Navigating Through a Miscarriage

Navigating Through a Miscarriage

Welcome Back!

 

Back  Home = happy place (physically & mentally)

Bridges = help us get there

 

This post is for those facing the changes and challenges that come with Miscarriage.  If this doesn’t pertain to you, please pass it on to someone it can help.

 

This post illuminates my personal journey Back Home after a miscarriage.  My children are all from my first marriage, and this story begins back then.    Almost 20 years later, it is still hard to revisit the roller-coaster of emotions.

 

When does life start?  When is the life one is carrying considered a “baby” ?

 

The answers to these question differ from person to person.  

 

 For me, it is the minute I find out that I am pregnant.  At that moment, I have already included this precious little soul completely into my life.

 I have embraced its presence as a member of our family… allowing myself to daydream about everything from its first birthday party to all the other lifetime milestones we will share.

 

My Story:

This baby was especially exciting for me.  My husband and I had once shared the desire to have a big family, but after two children, he decided our family was complete.  However, I did not agree.  I felt deep in my heart that our family was not complete, and finally convinced him we were meant to have at least one more child.

It was a sunny autumn day, I was in my second-trimester and we brought the boys to my check-up to hear the baby’s heartbeat.  I was excited to have our sons (ages 3 & 9)  hear the miracle of their tiny sibling’s heartbeat.

The doctor came into the room, and as she put the special speaker stethoscope on my belly, she asked how my pregnancy was going.  I was very proud to tell her it was just perfect!  

I felt great, my “baby-bump” was bigger than expected (she had just measured it at TWO weeks ahead of schedule) and I joked that this baby was probably going to be much bigger than his two brothers were.

The boys were busily chatting with their dad & I waited for the heartbeat “whoosh-whoosh” sound, which I knew would quickly get their attention.  The doctor finally said she was having trouble picking up a heartbeat.  

I confidently replied, “You will.  It’s there… just move the stethoscope around a little.”  But, to my bewilderment, she put the stethoscope away while mentioning something about fetal movement.  She said even though everything was probably fine, she was ordering an Ultrasound just to make sure.

I didn’t know what to think.  I was convinced if she had just tried to find the baby’s heartbeat a little longer, we’d hear it loud & clear.                                                                                                                                                    Instead, we were getting a sitter to stay with the boys and heading to an Ultrasound appointment.

At this point, I wasn’t one bit concerned for the baby.  This pregnancy had proven to be my easiest one yet.  Other than being tired in the beginning months, I had quickly regained my energy and was feeling healthy and strong.  

I was actually excited to get a “peek” at our little one and was hoping to bring home a new, updated sonogram photo to show the boys and put up on our refrigerator next to the first one.  

 

That photo (seen above) was taken at the very beginning of my pregnancy & the baby was just a tiny shadow.  But, by now the baby would be so much bigger & we might be lucky enough to even find out if it was a boy or girl.

And then the bough broke.  The Ultrasound technician said there was No heartbeat.

My baby was Not alive and a part of me died right there and then as well.

That is when the roller coaster started the climb up the first hill.

Shock was the first emotion I felt… quickly followed by denial.  This could Not be true!  This baby IS healthy and strong!  I would have KNOWN if something was wrong!  

It made NO sense.  The baby had to be alive!  How could I have not known the exact moment that my baby had died right inside me???

Then guilt rushed in.  What did I do wrong?  Didn’t I eat right, rest enough, exercise enough, pray enough?  Why did God let this happen?  Why wasn’t our family meant to have this precious baby?  What did we do wrong?  What did I do wrong?

Then deep, deep sadness.

My parents came into town to help with the boys during this time.  There were a couple days I was pretty out of it.  I cried a lot, especially in the shower when my body was still obviously pregnant, but my mind had to accept that I wasn’t….that my baby was gone.  And the truth is… it was going to take time for my body and mind to accept and adjust.

It was going to take time to get Back  Home.

And I had no idea how to find the Bridges to help me get there.

The good news was the boys really didn’t understand the depth of our loss and I was grateful, they we’re able to move on quickly.  

The bad news was my husband didn’t share my beliefs or emotions and he moved on immediately.  He insisted it was just a miscarriage and was happy we didn’t lose an actual baby.  He didn’t understand why I was making “such a big deal” out of it.

I tried to find strength and solace by forcing myself to live in the moment with my sweet fun-loving boys.  But, without the emotional support from my husband, I felt truly alone in mourning the loss of my sweet baby.

So, the first Bridge I searched for was the support and wisdom from those who had endured similar loss.  It was way before Google, so I started by opening up the phone book and making some phone calls.

I learned a lot from others.  

They shared ideas & told me the things they did to help themselves deal with their loss.  I took their advice… did a lot of the same things and was slowly finding my way Back  Home.

I started a journal, planted a tree, designed a piece of jewelry to wear and filled a memory box… all in memory of my baby.  

As I was writing this blog I decided to get that memory box out of storage and I opened it today for the first time in almost 20 years.

I also created a sweet card to thank those who were supportive.  Even though there was no longer a baby, I wanted them to have this card in the baby’s memory.  

 

The card included a little butterfly and a quote that gave me tremendous peace in my sadness.  The vision of imagining the baby I lost up in heaven (as a beautiful sweet butterfly) brought me great comfort.   

 

 

Everybody says the best remedy for loss is time and I will agree with that.  It took me a long time…

Six months after the miscarriage, my husband made an appointment for a vasectomy and I was devastated. I had always felt in my heart there was another soul… another baby we were meant to include in our family.  So, I brought up the topic of adoption, to which my husband immediately vetoed.  

It was about a week before the vasectomy appointment, when I got our miracle.  I was pregnant.  And after 9 long months of continuing that roller-coaster ride of joy and worry… I gave birth to a precious, beautiful, healthy and happy baby girl.  And the moment they put her in my arms I noticed a faint birthmark on her cheek in the shape of a butterfly.  

I believe our baby’s soul up in heaven had kissed her cheek, before she was sent to us…

to let us know

everything was going to be OK

and we were finally all  Back  Home.   

 

 

Do you have any suggestions to help others navigate through a miscarriage?

Please share below in the comment section.

Here are some helpful links to copy/paste into a browser

that may help those who are navigating a miscarriage find their

Bridges Back Home 

http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-loss/miscarriage-surviving-emotionally/

http://www.empowher.com/miscarriage/content/i-will-survive-life-after-miscarriage

http://www.miscarriageassociation.org.uk/information/leaflets/links/

 

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