MY NAME IS KARA AND I HAD A MISCARRIAGE

 
In most healthy women the average is about a 15-20% chance [of having a miscarriage].
–AmericanPregnancy.org
 

My Personal Experience

After trying for a couple of months, my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our second child.
This is Camden, our first child, back when we was little.  He’s the inspiration behind wanting baby #2.
 
Because we had close friends who experienced miscarriages, we decided that we were going to wait a while to tell people “just in case.”
 
I never actually planned on having a miscarriage.  It’s not something people plan on, try to prepare for maybe, but not plan on.
 
On December 9th, I went in for what was supposed to be my 8 week appointment.  I immediately knew something was wrong when the doctor said that he could not see the baby or find a heartbeat.  There was a “yolk” forming, but the lack of a fetus implied that I was either having a miscarriage, or was less far along than I thought.
 
I knew it had to be a miscarriage.  I had carefully charted all my information and took a positive pregnancy test the day before my missed cycle on November 11th.
 
However, that was not enough to confirm the miscarriage, medically speaking, so the doctor said that I had to get some blood drawn to find out more. 
 
I excused myself from the examination room and cried in the bathroom for a minute before heading to the front desk on my way out.
 
I tried to gather myself together, but as the receptionist asked if I needed to reschedule I just shook my head and said no as I tried to hide my crying from everyone else in the office.  I didn’t need to reschedule because there was no baby to reschedule for.
 
I cried some more, called my husband, who took it well and calmly comforted me.  I hung up the phone, and then cried some more.  Maybe the crying never actually stopped.
 
That day, I had to get my blood drawn to check my hormone levels, all while keeping my very active, over-adventurous 18 month old in check.
 
As I got in my car, I cried—not just the normal tears with small whimpering, but real crying.  The kind where you feel hysterical as you finally let the loud sobs out that you never let other people hear.  The kind that scares you because you actually hear your emotions expressing themselves.  The kind that literally makes you sick because you can’t get enough air into your lungs.
 
I went again two days later to get my blood drawn so they could compare my hormone levels and see if they had gone up.  They did, which required me to schedule another ultrasound in a week.
 
That night I called my friend who had had the same type of miscarriage and she graciously listened while I bore my soul to her.  For a while, other than my husband and my mother, she was the only other soul who knew.  Having gone through a very similar experience months before, she knew exactly what to say, and more importantly, how to listen.
I explained how I was mad and frustrated.  I knew this was a miscarriage by all logic.  Everything about this pregnancy had seemed wrong.  I didn’t feel connected to it, or excited to tell people.  The hormones also gave me panic attacks every morning—something I never had during my previous pregnancy. But still, that need for an additional ultrasound gave me this tauntingly difficult-to-face false hope that profoundly played with my emotions.
 
The next ultrasound “muddied the waters,” as the doctor said it, because there was a little more growth, but no heartbeat or visible baby.
I was sent to go to the hospital, which was separate from my OBGYN’s office, to get my blood drawn once more.
 
Yet again, that tiny sliver of false hope made this experience almost unbearable.  I remember wishing that I could have just had the miscarriage 100% confirmed at that first appointment.  Dragging it out was made it feel like I was constantly reliving a nightmare over and over again.
 
The next day, the results of the final blood test confirmed that I was having a miscarriage.  I had what is called a missed miscarriage, meaning that the baby stopped forming soon after conception, but that my body still thought it was pregnant.  I didn’t have any bleeding or cramping.
 
Because of this situation, I had three options:
  • have a D&C to remove everything
  • wait for nature to take its course, which could mean weeks
  • take pills to induce a miscarriage
I originally planned on the first option until I learned that insurance wouldn’t cover it.  Because we planned on traveling to Belize in January, I didn’t have time to wait it out.  The left me with option 3, which I had heard would be the most pain I would ever experience.
 
I was traumatized, but I was blessed with an outpouring of support not just from my great husband, but by two very important women in my life.
 
I felt as though my Savior had manifested His love and care for me through my sister and friend who served me and loved me.  My sister, who hadn’t had a chance to visit me in months, just happened to ask for a day off of work a week before, without knowing my circumstances, and had planned to come hang out for a day.  We both felt that this had been more than a mere coincidence.  She was with me the day the news was confirmed, and in her beautifully talented way, she was able to be a comic relief to an otherwise, very dark day.
 
I cannot express to you how much it meant to have a friend who had gone through a very similar miscarriage as me.  She was able to feel my pain, to sincerely express her understanding, and to help me overcome the grief that I felt I could not bear alone.  It was nice to be able to call someone and not be ashamed to cry as I spoke my feelings.  She was comfortable talking to me during a time that my vulnerability and openness would make so many other people uneasy.
 
On December 21st, four days before Christmas, I took the pills and began to miscarry that weekend.  I cancelled all social events.  Because of the awful stories I read online about the pills I had to take, I asked my husband for a blessing.  For those of you who are not Latter-Day Saints, or Mormons, you can read more about blessings here: https://www.lds.org/youth/article/importance-of-priesthood-blessings?lang=eng  As a result of this blessing, and the early timing in my pregnancy, the actual miscarrying part was not too traumatizing other than some severe cramping.
 
An ultrasound December 23rd confirmed that I had successfully miscarried.  In a sad, but relieving way, I was happy to be done with this experience that had lagged on for weeks.
And now, about two weeks after the climax of this trial, I sit here and write this for two reasons:
 
One, I feel like I am holding a lot of emotions inside, and though I am generally and sincerely happy now, I need closure and I have always found writing to be therapeutic.
 
Two, this miscarriage has raised a question I would like to address…

Where are all these women?

About 15-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage.  That’s roughly one out of every five pregnancies.  Now think about all the women you have know who had successful pregnancies and compare that to how many women you know had a miscarriage.  Chances are your count doesn’t measure up to one out of five.  Mine was more like three out of two hundred and fifty.  So I began to think, where are all these women?  Why are miscarriages so secretive? Are we ashamed to share our experiences?  I didn’t really have the answers until I had a miscarriage of my own.
 
The initial news and process of a miscarriage are emotionally exasperating.  You don’t want the whole world to know because you don’t want the whole world feeling like they need to console you.  You don’t want to have to talk about it more than you already are.  The experience is immensely private and to make it public is not appealing to most people.
 
Once you share that you have had a miscarriage, other women and families slowly come forth and reveal “I had two of my own” or “My sister has had three.”  Slowly, the statistics begin to prove themselves true.  I now understand that women don’t share their miscarriages because they are ashamed (there is nothing to be ashamed about), but because it’s not generally a socially acceptable thing.  You aren’t supposed to let people know that you had a miscarriage. For some strange reason, talking about miscarriages in public has become taboo.
 
Well, I’ve never been one for social norms.  Having this miscarriage has been really hard, but I don’t think that locking this experience away is going to help me with much.  The biggest part of me getting through this was my heaven-sent friend who had gone through the same thing. 
 
I want other women to know that you are not alone.  Your sorrow is felt, your pain is understood, and you loss is shared, not just by the millions of women who have undergone the same experience throughout history, but by a loving Savior, who, through His atonement, has cried your tears, endured your grief, and seeks to comfort you still.
 
I bear my testimony that God lives.  That Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.  That if you are going through a miscarriage or have gone through one, you do not suffer alone.  That your cries do not remain silent.  That your prayers do not go unheard.  That your sorrows will not go uncomforted.  Seek Christ. Know that you are loved, that you will be happy again. And maybe one day, you will be the answer to another woman’s prayer by being brave and sharing your experience with her.
To my friend, you know who you are, I am forever grateful to you.

When someone you know is experiencing a miscarriage:

  • Don’t say, “Let me know if you need anything.”  Instead, specifically offer something, like babysitting their other children, bringing dinner, or directly asking, “What can I do to help?”
  • Don’t try to point out the positive.  Most couples already know the positives, like “at least you know you can get pregnant.”  They don’t need someone to point out the obvious; they did need someone to listen.
  • Do send a kind text or drop off a sweet note  expressing your condolences. This is usually best if you have a close relationship with the family.
  • Don’t tell anyone else about their miscarriage.  They will tell the people they want to know.  It’s not really yours to share. 
  • Do let them be the ones to bring up the miscarriage.  If they want to talk about it, they will.  If they don’t, they won’t.
  • Don’t bring up stories about people who have had more or worse miscarriages.  Their trial may be less in comparison, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt.
  • Don’t ask them if they are pregnant later on.  If they are, they will tell you when they are ready.
  • Most of all, just listen and love.
 Thanks for listening to me.
Sincerely,
Kara
 
Baby Camden and I last year.  Leaving on a happy note.
 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

12 Comments

  1. Kara, I love you! I read this post with tears streaming down my face. One, because I feel awful that you had to go through this. And two, because my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage on Christmas Day 3 years ago. The hurt doesn’t ever go away completely. I still have a little bit of sadness on that day every year as I remember how I found out and all the questions I asked myself.

    Only my immediate family knows about mine. I haven’t even told my in-laws. I’ve almost shared with friends a few times but I always talk myself out of it because I’m such an emotional person, I know I’ll cry when I talk about it even though I’m “over it” (if you can ever truly be “over it.”) I promise I will try to share my experience more, when appropriate, so I can maybe help a friend going through a miscarriage, like your friend helped you. I’m so glad you had her and I’m sorry I couldn’t be that person for you.

    Sorry for the novel. You are an amazing writer who brought up a lot of things to think about. Thank you for sharing. I’m sorry you had to have that experience. I hope you are brought peace.

  2. I hope it’s okay if I share this publicly because it is beautiful and I know people who need it. :) Thanks for being always amazing. I love you so much and am lucky to know you!! <3

  3. Kara, my heart aches for you. Thank you for sharing your story and sweet testimony of our Savior. You are in my prayers.

  4. I love you, Kara. Thanks for wording this so much more beautifully than I ever could. Miscarriage is so heart-wrenching and I am so, so sorry that you had to go through it. Thanks for being my shoulder to cry on when I had mine; that listening ear goes a long way. You have blessed/will bless my life and so many other lives in too many ways to count.

  5. Kara, I am so so sorry you had to go through a miscarriage. I have never been pregnant or miscarried, but (as statistics show again) my SIL has had 2 miscarriages in the last year. The first was between she and her husband, none of us found out until months after it happened. The second was much different. They were just about to find out if the baby was a boy or girl, they had told the immediate family and right before the appointment she miscarried. The day she told me, Jared (my husband) and I cried all day long. I still cry every time I think about it. I think that is why people choose not to talk about it until “down the road” when they have come to peace with the situation. For us, it’s still so fresh, that I cry and cry every time I think about my niece/nephew that I won’t get to hold. I was learning photography so I could do maternity and newborn shots for her. Now those things are all on hold indefinitely. The silver lining is that my SIL’s and I have never been closer. This experience where all our hearts ache so badly has given us a bond that can never be taken away.

    I really am truly sorry that you had a miscarriage. You’re strong and you will be okay. It’s an experience that will build who you are and knowing you… you will come out on top.

  6. I am so sorry for your loss. I had a miscarriage in Nov 2012 and it is still haunting me. I ended up going to go talk to my bishop to get help this past month because it kept getting more and more difficult for me to handle. I hope you don’t have as difficult of a time, but if you just can’t seem to get past it, get help more quickly than I did. I am feeling much better and more hopeful about my future than I have in a year. I still have bad days (especially, as I’m getting closer to my potential period, and after it does eventually start and I know yet again that this month is not the month), but it is getting better.
    Thank you for speaking out about your experience. It is therapeutic for me to read about other women going through miscarriages as well, it is a good reminder that I am not alone and that it wasn’t my fault that this happened and that it happens to other wonderful women.

  7. Kara, this is beautiful. I’m so sorry you went through this experience, but I am so grateful that you had the courage and grace to write about it. I haven’t had a miscarriage, but my older sister did and I feel like I understand so much more what she went through. Thank you!

  8. Kara. I am sooo sorry. I love you girl and think of you often. You are in my prayers. Thanks for sharing. :)

  9. Kara,

    Thank you so much for being brave and sharing this. I cried as I read it. I am so grateful to have you as part of my family. I love you.

    Jacque

  10. Kara, i’m so sorry for your loss. I had a misscarriage in 2009 and i can relate to your pain. Since than we have become the grateful parents of a boy 2010 and girl 2013.

    i think the numbers do ad up. When miscarried a lot of friends, family amd co workers told about their misscariage(s).

    i wish you all the best and hope there will be sunshine after rain.

    marjorie

  11. Kara, I just discovered your blog today and happened upon this post which really meant a lot to me as I have also experienced a miscarriage. Thank you for having the courage to share this. It was comforting to me to read about your experience. Best to you and your darling family!

  12. Pingback: My experience with a miscarriage – This Life We Live

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*