Pieces of Me: My Miscarriage Story

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this post was originally published in October 2015

When Barry and I first started discussing a future family, I spent hours scouring Pinterest for creative, touching, and perfectly memorable ideas of how – when the time came – I would tell him that I was pregnant.

About a year later, here’s how it actually went down: I stumbled out of the bathroom one Friday night and wordlessly shoved the positive test into Barry’s chest (who wasn’t aware I had even taken a pregnancy test).

This child was so very, very much wanted. We wanted to start a family. A family that included a tiny person with maybe my red hair and stoicism, Barry’s dimples, and musical prowess. But still, I was scared. And I cried. And then I felt guilty for crying. And then I cried about feeling guilty for crying.

The reality staring at me from the little white stick in my hand made my chest hurt. I wanted to march back to Target, slap the test on the customer service counter and tell them to take it back. That I changed my mind. I wasn’t ready.

And then I sucked it up because it wasn’t about me anymore. And then I bought a crib and approximately 36 onesies.

I bonded with the embryo I was incubating and found myself talking to her (or him) when no one else was around. Topics of discussion primarily revolved around how nauseous I felt every hour of every day and if she (or he) could ease up on the hormone blitz, I’d find a way to repay the favor in about seven months.

We were nearing the end of the first trimester when an ultrasound confirmed what several weeks of spotting had already suggested — there was no heartbeat. I was given three options: let nature take its course and my body would eventually expel the uterine contents on its own, take medication to induce the process at home or schedule a dilation and curettage (D&C) for surgical removal.

I chose option number two and went home – pills in hand – to finish what nature already started.

I’ll skip the sanguineous details other than to say I took the pills the next morning and the contractions commenced shortly thereafter. The next few hours were a blur of pain and emotion. And then it was over.

Just kidding, it wasn’t really over. Two days later I woke up with a fever and ended up hospitalized with what’s known medically as a septic abortion (or septic miscarriage, if you prefer). As it turned out, I was among a small percentage of women for whom the pills don’t entirely work, which led to an infection requiring an emergency D&C.

The thing about miscarriages is that they’re not uncommon. They’re not taboo. And most importantly, they’re not your fault. Or my fault. Or anyone’s fault. But that doesn’t really mean much to someone who’s experienced one because ultimately, it’s losing a piece of yourself.

I’ll admit that I was a bit traumatized by the experience and without Barry by my side, I may have drowned in my own guilt. My original due date came and went and not only did I survive, but several months later, found myself staring at another positive pregnancy test.

Our baby girl is due this coming January and after a somewhat stressful first trimester, we’re elated that things are progressing beautifully. And for someone measuring roughly the size of a banana, her bladder kicks are no joke.

I don’t have a grand moral to this story or any sage advice with which to close, but please know that if you’ve experienced a pregnancy loss, I am so sorry. We’re unwitting members of a club that we never signed up for and despite being millions of women strong, it’s still a pretty lonely place to be. I get it.

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SSarah is a 30-something-year-old Minnesota native who is married to a very kind and exceptionally patient Irishman named Barry. Sarah, Barry, and their 15-year-old rescue pooch named Lady welcomed baby number one (a girl!) into their little Irish-American-Rottshepanese family in January of 2016. Sarah's journalism experience includes several years as a freelance writer for a handful of regional publications, including the Rochester Post-Bulletin. Prior to the arrival of baby Catherine, her parenting credentials included keeping a dog (the same dog!) alive for the better part of two decades and creeping on BabyCenter's "January 2016 Birth Club" message boards. When she's not changing diapers or repeating "please don't put that in your mouth" x100, Sarah enjoys reading, DIY projects (especially those involving spray paint), and watching murder shows that make her husband uncomfortable.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Beautifully written! I lost my baby boy at 15 weeks—it is scary, heartbreaking, and I felt like everywhere I turned there were reminders of what I didn’t have. I found an amazing counselor and soon discovered I was pregnant. My O has been the most amazing blessing, truely a rainbow 🙂

  2. Thank you for posting this Sarah you’ve done a wonderful job. Many of us never knew what kind of pain a miscarriage causes unless it was experienced ourselves. The emotional loss is as real as any other life loss but maybe even more so because we never truly knew them like we wanted to. I hope this blog reaches millions of ladies and you have done a wonderful job to help them, congratulations!!

  3. I love this. Until we went through one, I had no idea so many people had gone through this. Thank you for sharing this– too often it’s thought of taboo until people share, you feel that you are all alone on an island– hugs to you and Barry:)

  4. Perfectly stated. It’s so nice to hear women speaking so openly about their miscarriages. It wasn’t until I experienced one myself that I was aware of how many friends and family members had a loss of their own. Thank you Sarah!

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