Living After A Miscarriage

Content Warning: Miscarriage

I lost a part of me the day I lost you.

It happens to approximately one in five women… but I never imagined it would happen to me. From the first day that the second line appeared on the test until the day I was sitting in the emergency room hearing the heart-wrenching news, having a miscarriage was my biggest fear. As anyone who has ever been pregnant knows, in just an instant, your mind is suddenly filled with thoughts of your baby. You begin changing your diet, your lifestyle and your general habits to ensure the safety of the little life inside you. Your body begins to change at the same time your emotions start to unravel. You feel joy, fear, excitement and an overwhelming feeling of love. You start to pick out names, picture your future and begin telling the people close to you about your news. And yet, sometimes, no matter how much love you feel or how excited you are, your baby stops growing and you become one in five.

I lost a part of me the day I lost you.

I didn’t hear much from the doctor after he told me there was no longer a heartbeat. My first thought? Denial. We had seen the heartbeat just two weeks prior so my first thoughts were of disbelief. However, after getting the results of my blood-work back one hour later, we knew our worst nightmare had come true… we were losing our baby.

You might think the worst part is hearing the gut-wrenching news, but honestly, it was the days between finding out the news and having the dilation and curettage procedure (D&C) that hurt the most. Since it can take many weeks to months before your hormones stabilize, being and feeling pregnant whilst knowing your baby is already dead can be, and very much was, mentally traumatizing. I found myself reaching for my stomach in tears for a life that was no longer there and asking my partner to make the dreaded phone calls to our loved ones to break the news. As a way of grieving and explaining the loss of her sibling to my partner’s daughter, we decided to give the baby a name so that he/she could be properly memorialized. Together, as a family, we named him/her Skylar Rain. For us, this was the perfect gender neutral name and metaphor for the storm we felt that we were going through.

Days later and after yet another heartbreaking ultrasound that had to be completed prior to making a final decision, we were given two options. Either I could be given a shot that would cause me to expel the fetus at home or I could have an elective D&C procedure in which they surgically remove the entire contents of the uterus. I opted for the D&C, and in hindsight, despite how physically invasive and traumatizing it was, I would pick that option again. And thus, less than one week after finding out our baby had no heartbeat, we found ourselves sitting in a silent waiting room with a handful of others who were all facing the same sad story as we were.

Preparing for the procedure was nerve-wracking and no matter how much research I did, and how many Youtube videos I watched, nothing could have prepared me for what happened when I lied down on the operating table. I won’t go into the grim details because they still haunt my dreams, but the harsh reality is that under conscious sedation, I had to lie there completely awake and am able to remember the majority of the procedure. This includes the moments just before they pushed more of the medication into my IV in which I was sobbing uncontrollably and fighting to close my legs as the nurse attempted to calm me down.

The next thing I knew, I was in the recovery room wearing nothing but a gown and massive mesh underwear and less than twenty minutes later, I was on my way home with nothing but a condescending brochure and an aching pain to remind me of the baby I’d just lost.

The nights and days that followed the procedure are still a complete blur. Between the time I spent in bed crying and the constant stream of Tylenol and wine, I felt more lost and alone than ever before. Nothing made sense to me. How could my perfectly healthy baby just suddenly stop growing? Undoubtedly, the isolation I forced myself into and the general heartache we felt were just two of the reasons my relationship with the father ended just two days after the procedure.

It has now been just over two weeks since the procedure and it is no overstatement that in every single breath I take, I feel the loss of the baby all over again. Although the physical toll of losing the baby has been excruciatingly long and painful, the emotional trauma has been so much worse. I will forever remember and hold onto every heartache and memory of the baby I lost to miscarriage.

While I cannot predict how I will feel in the future about the situation, the sad truth is that miscarriages can evoke a significant amount of fear. Unexplainable fear that life will never be the same afterwards—that no one will ever look at you or think of you the same because you lost a baby. Perhaps maybe it is best that way as perhaps, no one is truly the exact same person they were before losing a baby.

Truthfully, the only things I am one hundred percent sure of is that I am a mother—regardless as to whether my baby is here with me physically, that no one will ever be able to fully comprehend the emotional bond we share and that despite only carrying this baby with me for just over eight weeks, I will forever carry the memory of baby Skylar Rain in my heart.

I lost a part of me the day I lost you.

For miscarriage support in London, Ontario: please contact Bereaved Families of Ontario.

Other miscarriage resources and mental health supports:

https://www.babycenter.ca/a4006/coping-with-a-miscarriage#section6

https://www.grieflossresources.ca/groups-agencies/

http://reachout247.ca/

There are also many Facebook groups dedicated to miscarriage support which help provide a community of people who understand the circumstances you may be going through.

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