Earlier this week, I found out my body miscarried our baby. Do I say I miscarried our fifth baby because this has already happened twice before? Do I say I miscarried our third baby because we have two healthy boys? I hate that these are thoughts I have in my head because this is a place we’ve been in the past.
Ryan and I knew we wanted another baby and were thrilled when I found out I was pregnant again in July. I took a pregnancy test at home while Ryan was at work and when I saw the positive result, I couldn’t wait until he got home to tell him. I called him, creepily asked him if he was alone, and then told him I was pregnant. We were so, so excited.
I was hit with some intense fatigue a few weeks in and felt very bloated. I kept waiting for nausea to surface (I seem to get very nauseated early on in my pregnancies) but it never did. Something about the way I was feeling and our past losses made me keep my guard up, but that is also the way I seem to approach pregnancy anyway. I know a positive pregnancy test does not automatically mean I will be snuggling a perfect, precious baby in my arms in nine months. I miss the days when I believed this and pregnancy didn’t come along with intense anxiety and fear.
Ryan and I went in for my first prenatal ultrasound last Monday. I was eight weeks pregnant and during our ultrasound I learned that our baby was measuring six weeks. A heartbeat could not be detected. My heart dropped. Though I was very confident about our dates and the timing of my pregnancy, I understood the doctor’s concerns when he explained that my ultrasound wasn’t a definitive loss simply because sometimes heartbeats cannot be heard at six weeks and there’s always the chance my ovulation/our conception date was later than I thought.
What followed were a series of appointments and ultrasounds as my doctor tried to figure out whether my body was in the process of miscarrying, whether I already lost the baby or whether there was a sliver of hope and my pregnancy might be viable.
(Beautiful flowers from Ryan after finding out we had another little one on the way.)
This limbo period of not knowing whether or not I was miscarrying was horrible. I’d love to say I felt positive and hopeful during this time but I didn’t. The only way I know how to explain it is to say I felt a deep knowledge within me that told me our baby was not okay. My doctor encouraged me to go about my normal life which felt simultaneously impossible and also very necessary because I needed distraction.
Earlier this week, during yet another ultrasound, our loss was confirmed. Just like with my two previous miscarriages, I didn’t show any physical signs of a loss and experienced no bleeding or cramping. I believe my body tries really hard to hold onto my babies. I want so badly to hold onto my babies. But sometimes no amount of love and longing can change reality.
This time, since my loss was earlier, I decided to take medication to help my body pass our baby rather than have a third D&C. I had so much fear about the process of physically passing our baby on my own and broke down sobbing to Ryan as I thought about what was about to come. I also worried the medication wouldn’t work for my body and I’d end up in the hospital for another D&C. Thankfully everything began progressing about four hours after I took the medicine and I didn’t experience severe cramping or need pain relief medication — all small blessings I tried to hold onto during a horrible situation. After a week of not knowing what was happening with our baby and my body, I’m glad I have answers even if the answers bring me to tears and hurt my heart with serious intensity.
Right now I may still physically be bleeding but I’m also healing. I’m doing okay. I know I’ll have waves of sadness for a long time but I know I’m strong. After sharing our two previous losses so publicly in this space, I learned firsthand just how common this struggle is and how helpful it is for me to connect with other women who have been where I’ve been before.
Part of me considered keeping our third loss to myself because, to be quite honest, I feel like I’ve talked about miscarriage so much in this space and I’m not after sympathy. I know my struggle pales in comparison to what others go through on their journey to have a child and my heart aches for anyone who experiences the most intense desire for a child that is currently unfulfilled. It’s horrible, heart-wrenching and so consuming.
In this space I love sharing so many things with you guys but my life is at the heart of this blog and my life includes loss, pain and heartache. This blog has never been a place to only share my good moments but, if our previous losses have taught me anything, it’s to still try to look for the good moments through the bad. And I am.
I see them in my family. I see them in Ryder, our beautiful, smiley rainbow baby who came after one of the most challenging times of my life. I see them in Chase who makes me laugh every day, even when I have sadness in my heart. I see them in Ryan who only ever makes me feel loved completely and supported unconditionally. This is where I’m trying to focus my thoughts and my energy because my family gives me strength and helps me find joy through the grief. And you guys do, too.
I truly value your readership and the kind words and prayers you’ve sent my way over the years. It means so much to me and I hope you know how much I appreciate your support, especially during the hard times. Thank you for your love and thank you for visiting my blog and making it feel like a place where I can pour my heart out to you, even when my blog posts read like one big, jumbled mess of emotions. I appreciate you all so much and for those of you who opened up to me and shared your stories of loss with me following our previous miscarriages, I want to thank you again. You truly have no idea how much you helped me and continue to help me as I find myself back in a similar place again.
Janet Pickard says
Hugs, prayers and positive thoughts to you and your family. Please know that many are here for you during this period.
So, so sorry for your loss, Julie. I second the low progesterone- definitely something to get checked out!
Aw dear Julie, I’m so so sorry to hear this! Thank you for your vulnerability and please know of my prayers! Truly heartbreaking and I have the greatest compassion for your grief right now.
I just want to echo something an earlier reader commented if it can by chance help in the future and tool for you! I chart my cycle through a natural method called Creighton Method and my instructor and health professionals in Denver trained by the Pope Paul VI Institute helped me diagnose my low progesterone in my luteal phase of my cycle. It’s really incredible – you can get your blood drawn on specific days of your cycle to measure various hormone levels. I now know my body has incredibly low progesterone in my post-ovulation stage of my cycle and taking progesterone supplements post ovulation on peak plus 3 until 10 days later is a game changer for greatly decreasing the chances of a miscarriage. Few obgyn doctors seem to be trained in this.
With that sad, I know God has a plan and purpose for you throughout this confusing time and please know of my support and prayers!
May I ask where in Denver you went for this treatment? I’m live in the metro area and would love to learn more.
Yes, absolutely! Check out Bella Natural Women’s Care in Englewood, CO. Here is their website: https://www.bellanwc.org/. Here they talk about the Creighton Method for charting your cycle but they have a few styles they can teach and take your blood work accordingly to measure your hormones. Info: https://www.bellanwc.org/natural-fertility-regulation
Praying for you and your family! I’ve been through two miscarriages and the physical and mental stress is not talked about enough. It’s so hard! God has a plan for our lives and the lives of our littles. He knows best even when it’s hard to see! xoxo
Sending love with these words: this is not something your body is doing. Your baby miscarried but it wasn’t you or your body’s doing, sweet girl. I know it’s hard to not question yourself, but even phrasing it without taking blame may important, knowing your attention to words. ?
You and your family are in my prayers Julie.
Sending lots of healing and prayers your way, Julie
I am so sorry to hear that you miscarried again. I can completely understand you wanting to keep the information to yourself, but I also really appreciated you sharing your experiences. In 2018 I had a silent miscarriage as well and I was so thankful that I knew what one even was going into the entire process. I hope for you physical and emotional healing.
So very sorry. Prayers and blessings for you and Ryan.
I am so sorry you are going through this difficult time. I’ve enjoyed reading your blog for a few years now and really feel like I connect to your approach to life. This summer, I’ve been going through my own heartbreak of dealing with my husband’s rare and aggressive cancer diagnosis and treatment. Your blog has been a source of happy distractions as I’ve been coping with so many difficult emotions. I was sorry to come on today and read that sadness is striking your family right now too. I hope you can summon strength from all the wonderful people that surround you. Here’s hoping life feels better for both of us soon. xo
Not for a single second have I ever thought you were posting about your losses out of a need for sympathy! I think you’re incredibly brave for sharing something so personal and so painful. We’ve been trying to conceive for over a year now and nothing yet, but I’m extremely hopeful and continue to pray not only for God to bless us with our baby but also for the patience to wait for everything to happen in His time. I’m so sorry for your loss and I hope you’re able to truly experience the pain you’re feeling while also reveling in all your blessings. This may be one hell of a bitter pill, but the sweet is never as sweet without the bitter. Sending you love <3
i’m so sorry for you and your family. i’m sending SO many prayers, hugs, strength, and support your way. your sharing took so much courage and as readers (and virtual friends!) we are all here for you and ryan <3
Nina Simon says
So sorry about the news. Sending some positive vibes from here!
More power to you!
Hi – I’ve never commented on a blog post before. I read this a few weeks ago when I was about 8 weeks pregnant (my first time). I’d never heard about losing a baby without actually miscarrying. I thought if there was something wrong my body would take care of it.
My doctor had told me that an early dating ultrasound wasn’t necessary but after reading this I scheduled one. I found out on Tuesday (when I should have been ten weeks) that I was measuring six weeks and there was no heartbeat. I’m feeling terrible about it and don’t know how I’ll ever be able to look at a baby again. I wanted to thank you for sharing your story, which has helped me to also open up to others about what happened to me.
Like you, during my first pregnancy I had a silent miscarriage. When I should have been 10 weeks along, I was told that I was measuring only about six weeks along and that no heartbeat was detectable. I was completely devastated. I was only 25 years old and naively thought I was too you for a miscarriage to happen to me and my baby. It brought on a really rocky time in my marriage, but we did get through the pain of our loss together. Two and half years have passed since then, and we now have a toddler and a newborn in the house. (I was a mess and incredibly jealous around babies after my miscarriage. Not saying you are, but if you are, know that it passes).
My heart breaks for you and Julie, knowing how excruciating it was for me to grieve for a child who I have yet to meet face-to-face. When I think of Julie and pray for her to be strengthened through Jesus, I will pray for you too.
I am so sorry Julie <3 I have been a reader since your days in Orlando. I cant express to you how much i appreciate your strength and vulnerability during these unbelievably difficult moments! Stay faithful and keep strong. You are truly amazing!!!
Four months ago I was blessed with a healthy happy baby. I have no idea what it’s like to lose the potential of a new life joining your family but I am so sorry you have had to go through this. Just because others have it worse doesn’t mean your pain isn’t justified or needs to be diminished in any way. Best of luck to you and your family.
I don’t usually read or comment on blogs, but my friend suggested I read yours today. I am supposed to be 7 1/2 weeks pregnant, but Monday I had to have a chemo shot to stop my pregnancy.
I am 25 and my husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for 2 years. About 3 months ago we started fertility treatments through my obgyn. We were both tested and our “numbers” are all above average, so we were put into the category of unexplained infertility. We went the iui route the first month and I was extremely optimistic because I felt all sorts of normal early pregnancy symptoms (turns out they were just from the hormones from the fertility drugs). During my two week wait to find out if the iui worked, my best friend told me she was pregnant. She had just gone off birth control and got pregnant the first month. That devestated me and made me beyond jealous since we were having such a hard time.
I didn’t get pregnant that month. It was difficult to go back the next month to try our second IUI, but we did it anyway. The second time around I didn’t feel much different, so I didn’t think it took. When the two week wait was up, I woke up at 4 am to take a test because I couldn’t take the suspense. I was elated to see that the test was positive. Tyler and I cried with joy.
I had scheduled my first ultrasound for November 25th, when I would be about 8 1/2 weeks. Around week 6 I got some light spotting so they did an early ultrasound and found a gestational sac with a yolk sac but had a hard time seeing the baby so they scheduled me to have another one this past Monday.
I have been a wreck with worry. As soon as we saw the ultrasound on the screen, we knew it wasn’t right. She had a difficult time finding the gestational sac from last week and spent a LOT of time looking at one of my ovaries. After the ultrasound we had to wait almost an hour for the doctor to come talk to us.
It turns out that I was/am pregnant with twins. The “normal one” is no longer viable because the gestational sac had collapsed and the other one is an ectopic pregnancy in my fallopian tube. They immediately sent me to the hospital to get a chemo shot to stop the growth of the ectopic pregnancy and to start the miscarriage. So now I wait for the bleeding and cramping.
I am beyond devestated and I am trying so hard to be strong and positive. Like one of the comments I read on one of your other posts, I irrationally hate my best friend right now because I am just so jealous of her healthy pregnancy. It has helped me feel slightly better to read about other people’s experience, so thank you for putting yours out there.
I am so sorry for your losses.
I am currently going through my 3rd miscarriage as well. I have very little hope. My doctor prescribed progesterone, it did not help. I’m trying my best to be there for others that I know who have also experienced this.
My husband has been by my side yet I feel like pushing everyone away.. We have no kids yet.
Needing someone to talk to. I need hope.
Hi Britney — I’m so incredibly sorry. It’s so hard and so devastating. Please email me anytime if you’d like to connect. I’m more than happy to talk with you. Sending you so much love. Miscarriage is so painful and connecting with others who have been through it helped me so much. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. ❤️