I hoped and prayed that I would never be in a place where I’d be writing this blog post from the perspective of a first-hand experience. And it took me a long time to finally be at a place where I felt like I could sit down and start typing. But I knew how important it was and that eventually, I wanted to put my heart and thoughts about it into words.
A Little Bit of Our Story
In June of 2021, Jordan and I talked about when we would start trying to have our second child. We were so fortunate and blessed that our firstborn, Sylas, was a complete and total surprise. So we weren’t quite sure what “trying” would actually look like or how long it would take us. Little did we know the plan God had in store for us, because about two weeks after we had that conversation, we found out we were pregnant.
It felt too good to be true. The fact that we got pregnant so quickly took us a little off guard and almost made me feel guilty especially because of how much of a struggle this can be for others. I always want to be sensitive to that and acknowledge those around us who have been hoping and praying for their chance for what I’m sure feels like forever. Nonetheless, we were over the moon excited and couldn’t believe we would get to experience this incredible journey for the second time.
The First Appointment
Then began that waiting period until our first appointment. It was scheduled for the week after Sylas’s first birthday party. We had shared the big news with our family and good friends and couldn’t wait to have that first bit of reassurance after the ultrasound. In the weeks leading up to it, I had felt in my gut like something was wrong even though there weren’t really any signs of it.
I had no bleeding, no cramping, no indications that anything wasn’t right. In fact, I actually felt nauseous and threw up a few times which I never even did in my first pregnancy. At the same time, I just FELT different. Like I couldn’t picture being pregnant in the wintertime or giving birth in March (which would’ve been my due date). It’s as if God was preparing my heart for what was to come because in my gut I just couldn’t see this pregnancy coming to fruition.
The afternoon of our appointment, I felt so nervous sitting with Jordan in the waiting room. I was shaky and so anxious that I thought I might puke. When we went into the ultrasound room and the tech began the scan, right away I could tell something was wrong. She asked me if my cycle had been regular up until that point, to which I replied they had been. I had been tracking for a couple of months and knew the exact timing that we got pregnant. The tech then told us she could see a sack and a fetal pole but no baby had developed yet. It looked to be around 5 weeks and 5 days gestation.
The Realization Of Our Loss
Right away I broke down because I KNEW that it wasn’t just an early pregnancy. With the timing of when I had gotten a positive test, I should have been a little over 8 weeks that day. I knew right then and there that we had lost this baby and that I’d soon be miscarrying. Sure enough, I was able to miscarry naturally the following weekend. Ironically, right after we took these images. They were supposed to be our “announcement” photos but we decided to go through with taking them anyway as our way of celebrating and honoring the baby we hoped and prayed for, but never got to meet.
In the days and weeks following our experience, I learned a whole lot about miscarriage that I had no idea about prior to going through it myself. It felt very isolating and I just wanted to connect with those who have walked this before me and would truly understand. I don’t think there is nearly as much conversation and support around this topic as there should be, so I wanted to share here some of the things I learned along the way.
There s no linear path to the emotionality of it.
The rest of the day after finding out, I was an absolute wreck. I drove myself to the beach to be alone with my thoughts. I brought my journal and my Bible with me so that I could process through writing. And to hopefully find some sort of comfort in what felt like the most helpless state I had ever been in.
But after those first couple of days, I could truly FEEL all of the prayers being prayed for us. I felt an indescribable amount of peace surrounding the situation. I think the fact that I knew in my gut that something wasn’t right almost helped me to move forward. However, that didn’t come without feeling extreme “guilt” for being okay on the good days. Some moments felt excruciating while others — extreme peace. It may surprise you how “okay” you feel at any point.
2. The actual PROCESS of miscarriage.
You hear about other women who have experienced miscarriage. The word itself is certainly widely spoken of. However, what you don’t hear about is the actual process of it. It’s much more nuanced than you would think.
In some scenarios, your doctor may suggest a D + C right away depending on how far along you were. In other cases, you may wait to miscarry naturally in which case the experience can be similar to birth and very traumatizing. The body goes through many of the same things as it does with postpartum, and recovery can look different for everyone. In my case, I had to go for weekly blood work appointments for 6 weeks straight before I finally stopped testing positive on a pregnancy test/HCG levels returned to zero.
3. The “switch” of hopefulness.
When you go from testing to see that pink line get darker…to praying you finally see a NEGATIVE pregnancy test, it feels very strange. It’s as though the excitement of ever testing again has been stolen from you. Subsequent pregnancies may end up feeling much different after a loss. And that’s totally okay to grieve the fact that it has forever been changed for you.
4. Grief comes in waves.
You may feel really great for days, weeks, or even months at a time before darker days might hit you. Sometimes it feels provoked while other times, seemingly out of nowhere. Know that you are entitled to feel whatever it is that you are feeling no matter how much time has passed or not.
5. The pain of miscarriage is NOT mutually exclusive with life’s joy.
You may still feel contentment and gratitude for what you already have in your own life, and that does not have to conflict with the pain and grief you may be feeling. It also isn’t mutually exclusive with the excitement you truly have for loved ones who may be expecting. Sure, seeing the news on your social media feed might bring a sting along with it now and it may be harder to absorb personally at first. It is totally okay to put boundaries in place when you need to protect your mind and heart, and that doesn’t mean you can’t still feel genuine happiness for those people either.
If you have been through loss or are currently experiencing it right now, know that you are not alone. You are worthy, beautiful, and so very loved. For some, it may bring comfort to hear from other women who truly understand what you are feeling in this moment. You can tune into the episode of Milestone Mama below — a community call about Coming Together on Miscarriage.