Three weeks ago I had a natural miscarriage.
It started off like any other day. I started a pot of tea, flipped through my Facebook feed, washed my face, and jumped in my clothes for the day. The kids were at the farm so I had a morning to myself, it was quiet, calm, and I was relaxed and ready to spend the day on myself which is rare and highly coveted. I spent the morning so at peace.
I went to the bathroom around 11:00 or so and noticed a tiny bit of spotting so I figured I would keep my eye on it, because spotting during pregnancy isn't uncommon, and I went about my day. The next time I checked on it there was a significant amount of blood and I knew immediately that something wasn't right. My heart sank and I called my husband with tears pouring down my face and told him he needed to rush home. My o.b. rushed me in for an ultrasound around 1:00 before our appointment and we waited for almost an hour in the waiting room. l have never felt time move more slowly before in my life. The entire time we waited I tried to stay positive but deep down my heart was breaking. My husband just kept squeezing my hand and telling me we were going to be alright and that was the only thing that kept me sane in that waiting room, they were all lucky he was there. Finally they called my name and we went into the ultrasound room to find out if our little one was okay. I nervously got undressed and tried to prepare myself mentally for the various outcomes we could encounter. The ultrasound technician was very quiet, she did a lot of measuring, a lot of checking and re-checking and I started to prepare myself for the worst. She checked for the heart beat and there was silence. Over and over. In my mind I kept wanting to scream "Hello, I can see what you're doing! JUST TELL ME!" but I knew she was just doing her job and it wasn't her fault that I was having one of the worst moments of my life then she said it,
"I'm so sorry."
Jared and I immediately held each other and I cried harder than I had in a long time. When I could finally breathe again I got dressed, looked over at him, said "Get me out of here." and he drove me home. It's a strange feeling to know that the life you're carrying isn't alive anymore. That morning I was blissfully unaware, I was still pregnant, I was still growing a human life and now hours later I wasn't. Everything had changed.
My doctor called me that evening and gave me my options; I could go to the hospital and get D&C, I could get medication to help me "pass the tissue" as my doctor called it, or I could naturally miscarry. I didn't even think about it, I chose to do it naturally at home and even though my doctor gave me absolutely no information on what would happen or what to expect. If I couldn't be in control during my pregnancy loss I could at least have control over my miscarriage and the environment in which I would bring my little one into the world. I started doing research that night about what I would need to do to have a successful home miscarriage and what would happen to my body throughout the process. I was so surprised at how little information there is out there for women who miscarry naturally, though I don't know why, everything is so medical these days I should have expected it.
By the next morning I felt like I knew everything I could possibly know about natural miscarriage and that's when the process began. I started having full blown contractions around 10:00 and they grew in strength all day long. They don't tell you that naturally miscarrying is basically like having a home birth but with a much smaller baby. I had experienced natural childbirth with my first so I was using my pain management skills and meditation to deal with the contractions and my husband watched after me all day and made sure I had everything I needed to be as comfortable as I possibly could. I walked around a lot and tried to keep myself occupied in between contractions until I couldn't move around anymore. At around 7:30 that night I was having very strong contractions and a baring down feeling and decided to walk to the bathroom. That's when it happened, my water broke and I delivered a lot of blood, tissue, and my little one. By 8:00 I had gone through natural labor and delivery, but I didn't have a sweet crying baby to show for it.
Since my miscarriage I've been trying to get back to normal. My hormones are insane, my body is just now starting to heal. I'm able to do yoga again and that has been a huge comfort to me. Emotionally I am getting better everyday. I've been meditating and keeping my thoughts positive, but I've also just been allowing myself to experience everything. Surrender has been my word. I've been trying to live my daily routine, still homeschooling when I'm feeling good but I allow myself to take breaks when I don't. I don't beat myself up over it, taking things easy has been refreshing.
Even though it was a physically grueling experience I'm glad emotionally that I decided to do it at home, naturally. I feel like actually giving birth gave me closure, it helped me to emotionally heal and say goodbye to a baby that I grew and nourished for 11 weeks, it helped me to appreciate my body and how perfectly it functions, it helped me to grow on spiritual level and to appreciate all parts of the human experience whether they are pleasant or not. No matter how unpleasant this entire experience is the one thing that I've really focused on is how it's helped me to grow. I don't like to dwell in sadness or negativity, I like to find the light in any darkness and no matter how sad I am that I won't be able to watch my little one grow I am content in the fact that this experience will help me to help others and that it was given to me for some purpose.
I know that I'm not alone. Ten to twenty percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, women go through it every day, so why aren't we talking about it? I had taken sexual education, childhood development, my doula certification, I had read books and spent hours upon hours studying the female body, pregnancy, and child birth but never once had I learned about miscarriage. I knew what it was obviously but to me it felt like a reality I would never know and I had no idea what the process was really like. Why don't we learn about pregnancy loss as women? You would think that statistically we will almost all experience one whether we know it or not and we should know what our bodies will go through and how to deal with the effects of losing a child, no matter how small, but we don't. Miscarriage is a taboo subject, a word still whispered and hidden away in the darkest corners of our society. Women are forced to grieve in silence, to labor in silence, and then they are told to move on and make another child to fill the hole the one they lost has left. We don't appreciate the strength of the women around us, we don't prepare our daughters for this tragic reality, we don't talk to those who have miscarried about their loss because it's too sad, too painful, too personal. Why? Women should be sharing their stories and reaching out to those who are hurting, helping those who are lost, we should be lifting each other up and supporting each other in a time of pain, physically and emotionally.
I hope that through my own experience I can help those women who do need a shoulder to cry on, a friend to vent to, and someone to give them the information they need to safely and naturally miscarry. When I started telling friends and family about our loss one of the biggest questions I got from females is "What actually happens during a miscarriage?" and it was always followed by "I'm sorry if that's really personal." That makes me crazy! It isn't just personal to me, it's personal to all women. We should all know the processes of our bodies, we should all be aware of the possibilities, we should not be afraid to talk about miscarriage. For some it is easier to grieve in privacy, and I respect that, but for those of us who want to speak, we shouldn't feel as though we can't. I will always speak honestly about my loss, my daughter will know about miscarriage, and my friends and family and even strangers are always welcome to ask me any question that they have. I feel like speaking out and helping others who may be experiencing loss or just want to be prepared is the best way I can honor my little one.
I won't be silent about my loss, you can come to me.
"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."
February 27, 2015