It was a Tuesday, just any old Tuesday, that I woke up to the first signs of my miscarriage. I went to get my 15-month-old son out of his crib, changed his diaper, and then headed to the bathroom. With no sign of anything amiss, I wasn’t prepared for the amount of blood that appeared on the toilet paper after I wiped. I was almost five weeks pregnant and I had known for nine days. It was an intentional pregnancy, I was so excited to begin the journey to get to our second child.
My first thoughts were panic, and then I tried to calm myself down knowing that bleeding isn’t always a sign of a miscarriage. As far as I understood, they were generally depicted as being very painful and I was having no pain. “I know a few women who had the same thing happen to them and they have healthy babies,” I said to myself as I wracked my brain for what to do next. I live in a new town so I didn’t have an OB yet and my primary doctor didn’t handle pregnancy concerns. I called my insurance company’s nurse hotline and they suggested I go to the ER to get checked out within the next few hours. My husband came home from work two hours later. We packed up our son and headed to the hospital.
At this point my hopes were still up, the phone call with the nurse reassured me that no pain was a good sign and I still hadn’t even had so much as a twinge of discomfort. I didn’t have a single complication with my first pregnancy so my thoughts were, they would tell me everything was fine and that I should just rest until the bleeding stopped. This was not at all how that visit went. Four hours later it was determined that my HCG levels were very low and there was nothing visible on the ultrasound, but until a follow-up blood test it was still undetermined.
Well, the bleeding didn’t stop, in fact, it picked up, and the pain finally came in the form of dull aching cramps along my back and sharper cramps in the front. As I lay on the couch for the rest of the day and the following one I went back and forth in my head on whether or not I wanted to share my experience on my social media channels.
Eventually, I decided to write out my feelings and then I would decide what I wanted to do. I also needed to discuss it with my husband because although it felt like I was alone in the experience, he was going through it as well. Writing out my feelings turned out to be incredibly therapeutic and creating the letter board I decided to use for the photo was part of my healing process. This is not the case for all women, many choose not to discuss their experience because it is too painful and they still need time to heal and cope.
The outpouring of love and support I received on my post was overwhelming. The amount of women who could relate to my feelings having gone through something similar was heartbreaking. You hear the statistics, but you never think that you are going to be one of them until it happens. And unfortunately, miscarriage is one of those statistics that happens way too often. Opening up about my experience not only helped me but also helped many women who needed to hear that they were not alone and their feelings were normal.
I have spoken to so many beautiful and amazing women since my post went live. Some simply offering their love and prayers, others knowing all too well the pain and loss I was feeling. Having seen the backlash some people have received on social media I was a little nervous for something negative but NOT ONE SINGLE NEGATIVE COMMENT was left. My following count isn’t huge and my likes and comments usually range in the 200s with about 20 comments. On this particular photo over 100 people left me encouragement, support, and condolences and over 800 likes on the photo. That doesn’t include the 20-30 women who reached out to me privately in a direct message, many of them thanking me for sharing and putting into words exactly how they felt also. It has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions but I am so glad I shared my story and was able to help other women who have miscarried.
Before this experience angel babies and rainbow babies were just sad words and concepts that held very little meaning to me. Now hearing or seeing those words makes me tear up, having a very different perspective on them. My husband and I will continue to try for our second child and I am hoping to get the blessing of experiencing my own rainbow baby soon.