For my first blog post, I want to share the story of my first miscarriage. Even though one in four women experience pregnancy loss, their experiences and feelings are not often discussed. I feel as though society expects women to silently carry this burden, as though their unborn child “doesn’t count”. When I miscarried in May of 2015, I desperately needed someone to understand what I was going through. I connected with a girl from my hometown who had mentioned her miscarriage on social media. Unfortunately, I felt like support was limited, and hard to find. I knew the statistics concerning women that miscarried, but, where were these people? None of my family nor my close friends had every miscarried. THIS is why I choose to share my story. I want to spread awareness of the ugly reality of miscarriage, and I want others to know they are not alone in their pain.
This lack of support, and my own personal inexperience left me petrified. I had just traveled from Amarillo to Lubbock for my sister-in-law’s wedding shower. Upon arrival, I noticed some spotting in my underwear. Since this was my first pregnancy, I became very distraught, and called my mother. She assured me some light spotting was normal. I stuck it out for the entire wedding shower, but I couldn’t help but feel something was wrong. I headed back home that afternoon and noticed worsening cramps. When I arrived home, my husband had me lay down on the couch, and we called the doctor who also said some spotting and mild cramping was nothing to be concerned about. However, the pain intensified greatly within a couple of hours. My husband rushed me to the hospital, and with just a couple of miles left to go, it began. I felt my body gush blood, and I knew right then, my pregnancy was over. The hospital staff brought a wheelchair out to the car and pulled me out of the blood-stained seat of my husband’s truck.
They got me in a room immediately and had me put on a gown. I felt an intense urge to use the restroom, so my husband helped me walk to the bathroom because I was unable to do so on my own with the intensity of the pain in my entire mid-section. I have no words to describe how frightening that bathroom experience was. I thought I had already lost a lot of blood, but when I sat on the toilet, it was as though my body was trying to drain every last ounce. It sounded like I dumped a bucket of water. The lack of control just wrought my mind and body with complete agony. The staff gave me some “granny panties” and a large pad which had to be changed multiple times during my short stay.
The waiting period was grueling because I wanted a definite answer about my unborn baby, and because I was in excruciating pain, but was not allowed pain meds until the miscarriage was confirmed. A woman performed an initial ultrasound but was not allowed to interpret the results. I had to wait on the doctor to do that. The doctor came and did a second test and examination. He used a tool, and removed the placenta and fetus from my body, and placed them in a test jar. I was 9 ½ weeks along and couldn’t bear to look. I glanced for just a second and saw that it was about the size of a grape. The start of my blood loss on the way to the hospital, and this moment still bring me to tears. The memory is forever burned into my mind, and sometimes, it feels as if I’m re-living it all over again. After the confirmation, I was given pain killers, and released within a couple of hours.
I thought that the pain would have mostly ended after the fetus was removed, but it worsened that evening. I felt pain throughout my entire abdomen and butt. It felt as though my intestines and organs were contracting. Despite the meds I had received through iv at the hospital, and my prescribed narcotics, I felt more pain than I ever had in my previous twenty-five years of life. It was not until the following evening that I felt any relief at all.
For months after my miscarriage, I fell into extreme depression. I cried myself to sleep every night and woke up crying most mornings. I found no joy in my usual favorite hobbies, and I despised every pregnant woman, and anyone with children. There was a constant struggle in my mind to understand the unfairness of the situation. I wondered why I couldn’t get pregnant, yet, so many morally deficient women seem to pop kids out every year. I became a new person, full of envy and hurt.
Fortunately, joy has since been restored to my life. I am now a foster mother (soon-to-be adoptive mother) to a beautiful two-year-old boy. God has proven his faithfulness and grace by bringing this child into my life who shares a birthday with the due date of my miscarried baby. If that was not enough reassurance for me, my child’s name also means “divine gift”.
I urge other women (those that feel comfortable) to share their stories. You never know who your story may help or who may reach out to you in the future for support. I plan to follow up on my story with details of helpful versus harmful words for those that are grieving, and also how my husband handled our loss in his own way.
Summer Hilliard - The Hope & Healing Place Volunteer and Blog Contributor
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