According to the March of Dimes, as many as 50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage.
Miscarriage was something I saw on social media posts, heard about from patients and experienced through the stories my friends have shared about their pregnancy losses. I was in shock when it happened to me.
Our story starts on December 23rd when we found out that we were going to be expecting our 2nd baby in the Summer of 2019. At 6.5 weeks, we saw the heartbeat, although it was weak they said I should come back in 2 weeks to check again. We were just so excited to see that heartbeat!
At the second ultrasound, I was 8.5 weeks pregnant- the technician said she couldn’t show us anything on her screen, so we knew that wasn’t good news. We received the call from our doctor, and she compassionately told me that there was no heartbeat and the baby had stopped growing from the last ultrasound. We had experienced something called a missed miscarriage. I had no symptoms of a miscarriage, so my doctor made an appointment with the hospital for 9:30 am the following morning to go over next steps.
It all happened so fast, we discussed our options with the OBGYN, scheduled an A&C (aspiration and curettage) and I was put under general anesthesia. In recovery, I woke up and sobbed. It wasn’t a dream. The last 24 hours had felt like a dream, and I just moved through the motions. I felt empty like something was missing, and I could feel the soreness in my womb from the procedure. I was given Tylenol and a banana popsicle, while I waited in recovery.
I want to make a special mention of the amazingly compassionate and sensitive nurses and the OBGYN at Joseph Brant Hospital in Burlington, Ontario. Not only did they help me feel so supported during such a hard time, but they also went out of their way to make sure I got into the operating room asap (I waited less than an hour, so I know they pulled some strings). Although it was such a hard day for my husband and me, they helped to make it a little easier for us to experience.
On our way home from the hospital, my husband picked up a balloon from the store. When we got back, he asked me to follow him into the backyard. He thought it would be nice for us to say our goodbyes and release the balloon into the sky. We watched it float away for what felt like 20 minutes holding each other tight, and at that moment I knew we were going to be ok.
We are so lucky to have such a strong support system of friends and family who regularly checked in on us. Over half of my friends have experienced a pregnancy loss and hearing their stories has helped me to feel a sense of community and belonging during such a difficult time.
After a few days, I was starting to feel less of the pregnancy symptoms (due to the decline in pregnancy hormones) and more clear headed. My emotions are like a rollercoaster, and I felt the need to write them out and express how I have been feeling:
I go through my day, and every so often I think to myself, I am missing something, I feel empty and you are gone.
I wonder what you could have been, and I wonder what I would have felt like as you grew bigger and stronger inside me.
I feel lost, I know it won’t last.
I know it wasn’t meant to be, but I am heartbroken.
Your little light, although it was a mere heartbeat on the screen, it was yours, and I loved it.
We didn’t know each other long but you will forever be in my heart, my dreams and apart of my body.
I hope we meet again when the time is right for you to bless our lives. I will always love and never forget you.
We did share the news of our pregnancy with our 4.5 years old and of course, had to tell him about the pregnancy loss in a way his little brain could understand. I will create a post on how I communicated that to him.
We are determined not to let this loss define us, so we focus on the positives from this experience, and once we have healed a little more, we will start trying again.