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Pain, loss, hope and life after a miscarriage

This post was published several years ago back in June 2011. I am posting it fresh today because this loss is fresh on my mind and I am in the thick of life after a miscarriageI am so excited to be working with two amazing friends and fellow bloggers, Kristi Dalnoky from Klover House and Becky Mansfield from Your Modern Family. We have been writing a book all about our experiences with miscarriage and how we are managing this loss. We are so excited to announce that it is finished and released to you! Click here to read more about the book and then click here to download it.

Our hope is that this book will help other grieving mothers out there who unfortunately will go though this too. When we first experienced our miscarriages, there weren’t many resources available to read. Our hope is that mothers know that they are not alone. 
Today, I think about my loss and pray for all the other mamas out there going through similar experiences. Hugs to you. 

Pain, loss, hope and seeing life in a new way – life can change so quickly. So many emotions when a miscarriage happens. Faith is questioned.
Sometimes we find ourselves in the impossible.

We are completely lost. We prepare ourselves for so many things. Yet, when we least expect it, our worlds can be totally turned upside down. Everything can change in a blink of an eye.
On February 13th, 2011, I took a test. Positive. I took another. Positive again. Brian was in our office paying bills and I smiled and said, “You are going to be a daddy again.” He was absolutely thrilled. He stood up and gave me a big bear hug and a kiss. I was scared as hell.

I suppose from the beginning I had a feeling in my gut something wasn’t right. I felt very apprehensive about sharing our news, but the hubster was so excited so I agreed to tell our close family one Sunday afternoon -we were 6 and a half weeks. This time felt different compared to Madilyn. My energy was really low. I just didn’t feel good at all. I could barely walk around the block without wanting to take a nap. Forget training for the 1/2 marathon I just signed up for. I just thought to myself, “every pregnancy is different.” I started taking my weekly pregnancy photos. Like the “perfect” mama I strive to be, I better do everything for this baby that I did for Madilyn! No pressure, right?

On March 19th we had a wedding in Philadelphia. I left Madilyn with Mam-Maw and Pappy overnight for the first time. I cried my eyes out as we drove away. I enjoyed the wedding, sober of course, with a bun in the oven.

On March 24th, I went into my OB/GYN’s office for a routine appointment. She asked me how I am feeling. I told her “like shit.” She said “that’s normal this early on.” She searched for a heart beat. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. “No worries,” she says. “This is still so early but let’s get an ultrasound scheduled anyway.” Okie dokie. I began to panic. No heart beat? WTF? Ultrasound scheduled for March 31st. Yes my friends, I was asked to wait a damn week. I was pissed and scared out of my mind.
Two days later, my sisters and I throw my parents a surprise 35th wedding anniversary party with all of their closest friends and family. They are completely surprised. Brian and I decide to tell a few more people that Madilyn is going to be a big sister! Hugs all around.
The next day, our sweet Madilyn is baptized at our church and we have a celebration at our house. I use the restroom and I have some spotting. “Oh no,” I remember saying out loud. “Interesting,” I thought to myself. I pull Brian out of the crowd and tell him what is going on. My husband, “the glass is always half-full” man, tells me all is OK. I know in my gut something is wrong. I feel cramping. Not good. Later that night the bleeding gets a little heavier so I call the on-call doctor and she says to rest. Ok lady, I have a toddler. “Absolutely,” I say to her. “I will be a good girl.” Of course, because I am a chronic perfectionist, I go back to the party, put on a happy face, clean dishes. Yeah I was on my feet until like 11 PM.

That night I wake up around 3 AM with gut wrenching cramps. I knew at that moment I was losing this pregnancy. I woke Brian up frantically. Being the optimist that he is, he said not to worry. He immediately gets on his Blackberry and begins Googling “early miscarriage” and “spotting.” God love him. I cried myself to sleep in Brian’s arms that night.
The next morning I wake up around 7 AM, the cramps worsening and I was losing so much blood. Brian calls the doctor for me. They can fit me in a 11 AM. Oh thanks. Thanks for getting me in so soon assholes. My mom comes over and holds me while I cry like a baby in my bed. I am scared. I am ashamed. I am embarrassed. So damn embarrassed.
It was so painful. I am not sure what is worse, the physical, mental or the emotional pain. I cry the entire way to the hospital. My poor husband doesn’t really know what to say or do.
I get to the doctor’s and they rush me over to get an ultrasound.
“No, nothing is there,” the ultrasound tech says to me. “I am sorry.” “You have passed everything.” I sob like a baby. I knew my baby was gone but it hurt like hell to get that verification.
Nothing. Passed everything. These words haunted me the entire day. The entire month. They still do at times. No offense against the tech, I know she was doing her job but it all sounded so technical. So rigid. So harsh. That “nothing” is my child. My second child. He/she was going to be Madilyn’s little sister or brother.

The doctor wanted to see me again so we go into her office and she confirmed AGAIN that “it’s gone.” “There is nothing you did wrong,” she says. How does she know that? Was that just her way of trying to make me feel better? She said that most likely there was a chromosomal problem and miscarrying is my body’s way of “getting rid of it because my body knows best.” She gave me a script for Vicotin. I am not much of a pain pill kinda person but I filled that damn prescription. It numbed the pain. It numbed my mind for a couple days. All I wanted to do was cry and hold Madilyn. I was numb.

I felt like such a failure. I didn’t want to talk or see anyone. I was so incredibly embarrassed. People sent beautiful flowers. I didn’t return phone calls. I texted my girlfriends the news. I couldn’t talk on the phone. I felt like such a loser.

I am a health coach for goodness sake. How could this happen to me? I exercise. I eat well. What the hell? What am I going to tell my students and clients? I panicked and cried some more.
Every day since I lost my child, I have gotten stronger. I will never forget. However, I am grateful for the experience now. I can finally see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. Three months later, I finally have the strength to share my story today with you.
My sweet baby, I am so sorry I never got to meet you. I tried my best to take care of myself while I was helping you grow. I did the best I could. Thank you for for all that you have taught me. You have helped me see myself and my life in a whole new way. Thank you for teaching me that I am not perfect and that I don’t have to be. Thank you for bringing mommy and daddy closer. Thank you for giving me the push I needed to live in the moment and be grateful for everything I do have in my beautiful life. Thank you for helping me put my guard down and show the real me. Thank you for letting me see your big sister, Madilyn, in a whole new way. Thank you. I love you so much. I’ll see you in my dreams.

Of course, I wish I was still pregnant and expecting our second child in October. I admit that I am scared as hell to get pregnant again. What else could go wrong, I think to myself? I’ll never know but is that fear worth not taking the chance of having another amazing child? Absolutely not. I am not ready yet but I have faith that I will in the future. One day at a time. Bring it on universe. I am ready.

How have you overcome loss? What is your light at the end of the tunnel? I would love to hear your story.

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  1. Betsy-I have tears in my eyes as I read this. Thank you for being so brave to share your story with us. You are so strong and powerful!

  2. I have suffered a loss.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I loved it and appreciated it so much.
    Peace to you beautiful strong mama!

    1. I had 2 miscarriages in 1990, the first was a positive ept but was gone by the time I was able to get to the Dr office. The second I carried 20 weeks, I was able to hold him and get pictures. We named him Michael, an angel of the Lord. I lost another in 1991 along with my mother. And I lost my father and another baby in 1992. After this loss, I through a fit with our insurance and was able to get a referral to a high risk specialist and he determined that the reason I could not carry a pregnancy was because my uterus was full of scar tissue caused by the d/c after our loss of Michael. He did surgery to remove the scar tissue and started me on Clomid. (by this time I was 40 yo.) I was able to carry the resulting pregnancy for 7 1/2 months, with severe hyper-emesis and gestational diabetes. and had a 7lb 2 oz baby boy. He was the biggest preemie in the nursery. Then I had another miscarriage in1994. To say I the least,
      I was an emotional wreck. The one thing that got me through was a book called “I’ll Hold You In Heaven” by Jack Hayford. He talked about my babies DNA determined what they would look like as young adults and that heaven would not be full of babies but that we would meet the young adults that our children were meant to be.

  3. Oh Betsy, I am so sorry that you had to go through that. Huge ((Hugs))! The loss of a child in never easy, no matter when it happens!
    I unfortunately know how you feel and what you are going through all too well! We lost out first Angel in the early 2000. I didn’t even know I was Pregnant until I started bleeding so heavily and cramping so bad I couldn’t get out of bed and go to Nursing school! You’d think a almost ready to graduate nurse would know she was Pregnant, duh, even when we weren’t trying! It took us over a year and surgery to get Pregnant again in 2005. We were beyond excited when we went in for our first ultrasound and found out it was TWINS! I couldn’t wait to share the news with everyone. Sadly, we lost Gracie’s twin at 13wks. I was crushed! We had now warning at all! Gracie and her twin had both had strong heartbeats from 7wk on! I spent the rest of my pregnancy worrying and praying everyday! We had another loss after our first IVF last month. It was very early on at 4wks 5days, it still hurts! It took us almost 4 1/2 yrs, 2 surgeries, 8 IUI’s, countless Fertility meds and an IVF to just see two pink lines again!
    I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to be surrounded by friends and family during our losses. I am very Blessed to work with a wonderful group of supportive people. Who have been throught everything with us. They have laughed, cried and rejoiced along side of me. They always are waiting with Hugs and kind words when I need them. Branden has been my rock through it all! Infertily and Loss are hard on both of us but together we have made it and are a stronger couple for it!
    Don’t be afraid! Have Faith that God will Bless you again with another Child :)! I have spent countless nights Praying for another Miracle, asking God for the Courage, Strenght, and Faith to keep trying! I Thank Him everyday for Gracie, for she is my Miracle Baby! I know we have two frozen embryo’s to try one more time next month, I have Faith that they will be our Prayer answered! If for some reason they are not I am so thankful for God’s love and Him Blessing us with Gracie!
    Danielle (Gricar) Allen

  4. I waited until I got home to read his because I knew it would be written from the heart and make me sad again. Thank you for being so strong, Betsy and for being an amazing mother to Madi Ann.
    I miss you little baby Moore. You were loved by many before we even had time to meet you. xoxo

  5. Betsy, so many women suffer through this, myself included, and are told it’s common, it’s nothing we did, it’s…normal even. But yet we are all so shocked when it happens, I really wish more people would tell their stories and be open about this very real piece of being a woman.

    1. It is amazing how many people are telling me their stories about loss. So powerful. Thank you for everything Michelle. Your support has been life changing for me. I am so grateful!

  6. beautiful sharing of such an amazingly tough time, it is so confusing and so sad. I remember after my first miscarriage I felt such a depth of emotion that even though I was so sad I felt that I was also able to be happy in a way I had never been before, appreciating life in a new way. I had 3 miscarriages and now am blessed with 3 children, I think that is a beautiful life exchange.

    1. Love this Hannah! “Beautiful life exchange.” I couldn’t agree more! Thank you so very much for your encouragement. You helped me post this. I am honored to be working with you!

  7. Betsy, thank you for sharing your story. So many women feel like they need to hide a miscarriage from everyone – they feel ashamed, embarrased, angry, sad, etc. By sharing your experience it will help other women heal and feel more comfortable sharing their stories. You are amazing woman, Betsy. xoxo

  8. Bets, I should have never read this while at work – it made me cry. You are such a strong and incredible woman. Thank you for sharing your story. Love ya!

  9. Betsy, I have tears in my eyes. Thank you for being so brave and transparent. I agree with Michelle that this is real piece of being a woman that people don’t really talk about so thank you for sharing your story.

    1. Thank you so much Penina. It is amazing how many women have admitted to me their own struggles with pregnancy since I posted my story. So powerful. 🙂

  10. I am so sorry to hear the news, please let me know if there is anything we can do. You are strong and have a wonderful family that will help get you to the next chapter.

  11. Betsy,
    So sorry to hear about your loss. Your story is heart felt and encouraging to other women who have also suffered a loss. I lost a son in 2006 at 25 weeks, so I can relate to your range of emotions. I spent 18 days in AGH pretty much waiting for the inevitable, while hoping for the best. It was very hard to leave the hospital empty-handed. On the bright side, my daughter Gabriella was born less than a year later (we didn’t wait long) and the pregnancy went as planned and she was perfectly healthy 🙂 I did have some anxiety after she was born and I was very protective of her for awhile, but I think that was to be expected after just losing a baby. Give yourself time to heal and don’t fear the unknown (moms have enough to worry about). Take care and thanks for sharing your story.

  12. Oh Betsy – I’m just reading this blog post now, a month later. I’m so sorry for your loss and all the pain, frustration and sadness that goes along with it. Thank you for sharing!

  13. Thank you, Betsy. I still feel the pain of having 2 miscarriages after Max, and knowing Max will be an only child. Sometimes it is hard for me to wrap my head around. It is what it is. God has a different plan for me. That is the only way I can make sense of it.

  14. Betsy
    i too suffered a miscarriage last year. In june 2011, i was 8 1/2 weeks and i started to spot but not much at all i called my dr and they sent me to the hospital for an ultrasound and discovered that there was something wrong. i was scheduled 2 days later for a d&c, worst part was my hubby was out of town doing an adoption for CYS in nebraska and felt awful he couldnt come home until the day after my procedure, thank god for my parents who held my hand through it. the procedure went well but i was so scared. 2 weeks later i returned to the drs to review my labs from the procedure and they had told me that i had a molar pregnancy, which is a rare case, due to this type of pregnancy i couldnt try to get pregnant for at least 6 months, they needed to make sure that they got everything out becuase if they didnt it could develop into cancer. so for 8 months i went for blood work to check all my levels, i was cleared in february! and now being 32 weeks and everything going well i am ok to know talk about it. my due date is 11 months exactly from when i should have delivered last time. i am anxious to meet this one and to know she is ok!!!

  15. Betsy,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. You are a terrific mom and a super strong woman. Thank you for sharing your story so beautifully with us. It made me cry and thank God for the blessings I have. Here’s hugs to you and know you are in my prayers!
    You are an inspiration in so many ways!

  16. Betsy,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. It is so brave and authentic of you to share your story. So many women experience this and don’t talk about it. Good on you, mama.
    I just completed a miscarriage that started Sept 1 and went on for 6 weeks. Yeesh. I started spotting and it took a good week and a half to intensify. But I found out 5 days into it that “there was a gestational sac, but nothing was in it.” The embryo never developed. I was 11 weeks when I found this out.
    It’s strange that even before I became pregnant, I had a sense that I would miscarry. I chalked it up to fear because my mom had 3 and so many friends have had them. But I guess that’s mother’s intuition for you. My pregnancy symptoms were also very mild, so I knew something was up. But like you, I told myself “every pregnancy is different”, but you just know!
    Thankfully, I didn’t need a D&C and I let things take their course, and I finally passed the tissue after a month. I continued to bleed for another 2 weeks, and I am finally feeling human again. It’s such a long and hard road, and there are so many emotions flying around…not to mention pregnancy hormones!
    Be gentle with yourself and allow as much time as you need to heal (not how long other people think you need).
    Thanks again for sharing and allowing others to share too.

  17. I’m so sorry for your loss. I too have suffered two losses in 2014. Back to back. It was like being shot, surviving…only to be shot again! Fear began to set in that I would never be able to carry a baby to full term. People would say “well at least you can get pregnant. Some can’t even do that”. How the eff is that supposed to make me feel better? “You’re pregnant but guess what? You’ll never hold your baby(ies)” STFU people! The months following my D&C were so stressful. Each month was another disappointment. I started charting and temping and it really made me feel better about TTC again. I felt like it was helping me learn about my body and sure enough after the first month of temping, I got a positive test! Had my first appointment early because of previous losses so at 6 weeks 5 days, we got to see the flicker of our babies heartbeat. A weight was lifted! Two weeks later we went back for another sono and to our complete surprise, there were now TWO babies! I was pregnant with identical twins! They turned out to be two girls! My little blessings! My rainbow babies! They will be turning one on May 4th! Don’t lose hope! Your blessing will arrive when you are ready!

  18. Betsy,
    I am so sorry for your loss. I share in your grief.
    We found out we were expecting our second baby in Nov 2015. We were so excited. At around 8 weeks, we broke the news to our immediate family on Christmas Day. Our one-year old daughter, Riley, opened her present, and it had a little elf shirt that said” I am going to be a big sister.” My husband and I were so thrilled that we were having our second. I called my OB/GYN to make an appointment but I could not get an appointment until Jan 13th. We went in for out first US expecting to see our babies healthy. The US tech had a worried look and kept stating “I can’t find a heart beat.” She looked and looked. The babies were measuring perfectly…Yes, I said babies…We were having twins. Identical twins. At least, we thought we were having them. My doctor spent almost an hour consoling me and explaining the logistics. We later found out they had a chromosomal defect, trisomy 13. There was nothing we could do. It’s been almost 3 months since my D&C, and I am dreading the month of July. They would have been born in July. It’s been a struggle to lose my babies, but as you stated, it has made me stronger, and I appreciate my husband and my baby, Riley, so much more.
    Thank you for sharing your grief and thank you for letting me share mine.

    1. Oh Mercy, thank you for sharing your story and I am truly sorry for your loss. Sending you a big hug. Find a way to celebrate your heaven babies in July. I say you have two cakes and talk to Riley all about them. Hugs! XOXO

  19. Thank you for sharing your story.
    After 2 beautiful, healthy children I have experienced 3 losses – each one more painful than the last. The hardest was 18 weeks into the pregnancy.
    Bad luck is the only explanation we got & that we should keep trying but I don’t think I can go through it again.
    It is possibly one of the hardest things to endure & talk about.
    Not many people can understand the pain, especially those who say ‘it’s ok, you already have 2 kids’ but it’s never ok.
    It’s comforting to know that somewhere out there people understand you & can talk about hope after such a tragic event.

    1. Thank you Gabriella. Yes, not many people understand unless they are in this “club” like us. The more we all talk about it and support each other, the better. Hugs!

  20. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s so hard to share something so personal but it helps to know you’re not alone.
    I found out I was pregnant for the first time April 2nd, 2014. My husband and I were elated! I set my appointment was set for the 8 week mark. A couple of weeks before my appointment I was taking a nap and I had a dream that I was looking over myself sleeping and I was yelling at something saying “you can’t hurt me! I have a baby! Don’t hurt the baby!” Then I tucked myself in, I was looking over my body as I was doing so. I didn’t feel right after that but I brushed it off not thinking anything of it. Two days later I was at work and I went to the bathroom and I was bleeding. I asked my boss if I could leave early and she offered to take me to the hospital, but I wasn’t in pain and I wanted to pick my husband up to go with me. The bleeding wouldn’t stop but no clots and no pain. My levels were still duplicating but since it was so early I was reassured by the technician that it’s not uncommon to not detect the heartbeat at that point. So I followed up with my doctor at the appointment I already had set. I was anxious but I was in denial that anything was wrong. She did an ultrasound and still no heartbeat. I was still in denial. She sent me to a more updated office for a more accurate ultrasound and still no heartbeat. They kept mentioning if I knew I had a bicornuate uterus which I had no idea what that was. rhe baby wasn’t expelled, just there, I carried a dead baby inside me until the 13th week, waiting for it to leave on its own. I had told everyone at my job that I was pregnant and then I had to tell them that I miscarried. I had a D&C the day after Mother’s Day. I felt like I couldn’t breathe for what felt like was forever. I still asked my OB to do an ultrasound in the OR before they did anything, she printed the picture. At the time my best friend was pregnant with me, she was 3 months ahead. She was also my boss. It felt like a slap in the face from God, but I know I was just mourning. I needed to blame someone, something.
    We waited 3 cycles and became pregnant again in September 2014, I didn’t burst into tears of joy this time. I was scared to be happy. I didn’t tell many people until I was in the second trimester. Every ultrasound and checkup I had I was petrified that I wouldn’t hear or see his heartbeat. My Rainbow baby is 9 months now. The light of my life, happy and healthy by the grace of God.

    1. Oh Stephanie, thanks for sharing your story. Yes, I needed to blame something too. I blamed myself. There is no right way to mourn. Just know that you are not alone in this journey. Sending you lots of love! Enjoy your rainbow baby! XOXO

  21. Thank you for sharing your story. I had tears in my eyes thinking of the sweet baby that I never got to meet 5 years ago. We were blessed and have had 2 children since then, but I still think of my unborn child who is now our angel in heaven. The sad thing is that people don’t understand what a heartbreaking loss it is and I’m thankful that this article was posted for all those mamas that are silently mourning.

    1. Oh Bren, never forget your heaven baby. You are so right. It is one of those things that are never talked about. Celebrate your heaven baby and talk about him/her often. We have found peace with that. Yes, no more silent mourning. Let’s talk about it mamas. XOXO

  22. I have experienced 17 miscarriages some I was at 6 months it never got easier and some days I long for a second baby. I have one beautiful daughter who is almost 12 now. It was horrible and I’m not sure ill ever stop grieving all my heavenly babies but the doctors made me stop they said she almost killed me and her. I just wanted, needed to be a mommy.

  23. I was touched by this story. I have suffered a loss, I haven’t had a miscarriage but I was told I am never going to have another baby. Hearing that I was not able to do what my husband and I longed to do again for so long. To have to explain to my son that he won’t be having a brother or sister. To see my friends conceive and multiply their family in numbers. That is so hard. I feel like I am broken. I can’t feel those kicks and that love in my tummy. I only wish I could have enjoyed my pregnancy more than I did.
    I pray for a miracle. My husband and I continue to try. This story somehow gave me hope and brought me to tears all together.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Nia. Oh my, your story is bringing me to tears. I will be praying for you. I bet God has big things planned for you. Enjoy your son. Hugs!

  24. This is my story…twice in 6 months…. The first one had already passed before I got to the hospital for the scan. The 2nd – no heartbeat at 8 weeks……and then having to carry that child for 8 days before I could have the currett….knowing there was no hope.

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