Aimee reached out to me via Instagram. She said that she wanted to tell her story but was having a hard time finding the words, and even wondering if her story was worth telling. That broke my heart because every single one of your stories is worth telling! Her comment further cemented in me the fact that this blog and this website are necessary. I'm so thankful that she reached out and opened up because I know her story will help someone else dealing with loss and that is worth everything.
“This isn’t a viable pregnancy”
I felt all the air rush out of my body in that moment and then the shaking began. It took a few seconds to realize the shaking was because of the sobs escaping my mouth. Tears streamed down my husband, then boyfriends face. The doctor continued, it had stopped growing at around 6 weeks. Maybe we could try again when the timing was better, she said to me. I walked out of the office like a stone.
I didn’t even know that I needed to worry about my pregnancy, thoughts of loss hadn’t even crossed my mind. When we went in for our early ultrasound at 9 weeks, we were excited and all smiles and it wasn’t until the tech said things weren’t right and left the room that I began to get scared. When everything was said and done, so many people told me “lots of first time pregnancies end in miscarriage and go on to have successful pregnancies”. After research, I realized it was more common than people think, especially first time pregnancies. I was utterly devastated by the loss, but felt hope that we would go on to have a successful pregnancy.
And we did, about 3 years later we welcomed a little girl, but not without some challenges and a whole lot of worry. Where the first pregnancy I didn’t even know to worry, this time around I couldn’t think about anything but. I felt cheated. I never got that carefree pregnancy with excitement and joy. I was so incredibly stressed out the whole time. Family encouraged us not to tell people until 3 months. They made comments like “we are excited for you, but don’t want to get too excited.” They meant well. It still added to the stress. Nevertheless, it all worked out and we had a beautiful baby girl who was healthy. We felt like the stars were ours!
Around the time many people ‘averagely’ begin to try again, we actively started trying again for another baby. Our little one was two at the time and it felt right. It took almost no time at all to get pregnant. We once again shared the joy with family and close friends, who were ‘cautiously optimistic’ for us. I worried, but the worry was less. After all, we had a healthy baby girl already, so my body surely knew what to do. I was about 5 weeks along when the spotting started and immediately I was wrecked. I couldn’t believe this was happening again. I tried to remain hopeful when we went in for an early ultrasound to see what was going on. I knew from experience that there was not heartbeat able to be seen. We mourned another loss. I hadn’t even really told anyone this time, so not many people knew what was going on.
This went on two more times in that same year. Each time, we thought we had figured out what was going on. MTHFR defect. Low progesterone. Each piece of the puzzle was worked on, and each time we had a loss. I stopped even telling close friends I was pregnant. I was almost embarrassed to tell anyone. 4 miscarriages. 3 in the same year only months apart. Some of my closest friends still don’t know how many times I was pregnant. My family refused to get their hopes up and that drove me deeper down. Each time my parents would say “Don’t even tell us, we don’t want to get our hopes up before we know if it’s going to be ok”. They didn’t say it to be mean, they were grieving too.
My poor daughter. She really didn’t understand why mommy was sad and mad all the time. Not to mention what the up and down of hormones in my body was doing to me. The feelings that I had inside were so conflicting and made me feel so bad about myself. I was so so sad, but also angry at the world. I felt mad at my body for not doing the right thing. I felt like less of a woman, why couldn’t it do the one thing its biologically supposed to do. I felt guilty, a lot. The guilt would eat me up sometimes. We had a child. So many others tried harder and longer and I had what they wanted and why wasn’t I satisfied? That feeling ate me up. I felt utterly selfish to want more. I felt guilty for my daughter. Here she was, perfect and healthy and I was sad and unable to play with her. I wanted to scream at myself. You are wasting her childhood, I would think in my head. I never talked to anyone about those thoughts because I felt like a monster saying that stuff out loud. It was a lonely time.
It took more time than I’m proud of, but I got to a healthy place where not only together with my husband we decided, but mentally I decided, that if we never had another baby it would be ok. That seems like such a silly thing to write, but I had to actually get to that place of knowing that it would be ok. There was a time I didn’t think it would be, or that I would be ok. I allowed myself to enjoy our life and the memories we’d build as a family of three. I even allowed myself to venture thoughts about the future and what that might look like for us. I never wanted my daughter to feel like she wasn’t enough, she was so very much enough. We toyed with adoption someday and weren’t opposed to it. I got physically healthy, quit a job I hated and began working for one of my best friends. We bought a house and just began to live our lives. I was finally able to start participating in it again.
We made a decision to try- one last time. That if it didn’t work out, we would just be done and move forward and life would be ok. I don’t think I would have been able to try again if I hadn’t gotten to that place. You may think it’s silly for us to even tempt fate again after all that loss, but somewhere deep inside me was a knowing that it was going to work out however it was supposed to. I medically had gotten a few more answers about my low progesterone and was in the best mental and physical shape I’d been in in a long time. And we welcomed another baby girl a year ago this March.
I get that not everyone’s story has a happy ending. I like to believe that if it didn’t work out the way it did that I would have stayed in that healthy place of knowing that life would be ok. I found that talking to others when we were going through it helped and I vowed that I would always be a safe place for others to turn to if they had similar thoughts or feelings around loss. The taboo around miscarriage still exists and it is such a lonely place for women and men to navigate. Maybe they won't feel so alone one story at a time.
I am a full time, working mom taking care of two spirited girls with my husband, trying to find balance in life. We live in sunny Arizona with our 4 pets.
You can connect more with Aimee on Instagram @jaynaim1