A Story of Loss **trigger warning**
When I was pregnant with my son I worried, a lot. I was high risk for late miscarriages up to 20 weeks, and for preterm delivery as early as 28 weeks. So basically I had about 8 weeks where I felt I didn't need to worry. We decided to tell family and close friends right away because I just couldn't wait! I was excited each time I got to a milestone week - week 28, week 32, week 37, then week 39! I had my beautiful son at 39 weeks and 4 days.
With my next pregnancy I was relieved, I knew I could carry to term.
I was also thrilled to discover I was having a girl! Around 34 weeks we discovered she was breech. The little stinker! We tried many ways to get her to flip but she was just too comfy! She was born at 40 weeks by cesarean delivery. One fun thing about a planned cesarean is picking the day, I love that she was born on her due date!
Our third pregnancy wasn't planned, it wasn't actively avoided either. I was a bit overwhelmed by the idea, actually. At the time I had a 3 year old and a 18 month old! My husband was excited and although I knew it would be exhausting, I quickly became excited too! Just like with our other pregnancies, we told our immediate family and close friends right away. I noticed around May 10th that I didn't have my usual pregnancy gag reflex while brushing my teeth. I was excited because I hated brushing my teeth while pregnant. Nothing quite like vomiting in the sink to make your teeth feel fresh and clean! On May 15th we went for our first appointment, I was 9 weeks and 2 days according to my period math.
Remember when I said I was high risk?
Let me explain a bit before I get on with my story. I have uterine didelphys, which is fancy medical speak for two uteri and two cervixes. Both previous pregnancies have been in my right uterus. I've always believed that my left uterus wouldn't be able to carry. Although, I have no real reason as to why I believe this.
At this appointment, the sonographer started and immediately told us baby was in the left uterus. That's all I needed to know. I immediately thought of the lack of pregnancy symptoms, I knew. I tried to hold back the tears because I felt a bit crazy, neither my husband or the sonographer knew what I felt, knew that this was not going to end well. So, I held back. I waited. The sonographer let us know that baby was only measuring around 6 weeks, and she couldn't get the heartbeat. She quickly reassured us that it may just be too early and we should come back in a week. The tears were flowing by this point despite my best efforts to hold them back. I didn't need a second ultrasound to know. The second ultrasound was just as painful as the first, it confirmed what I knew, that I wasn't pregnant anymore…
Why did we tell people? Why did I tell my kids? How is my husband handling this? I felt guilty.
Was this my fault because I wasn't excited right away? Did I not want this baby enough? But the worst feeling by far, was the feeling of relief. I don't tell most people about that particular feeling. What kind of mother am I to feel that way? How can I be so completely devastated and at the same time feel relieved? I DID want this baby! However, I did not want a baby a month after my youngest turned 2 and a month before my oldest turned 4! These feelings were some of the hardest to work through.
They call what happened a missed miscarriage, meaning the pregnancy ended but my body wasn't letting go. My choices were to wait it out or get a d&c. I wasn't ready to let go, so I decided to wait. I think this was the best choice for me, but I think the waiting was harder on my husband. It took a few weeks for my body to figure things out. I finally made peace with the situation and my body followed suit. My kids picked out the name Sage for the baby. It's been over 4 years and my kids still talk about baby Sage. It's hard, but I love that they have a place in their hearts for baby Sage!
We did go on to have another baby, although we chose not tell people until 12 weeks.
Our second son was a breech stinker just like his big sister and was born at 40 weeks and 3 days via cesarean.
I believe that we have the opportunity to learn from every experience in life. So I try to use my experience to remind myself that feelings and emotions are complex and that having contradictory feelings is okay. And the best thing to do for someone going through this is to be there and let them grieve in whatever way is best for them. Because the only thing worse than experiencing a loss is feeling alone while you go through it.