The truth about surprise pregnancy and miscarriage

October 15 was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It’s a day that kind of sneaks up on me yearly and takes the wind out of my sails. Some years more so than others. This post has been percolating for a while now. I’ve ummed and ahhed. Started and stopped. But with posts like this, there always comes a time when you just know you’re ready to write and share. No matter how many time I have to write it and no matter how difficult.

Before I go on, I want to make it make it clear that this may be a trigger for others who have had losses and are feeling particularly tender and that it is *my* truth (yea, I hate that term, too, however it is what it is). We each have our own story and I hope you can respect what I am about to share with you because it comes from a place of vulnerability.

truth
It’s no secret that I would have a fourth baby if that guy I call my husband would only come around. However, unlike so many things where he changes his mind or can be sweet talked, this issue he has been steadfast on. And, you come to a point of acceptance, where you see his way of thinking not as dream crushing but as the logical reality they are. Add to that a self imposed ‘rule’ to not have children after 30 and a recent 30th birthday and you’ve got yourself a shift that means you can get on with your life.

Except when you can’t.

When I first found myself wondering if I could possibly be pregnant it was a tiny, niggling thought. A tug here, a pull there. I took a moment before shaking it off. Impossible, I thought. A week or two later, my hips were loose and I couldn’t make it through the night without needing to use the toilet. I’ve been here before, I know what these things mean but I pretended  there was nothing to worry about, all the while finding myself constantly thinking ‘Please don’t let me be pregnant. I can’t be pregnant. Please just be a false alarm’.  A real panic took hold, I looked at our circumstances – money, living arrangements, car situation, my mental stability and James’ insistence that he didn’t want anymore babies and I freaked.

Yet, in amongst all the logic and fear of another pregnancy and birth, a little part of me fearing that I wasn’t actually pregnant at all. A little flicker of hope ignited. After all, I was still that same woman who so desperately wanted a fourth baby.

For a time there was a bizarre overlap of this back and forth knowing but not, wanting but fearing until it just was. I accepted how I was feeling – the nausea, the exhaustion, the loose hips. All the signs were there. And I let myself really feel how I felt. James even propped his arm on my belly and said “You look pregnant” (my belly does this weird pop-out from under my boobs pretty early on in pregnancy) which paved the way for me to admit that I thought I might be.

Surprise pregnancies are somewhat terrifying. So many conflicting emotions. But, for me there always comes a time of excitement, acceptance and immersion.

So, I finally took a test. It was positive.

That day I started spotting.

I told myself that was normal. I had spotting early on in all three (full term) pregnancies.

Unfortunately, it was not normal and I was soon experiencing the worst pains. It might now have been my first miscarriage but it was certainly my worst. Amongst the heavy bleeding and the doubled-over-unable-to-walk-straight pain there was so much guilt and inner turmoil – not to mention pure devastation.

It’s a funny thing. Coming to love a tiny little inkling, even while thinking it might be the last thing you want.  As I went through the physical experience I found myself mentally in a dark place. Knowing the thoughts I had I couldn’t help thinking that those moments of anguish; thinking I couldn’t do another pregnancy, birth and newborn stage because of so many stupid reasons like money and sanity and car seats were directly responsible for what I was experiencing. ‘If only I had never wished to not be pregnant’ was my thought so often, followed by ‘If only this desperate thought could cancel the others’. Because, really, I only didn’t want to be pregnant if I actually wasn’t already so. I don’t know if that will make sense to you guys.

I wished I had just been happy I can get pregnant from that first moment. Been grateful for what I had. Then, maybe all would be fine?

There was so much pain for so long that I ended up being checked for ‘retained product of conception’. Charming, right? I got the all clear, thankfully, but that was just more worry on top of anxiety on top of the whole situation.

Then, to top it all off, I logged onto facebook to find one of my friends announcing their pregnancy. We were at exactly the same point, except that we were moving in different directions. It has been tough, following her journey as her baby grows, discovering the sex and plans for the arrival.

Around National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day you hear ‘a loss is a loss’ a lot and it’s so true. It doesn’t matter how far along you are or how many times you’ve been through it before, it still rips you apart. I hate the silence which surrounds miscarriage, yet I can’t talk about it. I don’t really want to, but I do want to let others out there know they’re not alone. Each story is different and personal but there is a sisterhood out there who have been there to their own extent and, that’s why I needed to write this. I spent many nights searching, trying to feel a little less alone but there is not a whole lot out there. Every story breaks that silence just a little and maybe someone will find something here to help them in some way.

I’m still healing. Still broken. Still wondering. But, getting there.

Linking up with Jess for #ibot

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23 Comments

  1. This is a really great post. I am really sorry for your loss. I especially hate the blame game. We women apply it to all stages of pregnancy and delivery and our children’s childhoods. You have described really well, the emotional roller coaster of conception. I think each conception begins in the same place whether planned or otherwise. It is both frightening and exciting.
    My husband was dead set against adding to our family after our 5th. They were all under 2 years apart. I worked on him and worked on him and finally he relented and welcomed our 6th child. He adores her! There’s a 4.5 year gap so it took me a long while! Thankfully once he decided to go ahead we conceived first try. I had an ectopic pregnancy which I wrote about in my blog and have only 1 fallopian tube. It has never hindered our pregnancy attempts however.
    I just knew that this number 6 was missing and wouldn’t rest or feel satisfied until she was here. Thank god she is! All the best to you. xx

    • Thanks Jody. I bet it was a shock to go back to the baby years after 4.5 years! I felt like I forgot almost everything with a 23 month gap between Kahlei and Jazzy!

  2. Yes I agree you need to be in the right place to read (or write) something like this and I think you’ve done your story justice. I also don’t like the silence around loss or grief of any kind. It’s important to let it out, if that’s what you need to do. #teamIBOT

    • Thank you so much for this comment. There’s a real pressure to get it ‘right’ but I came to a point where it was more important to just get it out.

  3. A very well-written piece, congratulations for putting your thoughts down. My wife and I have had two miscarriages. I was so shocked to learn that an estimated 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage, yet it is so taboo. It is a sisterhood that no wants to be part of and a brotherhood no will admit to.

    All that frustrated me, so I have tried to talk about it frequently and openly. Hopefully our friends will feel more comfortable in talking with us if, heaven forbid, they experience a similar thing.

    • Hi Dan, thanks so much for your comment. I was shocked when I first discovered the statistics (or become them), before you know it just seems like most pregnancies end in babies. It is a tough lesson to learn.

      I am embarrassed that I did not even address the brotherhood. My husband doesn’t talk about it at all and I find it hard to know what he thinks or how he feels. I am so glad you’re sharing your story and putting a dad’s view and voice out there. I think that’s very important.

  4. Oh Becky that is very heartbreaking, sorry you’ve had to go through this. And to have wanted a fourth one so much… My hubby is also not keen for a 4th and so got the snip! I wasn’t either but now I’m out of the muddle that is having 3 under 3.5 years I often wonder, but then the money and having old parents (hubby is 41) starts to come into it. Thanks for sharing your experience, and sorry you had to go through it. HUGS xx

    • Thank you, Emily. My hubby, ironically, is adamant he won’t have the snip so we’re at an impasse there. I think, James is still not out of the muddle of 3 kids under 3.5, maybe that’s his problem? There’s always so much to consider. I sometimes wish it was as easy as having what you want but I do have to remember I am blessed to have three beautiful children. Some people don’t even get that.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss. There are no words. But I have been there, six times.
    We have lost six babies and my heart aches for each of them.
    But know this – it is NOT your fault. It is not your husband’s fault. It is not your baby’s fault.
    Each day you get a little stronger, and if you don’t, it’s oaky to take a few steps backwards.
    xxx

    • Thanks you Wendy for taking the time to comment. I am sorry for your losses. It never gets easier to experience a new loss, I don’t know why but I thought it might – especially in the earlier stages.
      And thank you for your lovely words. It is easy to shoulder the blame – or to lay it elsewhere.

  6. Miscarriage is one of those horrible things that so many women experience, I had two before I was blessed with two gorgeous girls. I do believe that nature is actually doing us a favour and releasing an imperfect creation, but at the time it really is the hardest pain to endure. Time eases the pain but never erases the memory. Wishing you healing and health. xxx

    • Thank you for your comment, Nikki.

  7. I’m sorry for your loss. I too am one in four, we lost our second baby in first trimester. I can also relate to the conflicting feelings, we were told at 6 weeks that our last pregnancy wasn’t viable and while I thought, even knew, that I should be relieved and that the timing wasn’t right, my soul was also crushed. A total head trip! We were lucky enough that for us, the ultrasound was wrong and we now have our Rosie, but that week of thinking she was gone made me realise just how wanted she was.

    • Hi Emma, thanks for popping in to comment. What a roller coaster for you to be on for your last pregnancy. I am so please you have your gorgeous little girl!

  8. So sorry for your loss.

  9. visiting over from Maxabella. thanks for sharing such a wonderful, moving, inspiring yet heartbreaking post! Wishing you all my best wishes as you grieve your loss. xx

  10. Oh Becky! My heart breaks for you!
    I’ve never had a miscarriage, but have had those moments when you’re a few days late, and all the hormones suggest there’s a baby, and despite not wanting it, of course you desperately do. And it’s all just falling in love with an idea that won’t happen, because Aunt Flo finally shows up and it’s like a slap in the face with reality.
    I’m so sorry you never got to meet your littlest one, but I do know it’s not at all your fault. xxxx

  11. I’m so sorry for your loss. Surprise pregnancies are still a gift and it takes time for the mind to get used to the idea and then you get excited and to have this happen – I can understand the guilt of thinking of not wanting them but falling in love with them at the same time. I have never had this experience, and nor do I want to. I have two gorgeous girls and we are tossing up about going for the third, yet when I was pregnant with my second I was adamant this would be my last baby. Now I’m not so sure….

  12. Thanks for sharing your story.
    It’s a very upsetting time and everyone should be allowed to deal with it in the way that best suits them.
    Wishing you all the best.

  13. How brave you are to write this post.
    A lot of what you’ve said resonates with me. A lot.
    Thank you for sharing 🙂
    (dropping by via Weekend Rewind)

  14. It’s always so, so hard to read a post on miscarriage, no matter how beautifully it’s written (and you’ve written your story beautifully, Becky). x

  15. Thank you for posting this. I just experienced a miscarriage of an unexpected pregnancy this past week and you have put my feelings in to words. The guilt of not being more excited when first learning of the pregnancy. No, we didn’t want more children, but we did want THIS child. It’s awful. There is so little out there for women who are experiencing this, so once again, thank you for posting this.
    I just found out today that a friend is pregnant. One week behind where I should be right now. I’m so happy for her, but also very conscious that all of those milestones she reaches will be difficult for me because I should be there, too.
    My emotions are so conflicted, and now I’m facing the “should we try again” question. We were done having children. But now, after losing this last pregnancy, I’m not so sure. I’m sure, in time, the emotions will balance out and I’ll be able to think clearly again. But for now I feel nothing but confusion.
    I’m sorry we share such similar circumstances, but am thankful for your honesty in this piece. It’s comforting to know there are other women out there that are going through similar experiences.

  16. Hi,
    I am so sorry for your loss.
    Your post really made sense to me.
    I had longed for a 5th child and my husband was adamant there was no more. I accepted it and we moved on with life, made plans for our baby free future then bang a surprise pregnancy.
    It was hard to accept and I was scared, my husband accepted it better than I did.
    After the initial omg thoughts I became use to the idea and saw the beautiful heartbeat on a scan, started making baby plans. At 10 weeks we found out our baby had passed away. At this moment we are still waiting for a natural miscarriage to occur or for a D&C. Our baby would of been due the 15th of October.

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