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Mom Advice

Things I Wish I Knew: Miscarriages Happen and They Suck

April 19, 2016

You spend so much of your life trying not to get pregnant, and then when you’re ready, sometimes the universe isn’t.

Scott and I got pregnant before we got married, anyone with a basic understanding of math can figure that out. I heard snickers of a shotgun wedding, but what those assholes didn’t know was that we started trying for a baby as soon as we got engaged. We wanted the “forever”, we wanted to start our life and family the second we could. Right after we got engaged we got pregnant (I got pregnant, he got an excuse to gain weight with me). We bought the pregnancy books and pillows. We flew in our parents to tell them. There were tears and giggles, it was truly one of the most special nights of my life. The next day I started cramping a little, but thought it was just part of my body beginning to belong to someone else. In the middle of the night I started bleeding. It was painful and scary and we didn’t know what to do. So we went to the emergency room. 8 hours later after sticking everything in the emergency room up me- we knew nothing. They couldn’t tell if I was miscarrying yet. We had to wait 36 hours for another scan to tell us definitively. In those 36 hours I convinced myself it was all ok a million times. Monday came and my sweet, sweet Doctor told me we’d lost our little love.

ML_miscarriagesobMy heart ached in a way I’d never imagined. I’d only just starting growing this little life, but had already become so very attached. Attached to my unborn child, and to the idea of being a mother. The following weeks were devastating. I turned off my phone and spent the days trying not to cry my broken heart out tear by tear. I remember only blurs of the next few weeks. One thing I’ll never forget is sobbing in a ball on the shower floor, wondering what I did wrong.

I spiraled, was it something I did? The workout? The food? The way I slept? Malnourished people in third world countries and crack addicts have perfectly healthy babies, what’s wrong with me that I can’t? Why can’t I? People told me it was God’s wish, which only made me feel worse— why would God do this? Was I not fit to be a mother? Was I not good enough? People told me it was all for a reason. What fucking reason.

Nothing made me feel better. But I did find calmness in the fact that our bodies are smarter than we are, and my body ended this pregnancy because something wasn’t right. I don’t think I ever fully healed until I had JJ, and could accept that without that deep guttural loss, I wouldn’t have my perfect little boy.

Initially I found myself in a precarious position. I hadn’t yet told my best friends that I was pregnant so didn’t know how to tell them that I needed love and support “Hey, I was pregnant, but I’m not anymore and I don’t know how to function because I’m heartbroken”. So when we got pregnant the next time, instead of waiting until 12 weeks to tell people, we decided to only tell the people we’d want to tell if we miscarried again.

Two things stuck me in this whole experience:

1.  People don’t know what to say. Of the people I had told, what really hurt was that some said nothing, they pretended it didn’t happen. I now know it wasn’t malicious but that they didn’t know what to say.

2.  It’s so, so common and we don’t talk about it. So I’m going to shout it from the rooftops. You didn’t do anything wrong, 20% of pregnancies end in a miscarriage. You’re not alone and you’re not crazy. I don’t care if it was just a ball of cells, to you it was your unborn child, so you get to feel whatever you’re feeling. You don’t need to be strong or brave— you can be vulnerable and broken, because miscarrying fucking sucks. I’m so sorry to all of you who have lost little loves, and I’m so sorry that our society has taught us that this is something to talk about in hushed tones and quiet rooms. To the girlfriends who showed up, checked in and shared their own stories- I will forever be grateful.

And mom, thank you for picking me up and putting me back together.