My Miscarriage: Coping {Part Two of Two}

I know my last post was not a happy one as I wrote a letter to the baby I will never hold. But this thing that happened to me, I have learned, will be something I carry for the rest of my life. Sure, the sharp, painful edges will blur and soften with time, but the wound will never heal completely. I feel compelled to follow up on my previous post after so many of you reached out to me. High school friends and acquaintances who I have not spoken with in years were sharing their personal stories of similar grief. I had no idea that so many women I knew had experienced what left me feeling so isolated and alone.

I found out I was expecting my third child on Wednesday June 4, 2014.

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photo credit: Leslie Pendleton, formerly of Studio Tran

I was 4 weeks and 1 day. I was in shock, again. My second baby was a shock to me as well. Although, since I know where babies come from (as my OB asked for clarification when I expressed my astonishment), I am not sure why I was so surprised. But this baby was a complete and total shock because we had been consistently using protection. The fact that I conceived, although surprising initially, felt like a miracle. Like this little baby was surely meant to be. It took about 3 hours for me to stop looking like a deer in headlights. Later that night, my husband and I were looking up baby names and making a short list. We were contemplating rearranging bedrooms and looking at bigger vehicles to fit our expanding family. We calculated the due date and found out that baby would be due on daddy’s birthday, February 10th. Just in time for Mardi Gras. We talked about whether we would bring the baby to any parades or if George would just take the older boys alone. My husband and I are planners so it was only natural that we were planning this baby into our lives.

My husband called his parents who live out of state and I wanted to wait to tell mine in person. I was able to tell my mom the exciting news because we previously planned a visit for the following day. I never got to tell my dad because I would miscarry before I would see him in person. I woke up the next morning and called my OB who was just as shocked as we were. She even commented that this baby was “meant to be.” That is exactly how we felt. Things would work out because this baby was meant to be in our lives. I went back in forth in my head over whether I thought the baby was a boy or a girl. What would the baby look like? Would I be able to have another VBAC?

All of these thoughts and there was one that was nagging at me.

I did not feel pregnant. It was not the shock or disbelief; I physically did not feel pregnant. With my other two I had classic signs: queasy stomach, food aversions, tender breasts, fatigue, etc. For this one, I felt nothing. That struck me as odd but I dispelled the thought by rationalizing that I was just a cynical person, and I was too busy to notice any symptoms. I also continued to cramp far past the date of implantation. The cramps were not terrible, and I recall having some at the beginning of my second pregnancy, so I ignored those as well.

It all came crashing down on Wednesday, June 11, around 9:00 when I missed a call from my doctor’s office. The voicemail simply told me that I needed to get another round of blood work the following day. I started to worry because I did not have to do this for either of my other pregnancies. I needed more information. The nurse told me that my HCG level at 4 weeks 6 days, was a 70. She did not seem alarmed and just said they needed to confirm that my counts were rising. I had some spotting that morning, and the nurse assured me that that can be “normal.” I went about my business, but I knew something was wrong. Within two hours, the cramps came. I still denied I was losing my baby. Then the bright red blood came. I was in Hobby Lobby when it came. I walked out of there as fast as I could, fighting the knot in my throat and stinging tears in my eyes. I broke down in my car. I knew what was happening, and I was helpless to stop it.

I experienced what felt like emotional whiplash once I accepted in my heart what was happening.

Sorrow and heartbreak were mostly what I felt. I feel so ashamed to admit that I also had moments where I felt some relief that I was no longer pregnant. That feeling was always always always followed by severe guilt. Miscarrying, for me, is a vicious cycle, of emotions. Even almost six weeks later, I think I am doing just fine, and then bam, I hear an innocent comment or see a sweet picture of a new baby and the lump in my throat returns. I know I will carry this for the rest of my life, and I will always wonder about the life that could have been. I encourage mothers who have experienced this loss to talk about it when you are ready. In sharing my story in an extremely public way,  the feelings of isolation were lessened. I was told by readers that I was very strong for sharing my very private story. I think that notion is slightly misplaced. Although loss of a child is personal, so many women experience the loss. I think the only way to heal is to come together and support each other. I truly believe that what has helped me heal is the support I have received from family, friends and through readers like you.

20 Responses to My Miscarriage: Coping {Part Two of Two}

  1. Courtney July 23, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

    So much of what you wrote resonates. Thanks for being willing to share!

  2. Amanda Bensabat July 23, 2014 at 8:59 pm #

    Hugs Courtney. and prayers.

  3. Amy Ballou July 23, 2014 at 11:05 pm #

    My first was a miscarriage. I am still trying for a 2nd, I just pray the time around I can carry this baby. I can’t go through what I went through again. It’s so scary. Hearing your story helped. Thanks for sharing.

    • Amanda Bensabat September 15, 2014 at 1:13 pm #

      Amy, I am so sorry for your loss and I totally understand. I am glad my story resonated with you. Hugs.

  4. Erin July 24, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    “Although loss of a child is personal, so many women experience the loss. I think the only way to heal is to come together and support each other.”
    I completely agree with this statement and feel this kind of support is lacking in our community. I don’t know how to change this, but know discussing miscarriage openly in forums like this is a great first step. Thanks for sharing.

    • Amanda Bensabat September 15, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

      Thank you Erin, I agree, the lack of support is saddening especially when I now know how many women experience this devastating loss. I imagine it is because it is devastating that it is so hard to talk about. Yet, that is exactly what helps many heal. Thanks you for your comment!

  5. Suzanne July 25, 2014 at 5:53 pm #

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I lost my first baby at 13 weeks last fall, and it has been a painful road through grief and recovery, and embracing hope as I’m now 28 weeks along with my rainbow baby. I’ve had such a desire to share my story with other grieving parents, and reading yours gives me the courage to do so. Prayers for you.

    • Amanda Bensabat September 15, 2014 at 1:15 pm #

      Thank you Suzanne, I am sorry for your loss. Congratulations on your precious baby!

  6. Rosalinda July 28, 2014 at 1:27 am #

    Thank you for sharing your very personal and emotional experience. It really is such a silent trauma that many women don’t believe they can talk an about openly and yet there are so many of us affected. I had three miscarriages prior to my first child and one between my first and second child. I ended up writing my stories through a diary and on a blog. It definitely is a form of therapy but so us being able to talk with others.

    • Amanda Bensabat September 15, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

      Rosalinda,
      Thank you for your comment. I am so sorry for your losses. Writing is definitely therapy to me but you are correct, so is talking openly about the pain and feelings from this horrible loss. Thank you for commenting.

  7. Melissa July 28, 2014 at 1:59 am #

    Reading this has put my life in so much perspective! I like you had a shocking pregnancy. My husband and I got married on June 11th and then the next week were greeted by the news of our baby. I know now from reading your post what a blessing our little surprise is. With our baby being due 7 days after your little angel was I find comfort in the fact that if something happens I have people to look to.

    • Amanda Bensabat September 15, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

      Melissa,
      I understand that shock all too well as that is exactly what my second baby was. I love him dearly but this loss made me realize even more what a blessing he is. Congratulations on your baby!

  8. Jeanette Horne July 29, 2014 at 9:19 pm #

    I just wanted you to know I am praying for you. We lost our first child and I was very young but it hurt so very bad and only recently after my husband passed away and I had joined GriefShare , did I realize I never fully got to grieve the loss of my sweet child. I do know I will see them both again though and our reunion will be so sweet. It comforts me in a weird way to think my husband had our precious child with him. You may want to check out GriefShare.org to see if they have any meetings near you, it has truly blessed my life.

    • Amanda Bensabat September 15, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

      Jeanette,
      Thank you so much for this suggestion! I will check it out. I am so sorry for your loss but I do believe your husband is now holding your precious angel baby as well. Thank you for commenting.

  9. Ashley Bourg July 31, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    My first was a miscarriage, 9 years ago… It is still very vivid, but I can say I am finally on the other side. I do wonder what he or she would have looked like. How his or her personality would have been like, etc. It still hurts when I read stories of miscarriage as I remember the heart break & devastation I felt. Prayers for you & your family

    • Amanda Bensabat September 15, 2014 at 1:21 pm #

      Ashley, thank you for your comment. I am sorry for your loss. I imagine I will always carry my angel baby in my heart as well.

  10. Julie Kelsey January 13, 2015 at 10:54 pm #

    Amanda,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. Everyone’s story of loss is so different and personal, yet we are all bound together by the fact that it has happened to us. My first miscarriage was on my honeymoon. My daughter was born after that one but sadly 4 more of their siblings joined them in heaven. However, we had a beautiful baby girl in Oct 2013.(5 yrs after her big sister). She is our rainbow baby. A testament that God keeps his promises to you. Her name is Hope. And her big sister will often say, “mommy never gave up, so God gave us Hope”

  11. Febe March 28, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

    Your story was very touching, I am going thru a miscarriage at this time and it is very hard. I would have loved this child so much. But I have to believe that it is in heaven now looking out for me and his/her brother and sister. Thank you for sharing your story, it has helped me.

  12. Eva May 11, 2015 at 7:10 pm #

    Amanda, thank you for sharing this. I am going through it now and find myself overwhelmingly alone in my feelings. Your words bring me comfort and let me know its ok to feel, even though I know my faith is strong.

  13. Jennifer November 1, 2015 at 6:38 am #

    I’ve been trying to find some kind of support group/website for miscarriages/child loss I looked n looked n finally found this n others on Pinterest! I was feeling so alone until reading all of these stories. I was 4 weeks n 2 days when my life came crashing down. Our due date was July 5,2015 this is still really fresh as I’m still experiencing all these “loss” symptoms! All these stories are very sad n there’s not one second of the day that I’m not sad n crying! You made me realize things that I thought I had no business realizing ! I am mother actually a mother of 5 angels this last pregnancy was possibly twins bc of IVF. I never got over the other 3 n never will I so this one is even harder bc I knew n I felt pregnant for such a short time n they told me my due date! Which has been sooooo hard to cope with! But all these stories have made me cry but also made me feel not alone! I’m sorry we are all going through a loss ! But I thank you all for opening up.

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