My hands nervously fidgeted with my purse as I sat in the waiting room. I hoped against hope that my intuition was wrong this time. They called us to the ultrasound room- the same one that brought the last round of bad news. I felt nauseous and terrified as the tech began. I reached over and squeezed my husband’s hand, thinking if I squeezed hard enough somehow things would be fine. The typical miscarriage symptoms were absent, but this baby still felt doomed from the start. My heart knew what was coming again, despite previously good lab results and ultrasounds. Not more than a minute passed before the tech confirmed, “I’m so sorry.”
After giving birth to two wonderful, healthy sons, I experienced multiple miscarriages in a row. Pregnancy loss is very common, and although recurrent losses are less common, it’s still something many women go through. We all know someone touched by miscarriage, yet it is still somewhat of a taboo topic. I found myself in uncharted territory.
There’s so much no one tells you about miscarriage.
No one tells you that it is not like a heavy period. Even if the physical side of things resembles a period, the emotional weight makes it feel so much worse. No one shares that you’ll wake up from your D&C and see a little white container of “medical waste” housing what’s left of your baby’s tiny body. Or, if you miscarry at home, you’ll panic that you flushed your baby and they didn’t know you cared. No one tells you that it isn’t over after a day, a week, or even a month sometimes. And those pregnancy symptoms? No one tells you they’ll stick around awhile longer.
No one tells you that you’ll take it personally. Even though it’s not your fault, you will blame yourself and scrutinize every decision from those weeks. No one tells you that most people will be kind, but you’re going to take some condolences the wrong way. You won’t expect to feel “out of it” and so unlike yourself, but that’s the new reality. You will feel emotionally raw for some time. No one tells you that you’ll think your husband doesn’t care, possibly accusing him of such. . . only to find out months later that he cared just as deeply; he was strong for YOU.
All of this is overwhelming in the moment, but here’s what else no one tells you:
No one tells you how, if you allow it, this experience will make you stronger and more resilient. You will fully embrace every blessing and good thing in your life. No one shares that you will gain immense clarity on what’s truly important and the true significance of people and relationships.
You will have more compassion for others. No one tells you that losing something that may seem silly or small to most everyone else really opens your eyes to caring without passing judgement. You will be a better listener, more patient, and realize the value of small acts of kindness.
No one tells you that you will finally have the courage to be yourself. You will stop worrying so much about what everyone thinks of you. You will nurture your true friendships and let the rest go. You’ll scale back your schedule without guilt because your priorities are straight. You will try new things and find you’re braver than you thought. You’ll find your voice and be able to help so many others.
No one tells you how someone so very small can change your life in such big ways.
This journey is not something anyone would choose. In my own life, I have to believe that God allowed this to teach me, to challenge me, to make me better. It isn’t easy, but something worthwhile can come of it. If you hang in there, sweet mom, you’ll find that when the season of grieving is over, you have been made beautiful in ways you never expected.
The most important thing no one tells you about miscarriage is this: even though you didn’t bring that baby home the way you wanted, you will always carry them with you.