After struggling to conceive, my husband and I sought help from a fertility doctor. After a couple of months, we were elated to discover that our first IUI (intrauterine insemination) was successful! I went in for a few rounds of blood work and everything seemed perfect. Within a week, we told our families and close friends.
I was nauseous and had strong symptoms from the beginning, so that had given me a (false) sense of security. At my first ultrasound, I was expecting to hear our growing baby’s heartbeat. Instead, I found out there was no heartbeat and baby wasn’t growing.
Nothing prepares you to hear the words, “I’m sorry but there isn’t a heartbeat.”
Those next few days were a blur. My HCG was extremely high, so my doctor had me wait another week to do a follow-up ultrasound. During this time, I heard many similar stories where the baby was okay. That gave me more false hope. When I went back the next week, the ultrasound confirmed the miscarriage.
My body wasn’t miscarrying naturally, so I had a procedure the following week. I spent 11 days walking around in this weird limbo of pregnant, but no healthy baby. That was a feeling unlike any other. There is a deep emptiness that goes along with infertility and pregnancy loss. I never understood until it happened to me.
One in four women have lost a pregnancy and one in eight couples experience infertility. These things are happening all around us, yet they are rarely discussed. The stigma associated with both infertility and miscarriage is still prevalent.
These stigmas and misconceptions about infertility and miscarriage have hurt me.
Sometimes I feel guilty grieving this loss because I have a healthy child. I’ve been told to “be grateful” for everything I have, as if missing my baby somehow means I’m not grateful. I know the pain and loneliness that comes with infertility. Month after month of negative pregnancy tests weigh on your heart. I know how blessed I am to have a healthy child, but losing another still hurts.
Miscarriage isn’t losing a pregnancy of (fill in the blank) weeks. It doesn’t matter how far along you were. From the first moment you find out, you begin imagining a life for your baby. Will he love football like his big brother? Will she go to law school like me? Will the baby have my husband’s blue eyes? Your dreams for and about your child are endless. It is earth-shattering when those are lost.
If you haven’t experienced miscarriage or infertility, you likely know someone that has.
Everyone has a different story, but we all have one thing in common. We need support. Don’t try to “fix it,” just be there. Sometimes all we need is a friend to listen and sit with us while we cry. I’ve met some wonderful women that have told me their stories and have listened to mine.
It has been over two months since the day my world came crashing down and it still hurts as badly as the first day. It is so easy to withdraw while you’re struggling with loss, especially when a loved one is pregnant. It can be difficult to balance grieving your loss and supporting your mommy friends. It takes time and patience, so don’t push yourself. Infertility and miscarriage are heartbreaking and I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone.
If you or someone you know is struggling, please reach out. There is a whole community of women like you. I’ve read blogs, listened to podcasts, joined Facebook groups and followed Instagram accounts. I gain valuable information from every source. This pain will never end, but I am learning to live with it.