You may recall hearing a statistic from your doctor that 15-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, but when it happens to you, it feels like no one in the world understands. Not every woman will experience miscarriage the same, but for me, it was a physical, emotional, and mental process I was wholly unprepared to endure. I lost my first three pregnancies, and each one brought a new layer of grief and detachment to the brief lives that grew inside of me.
My first miscarriage was utterly confusing. I had been preparing for pregnancy and motherhood by reading books and articles online, but not once had I read anything about miscarriage. Though I knew it happened sometimes, I was full of hope and joy and ready for this next season in my life. But that all changed very quickly one morning as I was getting ready for work when I felt cramping so intense that I called into work sick for the first time ever and headed to urgent care. They did very little for me except confirm I was pregnant and sent me home to rest. It wasn’t until later that I realized I was miscarrying. And it took my body even longer to realize it. Pregnancy hormones can stay in your body for a month or more after miscarriage; it seemed too cruel to still feel pregnant. Bleeding and cramping can last for a while as well. With time, my hormones balanced, and my body was ready to conceive again.
Months later my second pregnancy also ended very quickly in miscarriage and propelled me into a state of deep loneliness. Only 2% of women have two miscarriages in a row. Not only was I dealing with the grief of losing another child, but fears and anxiety about my future set in. Questions flooded my brain: What do I do now? Why is this happening to me again? What is wrong with me? When can I try again? Do I even want to try again?
At this point my doctor was willing to run a few tests, but everything came back normal. Once again, I conceived and this time the pregnancy was ectopic, statistically something even more rare than two miscarriages in a row. My husband and I decided to take at least six months off from trying to conceive. We needed more time to heal and grieve after nearly a year of continual heartache. This was six years ago, a time when it was hard to dream about the life I have now: a mom to three miraculous blessings by way of adoption and biology.
The only reason I dare to write about miscarriage is to give hope and light to women in the trenches of grief and loss. Don’t stop dreaming. If you are grieving the loss of a child, I encourage you to reach out to someone. I wish I hadn’t waited so long to allow myself to be vulnerable and share the weight of my grief.