October 10th, 2013 was one of the happiest days of my life. It was the day we found out we were pregnant. We'd just started trying the month before and I didn't really expect to get pregnant right away, but I was so thrilled. I cried reading "pregnant" on the little digital screen. Hell, I took 3 pictures of that damn thing.
We told our parents within a couple days. Our siblings by the end of the next week.
October 13th. I was visiting my sister and hanging out with her kids when I noticed some spotting. She had 3 kids, so I asked her about it and she said it happens, not to worry. So I tried not to worry.
I called my OB later that week to schedule my first OB appt and mentioned the spotting. They said "don't worry, it happens" and to call if it turns red or if I have any cramping. Ok. Don't worry. Got it.
October 20th. Hubby leaves for work. I get up to use the bathroom. Red. Bright, scary red. Call the OB. It's Sunday, so they're closed, but I leave a message on the emergency line and my doc calls back within 5 minutes. "It could be nothing, but go to an urgent care center just to be sure." I push her a little more, because I'm terrified at this point, and she confirms my biggest fear. I could be losing the baby.
Call hubby. He comes right back home, picks me up, and off the the urgent care center we go. I'm cramping, and crying my eyes out because I know what's happening and there's literally nothing I can do to stop it.
The nurse at the UCC sucked. She was short and rude and kinda pushy. She took blood from my hand, leaving a giant bruise that lasted for over a week. Just what I needed, right? A constant reminder of what I'd lost. The doctor and ultrasound techs were really nice. The ultrasound tech confirmed that I had been pregnant, but that I must have passed the baby already, because there was only "small evidence of conception." I appreciated her using medical terms and cold-ish language. "Conception" rather than "baby." It was taking everything I had not to breakdown right then and there.
They didn't rush us out, which I also appreciated. They were very kind and honest with us.
By far the worst day of my life. I still cry thinking about it. I cried on the day that baby should have been born, even though I was 6 months pregnant with my son. I cried on the anniversary of the day we lost that baby, as I cuddled on the couch with my 2 month old.
Miscarriage. It's one of those "clubs" that no one wants to belong to, but once you do, you can never leave. I found a lot of family and friends who had lost a baby and I never knew until I told them about mine. I had made the mistake of telling my students and coworkers that we were pregnant as soon as we found out. Un-telling people is one of the hardest things. The look of pity is worse.
We got pregnant with Connor about 8 weeks later. I was so happy and so terrified. I now knew the worst could and very well might happen. I was checking for blood several times a day. I'd get so anxious and nervous before every appt because I'd have a sinking feeling in my gut that something was wrong and we'd lost this baby too.
If you've never lost a baby, you can't imagine just how nerve-wracking and terrifying pregnancy can be. I wouldn't wish this kind of fear on anyone. I never really got to just relax and enjoy my pregnancy. I always worried that something would go wrong.
That's what miscarriage does to a person. It changes your entire perspective on things, and it alters who you are. Forever.
It took me a long time, and a lot of research and reassurance from my wonderful husband, to believe that the miscarriage was not my fault. I didn't do anything wrong, and there wasn't something wrong with me. Sometimes babies just aren't viable or healthy, and the body rejects them as soon as possible to save you from the pain and heartache later on. I know that is the truth, but it still hurts sometimes.
Miscarriage is one of those "taboo" topics that we don't talk about because it's sad and no one wants to think about it. I don't like thinking about it, but for me, and for the other women I know who've lost a baby, it's not something you can forget. The pain fades, but the thought it always there, in the back of your mind. Always.
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Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community