Pains of a Miscarriage and "Getting Over It"

Its nearly 5am and I just nursed with Geddy and put him back down but I lay wide awake in my bed. Past sorrows have come to mind, not to haunt me but just to reflect upon. I am wide awake. I don't know what brought this to mind but I can tell that I won't be able to sleep until I express it. Maybe someone out there is needing to read this, I don't really know but I feel like it needs to be documented.

About 4 years ago, Chad and I (I say both of our names because it effected us both) had a miscarriage. We were newly married and eager to start a family. I remember taking the pregnancy test and being thrilled. It was finally happening, I was going to have a baby, Chad was going to have an amazing career at a really young age and we were going to be beautiful, super rich, and perfect. Sweet, naive, Hilary. Little did I know but the time wasn't right.

Just before my 8 week appointment, I began to see some light spotting. I remember feeling panicky and hoping it would just lighten up. It didn't. I read online
what the signs of a miscarriage were and thought "this doesn't sound good". The next day I went to work and checked in the bathroom multiple times hoping and praying (oh how I prayed!) that it would stop and that everything would be alright.

It wasn't. It got heavier and I began to cramp and things got worse from there (I won't go into details). I was devastated. The earth that I walked upon was completely shaken. I went to my 8 week appointment with still a glimmer of hope, maybe it was nothing (I was slightly delusional). I remember seeing all the pregnant women and hoping, with every fiber of my being, that I was to be round bellied like them in just a few months. Sadly, the doctor confirmed that I had, in fact, miscarried and that it happens to many women. He continued by saying "You can keep trying right away, you don't have to wait". That seemed to echo in my brain. "Yeah" I responded half heartedly. I hadn't really cried about it up to that point because I felt like if I did, it would make it more real. The doctor left the room and I just sobbed and sobbed in Chad's arms.

That was the most gut wrenching experience of my life. I was so happy only days before and it was taken away so swiftly, so carelessly. The feeling is something that you can only understand if you have gone through it. How silly, I wasn't even 8 weeks along but the anguish that one feels is unbearable. Chad called my work and let them know I wasn't going to be in for the day. We then went to breakfast to try and cheer me up (I really love food) but I just sat at Ihop and cried in the booth. My hormones were going crazy. I was still a little uncomfortable from the severe cramping and worst of all, I was no longer pregnant. We told very few people. I didn't want others to know, it was just too painful. I spent the remaining day in bed eating ice cream and crying with Chad. I was an absolute mess.

A few months later, I remember we were at the Washington Memorial with my family and we found out that my Sister was expecting her first baby. I cried and cried and cried. I wanted to be so happy for her but it just hurt so terribly. I felt so much guilt. I was literally walking around the memorial sobbing and my family didn't have any clue why. I felt terrible to kill her special announcement but I couldn't stop crying! Chad and I joked (through the tears) that I just really loved George Washington. Haha. I remember that I told my Mom and Dad on the trip what happened (they were actually missionaries in Hong Kong at the time but were with us in Washington DC for my Brother's wedding) and started sobbing again at a restaurant (I realize that I have cried at a lot of restaurants).

The following year was incredibly hard for me. I don't know if it was from the miscarriage itself but I struggled with severe anxiety. I didn't want to see people, even family or friends. I remember feeling like I just wanted to hide. Initially, Chad and I had planned on "trying" right after but we didn't really. We never really discussed it formerly but both silently felt like it wouldn't be right. It didn't feel right. I was not ready. Chad and I needed a lot of time to heal. Amazingly, the event only brought us closer. I couldn't have gone through that without him.

If you have gone through this same or similar experience, my heart goes out to you. Its a terrible feeling. Its so painful. And I am sorry. I wouldn't wish that experience on my worst enemy. But time does heal all wounds, you may be scarred and forever tender but it gets better. And if you know someone who has gone through this, be ever so kind. Allow them to feel sad. Validate their pain. Telling them that "this happens all the time" doesn't help (at least it didn't help me). That was their baby (even if it just looks like a gummy bear) and they lost it. I remember several months after, when the tears had finally dried up, Chad and I were talking about the experience. We wondered why it had to happen. Why did we have to go through such disappointment? I remember getting the distinct feeling that it would help me relate to other women. I hope this post reaches someone who needs it. Someone who is wanting to feel understood. I understand. And you can cry to me.

I don't think I fully got "over it" until I got pregnant with Geddy and the doctor confirmed that we were pregnant. Thats right, it took me 3 years. I believe it would have taken me even longer if the Lord hadn't practically shaken me to snap out of it. Holding that little ultrasound picture in my hand felt right. I knew that this was it, this was the real thing.

Geddy's ultrasound at 21 Weeks. Obviously not the 8 week ultrasound.

As horrible as this experience was, I can now look back and see that it was a mysterious blessing (the Lord works in very mysterious ways). Shortly after my miscarriage, I was in a car accident. A bad one. One that left my face totally messed up for a bit. I was taken away in an ambulance and I remember the Medic guy (is that what they are called?) asked if there was any chance that I could be pregnant. I gratefully said no, this accident could have severely hurt a baby. Chad also had a change in career paths. What he was originally planning on doing fell through and I needed to be working full time. We continued to move multiple times over the next two years. Chad and I look back and confidently know that the timing was just not right.

2 Days after our car accident. It hurt, real bad. Each morning my eyes would
be swollen shut for about a week. 

This post was a growing experience. Literally, a handful of people knew about this experience and now lots of people know (or like the 5 people who read this blog :)) And even though I have a bouncing 8 month old, its still tender. I currently have tears running down my face and a runny nose just revisiting the experience. But this is one more thing that totally defined me. It made me grow up. It made me even more grateful for the beautiful (and naughty) son that I currently have.

There you have it.

Happy Wednesday!


P.S. I am super sleepy now so forgive all the typos.

P.P.S. Did you see the sneak peek to our family pictures? Check it out here!


Alysha and Jason Whiting said...

Thanks so much for sharing this experience Hilary. What a moving blog post. And what a beautiful thing retrospect is. It's so nice to see where you are now, with a handsome little guy and know that things do get better and that things eventually work out and we learn what we need to learn. Thanks again.

Melissa said...

Okay, Hilary - I feel like a bit of a creep...seeing as how I've only met you a couple of times, but I have read a few of your posts, and just wanted to make my presence known.

I have been through this - and understand every single one of your emotions. Thanks for sharing this personal experience and reminding everyone out there that there is hope beyond the pain.

Cheers to you and your beautiful little family!

Haley said...

What a beautiful post. Oh how I wish I'd reached out to you during this time. I deeply regret those few years.

I'm blessed that I've never had a miscarriage but I think I still needed this post. Reading this will make me a more compassionate person when friends/family struggle with this heartache. It will also strengthen me should I ever have to face this crushing pain.

You are awesome!

ChotZ said...

I really appreciated this post Hilary. Thank you so much. I miscarried one week after I got laid off from PMI in April. Those next couple of months sucked and I'm still wondering why I had to go through it. The only think I can think of is to be able to help others and know how they feel. I'm sorry you had to go through that pain. I'm so glad you have a little guy now. I really hope it doesn't take me 3 years. :( Trying to have the faith I need to wait on the Lord's time. :) It's good to know that things get better and you start to feel happy again and that it is possible to 'get over it'. :) Thanks!! xoxo