Guest Mom Blogger Rebecca dreamt of being a mother since she could remember. Never did she expect the horror that came when, at an ultrasound appointment, her precious second baby had no heartbeat. Rebecca shares her story on how she grieved from the sadness of a miscarriage and what came from it.
When I finally gave birth to my first child, the daughter I always wanted (despite being sure I was having a boy my entire pregnancy), I was blissfully happy and grateful. Much to my surprise, I found out I was pregnant with my second baby shortly after my daughter’s first birthday. We were shocked that it happened so quickly but thrilled that our little girl was going to be a big sister and that we were going to be blessed again with another baby.
Unfortunately, this news was too good to be true. Due to my history (and my paranoia), I went for an early ultrasound to make sure the baby was okay. I was feeling great and was very excited to see my new baby on the big screen.
I went back to the ultrasound room with the technician. When she put the probe inside of me (this is how they do it at this early stage, which is very awkward and unpleasant), I saw a black mass appear on the screen. This is where the saying “ignorance is bliss” rang true with me. Since this was my second pregnancy, I knew that I should see the flicker of my baby’s heartbeat. There was no movement.
I felt like my whole world was falling apart. I was hoping the doctor would come in, miraculously find the heartbeat, and all would be well. Instead, the doctor moved the probe around and confirmed my worst fear, there was no heartbeat. Apparently the baby had stopped growing a couple of weeks prior to the ultrasound.
My heart was broken, the tears started flowing, and they went to get my husband. I was inconsolable. My mind quickly shifted to the fact that there was a dead baby inside of me. I could not handle this. I insisted on getting it out immediately. Thankfully, my doctor was sympathetic to my feelings and arranged for me to have a D&C that night.
The physical part of taking care of what happened, although stressful, was nothing compared to the emotional devastation that I felt. Nothing can prepare you for coping with a loss such as this. People handle these things very differently. For me, I needed everyone to know what happened because I could not bear the thought of anyone asking me, “So, when are you going to go for #2?”
I wanted to be proactive in making sure I wasn’t going to be caught off guard and feel the pain I was feeling going forward. I told my boss, who let everyone on my team know, so that nobody would ask me any questions upon my return to work.
The next thing that happened was the last thing I expected. People reached out to me and shared their own stories of miscarriage that they and their spouses had experienced. I had joined a club I never knew existed nor ever wanted to be a part of. Much to my surprise, these stories and this outreach gave me some small sense of comfort and, more importantly, hope. Hope that one day, I too, would be blessed with another healthy baby.
The fact that I already had a child is what really got me through the darkness. I felt so lucky to have her. I am not sure how I would have gotten through it without her.
I am happy to tell you that more than a year later, after still more obstacles and stumbling blocks, I found out that I was pregnant again. This time I had been doubly blessed: twins! Of course, I was a nervous wreck during my entire pregnancy, but when I held my beautiful baby girls in my arms, my frustration with all the obstacles and stumbling blocks was forgotten and replaced by sheer joy!
I had friends who later went through miscarriages and came to me for support. I was happy I could help them through it and give them the same comfort and hope I had received from others.
To this day, I say a prayer every night for my baby who never made it into this world. That baby will always be with me. Every time I look at my twins, I am thankful for my baby’s sacrifice. Without it, my girls would not be here.
Miscarriage is a terrible loss, and it is natural to grieve. If you are a patient at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and have a miscarriage, we provide services that help with the coping process for all involved. To seek further information on counseling options at BWH, please contact the Brigham’s Center for Reproductive Medicine and its team of clinicians who specialize in this area at 1-617-732-4222.
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