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.