I found out about our first miscarriage during a big meeting at work. The meeting involved our CEO and others of our leadership team, and as a 28 year old aspiring career gal, I was in ‘make a good impression’ mode.
I had been having painful cramps for a few days, but thought it was simply part of early pregnancy – like all of my internet investigations told me. I went to the bathroom to discover my pregnancy was over – just a week after finding out about it in the first place. I collected myself, went back to the meeting, and stayed composed until the meeting was over and I could go to the bathroom again to fall apart.
We had been trying for 6 months at that time.
I found out about our second miscarriage at our 6 week ultrasound. I had just started at a fertility clinic, and I went to my first appointment pregnant – in fact, they confirmed it for me. A few weeks later, it was time for our ultrasound. I went alone because from everything I’d read, it’s perfectly normal to have a miscarriage followed by a completely healthy pregnancy. I didn’t think I needed support and my husband worked so far away – we thought it would be just fine.
But the ultrasound technician was so quiet. She asked me to go see my doctor. I didn’t know at the time that when there’s a heartbeat and everything looks normal, they just show you the monitor. I thought it was normal.
My doctor broke the news to me and I fell apart, alone. Again, I collected myself, walked back to my work place. I was 30 now, and as a new Manager, I had my own office. I locked myself in it for the rest of the day, trying to focus on work as a distraction, but breaking down every few minutes.
At this point, we had been trying for almost 2 years.
I found out about our third miscarriage at another 6 week ultrasound. At this point, I was a mom to a beautiful 2 year old boy. I was nervous – my batting average on 6 week ultrasounds wasn’t great. I brought my husband, and because my son had the sniffles, we kept him out of daycare and brought him with us.
I went into the ultrasound alone. The technician was quiet. This time, I knew. I knew that when there’s a heartbeat and things look good, it’s a happy conversation. You get to see the monitor. They point out the heartbeat. You cry tears of happiness.
The silence was deafening. She opened her mouth to speak. She didn’t know what to say. I simply asked ‘Why is this happening to us again?’. She asked if I wanted my husband there. I said ‘yes’ forgetting my son was with him.
They both came in to find me sobbing.
My son asked “Why is mommy crying?” and I don’t remember what my husband said.
We had been trying to conceive again for a year.
The grief – it stays with you.
We never ended up giving my son that sibling. It’s been two years since our fertility journey ended in disappointment. I’ve come to terms with it all – the failure, the loss, the grief.
That kind of stuff never leaves you fully. I’m writing this, years removed from our miscarriages, with tears in my eyes as I relive every moment, images clear as if they had happened yesterday.
I remember being told by friends and family each time that ‘at least it happened early’.
I’m here to tell you that there’s no great time to have a miscarriage. I’m not ‘lucky’.
Please never say this someone. Here’s what you can say.
“I’m so sorry.”
Sorry for your loss. Sorry that you have to endure this. Sorry that you’re not yet able to realize your dream. Sorry that you have to say goodbye so soon.
If you’re currently grieving a loss – an early pregnancy loss, a late pregnancy loss, or the loss of your child – young or old, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.