That morning is vivid. I got dressed, brought my daughter to school and met my husband at Ochsner. We were going in for our seven week ultrasound to see baby number two for the first time. However, the appointment did not go as I had thought it would.
Immediately when the ultrasound image appeared on the screen it looked different than my seven week ultrasound with my daughter. My muscles tightened. I tried to keep a clear head. As the ultrasound tech performed her job, I began to ask her questions. She said that it did not look normal, that it looked that I was not as far along as I had thought. My response was, “You mean there is no heartbeat.”
After what seemed like an eternity, which was probably about 3 minutes, the doctor came in to bring the news. There is no heartbeat.
Finding Out Your Baby Has No Heartbeat
I don’t really know how you are “supposed to” respond in that situation. Do you break down in the tears that I was desperately trying to hold back? Do you listen intently to everything the doctor is saying so you get your questions answered? Do you crawl under the sheets and pretend like this did not just happen?
After the news, they sent me down for more blood work. Of course, you have to walk through the waiting room of expectant moms with their baby bellies with eyes gushing with tears.
In the middle of the waiting room, I tried to keep my composure, but it was just too hard. My mind was wondering. Did I do something wrong? What does this mean for us? How are we going tell our parents when I can barely form a sentence every time I think about it?
After they called my name and I got yet more blood taken, it was time to go. When I walked in my house, it was not the feeling that I thought I would have. I thought I would be holding ultrasound pictures of the little bundle of joy that was going to join our family. Instead I dragged my heavy heart through the door.
From there it was all about waiting. I had to wait for blood work to come back and wait another week for a follow up ultrasound. Maybe I am a week behind on my timeline and the heart beat will be here next week? Or, is it that I have miscarried? I didn’t know how I was going to make it a week, much less the two hours until I got the phone call about the blood tests.
After a week of additional blood tests, my numbers were dropping. It was not looking good. At a follow up ultrasound exactly one week after the first, it was confirmed that I had miscarried.
If you don’t know how it works, basically you are given three options. You can wait for nature to take its course, you can take a pill to force your body to miscarry, or you can have a procedure known as a D&C.
All of these choices have their positives and negatives, and it is different for each person. My hubby did not want me to have the D&C. Like any good hubby he did not want to see me in the hospital, and he did not want me to under go surgery.
However, I did decide that the D&C was the right option for me. I decided that I did not want to wait. It had already been a week, and I needed the light at the end of the tunnel for closure. I also liked that the D&C procedure was very surgical. For me, personally, it removed the emotional element of it as I was already emotionally drained. Plus, my biggest fear was being at home and “passing” it. I didn’t want to do that.
No one really talks about this aspect of a miscarriage. While people focus on the emotional element and the loss,there is a lot that goes into the physical aspect as well. Like when you have a baby you ask others questions as a way to familiarize yourself with the choices, the processes and other’s experiences. Not so much with a miscarriage. It is very lonely.
One of the hardest things about a miscarriage is telling people. I just wanted to be alone. I was trying to process and heal both mentally and physically.
Just saying that I had miscarried was enough. I mean, why do they even call it miscarry? I didn’t miscarry anything. That word makes it feel like I did something wrong.
My husband was the rock for both of us. He handled telling our family and friends. He also told everyone to just give me my space. This was the most helpful thing. I became a hermit and it was what I needed. After a couple of days, when I was ready, I started to venture out. I had dinner with family after my husband had given strict instructions for no one to talk about the miscarriage.
It was exactly what I had needed to feel normal again. I was through feeling sad and I was ready to resume life, but I wasn’t ready for everyone to want to talk about it. While people mean well, it is talking about it that made me feel worse.
I sort of feel like it makes others feel less awkward around me to talk about it. Please remember, that if someone is going through this and they don’t bring it up, then neither should you.
Everyone grieves in their own way.
Moving On From a Miscarriage
I don’t know what is next for us. I do know that I am in a better place now. I have been able to process my thoughts and my emotions, and I have come to terms with what happened.
Our daughter, two, was our anchor in this. When I picked her up from school on the day of the first ultrasound, she made it all better. She smiled at me, hugged me and said, “Mommy, I love you.” And, there was no better medicine.
20% of pregnancies result in miscarriage. While I know it is not something that anyone plans for, it is in fact a reality.
Of course I worry that I will have another one and have to go through this all over again. But right now I am thankful that I have found peace with this and am even more thankful of the wonderful support team that I have in my friends and family.
I am sure that when the baby’s would-have-been due date arrives, it will be a hard day. But I know that this experience has brought us closer as a family and reminded us of what is important in our lives.
Author’s Note: I am writing this post for the readers who have struggled with miscarriage, as well as therapy for me. I ask you to leave this post as it is, a journal of my experience, and not as the subject of our next conversation. As it is still very fresh, I continue to prefer to not talk about it.
your story is so similar to mine that it brings all the emotions right back. I can tell you from experience it gets easier but you never forget and your heart will always have a tiny crack from the heart break.
Like you, blogging about the experience helped me find a purpose for our loss. It helped validate the life that I will never get it know. Being a familiar voice to so many women who experience miscarriages is powerful and such an incredibly strong thing to do. That life lost too early has already made an impact on this world just by your words and sharing your story.
As I close in on my would be due date next week, I wish I could tell you I don’t want to cry but I do. You are a mom and that baby was a real and present in your heart as any in your arms. Time will help you heal but you will never ever forget.
I often struggled with the why and how people can say things happen for a reason, but it’s hard to see the reasoning through the heartache.
Hugs to you and cry, grief, recognize the life you created no matter how quickly it left.
My husband is the one who pushed me to blog about it. Blogging has been such good therapy for me since my daughter was born in 2010. He was right that I think that putting all of the emotions on “paper” and then hearing the wonderful words of encouragement and responses that was just what I needed.
I love the way that you said that by blogging about it that life already made an impact. It was beautiful.
The it happens for a reason line totally sucks in this case, but after the D&C I have put stock in that. Somehow this is a part of our plan, I just need to wait and see what is in store for our little family.
Thank you so much for reaching out!
I am so sorry for your loss. I speak from experience when I say that with time, the hurt will start to heal.
I believe that by sharing your story, you are taking steps toward healing, as well as helping other women who have been through the same thing.
I have had 3 miscarriages myself. Until it happens to you, you don’t realize how many others have been through it. Most people don’t talk about it. I think that is sad. It helped me so much to tell my story.
I also created a piece of jewelry that helped me deal with it. I posted it on Facebook and so many people thanked me for sharing my story. Here is a link to it in case you would like to see it:
I will keep you and your family in my prayers. I hope that you can find some measure of peace in whatever way works for you.
Thanks for your courage in sharing your story. I found that with sharing the story of my miscarriage, both with friends who understood and with journaling my thoughts, I was able to better handle my grief…acknowledging it to others helped heal the unexplainable loneliness. It is a grief unlike any other I have ever experienced, and I am sorry for your loss. I especially relate to how hard it is to go through this with a second pregnancy because you know what that precious little 7 week life turns into one day. I pray you find comfort in knowing you are not alone.
Linzy, it was very brave of you to share. Thank you!
Linzy, first of all, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you can continue to heal as each day passes.
Second- thank you for sharing this as I know it will help others on their path to healing knowing that they are not alone.
I’m so so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful testimony you’ve written here. I had a miscarriage at 11 weeks and it was the hardest thing that I’ve ever been through. I’m so glad that you’ve shared your story to help and encourage others. Sharing my story on my blog really helped me to put a “purpose” to it happening, as I was able to help others through it. My angel baby had a purpose! Praying for y’all. We have since been blessed with a beautiful baby girl. God is faithful.
Thank you so much for your kind words. I agree that it has been easier sharing my story than I thought it would. Somehow putting it out there has given it a purpose.
I am so sorry for your loss. I miscarried my first at 6wks. It was devastating and I couldn’t help but feel like it was my fault. Like I did something wrong. I am now 33wks pregnant with a little boy. I actually heard this little one’s heartbeat for the first time on what would have been my due date. I scheduled this purposely as I wanted to have a happy memory of that day rather than a sad one. I will be thinking of you and your family as you trudge through this time.
Congratulations on your pregnancy. What a wondeful gift to be able to hear the heartbeat on what would have been such a a bad day. I can only hope my experience is just as peaceful.
I was here on the blog looking for the tips for tourists, and I just saw this and I’m so sorry that this had to happen to you and your family. I think you are very brave and selfless for sharing your story.
Dear Linzy, thank you so much for willing to be so vulnerable on this. I’m so sorry for your loss. I, too, have this dreadful experience in common with you. I don’t have much more to add than what has already been so eloquently said by you and the commenters here…except to say that I sincerely wish I could make all of my friends read this piece. I’m not sure they even want to get it, since it would hit too close to home for them – so I’ve stopped trying to share my feelings. Doesn’t mean I’m “over” it, though, not by a long shot.
You gave words to my own personal experience. Thank you. People are uncomfortable when you cry but I too want to cry. I want to grieve. I don’t want to “try again”. This was my baby. I fear that I will always experience this hurt and heartbreak but I know it will become easier with time. I’m thankful for you that you have a strong support system because without that, it would be unbearable. I have gone seeking out others with this dreadful experience because I don’t feel anyone else could understand. Again, thank you for providing some comfort.
I am very sorry that we have this in common. Everyone deals with this situation in their own way so you have the right to act however you feel. I am glad my post helped you. There is no good side to miscarriage, but posting about it helped me connect with other ladies with similar experiences. It helped not to feel so alone. I hope that you heal as I know you can never really move on. A piece of your heart will always be with that baby. Hang in there!