MY EXPERIENCE HAVING MULTIPLE MISCARRIAGES & ADVICE ON COPING
Mood & Music - grab a cup of coffee or hot cocoa, a tissue box and turn on Kacey Musgraves Spotify playlist. Her mellow southern twang will encourage and comfort you all at the same time, we are gonna need it.
If you are reading this post, you may be trying to learn more or have already experienced a miscarriage. If you are the latter, my sincerest condolences. I know it's tough, I have been there but you will get through this, I promise. I’m sending you a big hug, virtually (of course). If you are curious to learn about someone else's experience, keep reading, you get a hug too!
In this post, I want to share what I learned about miscarriages and my personal story living through this experience. I hope my words can comfort you, so you realize, you are not alone. Miscarriages happen more often than not, but you don’t know that until you live the experience. Many women, still don’t talk about this loss to other women. I don’t think it's because women don’t want to. I think it's because it hurts so much and we feel so much guilt, it's easier to put on a brave face and keep it moving. So, we pack our sorrow into a nice little box and put it on a shelf in our minds, until we need or have to take it down. Like many, until sharing can help ease someone else's pain. I have 2 little boxes and would like to share today.
WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT MISCARRIAGES
A miscarriage is usually seen as a pregnancy that ends before 20 weeks. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist (ACOG), early pregnancy loss accounts for 10% of all pregnancies. Most miscarriages usually occurring before 13 weeks. I had two miscarriages and both were around 8 weeks. When I asked my doctor why this happened. I was told the possible cause was abnormal number of chromosomes or a problem with the development of the baby in the womb. Although I was given a reason, I never imagined this would happen to me. I always knew I wanted a family and like many women just assume “it” would happen one day. A miscarriage was never in my plans.
Nevertheless, living these experiences are helping me help others, which I now believe is part of my life’s purpose. So here I go...
MY FIRST MISCARRIAGE
I had my first miscarriage in 2012. Living this first hand was very difficult, emotionally for my husband and I, physically for me. During my first sonogram is when I found out something was wrong. The technician was very, let’s say indifferent but in a minute, I could sense from her voice, things weren’t right. My excitement to hear the baby’s heartbeat was slowly turning into a nightmare, I wanted to desperately wake from. Then she said, “I’m sorry but there is no heartbeat”. I layed there, a first time mother, alone because Rafa (my hubby) was at work. As the nurse, advised me to go to the hospital, I sat up trying not to cry, holding the pain in my heart as I walked out of that office. Later that night, I felt cramping which increased steadily as we (Rafa and I) rushed to the hospital. I remember sitting in the emergency room, holding my stomach tightly, kneeling over I was in so much pain. Then, it happened. I rushed to the bathroom having an urge to push, so I did. I miscarried in the hospital bathroom. I cried sitting in the stall, knowing I was no longer a 1st time mother. My husband was in the waiting room. As I left the bathroom, to face Rafa, he could see it in my eyes. I know I didn’t need to say it because he was the 1st time dad, he knew. The physical pain had ceased but my heart was now broken into a million pieces. As I tried to hold myself together, I heard the nurse call my name. When I was finally examined by an OBGYN, they confirmed I had miscarried and was scheduled for a Dilation and Curettage (D&C). A D&C is a procedure where the cervix is dilated and an instrument is used to remove any leftover pregnancy tissue. I was given anesthesia, so I didn’t feel anything. My hubby said, it was very scary for him when I had the D&C. Since It was only the two of us at the hospital, he had just lost his baby and now I was leaving him to have this procedure. He told me he prayed that everything would be okay. The D&C went well. My recovery was about a day, but putting back the pieces of my broken heart, together again, took a little more time.
MY SECOND MISCARRIAGE
The second miscarriage happened in 2016. It was easier to acknowledge and cope with but hit just as hard, if not harder than the first. This time, I knew the symptoms to look for which made me nervous but I prayed it would not happen again. Like any woman who is excited she has a baby on the way, my happy emotions and hope helped trump any fears I had. This time however, I was at work and when I used the bathroom, I saw spotting. My heart stopped. This wasn’t supposed to be happening again. I told a co-worker and she said, go to the doctor sometimes bleeding could happen. I held onto this hope. I asked to leave early, and headed to an urgent care with a friend. The doctor advised, that I could be having a miscarriage and to head to the hospital. At this point, all I wanted to do was see Rafa, so I asked that my friend drop me off at home. I faced Rafa once more and just started sobbing, I knew I was having a miscarriage. My body was too familiar with the pain and so it began. I told my husband, I didn’t want to go to the hospital this time, I wanted to have the miscarriage in my home, in my safe place. I am so happy I did. I was able to grieve with my husband, in his arms, supporting each other. Then it happened. I went to the bathroom and had an urge to push, so I did. I miscarried. The next day, I scheduled an appointment with my gynecologist to make sure everything was expelled. I checked out fine. Losing my baby a second time was devastating but putting my heart together again, was a little easier because I already knew how. I cried and prayed for help from God, this is the only way I was able to heal my heart again.
MY ADVICE ON MISCARRIAGES
FIND SUPPORT IN OTHER PEOPLE’S EXPERIENCES
I think it's important to know you are NOT alone. When I was going through my miscarriage, the women who shared their experience helped me feel like I was not alone. They helped me process and get rid of the sabotaging insecurities and thoughts, like I could have done something, it was my fault, maybe if I ate the right thing or didn’t push myself at work I could still have my baby. They helped me realize, there was really nothing you or I could do. What will be, will be. Although, it hurts, it is difficult part of my journey, I survived and you will too. The journey will get better, we just gotta keep walking or swimming like Dory in Finding Dory, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming”. You will be able to navigate through emotional and physical ocean storms of a miscarriage, at first you may feel stranded in the middle of the ocean with no lifeline, the wind storms and forceful tidal waves, hit you over and over and there's nothing you can do to stop it. You feel your drowning. That eventually will subside and the sun will break through to warm your heart and soul. You will be given a lifeline (family, friends, strangers support) that will bring you back to the calm waters of the beautiful shore, of the beautiful life you live (#findingjoyinthejourney). It just takes time.
SEE A DOCTOR
If you had a miscarriage, see an OBGYN you trust. Ask them to test and research why you had an early pregnancy loss. There could be something going on in your body that you don’t know about. After my first miscarriage, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s aka hypothyroidism, which I later learned can cause miscarriages. After the second, I was sent to a specialist who did blood work, checked my uterus etc..to rule out anything physical being an issue. I was told everything was normal. You maybe thinking why didn’t I go to a specialist after the 1st miscarriage? From my experience, since miscarriages are so common during 1st time pregnancies doctors don’t see a need to send you to a specialist. They chalk it up to being a one time experience. When you have a 2nd or more miscarriages, this is when doctors take action and advise you to see a specialist because something else could be wrong. So make sure you have a gynecologist you trust. I love my gynecologist, Dr. Policino in Deer Park, NY. He is the best, you can check out his website at (http://www.dr-polcino.com/). Taking these steps, reassured Rafa and I that we were doing everything we needed to do to increase the chance of having a baby the next time.
FIND A WAY TO COPE, IN YOUR OWN WAY
I cried many tears to let go of the pain...
We received support from family and close friends...
When I say family, it was mostly immediate because I didn’t really want to share with anyone else. Some days, Rafa and I would come home from work, just hold each other and cry until we felt better. The support we gave to each other definitely helped us heal as a couple. I also received support from friends, who always had encouraging words and lots of hugs. I went through such a range of emotions (Read 10 Normal Emotions Women Have After a Miscarriage or Pregnancy Loss) some people helped me deal with, others I had to find ways to cope. Since I was a little girl, I always had diaries where I would write my thoughts and feelings about life so this is what I did to cope. I wrote my feelings in a journal and each word helped heal my heart. Another memory I have that I will never forget, that really helped in my healing, was the day I received a gift from my sister’s sister-in-law Mayra (If you're reading this Mayra, thank you so much). After my first miscarriage, she came to visit and had a gift for us, all I kept thinking was, how could someone bring a gift for such a painful experience? Usually people bring gifts for happier events, like birthdays or Christmas. This is how I believe, God works in mysterious ways to help with your healing. Mayra gave us an angel figurine holding a tea light that said “hope renews”. I don’t know if she realized it but her gift was more than a gift, it symbolized the hope that needed to be renewed in our hearts. This was exactly what I needed to commemorate my 1st baby. When I had the 2nd miscarriage, I added another angel to my collection. Seeing these decorative angels in my home always reminds me of the baby angels I have in heaven, looking after mommy and daddy.
Thank you for reading. I hope my words can be of comfort to you as a mother or father going through this experience. There is something to say about living a miscarriage and surviving. I believe parents become extra blessed when this happens, because not only will you one day enjoy rainbow babies here on earth but you also have heavenly ones too. To end this post I am sending you big hugs of comfort, that feel like chocolate-y hot cocoa with extra marshmallows (Yumm!). Please comment, if you have any questions or would like to share your experience. I would love to read.
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