If you are a miscarriage survivor or have lost a child in any capacity, my heart is with you! Today’s blog post is fairly personal. I want to put it out there in case someone reads this and can get a tiny bit of comfort from my experiences. Read on for my story, and I hope you get some comfort from it.
My Miscarriage Journey Changed Me
It was November 2015. We were hanging out at home and I was starting to really feel under the weather. I started exhibiting all the signs of a bladder infection or a UTI. At the time, we didn’t have any health insurance, so a trip to the ER is where we headed. After doing all the normal stuff they do to diagnose and treat, the doctor came back into our room. He said the words I’ll never forget.
“You have a really bad bladder infection and a positive pregnancy test.”
You could have bowled me over with a feather! I was stunned! Shocked! Amazed! We’d been married nine years at that point and hadn’t been blessed with any babies yet. This news came as a complete surprise because we had pretty much given up on trying the natural way. My other half started jumping up and down and celebrating, and I just sat on the exam table, shaking and crying. I was so incredibly happy.
I’d watched my two younger sisters have kids, and now it was my turn.
I went home that night and couldn’t sleep, even though I was exhausted. Instead, I stayed up and started working on a baby blanket. As I was crocheting the start of what I hoped would be my new baby’s blessing blanket, I let my mind wander. What would she look like? Would he have my eyes or my husband’s nose? We’re a mixed-race couple, so what would her skin and hair look like? Would she like the same things I grew up liking, or would he be a musician like his daddy? My brain wouldn’t shut down.
Over the next few weeks there were doctor’s appointments and baby registry, and reading about labor and delivery. I was watching what I was eating and drinking, and getting a little nervous about a pregnancy in my health condition. I was overweight and had diabetes, so I was nervous about the little person’s health, and my own. I had a fear in the back of my mind about a possible miscarriage, but I tried to quiet those and just be excited.
On the morning before my first gyno appointment, I went to the restroom and saw a smear of blood on the toilet paper. I started panicking and crying because I knew I was having a miscarriage. I called my doctor’s office and told them what was happening, and they told me to come in right away. My husband was at work, but he left early and met me at the doctor’s. When the news finally came in, I wasn’t surprised, because it was confirming what I already knew in my heart.
I was having a miscarriage.
My husband tells me that I went into a dazed state and checked out. I don’t remember how we got home, or the next few days even. I do remember sitting on the bed Sunday morning ready to leave for church and just completely breaking down. I was sure I’d done something wrong, I hadn’t eaten the right food,
I’d drank too much Diet Coke, I’d taken ibuprofen, something to cause this to happen.
I was sure it was my fault and no one could convince me otherwise.
I know now that my body just wasn’t healthy enough to carry the baby full term, and I have a condition that causes my blood to clot when I’m pregnant that caused the miscarriage. At the time, I felt so alone and isolated. Was I the only one that had ever gone through this? What could I have done differently to save my baby? Now I would never get to meet her.
This miscarriage had completely broken me.
It took a few months, but I started to feel a little more normal. I still had a heavy heart and was still raw emotionally, but I was able to carry on everyday tasks again and felt a little more human. I was still mourning our loss, but I wasn’t completely wrapped up in it all the time, and I felt normal a good portion of the time.
And then in February 2016, I was pregnant again. I immediately started to panic because I didn’t know if I could go through another miscarriage. I freaked out when I saw the positive sign on the test and started crying. I wanted this baby as much or more than I wanted the last one.
But what if I lost this one too?
My sister was about to have my nephew in a few weeks and I was flying home to stay with her and help with the new baby. Before I left I had a checkup at the doctor’s office. All my tests came back with positive numbers, and everything was looking good. I was too early to do an ultrasound, so I got clearance to fly back home as long as I took care of myself.
There was a little nephew born in March 2016. I was staying with her and her husband and was feeling so sick and so tired I could barely move. I hated it, but I loved it because wasn’t this how you were supposed to feel while you were pregnant? My nephew was the most adorable little person I’d laid eyes on, and I spent the next couple of weeks cuddling him and helping out his mama and daddy. When it got to the point that they started taking care of me because I was so sick, I knew it was time to go home.
Once home we went back to the doctor’s office to get that ultrasound.
I’ll remember that moment for the rest of my life. The tech doing all kinds of screenshots, and not answering any questions. I knew in my heart that we’d lost this one too.
When the doctor confirmed it a few minutes later, I was numb.
I couldn’t handle losing another baby. I sat in a daze while he told me that the baby had died at seven weeks, and I’d need to have the pregnancy cleaned out medically because my body hadn’t started doing it on its own yet.
After the procedure, life went back to normal as much as it could. I was still raw and trying to heal. I felt so isolated and so alone. I didn’t have a support system, and my husband was having a hard time processing everything himself. I read online about others stories and how they were having rainbow babies after their losses. I’d never heard the term “rainbow baby” before so I looked it up.
What I read gave me so much hope, peace, and light.
A rainbow baby is a baby that you get after your loss. It’s the rainbow after the storm that brightens your world and eases your heartache. What a wonderful way to look at it! Hearing this description, and reading about all the other stories helped me in my own grief journey so much.
It’s been three years since the last miscarriage happened. And while I’m never going to be fully “over it” or “healed” I am better. I have joined a community of people that have had similar experiences, and have found out medical information about my body that explains about my losses.
Most important of which I realized that it was not my fault.
I didn’t’ do anything to cause this to happen. We haven’t been blessed with our own rainbow yet, but I know in God’s perfect timing that we will have that blessing.
I am forever changed since that experience three years ago. I had heard of miscarriage and loss before, but I hadn’t really thought about the people attached to those stories. I almost wrote them off as insignificant. “You can just try again, no big deal”. Those are the WORST things you can say to a person who’s lost a child. And an unborn baby is a child. I will never think those things again, and I will always empathize and cry with parents who have gone through a loss.
Rainbow baby stories are my favorite thing now!
They give me so much joy to hear about how mom and dad beat the odds and were able to bring them into the world. Rainbows have become even more special to me since my own loss experience. And so when my friend asked me to be part of #rainbowweek and join her for a giveaway, I was thrilled!
Not only did I get to use up some yarn scraps to make an amazing blanket, I would be able to be part of the celebrations going on during rainbow week!
I made up this adorable little blanket with rainbow babies on my heart the whole time. It measures 38”X39”. Soft and squishy and it has so much texture! This is the perfect size for baby to use for tummy time or a car seat cover!
I’m teaming up with two other amazing makers to bring you this rainbow baby giveaway. One lucky winner will win everything pictured here! You will get this blanket, the gorgeous rainbow tumbler, and a memorial rainbow baby keepsake to hang in your home. Altogether this is valued at over $120!
This giveaway will be open until midnight Saturday, March 16th, 2019 and we will announce the winners on Instagram on March 17th. Each person entering has over 30 chances to win if you complete all the entries! (You can share the giveaway once a day for an additional five entries each share!)
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. And thank you for all the support and love. If you are a family struggling with infant or child loss or are a family celebrating a rainbow baby, I see you, and my heart is with you.
Update: The giveaway is now closed. Thank you for all the wonderful entries!