Why does no one talk about this? Why is it treated like a forbidden word? One in every four KNOWN pregnancies will end in a miscarriage and yet no one talks about it.
Please don’t say everything happens for a reason. Don’t tell me it’s not my fault. I know it wasn’t my fault, I did everything just the way I was supposed to. I’m sure there WAS a reason behind why I miscarried, but that doesn’t help me heal right now. Just tell me that you’re there for me, ask me if I want to go to lunch or shopping, something to distract me. Send me a blanket and yoga pants (thanks Mom & Dad!) to be comfy while I sit at home on the couch crying mourning the loss of my unborn baby, not being able to talk to anyone about it because once again, you can’t talk about the forbidden word, miscarriage. It might make someone else uncomfortable.
I am unfortunately, one of the many women who have suffered from recurrent pregnancy loss. However, in my situation two out of three of those losses were considered vanishing twin syndrome.
Our first loss was around six weeks pregnant with our son, Deklan, who was conceived via in vitro fertilization (IVF). At that first ultrasound we could see two sacs, but only one heartbeat (Deklan’s).
Fast forward to when we decided it was time to try to conceive again, this time through intrauterine insemination (IUI). This was a lengthy process, which I will dive deeper into in another post.
The week I had my second miscarriage, our singleton baby, I had to work from home because of how much I was bleeding and had to be on bedrest. When I returned to work the following week, I had a client meeting with one of my colleagues. During our lunch with the client, my colleague announced that him and his wife were expecting their first child. You see, he had announced this at work the week prior, but I wasn’t there for the announcement, so I didn’t know. I was finding out at the same time as our client on my first day back in the office after my miscarriage. It took everything I had to keep my composure, and to show my “excitement” for him and his wife. This sounds horrible, I know, and I truly was excited for him and his wife, expecting is always an exciting time, but I had been trying to get pregnant with failed test after failed test. I finally got my positive and that same day I started miscarrying just a little over a week prior to his announcement.
I kept it together just long enough to make it back to the office where I then lost it. Why can everyone else get pregnant so easily, while I am over here giving myself injections (fertility treatments), reading every label in the grocery store, adding meditation & yoga to my daily routine, not drinking ANY caffeine. (Did you know that even decaf coffee has some caffeine in it? I did the research, it’s safe to drink decaf coffee during pregnancy because it’s such a small amount, but I wasn’t risking anything.) This goes back to the whole, I know it wasn’t my fault thing I talked about, because I made sure I didn’t do anything that I could look back on and think if only I hadn’t done this or that.
A few months later we experienced our third and final loss, when we found out we were pregnant with triplets. I had severe bleeding at six weeks and had to be taken to the emergency room, as it was early on a Sunday morning. We knew I was pregnant at this time, but at my previous doctor’s appointments it had been too early to check for heartbeats. At that ER visit the sonographer not only confirmed pregnancy, but also informed me that there was not one but THREE hearts beating. Since I had fertility treatments and it was so early on, I was told to follow up with my doctor the following day. At that appointment, I had another ultrasound done and was told that while all three babies had heartbeats, my sweet baby B was not going to make it, as their heart was not beating strong enough, and that by my next appointment the heart will have stopped and we would eventually watch the baby and then their sac disappear.
During this pregnancy is when I realized people may also envy me and wonder, why I can “so easily” get pregnant because they didn’t know my whole past. I had announced my now twin pregnancy to the office. A co-worker, who I didn’t really know that well but just said hi to in passing, stopped me and said, “Isn’t it so great that you’re expecting TWINS?!” I responded with, “Yes, and terrifying”. Because IT WAS terrifying, but it was also amazing!
You see, after this little run in, I overheard her make a comment to someone else, “She should be more thankful, there are people who would kill to be pregnant.” I should have called her out on it so that she could know, I AM ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE, but I didn’t because that’s just not my style. Instead, I went back to my desk and vented to another co-worker who I had gotten close to.
See this is part of the problem with the whole miscarriage thing. She didn’t know what I had been through, so she just assumed that I basically sneezed and got pregnant. She didn’t know about all the procedures I had been through, the thousands of dollars we had spent, all the doctor’s appointments, the losses, and all of the failed pregnancy tests. All that she knew was that I was expecting twins and that I didn’t seem overly excited about it because I said that it was “terrifying”.
This was a lesson that I am glad to have learned. It made me look back and realize that I am sure not every pregnancy that I saw posted on Facebook or Instagram happened so easily. I am not alone in this journey, it just seems like it because it’s not something people openly talk about, including myself.
We are beyond grateful for the kids that we do have, but that doesn’t take away the pain of losing the babies we never even got to hold, let alone know.
Let’s put the number of miscarriages into perspective for you. Think about how many sets of twins you know or see. Now, think about the fact that out of every 1,000 births about 33 of those are twins. We’re talking about 25% of KNOWN pregnancies ending in miscarriage in comparison to 3% of pregnancies resulting in a twin birth. Next time you hear of someone having a miscarriage, please don’t shy away from the subject. Let them know that you hear them and you’re sorry for their loss. If they’re anything like me, they’re going to need time alone, and that’s okay. Take or send them food, send them a care package, do something that lets them know they aren’t alone and that you are there, and that you understand that this is big.