have shared my experience with loss with many. Thank you for sharing your story and God bless!

  3. Lesly says:

    Hi im only 17 years old but i can relate so much to your story. I was about 9-10 weeks when i miscarried my twins that i was carrying. It was physically painful but way more mentally. Many people said i was too young and i should get over it and that maybe god wanted it this way because they were probably sick. I stressed for a month too tell my parents about what was going on and even thinking on abortion from how desperate i was. I really regret that i was even considering just for my selfish self. As soon as i got over my fear we let my mom know and right away i had their support. On my birthday i found out i was having twins but i was spotting (about 7 weeks). Soon to know i was in and out the hospital for a week when they told me i miscarried. Many people don’t know how much i suffered and still do its been 3 months and i still cry myself to sleep.

  4. Rebecca says:

    I’m in tears…. THANK YOU for sharing this. I think I needed to hear it. I have two beautiful girls (16 and 6) and am currently in week 22 with baby girl #3…. but this is pregnancy #6. My heart hurts every time I think of my other little ones – the ones that I never got to hold. It’s comforting to know that I’m not alone in my grief.

      • Evelyn says:

        I’m sorry for your loss but I’m happy someone understands and is speaking out about this. I was 6 months pregnant when I lost my son I had preva placenta, I was bleeding for 3 months living in and out the hospital many people would tell me to get over it and move on but didn’t understand how I felt it’s hard to lose a child regardless of what it’s a loss and it’s hard and there should be more support groups and talk about this

    • Syd says:

      Your successful pregnancies encourage those of us that only have a loss. It gives hope that although we’ve had losses we can have the joy of live births. I mourn with you and celebrate with you. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Kathy says:

    I lost a baby in my 5th month — many years ago. I still think of that baby everyday. It was emotionally and physically painful. No one realized exactly what i experienced and didn’t know what to say to me. Mostly they would say “well, it was meant to be. Something was wrong with the baby.” Well, yes, that must have been true but it didn’t make it easier to deal with. It was painful, very painful. I went on to have two beautiful babies who are now two beautiful adults and I am thankful for every day I have them. But I still think about the one in my heart.

  6. taravdunn says:

    What a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing the most private pains of your heart. I am not a mom, I want to be, badly, but I’m not, so I can’t fully relate other than to, like you, wonder why no one talks about this. I was brought up on the 3 month rule, you don’t speak of it “just in case” and if the worst happens you’re alone with it and you shouldn’t be. Maybe people just don’t know what to say…I’m not sure, but I’m glad you’ve found the support you needed and that you’re telling your story, as it will undoubtedly help many others.

  7. Kim C says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. Your words explain exactly how I felt a few years ago. I was panicked a little to discover that I was pregnant. My youngest was a year old and into had the thought of “how will I do this?” But a few minutes later, my husband said we will just do it. All seemed well….2 ultrasounds showed a healthy baby, we saw a heartbeat and on with the planning. My boys were excited, one wishing for a boy and the other wishing for a baby sister. The day before we were to leave for the beach, a routine appointment did not go as planned. No heartbeat. I just kept saying “please check again.” I was alone, all by myself. I began to cry and then pray and an overwhelming peace came over me. My doctor walked me to my car. She cried with me. I blamed myself and she helped me through that. I know now that our beach trip came at the perfect time. It was a time of healing for me. So many women go through this tragedy and yet not much is ever mentioned about it. Thank you again for sharing your story.

  8. Kelsea Hoskins says:

    I also tried for “what seemed like forever”, conceived, told only a few coworkers… But one accidentally spilled the beans. Then, at my 12 week ultrasound, there was no heartbeat to be detected. Baby was the size of a 6 weeker. Doctors gave us a 5% chance that I just wasn’t as far along as I had thought. We were told to come back for a repeat in a week and check measurements again… That MAYBE heartbeat just couldn’t be detected yet… I waited a week on pins and needles… No heartbeat and he fetus measured smaller than the week before. My baby Grace (I just know it was a she) was gone. I was heartbroken. I had a dnc immediately on a Friday. I returned to my teaching job on a Monday. My principle heard from a coworker and to to my classrroom and sent me home- “you need to grieve”. I had a wonderful husband- but my heart was broken… All these people around me having babies, more babies than they could take care of, a few more than they even wanted. My best friend, a 40 year old mother of 6 cried when she told me she was expecting again… She cried for me and her. 3 months later I was pregnant again, a beautiful heartbeat at the 12 week scan… Then horror when I was told at 19 weeks of my baby’s birth defect and Grimm odds at survival. I am happy to report my baby turned two yesterday. God used my first loss to strengthen my will, my insistence that I would love any child, THIS child, no matter how difficult the journey or how long I got to hold onto Him. God always have a plan. Some of us are lucky enough to catch a glimpse in hindsight. I share my story and the grief of both pregnancies (the loss of the first, and unrealized expectations of the second). I have yet to experience that “normal” pregnancy I so desire… But maybe someday. I trust now that God knows best.

  9. Tara says:

    I, too, have lost two babies to miscarriage. In between those two losses, I had a baby with a birth defect, and she ended up with a month long hospital stay. I began to think I wasn’t meant to have babies. My fourth pregnancy was frought with fear and stress, and he also ended up with a birth defect plus autism. Finally, on my fifth try, I had a baby with no medical conditions. I never had a pregnancy that was all rainbows and excitement.

  10. Sensitive and Extraordinary Kids says:

    This is such a powerful story and I have to say that I am surprised that I hadn’t read about this before. You are so right; not enough women (and even men) are reaching out for help and support to grieve properly and pick up the pieces.

    I haven’t been through what you’ve been through. But I can say that the moment I saw the plus sign on the pregnancy test, I thought I would die if anything happened to my baby. I don’t know if I would have had the strength to carry on all in my own.

    Bless you and your beautiful family.

  11. ctorosian says:

    My heart goes out to you. We had a similar experience. It doesn’t matter ever how far along you are. A baby is a baby. Always. We have two angels in heaven as well. Thank you for sharing.

  12. dropslikestarsblog says:

    Grief is still grief and loss is still loss. This is the absolute truth about all of this for me, you dont need to qualify in any way, to feel justified for feeling this bad. I have two angels in my heart too xx

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