Saturday, October 13, 2012

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

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One of the reasons I started blogging was to get a little more comfortable with expressing myself. I am a horrible emotion bottler.  This is ok sometimes, I don't want to be one of those people that word vomits every little thing that happens to them every day of their lives.  Other times, we need to share to start healing or to help ourselves and maybe others.  My ultimate goal with this was to spread awareness of miscarriage and pregnancy loss.  When I lost my pregnancy, no one else in my immediate family had ever been through anything like that, and since a lot of pregnancies are lost early, you tend to grieve with little guidance or understanding.  Through the process, I found some people that were willing to come forward and share their experience with me that I never knew had lost a pregnancy.  I really want to do the same for others since, and show others that it is okay to talk about having a miscarriage or losing a pregnancy.

My husband (Christian) and I have been married for 3 and a half years and have been together for over 7.  We have a lot of fun together, but we both want to expand our family.  He has a daughter that we both love so much, but she lives pretty far away.  We also want that experience of being able to share the love we have for each other and for little C with a child of our own.  We started trying to get pregnant after I finished my marathon last year, I was probably in the best health and shape of my life, so we figured what better time to start?  In January, I got a positive test and we were so happy.  It seemed perfect, even though we don't get to dictate things and I didn't care all that much, I really wanted a fall baby for some reason and my due date was September 28th.  Even better, my older sister was pregnant with her third baby, and we were going to be due just a few weeks apart.  We told our close families and a couple of my closest friends, but chose to keep it under wraps to the world as far as facebooking went.  The worst part about my job at the time was that there was no way to hide it from my co-workers, and not just my close ones, but all of them.  I was a chemist in a paint lab and the only time anyone wears a mask is if they are pregnant, so I got to be the source of gossip for all the lab techs.  I didn't want that many people knowing, but didn't have much of a choice.

For some reason, I was nervous the whole time, I felt like something wasn't right but I just kept hearing and reading "everyone is different", so I just chalked it up to that.  The doctor I went to, looking back, was not very helpful or reassuring, and didn't really do any kind of checkup until 12 weeks. I was sooooo anxious waiting on that 12 week mark.  The doctor told us we wouldn't be having an ultrasound then, but that was when we were going to hear the heartbeat.  I struggled through each day, wanting so badly to hear that heartbeat and be reassured that everything would be all right.  I was also jealous of my friends who were pregnant at the same time that were having 6 and 8 week ultrasounds (different doctors) and putting them on facebook.

We had a lot of tragedy early in the year, and the worst of it was Christian's sweet 16 year old cousin passing away unexpectedly.  At the funeral I noticed a little bit of bleeding, and immediately panicked, but thought maybe it was from the stress of the week.  I called the doctor and they told me to just wait a while to see if it continued.  It did off and on and I pretty much spent my days in a state of being a hyperventilating stress ball.  I felt like I had no help.  Christian was wonderful of course, helping me in any way he could and listening to me constantly worrying at this point, but ultimately I needed a doctor to tell me what was happening.  I was over 10 weeks and could see the 12 week "end" in sight, but I had had enough and finally called the doctor again. They told me to come in that day (I was at work) for an ultrasound.  Luckily, Christian was able to leave work and come with me.  We got in for the ultrasound and as she was doing it I broke down.  I had seen countless ultrasounds of my friends and sister and knew that mine wasn't right.  That was the worst part, I had wanted so badly to have an ultrasound and see my baby and when I did, there was no longer anything there besides the pregnancy sac.

We chose to end the pregnancy that day instead of waiting around to see if it would happen on it's own.  I went back to work the next week and had to deal with everyone knowing, or the comments like, "shouldn't you be wearing your mask?" and it was incredibly hard.  I don't know what I would have done without Christian, my family and the friends that knew, God, and running.  I know it seems funny to put running in with all of the most important people in my life, but it helped me deal with the stress of worrying while I was pregnant and gave me something to focus on afterwards.  Even months later I still have moments when  someone that had heard I was pregnant asks how my baby is doing, or I get formula in the mail because I signed up for a newsletter or something.  I just passed my due date a few weeks ago.

I'm sorry this is incredible wordy and personal.  I also want to say that I am not trying for sympathy and I absolutely don't want this to be a pity party or for anyone to feel sorry for me, but if I can help someone else that is struggling by sharing my story then it was worth it.  It does get better, but it never goes away.  I am blessed in my husband, family, friends, and God and hope that I can help someone else that may be hurting.

October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, so spread the word that this doesn't have to be a taboo subject and that it is ok to talk about and help each other through the hard times.

Thanks for listening!

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  1. Oh Meg, you just made me cry. Damn you. I remember experiencing the same feelings when I had my first miscarriage. It was something that I wanted so bad and now that I look back, I think it was fate. You know I am not very religious, so in my opinion somehow the universe knew it was not good timing. One day when you have that healthy baby in your arms, you will forget about this sad memory. I'm so sorry that you experienced this and I wish for you two to have your perfect little one everyday! Hang in there lady, it will happen again. I have faith in that. :)Love you guys!

  2. Thank you so much. I saw a comment you made on the bloggess with the title of your post so I clicked on it. I miscarried at 8 weeks last week. I saw its heartbeat on the ultrasound and they told me everything looked great and 2 days later I was bleeding and then it was gone. I just found out I actually lost it on World Baby Loss Day. That kind of sums up the irony of my whole life. I was just thinking about how miscarriage is such a taboo subject and it really shouldn't be. I feel like I would tell everyone if my dad died, but it feels like begging for sympathy if I tell people I lost my baby. So I don't. It shouldn't be that way!

    1. I'm so sorry for your loss! Thank you for sharing, it's really hard to talk about, especially at first, but every time I find the strength to talk about it it seems to get a little easier. I wish all the best for you! Stupid irony!