I honestly have no idea how to start this post. There is so much I want to say, but I have no idea how to say it. I feel so much, but at the same time I’m numb. I process things out loud, yet for the last month I’ve remained silent. With it all being over, I guess it’s time I start talking.
“A rainbow baby is a child born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss. The term has encouraged parents to share their stories of loss – and the babies that followed.”
I guess this is my story.
I haven’t had a rainbow baby, not yet anyway, but my next child will be one. Last month, on Valentine’s Day, I found out I was pregnant. I also found out I was having a miscarriage. I had no idea what to think, I still don’t. It all happened in what feels like a blink of an eye. I had no idea I was pregnant. My husband and I weren’t trying. Everything was normal in terms of my monthly cycle, but there I was. Pregnant. What gave me the nerve to even take a pregnancy test was the fact that I was bleeding a week after having my period and I googled what that could possibly mean and the word ‘pregnant’ kept popping up. I didn’t think much of it. Still that “what if” came to mind, so I took the test. The next step was processing that. It took a while.
In the span of 30 minutes I felt what seemed like a hundred different emotions. Happiness, excitement, fear, worry, the selfish thought that I had just gotten back to my pre-pregnancy weight, etc. How would I tell my husband? The last time wasn’t very thought out in terms of telling him because it happened very unexpectedly, so I wanted this time to be more special. I wrote a cheesy valentines day note and taped the test to it for him to find when he came home from work that day. The next step was to call my OB. I told him my symptoms and I brushed it off as early pregnancy spotting and cramping, but he said from the sound of it, it sounded like I was having a miscarriage and I needed to come in for blood testing as soon as possible. That’s when I hit a wall.
A miscarriage? I barely have time to wrap my mind around being pregnant again and I have to process losing it now? I felt a lump in my chest form and everything else went numb. My husband came home and found the test. He became so excited. Seeing him so happy made me want to start sobbing right there, but I had to tell him what the doctor said.
He told me not to stress. I’d go to the doctor and we’d go from there. I don’t think either of us were really processing it. We hadn’t become emotionally attached to it, or weren’t allowing ourselves to yet. So the next day I went in for the blood testing. The results came back that I was indeed pregnant and I had low progesterone levels. Usually the signs of a miscarriage, but not always. That’s when my doctor gave us the thing that ended up destroying us. Hope.
He put me on a supplement that he said he hoped would help things. That there may be a chance to save the pregnancy. I needed to start taking it that day and come back in a few days for more blood testing. So I went to the store, got the supplement and started taking it. Our hope grew. Everything would be okay. We didn’t want to think of a negative outcome. So we talked about gender, how the hell we would support two kids but not caring. We’d figure it out and with that we went to sleep. The next day I woke up to less bleeding and I wasn’t cramping anymore. I felt relieved. Everything was okay, I thought. But the next day I needed to go in for more testing and I woke up to more blood and a lot of cramping. Since we were getting that blood test on a friday, we had to wait until that monday for the results. It was the longest weekend ever. Every fear and worry came out. I was going crazy. All the while, still bleeding and cramping.
The results came back. My levels had dropped below what was needed for sustaining a pregnancy. We were losing it.
The doctor then began to tell me everything that would happen with my body for the next two weeks. My hormones from the pregnancy would be everywhere. In another week, my body would start the expelling process. My cervic would dilate, I would have contractions as my body got rid of everything. Depending on how far along I was, I might possibly see something that resembled a fetus. That statement…. hearing that I might see a fetus, might see MY BABY, expelled from my body. I began to shake. I couldn’t cry. I couldn’t talk. It was like everything shut down. I told my husband everything and we went from there. I didn’t allow myself to break down, he didn’t talk about it. We were quiet for a few days until everything hit me.
Having that kind of grief basically bitch slap you across the face in the middle of the night is unbearable. My daughter was asleep, so I had to be silent so I didn’t wake her. My husband was asleep. I started silently sobbing in the dark. Have you ever held in sobbing? It hurts. It hurts everywhere. I was experiencing the painful cramping of the miscarriage, like a bad period only worse, and this just added to the pain. Luckily my husband woke up because I was shaking so much and he held me. Nothing was said. I just sobbed for an hour or so. And we went from there.
The next few weeks were hell for me. And all this, plus the financial issues we’ve been having, did nothing for our marriage. There was a big strain on us. We didn’t talk about it. And by we, I mean my husband. I didn’t know how he felt. He was lashing out and becoming angry quite often. He didn’t want me to talk about it. I’m someone who needs to talk things out, he is someone who likes to keep to himself. Keep silent and process things internally. I kept urging him to talk about it. To give me something, anything. It was almost 2 weeks before he did, and when he did…. It was intense.
My husband is a strong man. He is quiet and reserved and because of that many people think he is cold and emotionless. That is so far from the truth. He is actually a pretty sensitive person when you get to know him. He feels things very deeply and cares a lot more then even he knows. Him breaking down in my arms didn’t make me think any less of him. He sobbed hard. He had been grieving, just silently. He had realized just how ready he was to have another child. He was so happy by the news that I was pregnant and then he had all of that ripped out from under him so quickly. We finally were able to grieve together and comfort each other. He opened up to his oldest sister about it, and then finally to his parents.
My parents have known from the start. But neither took it well. My mother was sympathetic to it, because she had several miscarriages, but told me to see it as a blessing because we wouldn’t have been able to care for it. My father thought we were stupid. He thought we had been trying to have a child, and because we had just signed up for less then great health insurance and weren’t making much money´E, he thought we were crazy to try to have a baby and that we were going to bankrupt ourselves. This was so hard to deal with on top of an already tough situation.
Which brings us to today. I received my final blood test results that the miscarriage was complete. My husband and I are doing better, sorta, and he said I could finally open up about it. We still choke up at movies or shows where there is child loss. We are reading the next chapter in our book “How We Love” and of course it starts with the writer talking about the stillborn she had. We both cried. It’s a process. It comes and goes in waves. We are healing slowly and continuing onward. We’ve been able to grow closer together through this loss once we were finally able to speak openly about it.
Those who know about it have told me that it happens. It’s actually quite common. I knew this, but it doesn’t mean it hurts any less. I was still very early in the pregnancy, but to me it was still a life lost. I still lost a child. So it hurts. I’m hurting. My husband is hurting. We will probably hurt for a while. So if you are reading this and know me in real life, I want to talk about it. I’d like to hear your stories and words of comfort. Or even be given a hug. I could have used a lot of hugs through all of this. Please don’t say “well a lot of women actually have at least one miscarriage” or any of that. And if you don’t know what to say, you can say that too. It’s okay to tell me you don’t know what to say. It’s a taboo subject to talk about in todays society. It comes up and everyone falls silent. Just let us know you are here for us if we need you and offer a hug and a prayer.
Anyway… That’s it for now.