This is an updated post from a very raw article I wrote days after my miscarriage in 2010.
I never knew I would have a miscarriage.
I never knew when I went to my routine 12-week appointment, I would be forever changed. I never knew how common miscarriages are. Twenty-five percent of pregnancies end in miscarriage. One woman in four has had a miscarriage. Someone you love has had a miscarriage. And suddenly, that statistic became me.
I never knew that at 11 weeks, my baby’s heart would stop beating. At 11 weeks, the baby is almost 2 inches tall. Still so tiny yet it is almost fully formed. And it’s already moving its tiny arms and legs. And it has fingernails. And at 10 weeks, mine still had a beating heart.
I never knew that in many cases, the body won’t recognize a miscarriage, leading to continued pregnancy sickness, weight gain, sickness, pregnancy hormones, and, oh yes, sickness. I never knew I could have a still fetus inside me and yet feel so incredibly empty.
I never knew that a D&C (dilation & curettage or evacuation) could be so awful. The actual procedure went as expected, but when you wake up everything once inside you is gone. No closure. You simply pack up and go home. And you can’t help but think, ‘What if they had checked the ultrasound one more time? Would they have seen a tiny beating heart?’ You know the answer, but can’t help wondering.
I never knew that less than one percent of women who get a D&C have to have a second one. I guess I like to beat the odds.
I never knew that after it’s all said and done, your hormones would be more of a roller-coaster than when you were actually pregnant. I didn’t feel like the same person.
I never knew that I would never stop wondering why it died. Why why why? Apparently, most miscarriages that occur before 12 weeks most likely had chromosomal abnormalities. This means the egg or sperm had the wrong number of chromosomes and cannot develop normally. I never liked that explanation. It’s too scientific.
I never knew that not one day would go by that I didn’t think about that baby. And according to my mom, even 30 plus years after a miscarriage, you’ll still think about it every.single.day. Will the baby be mine?
I never knew any of this. I never knew how something so tiny and that had not been around for very long could make my heart hurt so much. I never knew that the thought of a simple ultrasound could absolutely terrify me. The image of a still baby with no heartbeat is literally etched in my mind and I see it every time I close my eyes.
And I never knew this whole tragic experience could bring me so much closer to my Savior. I immediately saw His love for me. I have felt calm and peaceful and I felt that He understood me like I never thought possible. Not only did I feel comforted, but I began to see more blessings in my life. I began to feel more compassion toward others and a desire to help and serve those around me who may be going through hard times of their own. My life is filled with happiness and I know it is because I turned to the Lord.
My friend lent me an amazing book of comfort called, Gone Too Soon. Included was this poem. It literally says everything I have felt, but couldn’t put into words:
Just Those Few Weeks
For those few weeks–
I had you to myself
And that seems too short a time
to be changed so profoundly.
In those few weeks–
I came to know you
and to love you.
You came to trust me with your life.
Oh, what a life I had planned for you!
Just those few weeks–
When I lost you.
I lost a lifetime of hopes,
plans, dreams, and aspirations…
A slice of my future simply vanished overnight.
Just those few weeks–
It wasn’t enough time to convince others
how special and important you were.
How odd, a truly unique person has recently died
and no one is mourning the passing.
Just a mere few weeks–
And no “normal” person would cry all night
over a tiny, unfinished baby,
or get depressed and withdrawn day after endless day.
No one would, so why am I?
You were just those few weeks my little one
you darted in and out of my life too quickly.
But it seems that’s all the time you needed
to make my life so much richer
and give me a small glimpse of eternity.
If you know someone who has gone through a miscarriage or any kind of infant loss, this book may help them heal like it helped me.